LAST UPDATED: October 10, 2019
Best Car Seat Travel Trays: Make Every Drive Fun and Playful
Make every road trip a memorable one with these top car seat travel trays
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PUBLISHED ON October 10, 2019
Driving with kids can be fun when it’s filled with singalongs and laughter. But when they get bored, the drive can become a nightmare. The solution is a car seat travel tray. It is your child’s personal play and study center and keeps them occupied during long drives and road trips. This review covers three of the best car seat travel trays for babies, toddlers, and small kids.
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Benefits of a Car Seat Travel Tray
- Use them as a feeding table. You can keep your car mess-free by making the travel tray a feeding table. The cup holders can hold sippy cups and water bottles.
- Turn it into an entertainment center. The best car seat travel trays have a tablet holder or a small sleeve for a phone. They can help your child stay entertained.
- Organize your kid’s stuff. If you thought Lego pieces are a pain, you haven’t spent much time picking up toys, crayons, and coloring books from a car floor. Kids travel trays are great organizers, as they have numerous mesh pockets, side pockets, and sleeves.
- Store various items. Car seat travel trays that transform into backpacks are great. They keep all your kid’s stuff in one place, which is very convenient when you’re traveling.
Types of Car Seat Travel Trays
Lap Desk Travel Trays
Lap trays don't have attachments at the back to secure them to seats and are usually placed on the lap. They are more suitable for older kids who can sit still as they play or watch a movie. Some lap trays have a strap and buckle that fasten behind the body or the seat. Lap trays are also suitable for air travel.
Secured Travel Trays
A secured travel tray is what you need if you want to keep your young one occupied and in one place. It has a strap that firmly secures it to the car seat, stroller, or child’s back. It is one of the best kids' car travel trays, as your child doesn’t have to stay put for it to stay balanced.
Hybrid Travel Trays
Hybrid travel trays are the best activity trays. They are collapsible and have stable surfaces where kids can play and learn. They serve as travel trays and organizers and can be zipped up and carried as backpacks. They usually attach to the front seat, creating a safe distance for watching screens.
While it has only been around for a short time, BabySeater goes the extra mile to make products that make parenting easier. It has a global presence and adheres to American quality standards. One of its top products is the BABYSEATER Erasable Surface Play Tray.
Star Kids Products
Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s what led Alyson Starr Probst to come up with Star Kids, a company with a presence in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The company launched in 2012. Although it now boasts a wide catalog of products, The Snack & Play Travel Tray is considered one of its most popular.
Kids Bright Toys
Kids Bright Toys makes products that can be used both in the car and outside. Its products are comfortable, low maintenance, and practical, making it a leader among its peers. The Kids Car Seat Tray for Toddlers has earned sterling reviews from parents.
Car Seat Travel Tray Pricing
- $10-$20: These travel trays for car seats are an affordable addition to your travel gear. A travel tray in this price range typically features a sturdy surface for activities, such as coloring, writing, and drawing.
- $20-$30: You will find most car seat travel trays for toddlers and older kids at this price point. As you go higher on the scale, you’ll find travel trays with more storage. Most trays in this category convert into backpacks kids will love.
- $30-$50: Here, you will find kids car travel trays that have much better construction and more attachment options. These trays are comfortable, functional, and fashionable.
The best car seat travel tray is compatible with every car seat. However, since car seat travel trays are made with different specifications, compatibility is not always guaranteed. Some trays are compatible with both strollers and infant car seats. Make sure you buy the right one for your kid.
Feeding kids and keeping them occupied takes plenty of toys and snacks. You need storage for all the items to ensure they are easily accessible. Most travel lap desks for car seats have mesh pockets and side pockets for stationery, snacks, and media players.
Most travel trays can hold tablets, toys, and books. But how effective are they out of the car? Some travel trays for car seats easily convert into a backpack. That way, your child can carry it wherever he or she goes and use it outside the car.
- Maintenance: Anything designed to keep a child busy will get dirty. Get a car seat travel tray that is made from a material that doesn't stain easily. The material should be machine washable, easy to clean, and waterproof.
- Sidewalls: The side walls are a key determinant of the stability of a travel tray. High, sturdy sidewalls keep all your kid’s playthings in one spot and save you the extra work of picking up tiny pieces from the car floor.
Best Car Seat Travel Tray Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This travel tray is a great addition to a family trip. Not only does it come in a neutral color, it also features a divider for easy partitioning. It will keep your car’s interior mess-free since its sidewalls are high. Playtime is fun with this tray. The multiple storage options can hold varying sizes of toys and play materials to last an entire trip. There is also a dedicated iPad holder, so your little one will stay entertained.
You will love how you can incorporate feeding time into your drive. The multiple compartments can hold small snack boxes, while the collapsible flap has two cup holder pockets deep enough to hold large drinks. The carrying strap is well padded as is the strap that fastens around your child’s body. The latter keeps your child secure and does not chafe the skin.
While the tray’s reinforced sidewalls help keep everything in place and heavy-duty buckles enhance its safety, you will have to air it out to get rid of the factory odor. You also need to be extra careful with the velcro straps, since they easily attach to the fabric. The tray also lacks two front buckles, and if you keep items in all the pockets, they can easily fall out.
The OT Valley Convertible Travel Tray and Organizer offers a lot of value for a reasonable price. It’s easy to clean despite spills and smudges, thanks to the waterproof finish. Made with reinforced boards, the travel tray is a very sturdy option.
The side storage on both the inside and outside of the tray holds toys firmly in place. There are sections for art supplies and books, along with an elastic cup holder. Cartoon designs on the light-blue tray keep kids engaged on long car rides.
The strap tightens in place around the car seat. It doubles as a hanger in between uses. Designed for safety, the flexible material prevents injury resulting from impact.. The tray is lightweight and easy to set up, making it a really valuable selection.
Going on the road with children poses some unique challenges. It can be tricky to get them to enjoy sitting still, making the Lusso Gear Active Toddlers Travel Tray really useful. It has enough storage to keep lots of supplies within reach. The dry-erase board engages their creative side and doubles as an eating surface.
This tray enables easy clean up. A built-in cup holder keeps drinks close by, holding them steady to prevent spills. The tray incorporates a clear cover to protect touchscreen devices. Mesh pockets with elastic attachments make it easy for your child to access his or her toys.
By reinforcing the stitching and using a durable textile, you needn’t worry about tears or frays. The tray is flexible enough to store easily, folding up compactly in between uses.
- While checking the travel tray’s compatibility with your car seats is important, it is also vital to check whether the straps are adjustable. Flexible straps make sure your little one stays comfortable.
- The first thing you should do after your car seat travel tray is delivered is air it out. Many trays come with a strong smell. If you’re planning to use it on a trip, buy it in advance so the odor can dissipate.
- Regularly wipe down the travel tray. Clean up any spills as soon as your child is done eating. When you get home, wash it. This keeps it ready for any drive or road trip.
- The best car seat travel tray for your child is the one that aligns with their favorite activities. Some travel trays even come with coloring books.
Q: Is a car seat travel tray safe?
A: Car seat travel trays are tested and adhere to health, quality, and safety standards. Each tray has to pass a quality assurance test to be deemed child-friendly.
Q: Is a car seat travel tray compatible with every car?
A: Car seat travel trays are designed differently and are not compatible with every car seat. However, some car seat travel trays have a universal fit and can even be used in planes.
Q: Which is the best car seat travel tray?
A: The best travel tray for toddler car seats merges comfort, ease of use, and adaptability. Features such as attachments, the height of the walls, and the storage options determine the quality of a travel tray.
If you want a travel tray that will last, get the Kenley Kids Travel Tray. It is solidly built and is made with waterproof material. We also love the Kids E-Z Travel Lap Desk Tray by Modfamily for its multiple storage options.