We’re all about safety. Even though we no longer own a car, we still try to travel with a travel booster seat. They come in handy when we rent cars. And it gives us some peace of mind that our little ones are safe, at least when they’re riding in a car.
We first thought about getting a travel car seat when we were in Costa Rica itinerary. We rented a car when we were there, and part of the rental requirements was that children needed to ride in a booster seat. Since we didn’t have a travel car seat at the time, we had to rent them from the car rental. And even though it wasn’t a lot of money per day, it did add up.
Since then, we carry a lightweight car seat with us. That way, we don’t have to deal with renting booster seats every time we rent a car.
We recently partnered with BubbleBum, a UK company that creates a travel booster seat that’s perfect for families like us. They’re lightweight and easy to take around with us! We took some time to test out the BubbleBum, and put together some tips on how to pick the best travel car seat for your family.
This post was updated on May 27, 2020.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something. But don’t worry, this will not result in any extra costs to you.
Why you need a travel booster seat like the BubbleBum
Car safety is important, especially for a traveling family. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the more than 23,000 deaths from car accidents in 2016, more than half of those passengers and drivers who died did not use a seatbelt. These deaths could have been prevented!
Seatbelts really do save lives. The CDC reports that seatbelts can reduce the risk of death in car accidents by around 45%. And for youngsters who no longer need to use a car seat with a five point harness, a travel booster seat helps them to be able to use those seatbelts properly.
Regular booster seats are heavy and bulky. But a travel booster car seat, like the BubbleBum, are compact and lightweight. They’re really affordable, at around $27-30 per travel car seat. And you can get them shipped to you. So you don’t have to worry about going to the store to buy them!
How to pick the right travel booster car seat
Picking the best travel car seat for your little one doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. Essentially, you want to find a travel booster car seat that’s lightweight, durable, comfortable for your kid, and positions the seat belt in the right place. And if it’s a good company that knows what parents want, then even better for you!
Choose a lightweight car seat
For a traveling family like us, weight is a premium. If we’re going to be traveling with a travel booster seat, we want to make sure that it’s a lightweight car seat.
The BubbleBums are great because they’re so light. They barely weigh half a pound each! Plus, when they’re deflated, they squish into my bag pretty easily. When looking for the best travel car seat for your kid, choose a lightweight car seat that compacts down for travel. You don’t want to be lugging around a big car seat through the airport. Trust me!
Go for a travel car seat with durability
Any travel gear we buy has to be durable. That includes a travel car seat. When you’re picking out a travel booster car seat for your kid, make sure it’s one that’s designed to last. Kids put a lot of wear and tear into their things!
The inflatable BubbleBum travel booster seat is made with heavy duty vinyl, much like air mattress material. It’s designed for kids ages 4-11, and can withstand between 33-79 lbs of weight.
I do have to say that the weight limit is the one flaw we’ve found in this booster seat. While our son had no problem using the booster seat, our daughter, who was bigger, had more issues. The seat deflated often, so we needed to constantly reinflate with each use. And the seat itself was a bit small for my daughter. This booster seat, then is most ideal for kids aged 4-7, or who weigh 33-45 pounds.
Make sure they’re comfortable for your kid
Comfort is an important factor for my kids, especially for my daughter. When picking the best travel car seat for your kids, make sure that it provides some comfort for them too.
We like the BubbleBum because they’re inflatable. Essentially, it’s like your kids are sitting on a blow up pillow! It makes the travel booster seat super comfortable for my kids, even for a picky kid like my daughter.
Make sure it puts the seat belt in the right position
The purpose of a booster seat is to position your child in the right spot for a seatbelt. It basically gives your child a boost so that the seatbelt can rest across your child’s chest and lap, rather than laying next to their neck and across their stomach.
We like the BubbleBum travel booster seat because there are handles on each side of the seat, for the seatbelt to pass through. This ensures proper positioning of the seatbelt across your kid’s lap. There is also a strap that attaches to the travel booster car seat to help position the seatbelt across the chest.
When choosing the best travel car seat for your kids, make sure it’s one that actually positions the seatbelt, rather than just raising them higher.
Do some research on the company
As conscious consumers, we need to also make sure we do some research beforehand about the companies we buy from. Carseat.org provides a list of companies whose products have had recalls. This can help you, as parents, make sure that the product you’re buying is safe to use. At last check, the BubbleBum travel booster seat did not have any recalls listed.
Another thing we like about the BubbleBum company is that it was founded (and still run) by a mom. She created BubbleBum because she wanted a lightweight car seat that could help keep her kids safe when they traveled. I like that real parents are behind the decisions for the design of this product!
Choosing the best travel car seat for your kids
Choosing the best travel car seat for your little one shouldn’t be a tough decision. The most important thing is that they’re light, durable, comfortable, and properly protects your kids. But they should also be fun for the kids too!
We love having a BubbleBum travel booster seat for each of our kids. They come in an assortment of designs!
We went for the standard black for my son. But my daughter wanted the more girly pink design. Other designs include a Union Jack, an American flag, and shamrocks.
If you’re in the market for a travel booster seat, consider getting a BubbleBum. Or at the very least, make sure the one you choose covers all the important aspects I mention above.
Do you travel with a booster seat? What’s your favorite travel booster car seat?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. My family and I received two free BubbleBum inflatable booster seats in exchange for a blog post. However, the views expressed in this post are completely my own.
Are you struggling to keep your travel planning and preparation organized? My Overseas Family Vacation Travel Prep Checklist is just the tool you need! Click here to receive your free copy by signing up for my newsletter.
Want to connect with me on social media? Find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. And for those of you who are dedicated to traveling more responsibly, sustainably, and ethically, join over 100 like-minded families on my Facebook group, Responsible Family Travel.