Pros

Versatile design makes it great for play and meal time; straps keep seat in place on nearly any chair

Cons

Tray's release mechanism sticks a bit; buckles snap in easily for storage, but are hard to snap out

Star Rating

Bumbo

Overview

We have used the Bumbo Multi Seat countless times, both at home and on the go, for meal time and play time.  Like many babies, once our daughter had a taste of life in an upright position, she stubbornly decided that she wanted to be sitting up whenever she wasn't in our arms, even when she was still at the point of toppling over without some assistance.  The portable, easy-to-clean Bumbo Multi Seat has earned its stars by playing double-duty so well, as a booster seat with tray for meals, and as a supportive aid for sitting on the floor during play time (with or without a tray).

Description & Features

The Bumbo Multi-Seat consists of a firm, plastic shell, a removable, foam insert, a three-point harness, straps to secure the Bumbo to a chair, and a removable tray that is stored on the back of the seat. The seat weights 4.2 pounds, and the base measures 13.75 inches by 14.5 inches, while the back of the seat measures 11 inches from base to top with foam insert (9.25 inches tall without insert). As for the leg openings (in case your babe has extra-squeezable baby thighs), they each measure 3 inches with the insert in and 3.5 inches without the insert where the widest part of baby's thigh would hit. 

Our Impressions

The Bumbo Multi Seat is designed to grow with your baby through toddlerhood and really performs, which means you'll get a lot of use out of this piece of gear.  Although it's officially marketed for use once baby can sit up on her own, we used our Bumbo Multi Seat often even before our Little One consistently sat on her own--when she wanted to be upright and we wanted to use both of our hands (imagine that!).  The perfectly squishy foam is comfortable for baby's back side, and when as a sturdier toddler more space is needed, the foam insert is easily removed.  Without or without the insert, a three-point harness over baby's lap keeps baby safe.  In addition, the broad chair base makes it very stable on a flat surface, even when an excited toddler is throwing their weight around.  

For time in the chair off the ground, four anchor straps (two exiting the outside of the Bumbo on each side) allow the chair to be securely attached to nearly any chair or bench.  We liked to take our Bumbo Multi Seat along on outdoor outings for eating and socializing around picnic benches.  We should mention that the four anchor straps stow neatly and securely inside the seat-- so securely, however, that they can be difficult to release from their storage position if you don't have tiny fingers.  Although this is our by far our biggest complaint about the product, this shortcoming is a only a minor nuisance overshadowed by its many fantastic features.   

The Bumbo Multi Seat is also easy to clean.  Thanks to smooth plastic and foam materials, the chair and tray are easy to wipe down after baby smothers it in food.  The surface of the tray is also molded to help keep baby clean, with a lip around the edge that helps prevent liquids on the tray from running onto baby's tummy and lap.  The tray is much smaller than that of a full-size high-chair, but that makes it convenient to take the seat with you to restaurants and friends' homes.  We love that the tray was thoughtfully designed to securely stow in the back of the seat.  We do wish the tray's release mechanism were a little more relaxed, but a firm tug was all that was needed to release the tray from the tray position every time.

Finally, the portability of the Bumbo Multi Seat really helped us maximize our use this star.  Its stowable features, combined with its manageable weight, allow you to easily transport the Bumbo Multi Seat with one hand by holding onto the plastic leg divider.  

Final Thoughts

The Bumbo Multi Seat's ability to grow with your child (thanks to the removable foam insert), its safety and versatility (thanks to its wide base and anchor straps compatible with both chairs and benches), its portability (thanks to a sleek design that makes straps and tray stowable), and its easy-to-clean surfaces make this product an All Star that will really give you a run for your money over many months, if not years.  We give it 4.5 stars and recommend it without reservation. The Bumbo Multi Seat is available in three colors, starting at $45 shipped from Amazon, as of our publication date.