Ride Safer Travel Vest Reviews: Is It a Good Alternative to Car Seats?

As parents, the safety of our children will always be the top priority during travels. I bet most of you will agree that the most challenging part of traveling with kids is getting them from one point to another without losing your sanity.

Think about juggling the kids, the luggage, and of course, the booster seats while considering the comfort and satisfaction of everyone. This is definitely a test of patience!

That's why we try to look for ways to make the process a lot easier, including searching for safe and effective gadgets and gears, including car seats and booster.

The hunt for a portable car seat can be challenging. Lugging the traditional and heavy car seats around is no fun, but we need to keep our children safe. Thus, it is with delight to share with you our Ride Safer travel vest reviews.

Chill down, parents! This is the ultimate game-changer if you are looking for an alternative car seat and booster for traveling.

Ride Safer Travel Vest: A Quick Overview

As a wearable child restraint system, the RideSafer Travel Vest definitely serves as an excellent alternative to the traditional car seat or car booster that children used.

Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5, Small, Blue*
  • Ridesafer's innovative design elements optimize vehicle seat belt for correct fit and protection for a child, reduce head and knee excursion, reposition lap belt below abdomen to protect organs, and...
  • Ride Safer is certified for use in motor vehicles, Meets all applicable FMVSS 213 requirements, and tested with lap-only seatbelts plus tether and lap/shoulder belt to meet certification and...
  • Ridesafer's age range is (3 to 6 Y.O) and above and weight range is between 30 lbs. to 60 lbs. and height range 35 – 50 inches
  • Ride Safer can be used with Delighter Booster made by same manufacturer, Safe Traffic System, Inc.

1. Extensive Usage

ride safe travel vest reviews

This car seat and booster alternative are suitable for children who are at least three years old and at least 30 pounds in weight, as a minimum. The size recommendations greatly vary as they vary from small-sized vests to large-sized ones.

1. Size Small (for three years old to six years old)

  • Weight Range: 30 to 60 lbs
  • Height Range: 34 to 52 inches

2. Size Large (for five years old to eight years old)

  • Weight Range: 50 to 90 lbs
  • Height Range: 45 to 57 inches

3. Size X-Large (for eight years old to 10 years old)

  • Weight Range: 80 lbs to 110 lbs

A so-called "expansion panel" is available to improve the fitting options for all sizes. This is applicable for heavier kids and older children who may require more room in whatever Size of vest appropriate for their height.

Between the X-Large and the expansion panels, the RideSafer Travel Vest can be an option for a wide range of kids in which the traditional travel car seat and booster are not usable.

2. Light and Portable

It weighs just only three pounds making it an easy tool for travel. This eliminates the need to lug around the bulky seats.

The travel vest also comes with a compact structure that allows you to literally ball and tosses it into your suitcase or carry-on luggage.

3. Ergonomic Design

This is ergonomically designed to ensure the safety and comfort of your kids. In fact, it comes with a removable padded headrest which provides comfort during long drives. As an additional option, kids can recline in back seats for more comfort when they fall asleep.

It also comes with an optional top tether that can be used when needed to limit the head excursion in an accident. Moreover, this will keep younger kids from reaching for toys or even when slumping when sleeping.

4. Easy to Use

ride safer delight travel vest reviews

Not only that, the RiderSafe Travel Vest safety restraint children, but it is also incredibly easy and simple to use. This will only require you a few seconds to get and put the vest on kids before loading them into the vehicles and finally hooking them on the seatbelt.

A young child can easily wear the vest without the headrest and the crotch strap and easily buckle it up on the car. Thus allowing travel with little more than the padded vest on the side of the carry-on bag.

5. Certified Safe

The RideSafer Travel Vest meets and even exceeds the crash requirements as well as the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

This includes the harness restraints tests which make the vest legal to use throughout the US.

6. Enhanced Mobility

Since this is also considered a booster seat, it allows more mobility as compared to the harnessed ones.

Kids can definitely move freely; thus, your judgment as parents will determine whether your children will stay in the correct position throughout the entire car ride.

7. Space-Saver

This alternative is perfect for bigger families, especially those requiring a combination of travel car seats and booster or those who require multiple car seats. Its Size can easily fit three children across the car's back seat even though two of the kids are still in their proper car seats.

As a bonus, this is perfect for carpooling small kids. Just simply get the vest as a space-saving backup that will be stored underneath the seat.

8. No Expiration

The good thing about the RideSafer is that it comes with no expiration date.

Unlike the conventional car seat and booster, it does not become less safe through the years of use. Thus it will not end up in landfills a few years from purchase.

 Roll over image to zoom in Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5
Pros
  • High-quality materials
  • Durable construction
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Adjustable Size
  • For multiple years of use
  • Perfect for the family on the go
Cons
  • It can potentially be annoying to take on and off
  • The optional headrest can take up a lot of space
  • Not allowed for airline use

RideSafer Travel Vest: Travel Considerations

While the lap-only belts and shoulder belts sound great, you must only use them with the lap belts or when the top tether is present.

Keep in mind that some of the lap-only belts you will encounter during travels will be in the older vehicles that are pre-date the car seat-tethers.

Depending on the child's size or vehicle size, the child may have some trouble seeing out the window. This may be a big problem for small kids experiencing car sickness.

On the other hand, those who get car sick when riding on the side position seats can utilize the RideSafer Travel Vest in the car's center position. This will allow them to get a better view from the front window.

The Latest Model: Gen 5

The RideSafer Gen 5 offers innovative design elements that help optimize the vehicle seat belt to ensure the proper fit and optimum protection for your children.

1. The Buckle

The buckle is perhaps the most notable change that occurs on this latest model. Previous models come with a buckle that is intended to be kid-proof. However, as it turned out to be, the buckle's structure is more of an adult proof.

In the current version, the buckle comes with a simple metal hook that directly loops through the webbing on the opposite side of the vest. Once the webbing is pulled snugly, the hook will stay secure and easily removed once the slack is introduced.

2. The Lap Belt Guides

The Gen 5 comes with different-shaped lap guides. They also come with bright red embroidered arrows located on the belt guide to ensure overall instructional labeling improvements on the travel vest.

3. The Material

ride safe travel vest reviews

A gorgeous blue color material is used in the latest version. It also features a new energy-absorbing material which includes vertical straps padding on the inside of the vest.

4. The Tether Attachment 

Its tether attachment loops are made of webbing, making the vest more comfortable to wear.

Overall, the RideSafer Travel Vest Gen 5 reduces the head and knee excursion while protecting the organs by merely repositioning the lap belt just below the abdomen and relocating the belt away from the child's neck.

While every unit comes with a tether, crotch strap, and neck support, the added bonus comes with the replacement of the lost parts. Customer service will gladly replace lost parts, including belt guides, crotch straps, buckle parts, and others.

Moreover, online registration is being offered. This comes with a limited lifetime warranty covering the replacement of the damaged parts during the unit's normal usage.

Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5, Small, Blue*
  • Ridesafer's innovative design elements optimize vehicle seat belt for correct fit and protection for a child, reduce head and knee excursion, reposition lap belt below abdomen to protect organs, and...
  • Ride Safer is certified for use in motor vehicles, Meets all applicable FMVSS 213 requirements, and tested with lap-only seatbelts plus tether and lap/shoulder belt to meet certification and...
  • Ridesafer's age range is (3 to 6 Y.O) and above and weight range is between 30 lbs. to 60 lbs. and height range 35 – 50 inches
  • Ride Safer can be used with Delighter Booster made by same manufacturer, Safe Traffic System, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Ride Safer Travel Vest legal?

Since the Ride Safer is FMVSS 213 certified child restraint system, it is very legal to use one in the US as long as you use them according to its instructions.

Make sure always to check your state to know the legality of using the Ride Safer vest.

Also, it would greatly help if you keep in mind that every country has its process when it comes to child safety equipment certification.

In Europe, RideSafer does not have an EU-certified version to put the product on sale in the country.

In Canada, the customers can make use of the US version. However, a doctor's note is technically required since it is used mainly as a child car harness for children with special needs.

It would not matter whether you transport your child using a car seat or a travel vest in Australia. But if the product is a US product, then it is technically not approved. Pretty unrealistic for some, right?


Is the Ride Safer Travel Vest safe?

Nothing compares to the fit and safety that a full 5-point rear-facing car seat and booster gives to children, especially those under 5 years old.

With the being said, the mechanism of the Ride Safer and the forward-facing car seat is very much the same. This means that it can hold your child securely in place, except for their head.

Good thing that the vest comes with a tether strap. This is highly recommended for smaller and younger children who are using the vest. It can hold the whole upper body while making it act like in a 5-point harness. Also, the tether anchor can prevent slumping, thus keeping the child in a safe and secure position.

For children who are three years old, their heads are more likely to be proportionally large for their bodies. This gives higher risks of injury and even death if the child is in a rear-facing position. But using the RideSafer Travel Vest with the top tether, a safer option is obtained, just like in a forward-facing seat.

ride safer travel vest safety review

How does the Ride Safer Travel Vest works?

Some people would think that the RideSafer is just a wearable car seat. But this is not exactly true! It is best, and should I say more accurate, to call this thing a wearable booster seat.

This travel vest simply functions by putting the car's seat belt in the right place to ensure proper use for the child.

While the seat belts work by locking up during a crash and holding the body in place, they allow contact to the body's strongest points, including the shoulders and hips. Thus, safely distributing the force of the crash.

On the other hand, the RideSafer will thread the seat belt just right through the vest. This will provide contact on the child's shoulders and hips, just like what seat belts do. The extra padding together with the structure will then distribute the force in the safest possible way.

The booster seat will bring the child up in the seat belt, while the RideSafer will bring the seat belt down to the child for a better fit and added protection.


Can I use the Ride Safer Travel Vest on an airplane?

Sadly, the current versions and recent posts of the RideSafer are not approved by the FAA for use on airplanes.

As per FAA, the travel vest does not fit in their categories, thus rewriting and revising some policies should be done before the approval of the RideSafer.

How long does it take? Still, we have no idea. However, the manufacturer can request an exemption which can also take some time.

Since airplane travels require upper body support and the lap-only seat belt, the manufacturer of Ride Safer Vest developed an accessory that can fit and be used once they get the FAA approval.

For parents, if you decide on letting your small kids travel on the airplane without the car seat, then the RideSafer is an amazing tool to fit on your carry-on. Its compact and lightweight structure will make it readily available once you reach your travel destination.


Can the Ride Safer Travel Vest be used as an everyday seat?

The RideSafer Vest can be used in either way. Some customers used it as a primary restraint due to the additional room that it provides. Others who travel by taxi love traveling with the vest for added protection. And some just bring it for travel purposes only.

Probably, many other parents will use the travel vest somewhere in between.


How do you use a Ride Safer Travel Vest?

ride safer delight travel vest reviews
  • Simply slip the travel vest to the child.
  • Close the Velcro front panel.
  • Click the belt and adjust to the right fit the way as that of the safety belt.
  • As an option, the headrest can also be adjusted for more comfort.
  • If you want to use the shoulder belts, let your child sit and open the appropriate shoulder belt cover. Carefully route the shoulder belt on the metal guide before routing the lap portion on the two slots of the child's lap. Buckle the belt while pulling up the shoulder belt to ensure proper tightening.
  • If the lap-only belt and tether are chosen, be sure to hook the tether strap on the two metal latch loops present on the shoulder portion of the vest. Ensure that the child is properly seated while placing the belt through the guides located on the lower portion of the vest. Tighten the fit of the belt., especially on the shoulder and the back. Simply attach the tether belt's other end to the car's corresponding anchor point before tightening the strap.
  • Double-check and you are ready to go!

How to clean the Ride Safer travel vest?

For small dirt and messes, a spot cleaning is all you need. However, for big dirt and messes, soaking the travel vest in a mild detergent and water is required before air drying.

Spray the inside and outside of the vest before drying, preferably in the sun.

Keep in mind to avoid any of the following:

  • Do not wash the travel vest in the washing machine.
  • Do not use bleach.
  • Do not soak in solvents or alcohol.
  • Do not hairdryer.
  • Do not iron.

Important Points to Consider

ride safer travel vest safety review
  • You may contact Safe Traffic System if you do not have an available anchor. The Safe Traffic System will gladly install a kit in your car. Also, be sure to consult with a mechanic or a shop that's NMEDA-certified to ensure safety retrofits since the process will involve drilling.
  • If you purchase a unit without a tether strap and later decide that you'll be needing one, you can definitely purchase a dual tether strap separately.
  • The top tether is optional if you are using a travel vest with a lap and shoulder belt. This can serve as a convenient place where you can hang the vest when not in use. It can also provide support for tired kids. However, if the shoulder belt is not in use, it will not provide additional protection against a crash.
  • The inclusion of the crotch strap is optional. Utilize it to improve the child's posture as well as their fit in the car. Otherwise, don't put the crotch strap to use if it will not cause any improvements.

Final Thoughts

If you ask if the Ride Safer Travel Vest is recommended, my answer would be a big YES! This is true for families who love traveling with children in their pre-school, around three to six-year-old.

The travel vest is easier to deal with and put up compared to keeping a travel car seat installed. It will allow quick adjustments as to see the windows or not. Its availability as a backup will enable you to lend a unit and use it in various situations.

Though it is not as fully structured as the 5-point harness, the Ride Safer Travel Vest indeed does its job in protecting small kids, giving them a safe ride, and ensuring their welfare.

Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5, Small, Blue*
  • Ridesafer's innovative design elements optimize vehicle seat belt for correct fit and protection for a child, reduce head and knee excursion, reposition lap belt below abdomen to protect organs, and...
  • Ride Safer is certified for use in motor vehicles, Meets all applicable FMVSS 213 requirements, and tested with lap-only seatbelts plus tether and lap/shoulder belt to meet certification and...
  • Ridesafer's age range is (3 to 6 Y.O) and above and weight range is between 30 lbs. to 60 lbs. and height range 35 – 50 inches
  • Ride Safer can be used with Delighter Booster made by same manufacturer, Safe Traffic System, Inc.

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here