When travelling abroad with kids how many of us take things such as the childrens car seats? If I’m honest, up until now, not me. Which is incredible as in the UK I wouldn’t dream of not putting H or D in a car seat yet overseas where some of the driving laws are a little, erm lax, I am happy to get a taxi without the use of child seats for the kids. Okay, we don’t take a great deal of car journeys when visiting Europe on holidays but as we prepare for America, a place where car hire is much more common, Mrs F and I decided we must consider protection for the kids but baulked at having to take their heavy and cumbersome high backed boosters, this is where MiFold, the makers of the portable child seat stepped in.
MiFold has a philosophy which is simple; they believe that there should never be a time where a child should have to forfeit the need for protection in a car regardless of the car, place or size and therefore developed the MiFold.
When children are young, a seat belt alone isn’t the most effective way of protecting them. Seat belts are predominately designed for adults; made up of a lap belt and a shoulder strap which tightens upon impact and protects its user from flying around a car if they were unfortunate to be in an accident. The trouble with younger children using it is that their bodies are not physically strong enough to resist high levels of impact and as such, the seatbelts can potential cause damage despite aiming to reduce it.
Lap belts on younger ones, if used in the traditional sense, have the potential to cause considerable injury to internal organs and chest straps have the potential to catch around the neck of a little person if not used with the addition of traditional booster seats. Booster seats work by raising the child higher so the seat chest belt works as it should. The issue with these though, although much smaller than a traditional high backed booster, they are still a pain to carry, maybe not in the UK but certainly overseas.
MiFold is incredibly tiny and can fit easily into most tote bags / rucksacks. Its really sturdy as well and works by folding out to form a grippy seat to fit your little ones bottom on. Next there’s clips which allow the lap belt to fit across the thighs, rather than the stomach, thus still protecting the child from flying out of their seat, but also protecting any impact on their internal organs. The chest strap is then held in the correct place thanks to a handy clip which comes from the MiFold seat unit, up the back of the child and clips onto the seat belt just above the shoulder, ensuring the seatbelt can’t ride up higher around the neck or face, again ensuring full protection.
MiFold comes in five different coloured outers (although the inside seats are all black) and are priced around £39.99. For more information check out their site now.
How safe are they? Well I hope I never have to truly find out but these child seats conform to European Union ECE R44.04 regulations for child restraints. It has also been given this rating for use in all car types too so there’s no need to worry if it will fit your car, someone else’s car or even your next car.
MiFold is designed for children aged 4-12 years old and weighing from 15kg through to 36kg or 150cm in height (whichever comes first), classing it as a group 2/3 car seat.
It’s definitely worth watching the MiFold instructional video to make sure you get the fitting correct the first time you use it however once you get the gist of it, its so quick and easy. The best thing about these as well is that you can even fit three across the back seats of various different cars, and not just the big ones, which if you have traditional high back boosters, you’ll know its impossible to do with them (unless you have a bus).
The kids love their MiFold and we can’t wait to use them on our holidays, as well as when they are with their Grandad “Pops” when they return… Here’s to many safer trips moving forward.
Until next time