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Which portable high chair is best for your child? Over the past decade, we've researched over 30 options and ranked the top 8 portable high chairs available today in this review. Knowing there's more to a high chair than meets the eye, we evaluated factors including weight and size, portability, and ease of cleaning. Our review breaks down the details you need and the pros and cons of each chair to make your decision-making easier. Whether you need a travel-friendly chair or a space-saving one, there's likely a contender in our lineup that meets your needs and budget. Read on to see which portable chair is right for you.
Product Weight: 4.2 lbs | Usage Range: 6 to 36 mo, Max 37 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to attach
REASONS TO AVOID
Not the smallest
The Inglesina Fast Table is a sturdy, portable highchair that keeps a baby's comfort in mind and doesn't skimp on user-friendly features for parents. The chair is relatively easy to attach to a table or bar using the twist-tight clamp system, and sleeve-like covers zip and enclose the hardware. We appreciate its lifted backrest, high-quality canvas, and sufficient seat padding, making the Inglesina experience a comfortable one for babies. Plus, it has a rear pocket to store thin and compact items, like baby bibs and utensils. The fabric is easy to wipe clean, but the canvas seat is removable for hand washing if a deeper clean is needed. Thanks to an attached carry bag hidden within the seat, the chair folds flat and is conveniently contained and ready for travel. A tray accessory is available for purchase.
The Inglesina compactly collapses, but its weight and dimensions are not the smallest in our lineup, decreasing its portability score. If you want the absolute smallest, this option may not be your seat. Despite this, we love the quality and functionality of this versatile seat and highly recommend it.
Important Safety Information:
Your baby's safety should be a top priority when using a portable high chair. Before placing your child in the chair, always be sure to fasten the attachment mechanisms securely so there is absolutely no give or movement in the booster or hook-on. While in use, always monitor your child, and if you're using a booster, do not allow them to push against a table, which can cause the chair to tip over.
The hiccapop OmniBoost is a travel booster seat that looks similar to a foldable camping chair but with some attractive features that can make mealtime away from home more enjoyable. It is easy to pop and close with very few steps, plus it includes a carry bag that is handy to grab and go. The removable tray is easy to click on and conveniently fits in the carry bag. There is a mesh pocket on the backside of the seat that we like to use for essentials, such as baby utensils or an extra bib. The chair includes "duck feet" that slide over the chair's standard feet for added stability. Use this chair outdoors or inside, on the ground, or at the dinner table, as it has straps that can attach to an adult chair. Not only is this option budget-friendly, but we think it is sturdy and functional.
The tray is wide yet narrow and will not catch everything your little one drops. Also, some users report the chair's fabric seat can stretch over time. While testing, we did notice some "give" in the fabric. However, the hiccapop will not be your primary highchair, and we think it is satisfactory for traveling needs; plus, the price tag is attractive, making it a good option for those on a budget.
Product Weight: 2.2 lbs | Usage Range: 6 mo to 36 mo, Max 37 lbs
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Small leg holes
Hand wash only
Zipper unexpectedly comes undone
The Mountain Buggy Pod is an easy-to-use hook-on chair compact enough to fit in a large diaper bag or a stroller basket. Coming in at only 2.2 lbs, it is one of the lightest portable chairs in our tests. The simple design is easy to attach and remove from tables by twisting or untwisting the clamps. The Pod has a solid aluminum frame and a zippered fabric cover that makes the chair highly portable, thanks to the winning combination of sturdy yet lightweight materials.
This portable high chair only fits tabletops thinner than 1.8", so it may not work in every location. Also, one of the significant downsides is the size of the leg holes. They are much smaller than we would expect with the weight limit. The problem becomes especially apparent if your baby wears shoes or has adorably chunky thighs. Another drawback is that the fabric is not machine washable. Luckily, it is easy enough to wipe down, but you will have to unzip and wash it by hand when it requires a deep clean. Before each use, you will need to make sure zippers are secure when putting it back on, as there have been reports of the cover unexpectedly unzipping. Overall, the Pod is one of the lightest and smallest seats, making it a handy travel companion.
Product Weight: 4 lbs | Usage Range: 6 mo to 3 yrs
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to clean
REASONS TO AVOID
Kids can remove the tray
Need to double-check the t-straps
Mealtime mess will happen, so having a super easy to clean portable high chair can make a world of difference. For this reason, the Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat earns an award. We appreciate that the design has minimal small crevices for crumbs to hide, and a good wipe-down is sufficient to keep this chair clean. Plus, the removable feeding tray is dishwasher safe - although we recommend handwashing to extend its longevity. The adjustable straps attach to the underside and back of an adult chair for a secure fit, and it has three height settings. When you're ready to hit the road, the back of the chair folds down for travel and storage.
Some crafty toddlers can figure out how to remove the upper feeding tray, leading to a big mess on the floor. Also, users report that the t-straps holding the harness straps to the chair can work themselves free. Since the tray cannot keep a child in place, it is essential to check that these straps are secure before each use. Despite these drawbacks, the Healthy Care Booster is an excellent, easy to clean choice that can last for years.
When choosing and ranking portable high chairs, we wanted to ensure we thought of everything. After over 70 hours of combined testing and research, we found the top contenders. We measured, used, cleaned, and compared. We conducted an extensive analysis of the products and, most importantly, used the seats with young children to help us determine our favorites. We then took all the information we gathered and condensed it into test metric results and helpful buying advice, so you can be confident in your purchase.
BabyGearLab has been purchasing and reviewing baby gear since 2013. Leading the portable highchair review is our founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier. Dr. Spurrier is a board-certified pediatrician and mother of 2. As a doctor, she has a background in childhood safety concerns and the potential results of poorly designed or inappropriately used gear. Dr. Spurrier approves all final competitors using this background and her time as a mother to guide her. The team also includes Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz, mother of 2 and an invaluable team member at BabyGearLab. Between her scientific training and analytical background, plus knowledge of baby products and motherly experience, Wendy helps analyze test results and rank the competition. Providing additional support to the review is Senior Review Editor, Molly Bradac, who we consider the 'Mary Poppins' among the team. Molly has accumulated an impressive profile as a career nanny with over 15 years of experience. Most of her positions included national and international travel, which allows her to bring a unique perspective, experience, and knowledge base to identify qualities of top-performing products and provide recommendations to families based on their needs and budget.
Analysis and Test Results
There are multiple portable high chair options on the market, so considering a few factors is a must to choose the perfect chair. We extensively tested the competition, including hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons, to determine which products stand out and which fall short, providing you with the details you need to make an informed decision.
The hiccapop OmniBoost chair is wallet-friendly and a great value. It's versatile, use it outside or inside, and we don't doubt you'll get your money's worth. The Fisher-Price is another attractive low-cost product that is easy to clean. But, if your budget is slightly more flexible, the Inglesina offers higher quality and compatibility with various tables you may encounter when out and about. We realize there's a higher upfront cost with this option, but we believe there's value in this purchase, especially if you plan to use it frequently to dine out, trips to the grandparents' house, or as your primary high chair. We think it is worth the cost if you meet these parameters. However, if you don't, a cheaper option may better suit your needs.
There are several types of portable high chairs, and they all have different features that make them portable. To evaluate portability, we took a close look at weight and dimensions. These factors influence how easy a product is to transport, and some might even potentially fit in your diaper bag, stroller basket, luggage, or car trunk.
We consider weight to be an essential consideration when making your purchase. We suggest thinking about how and where you plan to use the chair and how weight might impact your day-to-day use. Situations can include occasional visits to grandparents, restaurant outings, everyday home use, or far-away travel. We found the hook-on chairs to be more travel-friendly than boosters, as they fold down and usually fit inside an included carry bag. Honestly, being able to fold the chair flat, slip it in a travel sack, and toss it over your shoulder is all too convenient.
Among the competition, the Mountain Buggy Pod ranks high in this metric, scoring 9 of 10. Compared to others, this hook-on style chair has an impressively low weight, is one of the smallest when folded, and includes a carry bag, making it travel-friendly for most scenarios. The OXO Tot Perch with Straps also ranks high compared to others, thanks to being lightweight (although it doesn't beat the Mountain Buggy) and folds up small for travel. Also, this option doesn't include a carry bag if this is a deal-breaker for you.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair ranks the lowest, scoring 2 of 10. Compared to others, this portable high chair is one of the largest and heaviest, and these factors hurt its overall portability score. This option includes a carry bag with a handy carry strap, which adds convenience when transporting. Still, it will take up space in your vehicle's trunk, or if you're on foot, carrying your baby and a diaper bag, plus a heavy chair, is likely not something you want to add to the mix.
Hook-on chairs should not be attached to a glass surface, single pedestal table, loose tabletop, table leaf, card table, or over tablecloths or placemats.
Ease of Use
For this metric, we determined that the complexity of assembly and disassembly are two main factors at play and the comfort for babies. Therefore, we kept these factors in mind when evaluating the lineup. We also asked things like: How many parts does it have? How long does it take to put together and pack up every time? Are there any features that add to the chair's ease of use?
In our opinion, less is more, and a product that can be ready to go in seconds is invaluable, especially when you toss in a hungry toddler into the mix, creating the perfect recipe for a meltdown.
Among the competition, the the Inglesina ranks high in this metric, scoring 9 of 10. This contender has qualities of luxury that we admire, such as a high-quality canvas that offers more padding and a cockpit with more support than others, which collectively create a more comfortable sitting experience for babies. Ranking right below the Inglesina yet higher than many others are the hiccapop OmniBoost and Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair, scoring 8 of 10. These options don't offer impressive comfort like the Inglesina, but they have super quick and straightforward folding systems, whereas many others take more time to set up and takedown.
Scoring 4 of 10, the Chicco Pocket Booster Seat ranks low in this metric for many reasons. Although it offers height adjustability, which can be helpful, we believe the chair's hard plastic and bare minimum design lack comfort for babies compared to other contenders. Plus, we struggled with getting the tray on, leaving us feeling frustrated because the task should be easy. We noticed ourselves preferring to use other options over the Chicco.
A Note on Compatibility:
Not every seat works with every table, countertop, or chair, and if you are traveling, you may not know what to expect. For example, booster seats can strap onto most dining chairs but become problematic when faced with a booth. Likewise, some hook-on chairs do not fit round tables or vertical skirts, and you CAN'T use hook-on options with glass tabletops. Tables that are flimsy, foldable, or single pedestals are also a no-go. However, the Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair and hiccapop OmniBoost (if you use the chairs on the ground) can be used independently and don't depend on a table or an adult chair, which increases versatility.
Ease of Cleaning
Babies are messy, especially during mealtime, so finding an easy-to-clean chair is a big plus. Conquering mealtime mess with a quick wipe-down can simplify your life, and we prefer chairs with smooth surfaces and minimal cracks and creases for crumbs to collect and hide. After all, if you are cleaning up after little ones by the hour, why not make it as painless as possible?
The Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe ranks the highest in this metric, scoring 9 of 10. This hard plastic exterior option is quick to wipe down and has minimal creases to trap food and liquid. Plus, its tray is dishwasher-safe - score! The Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair and the hiccapop OmniBoost are other easy-to-clean options, thanks to their removable, machine-washable canvas covers, making the overall cleaning task more manageable.
On the contrary, many hook-on portable high chairs rank low in this metric. The phil and teds Lobster ranks the lowest, scoring 3 of 10, and the Inglesina Fast Table and Mountain Buggy Pod rank slightly higher, yet low, scoring 4 and 5 of 10, respectively. These hook-on portable high chairs have hard-to-clean areas, particularly where the canvas sides meet the padded seat. Food crumbs love to accumulate in this area, which is easy to overlook. Using a slightly dampened cloth, you can brush the crumbs out of this area, but you'll need to remove the canvas and hand wash it for a deep clean. We consider this task more time-consuming compared to hard plastic options or those with machine-washable covers. Also, removing the canvas covers varies among this small group of hook-on chairs. The Mountain Buggy Pod has a zipper system that makes removing the canvas more accessible and relatively quick. The Inglesina's cover is easy to remove but takes longer to thread it back on the frame, and the phil and ted seat requires the most effort as it requires a tool, which isn't as handy.
Purchasing a portable high chair is a good move if you like to dine out or plan to travel with your baby. Use it for trips to the grandparents or as an excellent space-saving solution for those living in tight quarters. A portable high chair can also help your little one eat more comfortably from baby to toddlerhood. In the end, comfort, functionality, and portability are critical elements you should consider before selecting a product. Lucky for you, our review includes the information and details to help your decision-making. We are sure you'll find a seat that can tag along wherever you and your baby roam. Happy dining!
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Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.