Picture of the Week: CARES Airplane Harness

Here is a picture of E asleep on our flight from Madrid back home to Seattle. He's wearing a Cares Harness. The harness is FAA approved, easy to set up, weighs only a pound, and has made getting through the airport much easier than it was in the days when we brought a car seat. Best of all, we know that E is seated safely and he likes having a little more space than his car seat would allow. It's perfect for trips like this one where traveled exclusively by plane, train, subway, and gondola

Related Links:
Flying with Children
Amazon: Cares Harness

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  1. Chihana Schiffer on February 28, 2008 at 11:13 p.m.

    Hi Debbie! I am going to fly to Japan with my two sons, age 2.5 and 19 months and of course my husband. I would like to avoid bringing aboard a car seat for the 19 month old if I can help it. But do you think he will be able to sleep and be comfortable in the huge airplane seat? Do you highly recommend this CARES seat harness? Any advice on this to bring or not to bring a car seat for my youngest son would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Chihana

  2. Debbie on February 29, 2008 at 10:15 a.m.

    We really like our CARES harness, and we've felt like it was a worthwhile investment. My son started using it just before he turned two, and the extra space has been a real asset when he's awake. My son seems to sleep ok, but it might depend on whether your son is the kind of kid who likes to sleep in the corner of his bed all scrunched up, or sprawled out. It might help to put some blankets or jackets around him to make him more cozy when it's time for him to sleep.

  3. Rebekah on June 15, 2008 at 6:52 p.m.

    My husband and I have a 2 1/2 yo and are hoping to fly to San Francisco and Norway this summer. I was thinking about getting the CARES and read reviews on Amazon. Most people have one problem or one praise. Cons - It's too tight or bulky around the head [sleep problems] and allows the child to slip down. Pros - It's easy to carry and install. Your previous response does indicate it went well for you....

  4. Debbie on June 16, 2008 at 1:56 a.m.


    We've never had a problem with getting E to sleep in the CARES or with him slipping down. Perhaps it depends on the airplane seat or on the age of the child...

    I've heard that there are people on Ebay who rent CARES, and I know that some parents rent for a trip before they buy one themselves.


  5. m_and_d_in_fl on July 11, 2008 at 9:58 p.m.

    Here's an easy solution to the problem of the child slipping down on the seat: Stick a piece of the rubberized non-slip drawer liner you have in your kitchen drawer in your carry on and put it on the leather seat for your child to sit on. It completely solves the slippery seat problem when using the CARES. :-)

  6. Debbie on July 11, 2008 at 10:35 p.m.

    What a great idea! Thanks for the tip.

  7. WLevin on October 1, 2008 at 3:47 p.m.

    I have purchased the CARES harness for an upcoming flight from NYC to Florida. I am excited to use it on my 2 1/2 year old. But I have two concerns. 1). Has anyone had trouble with Flight Attendents not allowing the use of the CARES harness; and 2). Has anyone had problems with the person sitting behind their child when using CARES for taxi, takeoff, and landing if the plane's seats have recessed tray tables (the straps goes over the tray preventing the use of the tray)? I am probably overreacting but this will be the first time using the harness and I am worried about offending someone. Thanks

  8. Debbie on October 1, 2008 at 9:21 p.m.

    My personal experience has been that showing the flight attendant the FAA approval on the harness and offering to get out the paperwork is enough to convince them to let me use the harness even if they haven't seen it before. Being friendly helps.

    Ditto with the person behind my child. I explain the safety harness, and ask very politely to install it. The harness doesn't interfere with the operation of the tray table (open the tray, install the harness, and then close the tray again), so I have never had anyone object. I suppose that if someone did object, we would move seats.

  9. Virnaliza Cassidy on June 14, 2009 at 12:30 p.m.

    Hi Debbie! We will be traveling to Hawaii this coming July with our 2 year old daughter. I have been researching about car seats and came across the CARES harness. So far I have read good reviews about it. My only concern is my daughter is quite petite. She probably weighs 22-23 lbs. You think Cares harness will work for her? I will appreciate your input about it.