We did a bunch of research and decided our key criteria were:
- Lightweight: We’ll be lugging this on our outings,
- Compact: Bulky and thick options would not be ideal,
- Low-fuss: Hopping in and out of cars means we can’t be spending too much time fussing with the contraption,
- Durable: It has to tolerate unexpected drops and scuffs, and
- Safe: Last but not least!
The first thing we seriously considered was an inflatable, like the BubbleBum. Less than 1 pound, folds up compactly and consistently rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
But we became skeptical about the durability: some reviewers have reported air leaks. Having owned a few inflatable bathtubs, we were pretty familiar with this problem. Moreover, in practice we’d have to keep it inflated during outings to avoid having to inflate and deflate all the time. So there goes the compactness benefit.
We ended up with the mifold Grab-and-Go, a brilliantly designed folding booster seat. At first glance, it doesn’t look like it actually “boosts” your child. But a booster seat’s main function is to actually bring the seatbelt safely across your child’s lap and shoulder: that’s what the mifold Grab-and-Go does.
This has been fantastic for walking around the city and hopping in the back of a car. They come in a variety of colors, and when we’re not traveling, they fit in the car door pockets / compartments. It’s a perfect way to have an extra booster seat when we give a ride to a friend’s kid!