Review of CARES Flight Harness
I typically travel with the car seats in tow. I have heard a hundred reasons why it is a paint to travel with them. I will confirm that they do make travel a bit more arduous then when I traveled with my weekend carryon bag, my phone and a kindle. That being said, my kids stay put and often sleep when in the car seat, I do not trust rental seats and with US travel we almost always have a rental car.
Up to this point it was not a problem. I checked one car seat in a car seat carrying bag (we use this one), put one carseat on the GO-Go Baby wheels (love these by the way) with a kid or bag strapped into the seat, and the other kid in the Ergo baby carrier (my true love) and we are off. However, on our recent trip to Washington, DC (which you can read about on Out of Edwards.) we were going to stick entirely to public transit. I did not want to be hauling around a car seat just for the plane ride, but I also wanted my three year old to be strapped in.
This is where the CARES harness comes in.
I purchased the CARES harness from Amazon. We have Amazon Prime, so it arrived in two days.
The CARES harness is the only FAA approved harness. It is also useable on most major foreign carriers. You can see the complete list on the bottom of the CARES FAQ page.
I watched this YouTube video on installing the harness once on the plane. I practiced once on a chair while I was at home and felt really comfortable that I would be able to do this while wrangling both kids. The only awkward part is that you have to put down the tray table on the seat behind you to instal and un-instal the harness. The harness does not interfered with the use of the tray table once installed.
We boarded the plane with the kids and those needing assistance and literally the only thing I worried about, having the person sitting behind us already on the plane, happened. I politely asked if I could put down her tray table, and she of course said “OK,” but was obviously curious about what I was doing. I was so nervous I installed the darn thing inside out! So much for practicing! I had to ask her to take her tray down again and she was happy to do it. Once I installed it correctly on the seat, I strapped my three year old in and there he sat, happily, for the rest of the flight. At the end of the flight the lady was happy to put her tray down so I could quickly remove the strap.
Our flight back was completely uneventful. This time knowing what inside out was, I quickly installed it correctly on the first try. I once again had no trouble asking the gentleman behind me to let his tray down at the end of the flight.
Nearly every flight with my car seat I am asked to show the FAA certification on the side of the car seat (and we fly allot with the kids.) I was not asked even once with the harness. I did see the flight crew checking it out but the CARES harness is easy to recognized with the FAA approval right on the front of the harness.
The whole harness packs into a small sack that I just threw into my book bag. Easy day.
In conclusion, I’m happy to have the CARES harness in my arsenal of travel tools as we head out on many adventures that probably won’t involve car seats!
Ease of Use
- Easy to Install after some practice
- Easy to Uninstall
- $69.95 on Amazon
- FAA Approved
- Easily stores in purse or carryon
- Flight Attendants aware of product
Disclosure: I’ve recommended a few products from affiliated vendors, so when you purchase something from them I receive a small commission. I would never recommend anything that we did not try out ourselves and love.