Is the RideSafer Legal?

RideSafer travel car seat

Many people wonder how this little vest called the RideSafer Travel Vest can be safe and legal compared to the typical large, bulky car seat. So is the RideSafer legal?

Update 11/11/16:

There are no longer two versions of the vest. The manufacturer has replaced them with one model RideSafer, which includes both features the two old versions had. The RideSafer meets — exceeds — the federal safety standards set in FMVSS213 and is a legal child restraint in the U.S. The RideSafer is certified and labeled per legal requirements stating it’s legal use in the U.S.

RideSafer is Legal

The RideSafer 2 is a FMVSS 213 certified child restraint. It is a legal child restraint.

The RideSafer 3 is technically not a certified product. It performs exactly the same in crash tests as the RideSafer 2 when used with a lap-shoulder belt. However, because it can’t be used with a lap-only belt nor it doesn’t elevate the child it falls between NHTSA’s categories (harness seat or booster) it cannot be “certified”. You can view the crash test videos and see the measured results here.

We understand the confusion, and at times frustration, around the topic of “certified” versus “tested to” and legal versus illegal and how neither may equal safe versus unsafe.

With FMVSS 213 the federal government sets performance criteria for child restraints and how much crash energy is experienced by a child during crash. They do this by requiring the manufactures to crash test their products and measure the crash energy at different point on an instrumented crash test dummy.

The original RideSafer vest, and subsequently the RideSafer 2, are able to meet the line item in the criteria requiring the ability to be used in a lap-only belt because they also can be tethered. They are also tested with a lap and shoulder belt with and without the tether.

Due to a design change to accommodate consumer demand that allows for adjustability of built-in harness, the RideSafer 3 was born and was no longer able to be tethered and no longer able to pass the line item testing criteria of being able to be used in a lap-only seat belt therefore it cannot be “certified”. It is hoped FMVSS 213 will be updated to allow for harness restraints to be certified when tested with a lap-shoulder belt at which time the RideSafer 3 will be able to be certified.

Our understanding is once the manufacturer’s booster seat is available the EU (European) version will become the “United Combo” with a RideSafer 3 and Delighter Booster which will be certified for use together under the booster seat requirements in the U.S.

We always recommend a RideSafer 2 for younger children because of the added support and restraint of using the tether with the lap-shoulder belt. But we feel a RideSafer 3 safely fills a need especially for parents who travel and/or ride in taxis a lot.

On a personal note, our daughter has used a RideSafer 3 since she was 6 (she is now 8) as she is always in a car with a lap-shoulder belt and can sit properly positioned. Our 3-year-old son uses a RideSafer 2 daily.

There are illegal knockoffs, be sure you’re getting the RideSafer and learn what to do when others question the RideSafer.

Did you ever wonder if the RideSafer is legal? Share your comments below.

By Greg Durocher, CEO at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Technician Instructor since 2002

Copyright 2015 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.

  • Tamara R
    Posted at 19:29h, 01 June Reply

    Thank you for distinguishing between the different versions and their certification. We’re looking to get a RideSafer for a four year old during travel. I appreciate knowing I’d need the 2. Thank you again.

  • Papa Bear
    Posted at 02:26h, 04 November Reply

    Are these vests legal in Europe, specifically in France? Please tell me yes!

    • Amie
      Posted at 12:33h, 04 November Reply

      Hi Papa Bear, The new RideSafer Delight vest is not yet ECE certified. We’re checking to see if the manufacturer has plans to test and certify the new model for use in Europe with his Delighter Booster and will update this comment.

      The old model RideSafer EU is ECE certified and we still have some in stock here:

      • Traveller
        Posted at 16:18h, 27 July Reply

        Hi Amie,
        What is the status of checking with the manufacturer re: ECE testing? Can you explain why the earlier version was certified, while there may not be plans to test current/future ones? Thank you!

        • Amie
          Posted at 22:59h, 28 July Reply

          Hi Traveller,

          We have not had an update from the manufacturer since last summer. At the time the manufacturer said, they would be certifying the Delight in Europe and likely in combination with the Delighter Booster. We do not know if they still plan to or when.

  • Kelsea Randell
    Posted at 06:06h, 31 March Reply

    Is this legal in Canada ?

    • Amie
      Posted at 09:32h, 31 March Reply

      Transport Canada still does not address vests in their Safety Standards. So technically it is still not legal in Canada.

      Transport Canada allows harness vests for children with special needs and requests parents get a prescription.
      There are many families who currently own the vest in Canada. Some but not all owners in Canada have gone the prescription route and some have just purchased it. We do not need the prescription, it would be for you to present should the legality ever be questioned during a traffic stop.

      The manufacturer has stated that he may go for certification again in Canada when he creates the combo pack of the RideSafer with his Delighter Booster. We’ve not been told when or how long this process will take.

      If you are just traveling to Canada, typically when traveling parents are allowed to bring in their usual child restraint. In our combined 25+ years as car seat technicians, we have not heard of anyone being ticketed for using a car seat from their home country while they were traveling.

  • Daniel Chabert
    Posted at 03:46h, 19 April Reply

    I am wondering some real unbiased information on it. I have never heard of such a thing.

  • Debra
    Posted at 18:24h, 15 May Reply

    Are these legal in the US?

    • Amie
      Posted at 19:24h, 15 May Reply

      As stated in the post, the RideSafer is a legal child restraint in the U.S. The RideSafer is labeled per legal requirements stating it’s legal use in the U.S. and meeting — actually exceeding — the federal safety standards set in FMVSS213.

  • Rebecca Tyler
    Posted at 14:04h, 02 July Reply

    Are these legal in Australia??

    • Amie
      Posted at 01:13h, 03 July Reply

      No the RideSafer is not currently certified for use in Australia.

  • El guapo
    Posted at 08:29h, 25 October Reply

    Can it be used for airplane travel?

    • Amie
      Posted at 10:14h, 25 October Reply

      It is not yet approved for use on airplanes.

      FAA says it doesn’t fit into their categories so they have to rewrite some policies before the RideSafer can be approved. We have no idea how long that may take. The manufacturer may request an exemption in the meantime but even that could take several months. We do know it is high on his list of priorities to keeping pushing for airline use and he has a team of engineers working on it.

  • Michael Bastieri
    Posted at 08:17h, 09 December Reply

    My question PLEASE!! is this: Does ALL the Police in Europe/America /Azie… know about this production (about the Ride Safer)? Or I need to ask them?
    Can I use the Ride Safer every where I go?
    I ask this, because if I don’t be careful maybe I would take a fine!

    • Amie
      Posted at 09:31h, 09 December Reply

      The RideSafer is a certified child restraint in the U.S. Since it is not certified worldwide, no, the police of all the world would not be familiar with the RideSafer. It is properly labeled per U.S. Federal standards. If any police officer in the U.S. is not familiar, parents can show them the label.?

      Restraints certified in the U.S. are usually not certified in other countries and visa versa as there are slightly different standards every where.

      Typically when traveling parents are allowed to bring in their usual child restraint. In our combined 25+ years as car seat technicians, we have not heard of anyone being ticketed for using a car seat from a different country while they were traveling.

  • Matthew Rose
    Posted at 08:10h, 12 April Reply

    It seems like this may have been asked before, but I am curious if the RideSafer Delight is legal in Canada. My family will be sriving across the border next week, and we use two of these products do to tight space in our Dodge Grand Caravan.

    • Amie
      Posted at 10:35h, 12 April Reply

      Transport Canada still does not address harness vests in their Safety Standards (except for in cases of children with special needs where RideSafer is allowed). So technically RideSafer is still not legal in Canada. Though the “laws of physics” don’t change at the border.

      If you are just traveling to Canada, typically when traveling parents are allowed to bring in their usual child restraint. In our combined 25+ years as car seat technicians, we have not heard of anyone being ticketed for using a car seat from their home country while they were traveling.

  • Aleksandra rowan
    Posted at 06:39h, 15 October Reply

    I love using this for my 4 year old ! Are these legal for 4 year olds in California specifically. I was told California may have its own regulations.

    • Amie
      Posted at 10:51h, 15 October Reply

      Hi Aleksandra, Right every state has their own car seat laws and they can vary. Yes, the RideSafer IS a legal child restraint for 4 year olds in California. Go to the this link to read California state car seat laws.

      • Laura Elliott
        Posted at 12:46h, 18 February Reply

        Hi, is this a legal restraint for a 3year old in Florida? Thank

        • Amie
          Posted at 13:36h, 18 February Reply

          Hi Laura, The RideSafer is a legal child restraint in Florida. You can view Florida’sstate car seat laws here.

  • Catherine
    Posted at 07:48h, 12 September Reply

    Hi there,

    Do you know what US States this is illegal in? We drive through states when traveling so this information would be vital before purchasing.


    • Amie
      Posted at 14:29h, 12 September Reply

      Hi Catherine,

      As a FMVSS 213 certified product, it should be legal in all states. However, there are some state laws that make it seem questionable.

      Mississippi might be questionable because their law indicates using a booster seat is required from age 4 to 7, which is certainly not best practice. At age 4 many children would still fit and benefit from a 5-point harness. A RideSafer with a tether could be a safer option than a booster seat as it contacts 4-points on the body rather than just the 3 when using a booster.
      • Ohio might be questionable because they also indicated children older than 4 or heavier than 40 pounds are required to be in a booster seat. We have a long comment about how this law would also not allow parents to practice best practice if followed to the T.
      Tennessee may also be questionable as their law also indicates using a “federally approved belt-positioning booster seat system” for children ages 4 to 8 and again wouldn’t allow for best practice.
      • In New York the child may need to be 4 years old to start using the vest, except of course in a taxi which is exempt from the law so a 3 year old could use the RideSafer in a taxi.

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