Spend a lot of time in the car with your kids? Little ones can get bored and feel like they don’t have anything to do. A car seat travel tray can keep them occupied — and make your drive more enjoyable, too.
We’ve done all the research for you to find the best car seat travel trays out there. Here are our top seven picks.
What Is a Car Seat Travel Tray?
A car seat travel tray is designed to work with your child’s car seat without interfering with its functionality. They come in a variety of sizes and types, but their main purpose is to provide a flat surface for your child. They’re great for use in a car, but some can also be used elsewhere when your little one is on the go.
You’ll find car seat travel trays that zip up for easy travel, and some with storage for crucial car items like books, toys, and crayons. This gives you a grab-and-go box of fun to keep your children occupied.
Types of Car Seat Travel Trays
There are a few different kinds of travel trays you may consider. They’re all made to be mobile, so you aren’t confined to keeping them in the car.
Secured Travel Trays
These trays usually attach around the back of your child’s car seat and strap on without interfering with anything. This keeps what your child needs within reach while still keeping them safe in the car.
This is a perfect option for a younger child who can’t keep the travel tray in place without help.
- Great for young children.
- Keeps needed items close.
- Difficult to reconfigure while driving.
- Hard to use outside of the car.
Hybrid Travel Tray
This type of travel tray can be used in multiple ways, but generally, there’s a top portion that comes away from the lap portion. This top portion can be used alone by hanging directly from the car seat in front of the child.
This is a good choice for a child who needs an iPad viewing space out of reach. It can also increase the versatility of your travel tray.
- Great versatility.
- Good for media experiences.
- Involves more set up.
Lap Desk Travel Tray
“Lap desk” travel trays don’t attach to the back of the seat, and this means they’re easier to use outside of the car. It also means it can be more difficult for a younger child to use.
These are a great pick for elementary-aged children who need a flat surface or iPad space while in the car.
- Great for older children.
- Easy to use outside of the car.
- Can be easily knocked over.
How to Choose the Best Car Seat Travel Tray
To make sure you get what you need from a travel tray, consider the following while shopping.
- What activities will interest your child? The primary purpose of the travel tray is to keep your little one occupied. If your child loves art, make sure there’s enough storage for crayons and coloring books. Have a child who enjoys playing with toys? Make sure the play space is large enough.
- Will you use it outside the car? Some car seat travel trays are more mobile than others. If you plan on using it out of the car, make sure it packs quickly and securely.
- Can it be used safely? Always check the manufacturer’s information about how your travel tray should be used. Check with the manufacturer of your child’s car seat to ensure proper use as well (1).
The Best Car Seat Travel Trays of 2020
We’ve combed through the options out there and listened to what real parents have to say about their experience. Here are the best car seat travel trays we found.
1. Funtasit All-In-One Travel Tray
Looking for a self-contained playset that works in the car as well? This all-in-one travel station folds into a case that closes securely with a zipper.
When not in use, other options on the market tend to fold into themselves without providing actual storage. This one folds up but leaves space inside to store toys and books, meaning fewer things for you to lug around from place to place!
It also means your little one has access to what they need wherever you end up going. A handy carrying strap makes it convenient to bring with you when you’re on the go.
This tray includes a dedicated viewing pocket for an iPad and numerous additional pockets to keep everything within reach. These pockets are still accessible when the tray is closed for travel.
As the back is the same size as the bottom and may contain heavy items, it can be secured to the car seat in front of it. There’s no additional attachment point and the travel tray is designed to rest on the user’s lap.
- Zippers closed.
- Great storage.
- Top portion can detach and be used alone.
- Convenient to take with you.
- Only offers a top attachment point.
2. BRAVOSTARS Kids’ Travel Tray
This travel tray provides an amazing amount of storage that’s just the thing for long road trips. You can pack it full of everything your little one will need — art supplies, snacks, toys, and even an iPad.
It’s a great choice for use in the car but can easily make the transition to buses, planes, and trains. The travel tray zippers securely closed while keeping everything neatly organized inside.
While some travel trays offer a drink pocket on the side, this one sports an integrated cup holder to prevent spills. The top portion can detach and be used on its own when needed.
A strap and buckle on the top piece attach to the headrest of the front seat. This keeps the unit open and allows your little one to view an iPad. The carrying strap features a buckle and can be used to secure the travel tray around the back of your child’s car seat.
- Zippers closed.
- Provides great storage.
- Integrated cup holder.
- Multiple attachment options.
- No color choice.
3. Kenley Kids Travel Tray
If you know you need a travel tray with plenty of storage, this could be the one for you. It has different sized pockets along the exterior that are perfect for slim items like books, cards, or magazines. There’s even a pocket specifically designed for an iPad.
This also features slots for writing implements and a larger pocket that could hold a drink. The top of the tray has additional storage compartments to help things stay put during your little one’s travels.
The whole thing collapses easily and even comes with a shoulder strap to help your child carry it. Unlike other travel trays out there, this offers a high perimeter wall to keep things from sliding off over the edge.
- High sides.
- Lots of storage.
- Convenient carrying strap.
- Lifetime warranty.
- May need airing out upon delivery to avoid odor.
4. BO Innovation Travel Tray
This travel tray comes equipped with a buckle and strap to secure it during trips. It attaches around the back of your child’s car seat so it won’t interfere with the way it’s intended to work. The strap is made from heavy-duty nylon and the buckle is a solid press-to-release style plastic fastener.
This tray has high sidewalls to prevent your little one from losing what they’re using. It also has a see-through media storage slot to keep things securely in place while viewing media.
When not in the car, this folds for easy transportation and storage, securing with large velcro strips to keep it compact and convenient to travel with. In addition to the media pocket, there are also mesh pockets along the side.
There’s plenty of room for pencils and art supplies. In fact, this travel tray comes with a bonus coloring book set to help get you started. A dedicated spot for beverages is also included.
- Attaches to car seat.
- Lots of storage.
- See-through media pocket.
- Mesh pockets are detachable.
- May be too large for some spaces.
5. Beloved Belongings Travel Tray
If you want to use your travel tray predominantly for media viewing, this option from Beloved Belongings may suit your needs. It offers a viewing sleeve that fully encloses and protects an iPad, so it’s perfect for children who are too young to hold their iPad on their own.
An extra tall back supports the iPad sleeve when in use. This keeps it from tipping over and allows it to remain at an optimal angle.
While this is a great choice for media, it’s not the only thing this travel tray can do. The additional mesh side pockets are the perfect size for small toys, markers, and other accessories.
A pouch along one side can be custom-adjusted to any cup size, and everything folds easily to get you to and from your destination more quickly. You can use it in virtually any confined chair space — it attaches with a nylon strap and plastic buckle.
- Zippered media pouch.
- Sturdy walls.
- Easy to clean.
- Super useful for iPads.
- May not create an even surface with all car seat types.
6. Kids Bright Toys Travel Tray
This travel tray has a sophisticated play space that may appeal to an older child. It’s available in blue or purple and offers plenty of storage, plus a storage bag to keep it in great shape when not in use.
There’s a built-in tablet holder that keeps the screen accessible — ideal for older children who want to interact with the touch screen. It also allows for headphone use.
Three sides of this travel tray have extended height edges. The fourth is closest to the child and offers a smaller lip that doesn’t hinder access to the playing area. The top of the tray features a hard plastic surface that keeps its shape.
Both zippered and open mesh pockets keep everything within easy reach. It’s waterproof and a free ebook comes with your purchase. A 60-day warranty allows you the opportunity to make sure there’s not a defect with the product.
- Convenient holder for a tablet.
- Plastic top.
- 60-day warranty.
- Needs airing out to avoid lingering odor from the packaging.
7. DMoose Kids Travel Activity Tray
If you need a travel tray that can do it all, try this one. Its heavy-duty construction resists sagging and even has a patent.
The easy-to-clean top fabric doesn’t absorb spills, so you don’t need to worry about stains. The TPU topper is non-toxic, PVC-free, completely child-safe, and safe for use with food as well. It’s available in multiple fun themes to suit your child’s preferences and interests.
While this works great for cars, it’s also for use in highchairs, on planes, even waiting rooms. It’s easy to fit in a bag, though it doesn’t close up like some other travel trays. Handy mesh pockets keep toys and other bits and pieces in one place.
Finally, there’s a lifetime guarantee. The company is so committed to quality that a replacement or refund is available if you aren’t fully satisfied with your purchase.
- For use in multiple locations.
- Suitable for use with food.
- Includes storage.
- Lifetime guarantee.
- Mesh pockets are small.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the products we’ve put together here for you. Hopefully, you’ll find just the travel tray you’ve been looking for.
We know how important it is to keep your child occupied while in transit. Whether with media options, coloring materials or toys, a travel tray can make any trip a lot more fun. Choose one that’s easy to clean, adjustable, and comfortable for your kid.
Have an experience with a travel tray you’re dying to share? We love hearing about your adventures and any tips you may have for the rest of us. Touch base with us and others like you in the comment section below.