The BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat is an ultra-portable, lightweight, compact backless booster. Deflated, it stores in its own travel bag that you can toss into your backpack or have your child carry on his or her own. Inflated, it easily and quickly installs in any backseat (including rental cars, taxis, and in between two other carseats), providing a safe and comfortable ride.
After years of struggling with getting good, tight installs on bulky seats, it was hard to believe a safety device could be so simple and well-designed. It really is as easy as opening the valve and blowing into it until fully inflated. Then, pass the lap portion of the car’s seatbelt through the clips on either side of the booster and pull tight until the belt is secured low and tight across the lap.
The tricky part is using the shoulder belt positioner, if needed. The only way to know if it’s needed is to actually have your child sit in the booster with the belt buckled to see where it lies (which means it’s a very good idea to test this out in a low-stress, no-hurry situation before going on any trips). Then the positioner attaches to the underside of the seat and is tightened into position. Once you know you need it and have it attached and positioned to fit, it’s pretty easy to use subsequently. When you’ve arrived at your destination, open the valve, squeeze to deflate, close the valve, and stick the booster in your travel bag for next time.
This booster is a major improvement to my family’s weekends and vacations. For the last 5+ years, traveling has involved lugging a back-breaking carseat through airports, onto airplanes, and into rental cars (multiply that by two for the last 3+ years). Weekend activities with friends have involved serious logistics analysis to get everyone where they needed to go safely. Enter the BubbleBum! We are now ready to breeze through the airport with just carry on bags. On weekends, extra friends are no problem. I keep the BubbleBum in my trunk and pop it in between my kids’ carseats for the extra passenger.
The only downside to the BubbleBum is that it can feel a little unstable, especially for kids who might be riding in a booster for the first time and are used to more substantial five-point harness carseats. My daughter and her friends so far have really liked it and didn’t have any issues with maintaining a straight sitting position. But again, it’s a good idea to do a test drive and make sure your child can sit properly in the seat while you drive. As always, make sure your child meets the age and weight requirements before using.
We have both the black/silver and pink/pink color combinations. The black/silver looks classic and, while I wouldn’t necessarily choose it, my daughter loves the bright pink and since it doesn’t have to permanently reside in my car, why not?
I don’t think this will become our daily seat (yet), but I highly recommend it for backup and occasional use. Because it’s so affordable and compact, it’s perfect to keep on hand for travel and unexpected extra passengers.