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Portable baby seat reviews

Last updated: 22 July 2016

A portable high chair can make travelling with a baby or infant just that little bit easier. See our high chair buying guide for what to look for when choosing one, and how we test to see how we get our results.

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Our test covers boosters and harnesses that attach to a dining chair, clip-on seats that attach to a table, and floor seats for young babies. Our review will tell you which seats and harnesses are:

  • safest for your baby
  • easy to use (for newly tested models)
  • have the features to suit your needs.

Our rigorous test looks at key safety requirements such as choking and entrapment hazards, sharp points, strength, structural integrity, security of the harness, and security of attachment to the chair or table. Our interactive comparison tool lists the seats' features and specifications to help you make the right choice. Our Recommended list will tell you quickly which portable high chairs we rated the best.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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Type
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Clip-on or hook-on chairs: attach to the table, which should be solid and stable. Booster seats or chair-mounted seats: strap to a chair and elevate the child to table height.  Harnesses: strap to a dining chair. They don’t elevate the child to table level, but can be very compact and portable. Floor seats: designed to support small babies (around 3-6 months old) when they are still learning to sit upright. They must only be used on the floor.

Passed key safety requirements
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There's no Australian standard for portable baby seats, so our tests are based on relevant clauses from the Australian standard for high chairs AS 4684, plus some tests from the standards for cots, folding cots and toys. We also refer to some clauses of the European and US standards for portable high chairs. The most important tests include whether the seat anchors firmly to the chair or table, whether it has any head entrapment gaps or strangulation hazards, and an adequate harness or other retention system (such as high enough sides). Floor seats (which sit on the ground) are not penalised for having side protection that is less than 170mm, as the risk of injury is far lower. 

Features

Tray
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A tray can be handy for feeding and playtime. If provided, the tray should be secure when fitted but easy to remove, attach and adjust.

Specifications

Harness type
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We recommend products with a 5-point harness (shoulders, waist and crotch straps), or a 4-point harness plus a hard crotch barrier. 3-point harnesses (waist and crotch straps only) are usually not enough to stop a child pushing or standing up, which increases the risk of falling. Floor-mounted seats don't need a harness as the risk of injury from falling is low. Harness buckles should be easy for you, but not for your child, to release.

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  • Overall score
  • Ease of use score
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  • Passed key safety requirements
  • Dimensions when folded (cm)
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  • Type
  • Tray
  • Harness type
  • Recommended tabletop thickness
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