Top critical review
582 people found this helpful
Useful for shorter flights
on June 2, 2008
We just bought the CARES restraint for our flight from Washington to Texas last month. We have the heaviest car seat ever made, I think, and I just wanted to check it, not struggle with it on the plane. The restraint did keep him in his seat, but I had two complaints.
First, I was disappointed that there was no strap between his legs to keep him from sliding down in his seat. I can see how one mother was concerned about strangulation, though I suspect if left to his own devices, my 2-year-old might have just finally managed to wriggle out of it altogether. In our case, I was frequently boosting him back up in his seat and had to keep a hand on him to keep him from wriggling back down during his fussiest moments. Now that I'm familiar with the problem, I may be able to rig a solution before we use it again.
My second concern was that the strap does go around the back of the child's seat, which means either you have to open the tray of the passenger behind you to install the strap, then close the tray back up, or in some cases (according to the instructions,) install the strap around the tray of the passenger behind you, rendering their tray useless and making it impossible to use the strap during the flight when that passenger would need their tray. Since I have this innate fear of annoying people, that would have really bothered me, but fortunately, since we are a family of five, we took up two rows anyway and I was able to make sure the baby was in front of one of us.
I would probably use it again for a four-hour flight like that one to avoid the hassle of maneuvering that car seat through the narrow aisles of a plane, but for longer flights I will probably stick with the car seat both for his sleeping comfort and my peace of mind.
Edited 11-12-10 to add: I never did use it again. I found it much less stressful to just buy the lightest, easiest-to-carry car seat I could find for traveling. We chose the 12.5 lb Cosco Scenera Convertible Car Seat from Target for under $50, and it's been fine - it just needs some extra head support for napping.