Mom’s Review: Best Portable High Chair For Baby

Portable high chair spells portable convenience. In dealing with a baby to a toddler, they’ll save you buckets of sweat!

So let’s say you are dinning out with a hyperactive baby and asked the restaurant for a high chair. You’ll be given a beaten-up plastic high stool; with all that invisible baby vomit and germs at every nook and cracks. You might have thought that you don’t have a choice?

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That is where the best portable high chairs must come to the rescue! So as you see, there are lots of models, features and brands out there; but they aren’t created equal. Be practical and safety –conscious when choosing the best portable high chairs. Do not be swayed by the marketing hype but instead, be wise and be informed!

** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon

Understanding Portable High Chairs

feeding highchair for baby

A portable high chair is your second trusty baby chair whenever your baby is eating out or during travels. Nothing can compare with the stability of your old sturdy high chair at home, yet they are not as easy to carry around.

Likewise, there are only a handful of restaurants that has a spare high chair to offer. What disgusts me is thinking that these baby stools are rarely sanitized. They are usually just wiped clean like the usual restaurant chair, so gross!

So it looks like you’d rather shell out a few dollars than sacrifice baby’s health and safety with all that germs and unsafe chairs? Then read on.

New high chairs for babies have evolved. Latest baby high chairs nowadays come in all shapes, size and weights. They can be as bulky as a cushioned chair, as thin as a camping stool or even as small as a mini-purse!

These new portable high chairs are so nifty, they can easily be folded into the car trunk and even fit into a diaper bag! Just like how a nursery glider makes every feeding time so much easier, a portable high chair makes eating out a little bit less of a hassle. Let me give you a head’s up on what to look for a portable high chair that is worth your money:

1. Size and weight

highchair for feeding

What’s the use of carrying a portable high chair during trips when it is so heavy? In terms of weight, a portable high chair must be not as heavy as a usual chair. Just consider trotting around with a diaper bag and baby in tow.

Consider how big is your car trunk and how many pounds can you conveniently carry if you’ll go walking with a baby on your other hand. Can you make do with a portable one without wheels, trays or heavy seats? I cannot stress this even further than to say that, the smaller and lighter portable high chair is the best choice anywhere.

2. Baby’s weight and activity

baby on highchair

Take note of your baby’s developmental stage and readiness before putting him on a high chair. It is recommended that a baby may safely use a high chair only when he can already sit on his own. This happens at approximately 6-8 months of age. If your baby is a little bit on the heavy side and bigger for his age, he might outgrow his high chair in a few months.

Likewise, a hyperactive toddler might fight to break free from a high chair. In this case, buying a thin chair might risk his safety, as he can easily topple over when he is flimsy. Take your baby’s comfort into consideration. Is the harness snug yet flexible, will it not cause him compression injuries when he get bigger? Will he feel chained at one position or can he freely move?

Just remember, a baby that feels restrained will hardly tolerate sitting down for long. Does it have a foot rest or baby’s feet will simply dangle in the air? If he fell asleep in this, will he not topple over?

3. Safety features of the portable high chair

cute baby on highchair

Be warned that with portable high chairs, there are lots of knock offs and counterfeits at the internet. Be wary of purchasing from unauthorized sellers, especially if the price is too low.

Since this is one item that must give you peace of mind, buy only from a trusted seller or outlet. Check the product for authenticity and buy only those brands that have been recommended as safe by other parents.

Personally, I’d rather not recommend some brands that are hook-on or more commonly called as table chairs. Instead of being fastened to the chair, these high chairs are clamped into the table.

There are lots of reliable brands selling hook-on seats but my reservation lies on its limitations. With these type of seats, baby will sit while suspended in the air while his little feet is dangling below. You can only use this model for certain tables that are not rounded and with smooth table edges. Also, they are not suitable for heavy or older babies.

Before purchase, test for yourself how efficient is its harness. Is it child-proof enough? Will your little one’s fingers not get caught inside? Use your instinct and compare.

4. Can it be cleaned?

Let’s face it, small babies make a large mess! Your portable high chair but not contain lots of unreachable crevices and holes. Its parts must at least be detachable or can be hosed and air dried.

Add a plus point if your chair has a removable tray that can be loaded into the dishwasher or fabrics that are machine washable. We wary of purchasing a chair with intricate and electronically operated parts.

Before purchase, consider for a moment if what you are buying can stand the test of vomits, poops, fruit stains and dirt. Stay away from seats that are “spot-cleaned” only.

My Recommended Best Portable High Chairs For Baby

Choosing a portable high chair is indeed not a simple matter! Out of a hundred brands out there, only a few can satisfy parents in terms of combined portability, safety and comfort. Your chosen on-the-go high chair must make your mealtimes with your baby at the restaurant or the park easier. You can prevent purchase trial and error and hit the bull’s eye at first buy. To do just that, here are my recommended portable high chair brands:

1.Ciao! baby Portable Highchair, Sage

Via Amazon.com

Ciao! Baby portable travel high chair is an easy fold and pop chair for your picnic needs, no assembly needed. This is my recommended high chair for camping, background barbecue or beach trips.

Intended for babies who can sit up on their own, it is flexible and sturdy enough to accommodate a child up to 3 years old. Outdoor locations don’t always have a sturdy chair so you’ll need a baby seat that can stand on its own. I appreciate how simple this chair unfolds, locks and folds back up; such a no-brainer.

This one piece necessity weighs just over 8 lbs., though not the lightest, it is definitely the most weather-proof of this batch.Made of canvas all over, you can easily hose down the whole seat, then air dry it under the sun. It has a clear vinyl tray and cup holder that can easily be wiped clean. That being said, the only downside to this chair is this tray. It slants and what’s in the tray will always end up a few minutes later at baby’s lap.

 All in all, this chair will be useful for years, despite this minor drawback. It is durable enough and can withstand the rain, mud and baby’s spilt food. Ciao! Have yet to create the perfect portable high chair, yet for the meantime, this one will do!

Pros

Cons

  • The tray can slant inward, you’ll run the risk of having all the food slide off the tray into baby’s lap.

2. Totseat seat harness

Via Amazon.com

Can you imagine having a portable baby seat right inside your diaper bag? If you have not yet seen the Totseat, it is just as small as your purse, not another brand can easily beat that!

Totseat is my recommended go-to seat for parents who already got a handful. Just throw it in your bag and you’ll have a reliable baby seat anywhere. There are other recent knock-offs that have endeavored to copy Totseat’s design but I’ll suggest that you settle with the original.

As small and handy as this baby seat looks, it is CAPT certified (Child Accident Prevention Trust). It just means that the manufacturers have taken a great deal of thought on making this item safe for your child.

Out of the box (or pouch), this child seat is all fabric. It will take at least three tries to be able to figure out how to tie this seat to chairs. Once you got the hang of it, you can easily strap this to most seats with back support.

While I totally admire its versatility and compact feature there are some disadvantages with this design as well. It has no seat padding and is not adjustable. Baby will be at level with mom and dad while seated, although you can put some bulky pillows underneath so that baby’s height is adjusted.

Chic, light, low cost and convenient, I would recommend without reservations this portable baby seat. This is just right for parents who have no room for a bigger high seat. This serves the purpose and is comfortable enough. Just make sure to fix this chair harness well, choose a sturdy seat, and that’s it!

Pros

Cons

  • The lightest child seat on this batch. In terms of portability and compactness this one is the ultimate winner!
  • Durable and everything is machine washable. This seat harness is even certified safe by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT).
  • You’ll need a sturdy chair with even back support to attach this harness, as this can’t stand on its own.

3. Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat

Via Amazon.com

Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster seat is made for parents who appreciate a peaceful dining experience, while the baby is seated at the same restaurant table. Perfect for eating out, this portable booster chair is a welcome alternative from unclean restaurant baby high seats.

Equipped with a removable tray and cup holder, everything is molded smooth to prevent accumulation of food bits. Aside from being able to fit with most chairs, what I love about this seat is the ability to adjust its height. It will be useful since sitting at the chair; baby’s head can barely reach the table with other booster high seat brands.

Even the tray is adjustable, so that you can move it a bit more to the baby, preventing food spills in the process.When folded, this portable high seat is light and can be carried with one hand. This works well with most flat or wooden chairs.

Just fasten it well and you can enjoy a nice and quiet meal with baby on his own seat. Its three-point-harness is secured enough. Baby will find a hard time getting up or climbing out.

This portable high chair promotes independence, particularly because baby will feel like a grown-up, having his own seat. Its trays are also handy to practice self-feeding. This chair is a wise choice and is a good value for your money.

Pros

Cons

  • The height is adjustable in three levels.
  • The tray is removable and dishwasher-safe. This is also the lightest booster high seat on its class..
  •  This tiny seat is perfect for thin kids or those that are less than 1 year old. If your baby is overweight or is over 25 lbs., the seat will seem small and feel uncomfortable.

4. Mamas & Papas Baby Bud

Via Amazon.com

This booster seat is the bulkiest of this batch. Its weight is its downside, yet this particular flaw makes this booster seat the most durable, sturdy and comfortable among this batch.

You might look a little silly carrying this large seat to the restaurant, yet it has its own merits. If your child is more on the hyperactive side that the usual, then this booster seat is the best restraint for him.

The three-point-harness keeps your little cowboy secured while he is imitating those stunts at mealtimes. This makes for a blissful meal, feeling secured because this seat will not wobble or slip off.

It will even sit well on the floor on its own. Just give baby some toys and strap him in for a quiet afternoon.Beyond its portable feature, some parents even opt to use this booster seat to replace their conventional high chairs at home.

Convenient, heavy and safe; this can be fastened to just about any flat seat. This one is also easy to clean. There isn’t any cloth part, so no need to wash it separately in the washing machine. There are no hidden crevices for spoiled food. The whole chair can easily be wiped in a few seconds.

As said, the only misgivings that I can discuss about this chair are its bulk and weight. Yes, it is still small enough as a portable seat, yet it is the biggest in this batch. It is also heavy yet it will fix secured at any chair. Its size is its charm since this one is what your big and hyperactive toddler needs at mealtime.

Pros

Cons

  • This booster is has ample cushion and is more comfortable than the others.
  • The seat is wide enough for a 3 year old, yet is accommodating and secured enough for a six-month old baby. 
  • Bigger and bulkier than the first three seat choices above. It also doesn’t fold as compared to the others.

Conclusion

The best way to save money is to purchase the best quality of portable high chairs to suit your need. Do not just decide based on its appearance. Do not buy the cheapest brands as you can never predict if they will hold up well.

I would also advise against buying the most expensive brands. It is not practical. Better purchase those that are mid-priced yet tried and tested brands. As with buying a car seat or a co-sleeper, safety is of outmost priority when buying a portable high seat. Be wise and discerning. After all, your child deserves the best and safest that the market can bring.

Sarah Morgan
 

Chief editor of WellBeingKid.com and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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