The Carseat Dilemma

Later this summer my grandmother in-law (that’s a real thing, right?) is taking the whole family on this incredible European vacation:  5 days in Rome –> 7 day Mediterranean Cruise –> 3 days in Venice.

Kinda nervous about the long flight + ridiculous layover we have in Canada + train ride + sea sickness, but I know it will be worth it.

The tentative plan is to hire as needed in Rome and in a couple of the different cities we port at during our cruise. The rest of the time we will use public transportation to get around.

Here is the issue: Because we will be riding in cars, I have to figure out what to do about a carseat.

I mean, there is no question; we will be taking a carseat. The problem is what kind of carseat and how am I is C going to tote it around? The struggle is real. Yes, I know, #firstworldproblems.

Here is my criteria:

1.) High safety rating. Because, you know, duh.

2.) Lightweight. We might be doing a lot of car seat carrying 😝 (hotel –> taxi –> sight-seeing or cruise –> taxi –> sight-seeing).

3.) Somewhat compact. I mean, how small can a safe convertible carseat get? But we’d like to avoid bumping into as many people as possible.

4.) Has to be compatible with a carrying case, either the backpack or roller-wheel variety.

5.) Budget friendly. We will essentially only be using this carseat for travel, so I’m hesitant to pay a boatload (see what I did there?) for something that will live in the attic most of the time.

That being said, I referred to my trusty friend, The Internet, for guidance.

Here are my favorite articles that I came across while doing my research:

  • The Carseat Lady has some great recommendations on carseats in this post. It’s a very good, comprehensive list including carseats for all ages.
  • I also found this great list of suggestions on thecarseatblog.com that includes carseats for all age groups, including stats, reviews, and also a list of carseat carriers for easy transport.
  • Travels with Baby has this article on recommended convertible carseats.

(I know there are some carseat varieties that are inflatable or can snap in using the existing seatbelt. These really aren’t options for us because Little S is not big enough for one and the other is recommended for airplanes only.)

So after reading all of those articles these are the carseats we had it narrowed down to:

  1. Combi Cocorro
    • 15.5 lbs
    • $199.00 on Amazon
    • Recommended on 2/3 sites listed above
  2. Cosco Scenera
    • 10.9 lbs
    • $53.47 on Amazon
    • Recommended on 2/3 sites listed above
  3. Evenflo Tribute
    • 9.1 lbs
    • $50.99 on Amazon
    • Recommended on 1/3 sites listed above
  4. Safety First Guide 65
    • 14 lbs
    • $76.49 on Amazon
    • Recommended on 1/3 sites listed above
  5. Graco ComfortSport
    • 16.2 lbs
    • $125 on Amazon
    • Recommended on 1/3 sites listed above

What did I decide?

Well, nothing has been purchased yet, (because the hubs and I like to think about things for a while and we still have some time before we leave) but **drumroll** it looks like the Cosco Scenera is a winner for this family. It is light weight, extremely budget friendly ($50-60), and has great safely ratings. We were tempted by the Evenflo Tribute as well (because 9.1 lbs!) but we like the fact that the Cosco Scenera has more recommendations on various travel blogs.

The next decision we have to make is what do we want to use to haul it around. These are the ones we are choosing from:

Brica Roll n Go Car Seat Transporter

Go Go Travelmate Products

Carseat Travel Bags with Wheels

Traveling Toddler Strap

Britax Bag

Peg Perego Travel Bag

More on that decision in a later post 🙂

Any suggestions or tips before we take the plunge and buy? I’d love to know what worked for you!

-S

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