Ickle Bubba, the company behind this chair was set up by husband and wife Fran and Veronica Vaughan in 2011. The company only sells two products; the Stomp v2 travel system and the Orb highchair.
The main motivation behind Ickle Bubba was to design a full travel system that looked comparable with the leading brands but at less than half their price.
But with the Orb highchair added to its portfolio, which I tested with my six-month old daughter, Lacie, Ickle Bubba have aimed to make a stylish highchair packed with enhanced features.
More about quality, not quantity the company has already won a whole plethora of awards, with the Orb featuring in Prima Baby’s six of the best new products for 2014.
A futuristic, reclinable, egg-shaped highchair, the Orb is designed to suit newborns and babies from birth to 17 kgs (approx 3 years), making it more of an investment, than an impulse buy.
What’s in the box?
- Seat unit
- Memory foam seat insert
- Highchair base
Any additional extras?
At first glance, it’s clear to see the Orb’s modern style, it would not look out of place in an immaculately decorated show home, where there’s lots of space and most of all not much clutter. It’s something that you would want to blend in with its surroundings and won’t stand out like a sore thumb in your dining room or kitchen.
Taking it out of the box, I noticed that the chair was fairly large and bulky, especially the base so I found it really dominated my kitchen. My husband wasn’t happy about that, especially with so many understated highchairs on the market, that would fold up neatly when not being used.
I also found it heavy, so once I put it up (which was really simple as it all clipped together) and found a home for it, which is where it stayed.
How was assembling the Orb?
It was really easy; it comes in three parts, the seat unit (with memory foam insert), the base and removable tray. All in all it took about ten minutes to fit together, to attach the seat pad to the seat you simply chose what height slot you want (there is a choice of two depending on the size of your child) and thread the shoulder straps through the hole.
How secure is the Orb chair?
The harness itself is easily adjusted with the simple slide of a buckle and there are soft shoulder pads for extra comfort. I did feel that at 15llbs Lacie moved around quite a bit in it and was often lop-sided but she looked comfortable enough and the straps made it very secure, so I wasn’t worried about her slipping out.
Is the Orb comfortable?
Yes, the seat insert is padded and so are the shoulder pads, Lacie fell asleep in the chair many times.
What do you think about the style of the chair?
The Orb is so unusual people will either love it or hate it, it really does depend what type of house you live in – it is certainly different from other highchairs on the market, that can look babyish, plain and plastic.
However, the Orb is big, especially the base, and it doesn’t tuck out of the way like other designs on the market.
Is it easy to keep the highchair clean?
Yes, it is. The removable seat pad, which comes in five different colours, is made of a memory foam, rubber type material – which was nice and soft and most importantly easy to take off the seat and wipe down after use or to allow for more seating space for bigger babies. Once I worked out how to remove the tray it was however very easy to clean up any mess.
Tell us about the seat’s 360 degree swivel mode.
The spinning feature is really cool; with one push of a small button you can turn the seat around in 90-degree turns. It means there are four seating positions available, which is really useful when taking your child out of the highchair or swiveling them round to face Daddy as you go and do the clearing up.
How is it when feeding?
It’s great; the height of the chair can be easily adjusted by simply sliding the leg up or down on the triangular frame section. So you can have it at any height you like, depending on whether you’re feeding at a dining table, a breakfast bar or from the sofa.
You can also recline the chair. I found this perfect for when Lacie, wanted to snooze or if she needed a change of scenery as we ate our dinner. I did however find the button that did this pretty fiddly; you need to push it in on both sides of the base, which requires two hands and actually felt quite stiff.
This left me with no hands to adjust the seat angle or to hold onto my baby as an extra safety precaution. I didn’t want her feeling vulnerable as she tipped back!
Is the highchair as futuristic as it looks?
Yes, there are buttons everywhere; the only problem I have with it is that there is no continuity behind the buttons. Some need pushing, some need to be pulled up and some need to be pulled out. Everything took a few attempts before I worked out what to do, especially with the baby brain still lingering.
Is the Orb value for money?
Yes, Lacie, got lots of use out of it and so did my nephews. Although this highchair is expensive, it can be used until the age of three and is durable enough to last if we have any more children.
You’ll either love the Orb or you’ll hate it, but if your home is super modern or you love design-savvy baby kit, the Orb is definitely for you. Despite its good looks, it also has great practical features like the handy height adjustment and 360-degree rotation. The fact that the tray can be removed so the chair can be pulled up to the table for family mealtimes was a massive positive point for me.