Kim and I are always looking for ways to lighten the load when it comes to what gear we bring along on our trips.
Traveling with kids requires a variety of extra items. While we never use a car seat on flights, when we rent a car, we bring along one of our car seats so we don’t have to pay ridiculous rental fees of around $12 per day.
A few months back I received an e-mail which introduced me to an interesting new product. The product caught my attention since it could potentially eliminate the need for a car seat for Lucas.
The RideSafer Travel Vest is a “wearable child restraint that offers an alternative to the traditional booster“.
The RideSafer vest is more portable than a booster or car seat. It comes with a draw-string storage bag which I was able to stuff into my backpack. The product already helped solve the issue of having two extra bulkier items to lug on trips. (We currently need to use a traditional car seat for eight- month old Theo.
The way the RideSafer Travel Vest works is that it safely positions the seat belt on the child. Basically, it brings the belt down to fit the child rather than lift the child up like a booster does. Ride Safer says that this “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“.
I’m of little help when it comes to installing car seats, that’s Kim’s job. She found it simple to set up the Ride Safer Vest after initially getting it ready after the first use.
Once Lucas had the vest on, I wove the car’s seat belt through the loops and found it quite simple to do. It took less than a minute, not much different from buckling a child into a car seat.
Lucas found the vest to be really comfortable and fun to wear. During the weekend we tested it out, he even wore it all of the time while we walked around outside. (In restaurants we had to make him take it off a couple of times!)
Lucas sat comfortably while he watched a hockey game for a few minutes at Canalside.
The RideSafer Vest was also comfortable enough to allow Lucas to jump for this photo!
The only negatives we found with the vest was that it could potentially be annoying to take it on and off over the course of a day if you’re making lots of stops. We also wondered if it would be hard to separate the travel vest from the seat belt in an emergency.
Overall RideSafer does a nice job as a lightweight, portable car seat alternative. We wouldn’t consider it a car seat replacement but it is a good option for travel or occasions where you might want to remove a car seat to create more room in the back of a car.
The RideSafer Travel Vest comes in a small (3-6 years old) and large (5-8 years old). Safe Ride 4 Kids provided us with the large vest for Lucas.
Find out more about the RideSafer Travel Vest here.