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There are many brilliant design features of this product, and yet I am unable to give it five stars. The Munchkin travel booster seat does all I could possibly want from a travel booster seat, except keep my wriggly two-year-old seated and consequently safe. From the accolades this product has received it does seem that I must be in the minority: the Munchkin travel booster seat won Gold as best travel product 2010/11 in the Mother and Baby Awards, Silver in the Practical Pre-School Awards and Bronze in the Practical Parenting and Pregnancy Awards (Booster/Travel Highchair category). I can see why it has done so well.
Firstly it really is easy to transport as the seat folds up into a bag with a long shoulder strap: you sling it over your shoulder and go on your way. It is relatively light in itself, and so filling the storage area with all the paraphernalia of baby's lunch is quite feasible, it doesn't make it too heavy. The storage area, which is underneath the seat can comfortably house: one bib, one cup with lid, one bowl, spoon, pouch or jar of food. If you have you have high-level Tetris skills you may also be able to fit in a feed bottle, a snack pot, and a bag of crisps if you are not too fussy. One point they could perhaps have incorporated here- material to keep food chilled. You may be able to fit a small ice-pack in, but you will most likely still have to transport a small cool bag with you. If you manage the ice-pack option you can rest assured that the storage area does appear to be lined with waterproof fabric for when it melts. There is also an internal pocket in the storage area to aid organised storage.
Once you have arrived at your destination the booster seat is easy to fit to most chairs. The front pouch of the bag opens to reveal the part of the booster on which your child will sit, and straps that fit the booster to a chair. The minimum dimensions the chair should have are a seat with depth and width of 340mm, and a back of 370mm in height. Maximum dimensions are listed on the pack. Munchkin have listed two widths: 780mm for the chair seat and 530mm for the chair back and a depth of 600mm. This is due to the varying lengths of the straps that fix the booster seat to the regular chair. According to the photo on the pack there are three such straps which are adjustable so they can be made secure, one goes around the back of the chair, the others underneath. One of these latter is the bag's shoulder strap and I might be missing something but I have not discovered how to make it taut under the chair, mine just hangs loose and so offers no further stability to the booster seat.
The booster seat offers a choice of two heights. If using in the lowest height, the only part of the bag you have to open is that that contains the fixing straps. The underside of the bag has four rubber ovals that are the feet of the bag in this guise. If you need extra height you will need the four feet that are secreted inside. When extended they add approximately another 4cm of height. This is one of my favourite bits of the seat. On the underside of the bag there are two flaps which attach to the side of the bag with Velcro. When you open these they fold right back and secure with more Velcro that is on the underside of the bag. Four legs can then be unfolded and locked into place. These have rubber on their undersides to add a bit of resistance for safety and they hold the seat steady on flat seated chairs and those with integral padded seats.
The whole bag is made of a wipe-down fabric that is straightforward to keep clean. It has a strong construction and is quite sturdy. The back of the seat offers little support being rather flexible, but as it has to back onto the back of a chair this should not be problematic. The booster seat is designed for children over the age of 12 months who are able to support themselves in sitting.
The trouble is the 3-point harness that holds Baby CrazyEgg into the chair is very shallow. It straps around her hips and between her legs, but if she has a mind to she can have a very good attempt at standing up: her feet rest on the chair she is attached to and she pushes and wiggles and leans and almost launches herself out of the seat. There is no way I could move out of reach of her when she is in this booster seat. Now, I should tell you that Baby CrazyEgg is below all centiles for weight and could be considered skinny. But her friends are regular-sized and the same is true of them: if they push forward with their feet their bottoms start to slide out of the harness. If they had a mind to, they could climb out. Despite all its plus points, I have managed to deter others from buying this product by simply allowing them to try it.
The manufacturers have clearly considered that adjustable height will give the product a greater period of service. It can be used until your child is 15kg, so Baby CrazyEgg can use it until she has doubled her current weight. However, it will not be truly safe to use until she is old enough to understand not to wriggle and try to escape. Her other hobby when in this seat is to extend her legs so she pushes against the table and tips the chair and booster backwards. This may be a fault of the table rather than the booster seat, however.
It's a good product but a deeper harness is needed.
I wrote another review about our other travel booster seat (Safety first fold up booster seat), which our inlaws bought. We wanted to buy one to keep at ours, and one that was easy for me to use when I'm out on my own with Oscar (as I don't have a car!).
Last summer I borrowed this Munchkin travel booster seat from a friend, and was so impressed with it I decided to buy one for myself. I looked around before I bought it as prices seemed to vary quite a bit. It is currently on sale at Amazon for £15, but I bought it in Morrisons when they had a baby event on for £8!
It all folds up small enough to look like a changing bag, and has an adjustable carry strap which I can hang easily on my buggy, perfect for times when I pop out on my own with Oscar when my husband is at work. There is a zipped compartment which can fit a cup, fork etc, or sometimes I put some snacks or a couple of nappies and a pack of wipes in it. When attached to a chair, this compartment is at the bottom of the seat, so is very easy to access once your baby is all strapped in.
It attaches onto a chair with two straps, and these straps are very adjustable. I've used it on a fold up garden chair, and also a very deep seated dining chair, both fitting perfectly. There is an adjustable lap harness for strapping your baby in too. Underneath the seat unit there are feet which you can pull out to make the booster seat higher, which is a great feature.
All in all, I cannot fault it. I paid £8, but I would happily have paid the full price of £15 as it really is worth every penny!
We bought this as we were fed up of going to family pubs for lunch that owned no high chair, now it's used more then our own high chair. Attaches securely to chair via three straps (I haven't found a chair it doesn't attach to) and has little feet that can be used to make it higher if needed. The pocket underneath is quite small you could prob fit a drink and some snacks in and maybe a nappy or two but to be honest I still take a changing bag with me or stick the wetwipes in my hand bag if they don't fit. You couldn't use it as a changing bag as well the pocket is not quite big enough for a whole day's out stuff but I didn't expect it to me.
It folds and unfolds so easily (one velcro bit) and one strap becomes the shoulder strap and the other two fold away so it tidies into a neat shoulder bag to carry. The harness is quite low and I imagine may be a bit tired on a bigger baby but I have never had a problem with it and she is always securely in. I like the fact she is then at the table with us rather then a high chair tray away and it's brilliant for doing arts and crafts or playdoh at the table.