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Review: BubbleBum inflatable child safety seat for occasional passengers

BubbleBum inflates easily to just the right size and comes with a seat belt positioner for additional comfort.
BubbleBum inflates easily to just the right size and comes with a seat belt positioner for additional comfort.BubbleBum USA

Anyone who may need to transport the occasional child booster seat passenger or an extra, unexpected youngster needing a booster seat could make good use of a BubbleBum.

With a BubbleBum in the trunk, you're always prepared for pint-sized passengers.
With a BubbleBum in the trunk, you're always prepared for pint-sized passengers.BubbleBum USA

BubbleBum USA provided me with a sample seat in return for an honest review.

I'd pictured BubbleBum as basically a blow-up pillow that would take a large amount of wind power to inflate, but the actual product looks and feels quite substantial. My 10-year-old assistant blew it up in a jiffy with no trouble.

The product comes rolled up neatly in a stretchy bag for easy storage in a car trunk, hatch or luggage carrier compartment. I don't think it would fit in a glovebox, unless you have an exceptionally large one with nothing in it.

The seat positions a child correctly for a car's lap and shoulder belt and seems at least as comfortable as a standard seat. The seat material is thick and sturdy, and BubbleBum includes optional positional belts to increase the child's comfort.

BubbleBum deflates easily so you can roll it up, return it to its bag and transport it where ever you need it, including on vacations for use in rental cars and taxis. Amazingly, it weighs less than half a pound, so you won't mind adding it to a backpack, suitcase or carry-on bag.

You can use BubbleBum for children over age 4 who require a car booster seat for seat belt positioning, as opposed to a five-point harness safety seat. In most states, this means children up to age 8 or weighing more than 80 pounds. BubbleBum's documentation indicates that it can be used for children ages 4 to 11 and weighing 40 to 100 pounds, up to 57" in height.

BubbleBum measures 13" by 13" by 4.5" inflated and costs about the same as many lower priced booster seats - roughly $30. Its size means that it may allow you to fit three instead of two in the backseat of a vehicle, since BubbleBum doesn't take up as much space as a standard booster seat.

BubbleBum is government approved for usage as a vehicle booster seat for children, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Best Bet Booster in 2011.

You can find BubbleBum at major retailers such as Walmart and Target. My local Walmart has BubbleBums on a "price rollback" for $25, making it their least expensive vehicle booster seat.

Whether you're a grandparent who occasionally transports grandkids, a carpooling parent or someone who takes small children on out-of-town trips, you'll love having a BubbleBum available.