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Hands-on Gear Review
Summer Infant Bentwood ReviewPrice: $185.00 List | $144.29 at Amazon - 22% off
Pros: sleek design, folds for storage, self-storing tray
Cons: thin seat cushion, crotch restraint attached to tray, fabric stains easily
Bottom line: Looks nice in the kitchen with its stylish wood frame, but hard to clean and may not keep baby as comfortable and secure as some of the other chairs in our round-up.
The Summer Infant Bentwood was the lowest scoring high chair of the nine we tested. There were many things we didn't like, such as the thin seat cushion, tray-attached crotch restraint, and difficulty in cleaning. For other options featuring a wood finish, definitely consider the Keekaroo Height Right or Stokke Tripp Trapp.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Summer Infant Bentwood is a stylish chair that did not perform well compared to competitors. We had many frustrations with it but we will say it wasn't all bad. We liked the easy-to-adjust nature which allows it to be used for children up to 50 pounds, and the fact that it includes a quality 5-point safety harness with easy one-hand release. Although this chair does not come with wheels, we found it to be lightweight enough to move around the kitchen.
About Summer Infant
Summer Infant baby products came about in 1985 after a father, searching for a place to safely put down his infant daughter, Summer, invented the original bouncy chair. Since then, Summer Infant has been developing quality baby products ranging from bathtubs to cribs.
Ease of Use
Graco Blossom, we wish the manufacturer would have made the crotch restraint part of the actual seat rather than attached to the bottom of the removable tray.
Additionally, we did not find the chair to be as 'table-friendly' as the company claims it is, and had a hard time getting baby close enough to the table to eat due to the chair's armrests getting in the way.
Ease of Cleaning
Its ability to adjust up and down as well as recline was something we appreciated, but ultimately felt as though it was compromising the structural integrity of the chair. For example, when reclining the chair up, we felt as though the whole thing was about to fold in half!
Ease of Set Up
The Bentwood performed decently here, earning itself a 5 of 10 with an average set up time of about 10 minutes. It was easier to set up than the Fisher Price Rainforest Healthy Care or the Keekaroo Height Right. We were pleased to see that the instructions were more clear than those in many of the other manuals.
Footprint and Portability
This might make a good secondary, or back-up high chair for a grandparent's house, where it's ability to fold for storage would come in handy when not in use. As for full time use, we feel that the cushions would get too much wear-and-tear, and simply could not handle that much machine washing.
With an average price tag of $185, this chair was lacking in some standard amenities that other chairs with a lower price point offered, like the Graco Blossom. Consider the needs of your family before purchasing any high chair, and check out our price/value chart to see how other chairs performed when compared to price.
If modern style and sleek looks are what you're after, the Bentwood does fit this bill. It's combination of wood, some metal, and brightly colored fabric seat cushions make it a nice mix for baby furniture. We appreciate it's ability to fold when not in use, and liked that our toddler felt secure when buckled in the 5-point restraint system. Overall though, this seat fell short in too many areas for us. If you want a better performing product at a lower price point, we'd say go with the OXO Seedling or Graco Blossom.
Other Versions and Accessories
In addition to the Bentwood, Summer Infant also makes the Summer Infant Classic Comfort Wood High Chair for $130
— Jessica Stevenson & BabyGearLab Team
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