Volvo shows off safe, light, inflatable child seat

Concept could mean the end of parental hernias

Published: April 14, 2014, 10:00 PM

Volvo inflatable seat concept

To address the bulk and difficulty of moving and mounting rear-facing infant seats, Volvo Cars has come up with an inflatable option they say is safe, lightweight and destined to ease parental hernias everywhere. The seat is ultra-mobile, which means parents aren't the only ones who can use it - friends and grandparents won't have to bulk up to take the kiddies.

The seat uses a silent pump system to inflate the seat in less than 40 seconds; it is deflated using an integrated pump. The whole thing weights less than 11 pounds, half the weight of a conventional seat. It uses Bluetooth connectivity to enable an array of features including remote-controlled inflation. The company says it fits into a weekend bag.

The so-called drop-stitch fabric is strong when inflated, a technology common in the boating industry and originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes. It's widely acknowledged that rear-facing is the safest position for child seats, a position recommended until age three or four (check your local jurisdiction for applicable laws), but many parents can't wait to ditch conventional rear-facing seats because they are such a nuisance to get in and out of many vehicles.