Friday, May 27, 2016

The mifold Grab and Go Booster Review

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I'm putting the disclaimer right upfront this time, folks. I am not associated with mifold, was not paid, reimbursed, or given anything in exchange of my opinion of this product. I purchased our mifold as part of a Kickstarter campaign. 

Have you heard of the mifold booster seat? In the event you haven't, here is the quick version: The mifold is a super-small booster seat for kids age 4 and older, exceeding 40lbs. It is fully compliant with US safety standards and regulations for backless boosters (as well as several other industries, including EU), and it fits into glove compartments.  

No joke, this thing is small. When you are used to giant carseats, this is a little terrifying at first. 

Our mifold arrived the same day I noticed my older daughter's carseat straps needed adjusting, and the same day she hit 40lbs. Clearly she had a growth spurt in the night. As kids do.

So we decided to test run the mifold on the way to school, since it is less than 4 minutes away on back roads. 

The instillation was simple enough, and only took more than a minute (because, really, it isn't installed) because I read the manual front-to-back three times. I don't mess around with carseat safety. 

Here is my 5.5-year-old strapped into the mifold. She was super excited to try it out. 

It is clear that the belt is not across her hips and neck, which is great. This is how it is designed to work.

When she left for school, I folded it up. 

When I returned to school for pick-up, I had reinstalled her regular seat, now with adjusted belts, as planned. Look below and see why:

The mifold is an amazing backless booster seat. The belts are more secure and adjusted to restrain to the individual child (as opposed to raising a child up to an adult level for restraining) and the size can't be beat. However, for my child, a backed booster with a 5-point harness is still the safest seat available. Yes, she is big enough for the mifold, but just barely. I'm not in a race to the milestone finish line, so I don't mind her being in her big seat for a while longer. Check out the padding around her! I want something to protect that beautiful brain as long as I can have it. Once she outgrows this seat, we will use the mifold as her all-the-time seat. However, I'm keeping the mifold in my car until then because occasionally I'm asked last minute to transport another kid. If it is a short distance, I move the book box and jam a backless booster into the space between the carseats. If it is a ride taking more than 5 minutes or further than 2 miles, I rearrange all the carseats in a manner that makes all the passengers cry, me the most. It isn't ideal, but it is what is necessary sometimes. We've all had to make that call. I've also had to call a neighbor and ask her to take one of my kids to school because the other one couldn't stop throwing up. Now, in either situation, I have a small seat that can fit between two pre-existing carseats and be stowed in the glove compartment or my child's backpack. If we travel, I'd much rather put this in my carry-on than let airport bag handlers throw around my carseat. For the cost of the seat, it is worth the added peace-of-mind and flexibility now. When my kids outgrow their boosters with backs, this is going to be amazing. 

In short: Excellent for older kids all the time and younger kids in a pinch. Always choose the seat your kid fits in best, not what they make the bare minimum requirements for, and know how to use your seat. (Spoiler alert: carseat belts do NOTHING if they are loose enough to be pinched or the chest clip is over the belly, not the chest. It is your responsibility as a parent to be sure your kids are properly buckled in the car, even if they don't like it. Because dead kids can't whine about their belts being "too tight".)

My daughter's opinion: I like sitting on the seat because I can criss-cross my legs kind-of, but I can't see out the window and I feel like I'm sinking. I like my old seat because I sometimes fall asleep in it. I will like this one later.


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