We’re on our third kid, but it took us until now to find the right travel “high chair” for our baby. I put high chair in quotes because for it to be truly portable, it shan’t have long legs – that immediately makes it too large. For years we used one of those chairs that clamps onto a table, but that was fraught with its own challenges that has relegated it to backup use. This spring, we went away for a long weekend with some friends of ours and they had one of the Summer Infant Pop ‘N Sit Portable Booster Chairs for their baby and it was like the stars had aligned. Was this the travel high chair we were looking for?
At a glance, this chair looks like a mini version of a folding camping chair. That’s essentially what it is, but with shorter legs and a tray table that snaps into place. And just like a camping chair, it comes with a bag to fold it up and carry it with you. We leave ours in our minivan, ready for any adventure that might have our baby chowing down outside the home.
Basically, you unfold the chair, place your baby in it, and then snap the tray into place over the baby’s lap. It comes with straps to secure your baby, but if I’m being honest we have never used the straps. If your kids are like mine, the moment you try to strap them into something their innate urge to resist kicks in. This may go without saying, but this chair should only be used for babies that can sit up independently. There’s nothing to support your baby from falling over if they can’t sit up on their own.
The great part about this chair is that is can be deployed almost anywhere. Indoors or outdoors, this chair works and it works well. Having a picnic or cookout? Having an indoor family gathering? This chair works everywhere.
However, there are some drawbacks that I should point out. The biggest issue is how hard this chair is to put back in the bag. Unless you remember exactly how it came out, you may have some trouble getting it back in. Lucky for you, I’ve mastered the art of packing this chair up and I have provided a photo of how the chair and tray table should be packed to slide back into the bag.
Another issue worth pointing out is that the tray table is pretty small – you can’t fit a plate or dish of any sort on it, so you’ll have to resort to just spreading food out on it. Not a deal breaker, but it would be nice once in a while to be able to use a dish. As our youngest daughter gets older, we’re introducing more utensils and dishes and it would be nice to use those dishes with this chair. Of course, a bigger tray would mean a less compact overall package so it’s a tradeoff.
The tray table is also pretty tricky to snap into place. I’m often afraid I’m going to pinch my daughter’s skin as I slide the tray table on. Also, there have been a few instances where I didn’t have the tray table snapped in all the way and it slipped off, either causing food to spill or almost causing my daughter to fall forward. It’s just something to be mindful of – check and double check the tray table to make sure it’s snapped into place.
My final complaint about this chair is the cloth material it’s made with. Babies are messy. When they eat, food gets everywhere. As far as I’m aware, there’s no way to get the fabric off of the chair for washing. So, this chair could get pretty crusty pretty quick with heavy use. Baby wipes are miraculous at cleaning messes, even in fabric, so ours has held up so far. But I don’t see this chair as something I’ll hand down – it will surely be too gross by then.
- Easy to set up
- Can be set up anywhere
- Hard to pack back into bag
- Tray table is small
- Tray table is hard to snap into place
- Cloth material is difficult to clean
Rating: 3 / 5
The Summer Infant Pop ‘N Sit Portable Booster Chair is far from perfect, but it’s one of the better solutions I’ve ever used on the market. So while I give it three stars, I would still recommend the product if that makes any sense. I don’t know of anything better. There are definitely drawbacks you should be aware of, but I wouldn’t let those drawbacks dissuade you from purchasing this travel high chair. This chair will help you feed your baby on your outdoor (and indoor) adventures, so despite the challenges it poses it’s still worth it.
If you’ve used this chair, I would love to hear your experience. If you know of a better option than this, please share with us and our readers. Comment below!