I can be a bit extreme when it comes to car seat safety.
When my kids were infants, I watched YouTube videos about proper harness placement and had their infant car seats professionally installed.
The K Man was in a five-point harness until he was 6.5 years old and close to 70 pounds. Miss Q made it to six before I relented, and it still makes me nervous to have her in a belted booster. (In fact, as soon as I wrote this, my chest got all tight and I went to the car and switched her back into a five-point harness.)
And yet, when we travel with them, I never bring car seats or boosters. There’s only one exception to this and it’s when we went to Orlando a few years ago and rented a car for our 10-day visit. Otherwise, we’ve always put them into the resort shuttles or local taxis with nothing but a normal seatbelt.
Strange, I know. Hypocritical, even. I know!
So when the innovative mifold booster seat came along and sent us a couple to test out late last year, I was excited that it would be easier than ever to travel with car seat safety in mind.
Let’s note right off the top that mifold has totally passed all of Transport Canada’s safety laws and guidelines and requirements when it comes to car seats. OK? So no need to worry. If you buy it in Canada, it’s approved. You can visit mifold Canada for more product and safety information (www.mifold.ca).
mifold is every bit as portable as it looks. It’s no bigger than an iPad and really does pack up and travel easily (even without the optional $20 case). It’s light and it can slide into bags or luggage without eating up very much space at all. The claim that it’s 10 times smaller than the average booster seat is by no means an exaggeration.
This thing is pretty darn easy to install:
If your vehicle’s seat crease opens enough for the mifold booster to slide into, you’ll find the set up and keeping the seat in place for any extended use really simple. (If not, see gaffes below.)
The seat belt placement is second-to-none. Not even our trusty (and pricy) booster seats with feeder slots for the seat belt can get such a precise fit. It’s pretty astounding to see, actually. And since we’ve started using them, I’m constantly critiquing the fit of a seat belt with all other boosters (we have many). There is no doubt that mifold offers absolute safety.
The adjustable shoulder strap could offer a bit more slack but so far, it works great for both of my kids:
The price is pretty good: $79.99 (via the mifold site or at Canadian Tire). Compared to the $300 we’ve paid for some booster seats, this is pretty remarkable on its own. Then add the convenience and safety features and I think the value speaks for itself.
For those who live in urban markets and typically use UBER or Lyft, or other ride-sharing companies, rent cars for weekend getaways and so on, mifold is absolutely the answer. Hands down.
It would also be ideal for those who operate small day cares or have a regular babysitting gig that involves driving. Grandparents who may pick up their grandchildren from school or even just to bring them over for sleepovers would also get good use out of a mifold booster seat.
Now that I think of it, mifold would have really come in handy that time I had to pick up three of my kids’ friends and bring them home in my truck alongside my kids. It was pretty challenging fitting three car seats across my small back row (even though two of them were Dionos!). mifold would have made it a snap.
There’s a travel bag available for the mifold for just 20 bucks as I mentioned earlier. I don’t need one, but I want one!
This booster seat is adjustable based (essentially) on the size of your kid’s butt — approved for kids from four to 12, and 40-100 pounds…
…but, The K Man is closing in on 80 pounds at 8.5 years old and is already at the maximum adjusted width with his mifold. So larger kids may start to spill out over the sides when they’re still at an age that requires a booster by law. And spilling out over the sides means that you’re really not supposed to use the mifold because it could impact the seatbelt placement. Be aware of this if you have a kid who runs big.
One of the things I was most looking forward to with mifold was taking it on vacation for those shuttle rides to and from the airport and resort. These can be up to two hours each way. Unfortunately, mifold only works with a shoulder belt – not a lap belt. And if we get any kind of belt at all on those shuttles, it’s usually a lap belt. We still bring the boosters, though, because they take up hardly any room, and you never know when you might hop in a cab to get to an activity or something.
My GMC Acadia features two captain’s chairs in the second row where my kids sit. These seats do not have a crease that easily accepts mifold boosters. So we make do but it does tend to slide around while the kids are trying to get in and belted up. Big B’s Ford F150, however, takes the mifold seamlessly. It’s all about the crease, baby.
Make no mistake – there is a definite learning curve for a kid new to the mifold booster. It took The K Man a good 8-10 tries before he could do it himself. And if we take a break from it or use it in a new vehicle, many reminders and sometimes extra help is required. Miss Q is still unable to make it work, so that’s an age thing because she LOVES being Miss Independent. I don’t think the winter coats are helping matters and I suspect once she sheds all the extra layers, she’ll master the mifold.
My kids don’t love being “low down” in their seats. They can’t really see out their windows well and they certainly can’t peer over to the side to look out the front window, either. So mifold doesn’t really work for us for any extended or permanent use. But for taxi rides, car rentals, etc.? LOVE IT.