Lighten Your Travels Using the RideSafer Travel Vest

ridesafer travel vest

Travel is so much lighter now that my kid is big enough to use the RideSafer travel vest.  Traveling with a car seat has been quite an evolution from infancy to three years old.   In the early days I dragged the car seat from the car to the airplane seat.  Once my kid was big enough for the CARES airplane travel harness I started checking the car seat at the counter in a car seat travel bag.  Now we have evolved to as light and convenient as it is going to get thanks to the RideSafer travel vest and Delighter Booster seat.  At three years old car and air travel has turned from inconvenient to no problem at all in the child restraint department.

I have struggled with a carseat through security, through the airport and onto a plane.  One time at Chicago O’Hare I had to go down two flight of stairs to board the plane with a carseat bungie corded to a luggage cart, all my belongings, and a baby.  I was on the verge of tears when I kind traveler stepped in and helped me out.  I have shoved the car seat into plane seats that were way too small and shrugged my shoulders at the person that couldn’t put their seat back because the carseat took up every single inch of space.  While I never enjoyed inconveniencing other passengers, I also wanted my child to travel the safest way possible for his age and size.  As soon as my kid reached the minimum requirements for the CARES airplane travel harness I purchased one.

Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post that I may receive a small commission from when you click through and make a purchase.  This commission comes at no cost to you.

Checking the carseat at the check-in counter

With the CARES harness I no longer needed to pull a car seat, haphazardly bungie corded to a luggage cart, through an airport.  I checked the car seat at the counter inside a car seat travel bag worn like a backpack.  Checking the car seat inside the travel bag allowed us to pack other things inside the car seat travel bag too and for free!  I filled up a duffle bag full of our things and strapped it in the car seat.  Not having the hassle of lugging a car  seat through the airport greatly improved travel. 

The RideSafer travel vest

While planning a trip to Thailand one of the first things I thought about was carseat logistics.  I found out many travelers leave their car  seats behind when traveling to Thailand.   There was the option of hiring cars that have car seats installed.  But I am paranoid about using car seats that aren’t my own.  I never know if it is installed correctly or if the car seat has been in an accident.  There was also the option of using nothing, which is totally legal in Thailand, but completely insane IMO.  Then I remembered the RideSafer travel vest. 

ridesafer travel vest

The RideSafer travel vest is a legit, crash tested, alternative to a big bulky carseat.  The minimum requirements are three years old, thirty pounds and 34 inches.  At the time of our trip to Thailand my kid was two and a half and barely thirty pounds.  I decided the vest was better than the other options and bought one.

Test Run

After all my worrying about a car seat in Thailand we ended up only using the vest for a couple long car trips.  Reluctantly, we didn’t use anything when taking a car around the small beach town we spent most of our trip in.  Part of the reason I didn’t use the vest was because my kid was still a little bit too small and I wasn’t comfortable with the fit.

Fast forward to my kid now meets all the requirements to wear the RideSafer travel vest.  We were planning a trip to Las Vegas and it was either the car seat or the vest.  I really wanted the vest to work out so my kid and I did a test run around town.  Putting the vest on and positioning the seat belt through the loops was super simple. I also used the tether to further secure the vest and that took no time at all. 

Concerns about the RideSafer travel vest

I was concerned about the gap between the vest and my kids shoulders.  However, according to the RideSafer Travel vest website “It is acceptable to have a gap between the shoulders and the top of the vest as long as the shoulder portion of the seat belt is: below the bottom of the earlobe of the child, correctly routed through the shoulder belt guide and crossing the center chest.” 

The Delighter Booster for seeing out the window

My kids biggest complaint was he couldn’t see out the window.  After some investigating I learned the RideSafer manufacturer has released the Delighter Booster.  The booster is crash tested with the RideSafer vest, weighs one pound and is made of soft and comfortable foam.  I found the Delighter Booster on Amazon and ordered it.  When the booster came I was worried that it said it was for a minimum age of four years old.  However, the RideSafer website says the booster may be used in conjunction with the RideSafer travel vest starting at the minimum requirements for the vest (three years old, thirty pounds and 34 inches tall). 

The booster seat came the day before we left and we never did get around to trying it out before we got to Las Vegas.  I packed the booster in my checked bag. I carried the travel vest in our carry on bag in case our check bag got lost.  When we arrived at the airport I got out the booster, put the vest on my kid, and we were off in a matter of minutes!  The booster was the perfect solution for seeing out the window.   

The RideSafer travel vest took all the fuss out of traveling with a car seat. The vest requires no installation!  Put the vest on your child and it is as easy as putting on a seat belt.  Returning our rental car with the vest was effortless.  Not having to fool around with getting a car seat out of a car while trying to keep an eye on my child was a huge relief.  When we returned home it was nice picking up our car from the park and fly with our regular car seat already installed.

Considerations when purchasing a RideSafer travel vest

Amazon’s listing can be confusing to customers.  While the manufacturer still has type 2 and type 3 listed on Amazon, there is technically no longer a version 2 or version 3.  Now there is only the RideSafer Delight which is both adjustable and tetherable!  The only difference is that “type 2” comes with a tether strap and “type 3” does not come with a tether strap.

Does the vest expire?

The other thing to consider is the expiration date of the vest.  If you are purchasing a used RideSafer travel vest find out if it has an expiration date or not.  This is from the Safe Ride for Kids FAQs webpage:

The RideSafer Delight vests have a 10-year expiration date.  RideSafer 2 vests manufactured between December 2015 and June 2016 have a 7-year expiration date.  The RideSafer 2 vests manufactured between April 2014 and December 2015 have a 10-year expiration date. RideSafer 3 vests manufactured after March 2014 have a 7-year expiration date.  All vests manufactured between December 2013 and March 2014 have a 10 year expiration date.  All vests manufactured between 2004 and December 2013 do not have an expiration date.  You can find information for your particular vest on the inside label. 

Don’t buy a knockoff version

There are some knockoff versions from China that claim to be similar to this product.  The price looks great but according to a warning from the CarseatBlog.com they are not safe.  

I am a total fan of the RideSafer travel vest

After two weeks of using the RideSafer travel vest with the Delighter Booster, I am 100 percent a fan! The RideSafer travel vest will be our first choice for now on when traveling.  For air and car travel, between the CARES Harness and the RideSafer travel vest traveling is getting a lot better.  The older they get, the easier it gets… right?

Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post that I may receive a small commission from when you click through and make a purchase.  This commission comes at no cost to you.

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