Pros: Great car tray for anytime. Stroller use too. Safe and Flexible. USEFUL!
Cons: No back wall and large side pockets (minor problems)
I was taking a couple of 4-10 hour car trips with my kids (ages 2 & 5) this last summer and needed a way they could keep themselves entertained and fed - a particular challenge for the 2 year old boy.
I looked at the Babu Babu tray, the Fisher Price lap tray, and the Taby tray. Finally I found the Snack N Play Travel Tray on ebay. Looks like now you can find it from Amazon too. We bought one for my 2 year old son since my 5 year old daughter had a lap tray/writing desk already. After she saw the tray, she immediately wanted one too.
DESCRIPTION: The SnP tray is a large tray (about made of 1" foam and covered in blue nylon material which makes it easy to clean. There are 2" side walls that cover 3 sides of the tray to keep most toys and crayons from rolling off. The tray back is curved, fits against the child's stomach, and does not have a "wall" across the belly. There are 2 side flaps each with a large and small elasticized mesh pockets so that toys are easy go in, but will stay tucked in even when the tray gets flipped over when the kids get out. The tray comes in a zippered vinyl case that is great for storage (if you think it'll get stored). The tray attaches the to the car seats with a nylon buckle system. There are buckles on both sides of the strap and tray so you can adjust the sizes from both sides and or easily remove from either side to get the kids in and out of the car. I will include measurements when I can get to the car to take them. We now leave the trays attached to the car seats permanently since the kids will ask to use them randomly - even for 10 minute rides.
The packaging suggests that you can use this in a car seat or in a stroller. I haven't tried to use it in a stroller yet because I'm not sure the tray would stay in one place and not flop around since I have a side-by-side stroller. The tray would use the included belt/strap and would go around the stroller and kids.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I saw this tray and was a little skeptical. I didn't think that the foam would be stiff enough for the kids to actually play or draw upon. I wasn't sure if the pockets would be useful and the flaps looked very large. We have the Britax Husky and Britax Marathon car seats which are wide and I wasn't sure if any of the available trays would fit.
When I got the packages, the trays were folded in half, but reshaped themselves very quickly once out of the bag. The trays were quite large - as were the side pockets. Installation was quite easy once I decided how to route the strap around the seat. In order to keep the strap from disappearing each time I unbuckled the tray, I routed the strap through the car seatbelt holes making sure it didn't interfere with the seatbelts. The buckles are secure, but not too hard to use. The trays are large enough to cover both my kids' laps and then some. I am very pleased with how easy it is to install and how large the trays are. I have grown to like how large the pockets and side flaps are. They can hold many little toys at once. The only drawback is that the pockets are so large, they cover the Side-Rider pockets we have for the kids' drinks. My two year old was even able to put some toys in and out again without assistance.
The advertisement/packaging also points out that these are crash safe; the foam will safely squish against the child and not cause further injuries. The other trays available are hard plastic and may cause injury. (I was concerned with fit as well as crash safety with the Taby tray since it is hard plastic.)
IN USE: So, I took the kids on 3 long (4-10 hours) road trips and many 1 hour road trips. The kids actually were able to write, draw, and play with small toys on these trays without me or my husband stopping the car to pick things up. One trip, I was alone with the 2 kids and needed to feed them lunch while driving. I got them their happy meals and drinks, pulled over to open and set out the meals, including drinks and napkins. (For the drinks, we use the Side-riders attachable pockets.) After that, we were on our way and the kids were munching happily. The only problem was my 2 year old spilling his drink, but that wasn't the tray's fault; he put the cup upside down in the space next to his leg. The only drawback is the back part of the tray; since there is no wall, toys and other things can fall back into the car seat - but at least the kids can reach down beside themselves and get the toys out.
I was skeptical at first, but I love it - and more importantly, the KIDS LOVE IT!