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Bubblebum for travel with a tall 4 y.o.?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

We are going to Puerto Rico next month and I'm trying to figure out what to do about a carseat for my DD. She is 4, 41 lbs, and 43" tall. We have her harnessed in a Frontier SICT at home, but there is NO WAY I am dragging that beast through two airports. While in PR we'll mainly be using taxis and walking, though we'll probably also rent a car for a couple days. Folks here have suggested the Travel Vest, which looks great, but the price is unappealing for something we're only going to use briefly. (We are also pregnant with twins, so right now our carseat $$ priorities are about saving money to get a bunch of Radians for the back of our Accord.)

Anyway, thoughts on the Bubblebum? Is this a reasonably safe option for travel in which we won't be spending a whole lot of time in the car? I know that ideally she'd be harnessed, but I just don't see a way to make that happen. All advice or thoughts welcome.
post #2 of 6

For short trips if you're going to be sitting next to her to make sure she stays seated properly, yes, a Bubble Bum is probably fine.

 

If I had a choice, I'd get the Ride Safer Travel Vest instead. But I understand the financial constraints. 

 

Keep in mind that you might get a lot of use out of the RSTV in the future, too, because it would mean your older child could fit between two car seats in just about any vehicle. 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Brigala. Yes, I've been thinking about the vest, for sure. It's just hard to justify when I think I need to buy 3 Radians. Yikes. In fact, I'm going to start a new thread about that right now...
 

post #4 of 6

A vest isn't always ideal in day to day situations, but for a 3 across in an accord it might work quite well.  You could get a lot of different seats in there for the babies and your oldest in the vest.  Just a thought...

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I just wanted to update this post in case anyone finds it while looking for info about the BubbleBum. Overall, I give it a mixed review. The price ($39) was certainly better than a travel vest ($150), and it was very convenient for traveling with. I was able to deflate it and put it in our carry on bag, so I didn't have to worry about dragging a carseat through the airport, or worrying about gate checks. My DP ended up not traveling with us at the last minute due to a family emergency, and I was particularly grateful to have one less thing to carry while traveling solo with a small child (while pregnant!). It inflated easily upon arrival, and was lightweight to carry around with our luggage when we went to go look for a taxi, etc.

 

There were, however, two significant downsides to it. First, it is a PAIN to get the seatbelt threaded through the belt guides, which you have to do every time you get into a new taxi. We had several instances where taxis started driving off before I'd managed to get her safely buckled in. Stressful. Even in the rental car, it was a pain to get her in and out of. I've never used a backless booster before, but the ones I see my friends' kids in look much easier to manage. Second, and more importantly, it just didn't feel particularly secure. Again, she's never been in a booster before, so I don't have a great basis for comparison, but the seat seemed less stable and more tippy than I feel like a booster ought to be. Overall, I'm not convinced it offered her much more protection than a seatbelt alone would have.

 

Final analysis: it was convenient for travel, but didn't feel particularly safe, and was not easy to use. Not sure I'd do it again.

post #6 of 6

Many boosters are tippy.  And backless boosters are primarily designed to position the belts properly:  they are not expected to give "more protection that a seatbelt does".  This is why they are generally not recommended for 4yos, although sometimes for travel you do what you have to do.  Seems like it did what it was meant to do.

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