Mom Goes Camping

The Best Baby Camping Chairs (Actually Made for Outdoor Use)

best baby camping chairs

I’m a minimalist when it comes to camping: I don’t believe you need a lot of expensive gear to enjoy the outdoors.  However, after having my second kid, I’m starting to appreciate the merit of some extra gear – and that includes baby camping chairs (aka portable high chairs or portable booster seats).

Note that most portable baby chairs won’t work well for camping.  From my own experience and what other outdoorsy parents have said, there are only three baby camping chairs really worth considering: the Ciao Baby portable chair, Baby Delight Go with Me Chair, and the Summer Infant portable booster.  I’ll get into why these are the only ones I’d consider.

 

 

Is It Worth Bringing a Baby Camping Chair?

The minimalist in me says, “Can’t you just hold your baby?”  You could.

But there are some damn-good reasons to bring a high chair for your baby:

  • You don’t want to hold your baby while attempting to feed her pureed peach mush with one hand.
  • You don’t feel like getting aforementioned peach mush all over you.
  • You were hoping to skip bath time while camping, which isn’t happening if baby gets covered in food.
  • You’d like to leave baby someplace secure for a few minutes while you do camp tasks like gather clean dishes.

Aside from eating, the baby camp chair is also nice to have for playtime.  You can put your baby in the chair around the campfire (at a safe distance, of course). That leaves your hands free to poke the fire.  And who doesn’t like to poke the fire?

baby sitting on a box while camping

Once your baby is older you could just use her car seat as a booster, or have her sit on something like a cooler.  Until then, hold your baby or get a baby camping chair!

 

DO NOT Get These Types of Baby Camping Chairs:

YISSVIC Portable Baby Feeding Chair Belt Wrap Baby Chairs:

These chairs suck for camping because:

  • You’ll need an adult chair to wrap baby onto. Doesn’t that defeat the point of bringing a baby chair?
  • Baby will still be too low to eat at the table with you.
  • They are made from FABRIC. This isn’t an issue when you are at home (and have access to your wonderful washing machine).  But do you really want to worry about cleaning gunk off of it while camping?

 

Chicco Caddy Hook-On ChairHook-on high chairs:

These are great for when you visit other people’s homes. But, for camping, these chairs have some serious problems:

  • You can’t safely hook them onto most camping or RV tables.
  • They only make sense if you are 100% sure that you’ll have access to a picnic table.
  • It can’t be moved anywhere else, like in front of the fire.

 

Munchkin BRICA GoBoost Travel BoosterPortable high chairs or boosters without food tray:

  • Don’t count on being able to push a high chair under a table while you are camping, especially if you are at a picnic table!
  • Boosters only make sense if you have a secure adult chair to put it on.
  • Without a tray, where are you going to put snacks or toys to keep baby occupied?

 

Cosco simple fold high chairFolding High Chairs with Only Two Legs

  • Not stable on dirt or sand! You need a baby chair with 4 legs for stability.
  • They usually aren’t made to be portable and are bulky and heavy.

 

The Three Portable High Chairs Actually Suitable for Camping

1. Baby Delight Go With Me Camping Chair

baby delight camping chair

baby delight go with me camping chair

This is a great camping chair for babies.  It has a canopy to block sun, a 5-point harness, a storage area underneath, and a removable hard tray.  It is suitable for babies once they can sit on their own and children up to 75lbs. The dimensions of the chair are 24.5″ tall x 23″ wide x 22.75″ deep Weight: 4.9 lbs. It folds down to: 8″ x 8″ x 24.5″.  The chair weighs 4.9lbs.

The Good: 

  • Sun Canopy: It blocks the sun from your baby and is removable in case you don’t want to use it.
  • Plastic Tray: The removable tray is easy to clean.  Since it is firm, then you can actually sit a plate on it without it tipping over (until your baby knocks it off, of course).
  • For Older Children Too: Just remove the tray and don’t use the harness.  Then your older children can sit in it too.
  • Cup Holder: The cup holder is in the arm, so you have more room on the tray for food.
  • 5-Point Harness: The harness straps are even padded so they are more comfortable for your child.
  • Easy to Clean: The material can just be wiped down to clean.

The Bad:

  • Removable Tray: This is a nice feature… until your baby easily rips it off and spills food all over the place. :/
  • Tray Slants Forward: It’s really hard to position the chair in a way so the tray is actually flat, so expect food to roll off.

***Get It Here***

 

2. Ciao Baby High Chair

Ciao baby portable high chair for camping

Ciao Baby is one of the most popular travel high chairs for babies.  The dimensions are 23″x23″ at the base and 32 inches high. The height of the tray is 26” from the ground. The total weight is about 8lbs and comes with a carrying case. It’s suitable for ages 6 months (or whenever your baby gets full head control) to 3 years old/35lbs.

 

The Good: 

  • 5-Point Harness: It will keep your squirmy baby securely inside.
  • Sturdy: The Ciao Baby is really sturdy and can even be used on sand.
  • Easy to Clean: The material can just be wiped down to clean.
  • Sets Up Quickly: Just pop it open and you are done.
  • Can’t Remove Tray: This means your baby won’t rip off the tray and spill food everywhere (as with the baby camping chair above)
  • Cup Holder: You can also put snacks inside of it if your baby is like mine and likes to throw everything off her tray.

The Bad:

  • Tray Slants: A lot of parents complain that the Ciao Baby tray slants towards your baby.  The makers have a video which shows how to fix this problem.  However, it might still slant if your baby is heavier.
  • Leg Holes: It’s a bit tricky to get your baby’s legs through the holes, especially if they are chubby.

***Get It Here***

 


3. Summer Infant Pop and Sit Booster Seat

summer infant pop and sit portable booster seat

The Summer Infant Pop and Sit is a booster-type chair, which means it can be attached to a normal chair. Unlike lots of booster chairs though, this one also has its own legs so you can put it on the ground.  The dimensions are approximately 15×14 inches and 15 inches tall.  It weighs roughly 4lbs.  It is suitable for 6 months up to 37lbs.

The Good:

  • Removable Plastic Tray: Since the tray is made from plastic, it will hold its shape and plates are less likely to slide off.
  • No Slanting: Unlike with the other two baby camping chairs, this one’s tray doesn’t slant forward.
  • Can Go on a Chair or Ground: It’s basically a mini camping chair for babies.  That means baby can lounge with you around the fire (I repeat, at a safe distance of course!) or while you eat picnic-style on the ground.
  • Easy to Clean: It’s made for camping and outdoors activities, so the material is durable and stain-resistance.  You can clean it by wiping it down with a baby wipe.
  • Low to the Ground:  Even if your baby somehow managed to tip out of the chair, she isn’t going to fall very far.

The Bad:

  • Straps Sewn on to the Seat: This means that they don’t do a good job of holding your baby. If your baby is squirmy, a 5-point harness would be better.
  • Not for Picnic Tables: It won’t fit on picnic table seats. You could rig it by turning the chair sideways on the bench and tying it down, but it’s risky.  Play it safe and either put baby on top of the picnic table or eat on the ground.
  • Baby Could Grab Things from the Ground: If you put this on the ground, your baby will be able to reach whatever sticks, leaves, and dirt is down there too!  While eating some dirt is probably good for your baby’s immune system 😉 some things could be a CHOKING HAZARD. Luckily, this problem is easily solved.  Just put the high-chair on a sleeping pad or blanket so baby can’t grab anything she could choke on.

***Get It Here***

 

Which Baby Camping Chair to Get?

There are a lot of other portable high chairs which could work for camping (let me know if there’s one you’ve tried for camping with your baby and liked!).  However, I’d still advise against camping baby chairs which are wrap-style, hook-on style, or don’t have four separate legs.  The three mentioned here actually work well for camping.

Which of the three should you get?

->Get the Baby Delight Go With Me Camping Chair or Ciao Baby High Chair if you will be eating at a table 

->Get the Summer Infant Pop and Sit Booster Seat if you’ll be eating on the ground

Happy Camping!

*If you still need a sleeping bag for your baby, check out this post about the best baby sleeping bags.


Image credits: From this YouTube video by Ciao Baby
IMG_5199” (CC BY 2.0) by abbybatchelder

About the author /


Diane Vukovic is an avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast and couchsurfer. She loves finding ways to explain complex topics to her 9-year old daughter and hunting beetles with her 1-year old. Follow MomGoesCamping on Facebook and Twitter @MomGoesCamping to stay in touch!

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