A portable high chair isn’t an item you will use right away with a new baby, but it is an item that will get a LOT of use! (Especially if you enjoy being on-the-go.) There are a plethora of portable high chairs out there, each with its own set of pros and cons. To make the best choice for your family, be sure to consider where, when, and how you might want to use your portable seat!
Best Portable High Chairs by Price Range
With dozens of chairs to choose from, picking the best portable high chair for your little one can be quite the task. However, we’ve reviewed a few of the best chairs in each price range to give you a head start on the process of shopping and selecting the portable high chair that’s right for your family.
Best Portable High Chairs Under $25
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- Folds into easy carry case
- Height is adjustable (via self-inflating valve)
- Low seatbelt strap offers little support
- Not machine-washable
- Most cost-effective option (less than $20)
- Lots of design options
- Fits in diaper bag when rolled up
- Doesn’t raise the child up from chair height, so younger children will not be at table height. However, this seat still offers a clean place to keep a younger baby restrained.
- Comes with a removable tray
- Foldable and lightweight
- Easy to clean
- Comes with carry bag
- Tray doesn’t fit in carry bag
Best Portable High Chairs Under $50
- Three color options: pink, green, and blue
- Easy to fold
- Comes with carry bag
- Can be attached to a chair or used independently
- Low strap can be somewhat uncomfortable for baby
- Very sturdy and secure
- Comes with carry strap
- Tray is adjustable and removable
- Three height settings
- Tray can be difficult to get on and off
Best Portable High Chairs Over $50+
- Removable machine-washable seat cover
- Easily hooks onto table/countertop
- Removable snap-on tray
- Comes with carry strap
- Somewhat heavy/bulky
- Dishwasher-safe food tray
- Comes with carry-case
- Very lightweight
- Supports up to 37lbs.
- Some users complain of small leg holes
Best Portable High Chairs for Camping
While some of the high chairs above may be suitable for camping (particularly the Summer Pop n’ Sit Booster Seat), you may want to consider purchasing a portable chair that is specifically designed for the outdoors! Even if you don’t anticipate camping, these chairs can be great for cookouts, sporting events, and other outdoor activities.
- Tray includes a cup-holder
- Comes with a carry bag
- Quick set-up
- Easy to clean
- Leg holes somewhat small
- Includes a sun canopy
- Converts into a big kids chair
- Supports up to 75 lbs.
- Comes with a carry bag
- Tray doesn’t secure tightly
Pros and Cons of Traveling with a High Chair
While there are lots of great reasons to travel with a portable high chair, it may not be the best choice for every family. Here are a few things to consider when you are deciding whether or not to invest in a portable high chair.
Pros of Traveling with a High Chair
- Offers a clean place for your baby to eat.
- Saves you from the hassle of waiting for a high chair at restaurants or holding your baby on your lap at other gatherings.
- Provides your little one with a familiar place to eat, regardless of the surroundings. This can be helpful in getting your child to eat in a new place, especially if they are easily distracted at meal times.
Cons of Traveling with a High Chair
- It’s one more thing to remember, carry, and clean.
- Some spaces may not be conducive to using a travel high chair (restaurants with cramped seating, dining chairs with rounded cushions, etc.)
How to Travel With a Portable High Chair
Once you’ve decided on the best portable high chair for your family, it’s time to think through how you will travel with it. Thankfully most portable high chairs are lightweight and come with carry cases, or at the very least a carry handle. This will make the transport process a lot easier! Unless you plan to use the chair at home as well, it may be a good idea to store your portable high chair in your vehicle, so you don’t have to remember each time you head out the door.
Traveling Without a Portable Highchair
If you decide not to travel with a portable high chair, you may want to consider investing in a tray for your little one to eat off of when you are on the go. The UpwardBaby Food Catching Placemat is a great option! It has a suctioning bottom, a catching tray for food that doesn’t quite make it to your baby’s mouth, and it easily rolls up to store in your diaper bag or car. It’s made of silicone and is easy to clean in either the sink or dishwasher!
Are Portable High Chairs Safe?
You may be wondering if portable high chairs are truly safe. This is a valid concern, but the good news is quality portable high chairs ARE safe as long as they are used properly. When setting up and using your high chair, make sure to keep the following things in mind for maximum safety.
1. Read the instructions
Most portable high chairs are quite simple, and it can be tempting to jump straight into using it without reading the instructions. However, this can pose a safety risk if you unknowingly use the chair improperly.
2. Know the weight limits
Check the owner’s manual to ensure that your child is within the appropriate weight category before setting him or her in your portable high chair. Be sure to keep this limit in mind as your child gets older (and bigger)!
3. Make sure your baby can support his or her head
While some full-size highchairs may be safe for a baby who doesn’t have full head support, most portable high chairs should not be used until your child can sit independently.
4. Buckle the chair straps right away
If your portable high chair straps on to a full-size chair, be sure to buckle the straps as soon as you set it in place. Neglecting to do so could result in forgetting. If you or someone else sets your child in the unattached chair, this could present a serious safety hazard.
5. Keep your child buckled in
While this may feel less important as your child gets older, be sure to always buckle your child in when they are sitting in their portable high chair. Even if your toddler is capable of sitting nicely in their chair, that doesn’t mean they will always do so, especially if they get distracted or excited!
6. Supervise your child
Your child should not be left alone in a portable high chair. Even the most sturdy and secure chair, is not a safe place to leave your little one unsupervised.
7. Register your product
Your portable high chair should come with instructions for how to register the product with the manufacturer. Usually this can be done either by dropping the form in the mail or online. This is important to ensure you will be notified in the event of a recall.
Are Restaurant Booster Seats Safe?
Most restaurant booster seats and high chairs are structurally safe, but it is still important to consider their cleanliness. While seats will hopefully be cleaned in between uses, they may not be cleaned well and they may not be cleaned with cleaners that are safe for your baby or toddler. These are great reasons to use your own portable high chair.
If you do decide to use a restaurant chair for your child, you may want to consider using one of the products below to help ensure that your child has a safe, clean place to eat.
- Care Touch Sanitizing Wipes – These packages of sanitizing wipes can easily be thrown in your diaper bag and used to wipe down a restaurant high chair or booster seat. Even if you do have a portable high chair, these are great for wiping down the table or surrounding surfaces that your little one can reach from their seat!
- Solfres Dual-Belt High Chair Cover – Similar to a shopping cart cover, this fabric cover can be stored in your diaper bag and popped over a restaurant high chair to give your child a clean place to sit.
Portable high chairs are a great product to make your life easier! While it can be a bit daunting trying to pick the best portable high chair with so many options available, it is sure to be a great investment of your time and money. Thinking through the features that are important to you and conducive to your lifestyle is a great way to get started on the process!