Many highchairs on the market are big, clunky and offensive to the senses. We were looking for one with a simple, sleek look that would stand up to years of abuse. We also did not want to spend hours every evening with a cotton swab cleaning food out of crevices. Enter the Joovy HiLo—a chair with a unique design in which the seat rotates between highchair and low chair positions.
To start, assembly was a breeze—opening the box was more difficult and took more time than the assembly itself. There are only a few pieces, and the most interesting one is the colorful plastic seat (available in seven bright colors) ,which has a highchair seat on one side and a low chair seat on the other.
The instructions are clear and easy to understand. Five steps are listed, but there is really only one real step: fasten the front and back legs to the plastic seat using 8 allen-keyed screws (tools provided). It’s a stretch to call the rest of them “steps” because they are so easy (like take the pieces out of the box). After you finish that step, you have what appears to be a full-fledged chair for most intents and purposes, and you feel like you’re making great progress. “All right, we’re bangin’ on all cylinders now!” In all, assembly took less than 10 minutes.
Once assembled, the HiLo’s strikes you with its sharp look: The wooden legs and colorful plastic seat form an angular, hourglass shape when viewed from the side. With its small footprint and nylon wheels on the back legs, it slides easily into place at the table, taking no more space than an ordinary chair. It does not fold or collapse for storage like some other models, but you will want to leave the HiLo out anyway because it looks so good! The HiLo is very sturdy but feels very light, weighing in at 21.72 pounds.
Installing the baby (not included) is cumbersome the first time because the seatbelt can be a little tricky. It’s a five-point harness with four straps (two shoulder and two hip) that separately buckle to a central hub connected to the strap between the legs—a little more complicated than your typical car seat or stroller seatbelt with only two connections. The good news is that your child will be secure if you ever use the HiLo on a rollercoaster or fighter jet!
The tray slides into place and secures to the back of the seat by a snap on each side. It does not adjust forward or backward, but leaves enough room for even the plumpest babies.
If you are looking for a chair that’s easy to clean, look no further than the HiLo! Thanks to its sleek design, you won’t find any elusive nooks or crannies. The molded seat forms one seamless surface with no cushion, making it very easy to wipe down. The tray also wipes down easily, and it has an insert that snaps on/off for convenient washing at the sink or in the dishwasher—or at the water spicket outside, after a particularly epic meal!
And the signature feature that gives the HiLo its name: When your baby transitions from infant to toddler, the HiLo converts to from highchair to low chair. This is achieved by pulling a tab on each leg and rotating the seat forward 180 degrees, sending the highchair side down and the low chair side up. Doing this alone can be a little tricky, but theoretically, you only need to do it once. In low chair mode, the tray can be removed for use at the “big kid” table. There is an opening on the back of the seat that allows the seatbelt straps to be used in both highchair and low chair modes without detaching them.
The HiLo comes in seven bright colors, some with natural color legs and others with black legs. The price point is steep but reasonable given the quality construction, attractive look, easy-to-clean surfaces and useful life from 6 months up to 6 years. The price is also inline with other high-end models.
To buy: joovy.com