As a frequent traveler and occasional blogger I am always on the hunt for products that could make our lives easier. When products come recommended by Condé Nast Traveler, Forbes and key members of various traveling mom Facebook groups – it at least deserves a look. After investigating further, this one is sure to be a miss, here’s why.
For Family Travel…
The video starts out with “Traveling with a baby in tow used to be a nightmare.”
In the first 24 months of Lucy’s life we traveled almost every month and I can think of only one instance where I may have thought “Wow, this is a nightmare.” But for that I blame the emergency landing of our British Airways flight in Frankfurt that ate up our day and ended with us flying a very full Air India plane to New Delhi. That’s a story for a different post.
Back to the Valeto
The Valeto is part suitcase, part high chair and apparently…all amazing. It’s the carry-on suitcase that transforms into a high chair. That’s right, I said a high chair. This suitcase transforms into a high chair in just 5 seconds!
When the Valeto isn’t playing transformer it is a standard carry-on sized suitcase:
- Height 22”
- Width 14.2”
- Depth 9.7”
In the video above it shows the family at a restaurant preparing to sit down at a table, and while not every eatery has high chairs (see Chipotle), most do. So my question here is, are you bringing the case into a restaurant regardless? Maybe if the case is already rolling alongside or in the trunk of your car, you may opt to bring it along and use it instead of one at said hypothetical restaurant. Even then, it’s in the car and you’re at a Chipotle (or other restaurant where high chairs don’t exist) – are you going to take it out of the trunk and roll through the burrito lane?
What Is It?
“Find what you need at a glance.”
Wait…is it a diaper bag or a suitcase? It has built-in organization cubes- just like you can find at Ikea- which are convenient, but as most diaper bags offer some type of organized compartments, I’m still at a loss as to how this is necessary. If it is used as a typical carry-on, I can’t see the space making much sense. Also, I find myself wondering if I used the organizational cubes as they do in the video, will it stay organized? If I put all of my items in place and then I turn the case to store it in a trunk or an overhead bin – won’t the items shift around when I open the case next? Even if you remove the cubes and just pack your belongings inside, the space is hollowed out and awkward.
Sure it can be a hassle digging around in a giant diaper bag, looking for diaper rash cream, but I am not convinced that rolling around a high chair on wheels solves that problem.
The video highlights a hygiene benefit of bringing along your own easy to clean high chair in a very infomercial way. I can see the advantages of giving public high chairs a pass, especially those high chairs with pasta and liquids thrown at them – which I have never seen before in my life. But you could also just grab some Clorox wipes from your diaper bag and give your public chair a wipe down. You should do the same if you’re getting on an airplane, we know how gross those tray tables are. Gross.
I honestly can not recall a single time during my travels where I have thought “I wish I had a high chair right now.” But in case you have:
The Valeto is currently available through their website and it can be yours for the discounted preorder price of $299 while limited supplies last. (cue big slash through $399)
There’s nothing worse than a product that solves a problem that doesn’t exist. Can the world of intelligent design improve upon the travel experience for families? Absolutely. If this chair became a legal and removable car seat – it makes a lot more sense. You need car seats when you travel, they are a huge pain to haul, and if you are using them as a seat on the airplane for a baby, they are way too big for the space provided.
But there isn’t any practical travel help here. I guess it’s ideal for that familiar traveling couple and their newborn that just has to bring their own high chair everywhere they go…
Products That Actually Help
Here are some of my favorite family products that actually help traveling parents like me. These are all available on Amazon Prime because, frankly, if you’re still looking for gifts by December 25th, Prime is the only way to guarantee it.
The GB Pockit Stroller – a compact travel stroller that folds up and fits into a bag that easily travels in an overhead bin or under the seat in front of you – flight attendants won’t believe you until you show them. Read my full review here.
The Cares Safety Harness – If you’re not bringing the car seat along and you’re traveling tot is between 22-44lb, this is a safe and easy to install solution. I highly recommend this harness and we use it every time we fly with Lucy.
Foldable Travel Duffel Bag – Having an extra bag inside of my luggage is a must for me. If I am out of room on the way home, I use the extra bag for souvenirs, or a separate space for my dirty clothes. My personal favorite is the Muji Boston Bag, but I have found this one on Amazon that seems to be quite similar in looks and concept.
Am I missing something? Have you ever packed a high chair, or wished you had?