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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recaro Car Seat Review

A couple weeks ago I received a Recaro Car Seat to review and honestly when it was delivered, I was impressed by its sheer size.

It was big, if you can tell from the picture. The word I use for it is, "regal." (My regal Recaro.)

Recaro Car Seat Size

We pulled it out of the box and my three-year-old immediately climbed in.
Recaro Car Seat Toddler

And my five-year-old immediately commandeered the box. The box was even impressive.
Recaro Car Seat Box
We got a lot of use out of that box.

I hadn't even actually thought about purchasing a Recaro Car Seat while shopping for car seats honestly because I went with what was in our local Babies R Us and I chose a Britax based on reviews from friends. I also hadn't even heard of Recaro before, to be perfectly honest, but when I was flying a few weeks ago I saw the airline seats were made by Recaro and after doing some research on Recaro, I found out Recaro outfits seats in race cars too (and has for the past 40 years).

Also we've already grown out of the Britax Roundabout already and well, I'll tell you what I found with Recaro.

The seat I reviewed specifically was the Recaro ProRide Envy (the brown and green one below).
Aesthetically, they are all really, really pretty. But we don't judge the car seat by its cover, right? (Yeah right!)

My favorite things about the Recaro:
  • I pulled it out of the box, it was fully assembled with latch and everything, I snapped it in the latch in my Honda Odyssey minivan, the end. It does also have a tether and can fit a seat belt through it as well.
  • You do not have to adjust the straps by rethreading them like you do in the Britax (which was a big pain in the butt and which I hated having to keep doing.) It is already adjusted and you tighten simply at the bottom as needed.
  • It is big, but it fit in the back of my sister-in-law's Jetta just fine. 
  • The headrests look so comfortable! And they are! He is cushioned in there nice and snug with headrests that are actually crash-tested side-impact protectors with comfort foam.
  • I love the 5 point harness. It will fit him until 70 pounds and 50 inches long, which for my 3 year old, will be a long, long time. Especially because he is short. And honestly we have just bought a regular booster for my 5 year old, but I am not quite comfortable with him being in just the booster with the seat-belt yet. There is a "ProSport" version of this seat that I really love in the blue, it has a 5 point harness up to 90 pounds and converts to a traditional booster after that, so now I want to switch! He's still only 44 inches long so I have plenty of time for some more 5 point harnessing if I want it!
  • The meshy fabric is really breathy and he doesn't get hot and sweaty in our 90 degree 100% humidity Florida-ness. Also, the fabric dries really easy when someone might happen to forget to bring dry clothes for after the beach or spray park (not that I've done that.)
Here are the features up close:

We have been riding around in this seat for weeks now, with food sometimes too, and it is easily wipeable. The cover is also removable for hand washing, however, the material has been very easy to clean so far without removing it.

There is nothing I don't really like about this seat but there are a few things to think about:
  • I haven't used this seat rear-facing. I have read great reviews about it rear-facing from 6 months on up and I have read it fits in most cars, I've only read one where it was too big for rear-facing. I know that forward facing, it fits fine.
  • You may need a towel or a noodle to make sure it is level when it's rear-facing, but it's the same with a Britax.
  • The buckle on the seat slips back toward his bottom and I have to fish it out but whatever, no big deal.
  • I've read complaints that the straps twist and sometimes they do, but also, not that big of a deal to me.
  • You really have to press that button to get the straps to come out, but honestly I think that should be in the "pros" category too because he can't unlatch himself no matter how hard he would ever try.
The safety of the seat is number 1 to me and it's very cushiony, exceeds European testing standards which are tougher than U.S. standards and when I look at him back there, I know he is as close to bubble wrapped as he can get in the real world and I like that.

If you go out into the internet and see the reviews, you will see this seat has 4 or 5 stars in most places and I agree with them. I wish I knew about this seat when they were younger! So now I hope to pass it on to all of you!

The price is comparable to the Britax Roundabout (maybe a little more pricey but definitely worth it) but you can find it online through Amazon  with free shipping and free returns (always a bonus.) There are also promo codes and coupons out there on the internet so shop around. It's also available at Target and Wal-Mart.

There you have it! I hope you enjoy this seat like we are!

Disclosure: BSM Media sent me the Recaro for testing. I was not compensated for this post. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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