Bubblebum Inflatable Backless Booster Car Seat Review

As the world becomes increasingly connected, travelling has become increasingly easier. More and more parents have to travel frequently for work. These travels may be local, national or even international. For parents that constantly have to travel for work, or those that travel frequently for leisure or social obligations, car seats that are easy to travel with are very important aspects of their child’s safety. Parents need different types of seats for the different stages of their child’s growth. The Bubblebum is an inflatable backless booster seat that that is suitable for a child that has outgrown the forward facing car seat stage but are too young or small to rely on the vehicle’s seat belt system alone for safety.

Inflatable Backless Booster Seats

Backless booster seats are usually the last type of car seat a child will need before the child is old or large enough to rely on the car’s seat belt for safety. They are used to prop-up the child so that the seat belt can be used to provide optimal safety. They help to position the child accurately in order to keep the child safe and comfortable. While the laws may vary at state or regional level, backless booster seats are a legal requirement.

Companies are constantly seeking new ways to leave their competitors behind. Innovation in products and services has become a necessity for survive. Companies are brands are constantly trying to find ways to provide more value and convenience to their customers. This has led to the development of inflatable car seats. Inflatable backless booster seats, as the name applies, are backless booster seats that can be inflated for use and deflated for transport or storage. As a result booster seats such as the Bubblebum inflatable backless booster seat are incredibly light and compact. This has proven to be a revolutionary idea.

However, some parents still prefer traditional backless booster seats over inflatable ones. Some parents may not wish to buy backless booster seats at all and prefer to go for the highback versions. They’re not right or wrong – this choice is a matter of preference, features of the seat and the age, height and weight of the child. Backless booster seats, including inflatable ones, have a large number of benefits:

  • Backless booster car seats are cheaper than other types
  • Inflatable ones may be even cheaper
  • They’re more suitable for older and bigger children
  • They’re smaller in size. Therefore, easier to travel with and store.

Bubblebum Portable Inflatable Backless Booster Seat

Overview

If you’re a frequent traveler and don’t always have the space to take a heavier booster seat along, you may be faced with this dilemma – pay extra for more space and add more weight to your travel bag or compromise on your child’s safety and travel without a car seat? The BubbleBum may provide you with the perfect solution. The BubbleBum booster seat is, essentially, an inflatable cushion that gives the child the boost needed to maximize safety when travelling in a vehicle. It ensures that the seatbelt fits the child perfectly for a safer fit. It is the perfect seat for families that travel frequently as it is incredibly small. It can even be carried by the child in a school bag. This means that it can be carried and stored with incredible ease, and is the ideal booster seat to travel with – and it does all this without compromising on the safety of your child.

The BubbleBum is the first inflatable seat ever and was, initially, conceived as an idea by Grainne Kelly – a concerned parent of two. She became wary of adding the weight of two seats for her kids to her commutes and travels. Her need for a seat that would not require much space when stored yet one that would be ready for use in an instance resulted in the creation of the BubbleBum.

While some parents may have issues with the materials used in the seat, it rates very highly in terms of portability. It is also designed to meet the highest safety standards. It has even passed crash tests when deflated. It has been approved under the UN ECE Regulation R44/04 for children aged 3 to 11. It also meets the US federal regulation FMVSS213. A lot of people may not know this but the Bubblebum is not empty on the inside. It has an inch of memory foam inside that helps maintain its shape and structure and comes with webbing that is used to anchor the seat belt guides. It is so easy on the pocket and is so compact that it can even be used as a secondary seat that you can use to travel with when you’re short on luggage space.

Quick Facts

  • Backless booster seat
  • Inflatable
  • 1 inch of memory foam inside the seat
  • Recommended age range: 4 to 11 years
  • Recommended weight range: 40 to 100 pounds
  • Recommended height range: 40 to 57 inches
  • Seating depth: 12 inches
  • Seating width: 12 inches
  • Requires a lap/shoulder seatbelt system
  • Requires head support
  • Ultra compact and portable when deflated
  • Small and light enough to fit in purses and schoolbags
  • Fits 3 across simultaneously
  • Can be easily cleaned and air dried
  • Winner of IIHS ‘Best Bet’ rating
  • Product dimensions: 11 x 4.5 x 11
  • 3 point harness
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Comes with a carrying bag
  • Available in multiple colors and designs
  • Lifespan – 4 years from date of purchase
  • Should be replaced after a crash
Pros
  • Made of heavy-duty plastic and foam – much like a life jacket.
  • Will not deflate easily.
  • It is incredibly lightweight – weighs only 1.2 pounds.
  • Compact enough to fit anywhere including schoolbags and purses. Comes with a carrying bag.
  • Fits anywhere in the vehicle including places not suitable for larger booster seats.
  • Fits 3-across.
  • Rated as a ‘Best Bet’ for its fit-to child ratio.
  • Does well with children of different ages, weights and heights. Provides a good belt fit.
  • Comes with shoulder and lap belt guides.
  • While the belt guides of older models have been reported as complicated, the newer BubbleBum versions have fixed this issue. They are designed well and allow the belt to slide through more easily.
  • Extremely easy to inflate. Merely opening the valve starts the process.
  • Easy to deflate as well – open the valve and press the seat.
  • Cover can be wiped clean and air dried.
  • It is easily one of the most inexpensive backless booster seats in the market.
  • Very easy for children to use on their own.
  • One of the narrowest seats in the market. This means there’s more room in the backseat for other passengers.
  • The product comes with a limited 1 year replacement and repair warranty.
  • Available in multiple colors and designs.
  • Approved under UN ECE Regulation R44/04.
  • Meets US federal regulation FMCSS213.
  • It has passed crash tests even when deflated.
Cons
  • The small size can make it feel tippy.
  • It does not provide great leg support for taller kids.
  • Cover is not removable.
  • Cover should not be machine washed.
  • Comparatively smaller lifespan – 4 years from date of purchase.
  • Needs head support for maximum safety.
  • Not made of the best quality of materials.
  • The cushion may leak and therefore, pose a safety risk.

Frequently Asked Questions About Inflatable Booster Seats

Q: Are they safe?
A: They have been extensively crash tested. The BubbleBum has even passed crash tests in a deflated state. They are subjected to the same regulations and safety standards as other backless booster seats.

Q: When should inflatable booster seats take preference over other types of booster seats?
A: All types of car seats have their advantages and limitations. The biggest advantages of inflatable booster seats are their portability and storability. They’re the ideal choice for situations where size and weight are deciding factors.

Q: Are they okay for use in the long run?
A:
They, like all booster seats, have an expiration date. They tend to have a shorter lifespan. However, with proper care, the BubbleBum can last for 4 years from the date of purchase.

Q: Do you need a pump to inflate the BubbleBum booster seat?
A:
No. You can do it in a few breaths. Just twist open the valve and blow until it is fully inflated.

Final Thoughts

At first glance, a lot of parents might have apprehensions about using an inflatable car seat. This review hopes to change that perception. Inflatable car seats are as safe as other types of backless booster seats that they have to meet the same regulations and standards. In fact, for a lot of parents they can offer a cheaper alternative to traditional backless booster seats – not just in terms of the initial price, but also in terms of weight-related costs such as during air travel. One overlooked advantage of their small size is that they can be kept on you in a purse or a bag and are, therefore, instantly accessible when needed. BubbleBum inflatable booster seats are an innovative option designed for safety and convenience.

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