I can poke fun at the Bubble Bum because who can take a booster seriously that calls itself “Bubble Bum” and arrives in purple bubble wrap? Don’t be fooled by this sporty little bopper of a cushion that looks like it might be more at home on a boat than under your child’s bum in your vehicle. The Bubble Bum, which has caught the world’s attention for its size and portability, positions the lap portion of the seatbelt low on the child’s thighs. But is it easy to use on daily trips or is it best left for traveling?
As you can see in the video and pictures, the Bubble Bum (not to be called Bubble Gum, which is a quick slip of the tongue, trust me) has a small seating surface. That’s great and it’s not. It’s great in that it provides a means of easy portability, one of the Bubble Bum’s greatest strengths; however, on a long car ride over several hours, it’s not going to provide the kind of thigh support that will keep a smaller kid from slouching to bend her knees over the edge of the vehicle seat. But if that’s my only nitpick, that may not be so bad! It’s something you need to be aware of before your child uses the booster for an extended amount of time. And now you know.
Comes with: booster, shoulder belt positioner, bag
Dimensions: approximately 13” x 13”
Who uses it: kids at least age 4 and who weigh between 40 and 80 lbs.
Is it easy to use on a daily basis? At first, my dd found the red lap belt guides daunting but as you saw in the video, after a few times of using them, she’s now a pro. I still futz with them, but I need to remember to let her do them, lol. Must be a kid thing. It’s definitely not as easy as a regular belt positioning booster with arms where the seatbelt just slides under, but it’s only a few extra seconds, not minutes.
Is it comfortable? It’s like sitting on air, lol.
Is it a viable option for the dreaded 3-across? Of course. In the world of booster seats, it’s tiny. But remember, there’s not a lot of thigh support, so a smaller child’s legs are going to stick straight out on the vehicle seat. As a parent/caregiver, you will have to watch your child and make sure she doesn’t slump down in the seat to get more comfortable and in turn, cause the lap belt to ride up on her abdomen.
A funny thing happened on my way to deflating it . . . it blew itself back up again! It has one of those camping mattress-style valves on it that automatically sucks in air to help with inflation. It does still require an adult to finish off blowing air into the valve to fully inflate the booster, but the majority of the work will be done for you in less than a minute.
Is it easy to travel with? I imagine so. We haven’t had any vacations yet, though we have one planned. The thought of not having to store a booster, even a small “hard” backless, really takes a load off my mind (and my luggage count). I was even considering having my in-laws, who are in Europe traveling, pick one up for me (Shhhhhh! But seriously, we’ll be in Europe using it, so it’d be legal!).
Is it lightweight? Well yeah. I got out my food scale for this one. It weighs 1 lb. 1 oz. My other favorite traveling booster, the Harmony Literider, weighs 2 lbs. 5 oz. So considering that the BB rolls up into a bag and weighs 1 lb., no kid had better be complaining about carrying that around an airport! Which would you rather take?
How easy is it to clean? The cover does not come off, so you must wash it with a cloth or sponge and some mild detergent, like any other cover, and let it air dry. The cover is mesh, so if your kid throws up, you might need a soft toothbrush to clean that out.
One thing I do wish it had? (Besides another inch or two in depth?) A label on which to write my child’s name and phone number. So that when the booster gets accidentally left behind somewhere, someone else doesn’t see how cute it is and abscond with it.
Verdict? It’s a bit more expensive at $39.99 at Amazon.com (Free super saver shipping and returns eligible) than I was expecting after hearing that it would go for about $30, so that’s a downer, especially for something that many will use for a travel seat only. But, for the sheer convenience? No doubt I would pay gladly for it. What a perfect niche seat for travelers and folks with small back seats. Finally, it’s also an IIHS Best Bet booster! That’s not a guarantee of a good fit for your child, but it should fit a lot of kids well.
For more information, including ordering, visit Bubble Bum at their US website:
Disclaimers: I noticed as I was editing the video that I implied that I drive around with the Bubble Bum unbuckled. I do. I admit it. Shame on me for modeling unsafe behavior: you should always buckle belt positioning boosters, no matter how light they may be, because they become projectiles in a crash. I promise to do better in the future.
The Bubble Bum booster seat was provided to CarseatBlog.com by the playful folks at Bubble Bum Ltd.
@Jeanne, I view this booster as one for more advanced booster riders. The minimum weight requirement for the booster is 40 lbs., so she still has a lot of time before reaching that weight. So to answer your question of is it safe for *your* dd, no, not at this time. Maybe when she’s grown and has some booster experience under her belt, so to speak. She really is still best served by a harnessed seat.
I have a 4year old in the next 2 months.She is only 35 lbs and of average height. Is this still safe?
Now available in black and silver at http://www.target.com/p/bubblebum-booster-car-seat/-/A-14142316