Trunki BoostApak

Our score

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In a nutshell

A temporary, super-portable, convenient option ticking all the safety boxes for when you're on the move. Can be taken on an aeroplane or train as hand luggage.

  • Pros

    Booster and backpack in one, storage for travel essentials, easy to install, sturdy, ergonomic back support, seatbelt guides, wipe clean, meets current safety standard

  • Cons

    Doesn't have additional safety features of high-backed group 2 and 3 car seats, more expensive than other booster seats, heavy for little ones to carry

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Our review

Perfect for the holiday season, BoostApak – the latest offering from the innovative Trunki brand – means you’ll have a portable booster seat for your child, wherever you go.

Fun and funky children’s brand Trunki will always be the infamous ‘one that got away’. The fabulous ride-on suitcases failed to impress in the Dragons Den, but went on to become a hugely successful brand, and a lifesaver for any parent wanting to keep their child entertained while on the go.

The Trunki BoostApak recently got its own back on TV when it proved a big success on The Apprentice, notching up the programme's highest ever 'sales' when the apprentices took it to France to sell.

As a fan of Trunki’s previous products, I was keen to try the BoostApak and see if it lived up to expectation. The law requires all children under 12 to use a booster seat, and this is still important when travelling. The BoostApak is a Group 2/3 booster seat suitable for 15kg-36kg (roughly 4-12 years) or up to 153cm, and it doubles as a backpack.

The seat is certified, meeting the safety standard ECE R44.04 that all car seats sold in the UK need to pass. However, it clearly doesn't have the additional safety features of the high-backed group 2 and 3 car seats.

According to Trunki, it is dedicated to “facilitating the perfect journey for children and families” and when it asked parents what problems they endured when travelling on holiday, booster seats came top of this list. After all, who wants to hire a grubby, overpriced version?

What we love

A big pro about the BoostApak is that it’s not just a booster – it folds into a backpack, with storage big enough for your travel essentials. It’s hand luggage approved, and when folded into bag mode, it looks just like a backpack.

To use it, you simply pull off the Velcro backing, fold up the seat supports (which have a quick-release button to fold back down), strap your child in and you’re good to go. You don’t even have to empty the contents of the bag - this section forms the booster seat and is made from toughened plastic, so it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of your child without squashing its contents.

The BoostApak is really simple to install and there are clear instructions included with the seat (and printed on the seat itself) if you get stuck. You simply use the car’s seatbelts to secure the seat. It felt really sturdy when installed in the car and my son felt safe and comfortable when strapped in.

Features include ergonomic back support (to encourage good posture and growing spines), with seat belt guides and adjusters as your child grows. There’s also the wipe-clean removable cover and the bag section includes an ID tag and high visibility reflective trim.

The fact that BoostApak sold out on its first day of going on sale is testament to the Trunki brand and solid concept. It was a finalist in the 2009 Kind & Jugend Innovation awards and has been praised by RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).

What to watch out for

It’s really hard to fault this product because it is such a good idea. Normal booster seats start from around £19.99, so at £39.99 it’s expensive, but it’s worth the extra cost for its convenience and portability. Plus you’re getting a bag too, so you don’t need to faff around with your luggage when you reach your destination.

At 1.8kg smaller children may struggle to carry it themselves, but an older child could easily manage it and use it as their travel bag.

Who is the Trunki BoostApak best for?

Families who love to travel and those who car-pool who need an instant car seat when not using their own car.

MadeForMums verdict

The Trunki brand has done it again. The BoostApak is portable, convenient and ticks the safety boxes as a short-term solution. It is pricier than other standard booster seats, but it does mean you’ve got a booster on-hand whenever and wherever you need an instant seat.