Best car seat travel bags: tried and tested selection of the best car seat bags and car seat travel covers to keep your child seat clean and safe when traveling
Bringing your own car seat when traveling comes with many advantages but also carries a major risk: severe damage.
Unless you have a cabin approved car seat, airlines will ask for it to be sent in the hold and this can go well… or not!
Once the seat is off your hands, there is simply no control over what happens to it and while you can probably claim damage from the offending airline, chances are it is going to be a long and painful process.
The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded at your destination with a car waiting for you, no seat and the looming prospects of either having to buy a new one, a long argument with the airline or both.
It is probably impossible to entirely eliminate the chance of something happening you tour car seat once it is sent to the plane hold.
However, a car seat travel beg is an easy item to help minimize this potential damage.
A good car seat carry case can protect the seat from rain damage and spills, it can prevent scratches and tears and can even protect from accidental bumps.
This is our selection of the best travel car sear bags for plane travel, including best gate check car set travel bags and lightweight travel bags and padded ones.
In this article we try to answer the most common question we had as traveling parents:
- Do I need a travel bag for my car seat?
- How do I protect my car seat when flying?
- What to look for when choosing the best carry case for a car seat?
- What is the best car seat travel bag?
I hope you find it useful!
The best travel car seat bags and car seat covers for travel chart
This is our summary chart of the best car seat bags, car seat covers and booster seat bags for travel. Click on the name of each product for specs and price or scroll down to read how we selected them and info + review of each
Please note: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
|Car Seat Travel Bag||Carrying Style||Padded|
|Jl childress infant car seat travel bag||Hand straps|
|Jl wheelie car set travel bag||Wheeled car seat bag||Yes|
|Hello Joli travel bag for car seat||Spinner bag||Yes|
|ZohZo backpack car seat carrier||Backpack style car seat bag||Yes|
|JL Gate check car seat travel bag||Gate check car seat cover||No|
|VolkGo gate check car seat bag||Gate check car seat cover||No|
|Oowap gate check bag for car seats and booster seats||Gate check booster seat bag and backpack||No|
|Birdee car seat travel bag gate check and carrier||Gate check car seat carrier||No|
|Backless booster seat travel bag by JL Childress||Booster seat carry bag||No|
|ReperKid booster seat bag||Booster seat bag for air travel||No|
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Do I need a travel bag for my car seat?
How much you need a travel bag for your car seat depends on the type of travel and the mean of transport you have in mind.
For plane travel, I do think of it as a family travel essential for babies and toddlers, especially if there are layovers and chances of aircraft for you and your luggage.
I believe a car seat bag for travel is useful in the following trip scenarios:
- When you need to check in your car seat at the airport
- Whe gate checking your car seat
- When planning on a mix of train travel and car travel
- When moving the car seat from one place to another like if you are moving or carring a spare seat and need to store it in the car trunk
While a car seat bag may seem like an expense you can spare, it is nothing compared to what you need to pay for a last-minute car seat from your car rental agency and the cost of a new one should you be so damaged you cannot use it at all.
I also find these bags exceptionally useful to protect the car seat on when we need to toss them in the trunk for a while, in a taxi to the airport or even at home, when driving child free.
How do I protect my car seat when flying?
The best wat to protect your car seat when flying is to get a proper car seat bag that will protect is from weather, spills and bumps.
In this list, we have shortlisted those we fond best for the job: we have inlcuded padded car seat bags, perfect for when you need to check in your seat, and gate-check car seat covers.
We have also added car seat bags with wheels: car seats can be very heavy and wheels are a great way to avoid strain on your back.
How to choose the best car seat travel bag
When choosing the best travel bag for your child car seat, I recommend you look at the following specs.
The right size
This may bee obvious but I am sure I am not the only one I ever purchased something just a little too big hoping it will stretch.
If you are like me, you know that in most cases they don’t and this is the same with cat seat travel bags!
The best travel bag for your car seat is one that contains the whole of the car seat, closes nicely around it and has a nice snug fit.
Bags that are too small do not protect the seat enough and bags that are too big also may allow it to move too much for it to be safe and they are also cumbersome to carry with you.
Top Tip: If you have a car seat bag that is too big, you may be tempted to use it as extra luggage storage but be careful! While adding extra diapers or soft items is probably harmless, adding anything bulky or rigid may end up damaging your car seat or leaving dents that can be dangerous. Make sure whatever you add doesn’t end up defeating the purpose of a good protective bag.
Comfortable carrying straps
Car seats, even light ones, can be pretty heavy and rough carry bag handles can quickly cut into your hands or shoulder.
When choosing a car seat travel bag, makes sure you look for handles that are long enough for comfortable carrying and also padded enough to protect your shoulder and palms.
Car seat travel bags come in several styles the two main ones being with wheels / without wheels and shoulder strap/backpack.
When choosing your style, think of how you travel and pick one that suits you best: how many other bags will you have?
How long will you be carrying the seat around, is it just the trip to the airport or will you have an additional layover?
Think about the way you travel and your favorite family travel luggage and choose the car seat bag that matches your individual travel style best.
Padded vs unpadded
Travel bags for car seats can be padded or not.
A padded car seat bag is best if you are checking in your car seat at the airport, have one of more stopvers/layovers or you need to move your car seat bag in a moving van or the back of the car.
A non padded car seat bag or car seat travel cover is perfect if you will be the only one handling the car seat on travel (for instance putting it on a train luggage holder) so you know it won’t suffer major bumps.
The best car seat travel bags for 2020/2021
JL Childress ultimate backpack padded seat travel bag
At the top of my list of the car seat bags for travel comes JL padded car seat travel bag and backpack, car seat bag ‘for newborns and above’, an excellent bag for air travel.
As the name suggests, this travel bag wears like a backpack and it has extra padding on all sides that helps to keep the car seat protected and your shoulders and back comfortable.
The backpack style straps make it perfect for hands free carrying and the bag fits most car seats too.
Some of the reasons that make this the best car seat bag for airplane travel especially and its main specs are:
- Car seat bag for newborn and above
- Size and weight of the bag: 49.5 x 27.91 x 17.75 cm; 1.54 Kilograms
- Good padding to protect from rough handling and accidental bumps
- Harness style backpack straps for hands free carrying (excellent as this means you can hold your child hand in the airport!)
- Padded interior wings to ensure extra protection
JL Childress wheelie car seat bag
A wheeled car seat bag is by far the most comfortable type when on the move: it prevents strains on your back and it is perfect if you travel with backpacks, as you can seimply wheel it along.
My favorite car seat travel bag with wheels is JL Childress spinner car seat cover travel bag
Wheelie car seat bags are inevitable bulkier to store than a car seat cover however, this is an excellent bag for air travel or on a cruise.
You can wheel it around the airport with little effort (even enlist the help of older siblings maybe!) and it is padded so you know your seat will be protected.
Specs that make this the best car seat bag for airlines and more:
- Made of heavy duty, water resistant material to protect the car seat from rain and bad weather when checking into the hold of the plane
- Sturdy base for easy positioning of the seat when pulling
- Good quality, resistant wheels
- Padded bag for safe car seat carrying
- Airline approved for use when gate checking your car seat, carrying car seat on the plane or checking the car seat as luggage
- Folds flat to store in an airplane’s overhead compartment
Hello Joli travel car seat bag with wheels
If you are shopping for a wheeled car seat travel bag than you should also consider this Hello Jolie Car Seat Travel Bag, which comes with 4 spinners wheels and a handy strap that attaches is to your luggage.
The bag is made in water-resistant, durable nylon and has padding which goes a long way to protect your seat even when out of your sight.
The long zip makes the bag open wide and is easy to use and it designed both as an infant car seat travel bag and a larger seat bag.
Things that bake this a great wheeled car seat covers:
- 4 spinner wheels for easy movement, without straining your back
- All arond inside padding to protect the car seat when checked in as plane luggage
- Extra strap to attach it to your suitcase, so you have one less piece of luggage to worry about!
- Made of water resistant, dutable nylon
- Extra large opening so you don’t need to struggle fitting the car seat in and out
Zohzo car seat travel bag
This Zoho car seat travel bag is an excellent bag to protect your car seat from dirt and accidental scratches.
Made of water-resistant polyester, the bag has adjustable backpack style carrying straps and also a carry handle at the top.
Made of durable materials, it fits the most popular car seat brands, which is great if you have more than one car seat to carry as it means you can easily regognise them, even if they are not of the same make
This is a backpack style car seat carrier bag so it is perfect if you like hands free travel.
Some of the specs that make it a good car seat travel sack are:
- Made of heavy duty, waterproof material
- Fits several car seat brands
- Has both a hand carryng handle and shoulder straps for hands free carrying
- 1 year manifacturer warranty and 14 day money back option (see here for details)
J.L. Childress car seat cover – best car seat gate check bag
This is another great JL Childress travel bag for car seats, infant seats and booster seats, and a perfect gate check car seat cover.
Unlike the travel bag above, this one isn’t padded however, at a much lower price point, it is still an excellent solution to protect your car seat from dirt.
This is the best gate check car seat cover and it is great to protect you car seat anytime you need to store it, on travel or at home.
You can also use it on trains or anytime you may need to remove the car seat from the car and store in in the trunk for rides without kids and be sure it stays protected from spills and scratches.
This is an excellent bag that folds tiny when not in use. While we recommend it as a lightweight duty bag, you want a bag with extra protection if expecting rougher handling.
What makes this the best gate check car seat bag and cover:
- Fits most car seat models
- Folds tiny
- Easy to use draw-string closure
- Handy carry handle
- Reinforced seams
- Big white ID box
- Durable, water resistant fabric
VolkGo gate check car seat bag
This Volkgo gate check bag for car seats is inexpensive and makes the list because it has several carrying handles that mean you can carry it in several positions.
East to use, fold and unfold, it is a good bag to keep away dirt however, it is not padded and this means that you may find it uncomfortable if carrying it for too long.
Despite this, is it a good priced bag in good material you can also use for train travel and temporary car seat storage in the car trunk or at home.
VolkGo Gate check ytravel seat bag specs:
- 2 padded backpack straps for hands free calesrrying
- With a size of 34 x 18 x 18 inch, it is suitable for most car seat brands and styles
- Made of water resistant, durable nylong wi strong seams
- Comes with handy pouch for easy storage when not in use
Owaap gate gate check infant and booster seat bag for airtravel
Oowap gear also makes good gate check car seat bags like this one suitable for infant car seats and also booster car seats, making them a good versatile option.
- Fits most car seat brands
- Folds tiny when not in use
- Reinforced double stitching to prevent tears
- Backstraps allow for easy hands free caryying
- Size: 11.2 x 8.4 x 2 inches
Birdee travel car seat bag – gatecheck
If you are looking for a gate check bag for car seats that stands out for color, then this pink one may be for you!
This car seat cover for travel specs:
- Made of durable, rip-free, water resistant nylon
- Secure closure with drawstring and buckle strap
- Rubberised handle and padded shoulder straps for easy carrying
- At 34x18x18 inch size it is compatible with most car seat models and brands
Best backless booster seats travel bags
Once your child is a little older and you move onto booster seats rather than full size infant car seats or high back seats, you may still need a bag, smaller than the ones I listed so far.
While some booster seats like the Bubble Bum come with their own, some booster seats do not.
In this case, I recommend you have a look at this booster seat travel bag for backless boosters, which will protect them any time you need them on travels (as well as any time they run the risk of getting unceremoniously tossed in the car trunk when not in use!)
Booster GoGO, Travel bag for booster seats by LJ Childress
Another excellent bag from JL Childress, this one is perfect for travel or for strong the extra booster car seat in the trunk of the car, for easy use when in need for an extra child seat or to make space for a child-free outing.
Main specs of GoGo booster seat bag:
- Handy back panel to securley attach it to your luggagee, great for air and plain travel
- Extra Long shoulder straps
- Easy to clean material
- Cute desgin that makes is a super versatile bags when the booster is in use
Please note: this is a booster seat carry bag and it not designed as a gate check bag
Best backless booster seat bag for air travel
If you need a bag and cover for your backless booster seat on the plane, then we love this one by ReperKid.
- Handy carry straps for shoulder carrying
- Folds small when not in use
- Stack on top of your luggage
- Made of water resistant nylon with strong stiching for safety
I hope you found this quick overview of the best car seat travel bags useful and it helped you decide if it is a travel accessory worth getting.