One of the most annoying things about travelling with a baby is the sheer amount of stuff they require. My parents always joke to me when I arrive at their house that it looks like I’m moving in. Bottles, burp cloths, toys, high chair, bibs, diapers, clothes, car seat, stroller, carrier, and the list goes on. Before you know it, your car (or suitcase) is stuffed to the brim with baby necessities. Needless to say, I’m always thrilled when I find a product that either cuts down on the amount of stuff I need, or takes up less space in my car, suitcase, or house. The phil&teds Lobster high chair is one of the best space-saving baby products I’ve seen in my eight months as a mother.

Why it’s called a Lobster high chair

The phil&teds Lobster high chair is named for its “pincers” that resemble lobster claws. These “claws” can be loosened and tightened to fit the depth of your table top. Genius!

Setting up the phil&teds Lobster high chair

Lobster high chairWhen I unboxed the phil&teds Lobster high chair, it was neatly zipped up into its carrying case. I removed it from the case and simply loosened the clamps until they were wide enough to clip onto the table. Then, I tightened them. Once they were secure, all I had to do was put my little guy in there and buckle him in. I must admit, I was a little nervous to put my baby in a chair that was hanging from a table, but it turned out to be very sturdy. After he was strapped in, I slid the little plastic tray between the clamps, and it was all ready to go.

The visual instructions were very clear and showed how to set up the seat properly, how to buckle up the straps, how to remove the fabric for cleaning, and proper and improper uses of the seat (e.g. not using it with a tablecloth, etc). Side note: I enjoyed reading the manual, not only because it was straightforward, but also because the writers clearly have a sense of humour! (Example: they stated that their customer care team is made of “real live people”.)

Features of the phil&teds Lobster high chair

The phil&teds Lobster high chair is designed for children who are sitting up on their own unassisted, up to a maximum weight of 33 pounds. Odds are, at 33 pounds, your child would have moved from a high chair to a booster seat anyway.

The chair itself is surprisingly lightweight, but robust. The seat and straps are padded for comfort. The fabric portion of the chair can be wiped clean with a cloth, or removed and hand washed in warm water.

The seat comes with a small, super light plastic tray that can be washed in the sink or wiped down with a cloth. The phil&teds Lobster high chair comes in a few different colours, including Apple (the green colour I was sent to review), Black, Red, and Black/Red. My personal favourite is the Black/Red combination.

Safety of the phil&teds Lobster high chair

Lobster high chairAlthough this seems to be a very well-made chair, there are still some safety precautions that you need to take, according to the manual. First, you cannot clamp the chair to a tablecloth or place mat, because it could interfere with the effectiveness of the clamps. Second, it can only be used on tables where both the upper and lower parts of the clamps make full contact with the table surfaces. (This, unfortunately, rules out my kitchen table and my parents’ dining room table.) Finally, you need to make absolutely sure that you have attached the seat to a safe and stable structure, and that you securely fasten the clamps and the safety harness.

Overall impression of the phil&teds Lobster high chair

The most obvious advantage of a chair like this is for small spaces. The chair takes up zero floor space, is compact, only occupies a small space at the table, and can be folded up and put away when not in use. This also makes the chair perfect for travel. It’s even small enough to fit inside a suitcase! Just think about how awesome it would be to have a seat like this with you in an airport, or even in the food court of a shopping mall. I also like the idea of taking this seat to a restaurant instead of using the high chairs provided there, which are often dirty and germ-ridden.

Lobster high chairThe ideal place for a chair like this is attached to a kitchen island or peninsula, because the overhang is thick and sturdy. I loved using it attached to the granite overhang of the island in my parents’ kitchen. However, it can also be clamped onto most tables, provided they meet the minimum and maximum thickness requirements (20-95 millimetres).

The only real disadvantage I can really think of for this seat is that it cannot be used with certain types of tables.

Overall, I was really impressed with this seat. The material was strong and good quality, it was simple to assemble, it’s easy to clean, and it’s extremely portable. I could definitely see us using this chair for trips to my sister’s house instead of lugging our booster seat with us.

Who the phil&teds Lobster high chair is best for

This high chair is perfect for families who need to save space in their home. This includes families who live in an apartment, who have a small kitchen, or for large families who already have several other children sitting around the table. It could potentially replace the need for a full-size high chair. This seat is also great for families who drive long distances to see Grandma and Grandpa or aunts and uncles. Finally, the phil&teds Lobster high chair is ideal for families who love to go on holiday together. Its compact size and carrying case make it easy to take with you anywhere you go.

I’m just loving all the innovative baby stuff on the market right now! Anything that makes life a little simpler gets a gold star from me.

To order your phil&teds Lobster high chair, visit BestBuy.ca.

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