Feel like your child makes too much mess during road trips? You are not alone. Most parents I know are frustrated with their little ones leaving a trail of crumbs and leftover food behind. Their predicament has convinced me to come up with the following suggestion.
Invest in a car seat travel tray. It will provide all the space your little one will ever need to hold their snacks, coloring supplies and stationery items. Its solid, strong base will also offer the stability to keep their drink from spilling as you apply sudden brakes. That is not all.
The best children’s travel trays also include mesh pockets to hold a sippy bottle safely. They are made from the same material as laptop bags and are equally sturdy. Some of them even have expandable pockets to keep all your child’s valuables safe and secure. Read on to know more.
Best Car Seat Travel Tray in 2021 – Reviews and Buying Guide
Your little one can drink, eat and play on this car table for toddlers. Start with drinking. This tray has a detachable cup holder big enough to hold a bottle of milk or a sippy cup. The cup holder’s firm base ensures soft cup landings and prevents the risk of spilling.
Move on to eating. You get a 16-inch wide tray with this travel tray that is big enough to hold multiple snacks, chocolate bars, and crayons. Also on offer are two mesh storage pockets. The one at its left is bigger and can thus hold bags of chips. The other one can secure packets of candies.
Then comes playing. It comes with a detachable viewing stand that will free your little one from the trouble of steadying their IPad or tablet in their lap for hours. And the fact that it has three walls means your child’s toys won’t fall off this tray while she’s busy in merrymaking.
- Walls on three sides
- 16.5-inch wide surface
- Multiple mesh pockets
- Detachable cup holder and viewing stand
- Collapsible design folds for easy carrying and storage
Why We Like It:
The Lusso Gear Kids Travel Tray offers a wide playing and eating surface and is foldable for easy storage.
This travel tray for car seats is available in black, blue, and grey colors. Kids Travel Tray has decorated all three with different patterns to make sure they befriend kids with varying tastes. That is to say that one kid who may like the blue tray might not like the black one. Here’s why that’s a good thing.
The blue color model has a starry design that would attract children who may want to become astronauts. That isn’t the case with the grey- or the black-colored trays. The former is filled with fun outdoor activities and the latter has cartoons your little one might be fond of seeing on their tablet.
Space for which is provided on the backside of this tray. On the right side of this tray are separate holders for stationery and drink/bottle. And on its left side is an open pocket divided into two with an inner barrier to help your kid organize her stuff. Also there is a zippered mesh pocket.
- Children-friendly theme
- Waterproof playing surface
- Detachable tablet mount
- Adjustable waist and shoulder strap
- Side mesh pocket and cup holder
Why We Like It:
The DMoose Kids Travel Tray is available in three colors. Each of them features a specific design that will make it endearing to kids with different tastes.
The Karimba Kids Travel Tray offers three options at the price of one. You can either use it in the form shown on its package – which is the form of a car seat tray that has all the walls, cup holders, and stationery pockets that you have come to expect from one.
Or you can convert it into a flat travel tray. In which case you’d have to flatten its detachable walls and raze the collapsible storage pockets to the ground. The final result will be a massive, flat play area that will keep your child engaged during a long road trip.
The final option includes turning this travel tray into a tote. Exercising it is a bit complicated and involves steps that are too long to be described in this review. You can find them in this product’s instruction manual if your little one wants a carry bag like her mommy.
- Three-in-one functionality
- Removable/collapsible storage compartment
- Two cup holders
- Tablet storage compartment
- Backed by a one-year warranty
Why We Like It:
The Karimba Kids Travel Tray comes in the form of a traditional car seat tray but lets you convert it into either a flat travel tray or a large-sized tote bag.
Everything about this kids’ travel tray tells us it could become your child’s best friend. It has stationery pockets at its sides to hold all those pens and pencils which your little one seems to be misplacing all the time. A dry erase board facing your child will let them hone their creative skills.
It also has a detachable tablet holder to help your little one watch cartoons without her parents raising the issue that they’re sitting too close to the screen. That’s because the tablet holder’s position – at the back of the tray – will put quite some distance between the tablet and your child’s eyes.
Kids who like throwing tantrums would find it hard throwing one with this tray. Mainly because it offers separate pockets for them to store their crayons, candies, chocolate bars and drinks bottle. But also because its pockets are all transparent to assure your child that her valuables are safe.
- Massive dry erase board
- Collapsible iPad holder
- Multiple storage pockets
- Adjustable strap and strong buckles
- Raised edges keep stuff from falling over
Why We Like It:
The Menzoke Kids Travel Tray has a massive dry erase board, offers multiple storage pockets, and folds flat for easy storage and carrying.
Every good thing about this car seat travel tray stems from its weight. That shouldn’t be surprising as it is one of those few travel trays that weigh north of 1 kilogram. But not without reason. Yookie has justified this model’s extra weight by equipping it with sturdy walls and a sturdier base.
Let us look at both one by one. The walls’ sturdiness allows them to hold the weight of a 10.5-inch tablet holder and multiple storage mesh pockets. Also connected to the walls is a strap using which you can convert this travel tray into a backpack.
That isn’t to say that the flat base won’t share any burden. Apart from bearing the load of whatever stuff your child would pile on top of it, the double-layered base can carry the burden of a standard size sippy cup, an iPad or a mini-tablet, and multiple stationery items.
- Double-layered sturdy base
- Easy to install and tear down
- Adjustable strap with big buckles
- Multiple pockets for stationery items and toys
- 10.5-inch tablet holder
Why We Like It:
The Yookie Kids Car Seat Travel Tray justifies its additional weight with a sturdy base and an even sturdier set of detachable walls.
The Modfamily Travel Tray is one of the most inexpensive in this review. But it hasn’t cut any corners to keep its asking price low. You can guess that by looking at this model’s base. Supported by foam and plastic inserts, it’s as sturdy as that of care seats costing twice as much.
It also has reinforced edges on all four sides, though you can remove the one facing your child by detaching the buttons on both its corners. Their presence helps keep crayons, snacks and games on the tray’s floor and prevents them from falling onto the car’s footrest.
You might find it surprising to note that this tray won’t sit on your child’s lap. All four of its sides go all the way to the bottom and help steady it on the seat. This makes this tray a must-have for fussy toddlers who have trouble staying still for any period of time.
- Converts into a backpack
- Zipper-protected mesh pockets
- Machine-washable for ultra-cleaning
- Foam and plastic inserts for a solid base
Why We Like It:
The Modfamily Travel Tray can be machine-washed for germ-free cleaning. On top of that, it’s equipped with an ultra-secure base and lets you convert it into a backpack.
This car seat tray has everything to be a great addition to a family journey. It has raised edges to keep your vehicle’s interior mess-free and has multiple pockets for easy storage. They include two mesh pockets on its left side, one at the tray’s floor on the right and another at the front.
Also on offer is a dedicated iPad holder and a carrying strap. The former will keep your child entertained on those long trips where you cannot afford to take many mid-way stops. The lug strap, together with the strap that fastens around your little one’s waist, will make carrying it a cinch.
EcoZen has further sweetened the deal by making this model available in two colors. It has also backed it with a 100% money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. You can quickly return this product and get your money back if you notice any manufacturing defects.
- Moneyback guarantee
- Lifetime warranty
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Dedicated iPad holder
- Extra-wide play area
Why We Like It:
The EcoZen Car Seat Tray will keep your journeys mess-free with its multiple storage compartments, dedicated iPad holder, and waterproof base.
This kids’ travel tray offers multiple features to belittle its meager asking price. It has a spill-proof base that won’t absorb a drop of liquid your child might spill on it. This will prevent the base from swelling and help you clear it with one swipe of a dry cloth.
Travel trays you saw above used most of their floor space for providing storage options. This one only has an iPad holder tugged to the backside of its base, with the rest of its floor free for your child to eat, play or create. However, that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t provided any mesh pockets
There are two of them on the right side of this tray. The first is dedicated to pens and pencils and the second can hold oversized items. Another two mesh pockets are on the left side to fit your child’s sippy bottle/drink and eatables, respectively.
- Easy-fold design
- 3-inch high reinforced walls
- Dedicated cup and iPad holders
- Spill-proof and BPA-free base
Why We Like It:
The Beloved Belongings Kids Travel Tray is made of BPA-free material and is easy to clean. It features a waterproof base and can be folded for easy storage.
Here is one of those car seat trays that double as a backpack. And not only because your child can fold it around before carrying it with them. It mimics the function of a backpack by providing the same number of storage options too. Here’s how.
Travel Tykes has dedicated both this car tray’s sides – as well as the sides of its floor – to pockets. The ones hanging down from the right side are slightly bigger and can thus hold stuffed animals. Those on the right side are meant for stationery items, i.e., pens, pencils, and notebooks.
We haven’t yet talked about the pockets on its floor. The ones nearest to your child can hold smaller items like rubbers, sharpeners, to name a few. One which is at the corner doubles as a cup/feeder holder. And you don’t need us telling that big pocket at the back is meant for an iPad.
- Extra pockets on right side
- Cup holder and tablet holder
- Includes activity sheets in its package
- Strap to secure it around the front seat
Why We Like It:
The Travel Tykes Kid Tray provides loads of storage options and makes your car journeys mess-free.
The Cerizona Portable Kids Travel Tray is neither made of plastic nor nylon, the two most popular kids travel tray materials. Instead, its manufacturer has opted for 600D polyester. Here’s why that is an excellent decision.
In addition to making its pad waterproof – which plastic and nylon do too – the use of polyester has also made it stain-resistant – which plastic and nylon pads fail to do. That’s why you can clean the most stubborn of spills off the tray’s base with a swipe.
Cerizona has equipped this tray with flexible side pocket flaps, an adjustable cup holder, and zippered storage compartments at its base. It has also provided it with detachable edges that are easy to install and take apart and has further sweetened the deal with a lifetime warranty on this product.
- Extremely easy to clean
- Zipper-protected pockets
- Adjustable cup holder
- Reinforced, detachable sidewalls
Why We Like It:
The Cerizona Portable Kids Travel Tray features a waterproof and stain-resistant base that makes it extremely easy to clean.
How to Choose Car Seat Travel Tray
Car seat travel trays come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and designs. It is therefore important to know what to consider when choosing one. Only then can you be sure that the sheer number of options available won’t trip you into making a panic buy.
Here’s what you might want to consider when choosing a kids’ travel desk for car seats:
What is the tray made of?
Most car seat trays you see in this review are made of solid plastic. They have a sturdy base to hold your child’s items. Plastic is also easy to clean and doesn’t weigh much either. Your little one could easily carry plastic trays as they are lightweight as well.
Others are made of nylon. One of the amazing benefits of nylon is that it’s waterproof. No amount of exposure to moisture will cause its base to stoop. It is therefore highly durable and can last for years with proper care from your side.
What will the tray attach to when in use?
Some car travel trays come with an adjustable strap and buckle to let you wrap them around your little one’s waist. They save your child from leaning too far forward whenever they need to access an item on the tray. Such models are also very stable as their solid base sits in your child’s lap.
That’s where the good news ends. These trays, as good as they are for toddlers, might not serve the purpose for older children. For them, you might want to invest in a tray that you can attach to either the driver seat or the front passenger’s seat. Here’s why we’re saying that.
You can move these trays up and down to complement the height of your child. Their foldable design means you can close their latch once the tray has served its purpose. Your little one can even convert their travel tray for car seats into a messenger backpack.
Does the tray have walls?
Want to know a recipe for disaster? A flat children’s car table without walls. The slightest movement – either caused by your child’s restlessness or by the driver applying sudden brakes – will result in everything that was previously on the tray sliding its way off it. Utter chaos will ensue on the rear seats.
That’s why you might want to look for a tray with walls on at least three sides. Make sure there’s no wall on the side facing your child. Or at least get one in which the wall towards your little one is removable. Otherwise your child might find it difficult to eat and play comfortably.
Does it have a sturdy base?
There are two types of trays you’d do well to avoid. The first are those that don’t have a sturdy base. Their bottom will start to droop with the passage of time, making it difficult for your child to use it. A sagging base also leads to more spillages and makes it easy for objects to fall off the tray.
The second type of tray you might want to steer well clear of is one with cup holders built into its base. Not only will it be uncomfortable for your child to use the tray. But the cup holders’ pressure might also lead to the drooping of the base in a few weeks’ time.
How many pockets does it have?
Most trays you see in this review come with multiple side pockets, including at least one that could hold a sippy cup or a drink bottle. This allows your child to keep only those items on the tray’s floor they need. The rest could simply end up in one of the pockets.
The pockets should be stretchable and made of mesh. This will allow them to store your little one’s notebooks and tablets without compromising their integrity. Mesh pockets also offer breathability and an easy access to stored items. That’s not all.
It would be best if at least one of the pockets are protected by a zipper. Not the one which even a toddler could break after roughly opening/closing it a few times. But one that should be sturdy enough to handle abuse dished out by older children. Such pockets could be used to store snacks and crayons.
Is it portable?
The best car seat travel trays are foldable. They have compact dimensions and the majority weighs less than 2 to 3 pounds. Your little one can thus convert them into a messenger bag and easily carry them with the included straps.