The Badger Basket Embassy (starting at $82, Amazon) takes a lot of heat in reviews for build quality and design. Parents like the contemporary styling with its S-like side panels and flat pieces for the back, seat, and footrest. And many say they were initially drawn to the budget-priced wooden frame. But once put to use, disappointment settled in. Posts at Walmart and Target reel off a host of complaints: a finish that chips; wood that doesn't hold up to everyday use; straps that don't secure the child adequately; a feeding tray positioned too close to the back of the chair, making it difficult to get the child in and out; and the challenge of cleaning icky-sticky messes off a wooden surface. One Badger Basket Embassy review also notes that the small pieces of plastic that protrude from the bottom on the back legs are easy to trip over despite their intended purpose of stabilizing the chair and facilitating a bit of forward glide.
Nonetheless, the chair's grow-with-the-child options generated a spate of positive comments. Once the feeding tray and safety bar are removed, for example, the Badger Basket Embassy can be pulled right up to the table; with the seat lowered, it can be used as a desk chair for a youngster or a resting spot for a teen or adult. One parent writes that these latter uses seem far more functional than its intended purpose as a high chair.
The seat cover is machine washable and the clear plastic overlay (with cup holder) for the wooden tray is dishwasher-safe. There is a 5-point harness on the seat; he back does not recline, however, and cannot be used when children are bottle feeding. This model weighs about 16 pounds and can accommodate up to 175 pounds.
The Badger Basket Embassy hits the mark for its upscale looks but misses the functionality boat by a wide margin. For practicality, comfort, and ease of use, a different budget high chair would be a better investment.