The Best FAA-Approved Car Seats (Guides and Reviews)

Having a baby is an exciting time for any family. New parents must prepare for their little one’s arrival by stocking up on all the essential items. Some items you might need include car seats, high chairs, strollers, diaper bags, and pack-n-plays. It is important to choose quality products that are safe and durable. Do research ahead of time to ensure the items you purchase are right for your needs and budget.

If you plan on traveling on an airplane with a baby or toddler, you want to ensure your child’s car seat is FAA-approved. We have come up with a list of the best FAA-approved car seats for you.

Here are some simple ways to ensure you get a car seat that is not only motor vehicle-approved but also aircraft approved according to the FAA. Don’t assume that just because the car seat is an approved child restraint system for a motor vehicle, it will also be approved by the FAA.

Check out the list of the best FAA-approved car seats below. 

The Best FAA-Approved Car Seats

Flying with a baby can be both exciting and daunting. Make sure your little one is safe and secure for the duration of the flight by investing in a car seat that meets all FAA approval standards. Whether you need a convertible car seat, or an infant carrier seat, make sure it is easily recognizable as an FAA-approved car seat to be used on an airplane.

Not only will this provide extra peace of mind for parents, but it will also give you the reassurance that your child is as secure as possible during take-off, turbulence, and landing. With the right Faa-approved car seat, you can sit back and enjoy the flight alongside your little one. Check out our top picks!

List of Airline Approved Car Seats

1. Cosco Finale Dx 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

Cosco Finale Dx 2-in-1 Car Seat

  • Easy to clean car seat pad
  • Forward facing 30-65 pounds with harness
  • Dishwasher-safe cup holder

The Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Car Seat is the perfect companion for your growing child. This car seat offers superior protection with side impact protection and energy-absorbing foam for a comfortable, secure journey. The five-point harness helps keep your child safe up to 65 lbs, while the two-in-one design allows you to easily transition from a forward-facing car seat into a belt-positioning booster. With its lightweight design and easy readjustment system, the Cosco Finale DX 2 in 1 Car Seat will keep your little one safe wherever your travels take you!

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 18.25 x 19 x 29.75 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 30 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 100 lbs
  • Maximum height: 52 inches
  • Item Weight: 11.5 lbs

What we like

  • Very lightweight
  • Dishwasher cup holder
  • Easy to install car seat

What we don’t like

  • no shoulder pads
  • can’t use for infants under 30 lbs


A great car seat for your child to grow into once they can’t use their newborn carrier car seat anymore.

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

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

  • Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Foward-facing 22-65 pounds
  • Two removable cup holders
  • 5-point harness

The Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 car seat is designed to keep your little one comfortable and safe while traveling. The lightweight and slim car seat design make it perfect for bringing a toddler on a plane. The five-point harness system offers maximum safety and can be adjusted as your child grows, up to 65 lbs. The two-in-one design allows you to easily transition from a forward-facing car seat into a belt-positioning booster, making the Safety 1st Jive 2 in 1 perfect for families and growing kids.

The highly adjustable headrest helps support growing heads, while the padded body inserts offer an extra layer of protection against impact. Plush padding makes for a comfy ride. It has a removable head and body pillow that provides extra support when they are smaller. With superior protection and comfort, this car seat will ensure your little one travels safely from point A to point B.

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 car seat
  • Extra support and padding

What We Don’t Like

  • Short bottom buckle


This compact and lightweight car seat is great for everyday use or makes the perfect travel car seat.

3. Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat, 2-in-1

Tribute 5 Convertible 2-in-1 Car Seat by Evenflo

  • Multiple Shoulder Harness Positions
  • Side Impact Tested
  • Can be used for newborns

This car seat can be used for newborns to toddlers up to 40 lbs. The car seat is super lightweight and inexpensive, making it a great travel car seat.

Even with the lightweight design, it exceeds most safety standards and rates high in consumer reports. Easy to install and adjust as your child grows.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 22 x 25.5 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 40 lbs
  • Item Weight: 9.29 lbs

What We Like

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Great price

What We Don’t Like

  • Max weight is 40 lbs.


This car seat is super light, making it a great travel car seat. Easy to strap on to your luggage and bring onto a plane.

4. Diono Radian 3R, 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Diono Radian 3-in-1 Car Seat

  • Rear-facing from 5 lbs. to 50 lbs.
  • Foward-facing with 5-point harness up to 65 lbs.
  • Expandable side wings

This convertible car seat can be used from birth up to 120 lbs. It easily transitions with your child and adapts as they grow. It is made to allow you to rear-face for longer, up to 50 lbs.

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.

The slim fit was designed to fit three car seats side by side, making it perfect for bringing on a plane. It is FAA-certified for aircraft.

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

  • Slim design
  • Convertible from birth to booster
  • High back
  • Steel Construction

What we don’t like

  • Hard to install
  • No cup holders
  • The high back requires a lot of room when rear-facing


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

5. Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat

Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat

  • Six shoulder harness positions
  • Dual cup holders
  • Durable machine washable fabrics

The Sonus Car Seat is comfortable yet compact. The slim size makes it great for travel. Grows with your child from birth to a toddler of 50 lbs.

The built-in air flow vents provide your child with comfort. This seat meets and exceeds all federal safety standards, including Side Impact and Rollover Testing.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 29 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 50 lbs
  • Item Weight: 13 lbs

What we like

  • Lightweight
  • Extended Rear Facing
  • All-season comfort

What we don’t like

  • Some found it difficult to install
  • Buckles twist easily


The lightweight, slim design makes it the perfect car seat for travel, especially on a plane.

6. Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat

Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

  • Side impact protection
  • Machine washable and dryer-safe car seat pad
  • Used from 5 lbs to 100 lbs.

3 in 1 car seat built for birth to 100 lbs. Fits Kids from birth to 10 years. With the QuickFit Harness feature, you can easily adjust the headrest and harness without re-threading or re-installing.

Helpful harness holders keep the straps out of the way while getting your child in and out of the seat.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 19 x 23.75 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 100 lbs
  • Maximum height: 52 inches
  • Item Weight: 18.7 lbs

What We Like

  • Less room needed for rear-facing
  • Quickfit harness
  • Removable and dishwasher safe cup holders

What We Don’t Like

  • Wider base
  • Less height support


This seat is multi-adjustable to fit kids from birth to 10 years.

7. Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Britax Grow with You ClickTight Car Seat

  • ClickTight easy installation
  • High-strength steel frame
  • Naturally flame retardant

This Harness-2-Booster car seat grows with your child from toddler to big kid. Britax safe cell technology gives peace of mind since it acts as a Crumple zone to absorb any crash energy. The high-strength steel reinforced frame helps keep the seat structure stable.

This seat is easy to clean and convenient with 2 cup holders and snack storage, perfect for your kids as they age.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 23 x 25 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 25 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 120 lbs
  • Item Weight: 27 lbs

What We Like

  • Flame-retardant knit
  • Clicktight installation
  • Steel Frame

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy
  • Expensive


Britax brand car seats are extremely safe, comfortable, and sturdy. The safety features make this a great everyday car seat. However, it may be too bulky and heavy for a travel car seat.

8. Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

  • Bubble level indicator for easy installation
  • Deep side wings for better side impact protection
  • Multiple shoulder and crotch buckle positions

This seat is great for newborns to toddlers. It has 3 phases: A rear-facing infant from 4-18 lbs, a Rear-facing toddler from 18-40 lbs, and a forward-facing toddler from 22-65 lbs. This seat is a great value for the price.

The narrow base allows it to fit three across most vehicles which is great if you have multiple car seats. The super-deep side wings give great side impact protection.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 18.75 x 32.25 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 4 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 65 lbs
  • Maximum height: 50 inches
  • Item Weight: 14.20 lbs

What We Like

  • Deep side wings
  • Lightweight
  • Narrow base

What We Don’t Like

  • Hard to install
  • Hard to clean


Good value seat for everyday use or a travel car seat. The narrow base and lightweight make it a great option to bring on a plane.

9. Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat 

Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Car Seat

  • 5 point harness
  • Built-in side impact protection
  • The car seat cover is machine washable and dryer safe

The Cosco Mighty Fit Convertible Car Seat keeps your child safe from 5 to 65 lbs. 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.

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

What We Don’t Like

  • Materials seem a little cheap.


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

Is Graco car seats FAA-approved car seats?

Yes, many of the Graco Brand car seats are Aircraft Certified and approved by the FAA. Below are some of the best sellers for FAA-approved Graco car seats.

10. Graco Landmark 3-in-1 Car Seat

Graco Landmark 3-in-1 Car Seat

  • Simply safe adjust harness system
  • Ten position headrest
  • Four position recline

This 3-in-1 car seat transforms from rear-facing to forward-facing to a belt-positioning booster seat. The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System easily adjusts to accommodate your growing child.

The InRight LATCH attachment makes it easy to install securely. This seat is also designed to have your child rear-facing longer, up to 40 lbs.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 16.25 x 25.5 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 100 lbs
  • Item Weight: 19.82 pounds

What We Like

  • Easy to install
  • Machine-washable seat cover

What We Don’t Like

  • Slightly heavy to travel with


This chair will last a long time and transition with your child. It is slightly heavier than other options but is a good option for bringing on a plane.

11. Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Car Seat

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

  • 10% slimmer than other options
  • Push button InRight latch install
  • Rotating dual cup holders

This is the #1 best seller for convertible child safety car seats. The slim design makes it a great choice to bring along on a plane. The cup holders even rotate and make it even slimmer.

The nine-position extended headrest allows you to get the perfect headrest height for your child. The push-button latch makes installation a breeze.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 19.9 x 25.5 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 100 lbs
  • Maximum height: 57 inches
  • Item Weight: 19.47 lbs

What We Like

  • Rotating cup holders
  • No-rethread harness adjust
  • Ten position headrest

What We Don’t Like

  • The safety sticker on the seat gets hot in the heat.


This is a great car seat for every day and as a travel car seat. It is a little heavy but easy to travel with if you have a car seat cart. Easy to install in a car and on a plane.

12. Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 Harness Booster Seat

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat

  • Eight positions one-hand adjustable headrest
  • Open-loop belt guides
  • Lightweight, portable seat

Car seat for toddlers of 22 lbs to the youth of 100 lbs. Transitions to a backless booster. Two removable cup holders keep your child happy.

The seat pad, body insert, and harness covers are all machine washable. The harness adjusts easily, and the headrest has eight height positions allowing it to grow with your child.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 10.47 x 33.5 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 22 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 100 lbs
  • Maximum height: 57 inches
  • Item Weight: 14.97 lbs

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Slim design
  • Easy to Install

What We Don’t Like

  • Not able to use for rear-facing


Great seat for a toddler and older. The lightweight and slim design make this a great car seat for traveling on an aircraft.

13. Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat

Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat

  • Latch and level indicator make for easy installation
  • Eight position headrest
  • One easy motion to adjust harness and headrest

This Convertible Car Seat grows with your child from 5 to 65 lbs. You can use it rear-facing for children 5-40 lbs and then forward-facing from 22-65 lbs. The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System automatically adjusts the harness and the headrest in one motion.

The easy-to-read level indicator makes it easy to install properly. The removable body support is machine washable, along with the seat pad and buckle pads.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 17.25 x 20.25 x 24.75 inches
  • Minimum Weight: 5 lbs
  • Maximum Weight: 65 lbs
  • Item Weight: 16.01 lbs

What We Like

  • Compact and Slim design
  • Easy to Install

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t convert to a booster


Great seat for a child 5 to 65 lbs. Slim and compact enough to bring traveling.

14. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Up to 50lbs rear-facing
  • 4-position adjustable extension panel for 5” additional legroom

This 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.

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

What We Don’t Like

  • The safety sticker gets hot in the heat.


Children are safer riding rear-facing, and this car seat allows your child to ride rear-facing up to 50 lbs. This makes it a very safe option for your child to fly in.

How do I know if my car seat is an FAA-approved car seat?

Not all car seats with a child restraint system, or CRS, are approved by the FAA. A car seat also does not necessarily need to be approved to be used in a motor vehicle to be approved for an airline. 

To avoid confusion, car seats must have labels to say if the CRS is approved for motor vehicles and another label to say the CRS is approved in an aircraft. These are sometimes merged onto one label and can be found in red lettering on a car seat’s safety label. 

The labeling needs to include the following: 

“This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards” and “This Restraint is Certified for Use in Motor Vehicles and Aircraft”.

What car seats are approved by the FAA?

The FAA approves car seats that have the necessary labels saying they are certified for aircraft use. The car seat’s user manual will tell you if it is Aircraft certified, or you can look for the label on the back of the car seat.

Key Features in the Best Car Seat for Air Travel

  • Lightweight
  • FAA-Approved Harness Restraint
  • Slim Design
  • Easy to Install

Checklist Guidelines for flying with a car seat

  • Check to ensure your CRS or device has the necessary labeling indicating it is approved for airplanes. 
  • Please measure the width of your seat to ensure it will fit. Most airplane seats are at most 16 inches. 
  • Contact your airline to see if they provide any discounted fares for a child in a CRS. 
  • Ask for adjoining seats to make sure you are next to your child. 
  • Please find out your airline’s rules regarding a CRS placement; most policies require them to be placed in a window seat and never an exit row. 
  • Ask your airline if you need to buy a ticket or if you can use a possible empty seat. Make sure you go during nonpeak hours for a better chance of an empty seat. 
  • Ask your airline about any help they can provide if you need to make a connecting flight. 
  • Be sure to install it properly. It must be installed in a forward-facing seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the child’s size
  • Pack snacks and toys to keep your child occupied during the flight. 

FAQs for FAA Approved Car Seats

Do airlines provide car seats?

No, airlines do not provide car seats. You can hold an infant on your lap during a flight, but it is not recommended.

Most airlines will allow you to check a car seat for free. You can check it at the same time as your luggage or check it at the gate.

The best and safest option is to bring it on the plane and use it for your child. Your baby will be more comfortable during the flight in their familiar seat, not to mention safer.

What about booster seats?

Booster seats are not FAA-compliant. The FAA prohibits booster seats and harness vests from being used during ground movement, take-off, and landing since they do not provide the best protection. FAA-approved car seats must have a 5-point harness. For example, the Chicco MyFit is approved because of the harness belt, but the Chicco KidFit is not since it doesn’t have a harness.  

However, the FAA encourages parents to use an approved CRS during the flight. According to the FAA, not all airlines require your baby or toddler to be in their seat and an approved CRS, but it is the best safety choice. 

The CARES Child Safety Device is an FAA-approved harness-type restraint that can be used for children between 22 and 44 pounds. This device is only for aircraft and is not approved for motor vehicles. 

FAA-Approved Alternative to a Car Seat for an aircraft

Child Safety Airplane Travel Harness Restraint System Belt

  • Adjusts to most airplane seats
  • Easy to install
  • For children 1 year and older up to 40 inches tall

Cares FAA Approved Airplane Harness for Kids

  • For kids aged 2-4
  • Adjustable to every size airplane seat
  • Can use on the window or center seat

The CARES car seat alternative must have the label “FAA Approved in Accordance with 14 CFR 21.8(d), Approved for Aircraft Use Only” or “FAA Approved in Accordance with 14 CFR 21.305(d), AMD 21.50 6-9-1980, Approved for Aircraft Use Only” on it.

How do I find the FAA sticker?

Most seats have a sticker on the back of the car seat side, stating where it can be used. If it is an FAA-approved car seat, it will state that it is certified for use in an aircraft.

It will also say that it is only certified to use in an aircraft when used with the internal harness system. Look for the certification details on the sticker; it will usually be in red.

Note: If the convertible seat can turn into a shoulder belt booster seat, it is NOT certified for an aircraft like that since booster seats do not have shoulder belts.

How do I get the car seat through the airport?

A car seat can be checked free of charge with most airlines. Check with your airline to see if there are any fees for checking a car seat. It is best to wrap it in a car seat bag to protect the car seat from minimizing damage.

Airlines will provide big bags to wrap it in, but they don’t protect the car seat. Another option is to check it at the gate. This minimizes any possible damage during the flight since it will be handled less than checking with other luggage.

There are many stroller frames and travel carts made to help transport the stroller through the airport. These are also great for transporting a car seat through the airport that you plan on bringing onto the plane for your child to use.

Is a car seat mandatory on a plane?

A car seat on a plane is not mandatory for your child. It is, however, the safest place for your child on an airplane. When you hold them in your lap, your arms cannot hold them securely, especially during turbulence. 

The FAA strongly encourages you to use a CRS-approved on an aircraft or the CARES device for the duration of your flight. 

These are the recommendations by the FAA:

  • a child weighing more than 40 lbs can use an aircraft seat belt;
  • a child less than 20 lbs should use a rear-facing FAA-approved child restraint;
  • a child 20 to 40 lbs should use a forward-facing FAA-approved child restraint.

How do you install a car seat on a plane?

Note: Before installing, make sure the aircraft seat is in its fully upright position.

  1. Place the car seat in the position you need, either forward-facing or rear-facing.
  2. Feed the aircraft seat belt through the belt path opening for either forward-facing or rear-facing. Guide the belt through the path to the other side. For easy access, lift the seat pad out of the way.
  3. Fasten the aircraft seat belt and tighten the belt as tight as possible. Push the car seat firmly into the seat while pulling on the strap to ensure all slack has been removed.
car seat install on a plane

Important: Once installed, try moving the car seat side to side and front to back at the belt path to ensure it is secure and installed properly before you secure your child in the car seat.

Note: Ensure to store the lower anchor belts and tether straps when not used on the aircraft.

Does a car seat count as a checked bag?

While rules vary with each airline, most do not count a car seat as a checked bag. They will check it free of charge. You also have the option to check it at the gate.

Additional Items you may need when flying with a car seat

Car seat travel carts for easy transport of the car seat through the airport. These carts turn the car seat into rolled luggage. Your child can even ride in it through the airport, making it easier to transport your child through a busy airport.

There are also belt options that allow you to attach it to an existing rolled luggage bag for easy transport.

Car seat travel bag options. Some have more padding for extra protection. These padded options will be a great idea if you are planning on checking the car seat. Most of these travel bags also have straps so that you can wear the car seat like a backpack through the airport.


If you plan to fly with a baby or a toddler, the safest option is to have them in their own car seat on the plane. Some airlines allow you to use an available empty seat, so you don’t have to purchase a separate ticket. Check with your airline before you go.

For an older toddler, you also have the option of the CARES harness. This keeps them safe without having to bring a bulky car seat on the plane.

Key features to look for in a good aircraft car seat are: it should be lightweight, easy to install, and slim base measurement. You also need to make sure the car seat you choose has the FAA-approved notice on the seat itself. It needs to be aircraft certified to be able to use on a plane.

The Best FAA-Approved Car Seats (Guides and Reviews)The Best FAA-Approved Car Seats (Guides and Reviews)