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The Trunki BoostApak is a Group 2/3 booster cushion combined with a practical rucksack to make travelling with children easier. Featuring children’s travel brand Trunki’s distinctive, kid-friendly style and weighing less than 2kg, it provides a truly portable safety boost when you don’t have a traditional car seat. The fact that it doubles as a rucksack is its USP – use it to cart the kids’ entertainment on a train, and then strap it into the taxi as a car seat when you arrive.
The BoostApak is similarly priced to the Mifold Grab and Go, and about twice the price of the BubbleBum Travel Booster Seat, but it is pretty unique in its rucksack-seat combination and also seems more sturdy – so it’s potentially safer, too.
Anna Richardson-Taylor is a mum of two and tested the BoostApak with her very tall 5-year-old, on school runs and trips around town.
I had seen pictures of the Trunki BoostApak before and always thought the product was a great idea. It seemed practical, well designed and with the Trunki brand’s distinctive, playful style. Both my kids loved the look of it and my 3-year-old keeps asking for the “dragon rucksack”.
What age is the BoostApak suitable for?
The newest child seat laws recommend children are at least 125cm tall or 22kg (approximately age seven) before using a booster cushion, but the BoostApak was approved under previous regulations as a Group 2/3 car seat, which means it is actually suitable and legal to use for kids between 15 and 36kg (approximately 4-12 years).
Do you think your child will fit in the seat until she is 12?
By design, a booster cushion is a bit trickier to grow out of than other types of car seats and, as my daughter grows, we’ll probably use it more and more. I’m confident the BoostApak will last until she is 12 – unless she’s so tall by then that she doesn’t need a booster seat at all.
Tell us about the dimensions…
When packed up like a backpack, the BoostApak is 40x36x18cm, with an 8-litre capacity – so it’s the size of an average adult rucksack. I was keen to try it as a seat in the middle space in our car’s back row, which does have a proper seat belt but is sandwiched between a full-sized, high-backed booster and a rear-facing car seat so is quite narrow. I’m not sure how comfortable it was, but I did manage to squeeze the Trunki in. The compact dimensions also mean it is very easy to tuck it away – we’ll probably keep it in the footwells by the kids’ seats.
What does it cost, and does it deserve the price tag?
The BoostApak costs £49.99, and I think it is worth that price. It offers extra peace of mind at times when you don’t have a traditional car seat, and it’s so easy to use. I know families who have been using theirs for a number of years and the quality does hold up.
Was it easy to install the BoostApak in the car?
The BoostApak is very easy to install, and the illustrated instructions are easy-to-follow. There’s no harness or Isofix connectors, you simply place the rucksack onto the seat and fold out the ‘backrest’. Then you need to adjust the strap that holds the diagonal section of the car’s seatbelt in place, which needs to be attached to the booster on the same side as the car seatbelt buckle and lengthened so that your child’s shoulder is aligned with the arrow indicator. You then fold out the lap guides. You strap your child in using the car’s seatbelt, with the shoulder belt guide holding the diagonal belt down behind your child’s shoulder.
Does it feel secure once in place?
The BoostApak does feel secure once it’s installed – just make sure you get the shoulder strap guide positioning right. However, you will never be able to provide the security of a high-backed car seat with a booster cushion.
Does the BoostApak feel safe and sturdy?
My daughter just meets the minimum weight and height levels of the new i-size guidelines for using booster cushions, so I wouldn’t want to rely on this type of car seat for everyday use. I would also be nervous about using it on long trips, as there is no side impact protection or headrest. However, for short transfers, or to accommodate extra children on the school run, I trust the BoostApak to do its job.
What do you think of the design?
I really like the design of the BoostApak. It makes travelling with your child seat so much easier. You can store quite a lot in the rucksack part and keep it all to hand, as you don’t need to check it into the plane’s hold if you’re flying.
How comfortable is the BoostApak?
The fold-out back support has an ergonomic design that supposedly keeps your child comfortable and encourages better posture – although this feature didn’t seem very obvious to me. My daughter did enjoy sitting on it, although I think she would get a bit wriggly on longer journeys.
How useful is it as a backpack?
We haven’t used the BoostApak on a long journey yet, but when we do I anticipate that I will be carrying it. It’s a bit too bulky for my daughter to carry comfortably as it has the shape and feel of a good quality, grown-up backpack. However, it is really useful as a rucksack. It holds a surprising amount (change of clothes, wipes, toys, snacks and so on) and the hard shell means the contents are well protected even when it’s being sat on. It would be perfect to take to the theatre or cinema as a booster seat – no car required.
Tell us about its main safety features…
The main safety feature of the BoostApak is that it raises your child so that the existing car seat belt is more suitable to keep them safe in the event of an accident. Not all available booster cushions provide a strap that adjusts the diagonal seatbelt, so that is definitely a plus.
How does the Trunki BoostApak compare to a traditional car seat?
The main – and significant – difference is that a booster cushion doesn’t provide any additional safety features to guard against side impacts or to support the head and neck of your child. This is obviously a very different level of protection than a high-backed booster provides. In addition, in terms of comfort, the BoostApak doesn’t compare to high-backed seats either. For example, your child doesn’t benefit from a headrest to lean against when they need a snooze – and my daughter definitely missed hers.
Is it easy to clean?
The BoostApak’s cover is removable, so it’s very easy to clean.
How heavy is the BoostApak?
It weighs just under 2kg. It’s very easy to carry, even when full, and I will definitely be taking it travelling.
What feature do you like most in the car seat?
I love that the BoostApak is so portable and easy to store in the car for emergencies. Whether I’m bringing one of my daughter’s friends home in our car, or visiting cousins, it’s great to have the option to whip out an extra booster that’s easy to use – and fits in our middle seat! I also love that you can use it as a rucksack – I find this particularly useful for train-plus-taxi journeys.
What’s in the box?
The Trunki BoostApak booster rucksack and instructions.
Are there any accessories needed or available?
There are numerous Trunki accessories you can buy, such as neck supports and wheelie cases, but nothing specific to go with the BoostApak.
What do you wish you had known before you got it?
That it’s not that great as a child’s rucksack – you will probably have to carry the BoostApak yourself.
Would you recommend this car seat?
Yes, I would definitely recommend the Trunki BoostApak. It’s a good booster seat and I love that it is so versatile. It’s a great piece of kit.
The Trunki BoostApak is a really handy product from the popular kids’ travel brand. It will help you out in a variety of situations where an extra booster cushion is useful, and the clever rucksack design will make travel that bit easier.