The 8 Best Travel Trays

Updated November 09, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

8 Best Travel Trays
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. It's always those moments when you can't have your eyes on your child 100% of the time that they find a way to wreak havoc, such as in the backseat of your car. Keep your little one well fed and amused without making a mess whenever you're away from home with one of these travel trays. They can fit onto most car seats or stand on their own to provide a space for toys, crayons, food, and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best travel tray on Amazon.

8. Disney Playground Pals

The Disney Playground Pals is made from solid plastic that can be rinsed off easily in the event of any spills. It has four separated areas to hold snacks, toys, drawing supplies, and more, and can stand on its own or be placed over your child's seat for versatility.
  • image won't scratch or peel off
  • not wide enough for some car seats
  • plastic snaps under pressure
Brand Disney
Model 64760
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Munchkin 23203

The Munchkin 23203 is beloved by parents because of its ergonomic design that attaches to most car seats or can be held easily in your child's lap. It's a fairly basic option that features a well for a cup or its included snack holder.
  • comfortable cushioned bottom
  • colorful cartoon design
  • clip for attachment is flimsy
Brand Munchkin
Model 23203
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. ZoomKit Activity System

The ZoomKit Activity System is a lightweight but sturdy grab-and-go option that has storage space for toys and games. Its lid snaps securely closed to prevent things from falling out while in transport, and it also has a convenient drinks holder.
  • legs pop on and off easily
  • internal compartment is removable
  • attachment strap is not adjustable
Brand ZoomKIT
Model 600 Fuschia
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Babys Ahead Multi-Purpose

The Babys Ahead Multi-Purpose is great for the car because it has a full wraparound border, so things won't fall off if you accelerate or brake quickly. It can be flattened for storage and has a convenient strap for seat attachment that can also be used for carrying.
  • detachable side pockets
  • lip is soft and flexible
  • cupholder is a bit too shallow
Brand Babys Ahead
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Skip Hop Style Driven

For the budget-minded parent, the Skip Hop Style Driven is an inexpensive option that doesn't sacrifice on quality or functionality. It features a removable plastic insert that's easy to clean and protects its surface, and its hard sides are cushioned for comfort.
  • great for drawing
  • faux-leather matches car interiors
  • doesn't stay in place very well
Brand Skip Hop
Model 282550
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Driving with Kids 23

The Driving with Kids 23 creates a sturdy, flat surface on which kids can eat and play on road trips. It's a great way to keep them entertained so you can focus on driving. Its rugged construction will last from one child to another over years of heavy use.
  • useful separated mesh pockets
  • designed to fit inside booster seats
  • bottom could be a bit more rigid
Brand Driving With Kids
Model DWK#0023
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

2. My Specialty Kids Backseat Organizer

Thanks to its airplane tray table-inspired design that attaches to the back of your car's front seats, the My Specialty Kids Backseat Organizer can be conveniently closed out of the way when it's not in use. It features four internal pockets and a clear outer sleeve.
  • outer pocket holds tablets securely
  • easy to transport when closed
  • designed for kids ages 3 and up
Brand My Specialty Kids Shop
Model pending
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. DMoose Toddler TT-1

The DMoose Toddler TT-1 offers plenty of room to eat, draw, and more, plus it has high sides, so things won't slide off when you turn. It features smartly integrated mesh pockets and elastic bands along its perimeter to keep drinks, snacks, and supplies in place.
  • bottom won't sag or buckle
  • waterproof tpu coating
  • backed by a lifetime guarantee
Brand DMoose
Model TT-1
Weight 14.9 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Keeping The Kids Happy On The Go

Childless adults may look askance at the parent who boards a plane with a bag overflowing with activities for their child, perhaps wondering if that plethora of books, the multiple boxes of crayons and pencils, and the many toys and snacks aren't perhaps excessive. But what the experienced parent knows is that when it comes to traveling with kids, the old maxim that "Peace at any price is no peace at all" goes right out the window. The savvy parent will go to extreme lengths to ensure a travel experience is calm and quiet, and those traveling near the family should appreciate the efforts of anyone so doing.

Long distance travel with small children can be a harrowing experience, and a bad travel experience can sour the entire vacation, the holidays or the visit with relatives. Whether you and your young child (or children) are traveling via automobile, rail, or airplane, if you are going to be underway for many hours, you will need to plan ahead to make the trip as stress free, and potentially even pleasant, as possible. For indeed if a child "decides" to throw a tantrum while you are traveling, there is no chance for you to take him or her out of the situation to calm down; you'll have to ride out the storm.

When planning for long distance travel with your little ones, you must first, of course, account for all the child's actual needs. That means ensuring you bring with you or have ready access to plenty of foods and beverages that your child will actually eat without protest. Smart travel also means bringing along items your child finds engaging and that, ideally, with which he or she can engage on their own and in relative quiet. (Examples of this are coloring books, lacing cards, and dolls or action figures.) And it means having any specialty items -- certainly including medicines -- such as a backup pair of glasses, a special toy or gift as a reward or incentive for good behavior, or a special comfort item close at hand.

One of the best ways to help a child stay calm and amused during travel goes beyond just providing them things with which to play and engage, but involves providing them their own personal play space. This can be achieved using a good travel tray.

Choosing A Travel Tray For Play And Learning

As you consider which travel tray will be right for your child, consider a few of his or her favorite activities, and use those as the starting point for your review. If you have a young artist in your family, then you should choose a travel tray with a firm, solid top that can stand up to the pressure of a pencil tip, a pen's nib, or a flurry of crayons bearing down onto it. Some travel trays -- particularly those that fold up the flattest -- have softer, flexible surfaces, and while these are fine for many purposes, they are not ideal for the graphic artist, as it were.

On the other hand, many travel trays that do feature those softer, more pliant surfaces are a great idea for use with smaller kids who might tend to flail their arms about a bit more wildly.

Always consider features beyond the surface of the travel tray itself, looking for units with pockets that might accommodate the type of toy or size of book your child likes, for example, and for those with walls around their perimeters that can prevent objects from rolling off.

And don't forget about your own needs, too: some travel trays fold up for remarkably easy transport and storage, while others tend to be bulkier and less convenient for the parent or nanny who has to install, remove, and carry the units. And make sure to check airline, rail, and other travel policies before you assume it will be OK to use a travel tray en route.

Choosing A Travel Tray For Mess Free Dining

Children tend to be messy when they eat. This is especially true for infants and toddlers, and it remains true for children well into their preschool and elementary school years. The lack of refined dexterity when it comes to using utensils and the lack of a general interest in attempting to be a neat and clean diner combine to create plenty of spills, smears, and general disarray.

Eating without making a mess can be all the more difficult for any of us when we are attempting to dine off of a tray folded down at a seat on an airplane or are eating off of our laps in a car, a bus, or on a train. This is especially true for a child predisposed to messiness in the first place.

A travel tray is a great way to serve your child his or her meal as it keeps the foods in easy reach of their hands and close to their mouths. Many travel trays also have attachments that feature multiple different sections, which can be perfect for dividing different foodstuffs up for easy eating and for preventing items like peas or berries from rolling away.

Many travel trays are made of plastic and can easily be wiped clean after a meal, which is another benefit when you are away from home. The easier the post meal cleanup process, the better. Using your family's own travel tray also helps to prevent your child from touching lots of potentially unsafe, unsanitary surfaces.

A travel tray is also a great "life hack" for a child's mealtime even at home or at a friend or relative's residence. On those occasions where your kid will be eating on the couch or when he or she is in a chair but can't quite reach the table, a travel tray provides them their very own dining spot even when you're not actually traveling.

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Last updated on November 09, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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