Jon Sumroy had an idea for a new type of child booster seat back in 2000. Unfortunately, he was too busy to bring it to fruition, so he sat on it for a while.
But three years ago, the consumer products marketing consultant and father of four finally found the time to work on his invention, and now it’s just about ready for the road.
MiFold is an ultra-portable, fold-up booster aimed at travelers, taxi riders, and anyone who could use an extra one in the car now and then, but doesn’t have room to carry around a spare full-size version, or three.
Instead of lifting a child up to better fit a seatbelt, it uses three guides to bring the belt down to them, and position it properly across their chest and hips. It’s comprised of a thin seat pad hinged in the middle with loops to guide the lap belt fitted to extendable arms on each side of it, and another on the tether for the should strap.
Fully folded, it’s about the size of clutch purse, and can fit in a glove box, door compartment or backpack. It’s made of polymers and aluminum and is dishwasher safe – no disassembly required.
Sumroy says it was designed to accommodate children ages 4 through 12 weighing from 40 pounds to 120 pounds, and has been crash-tested in the USA and Europe.
He’s not pitching it as a replacement for conventional boosters and child safety seats, but as a supplement for times when those are inconvenient to use or carry. Still, he'd love to see one, or more, in every car.
Production is set to begin later this year and, although it’s not dependent on it, a month-long Indiegogo campaign has been launched to take pre-orders starting at $35 for one. In the first 10 days it’s already raised over $250,000, well above its $40,000 goal.
Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor.