OK so the last thread has gone a little, um, mad, so I'll just ask about my own situation instead of highjacking.
We are going on a cruise next week. My DS is 2, 36" and 35#. We are taking a taxi, most likely, from the airport to the hotel then to the ship and back. My DH wants to know what the point of the CARES harness is since DS has to have his own seat anyway why can't we just put him in the airplane seat belt. Also I had found the the RideSafer vest and then saw today it is only for 3 and up? He is in the weight and height range of it. Dh much preferred the use of that over taking our amazingly heavy Radian to have it sit in a small ship cabin for week and be in the way.
Is taking the radian on the plane our only choice?
Why not get a lighter travel seat like the Scenera ($40-50)? It's cheaper than the RSTV, and will fit your son better. At two, he's much, much safer riding in a rear facing seat. A longer-lasting option would be the Evenflo Maestro, which is a forward facing seat. It's about $75-80, and also pretty lightweight. But, most people around here (including me) would encourage you to RF your DS. However, FF in a Maestro would be an infinitely better option than using no seat at all.
An airplane seat belt does not fit a 2 year old properly, just like a car seat belt would not. Riding in a car seat is the safer option. Plus, he might be much more comfortable in a car seat and sleep for a little while! If he's not a fan of traveling on the airplane, it can be stressful to try to keep him in a seat/seat belt that he can easily wriggle out of. Having him securely strapped in a car seat on the plane (when the seat belt lights are on, at least) might also be quite a bit easier on you.
OB RN, partner to and mama to (2008, 31 weeker) and (2011)
As heavy as a Radian is (I have 2), it will fold up and be easier to stash in your cabin than a Maestro (I have one of those too). I don't have a Scenera, but I'm sure it'd take up space in a cabin!
Once folded the radian can be strapped sideways laying on the top of your wheeled carry on for easier lugging through the airport.
If you've got his seat on the plane, I'd FF so he can see the TV, and hopefully reach the tray. In the taxi, RF or FF, whichever you can install. Depending on the size of the taxi, a Radian RF could be a major PITB. :)
Just wanted to commiserate. We're headed on a plane trip tommorow with a 3 year old and a 9 month old. This is our third trip this year, I won't sugar coat it, taking kids and luggage and car seats through an airport is stressfull, I'm always working every angle to figure out how I can avoid taking the seats but we always need them for some reason, so it is what is it I guess. Getting a cheap luggage cart to strap the carseat on for pulling through the airport and other places is a big help, we also keep a scenera for travel/grandparents, and it is much lighter and a easier to deal with than our big seat, but if we knew we were'nt going to fly a lot I wouldn't have made the special purchase. My DD liked being in her seat on the 6 hour flight we took earlier this year, just like being in the car, we did have to install it in the window seat though as you can't get around it. The airplane tray table won't go down when our scenera is installed, so a good idea to bring a lap desk or hard book if your LO likes to colour etc. Also you can expect to be the last ones off the plane, something to think about with airport transfers etc. Hope your trip goes well, and enjoy the cruise!
For the record, my Radian did NOT fit under the bed of our cabin. It was too low. I gave it to the cabin steward to stow during our cruise. We didn't need it for any of the ports. I recommend taking it back the night before you disembark because it got separated and I had to hunt it down.
I flew alone with three kids and took the Radian. It's a really easy seat to travel with. It doesn't rf very well on the plane. Strapped to a luggage cart (please don't buy one of those overpriced Gogo Travelmates! A metal, foldable luggage cart works as well or better), you can actually roll it down the aisle of the plane. No carrying on board. Limit carry-on's to backpacks. Avoid taking "rolly" bags, which are hard to stow, even on big planes.
Good idea not to hijack threads, no matter how you judge them. This topic is different than the other thread's. If someone asks a question, it deserves an answer, "mad" even if you think that is!