The Recaro Proride is a convertible child safety seat with a host of safety features to set even the most neurotic parental mind at ease.
It is a convertible seat that works in the rear-facing position from 5 – 35 lbs. and, at up to 70 lbs., boasts the highest weight capacity for any 5-point harness in a convertible seat. We are currently using it in the rear-facing position, but installed it both ways to test it.
First off, installation was a breeze (something you will not hear too often in Infant Car Seat Land). But this is due in large part to the color manual loaded with actual photographs of the installation, as opposed to diagrams and artists’ renderings. They also very cleverly put the instructions for rear-facing in pink, and forward-facing in blue to eliminate confusion and redundancies.
Having gone through a couple other models and dealt with the madness of trying to install a rental car seat in a rental car, this was a simple, intuitive design that did not make me feel stupid to put in. My only minor complaint was that once installed, the angle definitely required a towel underneath to balance it out. This was mentioned (and pictured) in the manual as a possibility, but we drive a Corrolla, and it wasn’t even close to being level. That said, with the towel tucked under, we were up and ready to go.
The first thing you can’t help but notice about the Proride is that is just looks safe. It of course exceeds all U.S. federal regulations for safety, and is certified for use in aircraft. It also employs its own Side Impact Protection, which protects the five vulnerable areas (head, face, neck, torso and pelvis). This was designed for race car drivers in mind, then essentially miniaturized.
It features five-point harness, with shoulder straps for comfort, and, as an added bonus, a padded belt buckle, which I’ve never seen before. The harness itself is easy to secure, but more importantly, easy to adjust, thanks to the QuickPull front adjust harness. No re-threading and agonizing—simply give it a tug, and it tightens. It also has the EasyAdjust head restraint. The simple turn of a knob puts you in more direct control of your child’s comfort.
And as far as comfort goes, I don’t think it gets much better. The CoolMesh air ventilation system keeps your child cool and comfortable. While we haven’t had it out on any scorching days yet, it will most definitely fare better than hot plastic. Every inch of the seat is covered for the child, and it even has extra padding that can be removed if desired. It is also much easier to clean.
At 20.5 pounds, it is a little heavy, but it’s a permanent car seat for us, so it won’t be moving anytime soon. The only downside to all this comfort is that the seat is a bit bulky in our sedan. This seat would certainly work better in a larger car or SUV.
The seat comes in five different, nice two-tone color combinations, all very gender-neutral. I would absolutely recommend this car seat, especially for larger vehicles. It’s a little expensive, but it will last for several years, and it is well-constructed with a serious attention to detail.
Here are a few more of those details:
• 27 – 29” high (depending on head rest) X 19” wide X 11” deep
• Child height up to 50” (22.5” rear-facing)
• Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) absorbs crash force energy
• Premium push-button five-point LATCH system
• Harness storage pockets
• Universal top tether system
• Ergo Shell structure provides optimum comfort
• SoftTouch head restraint padded for extra comfort and protection
• TrueLock Belt Lock-off locks belt for optimum safety in forward-facing position
To buy: diapers.com