Portable, inexpensive, cool...not exactly words you'd use to describe a booster seat. But a 1.6-pound seat is finally changing that.
Here's the deal: Mifold Grab-n-Go Car Booster Seat is a folding cushion with an aluminum base. It folds flat enough to stow in the glove compartment or in the side storage area of a passenger door. The compact size means you can actually fit three in your backseat if you have a trio of pint-sized passengers (typically, any child below 4 foot, 9 inches— a height too small for a proper seat belt fit). And you can easily hand it off when it's someone else's turn to lead carpool.
Rather than "boosting" a child up, Mifold works by pulling the seatbelt down to the correct height for the child. Each side features a slot to insert the lap belt of a seat belt, and a third slot clips over the seat belt's shoulder strap. Mifold works by securely pulling that shoulder strap down to a child's actual shoulder height. And it's easy enough for bigger kids to do all by themselves.
Mifold has been crash tested in facilities all over the world, and met performance requirements for each test. Still, inventor Jon Sumroy says that most importantly, kids are on board with this booster.
"Most kids—who are ambivalent about regular car seats—think that it is cool and like a gadget. In research, they compare it to their iPads," Sumroy told Co.Exist in an interview. "Most parents are sick of the constant battles to persuade their bigger kids to use a child restraint. Mifold is almost invisible in use so friends cannot see it and bigger kids are finally happy to agree to being protected."
In light of recent news that parents are installing booster seats incorrectly 30 percent of the time, maybe a smaller, easer-to-use gadget is exactly what your backseat needs.
The Mifold is available for pre-order as an individual or multi-seat pack and will start shipping the units this summer, just in time for family road trips.