All your questions about the RideSafer Travel Vest answered. If you don’t see your question, Contact Us to ask.
MOST COMMONLY ASKED RIDESAFER QUESTIONS (MORE BELOW)
You can find a size chart on our RideSafer product page right below the size drop down menu.
If your child seems like he would be in between sizes and you don’t know which to go with, we look more closely at height for proper fit.
We typically start recommending a large when the child is 45″ tall. With the understanding it will seem loose at first and may have a gap at the shoulders when sitting in the car. This is OK as long as the seat belt is being properly positioned mid-chest/mid-shoulder and across his lap/hips.
If your child has special needs and/or likes to wiggle out of restraints, we recommend a tighter fit and may recommend a small until the child would fit better in a large.
The new (as of 2022) Extra Small size is designed for use by a 2-year-old or very slim 3 to 4-year-old children. Most 3- and 4-year-olds will fit best in a small size vest.
We’ve learned some personal browser settings don’t allow the size chart to show up for some people. So here is the size chart:
As a FMVSS 213 certified child restraint, RideSafer is a legal child restraint in all states when used according to manufacturer’s instructions.
We have compiled a list of state laws for each state of the United States and comment about the legality of using the RideSafer in regard to the law for each state. Click here to see our list of states’ car seat laws.
RideSafer vests are legal to use in all countries that recognize US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. They also
hold compliance certification under China Compulsory Certification , Korean KCL and are permitted in Canada as CMVSS 213.3 custom restraints.
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.
The RideSafer is a fabulous option when traveling with children who are within the age and size limits of the vest.
For some specific country information view our other FAQs below.
At this time the vests are not FAA approved for use on airplanes. The XS (22-40 pound) size vest may be FAA approved soon. At which time an Aircraft Attachment Strap accessory will be released to go through the guide on the vest and wrap the airline seat to provide upper body support.
The manufacturer has tried for many years to get all sizes of the RideSafer vest FAA approved. However, FAA says it doesn’t fit into their categories because of the higher size ranges. They have to rewrite some policies to accommodate the vest and so far they have not done so.
If you decide to let your children sit in the airline seat without a car seat, the RideSafer is wonderful for keeping in your carryon and having available as soon as you reach your destination. Since our kids were 4 and 5 and started using the RideSafer, they attached it to their backpack and stuffed it under the airline seat.
The Extra Small size is new (2022). The manufacturer crash tested it for use with younger children, starting at age 2.
The safest option for an 2-year-old is to use a rear-facing car seat. We realize while traveling this can be very inconvenient. If this is the option you choose, there are very inexpensive lightweight convertible seats that make travel easier. This is what we did when our children required rear-facing while traveling. We bought an inexpensive lightweight seat for travel and left our nice one in our car at home ready for our return.
If you are taking taxis, using ride shares or traveling without your usual car seat and the choice comes down to using a RideSafer for a 2-year-old versus having your child buckled in with you (definitely not a safe option) or even buckling them in with no positioning device; we would prefer a parent to use a RideSafer. Ideally an adult will sit next to the child to help keep the child in proper position.
The truth is that whether forward facing in a 5-point harness or forward facing in the RideSafer vest, in a frontal crash (the most common type), the end mechanism is the same. We are restraining the body with the harness or vest/seat belt and the head is being thrust forward, dependent upon the neck to hold back the child’s disproportionally large head. The potential for injury is virtually the same.
Really it comes down to a choice we make as parents.
Here is a photo of a correct lap & shoulder belt fit:
- A gap in the waist is perfectly acceptable. The RideSafer relies on the internal padding on the vest to dissipate the energies of the crash force and prevent intrusion into the abdomen. The padding on the shoulder belt guide dissipates the energies on the collarbone – minimizing potential for clavicle injuries.
- The looseness of the harness straps is also acceptable, if the shoulder belt is placed at the center of the collarbone.
- The lap portion of the seat belt needs to be positioned flat on top of the thighs.
If the fit doesn’t seem quite right, review this video and follow the tips on the page.
Yes. It is acceptable to have a gap between the shoulders and the top of the vest as long as the shoulder portion of the seat belt is:
- Below the bottom of the earlobe of the child
- Correctly routed through the shoulder belt guide
- Crossing the center chest
You want keep the lap belt free of twists and as flat as possible across the thighs. It is OK if the lap belt bunches some and it is not a safety issue but we do want it to stay in the clips so if it is coming out, here are a couple things that you can try:
- As odd as it may sound, you can loosen the belt just a bit to not put so much tension on it. By using the vest you have lowered and moved your child back several inches into the protected area of the seat space. The small amount of “slack” that you allow in the system by leaving it in a “neutral” tension versus pulling tight will not negatively affect crash performance.
- The goal is to have the seat belt pre-crash positioned on the lap and shoulder. It does not need to be “pushing down” on the child’s lap, just lying there is sufficient. I know this is a new feeling after so many years of using 5-point harness seats. Think of the vest more like you would a booster (only better). It is a seat belt positioning device with some added features.
If you are still having problems with the belt coming out of the clips, let us know. We can send a couple replacements of a firmer guide with an offset opening ASAP.
The vest is a seat belt positioning device which means that the fit of the vest on the child is less important than the positioning of the seat belt on the child. The seat belt is doing the restraining (when using the lap/shoulder belt) not the vest.
- Even if the vest is loose on the child, as long as the seat belt is low on the hips/lap and the shoulder portion is mid chest/mid shoulder then we are accomplishing the desired outcome.
- The weight limits on the vest are less relevant than height. FMVSS 213 requires that they include weight in the specs but it does not really play into how the vest functions (unless you are using a lap-only belt with the tether).
- If the “lap flap” is starting to be pulled from a horizontal orientation into a vertical one then it is time to move up to the large. The large will likely be loose at first but based on the understanding above that “looseness” does not negatively affect crash performance you can feel confident that your little ones are still protected.
Sometimes it’s best to see, so check this how-to video to see when it is time to move up to the next size RideSafer.
While the RideSafer vest is designed as a stand-alone child restraint, the RideSafer manufacturer has the Delighter Booster which has been crash tested with the current and previous model RideSafer vests.
Technically, using the RideSafer with another manufacturer’s booster seat would be using both products outside of their respective manufacturer’s specifications because they were not crash tested together.
That being said, the Delighter doesn’t have an inherently different design than most backless boosters on the market. Just know you would be taking on the liability of using both together if something should happen.
The RideSafer manufacturer definitely recommends against using the RideSafer with a BubbleBum or a miFold travel booster as they both have their own seat belt guides which may not work cohesively with the seat belt guides on the RideSafer.
The manufacturer, Safe Traffic System Inc., is aware that harnesses that look similar to the RideSafer Travel Vest are available and can be purchased in many countries worldwide. We cannot attest to the safety of any product that is not labeled as “RideSafer” brand and manufactured by Safe Traffic System, Inc., Franklin Park, IL. If you come across what looks like a RideSafer and wonder if it is real or fake, please feel free to email STS pictures and information. They can confirm if it is the original RideSafer.
A booster seat elevates the child to fit the adult seat belt. The Ride Safer Travel Vest brings the seat belt down to fit the child which also optimizes the existing vehicle seat belt system to protect the child by keeping a low center of gravity and allowing the vehicle seat belt and seat cushion to manage the crash forces. The vest’s belt guides place the seat belt into the correct pre-crash position and moves with the child.
That is correct. No more belt positioning booster seat necessary. The booster has long been the only known tool for helping the adult seat belt fit the kids. Where a booster is used to lift the child to try to make the adult seat belt fit better on the child, the RideSafer is used to bring the seat belt down to the child with 3 main benefits:
- Crash dynamics would say the child is safer in the vehicle seat. This gives the child a lower center of mass and puts her back further from the vehicle seats in front of her.
- The seat belt is properly positioned on the child’s body — low on the hips/lap and mid chest mid-shoulder and moves with the child.
- The front panels are designed to absorb and dissipate the crash energy of the seat belt as it crosses the child’s body.
Some parents like that their child can see out the window and complained that their child couldn’t using just the RideSafer. The manufacturer has released the Delighter Booster that has been crash tested with the RideSafer and can be used with it for those younger children who wish to see out the window. Having a safe booster seat option that is crash tested with the RideSafer was a way for more flexibility and worldwide acceptance.
- The RideSafer has been crash tested and certified for children as young as 3 yrs old and 30 pounds. (Now as young as 2 with the new Extra Small size released in 2022.)
- As CPS techs ourselves and as safety advocates we do recommend that, if a child has a 5-point harness, they continue to use it as their primary restraint and use the RideSafer for all those times when moving the car seat is not convenient or practical like when they go on a play date, are riding in someone else’s car or you are traveling, In those situations, the vest gives you flexibility and peace of mind that they are riding safely in an easy to install child restraint.
- For those parents — including us — who choose to use the RideSafer as their primary restraint starting at 3 years old (when our youngest outgrew his 5-point harness by height) or for the above situations, we recommend that they use it with a tether strap, which offers the added support and protection of the tether when used in addition to the lap-shoulder belt.
It can be used either way. We have personally been using the RideSafer exclusively for our children, starting in 2012 when our daughter was 4 and our older son was almost 6. We began using the RideSafer for our youngest as his daily restraint when he was 3.5 years old.
We have many customers who use it as the primary restraint because they need the room it provides. Some parents who travel via taxi LOVE it because, for the first time, their child is protected in the taxi. We also have many customers who only use it for travel
And probably many others who use it somewhere in between.
The manufacturer now permits the vest to be adjusted on the child’s waist as wide as the buckle webbing will allow. The manufacturer designed an expansion panel for “husky”-size children.
The dual tether is for children who weigh more than 60 pounds and use a lap-only seat belt. The dual tether will attach to a RideSafer Delight at the shoulder clips and tether to two different tether anchor points. It is rated up to 80 pounds. When using the tether and the lap-shoulder belt, because the seat belt is doing the vast majority of the upper body restraining and not the tether, they can use the single tether all the way up to the 80 pounds. The dual tether is only required when the vest is doing all the restraining in a lap-only belt situation.
Including the carry bag and accessories, the small vest is 2 lb. 12 oz and the large vest is 2 lb. 15 oz.
The vest lays flat at about 15x12x2 and in the carry bag is about 12x9x4, roughly the size of a folded sweatshirt.
- RideSafer Gen 5 vests have a 10-year expiration date.
- RideSafer Delight vests have a 10-year expiration date.
- RideSafer 2 vests manufactured between December 2015 and June 2016 have a 7-year expiration date.
- RideSafer 2 vests manufactured between April 2014 and December 2015 have a 10-year expiration date.
- RideSafer 3 vests manufactured after March 2014 have a 7-year expiration date
- All vests manufactured between December 2013 and March 2014 have a 10 year expiration date. Expiration date added NHTSA’s request.
- All vests manufactured between 2003 and December 2013 do not have an expiration date.
You can find information for your particular vest on the inside label:
Yes. The manufacturer offers a recycle program. All old products are disassembled and the components (metals, plastics & fabrics) are sent for re-purposing. All you need to do is ship it to:
Safe Traffic System, Inc.
Att: Recycle Program
10201 Pacific Avenue
Franklin Park, IL 60131
We also offer a trade-up program for those who have purchased a small from Safe Ride 4 Kids and would like to move into a large as their child grows. Read more about the trade-up program here.
Yes! This mode of use is tested and approved by Safe Traffic System, Inc. for the vests. Using the tether in addition to the lap and shoulder belt would reduce the rear passengers’ tendency for the unrestrained shoulder to rotate toward the front seat during a crash. Using the tether also offers additional upper body support for special needs children or extra wiggly children.
When using the tether and the lap-shoulder belt, because the seat belt is doing the vast majority of the upper body restraining and not the tether, they can continue to use the single tether all the way up to the 80 pounds. The dual tether is only required when the vest is doing all the restraining in a lap-only belt situation.
The RideSafer can be used with a lap-only belt and tether strap in those middle rear seats or middle seat of a truck in older vehicles. It is designed to be used with the tether strap which attaches to both shoulders and the vehicle’s tether anchor point to provide the upper body restraint when used with a lap-only belt.
If your vehicle does not offer a tether anchor in that seating position, then we do offer an accessory called the Energy Absorbing Tether Anchor Loop (EATAL) which depending on the vehicle may be used to create a tether anchor point. Learn more about EATAL here.
It is highly dependent upon all the variables of your transport needs but we will do our best to guide you in making the decision.
All occupants, especially children under 13 years of age, are safer in the back seats of a car as they are further from the point of impact in a frontal crash which means they experience less crash force
The RideSafer Delight vest is crash tested to be used with lap-shoulder belts or a lap-only belt and tether strap
There is nothing inherent to using the vest that would prevent you from using it in the front seat, but if you do, you will want to move the seat back and make sure your child is correctly positioned in an upright seating position and sitting back correctly outside the airbag deployment zone
You can spot clean for little messes. For big messes you can soak in a mild detergent and water then allow to air dry.
- Do not wash in washing machine.
- Do not use any type of bleach.
- Do not soak in alcohols or solvents such as isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, propylene glycol or any other glycol solvent, any butanol or butyl alcohol, etc.
- Do not dry with a hairdryer.
- Do not iron.
For topical sanitation, the vests and harnesses can be lightly sprayed with any of the following:
- Ethyl Alcohol Sprays (62% – 80% solution),
- Isopropyl Alcohol Spray (70% – 90% solution)
- Hydrogen Peroxide soak or spray (3% – 12% solution)
Spray the inside and outside of the entire vest and allow to air dry (preferably in the sun.)
Although effective against Corona Viruses, the sprays may not be effective for other contagions, larvae, eggs, or odors. If HFMD, lice, bedbugs, fleas, etc. are suspected, please use the detergent soaking method, as follows, to assure the contagion has not penetrated into the padding.
Soak the entire vest in a non-chlorinated laundry sanitizer such as Lysol brand or a generic equivalent of detergent that contains benzalkonium chloride.
- Mix detergent in cool or lukewarm water according to detergent instruction
- Soak the vest for 1-2 hours.
- Rinse thoroughly in clean cool or lukewarm water several times to assure all of the detergents have been rinsed out of the fabric and panels.
- Press panels between 2 dry towels to remove excess water.
- Air-dry until no longer damp.
We like ‘sealing in an airtight bag such as a Vacuum Sealed bag or tightly tied trash bag for 14 days’ the best. (We realized this is not always prudent as parents need to use the car seats.) Then vacuum out the top and bottom layers of all fabric to assure that as many of the eggs are gone as possible.
According to the NPA, vacuuming is the safest way to remove lice and fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals, or car seats — wherever someone with head lice may have rested their head.
For items that cannot be soaked in hot water such as headsets or helmets or the RideSafer, it is recommended to place them in a tightly sealed plastic bag and put them in a freezer for 10-12 hours to kill the lice and eggs.
The RideSafer cannot be washed in hot water. It will damage the flame retardant properties and may shrink some of the fabric pieces. IMMI prohibits machine washing and using dryers for the buckles on the older models because of the agitation and spin cycles.
The manual for the RideSafer vests is stored in the pocket on the right inside of the vest. If you need a new manual, you can download a PDF manual from here.
RIDESAFER IN THE VEHICLE
No, you can leave the vest partially installed. You’ll leave the shoulder belt in the shoulder clip and the lap belt in one lap guide. We show you what that looks like in the video about using the RideSafer with a seat belt at about 3:15 into the video.
The manufacturer of the RideSafer® Travel Vest, Safe Traffic System Inc., does permit the use of Inflatable Seat Belts with the Ride Safer Travel Vests. The RideSafer comes with a flexible shoulder guide that should allow for the increased size of the seat belt. If you have a previous model of RidSafer (generation 2), please contact us for a replacement shoulder belt guide that will allow for correct fit with the inflatable seat belt. Version 1 vests cannot be retrofitted with the ISB Seat Belt Guide. Read more about inflatable seat belts.
Yes, it is. All air bags (frontal or side) are supplemental safety devices and are intended to work best in combination with safety belts. Therefore, NHTSA recommends that:
- ALL children use a safety restraint appropriate for their age and size (this could be a safety seat, booster seat or adult safety belt).
- Children aged 12 and younger are safest sitting in the rear seat properly restrained.
- NEVER place a rear-facing infant seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a front passenger air bag.
- To minimize injury risks, NHTSA recommends that children not lean or rest against chest-only or head/chest combination SABs.
- NHTSA has not seen any indication of risks to children from current roof-mounted head SABs.
NHTSA continues to closely monitor the real world performance of side airbags involving children and adults. You can read additional information about side airbags on SaferCar.gov.
There are 2 types of Emergency Locking Retractors on seat belts.
- “Belt Sensitive” which locks up when you tug on it very quickly.
- “Vehicle Sensitive” which relies on a sudden change in direction and cannot be tested with the rapid tug. It has a “universal inertia mechanism” device built into the retractor and will only lock up when there is a significant change in direction.
Many vehicle manufacturers place the Belt Sensitive system in front seats and the Vehicle Sensitive systems in the back seat for passenger comfort. If you are more confident in the vehicle system functionality, there is no harm in engaging the ALR when using the RideSafer® by slowly pulling the seat belt all the way out. But in most cases we do not recommend it simply because when engaging the ALR mode on the retractor the seat belt tends to get tighter and tighter with each bump and corner, which could become uncomfortable for the child after a while.
No. The manufacturer says the RideSafer is not to be used in a rear facing vehicle seat in passenger class vehicles as the recent models have not been crash tested this way. The manufacturer does permit use in rear facing seats in Class 4+ vehicles with the understanding that there is no way they can test this.
RIDESAFER IN A CRASH
Before we go into detail I would like to mention that the primary audience for the RideSafer is a “booster age” child. There are benefits to the RideSafer, especially when you consider a backless booster which does not offer any of the side/padding protections. Some things to consider:
- Side impacts are one of the least frequent types of car crashes statistically
- Side impacts are also one of the most preventable types of car crashes. What I mean is that we, as the driver of our vehicle, have to put ourselves in front of an oncoming car. Almost always we can see far enough down the road to identify wether or not oncoming traffic is or is not stopping. In 18 years in the fire service I never saw a side impact occur in the middle of a block.
- With concern to padding and support let’s look at what happens in a crash. All objects in a vehicle will move simultaneously toward the point of impact and that includes the occupants and all child restraints. I think we as parents have a vision of our child flying into a “rigid” car seat but in reality you might be surprised how far a “correctly installed” car seat moves in a crash.
- Envision something like stalks of wheat being blown in the wind. Though they are very close to each other they are all being blown in the same direction and therefore if they do make contact it is likely a very low energy event because they are all moving the same direction reducing the odds of any kind of high energy impact with a neighboring object.
- The vehicle itself has crash protection like side airbags that engage to offer protection for older children and adult passengers
Yes for moderate to severe crashes based on NHTSA’s criteria for a minor crash. Here is the Crashed Vest Protocol:
- If the lap-shoulder belt was used vest must be replaced if ANY of the following occurred:
- There was injury to any of the occupants in the car
- If any of the airbags deployed
- If there was damage to the door next to the child
- If the car is not able to be driven away crash
- Any visible damage to the vest
- If the tether was used, Vest & Tether must be replaced.
- If the Energy Absorbent Tether Anchor Loops or Extenders were used, all pieces must be replaced including vest.
As a certified child passenger restraint, the vest should be included in any insurance claim reimbursement. Contact us to determine your next step if you are in a crash while your RideSafer is being used. To view more about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations policies on replacing any child restraint after a crash, click here.
No. The crotch strap is not required for use as long as the child is mature enough to sit upright during the entire trip.
No. The neck pillow is optional. It is there for the comfort of the child. If you do use it it goes behind the neck.
One great thing about the vest is that it positions the seat belt to the child even when the child moves out of correct seating position in the vehicle. That being said, it would be safest if the child was sitting up correctly.
To accomplish this you can lock the seat belt. With most seat belts you do this by pulling it all the way out and letting it go back in. While it goes in you’ll hear a quiet clicking and when you pull it it won’t come back out, then you know it’s locked.
You also can use the top tether to help support the child in sitting correctly. Some children find it more comfortable to sit “criss-cross-applesauce” with the vest on.
We also recommend another product called the Cardiff Headrest. It’s a great companion to the vest for those children (or long rides) who fall asleep and could use a place to rest their head. You can find Cardiff Headrest on our store here.
Yes. With many child restraints it is recommended that the child not wear a heavy coat under the harness straps as the bulk will compress during a crash and the straps would be loose (CPS technicians typically suggest nothing thicker than sweatshirt material under the harness strap). However, a child can wear a heavier winter coat underneath the Ride Safer® Travel Vest. (We still recommend taking it off for more comfort and better temperature control as the car warms.)
RIDESAFER AND SPECIAL NEEDS
The RideSafer works for many children with special needs. Using the tether strap along with the lap-shoulder seat belt will help keep the child properly positioned in the car. We’ve talked with parents who have used the vest with children who have needs from autism to cerebral palsy.
But as with most things in life, especially when it comes to children with special needs, it depends. We do offer a 15-day return policy for trying the vest to see if it will work for you. Just save the packaging in case it doesn’t and you need to send it back.
We have had many parents tell us the RideSafer is just what they needed for their little “escape artist” but we can’t make any guarantees. We have a very generous trial period for you to try it out and see of it is going to work for you and your family. Read more about our return policy here.
- We would recommend to use the tether and possibly the crotch strap.
- We also suggest “locking” the seat belt like you would when installing a car seat.
- And to make sure he does not unbuckle the vehicle seat belt, consider using the Buckle Boss Buckle Guard here.
The best answer for this is, “it depends.” As CPS techs we would find out more about your situation and recommend the best solution for keeping your child safe which may or may not include the RideSafer vest.
The XL vest is certified to 110lbs. That certification is based on the lap-only belt and tether configuration.
If someone is using the RideSafer and the vehicle’s lap-shoulder belt the RideSafer will continue to do what it is designed to do and properly pre-crash position the seat belt. Even though they would technically be outside manufacturer specs once they understand the design limits they have a parental choice to make.
Sometimes another product is the best solution. If a restraint bigger than the XL extra is required, we would recommend a Merritt Manufacturing Churchill restraint.
TRAVELING WITH KIDS
Depending on where you go, the age and type of vehicle in which you will be riding can be unpredictable.
If your taxi is so old it only offer lap belts in the rear seat, you might want to consider putting your child in the front seat with a lap-shoulder belt in the RideSafer®.
Here is what you will want to do to make is as safe as possible:
- Put your child in the RideSafer and sit them in the front seat
- Slide the seat as far to the rear as possible (to move them away from the dash and out of the deployment zone of a passenger airbag)
- Buckle the vehicle seat belt (lap-only or lap-shoulder) and secure to the RideSafer belt positioning clips
Unfortunately, in some places it is not uncommon for moms to strap themselves and their young children into the same seat belt when riding in taxis. We are sure the logic is something like, “they are safer in the seat belt with me than being without a seat belt at all and the seat belt doesn’t even come close to fitting them right when they use it by them self.”
- In most places around the world, taxis and car services are exempt from any child seat laws that may be in place for the private person.
- Strapping yourself in with a child is a very dangerous practice and is not recommended. Here is why:
- In a car crash the formula we use to estimate how much force is required to restrain the occupant is Speed X Weight = Restraining Force.
- If you, as the mother, weigh just 125lbs (55kg) and are in a 10mph (16 kph) crash (which is not very fast at all) it would require 1940lbs (880kg) of force to restrain you.
- That force is applied to you by the seat belt since the seat belt is what is holding you in place.
- If there is a child between you and the seat belt then all of that force will be exerted on the child by your body. Not a good outcome for the child.
- For an infant, use an infant carrier car seat that goes into a stroller (you are likely using anyway) and install the carrier in the taxi rear facing without the base. Never wear your infant with the seatbelt around both of you!
- Better options for toddler aged children — aside from using a conventional car seat appropriate for your child’s age and weight which we recommend as the safest option but understand may not be a practical option when traveling by taxi. Here are some suggestions starting with the least safe option:
- Putting the child in their own seat belt in the taxi next to you. At least they will have something but the lap part of the seat belt may cause abdominal injuries if is is a severe enough crash for them to slide under and out the bottom of the seat belt. Make sure to keep the shoulder belt in front of them, crossing their body as best you can make it fit. Sometimes sliding them all the way over toward were the buckle is helps with this.
- The safest alternative to using a conventional seat would be using the RideSafer with the tether. The Extra Small size is rated for children starting at age 2. We almost always recommend the RideSafer with a tether when we are talking about children at the low end of the age/size range especially of they are not even to reaching the lower limits set by the manufacturer. The reason for this is that you have the protection of the 3 points provided by the seat belt and two additional points of contact and restraint, one at each shoulder which also offer additional upper body restraint and support to keep the child in proper position. We understand that if you will be traveling exclusively by taxi it may not be practical to use the tethering option provide with the RideSafer but we do like parents to have the option.
It depends. RVs present some unique challenges, design features and benefits. Lets start with the challenges:
- To the best of our knowledge only the front two seats are considered “motor vehicle seats” and the rest, though they may have a lap seat belt, are not regulated by federal standards. I may be mistaken on this and the only way to know for sure for your vehicle is to talk to the manufacturer about your make and model to find out.
- In a lap only belt the RideSafer requires the use of the tether strap which comes included with the RideSafer Delight. The challenge in an RV is that it likely does not have tether anchor points for you to connect to. If we are talking a “dining table” type bench seat you may also be limited by not having access to the area under and behind the bench seat. IF you have a “captains chair” life gets a little easier by using the EATAL accessory to create a tether anchor point.
- RV’s are much larger than passenger cars which works to their advantage should you ever be involved in a crash with another car. Plus, they are very visible.
- Most car crashes occur in the city versus out on the highway where traffic is typically traveling in the same direction on a divided highway. When crashes do occur on a highway they are typically a “leaving the road scenario” and the goal is to keep everyone inside the vehicle. If they are a head on scenario, you will want everyone to be optimally restrained to increase survivability.
- RVs have, statistically, very low probability of being involved in a crash versus passenger cars.
USING THE VEST IN OTHER COUNTRIES
For Canadian residents: Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) do not address vests and harnesses for children being transported in motor vehicles. Since there are no prescribed protocols for testing, there is no opportunity for the manufacturer to seek the National Safety Mark (NSM). CMVSS 213.3 (501-523) does however, address custom restraint systems for children with special needs. (Information provided by Transport Canada and seen on their website under the “Special Needs” heading of the Safety Standards.)
It is with due diligence that we are informing you that Transport Canada (TC) permits the sale of our vests to Canadians under the CMVSS 213.3 provisions. We are required to notify you that a child should possess a prescription from a physician that states the Ride Safer Travel Vest is a more suitable option for the child being transported in the motor vehicle.
We do not need the prescription for the purchase, it would be for you to present should the legality ever be questioned during a traffic stop. An additional letter and prescription form should accompany your shipment. If for some reason our warehouse missed your order, please download a copy here.
For those traveling to Canada: Please see “What if I’m just traveling internationally?” above.
For European residents: Technically the RideSafer vest has not been certified for use in Europe.
We used to have an EU version that came with a booster seat but the manufacturer did not certify more recent models. According to the manufacturer, RideSafer cannot be certified in Europe under Regulation 44 any more because the EU is implementing a new regulation known as r129. Unfortunately, Regulation 129 is still a work-in-progress and does not yet contain the test procedures for Group 3 restraints (harness/booster). The manufacturer needs to wait until the category is described and test procedures are finalized.
For people traveling to Europe: This version of the vest cannot be sold in Europe but can be used (with or without the booster) in Europe as long as the stay in the country is not extended beyond 6-12 months (country dependent). See also… “What if I’m traveling internationally?” in the top FAQ section.
For UK residents: Technically the RideSafer Delight has not been certified for use in UK.
We used to have an EU version that came with a booster seat but the manufacturer made came out with the new model and has not yet certified it. We have been told the manufacturer will be certifying the RideSafer again, likely in combination with the Delighter Booster as Europe standards require a child be elevated. We do not know the time frame for this.
For those traveling to UK: Please see “What if I’m just traveling internationally?” above
For residents of Australia and New Zealand: Unfortunately, the RideSafer Travel Vest is not currently approved for use in Australia nor is it labeled with the New Zealand “S” mark for use in New Zealand.
For those traveling to Australia or New Zealand:
- New Zealand Transport Agency says “if you’re bringing a child restraint with you into New Zealand it must comply with one of the following approved standards… • the American standard FMVSS 213…”
- A couple of travel sources say, Australia only permits seats that are approved by Australia or New Zealand, even for short term visitors. Enforcement among tourists is unknown, though, all around enforcement has been increased since 2010. Rumor has it the requirement “is enforced in Victoria (Melbourne) and New South Wales (Sydney) even if your seat is considered perfectly safe in the US or Europe.” We’ve been unable to find an official website to substantiate enforcement for tourists.