Portable high chairs attach directly to tables, chairs or countertops, using hooks or the like. These lightweight seats fold flat for travel and storage and fit in a tote bag, making them indispensable travel solutions.
According to reviewers, the phil&teds Lobster (*Est. $80) and the Chicco 360 Hook On (*Est. $90) are two of the best portable high chairs available. The Lobster has a five-point safety harness to prevent baby from pushing up and out of the seat. The 360 Hook-On Chair is only equipped with a three-point harness, which means that babies may be able to hoist themselves out of this seat.
The phil&teds MeToo (*Est. $50) is also a popular hook-on chair, although some parents complain that the MeToo lacks back support and padding. It's worth noting that models of this portable high chair manufactured from 2006 through 2011 were recalled in August 2011 because degraded clamp cushions could cause seats to slip from their table mounts. Phil&teds supplied owners of the recalled seats with a repair kit to fix the clamp cushions, but parents should use extra caution and check the wear on the clamps when using any hook-on baby seat. Models manufactured after August 2011 are not affected.
One of the biggest selling points for hook-on chairs is their ability to fold down flat for storage and transport. The Lobster has claw-style clamps that twist on, attaching from below and requiring less table depth for mounting than most clip-on chairs. The 360 chair requires 12 inches of table depth but is able to fit around table skirting better than the Lobster does.
The phil&teds Lobster High Chair and the Chicco 360 Hook-On Chair both come with feeding trays to contain the mess at the table. However, some parents complain that the trays are hard to secure, making them easy for the child to upend. True to its name, the Chicco 360 seat has a 360-degree swivel with six lockable positions.
The Lobster seat is made heavy fabric that can be wiped clean. The smooth, acrylic fabric can also be removed for more intensive cleaning, but it is not machine washable. The 360 seat has a removable, machine-washable seat, but parents say that it doesn't wipe clean well and needs to be machine washed for through cleaning because of its plush, cotton fabric.
Portable high chairs are a great choice for travel or just for taking to a restaurant to avoid the possibly not-so-clean chairs used by every baby that comes in. The Lobster and the 360 both come with carry bags for added convenience. But these portable high chairs are also a good everyday choice for those who may not have much room in their home, or who just want baby at the table or counter with them and don't want the footprint of a traditional high chair.
The phil&teds Lobster High Chair and Chicco 360 Hook-On Chair both carry one year warranties.
The phil&teds Lobster High Chair can't provide the same level of support as a full-size high chair, but it is an exceptionally convenient option for travel and portability, making it our top pick in this category. The Lobster seat attaches securely to most counter or table tops and provides the safety restraints required to keep babies safe at the table.