Age suitable for: 6 months to approx 3 years (15kg)
Made from: Plastic
Removable tray: Yes
Seat recline positions: None
Height positions: Two
Cuggl is one of the newest parenting brands on the block, having launched in July 2017 with the aim of creating practical, stylish and affordable products. It sells exclusively through Argos and has a range of more than 80 items, from buggies and cots to carriers and stairgates.
The Carrot is its latest highchair offering and is a slicker, less bulky alternative to the MadeForMums Award winning Pumpkin. Both have the same RRP (£39.99) but while the Carrot is lighter and more modern-looking, the Pumpkin folds up and offers six recline positions.
The budget highchair market is pretty much dominated by the super cheap Ikea Antilop (£9, or £14 with a tray) which does all the essentials but doesn’t have the style of the Cuggl. For a sleeker look, there’s also the black and white Ikea Blames (£45). In contrast, the Graco Tea Time is an affordable £35, but has a much more traditional look and bulky frame.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, BabyBjörn’s super stylish, foldable and adaptable High Chair, which has a similar minimal, sleek and wide-legged look, will set you back £200.
Alex Lloyd is a mum-of-one and used the Cuggl Carrot at home with her 22-month-old son, for all daily meals, along with sitting at the table to play.
How quick and easy is the Cuggl Carrot to assemble?
Pretty speedy! I still have nightmares about putting together a Stokke Tripp Trapp for a friend. The Carrot’s seat comes as one piece with the straps attached so you just have to slide the footrest onto a pair of upper legs, click all four into place and add the lower legs. It was only tricky because the metal pins that lock the pieces in place were incredibly stiff and I was bit worried about nipping my fingers. The instructions are simple but clear.
Do you have to assemble it in the room?
No, as it is very light and easy to move. However, the legs do spread out quite wide so you have to be a little careful manoeuvring it through doorways.
Is it comfortable?
The seat is made from moulded white plastic which is very hard but the orange seat insert is padded and gives support to the back and bottom. The straps are fairly standard without any padding, but they offer a good range of adjustment. The footrest cannot be moved up and down though, and it is rather small. My son is almost 2 years old and on the 91st centile, and he couldn’t really rest his feet on it that well. But I found he had plenty of wiggle room around his chunky thighs even when the tray was in place.
The Carrot is incredibly light and easy to move around due to its low weight, even if the legs stick out a bit. I was able to take it in and out of our back garden so my son could eat outdoors during the hot weather.
However, it doesn’t fold, meaning you have to carry it as it is. If you were going to someone’s house, you could quite easily remove the legs – which break down into two pieces – and the seat wouldn’t take up much space in your boot. But that’s not ideal.
What is it like on space?
For me, it is disappointing. While the seat is compact in the way the Ikea Antilop highchair is, the design means the legs stick out at quite an angle rather than being almost 90 degrees to the floor. The dimensions are 42cm wide x 52cm deep. I feel this makes it a trip hazard and not great for a smaller flat or house, even though it looks like a compact highchair! My chunkier Cosatto Waffle is 44cm wide by 66cm deep to give a comparison and that adapts so your child can use it until 12 years old. Plus you can’t fold the Carrot up to make room between meals so it really gets in the way.
What are the safety features like?
There is a five-point harness to keep your child in place and the catch is quite stiff – easy enough for an adult to click the straps in and out of, but not my son! They offer a good range of length adjustment too and two different holes in the back chair for the shoulder straps to loop through, to get the correct positioning.
The detachable tray adds an extra layer of security as it has a crotch guard. There is no way any baby could slide through it and while I could slide my son in, I always had to remove the tray to get him out. Make sure you remove the tray before undoing the straps, if your child is larger and you have to do this.
Do you think price makes a difference to the quality, in the case of the Cuggl Carrot?
I think it does in this case. There are little design flaws that are quite annoying and I personally don’t think this highchair would last you a couple of children without getting quite battered.
It is fairly attractive for a budget highchair and much sleeker than your classic fold-out, padded highchair with gaudy material. I like the orange and white colour scheme – it’s a shame there isn’t a range of colours as it would be easy enough to switch the padded seat cover and straps.
Is the Cuggl Carrot easy to clean?
Mostly, yes. Both parts of the tray are suitable for the dishwasher and the seat insert wipes down well. However, it is a pain to remove because of the straps so you can’t wash it in the sink without effort. I also find a lot of food makes its way underneath, where there are some sunken screw holes that are a magnet to crumbs.
Does the Cuggl Carrot feel sturdy?
I feel very happy putting my son in it, it takes his weight well, and the seat and legs feel well made. But because it is so very light my son is able to push it around the dining room! He doesn’t seem able to topple it though, because of the way the legs stick out.
Does the chair recline?
No, it only has one position.
Could you use it as a travel highchair?
Not really. There are some images online of the highchair seat being used strapped to a dining chair but I checked with Argos and it cannot be used this way. So I suppose it would be possible instead to take the legs out to transport it, but it is too bulky to take away on a family holiday with all your other stuff, nor is it suitable for cafés.
Is it anti-tilt?
The design means you can’t really push it over, nor can your child lean to topple it.
The harness is basic but very secure and has plenty of room for adjustment. It is impossible for my son to undo. One thing I did find annoying is that the chair insert is only held in place by the straps so as I moved my son in and out, the insert would slide and I’d have to try and yank it back into place so the straps were all correctly tightened. I suppose I could have avoided this by always taking the tray on and off, but it’s easier to slide a wriggly toddler into a seat he can’t escape before doing up straps than doing them while he still has an escape route.
What do you think of the footrest?
The footrest is really small and it only has one position. My son can’t really rest his feet on it comfortably, but you have to take the highchair legs off to remove it.
Is the chair supportive?
It keeps your child in position really well and I would be very happy using it from the start of the weaning journey. The back of the seat is quite tall compared to our Cosatto Waffle.
Does the Cuggl Carrot feel safe?
Yes, very safe.
If your little one climbs up on it, will it remain stable or will it wobble/fall over?
Yes, it would remain stable.
What do you think of the tray?
The tray was very tricky to take on and off initially. You have to pull the plastic bumps on both sides simultaneously and I found one side harder to do than the other. I also needed to stand behind the chair to do it. Then one tiny plastic catch underneath snapped off – and it became a lot easier!
What I like about the tray is how securely it keeps your child in place and also how easy it is to wash both parts. The cup holder is also good for holding his drink on the highchair.
I do think it is a little small however. The curved design looks nice but sometimes it is a squash to get certain bowls, his cutlery and his drink all on it at once.
Also, the orange top tray pretty much rests on top of the white main tray which means my dextrous toddler is quite capable of removing it and throwing it around – which he did on many occasions. Sometimes I just didn’t bother with it, which meant I always had to clean the big tray.
Can the Cuggl Carrot be used in different positions and heights?
Yes. The highchair can be used without the tray, sat up at the table, so your child can engage in family meals and Ralph enjoyed doing this. It does sit quite high though, so you might not be able to get your child’s legs under every type of table.
The Cuggl also offers two height options – a high chair and a junior chair. To be honest, I didn’t really see the point of the junior chair. My son could use it at a low table to play I suppose but when the tray was on, it was a bit pointless.
How easy is it to adjust the chair?
Very. For the height adjustment, the legs click out in seconds. You obviously cannot do this with your child in the seat though. The straps adjust easily while still being secure.
How does the Cuggl Carrot compare to other chairs you have used?
There are some nice features to this chair and I definitely prefer this style where the tray encloses your child safely in the seat. I find the wooden highchairs you get in most cafes a complete nightmare to use as my son always tries to climb out. But there are some annoying little design flaws that made the Carrot a bit irritating compared to my usual highchair. That said, it costs £120 less so I’d probably live with that.
Would you recommend this seat to someone with a child of a particular age?
This is a great chair for parents who are just starting the weaning journey and certainly up to 18 months. For older than that, you might find the seat and tray too small and the lack of height adjustment awkward.
This is a solid and easy-to-use highchair at a budget price that will appeal to parents who prefer a contemporary, minimalist look. But for us, the low price did mean that the design features aren’t completely flawless, and the footprint means it takes up more space than it should.
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