8 Best Portable High Chairs of 2020
Best Portable High Chairs
July 14, 2020

Best Portable High Chairs

Best Portable High Chairs

Love checking out new restaurants and going on weekend getaways? Those things don’t have to stop once you have a baby. With the help of some gear, like portable high chairs, your pre-baby activities can actually become one of your favorite ways to spend time together as a family.

Portable high chairs, sometimes also called travel high chairs, are designed to provide a safe and clean spot for your little one to chow down wherever you go. They either latch onto a table or strap around a dining chair and, because they take up far less space than traditional high chairs, some parents even use them full-time to save space.

Both kinds of portable high chairs have a three-point harness—so your little one can’t slip out through the bottom—and shouldn’t be used until your child can sit up independently without slumping over (around six months).

Do you need a portable high chair?

A portable high chair is great for eating out at restaurants that don’t provide any baby-friendly seating options or when you want to avoid the sticky, crusty, broken-safety-belt loaners many places offer. (Another option is bringing a seat cover to place over the loaner high chair.)

If you plan on traveling frequently—whether to grandma’s house or overseas—having a portable high chair ensures your child always has a safe spot at the table. But you could also feed your child from your lap if you don’t mind the mess.

What type of portable high chair is best?

Portable high chairs that clamp onto tables are smaller, lighter and easier to pack. But they might not work with round or oval-shapes, tables with thin lips or ones that aren’t solid enough to support your baby’s weight. Also, the fabric seats tend to be hand-wash or spot-clean only.

On the other hand, portable high chairs that strap onto dining chairs are a breeze to clean—just swipe the plastic down—and later, you can remove the tray to use them as a simple booster seat for toddlers. But this type of portable is bulky and a pain to tote around. And, depending on what type of dining set you’re working with, the high chair might not put your child at level height with the table.

Deciding what type of portable high chair to buy really depends on what features matter most to you. Consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Usability: Is it safe and sturdy? Will it work with multiple types of tables or chairs? Is it easy to attach?
  • Portability: Can you pack it in a suitcase or diaper bag? Does it have a carrying case or strap to put over your shoulder? Is it lightweight?
  • Cleaning: Can you wipe it down? Is the fabric removable and washable?

Check out these popular picks to find a portable high chair that works for your family.

Fast and Secure

There’s a reason this is called the Fast Table Chair: you can clamp it onto tables in no time flat with a few knob twists, and it’s even easier to pack it up. A drawstring carrying case is attached and hidden on the bottom of the seat. Just pull it out and package up the seat that folds flat when you’re ready to go. This portable high chair fits on table lips up to 3.5 inches.

Instructions say the removable canvas seat is hand-wash only, but some parents successfully ran it through a delicate cycle in their machines. (You decide if it’s worth the risk!)

Additional Specs
Usage: From 6 to 36 mos, up to 37 lbs
Weight: 4.2 lbs
Dimensions: 14” x 17” x 11”; folded: 14” x 17” x 4”

Contoured and Comfortable

This popular chair with a fun name and a comfy, contoured seat is a versatile pick that works at the table or on the floor. If you’re using it at the table, simply strap it to your chair and pull it right up to your dining space so your little one can join in at mealtime. No table or chairs? No problem. The Multi Seat can also be used on the floor either for meals or activities.

The only downside here is that the Bumbo doesn’t fold, making it a bit less compact and a little more bulky if you’re planning on using it for travel.

Additional Specs
Usage: From 5 mos to 4 years
Weight: 3.75 lbs
Dimensions: 9” x 14.125” x 15.25”

Attaches in a Cinch

This seat does exactly what its name implies—attaches to your table in only a few seconds. The QuickSeat features a one-pull tightener that cinches the seat into place rather than the screw-on clamps used by most other portable high chairs. It folds down for travel (there’s a built-in carrying strap, just keep in mind that the seat isn’t super compact when folded and the cinching mechanism adds weight) and a snap-on tray included. And the seat cover snaps off for washing without having to remove the seat from the table.

Looking for a more portable option? The Chicco Caddy Hook-On Chair doesn’t feature the one-pull cinching mechanism but is lighter and more compact than the QuickSeat.

Additional Specs
Usage: From 6 to 36 mos, up to 37 lbs
Weight: 9.5 lbs
Dimensions: 24” x 14” x 6”

Lots of Features, Less Space

The SpaceSaver High Chair proves that just because you have a small dining area doesn’t mean you have to compromise on cushy features. It sits atop a dining room chair—no need to make room for more baby gear—and provides a just-right seat for your little one with two height adjustments and three recline positions.

It’s a popular replacement for a traditional high chair and it’s easy to see why: the seat and tray are dishwasher safe, the seat pad and harness are machine washable, and later it can be turned into a booster seat. Also, unlike other portable high chairs this one can be used from the newborn stage and features a 5-point safety harness (the kind that goes over the shoulders). Just keep in mind that it’s not the best for taking with you to restaurants or for traveling since it’s bulky and doesn’t fold down.

Additional Specs
Usage: From newborn up to 37 lbs; toddler booster up to 50 lbs
Weight: 8 lbs
Dimensions: 20.4” x 24” x 21.6”

Custom Swivel

This seat from Graco has an innovative feature unique to the other portable high chairs on our list: the seat swivels so you can easily turn your little one to face any direction at the table. While it’s not ideal for travel since it doesn’t fold down, the SwiviSeat is a great space-saver if you’re looking to cut down on baby gear or don’t have room for a traditional high chair. It’s also one of the only seats you can use from day one thanks to the infant cradle recline. You’ll be able to use this portable high chair all the way through to the toddler years.

Additional Specs
Usage: Infant feeding booster: max 40 lbs; Toddler booster: max 50 lbs
Weight: 10.14 lbs
Dimensions: 24” x 20.5” x 22”

Clip and Go

Lightweight, compact and easy to clip onto most tables make this portable high chair a solid choice for traveling or for use at home. The “lobster claws”—AKA the chair’s clip-on arms—feature rubber grips for a secure attachment and an adjustable clamping mechanism. There’s a dishwasher-safe food tray, a 4-point harness and a padded seat with fabric that slides off for easy cleaning. (Hand washing is recommended but you can try the delicate setting on your washing machine if you’re feeling adventurous.) When it’s time to pack up the seat easily folds in on itself and can be transported in the included carry bag.

Additional Specs
Usage: From 3 to 36 mos, up to 37 lbs
Weight: 3.9 lbs
Dimensions: 24” x 15” x 4”

Easy to Clean

If you’re looking for a sturdy, portable high that’s easy to wipe down, the Pocket Snack Booster is a great choice. There’s no fabric or sneaky crevices to worry about here—simply give the entire seat a quick wipe after use and you’re good to go. It’s designed to work on top of a dining chair and features three height adjustments and three tray positions so you can find the position that’s most comfortable for your little one. It also folds up for easy portability.

Additional Specs
Usage: From 6 mos up to 50 lbs
Weight: 5.75 lbs
Dimensions: 19.25” x 13.5” x 15”

Ultra Light, Ultra Portable

Parents rave about the price, ease of use and extreme portability of this all-fabric seat. All you need to do is slip it over a chair (make sure it’s sturdy first, of course) and pull the strap around the back to secure it. Then slip your little one into the bucket seat and pull up a seat at the table.

The two big pros here are that you can toss the Easy Seat right into your diaper bag and that the whole thing is machine washable. The cons? It won’t work with every type of chair and, since there’s no booster component, it often leaves smaller children sitting too low at the table.

Additional Specs
Usage: From 6 mos up to 35 lbs
Weight: 5.2 oz
Dimensions: 7.99” x 1.5” x 5.98”
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