Key features of the Mifold Grab and Go booster seat:
Age suitability: 4-12 years (up to 150cm)
Weight suitability: 18kg – 36kg
Car seat safety standard: ECE R44/04
Total cost: £49.95
Accessories: Travel bag (£15)
The MiFold Grab-and-Go booster is promoted as the ‘first booster seat designed for on-the-go parents and children.
As a Group 2/3 car seat, it claims to provide the safety of a traditional booster cushion while its compact design is easily foldable.
Basically, it is a micro car seat designed for older children that can fit in overhead luggage holds, be used in taxis, or be loaned to friends or family for play dates, school pick ups and days out.
The Mifold was originally created under the older car seat law that allowed children to use boosters cushions from 15kg, or around 3 years. Now, new regulations have been introduced in the UK, that requires children to be over 125cm tall (4ft1) or heavier than 22kg (3 stone 6.5 pounds) – which is around 7 years old.
So can I use a Mifold from 15kg?
Yes, Mifold booster cushions can still legally be used for a smaller child, as the new law only applies to brand new products entering the car seat market. It does not affect any booster seats that you may currently be using – or even ones (approved under the older law) stocked in shops.
However, evidence shows high-backed Group 2/3 (booster) car seats offer a higher level of protection compared to backless boosters (booster cushions), so we recommend you use a high-backed booster seat for as long as you can.
Parents know that car seats and many booster seats can be cumbersome, hard to fit in or out of a car. I have often had to lend our seats to family or friends when loaning our kids out for the day, and the process of transporting said car seats can be an exhausting and tedious process.
So the idea of a small, compact transportable booster car seat has its appeals. Whether packing away to take on holiday for use in a hire car, or simply being a lightweight space saver in a smaller motor, or for using with three children, the idea of Mifold immediately appealed to me.
My wife, on the other hand, did not feel the same. To her, this small fold-out seat was far too lightweight in comparison to the bulky safety of our two existing large children’s seat with their padded headrests and interwoven seatbelts. She was very uneasy with using the Mifold for our rather dainty six-(and-a-half)year-old daughter, as it simply didn’t feel or look safe or supportive enough.
As she said, what happened if we got hit sideways on? There was no headrest and perceivably little in the way of protection.
Firstly, getting the Mifold in was far easier than getting our big traditional car seat out. Then we had the delightful job of cleaning up three years’ worth of accumulated crisps, raisins and sweets that remained hidden under the bigger seat’s bulk.
No such problems would exist with the easily cleanable/removable Mifold, given that – opened out – it is about the size of an iPad.
But therein lay the crux of the problem: to me, the lightweight size looked small, modern, clean and practical. To my wife, it looked like being strapped onto a plastic sanitary towel – and about as safe.
Watch 5 things you need to know about the Mifold booster seat
Tell us about the design of the Mifold booster seat
Design-wise the FrictionFabric and DenseFoam seat is nice to look at, sturdy with a pleasing feel.
It is made from aircraft-grade aluminium, as well as a tough polymer.
How does the Mifold booster seat work?
The idea is that it adjusts the lap and shoulder points of the seatbelt to fit your child.
Your child sits on the folded out seat, with a strap going behind, up and over their shoulder, to connect with the vertical part of the seatbelt.
This is the key safety point of the seat, fitting the seatbelt to their size, rather than raising them to fit adult sizes.
The lap belt still sits in their lap, via two clips either side of the seat, while the back strap holds it securely over their shoulder without digging into neck. The seat itself seems a little small and requires them to sit extremely upright, which doesn’t bode well for long journeys.
Does the Mifold meet car seat safety standards?
Yes. It has been approved in accordance with European regulation ECE R44/04, which covers child car seats.
It also meets US and Canadian regulations, but the dimensions and labelling are slightly different to allow for differing standards.
Mifold say that the seat is intended to provide a solution for families where there might not otherwise be an option to use a car seat at all, such as in a taxi, or where the wrong seat might be used, such as when carpooling, or on a playdate.
Just how compact is the Mifold Grab and Go Booster Seat?
Measuring 17cm wide, by 25.5cm deep and 8cm, the Mifold is very compact and can be folded into a travel bag (£15) too. It weighs less than 700g and can be popped in a backpack.
There is also an additional travel bag (£15) for storing your Mifold.
What age child would you recommend the Mifold booster seat for?
The Mifold can be used for children aged 4-12 years, or 15-36kg, but it is a question of what age you want to use it.
I took my 6-year-old daughter out in it to the local shops and she suddenly looked tiny in the vast empty spaces of a Fiat Punto back seat. I felt concerned and kept having to look back at her to see if she was OK. I missed the bulk of the big old car seat, with all its food encrusted padded shoulder straps.
Is there are maximum height for using the Mifold?
The maximum height for using the Mifold in the UK is 150cm, however it is only approved as a child seat, so should not be used for small adults.
Is the Mifold easy to clean?
Yes. It can be wiped clean with soapy water and left to air dry.
Given my wife and I had differing opinions of its safety levels, we decided to get a second opinion, in the shape of my brother-in-law, when he took our kids out for the day.
When he returned, his verdict was in: we could have the Mifold back. He was unconvinced. Like me, he likes the size, design and practicality of it. He just didn’t feel it felt that safe for younger children.
The product does what it says it does and does it well. It is compact, nicely designed and well manufactured. Good for short trips but not for long ones. But does it feel safe enough for a smaller child? It is subjective but I can’t imagine parents of a four-year-old putting their child in one. I don’t think until she is 8-10-years-old, I would feel comfortable with my daughter using it.
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