So you're travelling with baby. Bottles - check; infant formula - check; stroller - check; you've even packed your travel crib, good job! But there is one thing that most parents missed out on, or perhaps didn't even think of at all, and that is a portable baby high chair. Yep, it is a travel essential in our opinion because it just makes life so much easier. It could very well be the most used baby gear out of everything else!
Restaurants that do not have high chair (yes, there actually is quite a surprising number of these!)? No problem. Only flimsy high chairs with no restraints are available? No worries! Whip out your very own and insert it into any adult chair and there you have it - a safe and sturdy seating area for your little one to (hopefully) eat his meal quietly. Not to mention it is more hygienic this way, too!
1. What Makes A Good Travel High Chair
So we've convinced you to buy a portable travel high chair. What makes for a good one though? How do you know which one to choose?
- Weight - It goes without saying that a good baby travel high chair should be first of all, light. Who wants to lug around a heavy one when you have 10233940934 other things to carry across airports and hotels?
- Foldability - This will make packing and bringing out and about so much more convenient. Most hook-on seats will be collapsible so that's a plus, but keep in mind that they are not suitable for all surfaces.
- Size - Besides being one that your kid will be able to sit in comfortably, the overall design of a good travel high chair should be less bulky for ease of portability.
- Safety - Depending on your little one's age, you may want one that comes with restraints to keep him tuck in safe and snugly. If you're travelling with an infant, you may even need one with a 5-point harness.
- Ease of Use - You wouldn't want to be fumbling with buckles or straps or with folding each time you need to use it. You also want one that can be used on different types of surfaces because you never know what restaurants/places you will walk into!
- Easy to Clean - This is a no-brainer. One fool-proof item in the messy department in that it is bound to get dirty (the difference being the level of dirtiness only), so it is important that your portable high chair is easy to clean.
Usually, chairs that are labelled as travel high chairs have already taken all the above factors into consideration for travel convenience, and most would be a breeze to check in and travelled with easily.
2. Types of Travel High Chair
Who would have thought a simple baby high chair will have so many types? But yes, they can generally be categorized into 3 types as follows:
This is the lightest type of baby portable high chair which comes in the form of wraps in that you just pull it over the back of the chair and tighten to keep it secured. It is very easy to use and can be doubled up as a baby carrier as well so parents love it for its versatility. It doesn't hurt that it makes for the best folding high chair (literally takes seconds to pack) and therefore does not take up much luggage space. However, it may not be suitable for younger and smaller babies because there is not much elevation so that is a setback to keep in mind when you do your choosing. Nonetheless, it is the best easy clean high chair type out of all.
As you can guess from its name, this is the type where you hook the chair onto the table surface using the attached handles and while they may not look like it, it is actually very stable once you've tighten the handles firmly. This type of high chair lets your little one dine on the same table with you and this is something a lot of parents love. Most are collapsible which makes them a good travel high chair, however, with this type, you need to adhere to the weight limit because it will be dangerous otherwise since it is hanging off a surface, after all.
No, this is completely different from the car seat boosters that you may be familiar with, although with similar function, and that is to elevate your child up. A baby booster high chair can be attached onto any chair with a back, with some having extendable legs so it can sit independently aside from catering to growing children at different heights. And because of this reason, although it may be bulkier than the other types, the booster seat is one of the most popular travel high chair amongst parents.
4. Portable High Chairs (camping high chairs)
You may be confused by the name and we don't blame you, but this is the type of high chairs that look exactly like the standard/conventional highchairs you have at home, but in a collapsible and much lighter form. This type of highchair is very popular for camping because they give the height required without weighing you down (amongst your many other camping gears), but perhaps the biggest reason is because the above three types may not be that suitable, for example, the tables (if there is any) provided at your campsite may not be suitable for your hook-on highchair to attach to.
Some people may call this type of highchair differently and strictly speaking, there is no specific distinction between portable high chair and travel high chair, but for our purpose in this review, we will refer these 'camping high chairs' as portable high chairs.
3. Best Travel High Chair - Wraps
4. Best Travel High Chair - Hook-ons
5. Best Travel High Chair - Boosters
6. Best Portable High Chair
7. Do You Know ...
Travel high chairs don't have to be used solely during travels or out of the house outings - in fact, more and more parents have chosen to use one at home because it makes for the best high chair for small spaces (for example, wrap-style high chairs are some of the best space saver high chair out of all the types). It wouldn't take up any floor space at least, as opposed to standard high chairs which inevitably needs a space of its own. If you'd prefer the conventional high chair still, why not check out our review here to find out what is the best high chair in the market?