Traveling with small children can be cumbersome. You have to remember all their favorite things, extra clothing, activities, and a car seat. However, traveling with a car seat doesn’t have to cause stress. There are safe portable car seat options, like the WAYB Pico with features – like only weighing 8 lbs. – that make it appealing for traveling families and the best travel car seat.
During our most recent family vacation, we used the WAYB Pico for our toddler both on the airplane and in taxis. I don’t know how we traveled without it before.
Related: The Only Travel Tips You Will Need to Survive Traveling with Kids
You’re probably thinking, “Why do I need a car seat if I am flying?” Well, it’s the best way to keep your little ones safe should there be turbulence, a hard landing, etc. Preventable injuries and deaths have occurred in children younger than 2 years who were unrestrained in airplanes during survivable crashes and turbulence. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommend that all babies and young children travel in an FAA-approved car seat or airplane harness device. Both should be installed using the airplane’s seatbelt, and car seats should be used without the base. Not only should you bring your car seat when traveling via plane, but you should also bring it just in case your family needs to ride in a vehicle at any time during your vacation. Vacations do not mean accidents won’t happen.
How Do You Know If Your Car Seat is FAA-approved?
All FAA-Approved Car Seats have a sticker. The sticker should read, “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft”. The WAYB Pico meets all US standards regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
What is the WAYB Pico?
I was introduced to the WAYB Pico in 2019 during a baby show. I was impressed by how compact and lightweight it was. As a family who [used to] travel often, this was exactly what we needed to help reduce the burden of lugging another piece of heavy baby gear.
It’s a compact, portable, forward-facing, car and airplane-approved car seat for toddlers aged 2 years old and older. It was perfect for getting in and out of taxis when we were exploring Charleston. The way it folds makes it easier to carry around, especially when we used the travel bag, which has straps so it can be worn like a backpack. It can even slide over luggage handles making it easy to maneuver through the airport.
The Pico expires six years from the date of manufacture and comes with a three-year limited warranty, which means we will be able to get our money’s worth and get a few trips in before we have to retire it.
Who Should Use the WAYB Pico?
When we traveled, our 2.5-year-old toddler was the perfect age, height, and weight for the Pico. WAYB recommends the Pico children age 2 years and up who weigh 22 to 50 pounds and are 30” to 45″ tall. As per WAYB, “the maximum height limit is reached when the straps are level with the shoulders, or when the tops of the ears are level with the top of the headrest in its highest position, whichever occurs first.”
While we still rear-face our toddler, the PICO is forward-facing only. Some state laws require children to rear-face until age two, it’s best to check state laws prior to purchasing any car seat to ensure you’re using the one that is safe and suits your needs.
How Do You Use the WAYB Pico?
Surprisingly, the WAYB Pico was very easy to use. It was so easy. But I am going to be honest, I did watch a few YouTube videos on how to install it just to make sure. You can’t ever be too sure when it comes to our little one’s safety. When the day came for us to install the seat in the Lyft, it took me under two minutes. The Pico can be installed using either your car’s LATCH system, a lap, and shoulder belt, or a lap-only seat belt. I used the LATCH to securely install the seat for our 45-minute ride to the airport. Our toddler sat comfortably the entire ride.
Installing the Pico in the plane was just as simple. All I had to do was unfold the Pico, set it in the seat, and loop the airplane seatbelts through the Pico’s seatbelt guide. I adjusted the airplane seatbelt to tighten it so it’s secure, and that’s it!
Why You Should Purchase the WAYB Pico
The WAYB Pico is the best car seat for travel because it is light and portable. Due to its safety features (five-point harness, v-shaped tether), it’s the better choice over skipping bringing a car seat when traveling, the Pico can help your kids travel safer wherever they go.
This 8 lb travel car seat is available in five colors to suit your style: Jet (black), Golden Hour (metallic rust), Earth (metallic green), Midnight Sky (dark blue), and Slate (gray). It’s priced at $380, but can be bought as a bundle for a few hundred dollars more.
Don’t Check Your Car Seat When Traveling
Although airlines allow you to check a car seat, it isn’t recommended. I’ll admit that before I became knowledgeable, I used to check our oldest daughter’s car seat. It was easier. However, I’ve learned that when car seats are checked in with luggage, they aren’t treated with care. They are thrown around like regular luggage and the impact is akin to being in an accident. You know, airlines lose things too. Imagine arriving at your destination and you either don’t have a car seat or it’s damaged leaving you without an option to keep your little one protected while on the road during your travels. Remember, any car seat that has been in a low-speed accident should be replaced. Furthermore, children under 40 pounds are safer on a plane when riding in a car seat.