There are many different types of car seats, and although everyone with a child needs them, it doesn’t mean they are affordable or last a long time. The truth is that children have to go through a few car seats in the course of growing, so that they can stay safe in the car. There are rear-facing seats, front-facing seats, and booster seats. However, recently there have been new developments in car seat safety, and the Ride Safer Travel Vest is now an acceptable choice. There are many reasons why this type of vest is great for the car and your family.
The most important reasons are that the vest is easy to travel with and can be taken virtually anywhere. It’s simpler to use when you have a child that needs to be using a booster seat, due to the fact that it doesn’t take up as much room and you can fit 3 of them in your car’s back seat. It is nearly impossible to put three car seats or booster seats in your car, as they are too bulky. The vest can also be utilized on children with special needs and is designed to get kids to sit properly in standard seat belts.
The RideSafer Travel Vest is suitable for kids 30lbs and up and meets or exceeds all US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards. There are different versions of the vests in various colours and they are available in two sizes, small (30-60lbs) and large (50-80lbs). More on this below in our Ride Safer Travel Vest Reviews.
How a Travel Vest Works
A Ride Safer Travel Vest is a restraint system that reduces the forces from a collision so that they do not cause harm to your child. They are designed with a rigid back that attach to the seat and seat belt holders that attach to the vehicle belt so that it is correctly placed across your child’s body. This correct belt placement together with the in-built five point harness distributes impact forces across your child’s chest, not just specific points. The five point harness is similar to those found on a child car seat. The Ride Safer Travel Vest works much like a roller coaster harness that goes over your shoulders to secure your whole upper body to the seat.
So in summary, as well as the additional conveniences the vests provide compared to a child car seat the Ride Safer Travel Vests provide the following safety features:
- Lowering the vehicle seat belt to the correct position. This provides the same result as a belt positioning booster seat that raises the child to the correct seat belt position.
- Lowering the impact force and distributing it across the body to reduce isolated pressures. This is achieved by the energy absorbing foam within the vest.
- Lowering the child’s center of gravity provides safer distribution of forces. Since the child is sat directly on the vehicle’s seat instead of being elevated as with a booster seat they have a lower center of mass. This helps protect the child as a lower center of mass can decrease lower extremity injury risk while also allowing the impact force to distribute across stronger areas less likely to break.
The video below courtesy of SafeRide4Kids provides an excellent review of the Ride Safer Travel Vest. The demonstration takes you through the safety features of the vest outlined above as well as the different vest types that are outlined in our Ride Safer Travel Vest Reviews below.
Ride Safer Travel Vest Reviews
There are two main types of Ride Safer Travel Vest in this review: Type 2 and Type 3. Each type has slightly different features, which are summarised in the table below:
|Ride Safer 2 - The Tethering Vest||Ride Safer 3 - The Adjustable Vest|
|Crash tested to FMVSS 213||Y||Y|
|Certified FMVSS 213 Compliant||Y||N|
|Tested for children at 3 yrs and 30lbs||Y||Y|
|Use with Lap-only belt+tether||Y||N|
|Use with Lap-shoulder belt||Y||Y|
|Tethers for extra support/ restraint||Y||N|
|Adjustable back for better fit||N||Y|
The vests are reviewed in further detail below, with 3 options for the Type 2 vest and 2 styles of the Type 3.
To assist you in choosing between the two different options we have taken advice from the manufacturer: The Ride Safer 2 is the most popular and recommended for younger children because it is a certified child restraint system and comes with the tether. The tether can always be used for additional upper body protection in addition to your vehicle’s lap and shoulder seat belt. The Ride Safer 3 is more suited to older children that would normally be in a booster seat. The adjustable straps on the back of the Ride Safer 3 would be more useful to you in this instance.
This cool contraption is designed to work with the regular seat belts found in the car’s back seat. The item comes in many different colors, which are perfect for a little boy or budding fashionista. The product is also lightweight and easy to transport from place to place.
- Certified Child Restraint System to Federal Standards
- Absorbs shock
- Can use with entire seat belt and ensures proper positioning
- Good for short trips
- Fastens securely and includes tether strap
- Comes in different colors
- No head support
- Not good for driving long distances
- Can only be used if child is above a certain weight
Although this item is great to run errands around the city, you’ll still need a sturdier seat when you’re going on a long trip. This is because there are no safety features for when the child is sleeping or not sitting in the proper position.
This vest looks quite official, but it is really easy to use. There is head rest, to keep a child comfortable when they are sitting back and relaxing, and the vest has a tether support that can be used with shoulder or lap belts, whichever you have access to and will help the child sit securely.
- Helps kid sit up safely
- Head rest
- Comes in different sizes and colors
- Has a shoulder tether for more support
- May be hard to get off of child
- Child may not like it
This is an item that is easy to carry around to utilize at all times. However, some kids just don’t like it. This may be because they aren’t big enough to fit into it comfortably, or they may not like the headrest or something else. However, with practice and use, your child may get used to it and like it more, so hang in there.
This vest comes in especially handy if you have a child with special needs. It fits in all automobiles due to the narrow design, and it meets all safety requirements to be able to be utilized in motor vehicles.
- Can be used with any type of seatbelt
- Narrow to take up less space
- Additional head rest
- Places child in a safe position at all times
- Kid may grow out of it fast
- Belt may move around when child moves
Some report that this belt is too flexible. This can be easily remedied because it can be fitted on the middle and shoulders to get a good fit. Remember, this vest should take the place of a booster seat in a pinch, so it has to be able to ensure that a child is sitting up in a way that the seat belt can protect them. This product can do just that and more.
This Ride Safer 3 comes in 5 different colours: pink, black, yellow, grey or blue. The main difference with these vests compared to the Ride Safer 2 versions is that they do not include the tether strap. However they do include adjustability on the back of the vest, which allows you to adjust the shoulder fit of the vest to suit your child.
- Great for use with older children instead of a booster seat
- Ensures correct positioning of vehicle seat belt on your child’s body
- No neck support – for longer journeys a booster may be more comfortable
This version of the Type 3 Safety Travel Vest comes in 3 different colour options: choose either black, grey or yellow. The Ride Safer 3 vest also comes in two sizes, either large or small.
- Convenient and ultra portable
- Allows 3 kids to fit comfortably on the back seat whilst wearing the vests. Many cars are too small to fit 3 booster seats next to each other.
- Adjustable shoulder strap to provide a perfect fit.
- No tether strap included – choose the Type 2 Ride Safer Travel Vest for your younger ones.
Ride Safer vests are crucial to those that need to be able to have a seat for their kids that is easy to travel with. These vests are lightweight, can transfer shock impact so children don’t get hurt in the event of a crash, and you can pack them in bags when you are on the go. They are highly rated by many, and are among the top car seats used in some places. For more details on other topics that can affect your child, take a look at some of our recent articles on Kid Sitting Safe.
The vests mentioned above are all great, and come in handy, depending on what your needs are. The RideSafer Type 2 GEN3 Travel Vest is great to use with all types of seatbelts and comes in colors that can please anyone’s tastes. They are tested, durable, and easy to put on children.
The Safe Traffic System Travel Vest Type 2 is best used with a lap belt type seat belt only, but has an attachment that takes care of the shoulder part. Besides that, it is also tested for safety and can keep your child safe in a car, airplane, or even in a taxi. Finally, the Ride Safer 2 Travel Vest is almost exactly like the Type 2 vest, only made for narrower bodies and areas. It can also be used with lap belts only and is great for children that have autism or other special needs when they are going from place to place, or even need some help riding the school bus. The only thing to be mindful of is if your child is the correct size and weight to use one of these vests.
For your older children there is the Ride Safer 3 Travel Vest, which provides the added functionality of the adjustable shoulder strap. Once the kids are old enough for a booster seat the tether strap that comes with the Ride Safer 2 may not be necessary for you and so this version would be more suitable.