The Munchkin Travel Booster Seat is a great concept of a light booster folding into a bag for portability with nice padded shoulder strap, but this is the only place it shines. Unfortunately, it is not a product we can recommend as it is lacking in what matters, safety and support. We found the 3-point harness to be unacceptable with a non-adjustable crotch strap that causes the harness to lie very low on a larger child. The seat is shallow with flimsy material and no side support whatsoever. And, user reports of safety support straps separating from the material are a deal breaker. This is not a chair we recommend for active toddlers and we certainly wouldn't leave a child unattended for a moment in the Munchkin.
Munchkin Travel Booster Seat Review
Pros: Folds into bag with padded shoulder strap, light, portable
Cons: Inadequate harness, flimsy shallow seat, support straps prone to breakage
Our Analysis and Test Results
The lightweight Munchkin Travel Booster Seat fits on most dining chairs and has an adjustable height. The handle makes it painless to carry around and quick to setup on new dining chairs. With a hard plastic interior and polyester fabric with polyurethane foam for cushion, it primary make-up is plastic and can be wiped down for cleaning purposes. The fabric isn't removable and the seat itself can't be washed in the dishwasher or washing machine as many of our other products can.
Ease Of Use
The Travel Booster Seat scored a 4 of 10, making it our lowest scoring product in this specific category. The cut and dry is, the chair feels cheap. It's flimsy and offers little support against our (pretty strong) toddlers.
The chair is simplistic when it comes to setting up, you simple attach the straps to the bottom and back of the chair. Where this provided headaches was in tightening and loosening the straps. A 180 pound man was caught using slang words at this tiny chair due to the difficult to use straps. This could make setup at restaurants quite embarrassing. Once chair is setup and baby is ready to be strapped down, you run into similar issues of painless loosening and tightening. Where it gets tricky is when your little one is all organized and ready to eat, but he's able to lean completely to one side, because with the flimsy straps and no siding, there's nothing holding him/her back.You can see in the picture below that it truly is up to the strap to protect your toddler for falling out of the chair. That makes this product untrustworthy, thus, earning our lowest spot in Ease Of Use.
Safety and Quality
The travel booster seat yet again earned a 3 of 10 and the lowest spot in another category. The quality of this chair from the flimsy back to the immobile straps, is lacking. While there is an internal shelf to help stabilize the chair, it doesn't help stabilize the child. It seems they could've continued adding safety features from the bottom to the top, opposed to just the bottom. The product could be easy to break, and that's not something any of us want. As pictured below, there is virtually no seat depth.
Saved by the handle! This product truly excelled in portability with a 9 of 10, earning our top spot. The chair is just 4 ounces, it's like carrying a cloud. When folded it's dimensions are a respectable 11.5" W x 11.5" H x 5.5" D. The chair includes a small pocket for storage and a handle for lugging around.
The chair snaps shut with a velcro attachment and when it's time to undo it, it's just as simple. It pops-up, ready to use and attached to most dining chairs. It's great is portability is all you're concerned with, it can go with you anywhere. Just keep in mind the hardship when tightening and loosening the straps and securing your little to the seat.
Ease Of Cleaning
The Munchkin had the lowest score in ease of cleaning with a 2 of 10. Comprised of plasticized fabric, it became additionally challenging to find the food whilst looking past the bright and beautiful pattern; it's just not conducive for simple clean-up. Not only that, but food can often times end up getting stuck in the sides of the chair. Where others outperformed was in the ability to either disassemble and wash the product in the sink like the Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe or by hand like the Inglesina Fast Table Chair.
It's evident that this chair is great for carrying from one location to the next. It's light, there's a handle and it's a great size. It's simple to open and close with the velcro attachment, but it's difficult to hook onto the chair and unsafe for the toddler.
The Travel Booster Seat is priced fairly at $35, as you are getting what you pay for. Our Best Value Award Winner, The Fisher Price Healthy Care, is priced at around $25 and offers a handful more features than the Munchkin does. Our advice? If this is your price range, stick with The Fisher Price and avoid the Munchkin.
This is not the portable high-chair that we would recommend to our readers. It's flimsy, offers a lack of support and is less than pleasant to clean. The features that make-up a desirable booster seat, other than the portability, just aren't there. We give the company a nod of appreciation in making an easy to cary product but two thumbs down in material and safety.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Jackie Boeheim