Signo/como long term updates

southpawboston

New member
a member PM'd me with a signo question and asked whether i'd be posting an update to my "initial" review of the signo. i thought that was a good idea.

after having the signo RF for a couple of months now, i thought i'd present something of a short update. not much to add from my initial review, but a few little tidbits that i've found along the way. i'll also comment on the como FFing.

signo-RF:


1) the legroom is really short. DD2 is 19 months and her legs are seriously cross-legged. this normally isn't a problem, but if she's wearing tall, stiff winter boots, she's uncomfortable and we have to take them off.

2) ingress/egress is significantly harder than with the scenera, her previous seat. this is due to two things: those massive headwings, and the short leg room.

between points 1 and 2, i don't see DD2 lasting until 35 lbs in this seat, in this car. maybe in a van, but not in my small car. getting her in and out is a major PITA for the adult.

3) the harness, while buttery smooth, can be misleading. it's so easy to pull the adjuster, but once you think it's tight, it's not always so. i think it may have to do with all the padding. it may "settle" after you get your kiddo in the seat. i end up tightening, then tugging at the harness up by the chest clip, jiggling DD2 around some, then tightening some more, etc. i suppose this is what people do with a lot of carseats, but with the RYS it was literally one long pull of the adjuster, then boom... done. ALSO, once while tightening the harness, one strap fell right off the splitter plate and popped right out of the seat! :eek: if the seat had been FFing, i would have had to take DD2 out, remove the seat, and rethread the harness. fortunately, being RF, it only took me a minute to fix. i reported the defect to recaro (too large of an opening on the splitter plate) and they report now that that problem has been fixed.

4) the tether adjuster is very "sticky". that is, it can be hard to release the tetherby pressing on the button to generate slack in the strap. the strap just doesn't want to slide through the adjuster. it takes some serious pulling to get it to loosen.

5) the large shoulder pads were initially kind of obtrusive. they seemed too long and stiff to wrap around a toddler's shoulders. but after time, they have softened up and wrap nicely over the shoulder and curve down toward the chest.

6) LATCH has remained rock-solid. after getting it in "shake the car" tight, it has remained that way even after a month. i have NOT tried using a seatbelt, so i can't comment on a seatbelt install.

7) the straps are definitely twisty, and a few times the latchplate has actually reversed its direction on the harness. that's annoying as heck, but it's easy enough to correct it. at least the straps don't fold over and distort at the latch plates like they did on the RYS.

8) DD2 absolutely LOVES the seat. we made a 6 hour drive over the holidays (6 hours driving each way + two 1-hour stops = 8 hours total), and she never protested being in the seat. she routinely rests her head on the side wings, and only rarely flops her head forward. when she does, we reach back and prop it back up, and it stays up :). maybe it's because of the 32 degree recline angle?

como-FF:

i am sorry to say, i just don't like this seat. it has some great things going for it with the 35lb RF limit and HWH, SIP, etc. but i just don't like it compared with the signo.

1) impossible to get a "great" tight install with LATCH, FFing or RFing. "good", but not "great". the best i get is 1/2" movement at belt path. FF is slightly better, but about the same. in contrast, the signo installs with ZERO movement FF or RF. since the shells and bases are identical, i assume this must be because of the signo's LATCH bar.

2) shoulder width is narrow. there is no way a broad-shouldered child will last to the weight limit in this seat. it is a full 1" narrower at the shoulder than the signo, because of all that EPS foam.

3) sticky tether adjuster (see signo point #4).

4) FFing is too reclined in my car (37 degrees). no matter how i finagled the installation, i couldn't get it more upright. whenever i see DD1 sitting in it, she just appears to be slouching, even though she is securely and properly positioned in the seat (however, she's never complained about it). when i installed the signo FF, i was able to play with it some and "lock in" a position that was a little more upright than the como. again, probably the LATCH bar is why.

5) EPS foam cracks easily. when i was trying to get a decent install, i must have put too much pressure on one of the sidewings and i heard "CRACK". there was no visible damage to the plastic shell (it seems to bend easily right at the wing area), but there was a hairline crack in the EPS foam. :mad:

6) as much as i dislike the como, DD1 LOVES it. she loves it more than the RYS (i think because she can see better out the window). she also never once complained about discomfort, even on the 8-hour trip.

conclusion:funny how two similar seats can be so "different". i still really love the signo and will recommend it, but i just don't feel like the como is a smart less-expensive alternative. given the price of the como, i don't think i would recommend it. for $40 more, the signo just seems to be so much better despite appearing very similar.
 
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JerseyGirl'sMama

New member
Thanks SPB. I really appreciate that you did this. :)

I agree with your assessment, but would like to add:

1) In my vehicle ('07 Acura MDX) DD has plenty of leg room. Given she is only 12 months old, but it appears as her legs grow, she will be able to extend them over the back of the seat.

2) At first DD strained to pull her head up to see side to side, due to the massive side head wings. Now, she has gotten used to them.

3) Our Signo is installed center row, center, RF. I have no issues seeing out of my vehicle. However, when seat is installed RF outboard passenger, I cannot do blind-spot check on passenger side. That to me is very dangerous. So my only options for install in the center row are center and outboard driver side.

4) Thankfully, I have not had the harness pop out! I do crank on it pretty good to get it tight, and also have to adjust DD then re-tighten. I do get some settling. I am wondering if Recaro will send out replacement part if I request it. Anyone know?

5) I do have to loosen harness to take DD out (well I can get her out fine without it), but it is putting her back in where I need to loosen it. Otherwise I don't get a proper fit over her shoulders (I think due to the bulky shoulder pads.)

6) I have to be careful when putting DD in and taking her out because the straps easily twist at the latch plates. This is a PIA, but usually only happens if I am trying to put her into the seat in a hurry.

Overall, I really like my Signo. For me, it isn't too big of a PITA. I have all the time in the world to make sure my DD is secured properly and safely. :thumbsup:
 
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FrogJuice

New member
we have a como and do like it, but I'm starting to like the signo better, I might end up selling the como to get the signo. not for sure.

One question is do you think with every thing that you have called Recaro about, and they needing to fix on the seats, there is a recall in the works?
 

southpawboston

New member
we have a como and do like it, but I'm starting to like the signo better, I might end up selling the como to get the signo. not for sure.

One question is do you think with every thing that you have called Recaro about, and they needing to fix on the seats, there is a recall in the works?

it would be nice if recaro recalled the seats with the bad splitter plates, but i doubt they will. they could argue that the straps coming off the splitter plate is not a safety issue (playing devil's advocate here) because it's not something that happens when your child is strapped in and snug. it only happens when you are loosening the harness.
 

perltea

New member
I agree with you on all points regarding the Signo.

I have it installed in an '05 Odyssey. Legroom is so short that DH now wants to turn DS forward-facing. DS is 2.5 yrs and 28 lbs (yes, he's small for his age). DS hasn't complained but even I think he looks really cramped. I'm contemplating replacing the Signo with our Radian, even though I don't like the Radian's harness adjuster.

Did Recaro offer to send you a new splitter plate? The harness came out TWICE already! Good thing DH wasn't alone with DS. He would've tried to fix it; and then if it took too long he might have given up. :eek:
 

SusanMae

Senior Community Member
You can report the defective splitter plate to NHTSA. If they find a problem they can force a recall.

I'm not that impressed with Recaro after that "quiet" recall they did and the whole "belt guide" issue.

I will say that I haven't played with the seat, yet.

Susan
 

Jackielyn

New member
I have had the Signo installed in my 01 Town and Country RF'ing in the second row passenger side captain chair for a good month now. I agree with you about adjusting the harness...i find I have to pull on it a few times after I adjust the chest clip. the headwings and the shoulder pads are a little bulky but not a huge deal, i really like the wings actually because it's a nice place to rest her head...she never has head flop! I have actually had no problem with the straps twisting and thank god I've had no issues with the harness coming out!! Thanks for posting your updated review!
 

ygillard

New member
Someone just offered me the como and after reading your feedback, it seems that I should return it and get the Signo (kind of a pain as I have to ship the seat back and pay for shipping)

I thought the only diff between the como and signo were:

1) Signo has Infinitely adjustable headwing/harness while como has 5 position and you have rethread as child grows

2) LATCH straps will be attached to metal bars on Signo (I am not sure how it is on Como)

It is strange that with just these differences, both seats feel so different. Am I missing something? (I guess I am somewhat trying to convince me to keep the seat...)

Thx.
 

neils

New member
I don't know about you guys, but I seem to be having more frustration getting my son in and out of this seat than my previous one. Don't get me wrong, this is an awesome looking seat, and I am sure protection is top notch, but unless you are driving a huge 4X4, I cannot see how you people do it on a daily basis.

I drive an Infiniti FX45, one of those big crossover vehicles, more of a truck than a car. Once I installed the Signo, I found that the seat was much higher, and more forward, mostly due to the huge base the seat sits on. Becasue of this, I have lost a lot of room up front between the Signo and the back of the front seat. This does not leave a lot of room for you to place your child into the car. To make matters even worst, with the old seat, I used to be able to hold my son in a seated position, and then just lift him sideways over the side of the seat and drop him into it. Now, because of the huge head and side protection, that is no longer an option.

So it is a struggle to dangle all of his weight from under the arms, and then somehow insert him into whatever space is left in front of the seat, and then once he is dangling in front of the seat, move him back into it. He is 2 1/2 yrs old and about 35 lbs.

Also, I thought this seat would last him for years, but his head is already at the top, the headrest is maxed out to the top. Forget about 7-8 years and 70lbs, I don't think this seat will last him for more than 2 more years tops, and that's pushing it.

My wife HATES this seat with a passion, just becaue of the struggle to place him into it, since it's twice the size of our older seat. And my wife is small, so to expect her to pick up my son and dangle him in and back into the Signo is asking for a lot. And since the seat is so high, it's impossible to climb into it.

I will try to take some pictures to prove my point. And even with all that, I still love the seat and plan on keeping it in the truck, just wish the base was not so big, so that it could be closer to the car seat, providing more room up front and on the sides to get a child into it easier..

Neil
 

aimeeandaaron

New member
I've had the Como for a year now and I'm quite happy with it.

My son is now almost 6, 41 lbs and 44 inches. He loved the headwings at first, but recently had been complaining about them being too hot. I finally took them off this week and he seems much happier. It is true, there is no way he would last in this seat until the weight limit, but since he has less than a half inch of harness height left that wouldn't be happening anyway, so if you have a long torso-ed skinny kid you will certainly get plenty of use from it. It took a few tries and a lot of work to get a tight fit with the seatbelt in the center in my car, but I can do it every time now (even though I absolutely dread actually doing it).

Since I was buying it for an older child who I knew needed every last bit of harness height I could get for him, I think the Como was a better choice for us than the Signo.

What my son doesn't like - he can't buckle in himself like he can in the Nautilus in our other car. That doesn't bother me because then he doesn't complain about me checking to see if the straps are tight enough.
 

Guest

New member
Might be the car.

I have a Como and haven't had any particularly weird issues with LATCH install. Haven't tried the seat belt, but I get no movement with LATCH. Stuck it in a Corolla and thought LATCH was easy there as well.

My wife has a harder time getting DS in and out, but I don't. I'm taller and my vehicle has plenty of space for me to position my body to lift DS in and out.

While the straps are twisty, I have a much easier time with them then the straps on our Blvd. The Blvd twists a lot too and I have to mess with that stupid HUGS piece as well as that thing that's supposed to keep the belt from rubbing your kids neck. Much easier to untwist w/ the Recaro.
 

armyfam

New member
I like my Como as well. Haven't had an istall issue in my van or car. She is still RF and does not have as much leg room as her efta. The harness can be difficult to get tight but she looks so comfy in the seat. Her head never flops and she rest well. We actually have the Como in DH car as a secondary seat since his Corolla does not have side airbags. When we travel, we move the Como into the van because it is soooo much better to sleep in. No head slump. Getting her in and out can be a PITA RF but she is a little fighter when it comes to getting into any carseat! Hopefully she will grow out of it soon!
 

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