Because parenting doesn't come with a guide
New Moms November 8, 2018

How To Choose The Best Portable High Chair

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You are in the market for a portable high chair. Perhaps you have a small apartment and a big, bulky, traditional high chair just wouldn’t fit in. Or perhaps you are on the go often and need something portable for restaurants, grandma’s house or traveling.

Whatever your reason for needing a travel high chair, this is how you choose one that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

  • Make sure the portable high chair that you are choosing is easy to use. Whether you are choosing the high chair to dine out in restaurants or home, you will want something that is quick and easy to set up. When a baby is hungry, there is no explaining to that baby that it will only take a minute to set up the chair.
  • Always consider the chair, table or countertop compatibility. If you choose a hook-on chair like the Inglesina below, you will never be able to use it on glass top tables. Flimsy foldable tables will also be out of the question. Wooden tables are usually great but some tables have fancy edges, which means the hook-on chair will not fit properly. Also, consider the chair you are using. Some wrap-around travel chairs are not compatible with high-back dining chairs.
  • Straps should be safe and secure. Most portable high chairs have an adjustable 3 point harness to secure your baby. Do make sure that those clasps and clips are always in working order. Consider that for a baby who can somehow unstrap themselves, it’s a long way down to the floor.
  • Consider your lifestyle before you buy. If you are buying a portable high chair to use at grandma’s house, or simply to have in the car for “in case,” you probably don’t need a very expensive one. You are likely to just need something that is fairly easy to set up at any table and chair. If you are buying a travel high chair for travel, you don’t want something bulky. You are probably overloaded as it is, so you will need something that is really compact and easy to use. However, if you are buying a portable high chair for home use, you will need something that is sturdy, reliable, easy to clean and ready for use whenever you need it.

Below is a list of the most popular portable high chairs and travel high chairs. To help you make an informed decision, you will find the most important features, product compliments, and complaints from real parents.

Summer Infant Pop and Sit Portable Booster

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What parents are saying about the Summer Infant Booster Chair

  • It’s lightweight. You can set it up really quickly.
  • The tray is detachable and dishwasher safe.
  • You can use it anywhere – indoors and outdoors. It’s great for using on the go.
  • The tray can be really annoying to attach or detach because of the locking mechanism.
  • If your baby is on the heavy side – 20lbs and over, this might not work because your baby may be able to flip it over. This is a common complaint.
  • Some parents complain that the buckles are awkward and the chair itself is just not sturdy enough.
  • There is no locking mechanism to keep the chair down.

Summer Infant Pop and Sit Portable Highchair

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What parents are saying about the Summer Infant Portable High Chair

  • Incredibly convenient. You can use this from the time your baby is 6 months to 3 years, but several parents complain that the leg openings are too small. If your kid is over 20lbs, their legs won’t fit through the leg openings.
  • It is machine washable. It’s great for the outdoors, camping or backyard bbq.
  • It has a 3-point harness. It’s easy to use, it’s lightweight and easy to store.
  • The tray is very small.
  • Everyone loves that it’s very stable, but to ensure stability, the legs of this portable high chair go far out. This can be great for camping and outdoors but if you have limited space in your kitchen or dining room, you may be tripping over it.

Inglesina Hook-on Chair

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What parents are saying about the Inglesina Hook-on chair

  • You have to assemble this before you can use it. Parents say it works really great but the set up takes a few minutes, which can be a hassle if you have to do it before every meal.
  • It’s heavy duty and sturdy. It folds well and it’s machine washable, but you can usually just wipe it down if it is not too dirty. However, food does go into the crevices and cracks and those may be harder to clean.
  • You can use it anywhere – camping, picnic tables, in restaurants, etc.
  • Using it on wooden tables is usually not a problem. You may experience varying levels of success if you are using it on metal tables because some tables have weird support structures under them that may prevent this portable high chair from hooking on properly.
  • Several parents complain that there is a big gap between the baby and the table that you hook onto. As a result, food gets dropped onto the chair and the floor.
  • This portable high chair has “arms” that hook onto the table, but food tends to get under the arms and you need to remove the portable high chair completely to get it cleaned, which can be quite a chore.
  • While this works great for younger babies, some parents complain that older babies are able to get out by themselves, despite being strapped in.

Ciao! Baby Portable High Chair

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What parents are saying about the Ciao Baby Portable High Chair

  • Very sturdy and durable. It folds up easily and it’s very light.
  • The tray is easy to clean.
  • Nice and portable to use anywhere – restaurants or traveling.
  • One big design flaw several parents complain about is that once you put your child into the seat, everything that was previously on the try, is now in your child’s lap. This is because your child’s weight pulls the tray downward.
  • According to several parents, the leg openings are a bit tight for some babies, so it may be hard to get your baby in or out.
  • If your baby is on the smaller side, it may feel like there is too much room on the sides so they can flop to the side.
  • The chair itself is not very tall, so next to restaurant chairs, it is a bit low.

Summer Infant Deluxe Comfort Folding Booster Seat

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What moms are saying about the Summer Infant Booster Seat

  • This is a portable high chair that attaches to a regular chair. It’s easy to clean, comfortable for baby and durable. It’s also super fast to set up.
  • Very easy to transport.
  • With the bottom section folded up, you can leave the chair strapped onto the chair, and push under the table.
  • The tray is removable so when your baby gets older, you can use the portable high chair as a booster.
  • Some parents complain that the back of the chair is flimsy and collapses, which can get a little annoying.
  • Others complain that it’s cheaply made and not durable.

Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Seat

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What parents are saying about the Chicco Booster Seat

  • Very portable and fits onto any chair you already have.
  • It has 3 different heights to accommodate different table heights.
  • This portable high chair has rubber feet to prevent sliding on chairs. It also straps safely to chairs.
  • It is light, folds up nicely but it’s a bit bulky to travel with.
  • Less than 10% of parents complain that it tips over.
  • Some parents complain that it is hard to put the tray on.
  • The chair can be uncomfortable for some children, with buckles poking into their backs.

Yochi Yochi 3-in-1 Travel High Chair & Grocery Cart Safety Strap & Walking Toddler Harness.

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What moms are saying about the Yochi Yochi travel high chair:

  • This is a portable high chair/ travel high chair that is very compact – it fits into the palm of your hand. Excellent travel companion because it can fit into a purse.
  • It is very light and breathable, comfortable for babies and toddlers.
  • It’s easy to put on and it can be used on almost any chair, but not booths.
  • Can also be used as a safety harness to strap your baby securely into grocery carts.
  • Very useful as a walking harness to keep your child within safe reach.
  • It can be used to strap your baby to you when you are traveling/ flying. Special needs parents find it very useful.
  • It does work as a portable high chair but it is not a booster, so your baby will just barely reach the table, if it is a regular chair.
  • The straps are quality straps but if you don’t keep them with the harness, they could go missing. Parents recommend that you always keep them together.
  • Easy to wipe and machine washable and durable.
  • Really helpful for international traveling with a baby because some countries don’t have high chairs in restaurants or safety straps on grocery carts.

The First Years On-The-Go Booster Seat

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What moms are saying about this booster seat:

  • The setup is very easy. It’s a very useful booster seat but never leave your child unattended because the chair can tip over if your baby leans to the side.
  • It is light and easy to carry and it fits onto almost any chairs – not booths.
  • This booster seat attaches securely to chairs.
  • This is adequate as a budget-friendly option. A few parents say it is unstable.
  • Portable but a little bulky.
  • Easy to clean and you are able to move the chair right up to the table.

Ingenuity SmartClean Toddler Booster

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What parents are saying about the Ingenuity Toddler Booster Seat:

  • This is a great booster seat for toddlers. It offers them just enough of a boost to be at a good table level.
  • It straps securely to chairs, and toddlers can climb onto it, without it moving around.
  • The top, foam part comes off easily for cleaning.
  • They look is modern and it fits in nicely with furniture.
  • Because of its shape, you can push the chair under the table all the way, unlike many portable high chairs.
  • The bottom of the seat is not flat, but concave. If you have flat, wooden chairs, this is okay but if you have leather-cushioned chairs, your cushions could be misshapen.

Cozy Cover Easy Seat Portable High Chair

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What moms are saying about the Cozy Cover:

  • This portable high chair is easy to use and fairly quick to set up.
  • It folds up very small. The fabric is soft, durable and washable.
  • It doesn’t fit onto most chairs. It fits onto low back chairs.
  • It doesn’t travel well in the sense that it doesn’t fit onto most restaurant chairs.
  • The shoulder straps are too short for some parents, so this chair will not work with bigger babies.

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