Traveling with a kid and no carseat | RideSafer Harness Review


Traveling with a child always adds in some extra elements of “planning required.” Sure, you want to make sure you’ve got the entertainment packed, you’ve got all of your travel essentials, including a first aid kit. But, what about how you will get around at your destination? Will you bring carseats for ever child? Can you borrow them? Will you not need them? Is it even possible to travel with a kid and no carseat? Read my RideSafer Harness review below to see how it was our best solution.

RideSafer Harness Review

The answer? Yes, it’s possible. On a recent trip to Seattle with my 5 year old, E, we were flown out and told to secure our own transportation to the hotel and around the city. Knowing that a car pick up at the airport wouldn’t have carseats for children, I needed to figure out my options. Flying alone meant I didn’t want to have to lug our suitcases and a carseat for her if I didn’t have to.

RideSafer Delight Harness

Then I remembered seeing the RideSafer Harness 3, Generation 4 and I decided to look into it more. As it turns out, this was our perfect solution. The box alone gives you an indication of how much smaller it is than a carseat or even a booster seat. So, I reached out to the company and they offered to send one for us to try out.

RideSafer Car Harness

RideSafer Harness Review

The harness was a great solution for us. It easily fit in my suitcase and even our backpack (E carried it around, too), so we could hop in out of our Lyft rides while walking around Seattle. It was so freeing knowing we had this and could get in a vehicle at anytime.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

What all the RideSafer Harness Includes

Inside the box, you will find the RideSafer Harness with travel bag, and a couple optional items depending on use: the tether (required for use with a lap belt only), a crotch strap, and a neck pillow.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

Knowing I would make sure we had full lap-shoulder belt seat belts, I opted for just taking the harness with us on our trip. You can see how well it folds up into the travel bag. This made it easy for us to take with us any time we left the hotel.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

About the RIDESAFER®2 Vest Gen.4

RIDESAFER®2 Vest Gen.4 is tested and certified to the dynamic test requirements specified in FMVSS 213. RIDESAFER®2 Vest Gen.4 is also designed to and complies with all of the other applicable requirements of FMVSS 213 for a harness including product labeling, webbing requirements and instruction manual. You will find this manual on the inside flap of the harness.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

This RIDESAFER®2 has two different use modes, one use mode as a harness/vest when secured with a lap belt and top tether and a second use mode as a vehicle belt positioner when used with a vehicle lap and shoulder belt. The RIDESAFER®2 Vest is available in a small and large size for children 30 to 60 lbs. and 50 to 80 lbs. respectively. The harness use mode, used with the vehicle lap only belt and top tether, for both size vests is limited to use with children weighing 60 lbs. or less.

Get to know the RideSafer Harness

The newly designed adjustable clip with locking device was created so parents would have to unclip it. You just have to squeeze the two pieces in line with each other to be able to “unbuckle” it.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

The back of the harness is also adjustable so it comes down to place the lap portion in the right spot. The hook and loop allows you to move it up and down.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

There are also covered hook and loop tabs to attach the neck pillow if it’s being used.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

Both the shoulder belt and the lap belt have pictures with very clear directions. Then you fasten the cover over it and the seatbelt stays in. Effectively, you are making the seatbelt the right size for a child instead of bringing the child up to the seatbelt like a booster seat would.

RideSafer Car Harness for Kids

Using the Ride Safer Harness

You can save some time (albeit not much) in the car, by putting the harness on before you get in. This is also helpful if it’s cold outside, or raining or both as they can wear it underneath their jacket.

Ride Safer Harness

Once in the car, I buckled the seatbelt and put it into the appropriate shoulder spot on the harness. I also placed it across her lap making sure that the lap portion is in fact across her lap and not across her tummy.

Ride Safer Harness

It really made it so much easier to get around a city without a carseat.

Ride Safer Harness

Another great use is leaving it in our van. Sometimes, we pick up a neighbor or friend’s kid. It takes up minimal space. The RideSafer Harness also allows us to still safely and legally secure another child in our van without having to own extra carseats.

Read more about Safe Traffic’s RideSafer Harness on their website.

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  1. Grandma Pat says:

    What a great idea.

  2. Kathleen overton says:

    can I use this vest with child 4 years and 40+ lbs? And can I use it legally with full lap/shoulder seatbelt only? No latches or tethers?

    1. Hi Kathleen-

      Yes, you sure can use it for a kid that size! My daughter used it a few months ago at age 3 and under 40lbs.

      Not sure how the formatting will look on this when it comes through, but the small works for ages 3-6 and 30-60lbs. The Large is minimum 4 years old, but recommended 5-11 and 50-80lbs.

      Yes, you can legally use it with just the seatbelt. It does come with (depending on what you order) latches and tethers for extra comfort on your part, but not required. (here’s more on safety testing on their website:

      Here’s the one with latches and crotch buckle, etc:
      And here’s the one with just the harness:

      Size Age Limits Age Averages Recommended Weight Range Waist When Seated Height Ranges Torso Height Ranges
      Small Minimum 3 years old 3 to 6 years 30lb – 60lb 20″ – 28″ 35″ – 47″ 10″ – 14″
      Large Minimum 4 years old 5 to 11 years 50lb – 80lb 22″ – 32″ 45″ – 57″ 11″ – 17″
      Extra Large (black) Minimum 5 years old 9 to 14 years 80lb – 110lb 24″ – 36″ 55″ – 64″ 12″ – 19″

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