Thursday, March 20th, 2008
Review: Kaboost Chair Booster for a Grown-up Table Experience
You’ve seen it everywhere, but is it any good?
"It" is the Kaboost chair lifter, and after four months of use in our home, the answer is yes.
Kaboost raises a chair so that your child sits at your table at the proper height for dining or playing games.
The psychological effect is that the child is on par with adults, sitting in a raised grown-up chair rather than a booster seat on top of a grown-up chair. It’s a fine line, but one my 3.5-year-old daughter can discern.
The device has a spherical hard plastic center from which four arms extend outward to four "feet" on which the chair legs stand. Installing the Kaboost was surprisingly easy, with the arms being spring-loaded to accommodate opposing chair legs up to 30 inches apart. Insert one chair leg for tension, then pull the arms out so the Kaboost feet snuggle the other chair legs. That’s it.
- Two height adjustments. The feet have rubber pads on top and bottom, meaning the Kaboost doesn’t know which way is up. One way it lifts the chair 3.75". Turn it over to lift the chair 4.5". Our daughter uses the lower setting.
- No assembly, fast installation.
- Portable, collapsing to 13" x 12" x 6.75"
- Stays on when the chair is pulled or lifted.
- Makes the chair harder to tip over. No chair is tip-proof, but the big non-slip feet are nice.
- The manufacturer states it holds up to 300 lbs and the recommended age range is 20 months to 6 years. It’s a little freaky to see, but an adult can sit on a kaboosted chair.
In my experience, the rubberized feet make moving the chair a little kludgy. On our laminate floor, the non-slip feet create a stuttering bumpy movement that requires a little more strength and coordination than normal to slide the chair around. My 3-year-old can move her chair, but a 20-month-old might need a parent’s help.
In practice, we keep the chair at the perfect distance from the table so it rarely needs moving. My daughter climbs onto the chair, then slides her legs underneath the table. Due to the non-slip pads, we don’t push her closer to the table; she sits on the edge of the chair.
Younger toddlers may need help climbing into their raised chair. Our daughter was fine.
This Kaboost promo-video shows the whole thing in action, though their example slides with ease:
The Why and When of Kaboost
From the start, we skipped a highchair for our infant and used a Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat. I still recommend it as long as your baby is content. The booster was better than a highchair because it was small and traveled well when we visited family.
Four months ago, our daughter announced that the booster made her legs feel tingly. We tried adjusting the height and positioning, but for whatever reason pressure was applying in the right way to make her legs fall asleep. A few days later Kaboost came calling with an offer for a review sample.
I’d previously written about two similar products and the Kaboost looked superior, so I accepted.
Those previous products were the awkwardly huge and ugly HISITA, and the High Leg for which little is known, but looks to be a lot narrower. I’ll side with the Kaboost’s wide feet for better chair tipping protection.
Four months later, my daughter is loving her kaboosted chair and the tinglies are gone. She did indeed tell my wife it makes her feel like a grown-up.
Maybe it’s a coincidence, but a short time afterward she began developing a pretend fantasy she entertained for several weeks about being a grown-up who was going to move out, get roommates and move to Oregon. She eventually decided to instead move to a nearby town and visit our home for days at a time while attending university and holding game nights for her friends.
Find Kaboost at Target stores and probably elsewhere, or buy at Amazon or direct from Kaboost. It comes in green, natural or chocolate. Everything baby is frog green these days, so I recommend chocolate.