Unless you enjoy holding your baby in one arm while attempting to eat with the other, you probably rely on a high chair to get through meal times. The problem is, high chairs aren't always easy to find outside of the U.S. And when they are, they're often covered in crusty food particles and other babies' drool—or worse yet, they're broken. That's where a travel high chair comes in handy.
There are quite a few different types of travel high chairs on the market, including both hard and soft models that attach to chairs and others that clip onto tables. After researching all of the options, we settled on the Phil & Ted's Lobster High Chair. Here's our review.
Why We Love It
It's easy to use. The Lobster high chair unfolds easily, attaches to the table easily, and then folds back up in seconds. No problems there.
It's nicely portable. Once folded, it slides right into a convenient carrying bag with handles. It's less than four pounds and small enough to throw in a diaper bag or in the basket of a stroller. However, if you plan to do a lot of walking, you will definitely notice that extra weight.
What We'd Change
The leg holes are too small. Our son has always been on the smaller size—around the 25th percentile for his age. But even though the Lobster is supposed to work for kids up to 35 pounds, we struggled to fit him in the seat even when he was significantly smaller than that. Getting him in wasn't so bad, but getting him out could be tricky as the leg holes would get stuck around his legs.
It only works with certain types of tables. The surface has to be straight without a lip, and the table also has to be sturdy enough to handle that much weight on one side. We thought we'd have no trouble finding tables that would work on our travels, but time and time again we were met with either round tables, tables with lips, or tables too small to handle the weight. It's frustrating to make the effort of carrying something of this size only to not be able to use it.
Security X-rays hate it. We took the Lobster on a three-week tour of Europe, and although we weren't able to use it anywhere we went, it did consistently get us stopped at security at airports and train stations throughout our journey. Without fail as our luggage was going through the X-rays, the security people would stop, point out the contraption, and ask us to step aside. We would then have to try to explain what it was, usually to someone who didn't speak English. By the end of the trip we were ready to toss the thing in the trash, but we felt guilty after spending so much money on it, which leads us to our next point.
It's pricey. At close to $100, the Lobster portable high chair is one of the more expensive models on the market.
Would we recommend the Phil & Ted's Lobster travel high chair?
Not without trying it out first. See if your local kids' store carries it, or buy it from somewhere with a solid return policy. If your kid is on the bigger size, or even average, it may just be uncomfortable for them. If we had it to do over, we'd choose something with more versatility and a little more space for baby to settle in.