One of the things that we at the TacoHut have found invaluable is the Car-Seat Luggage Strap. It’s a great little invention that allows you to attach a forward facing car-seat onto rolling carry-on luggage.

However, these straps cost upwards of $15 if you buy them, which I thought was a little steep for what amounts to 2′ of nylon webbing and a few D-rings.  So, as a crafty fellow who’s also a cheapskate, I made my own.  And then, recently, I made another.

It’s a pretty easy thing to make.  Really, all you need is a strong loop of material, and 3 attachment points.  For my first one, I really over-thought it.  I was too married to the idea that nylon webbing HAD to be the material.  Even so, the whole project cost less than $6 to put together.  For this version, what you’ll need is about 2 feet of 1″ Nylon webbing, a 1″ double adjustable parachute buckle, and 3 D-rings.  Run the nylon webbing through the parachute buckle so that it forms a loop (run each end of the nylon webbing through each end of the buckle).  Now, put the three D-rings on the loop that you made.  If your D-rings are small, you might have to put them on the loop before securing one of the ends to the buckle.

And boom, you’re done.  You probably will also want to secure your webbing ends so that they don’t run back through the buckle if you hit a big bump.  I used a little masking tape to make sure they stayed at an angle where they wouldn’t slip through the buckle.

Not pretty, but very functional.

To use it, all you need to do is put your car-seat on one side of the luggage, and this on the other side.  Then, you attach each of the anchor hooks of the car-seat to one of the D-rings on the strap. Like so:

Tighten all the anchor straps and you’re good to go!

There IS a toddler in that car-seat, but he’s a ninja.

The strap is plenty strong for holding even with a toddler in the seat.  You may want to make sure your luggage is going to be strong enough to take the extra weight though.  We’ve used this little gizmo for two years now and it’s a big space saver when it comes to traveling.  Since we have to take a car-seat with us anyway (both for on the plane and in the car when we get somewhere) it’s a handy way to avoid having to bring a stroller, which we typically have lined up already at our destination so bringing one is redundant.

Anyway, last weekend TacoMa’am was telling her sister about this handy-dandy strap.  I was volunteered to make another one and I figured that with my new surplus of 550 paracord that I could whip something up for less money than the first one.  So, I took 3 D-rings and slipped them on a 3′ section of paracord then tied the ends together with a triple fisherman’s bend. Really, the triple was over-kill, but I really didn’t want it failing when my sister-in-law loaded the knot down with a child.  For practical purposes, the double fisherman’s bend* is probably sufficient.

I’ll post up a picture of the new “strap” later, as I don’t have it on my computer yet and I’m too lazy to hook the memory card up for transferring it right now.  Comparitively, this paracord version cost about half.  It was roughly $3 for the D-rings, and it used about 15 cents worth of paracord.  Unfortunately the D-rings do not work so well when not using Nylon strap, so next time I’m thinking it would be better to use circular rings.  Or possibly some small carabiners.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

*If you don’t know how to do the double fisherman’s bend, go and learn how to do it right now.  It’s one of the most important knots and you need to know it.  Even if you never use it, you need to know it.

UPDATE: Here’s the picture of the new strap:

As you can see, it’s much as I described it, a circle of cord with three rings.

I posted a step-by-step guide on making a strap out of paracord here.