We created this infographic as a quick guide to help you decide when you should use the RideSafer or mifold. For more details read below.
Please note this is our recommendation as child passenger safety technicians. We understand other child passenger safety technicians may have differing opinions.
When the child is 3
A RideSafer is crash tested for children starting at 3 years old. We recommend using the tether strap in addition to the seat belt with children this young to help keep the child in proper seating position throughout the drive.
Some child passenger safety technicians believe parents should wait to use the RideSafer until the child is older. We believe in the safety of this product and started using it with our own son on a daily basis when he was a little bit older than 3. We used it on vacations and other occasions with him but we waited until after a multi-day road trip to start using it everyday. Most often the reason other technicians say to wait is because young children haven’t learned to stay properly seated. This is the reason we recommend using the tether strap with children from 3 to 5 years old.
When a child is 4
While the mifold is crash tested for children starting at 4 years old and 40 pounds, we do not recommend using it for children this young. As we just mentioned, young children are less likely to stay properly seated. When using the tether strap with the RideSafer this is not an issue so we feel it is OK to use the RideSafer for a child this age.
When a child is 5
At this age, either RideSafer or mifold will work to properly restrain a child. By age 5, most children can sit properly for the whole drive.
Both the RideSafer and mifold are ideal for carpooling. While the mifold is not compatible with all vehicles — long flexible or rigid buckles can prevent proper use, we assume that in a carpool situation you are familiar with the car and have tested to make sure the mifold will work properly.
Keep an Extra on Hand
If the mifold works well in your car and you want to keep an extra booster in your car for other children to carpool with you, the mifold is a great, inexpensive choice. The RideSafer is more pricey but also a great option to keep on hand for an extra seat. If you ever carpool with younger children, the RideSafer would be more ideal as a backup.
Travel / Taxi / Renting a Car
The RideSafer is a fantastic travel companion. The RideSafer fits well in all vehicles as far as we’ve seen.
The inconsistent seat belt fit makes the mifold a less than ideal solution. Unless you are familiar with the car you will be riding in, the mifold is not something we would recommend using with children when traveling or renting cars. This goes for taxis and ride shares as well.
Using the RideSafer and mifold together
We do not recommend using the RideSafer and mifold together.
Using the RideSafer with another manufacturer’s booster seat would be using both products outside of their respective manufacturer’s specifications therefore removing any liability from the both manufacturers/resellers. This includes the mifold booster. The RideSafer manufacturer specifically recommends against using the RideSafer with a mifold — or a Bubble Bum — as the seat belt guides on the booster(s) may not work cohesively with the seat belt guides on the RideSafer.
However, using a booster with the RideSafer can offer some comfort and the ability to see out the window for a smaller child. For this the manufacturer offers the Delighter Booster which has been crash tested with RideSafer vests.