The best travel high chairs? Not exactly the most thrilling of topics… until you start travelling with your little one and realise how crucial they can be!
Travelling with a little one of any age can add some stress to your trip, and the last thing you need to do is figure out how they’re going to eat their meals. Sure, you could have them sit on your lap, and that’s fine every once in a while but doing that every meal while you’re away isn’t that fun. Trust us.
We think travelling with our little boy, Baby B, is really important for his development and our own sanity! You can read more about why you should travel with a baby here.
Why do you need a travel high chair?
Once you’re eager to travel and thinking about packing you may be considering a travel high chair. While it has been fun at times to see all the different styles of highchair wherever we’ve travelled, it also hasn’t always been ideal!
There’s nothing worse than arriving at a planned stop (or unplanned!) to find either they have no highchairs, they are not age-appropriate or worse, they are so badly looked after that you spend a pack of baby wipes cleaning up 6 months worth of baby food.
These are extreme examples of course but when you travel as much as we have sometimes it is just easier taking your own travel high chair so that you eat where ever you choose rather than being at the mercy of such a small thing.
Travelling with a high chair may not suit everyone. It very much depends on how you’re travelling but also how much you are able to take with you. Many won’t fit in a carry on bag for example or aren’t suitable to take camping/use outdoors.
The first thing you need to consider when thinking about your purchase is where will you be using it and how will you get it there.
This might mean you end up having a couple of different options, which we is what we did too. Something light and packable for overseas travel, and something a bit sturdier for visiting family/friends and road trips.
Here we list some of our favourite travel high chairs but also some that you may be curious about and that we know friends have used. Anything to take that extra stress away from travelling with a little one!
Different types of travel high chairs
Solid Booster seats
A booster seat does exactly what it says. It’s able to attach to most normal chairs and it’s the perfect way to give your little one a little security as they try and eat with you. These may not be suitable for really young children but are a great way to help a toddler feel included at mealtimes.
Another aptly named seat, these travel highchairs “clamp-on” to the edge of the table creating a seat at the perfect height for the majority of tables. Again these may not be suitable for very young babies or older toddlers or for the more nervous parent but they work very well and are relatively easy to travel with.
A foldaway travel high chair is a lighter or smaller version of a normal high chair. They can be slightly bigger and bulkier than other types of travel high chairs but some would say more stable as well.
These work very well and maybe more suitable for smaller children as they generally offer more support and have their own table. However, do check the size and weight to be considered from a travel point of view, they shouldn’t hinder your trip!
Probably the most space-conscious travel high chair option! The fabric high chair folds down to a very small size and fits snugly over the back of a normal-sized chair creating a safe attachment to support your little one.
Again, works for a slightly older baby with good head and neck control, the fabric high chair allows for the chair to then be pushed into the table to allow the family to eat together. We found this a great option for overseas travel and days out because it fit in the nappy bag.
Yep, you read that correctly, you can also find inflatable travel high chairs! They tend to take the shape of an inflatable cushion that works as a booster. Only you will know if this will work for you. Baby B doesn’t tend to sit still long enough to find this helpful just yet but we’re working on it!
Things to consider when choosing a travel high chair
How and where you’re travelling or at least the way you travel the most often should be the focus. Plane, train or automobile? Each of these forms of transport throws up their own requirements. Will your chair be for daily use, weekly or just for the family holiday each year?
We travel predominantly by car as we explore Scotland and the UK so we have the luxury of looking at the slightly bulkier travel high chairs (find more tips about road trips with a baby here). We also travel abroad often and love our fabric high chair for its ability to just be thrown into the suitcase!
Obviously, this depends on your own budget and like many baby products there seems to be no ceiling to the amount companies are happy to charge.
However, read up on the products you’re interested in and compare prices with similar products, You’ll soon get a grasp of the average price. There’s no need to spend more for no reason.
This, of course, is crucial. We spend time before each purchase checking reviews both on Which? and on Mumsnet to see what issues other parents may have had. There will always be negative remarks and you will have to draw your own conclusions.
One thing to remember is that travel high chairs generally are for little ones 9 months or older who are able to sit up by themselves. Make sure the high chair you choose not only is suitable for the age of your child and the stage they’re at but also is able to grow with them as they develop further!
We’re a big fan of a gadget but being easy to clean is a real game-changer for us. For those more fraught meals where food ends up everywhere but inside your little one you need to be able to get into every nook and cranny. Make sure you check for the ease of cleaning as well as feedback on using the chair itself.
If it seems too complicated then look into it further. For example, you’ll need to feel 100% confident in clamping the chair to a random table to then be able to sit and enjoy your meal together.
The best travel high chairs
This seat is perfect for bigger babies and toddlers as it straps to any chair for easy grab-and-go travel. It folds into a messenger bag and even has a 5-point harness.
- Packs down into its own carry case
- Suitable for large kids
- Only weighs 1.5 pounds
- Carry case means that it counts for luggage when travelling if you can’t fit it in your suitcase
- Not suitable for younger or smaller babies
This travel high chair attaches to the top of any dining chair and is suitable for children who are under 50 pounds and can sit up on their own. It’s all plastic, but it’s compact and a bit more sturdy than the compressible cloth chairs.
- Comes with a carry strap
- All plastic outer pieces mean it’s easy to clean
- Folds up into your luggage
- Not too expensive
- 3 adjustable heights
- Adjustable tray table
- Not suitable for bigger children
This small, compact portable high chair attaches with clamps to any table and includes a 4-point safety harness. The setup is super-quick and the chair itself is suitable for smaller babies.
- Small and packable – fits into its own carry case or nappy bag
- Dishwasher safe food tray included
- Secure clamps
- Easy to set up and has a 5 point safety harness
- Easy to clean as the fabric slides off the frame
- Not suitable for all types of tables (see product details)
- Limited to use up to 37 pounds only
- On the more expensive end of travel highchairs
The combo floor seat and play tray baby bumper is a simple, yet effective chair. It is essentially a booster seat with no moving parts and no cloth for easy cleaning. The shape is made to fit the baby’s posture, promoting healthy sitting habits.
- Simple, no set up required
- Very stable
- Easy to clean (although see point below about the tray)
- Comfortable for children still learning to sit steady
- Limited uses as it’s not as easy to take with you, although we have taken this on road trips
- Straps can be awkward on some chairs
- No packability
- Tray table can get dirty so be sure to flush it out fully in case food/liquid gets inside. Some people have drilled holes in the back to help!
This tiny, no-frills booster seat is about as basic as it gets. Simply open up the seat and go. An ideal choice for those looking for a small booster seat without any bells and whistles.
- Folds into itself
- Simple design
- Easy to clean
- Kid-proof buckles
- Difficult to open one-handed
- Not suitable for smaller children
A great booster seat for larger babies that includes a removable, dishwasher safe tray for easy cleaning. Folds flat for a more compact on-the-go storage option. Not everyone loves the tray design, but you can still use the booster without it.
- Simple set up and easy storage
- Straps to an adult chair
- Carry handle
- Straps are separate from high chair
- Tray design isn’t the best – flimsy and difficult to use for some
Another clamp-on style high chair that works well on a variety of surfaces and is suitable for bigger babies. Easy fold-and-go storage, with an included carry case, makes this a great choice for travel.
- Cloth seat removes for easy cleaning in the washing machine
- Small and compact (2.2 lbs) for easy travel
- Padded back for comfort
- Doesn’t work on all tables – tables over 2 inches thick are difficult to clamp safely
- Some parents thought the seat is a bit flimsier than other similar highchairs, making it tough to remove children
Like a foldable camping chair for kids, the Chai Baby Portable High Chair comes in a variety of colours and is well-suited for outdoor use, and like a true high-chair, it sits a bit taller than the other chairs in this review and folds up accordion style.
- Great for camping, road trips, and outdoor pursuits
- Safety latches keep the chair stable
- Standalone, no need for another chair
- Fabric is quick-drying, although it doesn’t come off to clean
- Soft tray slants towards your child
- Isn’t suitable for plane travel
- A bit heavier and bulkier than some other options
A unique take on portable travel chairs, the Totseat High Chair slips over a conventional adult chair to provide support for your kiddo. At £25 it is a semi budget-friendly portable high chair option that can be taken anywhere.
We own this seat and have taken it all over the world, it really has been an excellent buy!
- Compact and easy to use – stores in your suitcase or a daypack easily
- Works for smaller babies who can hold themselves up
- Easy to clean by washing
- Might not fit all chairs as easily
- Not suitable for larger kids
Another tiny camping-chair style booster seat, this chair folds up in a superfast for easy grab-and-go travel. It includes a removable dishwasher safe tray and a three-point safety harness. Can be attached to another chair to use at table height, or used on the ground if you’re somewhere like the park or the beach.
- Easy fold-and-go and comes with carry case that fits the chair and tray
- Works well for children under 35 pounds
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Not easily washable although does wipe clean
- Straps can be awkward on older children
This deluxe folding high chair has a variety of bonus features that make it a great choice for outdoor use. It includes a cushioned seat along with a sunshade, tray and carry bag.
This travel high chair is adjustable as your child grows, fitting from 3 months up to 75 pounds. The feet are angled for stability and there are 8 points of contact with the ground, which is much higher than many other travel high chairs for outdoor use.
- 5 point removable harness
- Lots of added features for outdoor use, including sun canopy
- Comes with a carry case and folds up easily
- Not as lightweight or compact as some other outdoor chairs
- Lower to the ground and not suitable as a booster seat
- Some people find the drink holder too small for their child’s cup
- More expensive
Another clamp-on style travel high chair! This table chair clasps quickly to virtually any table, including curved tables, for a quick seat suitable for travel.
Suitable for smaller kids and available in a variety of colours, the sleek design makes for a great addition to any baby travel essentials. There’s even a storage pouch in the back.
The deep seat and higher back than some other clamp-on chairs add increased security and comfort.
- Fits almost any table
- A deep seat and high backrest
- The outer cover is removable and machine washable
- Pocket on the back to the seat to store utensils etc
- Compact and simple to store with a built-in carry bag
- 3 point harness as opposed to the 5 points of the Phil & Ted’s Lobster
- Carry bag doesn’t have a shoulder strap
- Can be a process to remove all the parts to wash
- Doesn’t come with a tray although you can purchase one separately
The Concord Lima travel high chair folds down quickly for a small booster seat with a harness and tray. Its quick storage helps to make set up and take down a breeze. It isn’t as easy to travel with if you’re planning on walking around with it and you wouldn’t take it as hand luggage on a plane for example, but it’s suitable for more leisurely trips.
- Folds up for quick storage
- Easy to set up
- Lightweight but robust
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t work on bench seats or seats with thick padding
- Tray table can be a bit small
- Not almost perfect table height but tray table makes up for this
Check the price and more features here
Hopefully this selection of the best travel high chairs has helped you work out what will suit you and your little one best on your adventures!
Consider how you will need to transport it and how often you will be using it to make sure that your purchase suits its purpose. You may find that you don’t need one at all but we have found it really handy to always have the ability to sit Baby B comfortably wherever we find ourselves, be it in a local cafe, on a visit to grandparents or halfway around the world.
We have swapped between a bumbo-style seat and fabric travel highchair and found those worked in most situations for us. However, we also have friends who have used the camping-style foldable chairs and clamp-on with success too!
Let us know what you decide!
Sonja and Phil x