So, taking all that into account and the fact that we are going travelling in developed and developing countries, I think its best to take matters into our own hands. I have done a lot of research to find out what is the best thing to do, as most advice is to use the right sized car seat. But what if you are in a rickshaw or there are no seat belts? Well one thing is for sure, never hold a child on your lap and fasten the belt over the both of you. Most of us would have done this at some point, but its a bad idea. The child can come loose very easily, the belt can crush them, they become a moving object in the car causing damage to themselves and others (i know, it doesn’t bare thinking about, but we must).
I have been looking for two car seats, one for Emiliana aged 5y 9m and one for Zacharia aged 2y 8m. Lucky for us, Zach is just about 15kgs which means he can be safe in the same group of car seats as Emiliana, group 2/3. Having said that, we use a more supportive group 1 baby seat for Zach at home at the moment but this is too bulky to travel with.
These were the most common contenders in Group 2/3:
Bubblebum Inflatable Car Booster SeatAwesome bit of kit which is small and can be inflated to look like a regular car booster. Also comes with a pouch to store your seat when not in use.
Weighs 500g and only 11.8 x 5.9 x 3.9 deflated. Costs £29.99
Mifold Grab and Go Booster SeatInstead of lifting the child up to be the right height to use seat belts, mifold holds the seat belt down. A pretty neat product as its 10x smaller than a regular booster and folds down compactly.
Weighs 750g and only 10x5x2″ when folded. Costs £49.95
BoostApak by TrunkiThis is a very practical booster seat as it also serves as a backpack. It comes in green and pink and is basically a regular booster with a plastic shell. It has an 11litre volume capacity and is 15.8×14.2×7″ which is larger than the others, but its a backpack too! It is also heavier at 998g but again, it has a dual purpose and I am all for things that kids can hold themselves! Costs £49.99
Although all of these are suitable for both my children, none of them have any head or side/lateral support but if you don’t want to take a bulky traditional booster with backrest around, you have to compromise. So one of these together with a good neck cushion is going to be travelling around the world with us!
The only foldable Group 1 seat I could find was this one:
Urban Kanga Uptown Portable and Foldable Travel Car SeatIt looks great and comfy but too large for us to lug around the world. It weighs 3kg and costs £117 and is 22×12.9xx20″ and comes with a carry bag too.
This list is not exhaustive but these are the ones that I trust and think are safe to use on my children. There are plenty of other straps and padding on the net but based on the research I did on how a booster is made safe, I felt that some of them contradicted the safety aspects.
Cheapest Seat: Bubblebum Inflatable Car Booster
Lightest Seat: Bubblebum Inflatable Car Booster
Smallest Seat: Mifold Grab and Go Booster Seat
Most Multi-functional Seat: BoostApak by Trunki