If you drive, or plan on getting in a car with your baby, a car seat will probably be one of your most important purchases. There’s a lot to think about when picking out a car seat. Lots of research, trial and error, and of course you need to consider your budget. There’s a lot that goes in to picking the car seat that you feel is best for you, your car, and most importantly, your child’s safety! I’m going to tell you about a car seat I love, and think you will love too.
The Recaro ProRIDE. This is quite the car seat! There’s so much to say about it, I’m not even sure where to begin. So first, I’ll tell you a little bit about Recaro and why they are qualified to make car seats.
The company that is now Recaro, began in 1906 as a saddling company. Gotta stay safe and comfy on those horses! But, in 1910, the company started changing with the times and began working with what was soon to become the automotive industry, making seats. The company took off from there, and as the industry evolved, so did Recaro. They began spending time researching the answers to questions like, “how should people sit?” and “How is the body correctly supported?”. They worked with top notch experts to learn more about what happens in car accidents, and began to refine their technology. After several years of creating innovative safety seats for both cars and eventually airlines, in 1998 they launched their first child safety seat. Which brings us to present day, with a full line of car seats to fit your child from birth until they can sit safely in a seat by themselves.
With over a hundred years in the transportation industry, these folks know what they are doing. And it shows. Bringing your kiddo comfort and bringing you peace of mind in safety.
So lets talk about the ProRIDE already! I took a ton of pictures in the house so you can really see some key features.
Techy stuff alert: (see their website for even more info)
The ProRIDE is a convertible car seat (meaning it works rear facing and front facing) and fits your child from birth (or 5 lbs) up to 70lbs.
*Rear Facing specs: 5-35 lbs OR less than 22.5 inches seated height.
*Forward facing specs: 20-70 lbs OR less than 50 inches seated height (follow your state’s and the AAP guidelines before forward facing. Child must be at least 1 year old AND over 20 lbs. The AAP recommends rear facing until the age of 2, and this seat should accomodate that guideline in most cases).
*Seat dimensions: 19 inches wide, by 11 inches deep and up to 29 inches tall (with maximum head restraint extension).
*Weight: 20.5 lbs.
Notice on the safety ratings, they also have passed Europe’s Side Impact Protection test. We don’t have that test in the US. Recaro has gone above and beyond for you!
*While all of Recaro’s parts are not made in the US, it is entirely assembled in the US to assure quality.
OK. Now that the tech stuff is out of the way, let’s get down to using this bad boy.
This is one heck of a car seat! There are so many features on it, that I must have spent an hour inspecting it saying “oh my gosh, it does that too!?” Even my hubby was impressed, but he already knew about Recaro’s history of awesomeness, being that they have a name for themselves in the auto racing world.
The first thing I did, after admiring it for a while, was to put the kiddo in it and get it adjusted. I had already given the instructions a read through, which was very simple. Their instructions are clear and easy to follow. Yay! So I put the little on in the seat, and adjusted the straps, no unthreading and re threading to move the strap height! WHAT!? It’s true! There are knobs at the top that you turn to adjust the straps to the perfect height for your child. Remember, below the shoulders for rear facing, at the shoulders for forward facing. You can really get a perfect fit in this seat. As your child grows, you won’t even have to take it out of the car to adjust it! Adjusting the straps also adjusts the side impact head protection. Couldn’t be easier.
Next step is to buckle and tighten. As with most car seats, there a buckle between the legs and clips on both sides of the lap to snap in. Do those guys first. Then, after they are clipped in, tighten the lap belt to a snug fit on baby’s legs. Then, clip the CHEST piece (remember, it’s very very important that this piece goes up level with the armpits of your child, NOT down by the buckle. It’s called a chest piece for a reason!) After you have that clipped together, you just pull the QuickPull adjuster near the bottom, and it pulls the straps tight. Pull until baby is snuggly in place. Then, give another pull to the lap section to make sure it’s secure, and re-tighten with the QuickPull adjuster. Check to make sure you can’t “pinch and inch” or put more than one finger between baby and the strap and you should be ready to roll.
This whole process is made very simple by Recaro. The QuickPull adjuster pulls the seat belt with ease, unlike the other convertible I have. My other one gets tangled so easily, and somehow one side gets tighter than the other after a few pulls. Not with the Recaro!
*The Quickpull adjuster is easily tucked away and hidden, so younger kids can’t mess with it. Older kids may figure it out, but out of sight out of mind sometimes does the trick.
Installation was a breeze in our larger car. We have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and it fits just fine, but that’s not a surprise. The Belt path was a bit narrow which made it hard to get the seat belt in at first. But once it was in place, it was fine. And the locking clips at the belt path were awesome! They really hold that seat belt down tight. It took me maybe a matter of 15 minutes to get a good tight install with the seat belt. I will be testing the latch this weekend on a long trip in a friends car (our old Jeep doesn’t have latch). But, the latch clips look incredibly easy to use, so I am not worried.
My only complaint about this seat, is that it won’t fit in really small cars. Besides the Jeep, I also have a small car. It’s a ’94 Toyota Paseo. Basically a hatch-back. The ProRIDE will fit, but it’s so close to the roof that you can’t put baby in! But, you can’t win them all. So, be sure to measure your car’s head room first, or test the seat out first if you have a smaller car.
*The latch clips store perfectly in the back of the base, so there’s no belts hanging around if you don’t use them! There’s also a pocket in the back that holds the Tether in in place too.
Other things I love about this seat:
*Rear facing recliner. You can tilt the seat up for forward facing and lean it back for rear facing to help get a better angle for baby. This makes for a more comfortable ride, and for a better positioned infant!
* The base that the seat sits in makes the seat easy to level.
* Belt path locks help to make sure your seat stays snuggly installed. No worries about the belt loosening.
* The latch clips have their own storage, no clips hanging down if you don’t use latch.
* Made with EPS foam, which helps absorb crash force.
Over all, I love this car seat and would recommend it to anyone. It’s made so well, and it’s so easy to use that I think anyone would be able to use this seat properly. Which makes the ProRIDE a stand out product for me. Any seat that’s made in such a way that it’s easy to install and use is a winner in my book. As long as it fits in your car, you will be happy with this seat for as long as your child fits in it.
Here’s some pics of my kiddo in the seat all ready for action.
After they have outgrown this seat, you’ll probably want to go to Recaro again for other safety seats. Already past the convertible stage? They have combination harness to boosters for 20-120 lbs (front facing only). And they have belt positioning boosters with the highest weight limit on the market, 30-120 lbs.
If there’s anything about this carseat that I didn’t cover, please feel free to ask in the comments! I’ll do my best to answer. Recaro’s customer service has been fantastic for me, and I’m sure they will be for you also.
*My personal disclaimer about car seats and my review: There is no absolute best car seat in the world. All car seats in the US must meet a minimum safety standard and many requirements in order to be sold. If anything goes wrong, they must be recalled. The best car seat for you might be different from me. That said, I will tell you what the best car seat for you is: the one that fits your car properly, fits your child properly, you can install properly, and you will use properly. That is the most important thing to look for when buying a car seat. My review is to help you gather information and decide if this seat will work for you, but it does not replace your own research and knowledge. I am not a certified car seat installation tech, please refer to one in your area for more info about car seats in general.
*I was sent a car seat for review by Recaro, however all opinions are mine. Your results may vary based on a number of factors, including your car and your child’s age and size.