I posted this over in the Germany forum, but that area doesn't seem to get much action so I'm coming here.
I live in Austria and I've got a big decision to make about a car seat for my now 12 month old DD. She's outgrown her infant seat and needs the next size. The selection for car seats is a little different over here than in the US, but we have most of the major brands. There aren't many that go both front and back facing, however.
DH and I had settled on a Cybex Pallas 2, since DD can use it for a long time (kids have to stay in seats until they are 12 or 1.5 meter or 36 kg) and she'll likely be a tall girl anyway. However, it is not approved for airline use. The Kiddy Guardian is, but the current model didn't get good reviews in the auto club tests. We really like the idea of this front cushion type that supposedly protects the neck better than a normal harness. We also really like the idea of not having to buy another seat after this one.
In November we're flying back to the US for a visit and will be driving a fair amount while we are there. DH will likely fly with DD alone a few weeks ahead of me but we'll fly back together. I think we can get a good route with only 2 connections, with only the trans-atlantic leg on a non-US carrier. I think the trip would be much more comfortable (and safe) for DH and DD if she had her own seat and a carseat. Lugging the carseat around the airports won't be much fun for them, but we can get some kind of trolley thingy.
So, my question is, do we go ahead and get the super duper Cybex seat and buy a second seat as the "travelling" seat? Or, do we buy one seat now that will go in both the car and the plane and then buy another seat when she outgrows that one?