When we welcomed child number three into the world in March 2015 I suddenly remembered just how much stuff babies need. Fortunately, we had kept a lot of our baby gear but I’m still finding that there are various things that could make life with the little one that little bit easier. Most recently on my “must have” baby list is a travel high chair!
Now that the littlest has passed six months, he’s ready to sit at the table with the rest of us. This is fine at home, with our trusty IKEA Antilop high chair (without doubt the best thing that IKEA has ever made!) but sadly it is not exactly transportable.
And so began my search for the perfect travel high chair. Travel highchairs, however, are a bit like travel cots. There are tons on the market that claim to be portable and easy to use but in reality they are heavy, cumbersome and a require a PhD in order to erect or dismantle them. After much research, I have narrowed my search down to six travel high chairs.
But first, here is what you need to know about choosing a Travel Highchair.
Different Types of Travel High Chairs
Booster Seats: These usually sit on top of a regular chair and are strapped on. I used this type of travel high chair with my other two children and it worked well, however I have no idea where this chair now is!
Clamp-On (or clip-on) Seats: These are seats that attach to the table edge (rather than the chair). They can look rather precarious but are actually very sturdy and safe.
Seat Harness: These are essentially strong pieces of fabric that wrap around a chair (and the baby).
Things to consider when choosing a Travel High Chair
Flexibility: You don’t need a portable high chair that is all singing, all dancing with gadgets and toys aplenty. What you need is a high chair that is going to be useful whichever chair or table you come across. You also want a travel high chair that will go the distance and last years and not just months.
Features: Important features to consider include a ‘crotch post’ to stop the baby slipping out, a safety harness of some kind (to stop them jumping out), foldability and portability. Some kind of seat adjustment option is also useful and generally means that you can use the chair for a much longer period of time as your child grows.
Packability: For me, this is one of the biggest considerations. Travelling with an infant already requires an incredible amount of stuff so I want a travel high chair that is compact, lightweight, easy to use and easy to pack.
The Travel High Chairs
The following travel high chairs are some of the best that I found on the market.
Totseat Travel High Chair
Essentially one piece of sturdy fabric, the Totseat will fit onto almost any kind of chair no matter its shape. It’s also perhaps one of the most portable travel high chairs on the market as it literally folds into a pouch that you can slip into your handbag. The seat works by slipping it over the chair back, adjusting the length and securing the clips. There’s an extra strap at the back that prevents children from slipping through the back of the chair as well as providing additional support. Children must be able to sit unaided before using the Totseat.
Pro’s: Washable, squashable, easily transportable.
Cons: You can’t adjust the height of the seat so if you have a very low chair, your child might not see over the table!
Age range: 6 – 30 months
Product weight: Approx. 360 grams
Folded dimensions: 18cm x 12cm x 4cm / 7″ x 4.7″ x 1.6″
Phil & Teds Lobster
This award-winning portable high chair, the Phil & Teds Lobster, claims to clip on to almost any table or bench top. It’s lightweight (just 4lbs) and folds easily into a flat shape making it easy to pack. There’s a 4-point padded harness to keep wriggly children under control and it cleans easily. The “lobster claws” that attach the seat to the table are strong with rubber grips. The lobster also comes with a tray although users have said that because the tray doesn’t lock to the chair it is not very useful.
Pro’s: Very transportable and lightweight. Sturdy and safe.
Cons: It doesn’t work on tables with a lip.
Age range: 6 months – 3 years (max. weight 37lbs)
Product weight: 1.8kg / 3.9lbs
Folded dimensions: 35 x 34 x 8cm / 14” x 13” x 3”
Inglesina Fast Table Chair
This portable high chair is also a clip on kind but unlike the Phil & Teds, the Inglesina also works on tables with lips. It’s easy to use and has a lifted backrest and a firm seat for the baby to sit on. Some users have said that the seat is not very easy to clean but the cover is removable (maybe because the instructions say it must be washed by hand?). Otherwise the Inglesina has had great reviews. The chair folds down flat and comes with its own carry bag.
Pro’s: Works on any table up to 3.5” thick, sturdy and safe, easy to use.
Cons: Not very easy to clean
Age range: 6 months – 37lbs
Product weight: 1.9kg / 4.2lbs
Folded dimensions: 35 x 43 x 10cm / 14” x 17” x 4”
Munchkin Fold’n Go Travel Booster
The Fold’n Go travel high chair is like a little seat that straps onto a chair. It’s sturdy, although probably not as sturdy as the clip on seats, which might be something to consider if you have a very active child (even though it does come with a 3 point safety harness). It is compact and lightweight and fits onto any chair. It’s also easy to use and easy to clean.
Pro’s: Works on any chair, unfolds and folds in seconds, easy to pack.
Cons: It’s lightweight and so probably not suitable for very wiggly children as it only has a 3 point safety harness.
Age range: 6 months – 40lbs
Product weight: 0.9kg / 2lbs
Folded dimensions: 35 x 43 x 10cm / 11.6” x 11.6” x 14”
Baby Polar Gear Go Anywhere Booster Seat
Another booster seat that straps onto any chair is the Go Anywhere Booster Seat. It’s very lightweight (it weighs just 1.5lbs), easy to use and folds into its very own messenger bag. It features a five-point safety harness (essential given how lightweight it is) and there are three sets of adjustable straps to secure the seta to a chair. The material wipes clean easily. This is also the only folding booster seat that complies with ASTM standards (the American Society for Testing and Materials).
Pro’s: Works on any chair, unfolds and folds in seconds, complies with ASTM standards, has an excellent safety harness.
Cons: I can’t think of any other than that if your child is younger (or smaller) they will not be sitting very high at the table.
Age range: 6 months – 33lbs
Product weight: 0.6kg / 1.5lbs
Folded dimensions: 35 x 43 x 10cm / 12” x 4.5” x 11”
Mountain Buggy Pod Portable High Chair
This clip on high chair from Mountain Buggy is very lightweight (just 2.2lbs) and folds flat into a carry tote that can even fit into a large nappy / diaper bag. It’s easy to use, all you have to do is secure the chair to a table using the screw on clamps and it’s very sturdy. The frame is made of aluminium and the clamps are covered in thick non-slip rubber so the chair won’t move…or leave a mark on the table. The chair can clamp onto tables with a small lip but it can only be used with tables that are less than 1.8” in thickness. Another downside is that the fabric can not be removed from the frame making it harder to clean (the material can be wiped down, however).
Pro’s: Very lightweight and easy to use, sturdy and safe, can be used on tables with a lip.
Cons: It can only be used on tables that are less than 1.8” thick. The material can not be removed from the frame making it harder to wash.
Age range: 3 months – 33lbs (but the child must be able to sit on their own)
Product weight: 1kg / 2.2lbs
Folded dimensions: 35 x 43 x 10cm / 12.2” x 13.4” x 1.6”
The truth is, I still can’t decide which one to buy. I used a booster seat with my oldest two children and it worked really well. But there’s something about the clip on travel chairs that I really like, mostly it’s the fact that your baby can sit at the table with you and see everyone. But then all the clip on chairs that I’ve found each have their flaws (as well as their plus points!). Are there any from this list that you have used? Are there any that I have missed? I would love to hear your recommendations! Please leave your thoughts below.
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