World travelers (and also travellers – my Canadian spell check likes two Ls!) – do you wonder about
using your Canadian seat in the US or Europe, and worry about the legality of your seat while in another country? Worry no more! Harmony Juvenile, makers of many other favourites such as the Defender and Youth Booster, brings us the first ever triple-certified booster seat that folds into a portable block for ease of transport and storage.
World Traveler Folding Booster Overview
- Compliant to Canadian CMVSS, American FMVSS, and European ECE standards and labeled accordingly
- Suitable for children who weigh between 40-110 lbs (18.1-50 kg) AND who are 34-57″ (86.4-144.8 cm) tall.
- Suitable for children who are able to sit properly at all times so that the shoulder belt fits across the middle of the collarbone and chest, and lap belt fits low across the hips; we recommend children be at least five years old before using a booster seat.
- High back booster only; does not convert to a backless booster.
- Expires six years from date of manufacture.
- Removable cupholder swivels, can be installed on either side.
- Lowest shoulder belt guide (position 1): 15″
- Tallest shoulder belt guide (position 7): 19.5″
- Dimensions: 17.38″ wide x 20″ deep x 30.75″ tall
- Folds to a block 17.7″ x 15.9″ x 10.9″
- Seat weight: 8.5 lbs
- Available in Silver Tech (black and grey; red fashion shown in some photos is no longer available)
- Removable, washable fabric cover
- $99.97 at Walmart – might be on store shelves now, coming soon in Silver Tech for online sales
Rebecka, CPST-I of Safe Travels recently tested the World Traveler Folding Booster out on a trip to the sunny south.
The World Traveler folds easily (although it becomes easier with practice) into a self-contained block, with a strap for carrying. It’s not heavy, but it’s a bit bulky for kids to carry very easily or far on their own.
With a bit of planning though it’s quite portable: combine it with a rolling suitcase, or find a cloth bag with bigger handles to loop over your arm for when you become the pack horse carrying everything, as is inevitable with tired, cranky kids. Side note: that suitcase…!
Although the World Traveler is larger than the typical carry-on size, it does fit well in the overhead storage bin. It did not fit in the smaller centre aisle overhead bin that is present on some planes, nor did it fit under the seat in front. But, we are hopeful that the flight crew would allow it on board even though it can not be used on the plane (no boosters can because they require a lap shoulder belt, and of course aircraft seats have only lap belts). Why not check it as luggage you ask? Because you want to be absolutely certain that your child’s booster winds up in the same location as you do, and arrives undamaged. Having it in the cabin with you is really the only way to be sure of that.
The red suitcase is the absolute biggest that fits in the carry-on sizer. Still lots of space in the overhead bin though.
Too tall to fit under the seat, and too tall to fit in the carry-on sizer.
Keep a copy of the manual on your phone for easy reference – download it from Harmony here (now take a moment and save the file, not just the link. Don’t be stuck without wifi and not have access to your manual!). Of course it comes with a paper manual too, but we like to travel lightly, and also we are known to lose things.
World Traveler begins as a block, held in place by a strap that doubles as a carry handle. Slip it off, and then unfold the hinged back piece, removing the head piece as you go. Use the back rest lever to lock the back into place.
Here you have a headless booster seat – you’re not finished! The World Traveler is NOT a backless booster. Lock the head wings into place, and then insert the head rest into the body. To disassemble do everything in reverse, with the exception of lifting the locking tab (shown below) to release the head rest.
The design of the World Traveller is such that there’s a slight angle to the seat pan, with EPE energy absorbing foam, a removable, machine-washable fabric cover, and a cupholder that can be installed on either side, and that swivels for convenience. If you take it with you on your travels make sure to keep track of it during transport.
Belt Fit / Fit to Child
When shopping for a booster seat we say over and over again that it’s all about the belt fit. This is still true, even when travelling. However, we do recognize that travelling families don’t have the option of knowing ahead of time what they’ll be driving, or bringing multiple seats just in case. With this in mind, we found the belt fit on the World Traveller to be fairly reliable. Always use a lap/shoulder belt, and look for it to be centred across the collarbone, and low on the hips.
What was not reliable was how smoothly the shoulder belt retracted through the shoulder belt guide.
Be mindful of it retracting back and forth as your child fidgets or sneezes, and although we want kids to be able to remain properly seated at all times the reality is that we all shift in our seats. If the shoulder belt doesn’t move smoothly at the shoulder then slack will hang there, meaning a loose seat belt. Across a variety of vehicles we found shoulder belt retraction to be hit or miss; it may be improved at different heights for bigger or smaller children. If you encounter this while travelling: try a different seat in the car (if available), and be very mindful of correcting it manually if needed, possibly even teaching your child to do it. This is not a practical fix for daily use, but when you’re away your options may be limited.
The head wings provide a good amount of padding and a place to rest a sleepy head. The World Traveller is quite upright, and not adjustable for recline. It is narrow, so likely to fit in slim seating positions. Aim to minimize gaps behind it, and if a vehicle’s head restraint is getting in the way, check the vehicle manual to see if it’s allowed to be removed to achieve a more flush fit with the vehicle seat. If you are unsure if a gap is acceptable, reach out to Harmony Juvenile for guidance.
The World Traveller is well-priced at $99.97, and easy to use. It provides reliable seat belt fit on a child’s body, but may not allow the shoulder belt to retract freely, meaning you must check for this in any new vehicle you’re riding in. It’s on the narrow side, and our kid testers found it comfortable to ride in and easy to buckle themselves. The triple certification is handy for families who cross borders, eliminating the worry about if their own seat is legal to use on a trip. We recommend familiarizing yourself with this seat in advance of any trip, and if it’s in storage for a while, unpack it and make sure your child still fits before using it again. If you use it only for travel then keep the box it comes in – nice and compact and everything will stay in one place!
Would you like to win one? The fabulous folks at Harmony Juvenile will provide one World Traveler Folding Booster in Silver Tech to one lucky winner in Canada.
To be eligible to win:
- Comment below, answering this question: where do you want to travel with this booster seat, and why? Comments are moderated, so won’t show up right away. That’s okay – trust us to take care of it.
- Use the Rafflecopter widget to claim your entries.
- Cross your fingers!
Rebecka Mayne is a CPST-Instructor and is the owner of Safe Travels Car Seat Services. Rebecka is passionate about child passenger safety and is active on Facebook, and in her community of New Tecumseth as well as other areas of Ontario including Perth County, York Region and Simcoe County. Rebecka has a background in the addictions and adult mental health field and specializes in empathy and a non judgemental approach. Rebecka just got a new washer and dryer so if you need her, she’s in her laundry room watching them do their thing. She reports that “they are magical.”