We always packed a fabric travel high chair in our baby and toddler travel essentials. Even if we were unsure on how much we would use it, it packed small enough that it was worth having our portable travel high chair with us. As parents traveling with a baby or toddler, we wanted to be prepared (without carrying too much) and packing a portable high chair was an easy way to ensure a safe and secure spot at any restaurant we chose to eat at.
You might be thinking that it would be pointless to pack when traveling with a baby or toddler in the United States or Canada, but this isn’t always the case. Sure, almost every restaurant will have a high chair available for you to use. But even in those instances, we often still used our travel high chair in our Airbnb or hotel room! This was also the best way to make sure our little one isn’t getting food everywhere!
As you begin to travel internationally with a baby, you will find that having high chairs is not always the case, even if a restaurant is family-friendly.
Baby Can Travel Recommends:
Most Popular & Best Travel Booster Seat: hiccapop Omniboost Travel Booster Seat – the hiccapop Omniboost folds down small enough to pack, plus it can be used on a chair or standalone. It’s a great multi-purpose chair that you’ll get a ton of use out of.
Best Fabric High Chair: Original Easy Seat Portable High Chair – a fabric high chair will work in a pinch! If you like to pack light, then this is the portable high chair for you.
Best Clamp-on High Chair: Inglesina Fast Table Chair – the Inglesina Fast Table Chair is the perfect high chair that can be used at home and on the road. We love baby travel gear that works in many scenarios!
Best High Chair for Camping: ciao! Baby Portable High Chair – picnic tables rarely work well for travel high chairs, but this one is a standalone that will bring your baby up to table height while still packing small enough to pack.
As parents traveling with a baby, we have enough to worry about, so bringing our own travel high chair for toddlers or babies is an excellent idea. We found that having a portable baby travel high chair in our stroller or diaper bag will enabled us to give our baby her own seat while also being able to eat our own meal! A luxury all moms should have!
As we mentioned, we didn’t just pack our travel high chair for restaurants. A portable high chair seat for baby is ideal for self-catering at hotels or Airbnb apartments. Rarely is a high chair is provided.
Our favorite was a fabric high chair because we always tried to pack as light as possible. It definitely has some pros and cons, which we cover below. However, there are some incredibly good (and worth the space) portable booster seats to consider too!
Depending on which of the travel high chairs for toddlers and babies you choose, you will also find it to be useful for camping and for visiting family or friends. If you are flying with a baby, all of the ones recommended below should easily pack in your suitcase.
In this list you’ll find only portable travel high chairs that are exactly that – portable. We only include travel high chairs that are practical and realistic for parents to travel with. While we know that toddler booster seats like this Fisher Price portable high chair are amazing (we know, we own two of them), we wouldn’t travel with one. What they are perfect for is using both at home and taking to grandma’s house.
The best travel high chairs are the ones that fold small and that you’ll be willing to carry along with you on your daily outings. Otherwise, what’s the point of bringing it?
Best Portable Travel Highchairs – Table of Contents
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Top 12 Portable High Chairs for Travel
Portable high chairs are an important part of your strategy to feed your baby while traveling. We cover everything after this list of the best portable travel high chairs for babies and toddlers, so read on as we walk you through finding the best high chair for travel for your family.
Don’t have time to read? Here’s short list of the best travel high chairs
Best Stand-alone Travel Booster Seats
The stand-alone travel booster seats are another great alternative. They are foldable and come with a travel bag.
This type of travel high chair booster seat can either be strapped to a chair or used on its own on the floor. These are the only travel high chairs with a tray, which can be removed when using at a table.
This type of foldable travel high chair is the perfect baby camping chair for camping with toddlers and babies, where you might not have another chair to attach it too. Since it’s also the only portable high chair with a tray, it’s the perfect portable camping high chair to place your baby in to play while cooking dinner over the fire, knowing your baby is a safe distance away.
We also love it for the beach with a baby and have included it in your baby beach essentials list.
They are big enough that you might not want to carry it out every day while traveling with your toddler, but if you travel with a stroller then it can easily be stored at the bottom.
Best Fabric Travel High Chairs
Fabric travel high chairs will pack up the smallest, have a 5 point harness and can be thrown in the washing machine. A portable fabric high chair is easily attached to most chairs and will meet almost every budget.
Your baby should be able to sit upright unassisted to use a fabric portable high chair.
Where they fall short is that they don't actually boost your baby or toddler up to the table. A portable fabric high chair also doesn't work in restaurants that have barstools or similar chairs without a back.
Best Travel Booster Seats
These travel booster seats are similar to a traditional booster seat, but they are portable. Similar to a fabric travel high chair, they require a chair to be attached to, but will help boost your baby or toddler up closer to the table.
They only have a 3 point harness, so your baby must be able to sit up unassisted.
The travel booster seats that are the most recommended either have an inflatable seat like the First Years On-The-Go Booster Seat or an internal frame like the Munchkin Brica GoBoost Travel Booster Seat.
Neither of these can pack up very small, but can easily be stored at the bottom of a travel stroller. The Munchkin GoBoost has some storage and a strap so it can be used as a diaper bag as well.
Best Clamp-on Travel Highchairs
Clamp-on travel high chairs are a great option for people who can use it both at home and while traveling with a baby or toddler. Unlike a high chair that attaches to a chair, these clamp right on to the table. A clip on high chair enables your baby or toddler to be sitting high up and close to the table. They also have a 3 point harness to keep your baby or toddler securely in their seat.
Despite being a much larger item to carry, these travel high chairs for babies and toddlers do fold down flat and your toddler won't be able to push themselves away from the table.
A silicone placemat is best to make sure you aren't scratching the table surface and make sure to practice using a clamp-on portable chair before traveling with it.
The ones we have listed have a U-shaped clamp which allows them to be used on way more tables. Even with these, there are several types of tables that a clamp-on portable high chair is not suitable for (like glass tables, pedestal tables or card tables), so make sure to check what tables it will work on before buying.
What to Look for in a Portable High Chair
How are you going to decide which one is the best high chair for travel? The main things to consider when looking to purchase a portable travel high chair are how sturdy is it for keeping your baby safe, when and where do you plan to use the travel high chair, the size and cost.
1. How Sturdy Is the Chair for Keeping Your Baby Safe?
The portable high chairs for toddlers and babies that we recommend are only those with high ratings and without any major safety concerns. If there is anything to be aware of when it comes to the safety of a portable baby seat, we made sure to note it.
As an extra precaution, never leave your baby unattended in a portable travel chair, they just aren’t as secure as a regular high chair.
2. When and Where Will You Use the Portable High Chair?
If you are traveling internationally with a baby and want to bring your own folding portable high chair, how small should it be?
Will you bring it out with you when you are sightseeing or will you only use it at the apartment rental? If you plan to carry it with you, consider trading off some functionality for size.
We travel with as little as possible and often without a stroller, so to carry a travel high chair along with us meant it had to fit in our backpack diaper bag.
If you plan to use your portable high chair for camping with a baby, then you’ll want something more sturdy than a fabric travel high chair. You’ll want one that is stand alone and doesn’t need to be attached to another chair, like the hiccapop Omniboost Travel Seat or the ciao! baby portable highchair.
3. Size of Portable Travel High Chair
If you are looking for a travel high chair for your baby that takes up the least amount of space, a fabric travel high chair is the best option. These portable cloth high chairs fold up to the size of a diaper.
If size isn’t an issue, then a travel booster seat, a portable baby chair with a tray or one that clamps to the table will have the most features. You’ll just need extra space to carry it around.
4. Cost of Portable Travel High Chair
Fabric travel high chairs are the most cost effective of all the high chairs. The other foldable high chairs for travel will not only take up more space but they’ll be more expensive too.
If you are on a budget, consider getting a chair that can be used at home as well as when you travel, rather than spending more money on a second travel high chair.
Which is the Best Travel High Chair for Your Family?
We say this so much that we will probably start to sound like a broken record, but not everyone travels the same. Not every family will have the same needs when it comes to traveling with a baby. As you compare the best portable high chair for travel options, you might find one will meet your needs better than others.
Based on our own experience, we recommend the My Little Seat travel high chair. Update: The MyLittleSeat is no longer for sale at the big retailers. If you want to purchase a fabric high chair from Amazon, we recommend the Original Easy Seat.
First Hand Experience From Real Parents…
Here are a couple of first hand experiences from real parents, like you, who’ve traveled with some of the best portable baby high chairs.
Using a Fabric High Chair for Baby
We are definitely minimalists when it comes to travel, so the fabric high chair that fit in our diaper bag or backpack was the perfect solution.
Get our FREE printable packing list for baby travel here!
We used it in our hotel room for breakfast before heading out for the day and also in our Airbnb apartments. We started using it when our daughter was 6 months old. It was easy to pack and washable, so it came everywhere with us.
What we didn’t love about it, was that our daughter was often too low for the table. This wasn’t a deal breaker, she could still reach her food.
We were still using it for our son, but came to a realization that it wasn’t the best portable high chair for travel to all destinations! It was not at all usable on traveling to Japan with a baby or toddler.
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 a plastic basket in our Kyoto apartment which worked perfectly as a toddler travel high chair, though we don’t recommend traveling with one.
Further to that, while trying to find baby food in Japan, we discovered 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.
Using a Clamp On High Chair for Baby
To get more first hand experience on portable high chairs for travel, we enlisted the help of We’re Out of Here. This family traveled the world with a toddler for almost a year and we knew they would know a thing or two about the best travel high chair for toddlers!
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 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.
The clamp-on style, though it packs flat, likely won’t fit in your diaper bag 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 lightweight travel stroller, or you can do what Robyn does and use the travel bag straps to carry it on your back!
The clamp on portable chair 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!
Traveling Without a Portable High Chair
Do you really need a portable high chair for travel?
How do you eat at restaurants when there aren’t any high chairs if you are traveling without a travel high chair? Here are your options:
- Find a restaurant providing high chairs. Not always possible.
- Hold your baby or toddler on your lap during the meal. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy trying to eat while holding a wiggly baby who’s getting food in my hair.
- Use a stroller that has a snack tray. Not all restaurants will have the space to accommodate a stroller.
- Use our baby travel hack and attach your baby or toddler to the seat with your baby carrier.
See all our recommended baby carriers for travel.
We’ve done all four of these and though they work in a pinch, they aren’t always feasible.
Besides eating in restaurants, if you want to do some meals in your hotel or apartment rental, you can keep the mess contained by bringing your own portable baby high chair.
Baby Travel Tip: Always ask your Airbnb apartment if they can provide one. Sometimes the highchair just isn’t included in the listing.
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.