Best Portable High Chairs
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|Pros||Comfortable, high-quality, and easy to use||Lightweight, small when folded, and the seat's cover is easy to access, remove, and replace||Lightweight, folds, minimal design||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|
|Cons||Not the lightest or smallest||Hand wash only, some crevasses collect crumbs, and the seat lacks features of comfort||Can't adjust straps with child sitting on seat, nooks and crannies for crumbs to collect||Not the smallest when folded||Expensive, leg holes small, tool needed to remove seat cover|
|Bottom Line||While not the smallest, this quality chair is still travel-friendly and comfy for meals away from home||As a compact and lightweight chair, this option is most suitable for families who want the absolute smallest for travel||A booster seat with an attractive size and weight for portability but lacks easy access to straps, and crumbs collect in crevasses||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|
|Rating Categories||Inglesina Fast Table||Mountain Buggy Pod||OXO Tot Perch with...||hiccapop OmniBoost||phil and teds Lobster|
|Ease Of Use (40%)|
|Ease Of Cleaning (10%)|
|Specs||Inglesina Fast Table||Mountain Buggy Pod||OXO Tot Perch with...||hiccapop OmniBoost||phil and teds Lobster|
|Product Weight||4.2 lbs||2.2 lbs||3.3 lbs||4 lbs||4.3 lbs|
|Usage Range||6 mo - 36 mo, Max 37 lbs||6 mo - 36 mo, Max 37 lbs||15 mo - Max 70 lbs||6 mo - 3 yrs||6 mo to 36 mo, Max 37 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||14" x 17" x 4"||13.5" x 13.5" x 2.2"||12.7" x 11.5" x 5"||17" x 7" x 7"||13.7" x 13.4" x 4"|
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 the canvas seat is removable for hand washing if a deeper clean is needed. Thanks to an attached carry bag hidden within the chair's 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, 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, 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.
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 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 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
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 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 high chairs, 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 confidently select the perfect chair for your family. 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 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 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 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 a matter of 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 Inglesina Fast Table ranks high in this metric, scoring 9 of 10. This contender has qualities of luxury that we admire, such as 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.
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 the chairs on the ground) can be used independently 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. 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 of the hook-on portable high chairs rank low in this metric. The phil & 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 of 10 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, and it is easy to overlook. Using a slightly dampened cloth, you can brush the crumbs out of this area, but for a deep clean, you'll need to remove the canvas and hand wash it. Compared to hard plastic options, or those with machine-washable covers, we consider this task more time-consuming. 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 somewhat easy to remove but takes longer to thread it back on the frame, and the phil & 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 will need to 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!
— Molly Bradac
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.Learn More