Investing in a car seat activity tray for kids is an absolute must for long journeys. With easy, comfortable access to snacks, drinks, toys and books, the best car seat travel tray can keep children occupied for hours!
This guide covers all you need to know and the top recommended products.
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- 1 INTRODUCTION
- 2 BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY INFO
- 3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY
- 4 BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY FOR KIDS: OUR TOP PICK
- 5 COMPARE THE TOP 5 BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAYS FOR KIDS
- 6 TOP 5 BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAYS
- 7 CAR SEAT ACTIVITY TRAY FAQs
- 8 FINAL THOUGHTS: WHICH CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY WILL YOU BUY?
Buying a car seat travel tray for your children may sound simple, but if you’ve not used one before, how do you know what to look for?
There are lots of kids’ travel tray products on the market, but what do they offer and how do they differ? This guide runs through everything you need to look for, and what buying trays for car seats can do for your family trips away.
Also covered are our top five recommended products, complete with reviews. No matter what you’re looking for, one of these is bound to tick your boxes in terms of budget, features, ease of use, durability and suitability for your child or children.
So read on to find the ideal car seat table to take the stress out of taking road trips with kids! You never know, great travel trays for car seats might even reduce the number of times you’re asked ‘are we nearly there yet?’
BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY INFO
What is a car seat travel tray?
In fact, we might ask why doesn’t a rear car seat come with a tray? They are found when flying, so why don’t most cars come with tables in the backseat like on airplanes?
Some cars are fitted with them, but they’re pretty rare. Not least because they come as an optional extra on brand new cars, at a considerable additional cost. Only limited models offer the option too.
A back seat travel tray can be used in the same way as an airline one. It can hold food and a drink and be used to prop up a tablet or book for kids or adults.
A car seat travel tray for toddlers means they can have instant access to their favourite toys, keeping their lap free for that all-important soft toy or comforter. Some can also be used as a drawing board.
Are there different types of car seat travel tray?
There are three main kinds of car seat activity tray, as follows.
Strap fastening travel tray
This type of kids’ travel tray secures the child’s car seat to keep it in place. It’s ideal for toddlers and other young children, as you and they don’t have to worry about the tray staying in place.
Everything they need is within reach, but this kind probably isn’t as useful as others might be when you’re not travelling by car. Adjusting it while driving is also impossible.
Hybrid travel tray
A hybrid kids’ travel tray looks a bit like a laptop bag. The top and bottom sections can usually be separated for independent use, and have hanging straps for securing to the car seat in front.
This kind is ideal for use with a tablet or iPad, so they can read or watch a movie hands-free. Items can also be zipped away inside when it’s being moved around.
Lap travel tray
A lap travel tray is a little like a desk. Like a strap fastening one it sits suspended over the lap, but this type doesn’t have a strap for securing it to the child seat.
The advantage is that lap travel trays are easy to use elsewhere, but they are also easy to knock over. Not the best choice, therefore, where younger children are concerned.
Why do I need a car seat travel tray for my kids?
There are a number of benefits to buying an activity tray for kids to use on car trips.
Food and drinks tray
Back to the airline analogy again here. Trays for car seats are ideal for mealtimes, as there’s a flat, smooth surface to store the food on while eating.
When snack attacks strike, kids also instantly have somewhere to place their food between bites. Plus you don’t have to stop the car if you get it all set up at the start of your journey.
Most also have a cup holder, so there’s somewhere to store a water bottle or drink of juice for whenever they feel thirsty. Staying hydrated can even help to ward off motion sickness.
Some in-car trays can be drawn on and wiped clean. Various products even have fun images printed on them for added entertainment.
They provide a tablet holder and a surface for reading, sticker or activity book. Your child can even play with blocks, puzzles or other toys too.
A lot of the best car seat travel trays come with many pockets, helping to keep your vehicle’s interior clean and organised.
From pencils or pens to soft toys, puzzles, books, a drink and a tablet, there’s a proper place for everything.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY
Here are some of the key factors to consider when buying a car activity tray for kids. These include the design, durability, safety and portability of each item, as well as your budget.
The style can be important – particularly if you don’t want your child to outgrow their table as they get bigger. An appealing design is ideal for toddlers, but an older child may later resist using it as they might dismiss it as childish.
A pattern can also help to entertain young kids, however, and make that age group more keen to use it. Another design feature to look for is a surface that can be drawn upon before being wiped clean.
In the interests of safety, you may like to opt for a secure design when choosing a car seat travel tray for younger kids. Also, for kids aged three or under, check that there aren’t any small attachments that could come off and pose a choking risk.
How easy will it be to carry your lap tray around? If you plan to keep it in the car this might not matter, but if you do want to take it elsewhere or store it in your home a more compact, lightweight option will be best.
How long do you want or need the activity tray to last for? If you have younger kids, also bear in mind that you might be able to pass the product on to a younger sibling.
Remember that kids love to pull at or bash things. They’re not as careful as adults or older kids. Does the lap tray you like the look of seem to be durable enough to cope?
Features to look for mainly concern storage. What do you want to place on the tray, and is there a space for that item? Are there enough pockets and compartments, and are they of the right size and shape?
An easy clean surface is a must – as parents, we all know the mess that kids can make! A surface that is simple to shake off before giving it a quick wipe is ideal.
How much do you want to spend? Ideally, consider this in the context of how long you want the tray to last. It may be worth paying extra for something they won’t outgrow easily, or that can be passed on to a younger family member – or could even be sold as a second hand item.
BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY FOR KIDS: OUR TOP PICK
Overall, our number one car seat activity tray for kids is the Lamela product. This is because it’s waterproof and has various storage pockets. It is also durable, and the dark colour means it’s less likely to be outgrown or show signs of wear.
COMPARE THE TOP 5 BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAYS FOR KIDS
|Inchant||Strap||Raised sides, multiple pockets, wipe clean||Click here|
|Lamela||Strap||Foldable sides, sturdy pockets, waterproof||Click here|
|Lenbest||Hybrid / lap||Bag & pens included, various set-ups, in-car storage||Click here|
|Yoofan||Strap||Dry erase board & pens, folds flat for carrying||Click here|
|JoJoin||Hybrid / lap||Great value, double sided, detachable pockets||Click here|
TOP 5 BEST CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAYS
Best for – Younger children
The Inchant car seat travel tray is a multi-purpose product that is an ultra useful bit of gear for kids’ travel. It has a dry erase board on the top, so they can doodle away to their heart’s content before you wipe it clean to start over again.
Due to multiple mesh pockets inside and out, it also acts as a car seat organiser. There are 14 in all, including a cup holder, spaces for toys, a tablet holder and a whole lot more besides.
A decorated surface even has the potential to keep kids occupied for the first part of your family road trip. The best feature of all, though, for toddlers in particular are the raised sides that help to keep their items from straying and rolling under the car seats.
This is a stable, durable car seat tray that’s especially well suited to younger kids. It’s simple to install via a strap that fastens behind their car seat, suspending the tray over their lap so they can grab everything easily.
The Inchant kids’ travel tray can even be used with a high chair or stroller, so children can eat, drink, play and even learn on the go.
- Raised sides keep items contained
- Multiple pockets & holders
- Wipe clean finish
- Not the best bet for older kids
Best for – All ages
If you want something that’s aimed at a wide age range – or even a travel tray for adults – the Lamela one also provides plenty of storage. With a smart black finish, it’s one they won’t outgrow easily. Any staining or marks should also be hidden by the dark colour.
This car seat activity tray features a combination of mesh pockets and sturdier ones made from thicker fabric without holes. A tablet holder and cup holder are built into the design.
For a little one in particular, the padded front barrier is a practical tough that ensures continued comfort. Even when your family travel plans (or the Sat Nav) take you to bumpy, curving or uneven roads.
This lightweight car lap tray also fastens by means of a strap, and the waterproof surface means a split drink can easily be wiped away. The raised side walls can be folded down for storage and transportation when not in use.
- Stylish black waterproof finish
- Sturdy & mesh pockets
- Foldable raised sides
- Higher cost
Best for – In-car storage
The Lenbest travel tray for the car can be used in various ways. Like a hybrid, it can be hung on the back of the front seat by means of the strap, or it can be propped up like a lap travel tray if you prefer.
A black finish with cheery orange trim makes this ideal for kids or all ages, or even adults. Again this one won’t show up any spills or stains easily.
If you hand it from the driver or passenger seat, it can be used just like a car seat organiser for keeping all kinds of items off the car seats and floor. A tablet can be placed inside the touch screen window.
There is a shoulder strap for carrying and it also comes with a carry bag. Also included are drawing board pens and even some papers to get the kids started.
- Use as hybrid or lap tray
- Doubles up as car seat organiser
- Carry bag & pens included
- Less secure for a little one
Best for – Fold and go
As the name suggests, the Yoofan snack and play travel tray is designed for use at snack or meal times as well as for fun and activity.
It’s ideal for budding artists, as it has a large, white dry erase board top and comes complete with six pens for drawing with. The surface can then be wiped clean with a damp cloth so they can start again.
There is a tablet pocket, pen compartments, drink holder and various other places to put what they need.
A feature making this product stand out is how flat it folds for carriage and storage. It also has a shoulder strap, plus a strap so the child can carry it themselves. This one also fastens to the seat by means of another strap.
- Folds down flat for carrying
- Dry erase board plus 6 pens
- Fastens to car seat
- Fewer pockets than some
Best for – Budget buy
The JoJoin travel tray offers great value for money, and as such is a top pick for anyone on a budget. While its lifespan is more limited by the design, it’s ideal for young children.
This one is ideal for use as a hands-free tablet holder, as it can be hung via the strap to the back of the passenger or driver seat. There is a large clear pocket for this purpose.
A unique feature of this product is the fact that both sides can be used. One is plain and can be drawn on, while the other features an appealing animal design to capture young minds.
Lots of the pockets and compartments are detachable too, so it’s easy to customise this car seat travel tray to the precise needs of your child.
- Double-sided design
- Hangs from front seat
- Removable pockets
- Will soon be outgrown
CAR SEAT ACTIVITY TRAY FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding car seat travel trays.
Are car seat travel trays easy to attach?
As you can see when looking at the products, the trays are either easy to attach or don’t require this at all. A simple strap fastens to either the car seat or hangs over the headrest, so yes they are very easy to install.
Are car seat trays safe?
As we touched on earlier, it’s wise to look out for a secured design when it’s for younger kids to use. Also avoid anything that could be torn off and placed in the child’s mouth, as this could be a choking risk.
What else can I use to keep my kids’ stuff organised in the car?
A car seat back organiser is ideal for storing food, drinks, craft items, pens and paper, toys and much more. If you’re looking, why not check out this one, which even has an integral tablet holder?
FINAL THOUGHTS: WHICH CAR SEAT TRAVEL TRAY WILL YOU BUY?
We hope this guide has given you food for thought – as well as a place to keep snacks, drinks and various forms of entertainment during road trips with kids.
Investing in a car seat activity tray can make journeys so much more fun and stress-free, and these products are very affordable too!
Do you use a car seat travel tray? Which one do you have? Let us know in the comments!