Every once in a while, a product so genius will come along and make us all wonder, why has no one thought of this before? Kind of like the upside down ketchup bottle. Really, it’s embarrassing how long it took civilization to come up with that one.
Well, the Mifold booster seat is like the ketchup bottle of the car seat world. Turning the conventional car seat thinking on its head and looking at it from a completely different point of view.
What makes it so special?
Well, like the founder says, instead of bringing the child UP to the seat belt, what makes the Mifold booster seat so revolutionary is that instead, it brings the seat belt DOWN to the child.
It’s quite literally the opposite of what everyone else does. Quite revolutionary indeed. See the founder explain it for himself right here:
Easy to use
Ok, so it’s revolutionary, but does it really do what it’s supposed to do? Good question.
We all know that your average 4-8 year old is wiggly and does not often sit still. I am always reminding my 7 year old to sit on his bottom instead of his knees or half off the seat because he’s looking at something interesting. It’s a challenge getting him to sit safely in his conventional booster seat, how on earth would the Mifold handle this?
By the accounts of MANY parents, the Mifold does a great job of securing the wiggly 4-8 year old since it brings the seat belt down to the child’s level. The seatbelt is actually more snug on the child and doesn’t move around as much. Of course, a lot depends on the child and their level of movement, as well as their ability to correctly buckle themselves in every time.
But the Mifold helps the child do all of these. The little arms that extend out (side expanders) are easy to thread the belt through for even a child (most 4-5 year olds can do it); the seat belt is snugger on the child’s body than most of the typical booster seat installations I’ve seen; and because the seat is almost flush to the seat of the car, there is a reduced likelihood of excess movement.
In fact, the NHTSA rated the Mifold according to their “ease of use” guidelines, and it did really well.
Great Safety record
The maker of the Mifold says that this booster seat is just as safe as a regular booster seat.
Safety in car seats usually means proper positioning is being exercised, so that would be the first huge question. Because the seat is intuitive and user-friendly for a child, it’s easy to properly position.
Proper positioning means the seat belt is snug and secure around the child in the event of an accident.
I read many reviews where parents had experienced an accident while using the Mifold in the backseat with their children and the seat performed really well. The seat restrained the child during the collision and there was minimal injury. These testimonials were very reassuring to me and tear-jerky, too, as it’s not something most of us want to think about.
Comfortable for most
Because it’s so much smaller than a regular booster seat, many parents wonder if the Mifold booster seat is very comfortable.
That probably depends on the child. If your child is used to a very cushy convertible seat, it may be a big change to move to the Mifold. On the other hand, many booster seats are not extremely comfortable, but most kids don’t mind because they’re busy doing things to notice.
According to the manufacturer, the Mifold is made of “supportive DenseFoam with unique FrictionFabric prevents slipping, stays cool on hot days and is easy to clean”.
They go on to say that this DenseFoam that is used, is the same that is used in boxing gloves and tennis shoes. It’s meant to provide constant support to pressure points. This foam also extends all the way to the edge so there is no hard edge digging into the child’s body anywhere.
In reading the reviews of real parents and real kids, there were a few that complained of discomfort to the point of returning their Mifolds. However, most reviews were very positive and either said the seat was comfortable or didn’t mention it at all. Many parents use the Mifold as their regular booster seat, traveling distances of all sorts.
So again, it probably depends on your child. You know your child best, so judge accordingly!
Grows with your child
The Mifold has several positions for the extender tabs so that as your child grows, you can extend the arms out further. These arms are used to secure the seat belt on both sides of the child. There is also an adjuster for the top clip (which sits above the child’s shoulder). As your child grows taller, the clip can be adjusted as well.
More natural position
Many parents said that the Mifold booster seat kept their child in a more natural sitting position. For instance, the typical booster seats sometimes have a tendency to dig into the back of the legs (because they’re usually a few inches high), sometimes cutting off circulation. Because the Mifold is a completely different design, this doesn’t happen with it. The way the Mifold is designed, the weight of the child helps sink the Mifold into the surface of the car, leveling it.
Also, when the child falls asleep while sitting in the Mifold seat, they are kept more upright than in a traditional booster seat (particularly other backless ones). The shoulder clip helps keep the belt close to the child. Other backless boosters are not clipped to the child at the shoulder level.
Opportunities to learn more
I also REALLY like how the Mifold company has gone out of its way to help educate their customer on the correct usage of the seat. They have oodles of how-to videos on YouTube, from proper installation, to tips on every step of the process. They take time to address consumer concerns or questions and make it as user-friendly as possible.
The product is also evolving from customer suggestions. There is nothing I love more than a company that actually listens to its customers!
If you want to check out their YouTube channel for helpful tips, go here!
Best uses for Mifold the booster seat
The majority of users purchase the Mifold to serve as their every day booster solution. And for most, it works very well as a regular booster seat. It’s slim, lightweight and comfortable.
Even though the Mifold can be used in place of a regular booster seat on a regular basis, it’s best uses are for when a full size booster seat is not available. The manufacturer says this themselves. Because of it’s slim, lightweight size, it’s very portable.
It would be great for traveling domestically or abroad. Many countries around the world do not have advanced car seat laws and car seats may not be available to rent. In this case, the Mifold would make an excellent traveling companion. Using the Mifold in a cab, for instance, would be much safer than not using a car seat at all.
Many, many reviews that I saw were parents buying the Mifold for use in situations just like this – overseas, in taxis, remote areas, etc. What a great portable solutions for situations which otherwise would leave a child without much protection.
The Mifold would also be a great backup booster seat for those extra passengers that occur from time to time. Slim enough to stash in the glove box – just unfold and install when you have extra kids to drive around.
3 across solution
Speaking of carpooling, or fitting in many kids, the Mifold is great for 3 across installations due to its narrowness. The extension arms that protrude on either side of the Mifold do not take up much space. This would be a great solution for a backseat full of 4-8 year olds that are able to buckle themselves in.
You’ll see this smallest booster seat in our Best Booster Seat article.
Would I buy it?
Yes I would! I wish the Mifold was on the market when I was shopping for a slim booster for my Prius. Well, to be fair, it probably existed, but I certainly didn’t come across it. The closest I found was the BubbleBum, the inflatable booster seat. And while I’m happy with my BubbleBum, I would have bought the Mifold in a heartbeat at the time.
It would have also come in very handy during our trip out to the west coast, which we made do by actually heading to Walmart upon arrival and buying the cheapest booster seat we could find. We later donated them to the local Goodwill just before flying out. If I had a few Mifolds in my arsenal, this scenario would never happen again.
So next time I’m shopping for a slim and portable booster seat, the Mifold is on my short list, to be sure.