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Having had several sporty cars when I was younger that had Recaro seats they have always been a brand I have trusted and always been impressed with the quality of their products, so I was very happy when I discovered they made car seats for children and I knew I would buy one when the time came. I still reviewed it extensively before buying and it seemed there were thousands of happy cstomers. My dilemma was choosing a colour as they do quite literally seem to make this seat in any colour you could think of! My son has now been using this seat for a year and I love it. It feels so safe and I have every confidence my son son is very well protected in it. He always seems comfortable even when sleeping. It has a recline option too. The material feels very soft and well padded. It has an alarm to alert you if your child undoes the seat belts. It last all the way through from around 9 months to 11 years, which for the price is absolutely fantastic value. I will be buying another one of these in a few months when my daughter is old enough for it.
I bought this car seat when my daughter was about 11months old just coming out of the rear facing baby seat, as a second seat to go in my partners car or to be used as a spare. It was new out at the time and was on an introductory offer, so worked out about £100, which was really good value for money, especially for a seat that would potentially last her until she was about 11/12 years old.
Looks wise, i would give the seat 5 stars. I think it's gorgeous! Its really grown up and sporty looking, and comes in a range of really funky colours with different fabric options to suit. The fabric I picked was the air mesh (in grey and yellow). It wasn't as soft to touch as the bellini or the microfibre, but i thought it might be a little cooler in the summer and a little more hard wearing, which it was as it still looks brand new now 4years on! Another plus side is that the covers are easy to remove and machine washable, so no problems keeping it nice and clean.
Fitting the car seat in the car was a little tricky to be honest; you have to thread the seat belt through the back of the seat and put it through the clips. Sounds simple, and other people have mocked me slightly for having difficulty with it...BUT the issue that I had wasn't actually getting the seat in, but getting the seat fitted tightly enough to be safe. I had to get in front of the it and really push it with my knee whilst pulling the car's seat belt as tight as i could through the clips to secure it well, whereas I know a lot of other seats have their own tension mechanisms to tighten the cars seat belt and secure it better at the pull of a lever (eg maxi cosi, britax etc). Once I'd done all that the seat fitted ok. There was still a bit of movement and didn't seem as sturdy as my other seat, but I wasn't going to complain as it was adequate for general everyday use and short journeys. I've always made sure I use my other seat for long journeys.
Another downside I found was the recline feature. The mechanism itself is really basic, you have to turn a knob to tilt the seat back or bring back upright again. Much easier and less time consuming to have a lever or handle to pull and set the recline position like most other seats! The level of recline wasn't great either, so I wouldn't really recommend for younger children that tend to sleep a lot in the car, as I found my daughters head would often hang forward when she slept in it, which looks so uncomfortable. Ok for when the children are older though, as they wont be likely to sleep as much!
Obviously, you never know how good a car seat is until, heaven forbid, you have an accident and find out whether you're child has been well protected or not. Thankfully I haven't had any incidents so haven't had to find out that way. I have since checked on Which.com and looked at the safety ratings of various seats...this one has actually come out with only a 3* rating. This is classed as adequate, and it does state in the official report that the crash protection could be better.
My daughter has now moved up to into the high backed booster seats. Although the Recaro Young Sport does convert into one by taking off the integrated harnesses and using the adult seat belt, I have actually chosen to buy new car seats and purchased a couple with a higher safety rating to put my mind at ease.
Ever since Jessie was born I have been unhappy with the car seats we have had, I had the first one free with my travel system but later found it would only fit the seat belt in one of our 3 cars which wasn't ideal, I brought another stage 0 car seat that fitted better but always looked wrong in the car as I couldn't get one to match the seats in the car, whilst looking at getting a car seat for the next stage I decided I wanted something that matched my seats in my car as it was going to be a permanent fixture in there for a very long time and decided to see if I could get one to match exactly and seen as I have recaro seats it seemed the obvious choice to choose one of there car seats.
Retailing at around £150 it is quite expensive for a car seat but with my car being quite old I wanted something that had all the additional safety so to me this seemed like a great option, it has a fully adjustable head rest and back piece with side protectors that are relay well padded compared to other seats I looked at, The covers are available in a lot of colours to match your cars interior
The covers are fully removable and machine washable which is a must with young children as I have lost count of the amount of times I have struggled to sponge clean seats in the past with my other two children.
It has fitted seat belt tensioners just like the seat belts in modern cars have, it is very easy to fit into your car as it is secured by your own 3 point car seat belt and fits all cars no matter how short the belt is which is another bonus for me as my seat belts are quite short, the age range on the seat is from 9 months to twelve years so really for the price it is a good investment if it lasts you that long and you can buy replacement seat covers for it so no worries about it looking faded in the sun or tatty before the 11 years are up. It has a 5-point harness for group 1 but only a 3-point harness as the child gets older.
In my opinion this is a fantastic car seat, it is a little expensive as an initial lay out but is very good quality and will last a very long time plus I don't think I have seen any other car seat with as much safety in it as this one
We bought the Recaro YS at the end of last year (2008) we got in the black with velour material which my daughter loves to run her hand along! Its from ages 9 months to 11 yrs so no more changing car seats!
My daughter was about 19 months when we got it so the inner seat cushion had to be taken out for her to fit. Its very easy to take this cushion in and out as it has poppers at the back and you just have to take the seatbelt clip in or out of the slit in cushion.
The back has 3 adjustable heights for the shoulder straps and at 2yrs now she is on the middle setting. The harness is very easy to do up/undo and is easily tightend of loosend.
When the child is old enough to not need the harness it converts into being used with the seat belt strapping them in. Haven't got to that stage yet so can't comment on it.
It doesn't recline like other seats. It does have a recline option but its not very noticeable. I leave mine in the recline position and if she's awake its still upright enough for her to see out and if she falls asleep it has just enough recline to stop her head falling about. The side head wings are great for stopping that. I believe that once the seat is strapped in the recline can't be adjusted. It is reclined by a turing knob at the side.
Overall I can't fault this seat at all. My daughter loves it and it comes in many different colours and materials. The covers can be changed as well if you have another baby of the opposite sex. Once the seat is in the car it feels very secure and doesn't move at all and its very easy to put in. We have two now for each car.