Our overall score is based on our safety tests. Models with no failures score 100%; models with only very minor failures score 80%. Models with minor failures score 60% to 65% and models with major failures score 20% to 40%, depending on the number of failures.
This includes: initial assembly; setting up the chair; inserting, adjusting and removing the tray; adjusting the seat height; and using and adjusting the harness. This ease of use assessment is new and previously tested models haven't been subjected to this assessment.
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.
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.