inflatable car seatWhen I first saw this inflatable car seat for children on Lil Sugar, I clicked to see what the punchline was -- April Fools' Day is just around the corner. We all know how vital car seats are to protecting our children, so how could something so beach-ball-like even be considered for such purposes? But they're no joke, and the more I think about it -- I want one!

For around $90, the Easy Car Seat is said to accommodate children ages 3 and up (the "and up" part is important). It fits in your purse, and it blows up in 30 seconds. How incredibly convenient to be able to just deflate your kid's car seat, fold it up, and throw it in a suitcase -- no more lugging those things through the airport! That alone is reason enough for me to buy one.

Plus, think of all the times it would be handy to have a car seat, but you don't want to tote one around all day -- in cities where you use cabs regularly, one for grandma's car, in my own trunk for impromptu play dates without having to do the big car seat hand-off.

The idea is nothing short of brilliant, but what about the most important part -- are they safe?

The company claims they've met all safety regulations -- both those of the U.S. and the U.K. -- and there's even a video of its crash test results posted on their site. And yes, they have a precaution against popping -- my first concern with all the crap that ends up in my car. In that case, then yes, it seems they would be safe. But -- and this is a big but -- I would never use it until a child met the height and weight requirements for a booster seat (at least 4 and mature enough to sit still in a booster seat), and for most purposes I'd keep him or her in a five-point harness as long as possible. But once they're older and in a booster anyway, then as crazy as it sounds, such a device seems like a fantastic option on occasion.

Another product, the BubbleBum (points for the clever name), offers a similar inflatable alternative for about $50, but it doesn't have the back support. The fact that at least two companies have gone through the necessary safety standards makes me feel even better about the inflatable products.

Check out this video for the Easy Car Seat and see if you're as sold as I am:

What do you think of the idea of an inflatable car seat for kids?


Image via YouTube