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  1. #1

    Exclamation Urgent Recaro Sport Question

    Just got the Recaro Sport today for my just turned 4 year old who's 32 pounds and 38 inches. The manual states that the harness mode can be used for children under 40 pounds and 40 inches only. This site contains some discussion about kids under 40 pounds but over 40 inches still in the harness mode. It certainly seems like it can accomodate kids over 40 inches safely, especially with the adjustable head unit, but I'm not one to question the manual. What's the consensus? When do you have to switch to booster mode? I worry that people are using the seat unsafely.

    Also, are there any other seats that harness over 40 pounds with true side impact protection besides the Boulevard and Radian? I'm thinking about exchanging the Recaro Sport for one of those so she can stay harnessed longer. What's more important...harness or side impact protection?

    You all seem to be incredibly knowledgable and helpful. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor murphydog77's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    In a wind tunnel
    Hi. The weight limits are very important to follow since that's how the car seats are crash tested. The height guidelines are just that--guidelines. They give overall standing height, but as you know, some kids are taller in the torso and some are taller in the legs. Those kids taller in the torso will outgrow their harnessed seats faster because they will reach the top harness slots more quickly. There's nothing wrong with a 42" child using a car seat that has a 40" guideline as long as her shoulders are below the top harness slots and she's below the 40 lbs. weight limit.

    The only seat with a higher weight limit harness with true side impact protection is the Boulevard. The Britax Marathon, Decathlon, and Regent, the SafeGuard Child Seat, and the Sunshine Kids Radian have higher weight limit harnesses, but not true side impact protection. All these seats have extra safety features like EPS or EPP foam, but they aren't marketed as having TSIP like the Boulevard and Recaro seats are.

    As for harnessing vs. TSIP, it depends on where the car seat is located in the vehicle. I always like harnessing, but if the car seat is in the center of the vehicle, the TSIP isn't as important a factor as the harnessing IMO. Your child is still small enough to harness for 8 more lbs. and depending on her torso height, that could mean she's harnessed for quite a while in her Recaro.

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