Will my infant need a car seat on an plane?

Ultimately the answer to this question comes down to how important your baby or toddler's safety is to you.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does strongly recommended that you use an approved child restraint device when travelling with infants less than 2-years old. Car seats are the safest and most comfortable way for infants to travel on a plane. But, in saying all of that, you are not legally required to use a car seat on the plane, so it does come down to your own decision.

Here is the FAA Baby and Toddler Car Seat Regulations for Airplanes:

For a child less than 40 lbs. : Secure your child in an FAA approved car seat for the duration of the flight. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This would typically be in the rear-facing position.

For a child 22lbs – 44 lbs. :The CARES Child Safety Device is the only FAA approved harness restraint for children weighing between 22 and 44 lbs (kids 1-year and older). The benefits of a CARES harness is of course that it is small and portable enough to carry in your carry-on bags. The negatives are that your child will be required to sit up pretty straight on the airplane seats and the harness is really uncomfortable to sleep in.

>>>>>>Click here to learn more about the CARES Child Safety harness


Here is a list of the best Rear facing FAA approved car seats for 2021

1. Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Rear facing: 5lbs to 40lbs

  • Forward facing: 23 lbs to 65 lbs

  • lightweight (14 lb) and slim (18"), but still offers some cushioning for the little babies.

  • Cost: $ It's cheap enough to take on a trip without worrying if it got dirty or banged up a bit.

What We Like

There is also a removable cup-holder on side, which will save more space and make it more compact.

What We Don’t Like

Whilst you can use this seat from 5 lbs keep in mind this is a basic car seat (which is great as you won't mind if it gets knocked about on a trip), but a newborn baby, I prefer to spend more and get more protection for their necks.

Tip: If you plan to install the convertible seat rear-facing on the plane then you’ll be best served by a seat that is fairly compact which will increase your chances of the seat actually fitting rear-facing in the space you have to work with.

Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 18.13 x 16.25 x 29.75 inches

  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs

  • Maximum Weight: 65 lbs

  • Maximum height: 49 inches

  • Item Weight: 14.25 lbs

What We Like

  • Airplane ready

  • Extra support and padding

  • The Plush padding makes for a comfy ride. It has a removable head and body pillow that provides extra support when they are smaller.

What We Don’t Like

  • Short bottom buckle


The compact design is great for everyday use or travel.

Diono Radian 3R, 3 in 1 Convertible Car Seat

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 17 x 28.2 inches

  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs

  • Maximum Weight: 120 lbs

  • Maximum height: 57 inches

  • Item Weight: 26.1 lbs

What we like

What we don’t like

  • Hard to install

  • No cup holders

  • High back requires a lot of room when rear-facing

  • However, some reviews find they have to sit in from the chair moved forward due to the high back, which leaves little room for a passenger.


This All-in-One convertible car seat is all you will need for 10 years of safety. The slim design makes it easy to fit 3 across most backseats.

Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat


Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 22 x 23.5 inches

  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs

  • Maximum Weight: 65 lbs

  • Item Weight: 12.79 lbs

What We Like

  • Easy to install

  • Lightweight

  • The harness easily adjusts and features five heights and three buckle locations.

  • Its compact design takes up less space while rear-facing, giving parents more legroom. Easy to clean and machine washable seat cover.

  • Built in side impact protection keeps your little 1 extra secure

What We Don’t Like

  • Materials seem a little cheap.


This lightweight and easy to install car seat makes a good option to bring along on an aircraft. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but it is comfy and easy to clean.

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 22.1 x 25.2 inches

  • Minimum Weight: 4 lbs

  • Maximum Weight: 65 lbs

  • Maximum height: 49 inches

  • Item Weight: 19.25 lbs

What We Like

  • Easy to Install

  • One-touch harness and headrest adjustment

  • Rear-face longer

  • Convertible car seat grows with your child from rear-facing harness...

  • Made of Steel reinforced

  • Up to 50 pounds rear facing, allowing your child to safely ride

  • budget-friendly convertible car seat has all the bells and whistles of a more expensive car seat. This car seat allows you to rear face longer, up to 50 lbs. The extension panel provides up to 5″ of extra legroom.

  • The six reclining positions ensure your child is always in the most comfortable position as they grow.

What We Don’t Like

  • The safety sticker gets hot in the heat.

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