Going on long trips with small kids can be a nightmare for many parents. You’ve probably been there at some point or another and can empathize.
If they are not big enough to use a cell phone and your car does not have a movie player, your child might start to get restless mere minutes into the trip.
Solo trips can be especially stressful because there is very little to occupy the child’s mind. As more children get added to the back seat, the problems can begin to add up to quite a distraction for the driver, which can create obvious dangers on the road.
A car seat travel tray can help alleviate a lot of problems associated with traveling in the car with children. It can keep your child entertained for many hours and can hold items like snacks and cleaning towels.
1. BO Innovation Kids Travel Tray
This kids travel tray by BO Innovation is a great place to start your search for the perfect travel trey. This model features a large, sturdy table seventeen inches across and more than 12 inches deep.
A high-quality 900D Gucci nylon material provides a sturdy but soft and flexible tabletop which also features a captivating child-friendly animal kingdom design.
The material is extremely durable and washes easily. Extra-long straps allow this travel tray to be compatible with any baby or toddler seat.
The detachable mesh pockets feature a button design for easy removal and cleaning. The multi-pocket design has plenty of space for crayons or other accessories and also includes a cupholder.
The entire travel trey is very light and only weighs a little over two pounds.
The only real negative about this product is that the desk covering does not come off to allow for a good cleaning of spills. Some consumers have also complained that this travel tray is a bit too cumbersome to install.
2. Kidsmarter Toddler Car Seat Travel Tray
The Kidsmarter Toddler Car Seat Travel Tray is the perfect travel tray for entertaining your kids on the go. It features an attractive blue design and weighs just a little over one pound.
This travel tray features four high walls to keep toys, crayons, and food from rolling off onto the floor. The sides are sturdy and won’t collapse onto the play area.
The sides feature large removable pockets that are large enough to hold drinks and crayons, and they clean easily. The walls that border the travel tray also feature small mesh pockets perfect for snacks and other small items.
The Kidsmarter travel tray also includes a two in one activity board that is a magnetic drawing board one side and a chalkboard on the other. This extra feature is sure to add to the entertainment value of this travel tray for your child.
The biggest complaint about this travel tray is that it doesn’t fit well over large car seats and the strap can be restrictive for some children. The front wall is also challenging to see over for a small number of users.
3. Modfamily Kids E-Z Travel Lap Desk Tray
The Kids E-Z Travel Lap Desk Tray is a lightweight and simple solution to the travel tray problem.
This travel tray features a foam and plastic insert to provide your child with a firm and flat surface to write and draw on.
It features a larger-than-most surface area to play on, which will help keep your child entertained for several hours at a time.
The E-Z Travel Lap Desk Tray uses an improved design that provides zipper protected expandable storage large enough to hold a notebook or an iPhone Tablet. Four sturdy but low-profile edges keep crayons and food from rolling on to the floor, and a place is built into the desktop to hold a drink cup.
This travel tray also has convenient straps to easily carry the desk tray like a backpack for secure hands-free transportation.
A big complaint that accompanies this travel tray is the side pockets. Many people complain that they can become unattached if there are too many items placed in them at any one time. Others complain that there is not enough storage space or pockets.
4. Kids Backseat Organizer
The Kids Backseat Organizer is designed to hang from the seat in front of the child.
This travel tray is 100% lead-free and features plenty of highly-adjustable components that are designed to create the perfect fit for your child.
The hanging system allows you to adjust the height of the tray as well as the seatback angle. You can also move the seat forward or backward to create the perfect experience for your child. Since the travel tray is hanging, the child can get out of the car with the tray in place.
The Backseat Organizer is built to last and provides reinforced backing for handles and straps. The drawing surface is made extra strong to take any abuse your child will dish out. It also provides plenty of pocket space large enough to hold a Kindle or Tablet and still have plenty of room for crayons, drinks, snacks, and toys.
The organizer folds up neatly and provides a handy over the shoulder carrying strap for easy transportation into the home or another vehicle.
The chief complaint about The Backseat Organizer is that the cover over the tray is not removable and the fabric is not waterproof. Spills can easily lead to a stained, and possibly even a warped unit as liquids are allowed to pass through the material to the board inside without any way to clean it later.
There are also many complaints that the zipper is too small and flimsy to close the Organizer.
5. Premium Panda Kids Car Seat Travel Tray
This tray features a touch screen friends iPad or Tablet holder so that your child can watch videos on long trips. It even features an opening for headphone so you can enjoy a quiet ride while your child listens to their favorite shows in high fidelity.
The travel tray zips up neatly for easy carrying and storage when not in use. The Tablet holder is removable and can hang on the wall or the front seat for viewing by multiple children at once.
Large side pockets are big enough to hold plenty of toys and snacks for your ride. They also feature Velcro on the inside to help keep everything in place during bumpy rides or between uses.
The Premium Panda Travel Tray is designed to fit around any car seat. Made from very durable Oxford Polyester this travel tray is waterproof and designed to last for many years.
The primary complaint surrounding the Premium Panda Travel Tray is that the zipper gets in the way of adequately hanging the top part that holds the Tablet. Many say that the zipper is flimsy and not up to the task.
6. Kids Car Seat Travel Lap Tray
The Kids Car Seat Travel Lap Tray by Comfy Outings is an excellent example of how a simple design can provide what you need.
This Lap Try features a large play area that is fifteen inches wide by twelve inches deep.
This travel lap tray is sturdy and flat and will not bend or sag over time and is perfect for drawing, coloring, or eating. This tray features a long adjustable strap that easily buckles around your child and provides a stable play area while driving.
The travel tray can double as a messenger bag and provide access to crayons, snacks, and toys while not in the car. It is large enough to store notebooks and other large items.
The Kids Travel Tray uses durable materials that are easy to clean. Unzip the tray to remove the foam and a plastic insert and the rest of the unit is machine washable. Machine washing is a trait not shared by many of the competing car seat travel trays.
The tray also features four low profile border walls that are firm and will not collapse to keep crayons and food from rolling off the desk and onto your floor. There is also a deep cup holder built into the play tray for convenience and to reduce spillage.
The bad part about this Comfy Outings travel tray is that it does not fit all car seats. Many users complain that the armrests on their child’s car seat prevented the desk from sitting flat and providing a level surface to play on.
7. Kids Travel Tray Bag with Erasable Surface
This high-quality travel tray is designed to convert into a travel bag to allow you to carry it around and store items inside.
The unit uses high-quality premium nylon with reinforced stitching in its construction designed for years of hard use.
The tray comes with a built-in erase board for your child to draw on and it comes with a complete set of non-toxic crayons so your child can get started immediately. It also features clear multi-pockets with touch-screen viewer windows to store a cell phone and tablets up to ten inches tall for hands-free entertainment.
The only bad reviews received about this product is that the zippers are somewhat flimsy and are hard to use and prone to breaking.
As you can see, there are plenty of fantastic car seat travel trays available to you.
The one you will choose will need to take your child’s specific needs and situation into account.
For us, the BO Innovation Kids Travel Tray is at the top of the list. The tray is lightweight, made of quality material, and there’s plenty of space and room for adjustment.
Overall, it checked more boxes than the others. That said, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the trays we’ve reviewed.
Best of luck!