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The two most important things to do before your baby arrives are to pack a hospital bag, and to install a car seat. From the first day babies leave the hospital, car seats are there to keep them safe and comfortable. Your child will typically see your car seat even before your house. In order to keep them safe, you need to make sure you have the best car seat available.
Of course, that doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Thoughtfully consider each type of car seat, and choose the one that is best for your growing family. Recaro is a German car seat manufacturer that specializes in premium-quality and highly safe car seats.
Unfortunately, these seats are no longer available in the USA. This guide will give you the pros and cons of each highly-rated Recaro baby seat alternative, and help you decide which one is right for you. You’ll also find some important FAQs. Whether you are ahead of the game and researching this early, or reading on the way to the hospital, this guide will help you make sense of the highest rated car seats on the market. You’ll also find a few helpful tips when looking for the safety and comfort features of each car seat.
1. What Size Baby Seat Do I Need?
There are dozens of sizes and types of baby car seats on the market, and it’s hard to know what all the names mean. Thankfully, each baby seat is also rated based on weight and height. Weight in particular is often advertised clearly, but be sure to check the minimum and maximum height requirements for your baby seat. Baby seats overlap considerably in weight requirements.
For example, the Recaro Performance Coupe is rated from 4-35 pounds, while the Performance Sport is rated from 20-120 pounds. Carefully consider which baby car seat will meet your needs, and plan ahead for when your baby outgrows the infant seat. No baby seat is designed to accommodate all ages, so at minimum you will need two Recaro baby seats. However, these Recaro alternatives offer a few all-in-one models, so you will only need one car seat.
Recaro Performance Coupe
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2. Are These Car Seats Safe?
Recaro baby seats meet all the requirements and are rated excellently to keep your child safe. However, laws and regulations are constantly changing regarding baby car seats, so all car seats will expire six years after they are manufactured. This is to ensure your car seat is up-to-date and follows all local and national laws. One of the biggest dangers surrounding car seats is installation. If you aren’t sure how to install a car seat properly, take it to a child passenger safety technician. They will help you install your baby seat properly, which can dramatically reduce the likelihood of injury.
3. What Types of Baby Seats Are There?
Recaro baby seats are divided into four basic categories. Infant seats are designed for the smallest passengers. Booster seats are meant for older kids, anywhere from 30-120 pounds. Convertible seats are designed to overlap the two, providing support for midsized children. Finally, a combination car seat, which is similar to a convertible, has the widest weight range. Each of these come with their own pros and cons, and none of them are able to safely restrain your child from birth until they are old enough to not need a baby seat.
4. What is Recaro?
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Recaro is a German automotive and aircraft company that specializes in premium-quality safe and comfortable seating. For 100 years, Recaro has made innovative and successful products across the automotive and aircraft industries, and they continue to win awards with their baby seats in Europe. However, Recaro has recently closed their entire US market.
5. Is My Baby Seat Installed Correctly?
Each car seat has its own specific instructions when installing. Improper car seat installation is, unfortunately, very common. An improper installation can be very dangerous for your child. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. If you aren’t sure, take your car seat to a national child passenger safety specialist, who can verify it is installed correctly.
6. What Makes a Good Car Seat?
There are several important factors to consider when looking for the best car seat on the market. First, make sure the seat is a newer model. Most car seats expire after six years, so you want a seat that will last. There are three key areas to compare each car seat: safety, comfort and ease of use. Obviously, a safe car seat is the most important feature.
Every car seat passes the minimum crash test safety ratings, but some seats go above-and-beyond and offer some additional protection. It’s a vital aspect to consider, but thankfully, most car seats provide excellent safety features. Second, you want your child to be comfortable. Whether it’s the first ride home from the hospital, the hundredth ride to Grandma’s house or a long road trip, comfort is very important for your infant or child.
Each car seat has some different features to address your child’s comfort needs, so compare them and consider your own situation. Finally, you want a car seat you can easily adjust. As your child grows, you’ll need to move the straps and eventually switch from rear-facing to forward-facing to booster seat. You may even need to switch between cars. You’ll want a car seat that is simple to install, easy to adjust and convenient to clean. An easy-to-install car seat could literally save you hours of stressful adjusting, repositioning and pulling straps. With one-click designs, levels, and sliding straps, premium car seats take all the stress out of adjusting your car seat.
How We Reviewed
In order to find the best Recaro baby seat alternatives, each car seat was carefully selected to represent the highest quality in both safety and comfort. Customer reviews and professional opinions were used to create this list of bestselling baby seats. Each one has specific features, pros and cons and detailed specifications.
Car seats fall under a wide price range, and the additional features and comfort of more expensive seats make lower cost models feel uncomfortable and awkward in comparison. It’s definitely a product that you get what you pay for. It’s also extremely difficult to advertise for a lower-cost model, as no parents want to feel they’ve bought a seat with lower standards.
The most expensive seat includes a few unique features, like a rebound bar. However, take a look at each seat and compare the features. For this list, each car seat has unique features, so the best car seat for you may not be the most expensive or the most inexpensive.
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Best Recaro Alternative Baby Seats
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
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This deluxe car seat features plenty of padding and protection, and can protect your child from birth until 120 pounds. This highly flexible feature is even more improved than any Recaro baby seats, making it an excellent alternative. The straps are easily adjusted, and its two cup holders are convenient for drinks and snacks for your older child. The seat can recline and adjust in a variety of ways, so your child can be comfortable even on longer trips. If you need to change switch vehicles, the latch system is designed to be simple and easy. It also gives a loud click, which is a clear indication that your car seat is fastened correctly. In terms of safety, there is also a level-indicator that helps you determine the correct position for your car seat.
Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
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No one wants an unsafe car seat, and this Britax model offers several unique safety features. The rebound bar helps protect your child while rear-facing. It keeps the seat stable, and lowers the rebound rotation by 40%. The headrest has extra padding on both the inside and outside of the shell. The headrest has an impressive 14 positions, and the seat is designed to be efficient and comfortable. While it is a convertible car seat, it doesn’t have the same range as a 4-in-1. It’s one of the most costly car seats, and the seat itself is also quite heavy. However, in terms of safety, this is an excellent option.
Britax Boulevard G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
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The best-priced model, the Boulevard G4.1 is designed to have high-end components at a mid-range price. In terms of car seats, it’s still very comfortable, safe and adjustable. However, head-to-head with other, more expensive baby seats shows it is still lacking some features. This car seat is only rated for children under 65 pounds. The sides only have two layers of protection, rather than three. It’s still very highly rated, and is a great car seat under $300.
Chicco NextFit iX Convertible Car Seat
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A mid-range model on this list, the NextFit iX combines some of the safety and comfort of more expensive car seats, with a more affordable price. It doesn’t install quite as easily, but still offers plenty of adjustable features for your child. This car seat has an infant insert, forward-facing and rear-facing options, as well as reclining and adjustable headrest features. It also comes in a few color options, which help your child feel comfortable and look stylish.
Diono Rainier All-In-One Convertible Car Seat
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Another premium, all-in-one model, the Rainier offers all the high-quality safety, convenience and comfort you would expect, and a few unique features. Its rear-facing position is rated up to 50 pounds, so your child can stay in the safest position for longer. It has a steel frame, deep side walls and durable and comfortable foam that is energy absorbing. It’s easy to install, adjust and clean. Some customers feel the child straps are difficult to use with, but overall it’s a very highly rated product.
Our Final Thoughts
While you can no longer purchase a Recaro baby seat in the USA, each of these car seats provide some of the innovative technology, durable safety features and extreme comfort that Recaro is still known for in Europe. Any car seat on this list would be an excellent addition to your travel plans, and you can drive confidently knowing your little one is safe and comfortable.
Of course, always ensure your car seat is properly installed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help to make sure it is installed correctly. These car seats are all very high-quality, and each one has some slightly different features. Look over the list and consider which option has the best choices for you and your child. Choose a car seat that combines the best safety, comfort and ease of use.