Going on vacation and not sure whether to take the BubbleBum or the all-new-to-the-US Safety 1st BoostApak? We put them head-to-head to help you decide which of these ultra-portable booster seats is best for you.
The BubbleBum is for children over 4 years old who weigh between 40-100 lbs; height range 40-57″
The Safety 1st BoostAPak is for children over 4 years old who weigh between 40-80 lbs; height range 43-52″
In this corner, wearing purple (and now also available in black) and weighing in at 1.1 lbs, is the BubbleBum. In the other corner, wearing lime green and weighing in at 3.5 lbs, is the BoostApak. Which one will come out on top?
Here are the two side by side. You can see the overall height of the BubbleBum is somewhat lower. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of preference. The BubbleBum doesn’t have arm rests, but the ones on the BoostApak aren’t very substantial, so that one’s probably a toss-up.
The BoostApak is a bit deeper overall.
The BubbleBum has the advantage of being lighter than the BoostApak, but it needs to be carried separately or shoved into a backpack, whereas the BoostApak IS a backpack.
My son doesn’t like having to thread and unthread the seatbelt from the BubbleBum’s belt guides each time, but the required belt guide on the BoostApak also proved problematic (at least the first time–the seatbelt can stay in the guide if the booster is staying in the car). He preferred the BubbleBum’s cushiness to the hard seat of the BoostApak, but the BoostApak provided a little more leg support.
Because of the BoostApak’s low height limit, older boostered kids will likely outgrow it early, so that’s an important factor to keep in mind. The BubbleBum, of course, requires you to blow it up, and squishing it back into its carrying pouch can sometimes be a challenge.
How does this battle break down?
The BubbleBum wins three categories: Overall Product Weight, Child Height Limit and Padding/Cushiness.
The BoostApak wins three categories, too: Leg Support, Effort Required to Prepare the Booster, and Ability to Multitask.
Ease of Buckling was a Draw.
So the overall advantage is: It’s a tie!
For more help in deciding which seat is for you, see our full reviews of the BubbleBum and Safety 1st BoostApak.
Currently the BubbleBum is available in stores at Target and at select Brookstone Airport stores. It’s also available online at Amazon, ToysRUs.com, Brookstone.com, Target.com, directly from BubbleBum and various other e-tailers.
The BoostAPak is currently a BuyBuyBaby exclusive.
We have a Bubble Bum and love it. It works so well for those times when I need an extra seat or unexpected playdate. Haven’t tried the BoostaPak, but will keep it in mind for the future.
Yeah, um, the other day my 5 year old strapped my 9 month old onto the BubbleBum on the playroom floor, using the shoulder belt guide as a “lap belt” hooked to the lap belt guide… >_<
She seemed to have a lot of fun wobbling on it though. I bet it would work great on a Plasmacar! LOL.
I have to say as much as I see the appeal of the BoostaPak and I'm glad to have another great travel product on the market, it doesn't look as comfy as the BB to me, and it's definitely not as "packable" in my opinion. I think I'll stick with the BubbleBum for our family, especially as one of the nearby Targets now carries it (in both colors!) in store!
Jools – you used the BubbleBum on the plasmacar? Lol! Too funny!
Oh, and it makes a great seat pad on the plasmacar http://www.amazon.com/PLASMART-INC-PLASMACAR-AQUA-GREEN/dp/B004K9FUIY/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1372201070&sr=1-1&keywords=plasmacar
(ps, I’m sure there’s a warning to never use the product outside of the car, but oh well, it’s a risk I’m willing to take, lol).
I recently sent my 7 yo on a trip with Grandma, and the BB fit nicely in her duffle bag or in a messenger bag without too much deflating or effort, and almost no weight. It was a hit! She’s 51.5 inches, so I guess I’ll have to just buy a Boostapak some other time for the grandbaby when she’s old enough 😉
The price of the boost-a-pack compared to the bubblebum puts the bubble bum on top for me.
That height limit on the boostapak is a bummer! My DS1 is 7 and is still in a HBB in all cars he rides in.. And he’s about 51.5-52 inches tall. The more supportive seat bottom would make it an attractive choice if not for the height issue.
I say the availabilty of the bubblebum from many stores gives it the slight advantage over the boostapak 🙂