RSTV Review


New member
I took the RSTV to my parents this summer to try with DS. At the time he was 5.5 and about 35# and 44". He normally rides in a FR80.

It was used in the center of my parents' 2011 MB ML350 SUV. DD's CCO was on one side, I was on the other. It worked well and I feel it restrained him adequately. There was some space above the shoulders (see pix) even though he is above the minimums for this device (size: small). I am not sure if that makes is unsafe or not. Wondering if he would ride up in the vest in a collision. I wouldn't feel comfortable using this in an outboard position at his size due to lack of side-impact protection. While not in the car, I left it 'installed' with the seatbelt through some of the metal guides. It was not difficult to use but I felt it did take more time that a true installed seat each time. Initially DS insisted on using the head pillow but realized it was not comfortable after a bit. Ultimately, DS got sick of it after a while and asked for a regular seat so I installed the radian I brought for him in my parents' car.

This is a great device in certain situations. I feel safe using it, save the lack of side impact protection. For an older or larger child, it would certainly be a good option for travel. We'll stick to traditional seats for now but I am keeping this in my van for emergencies like transporting additional children. I would consider using it for car travel after flying as well and would make sure DS was in a center position with a shell seat or adult on either side of him. I also purchased a pink one for DD. Technically she should fit in it at 31# and 38" but she swims in it and it does does appear safe at all. I will save that for a few years from now.

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Comments on the pix and my use of the RSTV welcome as well.
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Looks like a great fit. He will not ride up in a crash, especially since he is forward facing.
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CPST Instructor
It seems to me like the RSTV's minimum weight requirements are optimistic. Mine doesn't come close to fitting kids within the first 10 lbs or so of the minimum weight. :(

Other than that, I generally like it and although I wouldn't use it instead of a car seat for regular use either, it makes a great back-up and is good for packing for the destination on a plane/train trip. Mine fits easily in the spare tire compartment in my trunk, which is where I keep it in case I need it.

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