Earlier this year we upgraded to a Britax Frontier Clicktight in my car, which has a steel frame and weighs almost 25 lbs. With a trip to San Francisco coming up in which we will need to take a taxi in the middle of the night in a hotel room (before a friend picks us up the next day), I needed to bring a car seat with us as checked baggage or rent one at the airport. I wasn’t really interested in renting a car seat for a week (expensive) and the rental desk probably wouldn’t even be open at 1:30am. So I needed to find a light weight car seat for a child over 40 lbs, forward facing. There’s no way I’m going to carry a 25 lb awkward steel mass on my back in the car seat carrier while wrangling luggage and a child, nor do I want my very expensive car seat lost or damaged.
Most of the cheap convertible car seats (Costco Scenara, Evenflo Tribute) are also the lightest in weight max out at 40 lbs forward facing, which is what spurred my transition to the Britax when my daughter was 39 lbs. I strongly believe she should be in a 5 point harness at least until age 5 and even beyond unless she’s super big and tall and simply doesn’t fit. The cheapest and lightest-weight car seat I could find for a child over 40 pounds is the Evenflo Maestro which goes up to 50 lbs in the 5 point harness and then converts to a booster seat. It weighs 14 lbs and I got it for $40 including shipping on Amazon, with a gift card I had.
It’s really interesting to me that travel by taxi (or Uber) is impossible with young children if you intend to travel using public transportation, and end up somewhere in the middle of the night (such as we are going to be in San Francisco). I can’t imagine hauling these car seats plus your children around searching for taxis and such while on a trip. Also, buses and trains don’t even require a lap seat belt, and even airport shuttle vans don’t require them, what’s the deal with that? But anyway… we have the car seat now, I will have to deal with the weight before checking in and with picking up checked baggage in San Francisco, but I’ll have it for the middle-of-the-night taxi ride, and to install in my friend’s car the rest of the trip. Turns out she didn’t have any extra car seats for kids over 40 lbs, as her two are still far under the limit.
And for those wondering- NO we are not using it on the plane!