In the United States, most restaurants will have high chairs for your baby, but as you travel internationally, this is not always the case, even if a restaurant is family-friendly. As parents traveling with a baby you already have enough to worry about, so bringing your own travel high chair is an excellent idea. Having your own travel high chair will enable you to have a solution wherever you decide to eat, as they are also great for doing meals in your hotel or apartment rental.
Based on our own experience, we recommend the My Little Seat travel high chair, but as you’ll see, some fellow travel bloggers have their own favorites.
Traveling without a High Chair
Without a travel high chair, your options are to find a restaurant providing high chairs, have your child on your lap or use a stroller that has a snack tray. We’ve done all three and though they work in a pinch, they aren’t always feasible. Plus, who wants food in their hair for the rest of the day?
When our daughter started on solids, we wanted a travel high chair because at a minimum we knew we would want to eat breakfast in the hotel before leaving for our daily outing. We needed a way to secure her to a chair, as the lap option just hasn’t worked well for us. Maybe it’s just our kids, but they are MESSY!
We have traveled with a My Little Seat ever since, but we’ve often seen recommendations for clamp-on travel high chairs. We were intrigued to compare it to what we have used. Here is what we came up with:
The Fabric Travel High Chair
Let’s start with the travel high chair we used while traveling, the My Little Seat:
- The My Little Seat is a fabric travel high chair that folds up into a small travel bag about the size of a diaper and it weighs approximately 0.5 lbs. With my folding abilities, it usually ends up being the size of a full diaper. Ha ha!
- It’s super easy to carry around with you on your daily outings and hardly takes up any extra room in your bag.
- It’s machine washable for those extra messy meals.
- Has a 5 point harness to secure in those wiggly ones.
- Recommended ages are 6-30 months and up to 35 pounds.
- We have found it to fit on the majority of the chairs we have tried it on, with the odd exception.
Here’s what we don’t love about it.
- Depending on the height of the table or your little one, sometimes sitting on the chair is really too low for them.
- It doesn’t fit on all chairs and was not at all usable on our trip to Japan. We realized shortly before leaving on our trip (by reviewing our apartment rental pictures) that we were not going to have any way of securing our 14 month old during meal times since our apartments were set up with a traditional Japanese style of eating with no chairs and only a small table. You’d think we would have made that connection earlier, but what can we say? We did our best to improvise several different ways by blocking him in a corner, having a plastic table cloth for him to eat on and feeding him small portions at a time. We luckily found this plastic basket in our Kyoto apartment which worked wonders.
Further to that, many of the restaurants in Japan did not have chairs with a back or they were very small. We also traveled without a stroller, so we couldn’t even make use of a snack tray. To keep it in perspective though, our challenges in Japan were a one-time thing and we’ve had no other issues elsewhere.
The Clamp-On Travel High Chair
To help with the comparison, we enlisted the help of We’re Out of Here. This family has been travelling the world since the fall of 2016 and we knew they would know a thing or two about a travel high chair!
Is there anything better than containing your child so that you can enjoy your own Banh Mì? This high chair is something that we pack with us and it has been invaluable. We typically eat at little hole in the wall restaurants and it is extremely rare that any of the restaurants have a highchair. Meals are much more enjoyable when you aren’t wrestling a baby ?. What are your baby travel essentials? /// @iamshaneb @ramann4 @guzzieandguss . . . . . #wereoutofhere #perch #guzzieandguss #highchair #babyessentials #babytravelessentials #travelwithbaby #eatingout #ontheroad #rtwtrip #worldtrip #traveltip #babyabroad #havebabywilltravel #travelmom #tmom #travellife #banhmi25 #vietnam #bringthekids #inmybag #whattopack #longtermtravel #travelmadeeasy #realness #stressfree #kidswhotravel #traveldiaries #travelingfamily #travelingourplanet
,First some specs on the Guzzie+Guss Perch:
- Holds up to 17kg (37 lbs)
- Folds flat and includes travel bag
- High back: 14 inches (35 cm) of comfort
- Fits most tables
- Machine washable
- Weights approximately 6 pounds
- Is good for kids aged 4mths +
The specs on the phil&ted’s are pretty similar except it’s a little lighter and slightly more expensive.
The big difference between these two is the number of tables they can be used on. Robyn & Shane of We’re Out of Here have owned both and told us that the Guzzie+Guss fits on 90% of the tables they have encountered on their travels throughout Asia, where the phil&ted’s would only be usable on about 20%.
The Guzzie+Guss has a c-clamp instead of the lobster claw, allowing it to be used even on tables with a lip or ridge. Another benefit is the back sits higher and the chair isn’t as deep on the Guzzie+Guss allowing smaller babies to have something to lean back on and to elevate them relative to the table.
So how does the clamp-on high chair compare to the fabric high chair?
The two main considerations are the size of the travel high chair and the comfort of your baby, because neither of the options will work in 100% of the situations.
For us it was all about packing as lightly as possible and hauling as little baby gear as possible. The My Little Seat takes up very little room and fits easily in our day bag for our daily excursions. On our most recent trips, we have left the stroller behind and opted for travelling with only a backpack carrier (and an Ergobaby as a backup and for airports), so we wanted to continue with something that added very little extra weight.
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The clamp-on style, though it packs flat, is not likely to fit in your daybag meaning you will need to carry another item out with you. If you are travelling with a stroller, it could easily be tossed in the lower compartment of your stroller, or you can do what Robyn does and use the travel bag straps to carry it on your back!
That being said, the clamp on style will allow your baby to be up closer to the table and more level with everyone. This would likely lead to less mess and I’m certain they would enjoy it more! One additional benefit, your baby or toddler can’t push themselves away from the table!
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