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UK domestic flight + hiring car: trunki boostapaks or car hire company seats?

11 replies

passthecremeeggs · 04/08/2017 14:33

I'm taking a UK domestic flight with two children 3.5 and 5. They're both just over 18kgs - the 3.5 year old is a heavy chap.

I'm debating whether to get trunki boostapaks for the hire car, or renting car seats from the hire car company. Concern with the boostapaks is 3.5 year old is in a five point harness seat still and not sure I can trust him to sit still.

Does anyone have any experience of rented car seats in terms of quality etc? The drive is about 1.5 hours if that makes any difference. Would welcome experiences of both, thank you!

OP posts:
moggle · 04/08/2017 15:35

My second hand experience is that you don't necessarily get the seats you ask for, so you may end up with a hi back booster for them both. Obviously that is safer than a boostapak and still suitable for your DSs but still it is not a harness. My friend asked for an infant seat for her 9mo and got given a high back booster and then told they had nothing else and then the office closed. She was in an absolute state, travelling on her own, had landed at 9pm and had to drive three hours to where she was going (dying relative). A sympathetic Costa employee and the power of social media got her a suitable second hand infant seat from a local so she was OK in the end but what a shower from the car hire co! (still gets my blood pressure up thinking about it 3 years later!)

My personal experience and what I've heard from others with better experiences - (we rented through a baby equipment company rather than a car hire company) - the seat appeared safe etc and was actually relatively new, but was a bit grubby, raisins down the cracks etc...

Anotherdayanotherdollar · 04/08/2017 15:39

Could you bring your 3.5 yr olds seat with you? Booster might be ok for a more mature child

passthecremeeggs · 04/08/2017 15:51

Thanks both of you. Moggle that's absolutely dreadful. Yes that's what I fear - not getting what I've booked/suddenly finding they don't have them - and it's ridiculously expensive (£80 for two seats for less than 4 days). I really don't want to take the 3 year old's seat because I'm not taking any other hold luggage because it's a short trip away, but could if I really have to. I'm really leaning towards the boostapaks as I can buy them for the same price as hiring seats and then get to keep them! And I've just seen the weight minimum is 15kg and mine are both over 18 (I thought the minimum was 18Kg)

OP posts:
GinAndToast · 04/08/2017 15:51

I'd be more concerned about the car's safety ratings than the car seat (although obviously car seat still important!) Do you know what you have hired?

I used trunkis for my then 3.5 year old in cars built like tanks with side airbags hire car, but I wouldn't have done in one particular deathtrap I was offered in Jordan once 😂

I was happy with trunkis. The longevity is definitely there if you get one as we will still have to use it for the next two years in some European countries in hire car as the height limit there is 150cm. She has just hit 135 the UK rule!

GinAndToast · 04/08/2017 15:54

whenever we take it away, we find stray sylvanian family animals or colouring books inside 🙈

It's a good extra space for the plane as often excluded from luggage due to being a car seat.

passthecremeeggs · 04/08/2017 16:04

Good point Gin. But I'm hoping as I'm hiring in the UK it'll be safe enough. But not something I had considered - will look at what I'm being offered before pushing the button!

OP posts:
Anotherdayanotherdollar · 04/08/2017 16:15

Oh yeah, it will have to go as checked/over size luggage but you can put loads of stuff in the box or bag to pad the seat out and keep it safe!! Jackets, heavier jumpers or hoodies etc!

AliceMum09 · 04/08/2017 23:50

I wouldn't rely on getting a decent seat just because you are staying within the uk - I read this on Facebook recently "Thought it would be fine hiring a car seat from an extremely well known British car hire place, surely they'll be up to date and have safe car seats....i'll put a picture in the reply of the death trap they hired us" It was a cheap seat that was at least 15 years old.

And also you'd be highly unlikely to get a seat with a 25kgs harness, which I assume is what your youngest child is in since he's over the 18kgs weight limit that all but a handful of harnessed child seats have. I would take his seat with you, in a travel bag with plenty of padding and bubble wrap. The Trunki Boostapac is good, and the Bubblebum inflatable booster is too, but they aren't suitable for a 3 1/2 year old no matter what they weigh.

passthecremeeggs · 05/08/2017 11:27

Thanks alice - I actually meant I can rely on the car to be safe (in ref to gin's post about safety rating of car. But take your point abut the boostapak. My 3 year old is actually 3.9 so closer to 4 than I said (time is going quickly) so I think given his weight and proximity to 4 I'll give it a go. I agree though that hiring seats is a massive gamble so not going down that route for that reason.

OP posts:
anditwasallgoingsowell · 05/08/2017 11:44

We have had trunki booster seats for years, they are fantastic. We use them as two of our hand luggage bags when we fly. We bought them when kids were 6 & 3. It was not ideal for the younger one but when we saw the state of the car seats that came with the hire car, we felt the trunki was just as safe!

WhirlwindHugs · 05/08/2017 11:50

We have used the trunki and I think they're good (certainly safer than a standard booster or something ancient) but my 5yo (small and light) wasn't great at keeping the strap in the correct position, which would be my worry.

1.5hrs... I think it would be okay, particularly if you could have someone sat with them to keep an eye and lots of toys to keep them busy.

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