Best Portable High Chair
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|$69 List||$37 List||$90 List||$40 List|
$42 at Amazon
|Pros||Lightweight, small when folded, and the seat's cover is easy to access, remove, and replace||Comfortable, high-quality, and easy to use||Removable canvas is machine washable, easy to pop open and close, removable tray, backside pocket to store small items||Very portable, easy to place, 4-point shoulder harness||Lightweight, folds, minimal design|
|Cons||Hand wash only, some crevasses collect crumbs, and the seat lacks features of comfort||Not the lightest or smallest||Not the smallest when folded||Expensive, leg holes small, tool needed to remove seat cover||Can't adjust straps with child sitting on seat, nooks and crannies for crumbs to collect|
|Bottom Line||As a compact and lightweight chair, this option is most suitable for families who want the absolute smallest for travel||While not the smallest, this quality chair is still travel-friendly and comfy for meals away from home||An inexpensive portable high chair with convenient extras, such as a removable tray and carry bag that is quick to set up and dismantle||With the smallest weight and size, this chair is very travel friendly, but it lacks comfort and is harder to clean||A booster seat with an attractive size and weight for portability but lacks easy access to straps, and crumbs collect in crevasses|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Buggy Pod||Inglesina Fast Table||hiccapop OmniBoost||phil and teds Lobster||OXO Tot Perch with...|
|Ease Of Use (40%)|
|Ease Of Cleaning (10%)|
|Specs||Mountain Buggy Pod||Inglesina Fast Table||hiccapop OmniBoost||phil and teds Lobster||OXO Tot Perch with...|
|Weight||2.2 lbs||4.2 lbs||4 lbs||4.3 lbs||3.3 lbs|
|Age Range:||6 mo - 36 mo, Max 37 lbs||6 mo - 36 mo, Max 37 lbs||6 mo - 3 yrs||6 mo to 36 mo, Max 37 lbs||15 mo - Max 70 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||13.5" x 13.5" x 2.2"||14" x 17" x 4"||17" x 7" x 7"||13.7" x 13.4" x 4"||12.7" x 11.5" x 5"|
Best Overall Portable High Chair
Inglesina Fast Table
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 overall 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 if a deeper clean is needed, the canvas seat is removable for hand washing. The chair folds flat and is conveniently contained and ready for travel, thanks to an attached carry bag hidden within the chair's seat. A tray accessory is available for purchase.
The Inglesina compactly collapses, but its weight and dimensions are not the smallest in our lineup, which slightly decreased its portability score. If you want the absolute smallest, this option may not be the seat for you. Despite this, we love the quality and functionality of this versatile seat and highly recommend it.
Read review: Inglesina Fast Table
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.
Best Budget-Friendly Chair
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, too. 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 with straps that 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.
Best Light and Compact Hook-on
Mountain Buggy Pod
The Mountain Buggy Pod is an easy-to-use hook-on chair that is 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 chair only fits on 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 is wearing 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 in a situation where 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.
Best for Easy to Clean
Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat
It goes without saying that mealtime mess will happen, so having a super easy to clean 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 am 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.
Read review: Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat
Why You Should Trust Us
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. As a career nanny with over 15 years of experience, Molly has accumulated an impressive profile. 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.
When choosing and ranking portable highchairs, we wanted to make sure we thought of everything. After over 70 hours of combined testing and research, we found the top contenders. We measured, cleaned, and compared. Extensive analysis of the products, and most importantly, using the seats with young children to help us determine our favorites. We then took all the information we gathered and condensed it into a simplified list of pros and cons and helpful buying advice so you can be confident in your purchase.
Analysis and Test Results
There are multiple portable high chair options on the market, so considering a few factors is a must to select the perfect chair for your family confidently. 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. Our test metrics share how we tested and highlight notable contenders.
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. If you meet these parameters, then we think it is worth the cost. However, if you don't, a cheaper option may better be suited for your needs.
There are several varieties 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. 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 in general, 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, a hook-on style chair, has an impressively low weight, and it is one of the smallest when folded, making this option travel-friendly for most scenarios.
However, on the opposite end of the spectrum is the Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair, one of the heaviest and largest when folded, which hurt its portability score. If you're on foot, holding your baby, and towing around a diaper bag, 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, as well as 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 a matter of seconds is invaluable, especially when you toss in a hungry toddler into the mix, creating the perfect recipe for a meltdown. The hiccapop OmniBoost and Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair deliver just that. They are super quick and straightforward to set up and take down, thanks to simple systems. We consider their comfort level adequate, but not as luxurious as the Inglesina Fast Table. The Inglesina has a high-quality canvas that offers more padding and a cockpit with more support than other contenders, creating a more comfortable sitting experience for babies.
The Chicco Pocket Booster Seat did not score high 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.
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 those with vertical skirts, and you CAN'T use hook-on options with glass tabletops. Tables that are flimsy, foldable, or single pedestal are also a no-go. However, the Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair and hiccapop OmniBoost (if you use it on the ground) can be used on their own and don't depend on a table, or an adult chair, making them more versatile.
Ease of Cleaning
Babies are messy, especially during mealtime, so finding an easy-to-clean chair is a big plus. Being able to conquer 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 has one of the highest scores in this metric. It is super easy to clean thanks to smooth plastic and minimal creases for food and liquid to hide. Runner-up options include the Summer Pop 'n Dine SE Highchair and the hiccapop OmniBoost with no crevasses and removable covers that are machine washable.
On the contrary, the hook-on options, such as the Inglesina Fast Table, Mountain Buggy Pod, and phil & teds Lobster, did not score as well. While testing, we noticed more hide-to-clean areas on these seats, particularly where the canvas sides meet the padded seat. Instead of machine washable, these seats are handwash only; luckily, their seat covers are removable to make the cleaning task more manageable. However, the job of removing the covers is different for each. The Mountain Buggy Pod has a zip closure, which is easily accessible and relatively quick to remove and put back on. But, the Inglesina's cover takes longer as you have to thread it back on the pole, and the phil & ted seat requires a tool to remove the canvas cover from the frame, 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. It can be helpful for trips to the grandparents, or it can be an excellent space-saving solution for those living in tight quarters. A portable chair can help your little one eat comfortably from baby to toddlerhood. In the end, comfort, functionality, and portability are critical components you will need to consider when purchasing a high chair. If you keep these factors in mind, you are sure to find a seat that can tag along wherever you and your baby roam. Happy dining!
— Molly Bradac