A little while ago I approached BubbleBum and asked if it would be possible for us to review their car seat. Being the kind of person I am (always wanting to try new things in the car seat world!) I decided that now was the perfect opportunity to get to try a product I had so far never seen in real life – though I did know about the product.
The BubbleBum is not a new product really, it’s been on the UK/Ireland market for some time now (and is also quite popular overseas in the US) and I do know several people who use it, however, I myself have never had a reason to as of yet and my children have not been old enough to try it – so I’m quite happy to now have the opportunity to have a look at it as both my youngest children are now aged 5 and almost 7!
It’s quite ‘unisex’ which I liked about it so I can offer it to others to use without getting any sort of ‘girl/boy’ colour rubbish from anyone.
Before we begin, just to let you know, we are indeed running a WORLD WIDE GIVE- AWAY on this product! Entry by Gleam at the bottom of this post! So if you wish to just skip everything – just scroll all the way down to the bottom. But I do hope you will take the time to read our review and learn a little about what we thought of the BubbleBum!
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BubbleBum are proud to announce 3 new fantastic designs to the BubbleBum booster seat range.
- BubbleBum Travel Car Booster Seat – Union Jack
- BubbleBum Travel Car Booster Seat – Irish Shamrocks
- BubbleBum Travel Car Booster Sear – Stars and stripes.
All three of the new seat designs are available to pre-order right now.
BubbleBum inflatable car booster seat, the money-saving, portable, lightweight, narrow, travel booster seat for children aged between 4-11 years, easily deflates and folds flat so that kids, mum or dad can carry it in a rucksack or handbag, making it perfect for holidays, rental cars, taxis, coach journeys, school trips or car pooling.
- portable & packable
- inflatable & deflatable
- narrow design
- inflates by mouth – taking less than 20 seconds to inflate
- folds down to fit in small places
- packs away into its very own stretchy bag
- comfortable & colourful
- money-saving & affordable
- with added shoulder belt positioning clip for extra comfort
BubbleBum’s portable, inflatable Car Booster Seat is designed to fit into your busy family life. Wherever your kids go, the BubbleBum can go with them. Weighing just 500g, equivalent to 3 small bananas, the innovative compact design easily deflates to fold away and fit into a schoolbag, handbag, rucksack or even the glove compartment. Ready to be easily inflated and reused whenever your child may need it.
The BubbleBum is made from a durable material, similar to that of life vests. The integrity of the structure of the seat comprises of memory foam and a strong webbing harness. The side positioning clips position the lap belt portion of the vehicle seat belt over the bony pelvis area away from the soft tissue of the abdomen, which is the optimum positioning for the safety of the child. The Booster Seat can be stowed in its own stretchy bag for easy transportation, meaning that EVERY child can have a booster seat for EVERY Journey.
Designed for children aged between four and 11 years old, the BubbleBum has been approved under the United Nations ECE Regulation R44/04 for safety for both Groups 2 and 3. It is designed for use with a standard 3 point adult seat belt that has been approved to ECE Regulation 15 or equivalent. The only countries that are not covered by this legislation are Canada and Australia.
We made a video of our first impressions. Originally I also had a video of the unpacking of the BubbleBum but for some reason – the audio was not complete and there was just a ton of background wooshing etc, I have no idea what happened.
So here is our video of our first impression of the BubbleBum, kindly sent by BubbleBum! Enjoy!
As I mention in the video – the current BubbleBum has a slightly different red belt guide for the lap belt than the old version had. Below you can see the comparison:
The shoulder strap is very easily attached to the booster. You simply loop it on.
You can also change covers on the BubbleBum, though this has to be done when it’s deflated. Hehe
In general, the BubbleBum offers a very good belt-path on the child. But I did find that for a younger child, like Henry who is only just turning 5, the BubbleBum didn’t have the best fit. He did tend to slouch a bit on it. Now I don’t know if this was because of our car and that maybe in a smaller car that has smaller back seats or a full bench seat, that maybe this wouldn’t happen – but in our car at least, we did find this to be a problem. You can see in the picture below, and I had already asked him to scootch up again once. In our video of the BubbleBum (please view it if you haven’t! It does give you a more realistic view of the seat!), you will see better how it fits and how he has to scootch back up etc.
Now for Caitiebelle, who is nearly 7 years old, we saw a very big difference! She didn’t have the same issues as Henry did and the BubbleBum fitted her a lot better. She didn’t have any slouching issues on it. I put it in the middle seat because the seat belt comes from the roof – so was the perfect opportunity to see how the belt fit was over the shoulder as that is an issue in many cars with a seat belt coming from the roof.
As you can see above – it’s a very good fit. The shoulder belt is nicely kept in place over the shoulder and goes nicely across the chest, it’s kept away from the neck area. The lap belt also lies perfectly across her pelvis touching her thighs and is not crossing her soft abdomen – which is vital!
Can The Child Clip The Seat Belt In?
One of the user-friendliness we look at in a high back booster is whether or not it’s easy to actually fasten the seat belt correctly. Now, when we look at the safety aspect an adult should always be the one to fasten the seat belts in the cars for all the children. You should never trust your children to do it alone! So ALWAYS check!
But because I wanted it to be realistic – and because I know from my years of work in this car seat business now: This doesn’t always happen. Too many parents do leave their children to just do up their own seat belts and then drive off. I see this every single day at the school run for example…sigh…
So because of that – I decided to have Caitiebelle try to buckle herself in. She did need instructions to do it – this was done without any practice because I wanted to see how “foolproof” it really was.
Does It Move On The Seat?
Speaking to some fellow car seat colleagues online who are not in the UK/Ireland – there was some fear of the car seat moving on the seat when the child was one it. We, of course, can not test this in a crash test and I hope we never ever have an accident! But we decided to have Caitiebelle try moving about quite a lot on it to create a realistic scenario and see if the seat belt moved at all while she was on it.
We also found that the shoulder strap is maybe a tad too easy to adjust. I felt that there might be an issue with taller children being able to loosen it if they moved too much. Again I don’t know if this has been tested at all during the making of the seat – so that’s just my own thoughts, which is kind of the point when reviewing a car seat. To give a critical view of things and ponder about the “what if” situations.
The booster is extremely travel-friendly! The fact that it deflates and just rolls up to be put in its little bag is perfect. It’s very easy to both deflate and blow it up – it takes no time at all. It’s small size also means that it’s extremely portable so easy to grab “on the go” as ‘just in case’ or to bring along on travels where you need to use a taxi to and from the airport.
I do however always recommend that if you are actually going to rent a car for your holiday that you bring a high back booster, simply because it offers that extra side-impact-protection and will also offer more support for the children should they fall asleep. Of course, this does depend on the child’s age – but for most children under 10, I would say that a high back booster is definitely preferable to a booster cushion.
The Perfect Example
A friend of mine was kind enough to allow me to use one of her photos of her 11-year-old daughter using the BubbleBum in the middle seat of a car where there was just no way anything else would fit! She isn’t tall enough for the seat belt to cross her correctly and still needs that little “boost” to lift her up so that the lap belt and shoulder-belt lie correctly on her body.
When on vacation in Singapore she used it in Taxis quite a lot, and as we can see – it was a great seat to bring along on holiday!
I hope you have enjoyed our review of the BubbleBum!
Disclaimer: We were sent this car seat by BubbleBum for the purpose of this honest review. All thoughts & opinions are our own!
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.