You may be saying, “Wait! What?! An inflatable booster seat?! That’s crazy and it can’t be safe.”
If this is you, then you are having the same reaction that I initially did. In fact, when I was approached to review this seat, I declined to review it because inflatable and booster seat shouldn’t be in the same sentence. Or should they?
After reading some well-respected car seat blog reviews and consulting with other bloggers that I trust who have reviewed this seat, I changed my mind. I ate some crow and sent another email to the company and asked if they would still like me to review this seat for them. Since I will be traveling back to New England alone with my kids later this summer, I thought this might be a great travel option.
I chose the Union Jack seat to review because it matches my Mini Cooper. And because, why not? So, what did I think about the BubbleBum inflatable booster seat and should you consider getting one? Let’s find out.
About the rider
Right now, Dub is 6½ years old, about 42″ tall, and just shy of 43 pounds. He is still primarily in a harnessed booster, but he has met all of the requirements needed to use a backless booster. While we don’t use a backless booster full time, we use one while traveling, which the BubbleBum is perfect for.
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About the BubbleBum inflatable booster seat
The BubbleBum inflatable booster seat is meant to be used for children between the ages of 4-11 and between 40-100 pounds. However, please keep in mind that there are other factors to consider beyond their age and weight before deciding if your child is ready for a backless booster. In the opinion of most experts, four is too young to ride in a backless booster.
Read this post to see if and when your child ready: When to Switch from a Harnessed Booster to a Backless Booster Seat.
But is an inflatable booster seat safe? I can’t say that all of them are, but in this case, yes! The BubbleBum is sturdy, far more sturdy than I was expecting, and is made out of similar components as those used in airbags, life rafts, and life vests. It contains memory foam and has sturdy seat belt clips as well as a seat belt positioning strap.
First, you have to blow it up. This is so easy that even a six-year-old can do it! Even though he can, please do it yourself to be sure it’s fully inflated.
The top of the valve doesn’t come off so you don’t have to worry about losing it. Loosen the valve, blow three or four times until it’s fully inflated, then screw the valve closed. I did this by turning the seat with the valve still in my mouth to avoid having any air escape before the valve was closed all the way.
How to use
After blowing the seat up, attach the seat belt positioning strap through the bottom of the seat by threading it through the straps on the bottom. Feed the buckle through the loop on the other end of the strap and pull.
The straps under the bottom of the seat are also where you will tuck your seat manual. Here is where the tag with the seat’s manufacture date and expiration information is as well. This particular seat expires four years after manufacture.
Once the positioning strap is attached, put the seat on your car’s seat and load up your child. The seat belt feeds easily through the two hooks on each side. Be sure the seat belt is snug and across your child’s lap, not their stomach, and secure the belt positioning strap. The seatbelt feeds through it easily and then pull to tighten until the seat belt is across your child’s shoulder and collarbone, not their neck.
The verdict? Dub isn’t as interested in all of the safety stuff as I am, but he said this seat is really soft and comfortable. That’s good enough for me!
Pack and go!
Plus, it’s easy to deflate and inflate and has its own carry bag for easy travel! What more could we ask for?
I am so glad that I changed my mind and decided to give the BubbleBum inflatable booster seat a try. I think it will be perfect for our flight to New England and any other trips that may come up. Just remember, as with any booster seat, the BubbleBum is not aircraft compliant. All booster seats should be checked with your luggage or brought on the plane as a carry-on item. Or, in the case of the BubbleBum, packed in your carry-on bag.