Enter: The Mifold Grab n' Go Booster Seat. The Mifold is king among all the kids booster seats I've encountered because it's only ten inches by five inches. When it's folded up, it's small enough to chuck in a handbag, or into your car's glove compartment. Even if you’ve moved beyond your enormous, steel-framed car seat and into a relatively smaller booster, you’ll still never see a big kid seat as small as this.
But even with its slim size, the seat holds kids four years and older from 40 to 100 pounds and 40 to 57 inches tall. (Kids grow fast—here are 5 ways to dress them without spending a penny.)
With my old, clunky booster seats, I used to keep one car seat in my own car, one in my mother-in-law’s car, and one in my carpool partner’s car. But the portability of the Mifold allows your child to bring their booster with them—into your car, aunty’s car, and taxi-cabs (even more key in cities, where the need to jump into a cab or uber can arise at anytime). Three kids across a backseat is nearly impossible with regular boosters, but I can fit my son plus his two besties with their own carry-along Mifolds with room to spare.
Buy it now: Mifold Grab n' Go Booster Seat, $40, Amazon.com
It's also good-looking to boot. I could carry this little device like a clutch and feel cool due to its simple, sleek product design. The company also offers an array of color combinations (we went with slate grey with red details). They’re so chic, I didn’t even care when my son wedged chocolate between the Mifold exterior and the seat, to “save it for later.”
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One of its other best features? It's easy to clean. Anyone who’s ever had a toddler in the back of their car knows that they wreak havoc on anything within reach of their destructive little hands. I have attempted to clean everything from vomit to smooshed strawberries out of my old car seat, sometimes successfully, and always with much effort. But because Mifold has such a small footprint, it isn’t in the line of fire nearly as much as car seats and traditional boosters are. (Here are 7 genius natural cleaning tricks that work.) And even if little Johnny just can’t hold it and accidents all over the seat, you’ll find yourself with an easy remedy: run soap and water over the booster and leaving it to dry for a bit.
For a fun activity with kids, watch the video below on how to make your own strawberry fruit leather.
But regardless of how cute or portable this thing is, we all know what the most important questions is here: is it safe?
I feel far better with my son in the Mifold than I did in our interim backless booster. Namely because it quickly customized to fit him, pulling the shoulder belt into place across his chest (rather than lifting him to adult sitting-height), and his lap belt perfectly across his lap—hip bone to hip bone. Although it is currently unrated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which deems it a belt positioning device rather than a booster, Mifold still meets all safety regulations in the U.S. and many other countries. It’s also important to note that the seat is approved for airline use, and that the fit can be awkward in certain cars (rare, but possible). So I would certainly advise giving it a go, and making sure the fit is correct.
Related: My Secret To Sane Parenting: Give Yourself Time To Do Absolutely Nothing At All
As for my family? We’re going on one year around town, two international vacations, and a trip to Disneyland with our Mifold, and it's safe to say I'm more than obsessed. Equally as convenient on short rides to the grocery store and longer trips, Mifold works on the way to the airport, slips into your carry-on, and can easily re-emerge when you jump into a taxi upon your arrival in Italy.
Overall, this means there’s no need to be embarrassed lugging ugly and heavy toddler gear around anymore: music to my ears.