Car seatbelts don’t fit kids because they’re not designed to. It’s the reason states require tikes under a certain height (typically 4-feet, 9-inches tall) to sit in a booster seat ⏤ so the belt doesn’t do more harm than good. The problem, as most parents are well aware, is that kids can take forever to sprout that tall. And they’re often carpooling ⏤ to school, to soccer practice, to the third shift at the salt mine ⏤ in a handful of different cars. The solution: The mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat, a foldable booster seat that’s not only compact enough to cram in a backpack but that also helps kids get buckled better.
Winner of the JPMA’s “Best in Show” innovation award earlier this month, the mifold is a foldable, backless booster seat designed to fit in a kid’s backpack ⏤ so they are never without it. Cooler still is how the compact device (10-inch by 5-inch by 2-inch, 1.6 lbs.) works in the exact opposite way of a traditional booster. Rather than raising a kid up so that the seatbelt fits properly at an adult height, the shock-absorbing foam seat locks the seatbelt down at three points to fit the kid. This ensures the shoulder strap rests on the collarbone and off the neck, and the lap belt lies on the hips and not the stomach.
Because it’s designed for children ages 4- to 12-years-old (40 to 100 lbs., 40 to 57 inches), a pretty big range, there are adjustable lap belt guides on the sides that slide into one of three positions. That way the base fits properly and isn’t too big or tight. And so that Junior’s legs don’t hurt where they hang over, the mifold is also designed so “the child’s weight sinks the entire seat into the vehicle cushion, leveling out the two surfaces and minimizing the edge effect.” Interestingly, people have inquired as to whether it can be used by shorter adults to help prevent the seatbelt strap from rubbing against their necks. The answer is no — this is for kids only. Don’t try it.
The mifold is made of an aircraft-grade aluminum, a “super tough plastic polymer”, and has been crash tested to prove it’s safety mettle. It comes in six colors ⏤ including slate gray, perfect pink, and taxi yellow (wait, no Uber Black?) ⏤ They sell a handsome designer carry case for $15.