Amazon Review by Amazon Customer
136 people found the following review helpful
A revolutionary, game-changing product but can use some improvement.
I've been following this product since 2015, participated in the company's crowdfunding and have been eagerly waiting for my mifold to arrive for months. I haven't received that one yet, but imagine my surprise and delight when a mifold showed up in the Vine program, so I quickly grabbed one.
This is such a brilliant concept. The purpose of a traditional booster seat is to raise the child up a few inches so the car’s seatbelt, designed to fit an adult, can be safely used by a smaller-sized human - the lap belt should not sit at a child’s waist. What the mifold does is to bring down the seatbelt to properly restrain a child. Again, brilliant.
Part of finding a good booster seat involves how well it fits into your car’s rearseat design, like the slope, shape, etc… The best booster seat is the one which fits your car properly. Because the seat portion can bend in half, this allows more flexibility in the type of backseats a booster seat can be placed. The mifold is also great for a larger child who sits too high for a booster seat but sits too low for a car’s seatbelt during that in-between stage. It’s not as if every child needs to be raised up about 4-5 inches for a proper fit.
On the flip side, the mifold may not work as well for shorter children. Since a car’s backseat’s depth is most likely deeper than the length of a shorter child’s upper thighs, the child’s legs would be sticking out straight when used properly. Okay, fine, but if the child wants to bend his/her legs at the knees, the child may sit closer to the edge of the backseat, which will make the butt slide farther away from the crease of the back and possibly make the child slouch. Again, depends on the car’s backseat and the child.
Then, its size… OH, ITS SIZE!!! If you’re short on backseat width and have a smaller child who doesn’t need the entire width of a traditional booster seat, the mifold will give you those few precious inches for a better 3-across. For the caretakers of 3 kids who feel like their non-minivans/large SUVs won’t accommodate multiple child restraint seats but can’t afford to buy a larger vehicle, the mifold may save your budget.
It’s a bit heavier than it looks. The seat bottom is rather firm and small - it’s a little over 8" by 8" when unfolded. I was concerned this would be too uncomfortable for the occupant, but it wasn’t, possibly because a car’s rearseat is very cushioned, allowing the mifold to sink into the cushion. An adult weighing a bit over 100lbs tried it for testing purposes only, and the adult felt fine.
The width can be adjusted out to 13.5" internally at the upper thighs, then tapering to a width of 13.25" closer to the knee - the lap belt guides angle in a bit. The red lap belt guides should not be so narrow they touch the occupant.
I’d give this 5 stars for ingenuity and practicality, but there are a couple of issues:
The lap belt guides move in too easily. Pulling them out requires using a couple of tabs, but pushing them in requires virtually no effort. It’s very easy to push in the lap belt guides. I think the intent was to make it easier for the child to adjust the lap belt guides’ width, but it would’ve been better to make the child adjust the width to lock in the position before placing it on the car’s backseat. If there is some quick, jerky movements while riding, the booster seat may shift. Also, another person sitting next to a mifold user can accidentally push in the lap belt guide. To be fair, I haven’t had the lap belt guides get moved yet while in the car, but I can foresee how this may be a problem when things get bumped at a bad time.
The shoulder belt guide/clip is difficult to open initially. I can open it since I’m an adult who had some practice, but younger kids will need help, along with adults who may not be familiar with the mifold, like the driver for a class field trip. I don’t know if the shoulder belt guide mechanism has to lock for the mifold to work properly. Other booster seats have shoulder belt guides that let the user slide in the vehicle’s shoulder belt and leave at that, though having it lock does prevent the vehicle’s shoulder belt from sliding out.
Other quirks that don’t affect the star rating:
- The shoulder belt guide/clip is made of plastic. It seems durable, and I hope it doesn’t break or get loosened after repeated use.
- There are lots of sewn-on tags and labels. Since (I assume) these are regulatory requirements, there’s nothing mifold can do about them, considering the lack of available space for such items due to the compact size of the mifold.
- The manual can be stored in a slot incorporated into the mifold, but it’s a little difficult to get the manual in and out - be sure to leave the manual sticking out a bit so it can be removed easier.
It’s obvious a lot of thought went into designing this. With the mifold, there’s no excuse for not using a booster seat, even when traveling. Besides the mechanisms of the guides, I love this product. I hope this gains more popularity so the difficulty and unfamiliarity of using the mifold disappears. Or, maybe the next generation of mifold will improve it. I don’t know if this can replace traditional booster seats for some but for traveling and carpools, this is practically a must-have safety item without compromising convenience. In the meantime, I continue to wait for the mifold I ordered via crowdfunding while being grateful for the opportunity to receive one for review - many thanks to Jon Sumroy, the mifold team and Amazon’s Vine program.