If you haven't already heard of the RideSafer Travel Vest I am about to blow your mind and change your life. Seriously. Are you ready?!!
The RideSafer Travel Vest is an alternative to car seats and booster seats that is much more compact and portable, but just as safe. Instead of raising the child up to fit in the seat belt, it brings the seat belt down to your child. The seat belt feeds through the vest securely, and the vest serves to keep the car's seat belt in place and also to disperse energy safetly in the event of a car accident.
I came across the vest a few years ago at a baby expo, but my child was much too young at that point - their smallest vest is good from 3 years and 30 pounds (the largest vest is good up to 10 years and 80 pounds). A few months ago I realized the car seat we were using VERY occasionally for my oldest child (we are city dwellers without a car) was about to expire, so without a second thought I reached out to RideSafer to review one of their vests.
I have to admit, I was a bit wary... Would it be safe? Would my child be secure and not squirm around? Would he be able to nap? Would it really be easy to use and lug around? Well, if you want the cliff's notes version - YES to all of those!!! We couldn't love it more!!! This is now our 4 year old's only car seat, and as soon as our twin girls turn 3 they'll be graduating to RideSafer as well! Keep reading for a more detailed reveiw :)
As with any car seat, the setup is a bit nerve wracking. I mean, getting it fitted perfectly is pretty darn important, it could even be a matter of life and death! So, I read the manual, strapped it on and made adjustments a few times, even posted a pic on social and tagged the company to see what they thought LOL!! But, once you have it fitted for your child, it's super easy to use:
If you want, there's a mini neck/head rest that can velcro on as well (showsn above left and middle, and below left). It can help with napping in the car.
Should you toss out your expensive daily car seat and replace it with a RideSafer? Probably not. But just about every parent of a child 3-10 years old could benefit from a RideSafer... If you are any of the following, I highly recommend considering getting one!!
One thing to keep in mind, and this is the only somewhat negative thing I could find about the vest, is that since the child is not boosted up, they might not have a great view out of the window. This depends on your child's height and the type of car. My child could see just fine out of my mom's Ford Explorer, but not at all out of my dad's BMW. You could possibly pair the vest with a portable booster. I spoke with a representative from Safe Traffic System (manufacturer of RideSafer) who suggested pairing with their booster, the Delighter, and warned against cross-branding since other boosters have not been crash tested with their vest. They especially do not recommend boosters that require the seat belt to feed through them, since theis might effect the vest's safety.
The RideSafer comes in 2 sizes, and several different types and generations (as well as different version for EU standards, which require a quick one step release and is paired with a required elevated booster). You'll have to contact them or read product descriptions carefully to see what all the differences are, but we got the size small Generation 4, released in October 2016, which I believe is new and improved most importantly because it can be used in a lap belt only seat (you must use the included tether). You can order RideSafer vests on SafeRide4Kids.com (with a low price guarantee - I'm seeing prices from $119 to $159 depending on the generation/type) and Amazon from about $139.
So, what do you think? Are you considering getting one? Do you already have one and love it? Share in a comment below!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)