≪ Go to our review of High Chairs

Hands-on Gear Review

Summer Infant Bentwood Review

Price:   $185.00 List | $127.49 at Amazon - 31% 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.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
Manufacturer:   Summer Infant

The Skinny

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.


RELATED REVIEW: The Battle of the Best High Chair


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Stevenson & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Thursday
May 21, 2015

Share:
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.

Performance Comparison



Ease of Use


Baby struggling to eat at the dining table without the tray.  This chair works well with it's included tray  but not without.
Baby struggling to eat at the dining table without the tray. This chair works well with it's included tray, but not without.
The Bentwood, although a stylish and sleek, modern-looking chair, did not perform well in our ease of use category, earning a lowly 3 of 10. Although it did earn points for versatility, we found the flimsy cushions to be sub-par, so it lost points there. The infant insert that is included with purchase is a nice touch, but would not be adequate support for a younger baby. On the plus side, it was easy to harness baby in, and we very much appreciated the 5-point restraint that could be released with one hand. As with other chairs such as the 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


After just one meal  the seat cushion of the Summer Infant Bentwood needed to be washed! Simply wiping this fabric clean would not do the trick  so it needed to go in the washing machine.
After just one meal, the seat cushion of the Summer Infant Bentwood needed to be washed! Simply wiping this fabric clean would not do the trick, so it needed to go in the washing machine.
It also struggled in our ease of cleaning metric, bottoming out at 2 of 10. The chair and tray were easy enough to wipe down, however where the Bentwood lost major points was with the seat cushion. We really liked that fact that you could throw it in the washing machine if needed, because the material was NOT easy to wipe down quickly after a meal. In fact, after our toddler tester finished her very first meal in this chair, the wipe down did not clean it sufficiently, and it had to be machine washed! In addition to this, even after machine washing and laying flat to dry as the instructions stated, the cushion just did not dry right, and sat differently on the seat of the chair, exposing some of the wood on the sides. The chairs that sported cushions on the seats that were quick and easy to wipe clean, like the Graco Blossom, were definitely some of our favorites.

Quality


We did enjoy the nice big snack tray on this chair.
We did enjoy the nice big snack tray on this chair.
This chair did hit some marks on the material and finishes aspect of our 'quality' metric, and even got a friend to comment "Oh, I like that one!" They really did a good job of mixing looks and functionality together. Despite its looks though, we did not find it to be as stable as the other chairs we tested, and it's important to note that the chair itself actually arrived damaged, with a piece of broken wood where one of the screws was put into the leg. Although this didn't affect functionality of the chair, it was a disappointment. Therefore, we only gave it a 3 of 10 for this category.

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


The Summer Infant Bentwood does offer a folding option for easy storage.
The Summer Infant Bentwood does offer a folding option for easy storage.
The Summer Infant Bentwood was right in the middle of the pack in regards to footprint and portability. Earning a 5 of 10, it was a chair that only took up 609 square inches of floor space, weighed about 17 pounds (one of the lighter of the bunch), and even though it did not have wheels, was easy to maneuver around a tile kitchen floor.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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

Video


Jessica Stevenson & BabyGearLab Team

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?

Seller Price sort asc Shipping Cost Visit
Amazonon sale
$127.49  -  31% off! Check Site see it

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help BabyGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above links and if you make any purchase, a portion of sale helps support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund things like our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states, and for ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


BabyGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 21, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 100%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where to Buy?
Seller Price
Amazon $127.49  -  31% off!

*You help support BabyGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.

Follow Us

Unbiased.