My review of the Bubblebum inflatable car booster travel seat
I've written before about how I use my electric cargo bike to transport our kids to school and around our local area (near Paris). I love it! Most of the time not having a car doesn't cause a problem because I also use buses and trains.
But, obviously there are times when we do need a second car for certain things. Like, the other day, when my son (aged 5) had a specialist appointment at a hospital a few suburbs away. My husband needed his car for work so we had to call a taxi. It's something I felt quite nervous about it, because at the time, we didn't have portable travel seats for the kids.
So when the taxi arrived, I came out with our 2 big car seats! The driver was understanding enough but these seats are big and clunky and it was stressful trying set them up in a hurry with a taxi waiting and 2 children in tow!
At this point I realised it was time to hit the internet and get some appropriate travelling booster seats!
I wanted an inflatable one that I could keep in my bag and it had to be safety approved from the age of 4 (my daughter's age). All of my searches led me to the Bubblebum and I was keen to test it out...
It arrived in a neat bundle with a storage bag and a shoulder strap.
I'll be honest, at first glance, I was worried I wouldn't be able to work out what to do with the strap and how to get it all working (could I do this in a hurry when the taxi arrived for real life??).
I had a quick read of the instructions and then took the plunge. Actually, it's really straight forward.
First of all you need to blow up the seat using the attached mouth piece that just twists open. It took less than 20 seconds.
Secondly, you have tie the shoulder strap to the underneath of the Bubblebum in the same why that you'd tie a luggage label on to a bag and then it's all ready to go!
Once in the car, you clip the shoulder strap to the top seat belt, thread the bottom seat belt through two red clips and Voila!
A quick google search will bring up plenty of how-to videos.
My daughter really enjoyed it and got pretty excited about the Union Jack design. Being a British child, growing up in France, it's important we give her a sense of identity with little touches like this.
So I'll definitely be getting a booster for her brother too, now that I've tested it (maybe in the French flag if that design ever comes out one day!).
The important bits: the Bubblebum is for children aged between 4 and 11 years old (15 - 36 Kgs and up to 150cm).
Most importantly for me it's been approved under the United Nations ECE Regulation R44/04 for safety for both Groups 2 and 3.
I know there will be some people who say that a booster seat isn't as safe as the real thing - especially for a child as young as 4 - but this is my thinking: this seat is not intended to be used every day as your main car seat. And when you are on holiday or find yourself in a situation where you haven't got a standard car seat for your child, something is better than nothing.
I plan to keep the Bubblebum rolled up in my carry bag every time we go into Paris or on holiday. You just never know...
We also travel on planes a lot with the kids (the side effect of living away from both sets of Grandparents who are in Australia and the UK) so we usually get taxis to and from the airport. It will be handy to take the booster in my hand luggage or for the kids to use as a pillow.
The Bubblebum was given to me so that I could try it out and review it. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
You can buy it currently on Amazon for £26.23 (affiliate link).