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The Best Travel Car Seat for 2 Year Old Toddlers

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When it comes to traveling with toddlers, safety is the number one priority. In this review, we’ll breakdown the best toddler travel car seats popular for 2 year olds. We will review the most lightweight portable car seats for travel with your active toddlers. These are the best travel car seats for 2 year olds.

Travel Car Seats for Two Year Olds

According to the CDC, the average 2 year old girl is 27 lbs and the average 2 year old boy is 28 lbs. We’ve compiled a list of carseats which can be used appropriately at this average weight. Many of the seats selected can also be used for extended rear-facing!

There are quite a few lightweight travel car seats on the market that are perfect for 2 year olds. We’ve included a selection of seats from every price range in this review. The good news is that most of the lightweight car seats out there are also quite inexpensive!

Here is our list of the best car seats for 2 year olds:

Carseat
Evenflo Tribute LX 2-in-1 Lightweight Convertible Car Seat, Travel Friendly (Neptune Blue)
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Lava Red
Bestseller
Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat (Black Arrows)
Preview
Evenflo Tribute LX 2-in-1 Lightweight Convertible Car Seat, Travel Friendly (Neptune Blue)
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Lava Red
Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat (Black Arrows)
Prime delivery?
-
-
-
Extended rear facing?
FAA approved?
Weight range:
5-40 lbs
5lbs-50lbs (rear facing to forward facing)
5-50 lbs
Item weight:
12 lbs
11 lbs
11 lbs
Price not available
Price not available
Price not available
Carseat
Evenflo Tribute LX 2-in-1 Lightweight Convertible Car Seat, Travel Friendly (Neptune Blue)
Preview
Evenflo Tribute LX 2-in-1 Lightweight Convertible Car Seat, Travel Friendly (Neptune Blue)
Prime delivery?
-
Extended rear facing?
FAA approved?
Weight range:
5-40 lbs
Item weight:
12 lbs
Price not available
Carseat
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Lava Red
Preview
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Lava Red
Prime delivery?
-
Extended rear facing?
FAA approved?
Weight range:
5lbs-50lbs (rear facing to forward facing)
Item weight:
11 lbs
Price not available
Bestseller
Carseat
Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat (Black Arrows)
Preview
Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat (Black Arrows)
Prime delivery?
-
Extended rear facing?
FAA approved?
Weight range:
5-50 lbs
Item weight:
11 lbs
Price not available

Cosco Scenera Next Car Seat

Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat, Heather Onyx
  • An extra-comfortable ride that lasts for years: Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-facing 22-65 pounds
  • Fits 3 across in the back seat of most vehicles
  • Gives parent in the front seat more leg room
  • Side Impact Protection

The Cosco Scenera Next is our top choice of car seat for a 2 year old toddler. We love that this car seat is very affordable, extremely lightweight and super portable. We take this car seat on all of our vacations and have not been disappointed. The Cosco Scenera next is FAA approved for use on aircraft and we LOVE to bring this car seat ON the plane.

Evenflo Tribute LX

Evenflo Tribute LX 2-in-1 Lightweight Convertible Car Seat, Travel Friendly (Neptune Blue)
  • MEET THE HIGHLY REVIEWED CAR SEAT WITH UNBEATABLE VALUE: This fan- favorite offers a budget-friendly choice without sacrificing safety, comfort or ease
  • TRAVEL SLEEK AND LIGHT: Compact design offers an ideal fit for smaller vehicles, while lightweight design makes this a popular car seat for family travel
  • GROW WITH IT: With use from 5 to 40 lb (19 to 40 in. tall), offers rear-facing and forward- facing modes, 5-point harness, plus 4-position shoulder harness
  • SECURE YOUR CHILD WITH EASE: Upfront harness adjust makes it easy to get an accurate, snug fit for your child as they grow
  • KEEP DRINKS AND SNACKS WITHIN REACH: Removable cup holder is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning

The Evenflo Tribute LX is another great option for portable car seats for toddlers. This car seat is also at an amazing price! I love that at this price you could buy this car seat exclusively for travel. This means you don’t have to worry about uninstalling your seats at home, which in my opinion, is a huge plus! I find the design of the Evenflo Tribute a bit bulkier than the Cosco Scenera Next, which is why it is our second choice car seat for toddlers.

Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat

Sale
Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat, Rocco Red
  • Extended Use: 65 lb. weight rating offers extended harness use for your little one
  • Up-Front Harness Adjust: Central, front access to harness adjuster provides an easy way to adjust child’s harness for an accurate, snug fit
  • 6 Shoulder Harness Positions: provide a proper fit for your growing child
  • Dual Cup Holders: Two built-in cup holders keep drinks and snacks within reach – allows driver to stay focused on the road
  • Machine-Washable: Durable fabrics – remove for easy cleaning

The Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat is another great option. This lightweight toddler car seat is rated for up to 50lbs forward facing making it stand out from the options above. For a larger toddler, this or the Cosco Apt 50 are likely your best bet. The Evenflo Sonus convertible car seat is also FAA approved for airline travel. The biggest complaint about this car seat is that it is much bulkier and heavier than the Cosco Scenera Next above.

Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat

Cosco Onlook 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Rear-Facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-Facing 22-40 pounds and up to 43 inches, Vibrant Blue
  • With two modes of use, this LATCH-equipped Cosco Kids car seat accommodates infants from 5 pounds up to toddlers weighing 40 pounds in rear-facing mode and kids up to 40 pounds in forward-facing mode.
  • The five-point harness adjusts easily from the front of the seat and features six heights and three buckle locations.
  • In both the rear-facing and forward-facing modes, built-in side-impact protection keeps your little one extra secure.
  • Easily remove the machine-washable and dryer-safe car seat pad to clean.

The Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat is Cosco’s car seat which is rated for kids up to 50lbs (forward-facing). Having the rating to 50lbs is definitely a plus for larger toddlers that don’t have the height or stature to safely use a booster seat. This lightweight seat is also rated for airline use. Weighing in at 11 lbs, this seat is similar in size to the Evenflo Sonus above.

Diono Radian 3R

Sale
Diono Radian 3R, 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Rear Facing & Forward Facing, 10 Years 1 Car Seat, Slim Fit 3 Across, Jet Black
  • 10 Years One Car Seat – from Birth to Booster (5 – 120 lb) it’s all you will need. Grows with your child, ultimate protection on every road trip. 4 modes in 1 seat!
  • Rear Facing for Longer – lovingly engineered to keep your child rear-facing up to 50 lb.
  • Fits 3-Across – our famous slim-fit design with zero compromises to safety, space, or comfort.
  • Mechanically engineered from reinforced automotive grade high-strength steel, our unique core shell shields and protects your child.
  • High-quality ComfortPlus Memory Foam, always included.

The Diono Radian 3R is the heaviest car seat on our list. Weighing in at 28lbs, I don’t consider this to be a lightweight seat. The reason I added this car seat in is because this is an excellent car seat if you want to use the same car seat for travel and every day use. One of the really nice features of the Diono is the slim profile. You can easily fit 3 across in most cars. This car seat is also super practical for long term use. It converts to a booster and is rated up to 100lbs in booster mode. The Diono Radian is rated up to 65lbs making it the carseat with the highest harnessed weight rating on our list. I own this car seat as my every day seat and LOVE its versatility. Personally I don’t travel with it though because of the weight.

What is the best car seat for a 2 year old?

Here are 10 reasons why we love the Cosco Scenera Next for travel with 2 year olds.

  1. It is super lightweight. Carrying it through the airport and security is a breeze!
  2. Certified for airplane use. We use this seat ON the plane and it has been a game changer for us! Our little toddler stays content to play in his seat when he is strapped in.
  3. Cheap enough to replace. One of the biggest hesitations in traveling with our expensive car seats was that I didn’t want to risk damage while traveling. This car seat is so affordable, I feel better about replacing it in the worst-case scenario (has not happened to us yet!)
  4. Meets or exceeds safety standards. This car seat has been tested to meet US car seat safety standards.
  5. Extended rear-facing. You can use this car seat in the rear-facing position until 40 lbs or 40 inches.
  6. Narrow profile. When traveling we often rent a car and are short on space. We traveled with 4 adults and 2 kids in a 7 seater SUV and this car seat didn’t get in the way. Two adults could still sit comfortably on either side in the 2nd row of seats.
  7. Fits in my stroller basket. I travel with my Uppababy Vista stroller and love that this car seat fits in the bottom of the stroller. I barely notice that I’m traveling with a big car seat at the airport because its loaded nicely in the basket.
  8. Easy to install. We always recommend that you practice installing the car seat once or twice before travel. Comfort installing the car seat is one of the most important factors in picking a travel car seat. I find the Cosco Scenera super easy to install, even quickly in a Taxi.
  9. Easy to clean. The Cosco Scenera Next has removable machine-washable seat pad for easy cleaning.
  10. Lots of cute designs. Of course, safety and functionality are number one, but this car seat also has a bunch of awesome designs available!

Car Seat Tips with 2 Year Olds

Use the car seat on the plane

IMG 2127
Bring your car seat on the plane and relax while your kiddo takes a nap!

Our kids travel really well in cars, and they are used to the idea of being in a car seat. When we started strapping our son into a car seat on a plane, he never thought twice about it. All of the sudden we went from a toddler who wanted to say hello to every single person on the plane, escape the aisles and be anywhere BUT his seat to a child who happily played and slept in his car seat for 5 HOURS STRAIGHT! I highly recommend that if your child is over the age of 2, you bring the car seat ON the plane! If under 2, you’ll have to weigh the cost of the extra seat. It is safer to have kids in their own seat, and personally if I could do it again I would have just paid for the extra seat.

Bring your own car seat instead of renting

Renting a car seat typically costs $10/day. For a 7 day trip, this adds up to more than the price of the majority of the car seats we listed above. Not only will bringing a car seat along be cheaper, you will also be assured of your child’s safety. I have heard horror stories of car rental companies having seats which don’t work correctly or are incorrectly rated for the child’s size. We haven’t had such experience in the times that we have rented, but generally if we are going to be renting a car, or using a car frequently, we will bring our own seats.

Bring your favorite car seat accessories

We always bring along some car seat accessories when we travel. I really like the head supports to prevent kids from slouching when they fall asleep in the car seat. We use ours for long road trips and our kids find them really comfy. We also bring a travel tray, especially for road trips with the kids, so the kids can be entertained by activity books on the go.

Baby Carseat Head Support,Car seat Straps Pillow Support Ban,Stroller Neck Relief Strap Headrest,Slumber Sling Sleep Positioner for Toddler Infants Child Children Kids(White Stars + Birds)
  • 【Soft Material】:made of cotton,it’s breathable so your child doesn’t sweat,comfortable filling properties and increase comfort.
  • 【Safety Support】:Make people feel comfortable and reliable,Appropriate to the child’s head support, relieves neck strain for sleepy toddlers riding along for nap time car rides and lengthy road trips,When your child wake up, please click the buckle to release.
  • 【Wide Use】:Suitable for any baby seats, car seats, Pram strollers, etc, even adult can use it. The best car seat neck relief and head support band.
  • 【Adjustable Strap】:The strap made of elastic rubber belt, has enough support and stretchy,keep your child’s heads from rides and lengthy road trips,adjustable plastic buckle.
  • 【Choice and Guarantee】: They are sweet gifts for babies and Moms. We also offer a great customer service, three year warranty, If you are not 100% completely satisfied, simply let us know and you will be offered a FULL refund.
Kids Travel Tray for Toddler Car Seat | Toddler Car Seat Tray Organizer | Large Ipad Holder A Road Trip Essential | Soft Padding, Waterproof, Food & Snack Lap Tray Carseat, Stroller, and High Chair
  • 💕 SPILL-PROOF | FOOD, DRINK, DROOL … Clean up the mess in one swipe of the waterproof, BPA free surface (instead of all over the floor). Your carpets & lower back will thank you.
  • 💕 ANTI-SAG WALLS THICK ZIPPER … Many kids travel trays tend to sag & dump items onto the floor. The 3” tall reinforced walls are sturdy still flexible enough for safety in case of accidents.
  • 💕 CONTAINED PORTABLE ENTERTAINMENT … Engage toddlers with all their favorite toy without creating a massive clean up job. They get all of the access without you needing to constantly pick things up.
  • 💕 UNFOLD & GO | CAR, HIGHCHAIR, ANYWHERE … The patented easy-fold design fits toddler car seats, airplane seats, high chairs, & keeps babies busy in any travel situation, and less “ARE WE THERE YET”.
  • 💕 STRONG BUT SAFE CONSTRUCTION … Children’s Safety is the # 1 priority & close behind is the sturdiness of the lap tray. Sturdy enough to support a tablet & toys but soft enough for safety.

Have a car seat specifically for travel

As I mentioned above, we have a car seat that we use specifically for travel. Our travel seat was inexpensive compared to our day to day seats so I’m not going to be as upset or worried if there is damage to it when we fly, it will be easy to replace. I also like that I don’t have to uninstall and re-install the seats, potentially risking installing them incorrectly on return.

Turn your car seat into a stroller

If you aren’t planning to bring a stroller on your trip, or if you are planning to check your stroller, you can consider buying a special strap to turn your car seat and your carry on luggage into a makeshift stroller. This neat product is a great way to use the stuff you are lugging around at the airport with purpose.

V VOLKGO Сar Sеat Travel Belt – Easy Carry & Saving Money – Car Seat Travel Strap to Convert Your Car Seat and Carry-on Luggage into an Airport Car Seat Stroller
  • TRAVEL WITH KIDS MADE SIMPLE – Make traveling with kids less chaotic with our сar seat travel strap that can effortlessly turn your rolling luggage into a stroller and free up your hands!
  • COST EFFECTIVE – Not only is this сar seat travel belt a great value for money but this baby travel gear also eliminates the need to spend fortunes on bulkier & a difficult to carry сar seat carrier. You can use the belt to conveniently navigate around the airport, and can then use a VolkGo сar seat travel bag (Not included) to check-in the сar seat before boarding.
  • COMPATIBILITY – Works with all Top Tether equipped сar seats. Compatible with most 13″- 56″ roller handbags and suitcases.
  • HIGHLY RELIABLE – A simple, safe and practical way to move around the airport with your baby, сar seat and suitcase, all fastened together. The relatively wider & sturdy сar seat luggage strap with strong seams along with the robust metal buckle ensures utmost safety.
  • COMPACT & EASY TO STORE – Strap size 80″L x 1,5″W. Does not take up much space in your handbag and comes in extremely handy, especially during flights with long layover time.

Gate check your car seat

If you aren’t planning to bring your car seat onto the plane, I would highly recommend gate checking it, rather than checking it with the oversized luggage. Although it’s more convenient to check it in oversized, I always worry about the handling of the seats and potential damage this way.

In terms of a travel car seat bag, I haven’t used one yet. I have seen somecar seat bags which I do like. One time I used a stroller travel bag at the airport and then I watched the flight personnel drag the bag across the asphalt all the way to the plane. When we arrived there was damage to my stroller and a large hole in the bag. Since this time I figure that the bags might give the carriers a false sense that the thing inside is protected.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this guide was helpful for choosing the perfect travel car seat for your two year old. If you have another favorite portable car seat, drop me a line in the comments below with your suggestion!

Pin for later!

Best Travel Car Seats for 2 Year Olds
Best Travel Car Seats for 2 Year Olds
The Best Portable Car Seats for 2 Year Olds
The Best Portable Car Seats for 2 Year Olds

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