Car Seat Wars: Recaro vs Britax

Please note: This review is my own. Nobody asked me to do it. Nobody (sadly) is paying me for it. I’m putting it out there in case you are debating between these two car seats.

This review is for the Britax Frontier 85 SICT vs the Recaro ProSPORT. These are both five-point harness combination car seat and booster seat. For both, when the child is big enough, you can remove the harnesses and use it as a regular booster.

First of all, don’t let the names fool you. According to its Web site, Recaro submitted its car seat to the ADAC (most recognized automotive testing organization in Europe for side-impact protection testing) and passed its side-impact testing standards. The Britax USA Web site states “No other car seat company offers this level of side impact protection technology.” But does not say whether a third party has assessed its product against set standards.

We are a two-car family. Both Hubbs and I work full-time and we share pick-up/drop-off duties at day care. With two kids, that means we’ve bought FOUR car seats. (My wallet started smoldering at the memory. And we used a hand-me-down infant seat from a friend, otherwise that would have been FIVE car seats purchased. Yeowza.)

I bought the Britax Frontier 85 SICT on a lark. I was perusing a local store when the SICT first came out, because I was looking for a second booster/harness seat for Sean. At that point, we had one car with the Recaro ProSPORT for Sean and an infant seat (click-in base) for Allie. In the second car, Sean was forward-facing in a Recaro ProRIDE convertible car seat, with another click-in base for Allie’s infant seat. Allie was close to outgrowing her infant seat. At that point, we were going to move the Recaro ProRIDE to rear-facing, and get both her and Sean new seats (1 new booster/harness, 1 new convertible car seat).

Still with me?

The shop had both booster/harness seats in stock for a side-by-side comparison. Height-wise, the Britax 85 SICT is a bit taller. Width wise, the outer base was about the same. Weight wise, in terms of me picking them up side-by-side — about the same. But the wings outside the lower side cushion on the Britax 85 SICT — the extra side-impact supports — were much wider than the wings on the ProSPORT.

Everyone I know seems to have Britax car seats and they rave about them all the time. I had always bought Recaro previously. They have an impeccable safety record, make solid, sturdy, and heavy seats that are plush and comfortable, and they manufacture race car seats. Anyone who can manufacture a seat that keeps a person alive — and even unharmed — after a 200+ mph crash must be doing something right in my book.

In the end, it was price and curiosity that swayed me. I needed to buy two car seats. Although the Britax would normally be about $30 more than the Recaro, it was on sale — making them the same price. My curiosity got the better of me and I bought the Britax.

I’m kind of a pro at installing car seats at this point, so this part may not be accurate for you — but both car seats installed easily and quickly using the LATCH system. I’d say it took me less than 10 minutes from start to finish, and that includes laying down a seat protector underneath and adjusting the seats to Sean’s height. (Also easy.)

Image from

Overall, the Britax 85 is a good seat. I like the top buckle fastener guides, because it keeps the buckle in place — meaning Hubbs has it at the right spot when he’s buckling Sean in and Sean cannot pull it down to his belly button when I’m not looking.

The cup holders are handy.

The arm rests? Pretty much useless. They made it easier for me to haul the seat into the car, but they mostly serve as a diving board for Sean’s toys. I mean, look at them in the picture at left. (OK, they’re hard to see. Do you see the red blocks on the side of the kid? Just above them. Those nubs are the arm rests.) Once your kid hits a certain height, its practically impossible to use them.

Sean hasn’t complained, but in terms of padding — the Britax has less padding for the butt than Recaro, and the side wings are harder than the Recaro.

But the biggest difference is the seat cover. The Britax seat cover comes off easily, and you don’t have to unbuckle it from the LATCH system to do it. I thought this was the greatest thing ever the first time Sean threw up in the car and all over the seat. I ripped the cover off in no time flat and had it in the washing machine on the sanitary cycle before you could gag from the fumes.

And then I tried to get the cover back on. I was not amused.

I broke two nails tucking the seat cover in the tiny crevice between the head supports and the side-impact wings. And then the nail in the coffin: Britax expects two elastic loops to secure the bottom of the seat cover to the plastic base.

Two small elastic loops. On the part where your child sits, the part that moves the most.

Two small elastic loops that never stay on the little nubs under the seat again.

Meaning that every time you put your kid in the seat, you have to make sure he doesn’t come in contact with the darn seat until he’s directly above it — otherwise the cover flips up, folds in half, and you have to hold a 35-pound toddler with one hand while you’re bent at the waist and fumbling with the seat cover with the other hand just so you can buckle him in.

The cup holders aren’t worth it.

Image from

As for the Recaro ProSPORT: When I bought it, both Hubbs and I looked at each other and said: “I want MY seat to feel like that.” In a word, the padding is plush. It is very soft (even after 5+ washing machine + dryer cycles), and food comes off it amazingly quick with a wet wipe.

I know the seat itself is slightly narrower on the Recaro vs the Britax, so if you’re child is on the heftier side, that may be a factor. But at 3 years old, we still have the extra cushion on the seat and we won’t be taking it off anytime soon.

Here’s something to think about: Which car seat do you think has better head protection? In my opinion, it is the Recaro. Despite having those wide plastic buffers on the side of it, the actual headrest and wings are not as wide or long on the Britax compared to the Recaro.  The Britax wings are also harder, whereas the Recaro foam is thicker.

Consider this: Sean sleeps more in the Recaro.  His head stays secure — never bouncing or rolling around — and he sleeps so deeply he snores. He will occasionally sleep in the Britax, but his head rolls around, waking him up, and I’ve never heard him hit snore-land. Some people say the Recaro wings “impede” their child’s side view and that is why they don’t like it as much as the Britax. Flimsy reasoning by my book, but then again — I’m bagging on Britax for elastic loops on a seat cover.

The cup holders are a non-issue. If they’re there, nice. If not, nobody notices.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve washed the cover on the Recaro 5+ times so far. It isn’t easy to get the cover off the frame. You have to unhook the car seat from your LATCH system first. Because the Recaro seat cover is held on by heavy-duty metal snaps. There are eight going down the back of the car seat alone. The cover is also tight on the seat, so it takes some wiggling to get it off. Not the most fun thing to do when its coated in vomit. (Also good to note: You can remove the straps and throw those in the washing machine.)

That being said — that seat cover goes back on the seat and fits like a glove. It is secure. Sean climbs into it by himself with no problems and no adjusting needed by me.  In terms of durability, washability, and fitting back on the seat after you’ve washed it, the Recaro seat cover wins. Pair that with the extra comfort, plushness, and third-party verified safety of the wider and longer wings … it isn’t even close.

Still on the fence? As of today, the Britax 85 SICT retails for $254.99 on and comes in three color options. The Recaro ProSPORT retails for $233.99 on and comes in eight color options. (Note: The plusher/softer fabrics are: Aspen, Misty, Sable, and Riley options.)

Sorry Britax, if I had to go back and do it all again, I would have bought another Recaro ProSPORT.

This entry was posted in Daily.

75 comments on “Car Seat Wars: Recaro vs Britax

  1. Alyssa says:

    Thanks for your review! We are going with a Recaro Euro over a Britax. It’s nice to see someone’s review on Recaro!

  2. Erica says:

    Thank you!! I ordered my Recaro seat before I read this. It makes me feel a lot better!

  3. Dmp says:

    Great review! I am leaning toward the Recaro Prosport, but I have read the harness straps are too short. My boys are pretty tall. Did you experience this problem? Also, do the straps twist up a lot? It seems like britax has the tangle free option which I love, but Recao has Torso protection and Britax does not.

    • Thank you! I have not had a problem with the harness straps being short. I poured over the loads of Amazon reviews before I bought mine, and from what I can gather, the short straps were an older problem and Recaro has made them longer. My 3-year-old is in the 65th percentile for height and a close friend’s children (almost 5 and 3) are both in the 98th percentile for height and neither of us has experienced a problem with the strap length.

      For me, twisting straps haven’t been a problem. If they do twist, its pretty obvious and there’s enough room to fix it. My son is able to get himself in the chair and buckle the top clasp by himself daily without getting it twisted. I only have to fix it once a week (maybe).

      Hope that helps!

  4. laurapayette says:

    This review is really helpful. I’m in the same situation you were in, trying to decide how not to spend a bucketful more money and keep my kids safe. A friend just recommended Recaro. Wish I knew a local place that stocked them so I could check it out in person.

    • You might have to call some of the more “boutique” style shops, such as Right Start. Or order it online from somewhere with a good return policy (like Amazon) so you can see it for yourself. I also recommend checking out the Recaro Web site and e-mailing them if you have specific questions. They’re very responsive.

      Glad the review was helpful!

  5. sharons says:

    This was a great review…thank you so much for the details and research…just wanted to know your take on the Peg Perego Convertible seats

    • Thank you. I have no experience with the Peg Perego seats, so I can’t really help, aside to say that when I was researching seats they seemed OK but paled in comparison (IMO) to Britax and Recaro.

  6. Lisa says:

    I have a slim five year old- he barely weighs 40 pounds. I am debating between the Pro-Sport and the Fronteir. What are your thoughts on how they fit in the car. I was concerned about the Fronteir being really gigantic in my car. How does the ProSport fit?

    • The side-impact “wings” on the Frontier make the seat’s total width wider than the Pro-Sport. That being said, when my son is in the seats themselves, he looks more sheltered in the Pro-Sport. This isn’t to say that the Pro-Sport is super slim, because it isn’t. But its profile is more vertical than the Frontier, which sort of bubbles out in the middle. I actually have the Frontier installed in my Toyota Camry and it isn’t overwhelming. But I wouldn’t expect a person to be able to sit in the middle seat with it installed.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Rebecca says:

    This is a VERY helpful review! I’m currently switching out my daughter’s infant carseats and cannot decide on wether we should go with good old Britax or try something new. We have a Frontier for my older son and it’s almost too roomy (he’s slim and narrow). Will probably go with a Recaro after reading your review! Thank you 🙂

  8. Layne says:

    My husband in 6 foot 5 in. How does the car seat fit in regards to the front seat? Thanks!

    • Layne says:

      I am talking about the Recaro. 🙂

      • The car seat doesn’t extend past the seat to which it is attached, but you have to factor in some leg room for the child. My recommendation is to look up the exact seat measurements at (If it isn’t there, e-mail them. They are very responsive and helpful.) Then take a look at those measurements in your car.

        I hope that helps!

  9. Jerri says:

    Great great great review!!! I’d never even heard of the Recaro brand until now. Looks like that’ll be our next car seat. Seriously, their PR dept needs to know you’re out here making them look good. You deserve some compensation for this review!

  10. Kay says:

    Definitely helpful! I’m choosing between these two right now and I’ve been leaning toward the Recaro. It’s great to hear about others who have used Recaro so I can actually make an informed decision!

  11. Cade's Momma says:

    We currently have two Recaro Signo convertibles (we absolutely love) but need to reallocate for new bebe and upgrade son to harnessed booster. We are comparing the Prosport vs the Frontier vs Graco Argos/Nautilus. I know the fit in the vehicle can be a big part of (dis)satisfaction. We have a VW Passat and a Ford F-150 Supercrew so I’m curious as to what kind of vehicles you are putting these seats into.


    • The Britax is in a Toyota Camry and the Recaro ProSport is in a Toyota Highlander. Both seats fit in each car. However, the middle seat in the Camry is practically nonexistent between the Britax and a forward-facing Recaro Signo, because the “wings” on the Britax (the hard metal plastic on the sides) sticks out quite a bit.. I have the boosters behind the driver and the Signos behind the passenger. I’ve seen the Graco boosters — they are much smaller than both the Recaro and Britax seats. (Not to mention cheaper.)

      My guess is you’d have no problems in the Supercrew, but I’d take measurements of each seat for your Passat to see if they fit.

      Good luck!

      • Cade's Momma says:

        I bought a Graco Argos yesterday and don’t like it so I’ll be returning that ASAP. Although my son loves the cupholder so I’ll be improvising a cupholder if we go with the Recaro. Thanks very much. I keep hearing the Britax will be better for our kiddo since he is so tall & heavy for his age but I’m such a Recaro fan it is hard to consider something else. THANKS AGAIN!

      • They are pretty evenly matched in terms of children’s size:

        Britax: 25 to 85 pounds (in the five-point harness). As a belt-positioning booster, the seat is suited for children from 40 to 120 pounds.

        Recaro: For a child 27 to 59 inches tall and 20 to 90 pounds in the five-point harness; As a belt-positioning booster, it works for children 27 to 59 inches tall and 30 to 120 pounds.

        On Amazon, Britax boasts that it has “the highest capacity in five-point harness systems.” But weight-wise, Recaro has it beat by 5 lbs. Just some food for thought.

  12. will says:

    I brought the Clek Oobr for my 4 year old and am completely satisfied with safety, ease of installation, and superb cleaning technology. Now my son is turning two and I need a second booster. I was leaning toward the Britax, but now I’m going to get the Recaro based on this review. This was thorough and great!

    I too have 2 cars. So I’m eventually going to need 2 new car seats for the other vehicle. $$$$$$$$$$

  13. Mrs.BaileyD says:

    Thank you so much for this review! I spent months investigating high weight harnesses for my 8 year old, and was all set on a Britax Frontier 85 until I actually got on Amazon to order it and Recaro was an option. Somehow I had never heard of the Recaro Prosport, or even the Recaro brand, but it certainly had me thinking twice! After your review I am all set for the Recaro, thanks again!

    • Mrs.BaileyD says:

      I do actually have one question though, if you see this and wouldn’t mind. In the dimensions for the two seats, the Britax is 27 x 19.5 x 23 inches whereas the Recaro is 15 x 19.5 x 33.5 inches. That sounds like an incredible difference in length, does it seem like too much of your child’s legs hang off? I worry that might be uncomfortable.

      • I’m not sure where you got your dimensions for length, but according to the Britax Web site, the seat depth (where the child actually sits) on the Britax is 13.5 inches. According to the Recaro Web site, the seat depth is 14 inches. In the car, the Britax takes up more room physically depth wise, but the seat dimensions are practically identical. The child actually gets more room in the Recaro.

        I hope that helps!

      • Mrs.BaileyD says:

        Ok, thank you! That was the dimensions Amazon gave, apparently they’re way off. Is the width correct at least? That’s the most important as I have three car seats across in my car. My other main concern is the two inches of harness height that the Britax apparently has over the Recaro, but with three kids it’s easy to assume that if it gets to the point where I need those two inches, my middle child will be ready for the Prosport and I can get the Frontier:)

      • I think those are the dimensions for the outer shell. I’d check with the Recaro Web site if you’re unsure.

  14. Laura says:

    Update: I ended up getting the ProSport for my nearly 3-year-old daughter. She’s been in it now for a few weeks and seems to really like it. It’s definitely roomier than her old Britax Roundabout 55. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it didn’t install as tightly on the first try as our previous car seats. I had to really put my weight into it and tug hard on the safety strap. Not a huge deal since we don’t often remove the car seat, but for someone who has to uninstall and reinstall a car seat often, this could be a pain. (Obivously, car seats fit differently across car makes and models. I drive an older Ford Escape.) The harness straps themselves also don’t seem to fit quite as snugly as our other car seats; perhaps I need to readjust the tether (is that the right name?) underneath to shorten it a bit — if that’s even an option. I had everything checked at the fire station and the fit tech confirmed I’ve installed the seat correctly and that my daughter is snug as a bug in there, so perhaps I’m just paranoid, but I did notice those differences compared to the Britax she was in before. 🙂

    • The harness straps are absolutely adjustable. It’s in the standard place — at the front of the seat in the middle under a velcro cover.

      I actually prefer the OLD Recaro installation straps better than the new one: It used to have a metal bar and two individual straps instead of one. The extra length on the straps really helped get the seats secure. My tip: Put one of your knees on the seat, the other foot braced against metal doorframe (when the car door is open), and use your legs to push and tighten the straps. I cracked my head pretty good against the top of the car doing it, but that’s the only way I could get the seat tight enough. (Well, to my standard, at least.)

  15. Eddie says:

    I have the Recaro YoungSport and have used it since my son went into a front facing carseat. I know the Recaro name, the comfort, security and level of comfort they provide in their seats, so I already knew which one I was going to purchase. Currently he’s 5 1/2 years old and still loves being in it and enjoys the secure and comfort it provides. He can fall asleep easily in it and not have to worry about his head rolling and waking up with every turn.

    Other carseats I have seen him in from Ex-Wife and Ex-MiL he doesn’t look happy to be in them as they didn’t provide the same as the Recaro. He actually dreaded getting into them, and they just gave up and use booster seats instead. The seats they purchased were the ones that the uninformed or the ones that just buy something based on looks instead of hard data, testing, reputation and other related types of products from the manufacture.

    I have other car enthusiast friends that have Recaro YoungSport and other their child feels the same way towards their seating and sleeping experience. Other friends also know what they’re going to purchase when the time comes for the need of a front facing seat. I have also taken it on trips across the country to provide safety no matter where we go, instead of renting a booster at the rental agency because my child is worth it!

    Most non-car enthusiast people only find out about Recaro by a simple search and dismiss it as they have never heard of them. Others continue to research and weigh all options and and not dismiss, but only to find out that there are very few reviews for Recaro here in the states. What they find are all positive reviews and it gets them thinking more and more about the child they will be placing in the seat, instead of their girlfriends have so and so seat, so it must be good mentality.

    Do yourself a favor, think of your child and buy the Recaro carseat. You won’t have buyers remorse as it’s something that will grow with your child and provide the protection and comfort needed when in the vehicle.

    Oh and for those that are not really aware on the proper way to install a carseat with the lower anchor and tether systems…..put all your weight on the carseat when tightening the lower anchors. The seat should be very snug and not move and discontinue use when child id 40lbs. The tether is the upper strap that stops the seat from tilting forward and it’s the same process as the anchors. ALWAYS use the tether in place.

    If I ever need another carseat, Recaro is my choice, as I have seen all the other brands have more recalls that I can remember. ok I’ll stop now and tell you again to buy the Recaro. 🙂

  16. Carmen says:

    Thank you so much for this review. I am debating on the two seats mentioned. After reading all of this and doing some research, I am definatley going to go with the Recaro seat. Thanks again!

  17. Jimae says:

    Hi, Laura. We just got the ProSport harness/booster and felt the same way about the harness straps– they seem too loose to us and they really don’t pull any tighter than we’ve gotten them so far. The top of the straps seem tight enough against our son’s shoulders, but the rest seems to have too much slack. But we supposed that in a crash his shoulders will catch first so probably fine. We got both seats– the Recaro and the Britax discussed here and both have looser-feeling-than-we-would-like harness straps. I agree completely with survivalistmomma’s review: the Britax is MUCH wider with the safety wings on the sides and not much cushioning on the seat. We’re on the verge of a 12-hour car ride with our 4 1/2-year-old, and we are definitely taking the Recaro. I am now considering returning the Britax and purchasing a second Recaro for my husband’s Jeep Liberty. He was able to get the Britax in there much tighter than he could get the Recaro in the middle seat of my Ford Fiesta, but I still can’t move it around at all so I think it’s fine. The Recaro is very tall and covers much of my back window in the Fiesta, though. That’s the only drawback I see. Otherwise, it seems like a much comfier chair. And regarding cup holders, we have the Britax kick pads on the back of both of my front seats and they have mesh pockets at the top for such things. The car seat pad also has a mesh pocket on the flap that hangs down over the front of the back seat. The Fiesta has a rear cup holder that I believe my son should be able to reach as well so not an issue.

  18. marie says:

    my daughter is 8 months and we need to buy a convertible seat soon. we may have a new addition in 9 months, so I would like to get the ProSport and then when the next child is out of the infant get the ProRide. If my 8 months is 22 pounds but not 12 months, is it still safe to put her in the ProSport?

    • Laura says:

      Marie, the ProSport is a front-facing-only seat. Your infant could ride in the ProRide, which is a convertible seat; just make sure you install it so it’s rear facing. Recommendations are that infants remain rear-facing until they’re two years old, and they must be rear-facing until they’re at least a year old. is a good resource.

      • Thank you Laura!

        Marie, if you buy the ProRide first, your daughter can start using it now as a rear-facing convertible seat. Once your second is born, your daughter should be around 29 months old — older than 2 years — and should be just fine in the ProSport. Hope that helps!

      • Marie says:

        Got it! Buy the Proride first….anyone have a Proride and ProSport next to each other in the car?

        And has anyone noted difference btw euro and Proride?

  19. AB's mom says:

    Thanks so much for this very helpful review! I agree you should be getting some kind of thanks from Recaro. I just got off the phone with Recaro and learned that the euro is no longer made – to answer the above question. Today, I looked at the three Britax seats that had been handed down to us. I was searching for serial numbers to look into recalls on the Britax website. I found that they were produced in 2006 (GASP!) and therefor out of date. Car seats need to be retired after 6 years, I think. I need to buy seats ASAP and I feel very confident in my decision to choose Recaro based on all things said in this review and this list of comments. I’ll be purchasing them from They have an excellent return policy (free returns) and any purchase over $40 ships free. Considering I need to purchase 2-3 seats, that’s a nice bonus! Thankfully, I will have them on Saturday. For those as horrified as I was by my negligent discovery, I won’t be driving my kiddos anywhere until new seats are installed!

  20. Amy says:

    Does anyone know if three of the Recaros fit in a backseat? or if two are in the backseat can a person sit in the middle?

    • I think it would depend on your car. I have a Highlander (SUV) and a Camry. The person sitting in the middle seat would have to be VERY skinny to fit in the Highlander. As for the Camry (which has the Britax), there’s no way an adult would fit.

  21. Amy says:

    So three of these probably not fit side by side? 🙂 i’m ordering one today but hoping it isnt as big as i think it is going to be

  22. Ning says:

    Thanks for the great review. I’m actually looking for a convertible car seat for my daughter as our second car seat, since she will start daycare soon and my hubby and I will share drop-off/pick-up duties. We currently have a Chicco infant car seat. I’m trying to make a decision between Britax Marathon and Recaro ProRIDE. Like many others, I’ve heard so much about Britax and never heard of Recaro until recently. Did you like the ProRIDE? We have two small cars, and the bigger one is a Prius 🙂 Looking at the dimentions on Amazon it seems that ProRIDE is larger than Marathon, and that’s my major concern. Did you ever use it in your camry? Thanks!

    • Hello there! I currently have the Recaro ProRIDE in the back seat of my Camry — both forward and rear facing. When the seat is rear-facing, we had to move the passenger seat up a bit to make room, but I didn’t feel that it was excessive. (Any rear-facing seat is going to take up a decent amount of room.)

      Regarding the larger dimensions — I believe the base of the ProRIDE is larger than the Marathon, but see if you can look at them side-by-side. The ProRIDE is more sleek in design and doesn’t bow out as much as a lot of other car seats. It also has PLUSH padding and larger head support “wings”. So even though its base dimensions may be larger, it may take up less room overall. Counter intuitive, I know. Take a look at the Recaro Web site if you have questions/concerns. They have a ton of information and are very responsive to e-mail questions. Good luck!

  23. jaxinnc says:

    I’ve had the Recaro signo and now 4 ProSports and in the process of buying 2 more to allows relatives to transport the kiddos.

    My original signo was involved in a 50+mph tbone in my 1st Trailblazer. The truck was hit on that side, rolled 2.5 times and landed on that side in a ditch My son was not in the seat at the time. However, even if he had been, he would have been safe. The door was pushed into the truck seat about 10inches. The Recaro was completely intact showing not even a scratch or stress mark from the impact. The truck seat itself had been pushed in, but the Recaro base and attaching hardware were solid. My infant was in the wreck in a Chicco. You can see my review and a photo of the wreck on the toys r us website. Based on my experience alone, I purchased another and highly recommend to anyone that inquires. I have even gone as far as to offer paying the price difference when cost is the argument.

  24. Love my Recaro Car seat, I have four grandchildren ages 3, 2 and 2 that are 10 months old. I purchased mine at a yard sale for $5.00 and it was NASTY. Threw away cover cleaned and bought new cover and we love it. I have about $80.00 total invested in it. Oh and did I mention I own a Children’s Consignment Shop and there is no comparisons to my Recaro.

  25. Laura says:

    Great review – I’m deciding between these exact two models and really wanted to hear more Recaro information!

  26. amushro says:

    Thank you so much for this review! I have been struggling between these two seats and this really helped. I’m a longtime Britax buyer, but the Recaro just seemed more comfy. We travel a lot and I don’t want my little guy uncomfortable. Plus he is a dirtball and mamma doesn’t have time to fool with a cover that won’t go back on easily! Thanks again!

  27. Thanks for this post! We just purchased two Recaro PerformanceRides. We had a struggle for a while because you hear non stop about the britax from other parents. After researching and debating, we went with the Recaro because of the mesh. Living in Texas, it was very important that we take temperature into consideration, and the breathing mesh is what ultimately sold is. (So important in warmer climates.). Your awesome review, mad us super happy with the purchase…. Even if our bank account is $525 lighter. Eek! Worth it though!

  28. kld182 says:

    I’ve also been debating between the ProSport/Performance Sport and the Britax Frontier 90. My biggest concern with the Recaro is that I’ve read reviews in which people say when the seat is installed with the seat belt (as mine would be, since my child is nearing the 40lb LATCH weight limit) that the seat belt crosses the path of the harness. Have you encountered this issue?

    • I have not — but I’m still using the LATCH option, since my son is still less than 40 lbs.

      • kld182 says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll have to see if I can get some more information on this issue.

    • Mrs.BaileyD says:

      Hi, my 8 year old is harnessed in the Recaro ProSPORT, which I actually bought because of this review lol. I’ve never had a problem using the seat belt. There are snaps towards the bottom of the back of the seat, and you unsnap them, buckle the seat into the car, then put the fabric over top the seat belt and snap it back in place. It is so much more convenient than the seats where you have to maneuver the seat belt through the plastic seat lol.
      I love this seat, it’s definitely the best car seat I’ve ever gotten for my kids.

  29. TwoMany says:

    Thanks so much for this info! I am expecting #3 and moving #1 from a Britax Marathon convertible into a 5-point booster. I’ve been researching boosters to find the right one, that will also fit with #2 in a Britax Marathon and #3 in a Chicco infant seat (I haven’t tested it yet, but I hope they all fit three across in my 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee). We will probably go with the Recaro based on your review – she sleeps ALL the time in her Britax seat now, so comfort is key.

  30. NAW22 says:

    My son is about to turn one, and he is currently in a Chico Keyfit 30. He is 29 lbs and 30 inches tall, so we are due to replace the seat. We are trying to decide between three seats, the Recaro Performance Ride, Recaro Performance Sport, and the Safety 1st Complete Air 70.

    I know the Sport is FF only, and the recommendation is to keep the child RF to the age of two, but with his size I don’t know if I see that happening. If we buy the Ride or the Complete Air 70 we will be able to keep him RF for awhile longer, but I think it will be less than a year. If we go with the Sport we would have to switch to FF at age one.

    The upside of the sport is it will accommodate his size for many years and we won’t need to buy another seat. My concern, however, is the whether or not the side protection wings adjust down low enough. I know the Recaro specs say the minimum height is 27″, but I have a hard time seeing that size baby being tall enough to reach the side protection wings. How far down do the wings adjust?

    Has anyone put a baby in the the Recaro Performance Sport or Pro Sport that is similar in size to my son? The specs say it will fit for his size, but I’m skeptical.

    • AB's mom says:

      I have a rear facing 19 month old in the Pro Ride and an almost 4 year old in the Pro Sport. I really couldn’t imagine my little one in the Pro Sport, for whatever my input is worth. “Little One” is a term of endearment, he’s really quite big and in the 90% for height and weight. He doesn’t know any better and actually appears quite comfortable in his rear facing seat. He sleeps easily and for long periods in it.
      My older child was in a convertible car seat until I discovered this review (he was 3) and made the decision to buy one of each (my younger child was growing out of infant carrier and our convertible car seat was handed down from a cousin and nearing it’s expiration date). I am certainly not judging your very smart idea of not wanting to buy yet another car seat. My husband states that he would be comfortable doing what you are considering – noting that I tend to be over cautious in areas such as these. I am curious to know what others might say to your question. The other car seats we have had were Britax and and we’ve been very very pleased with our switch to Recaro. Perhaps you could call Recaro customer service and get their input? Good luck in your search!

      • My daughter is almost 3 and is about 35 inches tall and 27 pounds. When she was a bit smaller, she COULD sit forward facing in the Recaro Sport, if it were at its lowest setting. In all honesty, we turned her convertible car seat to forward facing when she was 1 year old, mostly because she HATED being rear facing and let everyone know about it. That being said, even with the padded insert on the Recaro Sport, she (even now) has lots of room on the sides, but she’s incredibly petite.

        I say, go with what makes you comfortable. Or, see if you can find a Recaro in store (call around) and have your son sit in it so you can gauge it. I’d see if there’s a Right Start in your area — its the only place I ever saw one on display. I’m not sure if Buy Buy Baby has Recaros on display. Good luck!

  31. Amanda says:

    Great review but it’s not safe to wash the harness ever! Once its submerged in water it’s ruined. It’s a wipe down only clean.

  32. Bean says:

    I’m sorry if I missed this above. How long were you able to keep your child rear facing in the Recaro ProRide vs. the Britax? That is, at what height (if you remember) did you have to switch to forward facing? I’d read that the ProRide is not good for rear facing, but I do like the ProRide’s flat back, which looks more comfy than the Britax’s “slouch.”
    God help us all.
    Thank you!

  33. eimon1 says:

    Thank you for your good post, i have a baby, so i find a baby car seat, recently i saw some baby car seat, and i see it, but i am confused it’s fixed price and how to buy it, basically I find best discount deals. Please share me.
    thanks eimon

  34. Marian says:

    We have 2 ProRides and 2 Prosports for the great grands – Mom has one of each and so do I (great grandma). I would never buy anything else. The 1 year old is just growing into the Proride rear facing and the 4 year old is in the ProSport. We had a Graco Nautilus as a spare for the sitter (speaking of wallet melt down – not to mention the Chicco infant seat with 2 bases) and I had a lot of difficulty getting the latch undone. I have since read that that is an issue with those seats and not safe if you need to get child out in emergency. I researched until I was purple before buying Recaro. Everyone knows about Britax but the Recaro is such a better seat.

  35. Kim says:

    What car seat protector do you use?

  36. Ning says:

    Thank you so much for the review. I bought a RECARO ProRide after reading it, and it’s been my daughter’s primary car seat. In fact, we love it so much that we bought a Performance Sport for her to use soon. Unfortunately, 10 days before our vacation, I realized it doesn’t fit into the JL ultimate car seat travel bag, even though on JL website they said it’s compatible. I’m now a big fan of Recaro and don’t want to switch to Britax just because it can fit into the bag. I’m curious what you use to protect your RECARO when you travel? Thanks!

    • Oh no! Unfortunately (or fortunately), I haven’t flown with my kids yet, so I have no experience with travel bags. I did a quick Google search and can’t find a specific, recommended travel bag. But one Amazon user says they buy the giant black Hefty outdoor bags for checking the car seat at the airport. Good luck!

      On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 9:52 PM, Surviving Parenthood wrote:


  37. Rita says:

    I can’t thank u enough for ur wonderfully detailed review. SO HELPFUL!!! My daughter her husband and mother in law all bought Britax and I cldnt afford it. But my daughter gave me the name Recaro and I did a ton of research, never a bad review, top on crash tests and now because of ur review I now know Recaro is top in side car crash! Thank you thank u thank u!!!
    Now I know my grandson will b so safe! As u stated, NOTHING is more important!♡♡♡

  38. I do like the way you have presented this concern plus it does supply me personally a lot of fodder for consideration. On the other hand, through everything that I have observed, I only wish when the feed-back pile on that people remain on point and not get started upon a tirade of some other news of the day. All the same, thank you for this excellent point and even though I do not really go along with the idea in totality, I respect the perspective.

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