Editors Note: The NHTSA has issued their own warning as of November, 2019 – Also, be sure to check out our list of Recommended Portable Car Seats, ideal for carpools and travel and our Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel. Also see our more recent guide about Cheap Portable Carseats.
Parents – if you see something for sale online that claims to be a “child safety seat” or “booster” or “car seat” but it comes from a manufacturer that you have never heard of and it doesn’t say that it meets federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) please be suspicious and do some research. It may be a legitimate product (e.g., IMMI Go, Ride Safer Travel Vest, EZ-ON harness – all of which meet or exceed all federal safety standards), but it may also be an illegal death trap.
Currently Amazon is FLOODED with products from China claiming to be child restraints that are being sold by 3rd party sellers. Please don’t be mislead into thinking these are a safe alternative to a car seat or booster seat that meets FMVSS 213 standards. As much as the seller wants you to believe that this product is “Compact and reasonable design make it enjoy the safety of traditional child seat”, it is neither safe nor reasonable.
A few examples of the type of products available through 3rd party sellers on Amazon:
CdyBox Portable Car Safety Seat Cover Travel Vest Harness Cushion for Baby Kids Infant Children (Blue)
I could keep going because there are more products like this for sale on the internet but hopefully I’ve made my point.
A few years ago Jennie got her hands on one of these types of products and did a lovely “review” of it:
I know most of our readers don’t need any further convincing that putting a child in one of these contraptions in a moving car is a really, really, bad idea. But just to highlight how bad the outcome really could be – check out this video courtesy of Surrey County Council & Britax.