The Ride Safer Travel Vest has been around for some time. This portable booster seat is worn as vest and fills a unique niche in the child passenger safety world. We spent some time reviewing it back when we were just a baby website. Today, our review format has matured quite a bit and the vest has matured along with us!
The RideSafer Delight Travel Vest is an updated version of the Ride Safer Travel Vest, which came in two versions: the RideSafer Travel Vest 2, and the RideSafer Travel Vest 3, or RSTV 2 and 3. While both versions were quite similar, there were some notable differences between them.
The RideSafer Delight Travel Vest — also known as the RSDTV or Delight — combines some of the best features from the previous versions in an updated form that’s even smaller and lighter than its predecessors.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Ages: 3-6 years. This is the manufacturer’s minimum age. CSFTL doesn’t typically recommend this vest for children quite that young – we’d suggest it for Littles who are closer to their 5th birthdays and older.
- Weight range: 30-60 pounds
- Height range: 35-50 inches tall
- Ages: 5-10 years
- Weight range: 50-80 pounds
- Height range: 45-57 inches tall
- Weight: about 1.5 pounds
- Easy to set up without (very much or any) adult assistance
- Easy to carry
- Consistent belt fit
Differences Between Older Models and the RSDTV
As a current RSTV 2 owner, it was easy to spot many of the similarities and differences between the two versions.
The RSDTV comes in a handy backpack style cinch sack. If you have purchased the optional top tether and crotch strap, they are included in a smaller bag. The optional neck pillow also fits easily in the bag.
The Delight has a unique buckle on the front. To be perfectly honest, it stumped me at first, but I found it quite simple once I was shown how it works. My son, who takes after his engineer father, worked it out almost immediately. (Figures!)
The shoulder belt guides can now slide up and down the
front of the vest to better accommodate different shoulder belt geometries in various vehicles.
The vest also has velcro straps on the back to fit a range of torso heights. I found that the adjustments were ample enough that the crotch strap was unnecessary for my child, whereas with our older RSTV 2 the crotch strap was usually an essential element in a great fit. If your child is toward the bottom range of the height or weight guidelines for your RSDTV you may find that the crotch strap is helpful in preventing the vest from riding up. The crotch strap holds down the flap through which the lap belt is threaded, which helps to keep the belt low on the child’s lap contacting the hips and thighs, right where we want it.
Crotch Strap Issues
The first versions of the RSDTV shipped with a crotch buckle that was quite a bit shorter than the one that came with our size small RSTV 2. It was so short that even though my son was at the very bottom of the weight guidelines for the large, it was much too short to use without lengthening the vest itself by several inches.
Versions of the vest shipping currently include the proper length crotch strap. If your vest arrives with an unusually short crotch buckle, contact Safe Traffic System for a longer one.
Fit to Child
5 Years Old
This model is 5 1/2 years old. She weighs 54 pounds and is 46 inches tall. She’s sitting on the passenger side of a 2009 Toyota Highlander in the middle row.
The vest fit her well and I was able to get a snug fit around her waist even though she’s toward the lower end of the size range. The crotch buckle helped to keep the lap portion of the vest nice and low.
The shoulder portion of the vest had some empty space above her shoulders, which wasn’t an issue, as her seat belt continued to fit well on her shoulder. For a child this age, the tether can provide extra assurance that she’ll remain properly positioned even if she falls asleep.
This child usually rides in the third row because her car seat doesn’t fit between her two younger brothers’ car seats. The RSDTV allowed her to fit on the very narrow second row seat between their Chicco Keyfit 30 and Graco Headwise.
8 Years Old
This model just turned 8 years old. She is fairly big for her age at 80 pounds and 53 inches tall. She’s at the very top of the weight max for the vest and indeed, it was a snug fit around her torso. Despite this challenge, the RideSafer Delight Travel Vest still offers plenty of room above her shoulders for torso growth.
She is sitting on the driver’s side of the center row in their 2017 Toyota Sienna.
9 Years Old
This model is 9 years old, and is small for his age at about 52 pounds and 50 inches tall. He’s wearing a size large Delight.
Even without the crotch strap, the vest fit him well in my 2012 Honda Odyssey, even in the center row jump seat! He’s reasonably familiar with our RSTV 2 and caught on very quickly how to use the RSDTV without any adult assistance. While he typically uses a booster seat, I would feel quite confident packing this in his backpack, and at about 1.5 pounds, it is a great carpooling option for many kids.
Deciding Between Sizes
Torso height is a big factor when it comes to figuring out which size vest works for older or bigger kids. Measuring a child’s torso height for an RSDTV is quite different than measuring a child’s torso for a traditional car seat.
Instead of measuring from the child’s bum to the top of the shoulders, measure from the top of the child’s thighs to the top of the shoulders.
The tether is a great feature, especially for younger kids, or kids who are particularly prone to being excessively slumpy car sleepers. It also makes it even easier for a child to use the vest when they may be getting in and out of the car frequently since the tether keeps the unoccupied vest in place in the car. With the tether attached, the child can simply unbuckle, open the vest, then climb out of the car!
While the tether is optional (and an additional purchase), it may be beneficial. We know that tethers play a critical role in preventing injuries to children in forward facing harnessed car seats. Crash dynamics are quite different in a traditional harnessed seat compared to a RSDTV, but it’s likely that the use of a tether will help to manage crash forces. The tether can also help children who still tend to be a little on the wiggly side or who still struggle to remain properly positioned when asleep remain sitting upright, even if they’re fast asleep.
“Versions” Sold on Amazon
The manufacturer is reporting that Amazon is listing two versions of this vest. Here’s their statement:
WHAT IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RIDE SAFER 2 AND RIDE SAFER 3 TRAVEL VEST?
The current model, RideSafer Delight, vest combines the tetherablity of the old model RideSafer 2 and the adjustability of the old model RideSafer 3 in one vest. If you have been looking on Amazon you may have noticed they still use “Type 2” and “Type 3” in the new model listings.
Basically, RideSafer Delight Type 2 and RideSafer Delight Type 3 are the exact same vest, just that the “Type 2” comes with a tether strap and “Type 3″ does not come with a tether strap.
We don’t use Type 2 and Type 3 on our website as it just confuses people so we just have the one vest with choice to purchase with tether or no tether.
The old model did have two versions. The main differences between the two was the allowed mode of use:
- can be used with a lap-only seat belt as long as the top tether is used
- can be used with or without the tether with a lap-shoulder belt
- can only be used with the lap-shoulder belt because is has additional adjustability in the harness that does not allow it to be tethered
The optional pillow is designed to increase comfort for a child who may want additional support behind their neck.
The pillow attaches via velcro strips on the back of the vest. To use the pillow, pull the tabs to expose the rough side of the velcro and attach the base of the pillow.
Updated Buckle Size
The buckle on the front of the vest is being replaced with a slightly larger one. This is a rolling change, so you’ll see it on some vests, but not others. The larger size may help increase ease of use since it is a bit easier to manipulate.
Inflatable Seat Belts
We were thrilled to see that the RideSafer Delight Travel Vest is approved for use with inflatable vehicle seat belts! The Delight’s shoulder belt clips were designed to accommodate both traditional and inflatable seat belts, so thicker inflatable belts should fit nicely. It can also be used in vehicles with a lap only belt if the tether is used and secured to a designated tether anchor.
Delighter Booster Seat
Over the years Safe Traffic System received feedback that some kids were frustrated by their inability to see out the window when traveling in their vest. The Delighter booster seat solves this problem!
The RSTV/RSDTV are belt positioning products, which eliminates the need for a booster altogether.
The use of booster seats with the vests was strictly prohibited… until the Delighter came to market! While the Delighter may be used as a booster on its own, it is the only booster approved for use with the RSTV/RSDTV.
Since the Delighter allows a child’s legs to curve over the edge of the booster seat, it helps many kids feel more comfortable and eliminates the desire to slouch to the vehicle seat edge.
- Extremely portable
- Easy to use with lap/shoulder belt
- Doesn’t take up any more space in a vehicle than the child’s body does
- Easily adjustable to fit various kids and vehicles
- Can be tricky to thread the seat belt through
- New buckle can be a bit confusing at first
Important Information: Where to Find
Manual storage: The manual is a little hard to find at first — it arrives tucked away in its own handy little pocket on the inside of the vest.
Date of Manufacture label: This label is next to the manual storage pocket on the inside of the vest.
FAA Approval: At this time, the Delight is not FAA approved for use on aircraft. We very much hope to see that change in the future given how travel-friendly this product is.
The RideSafer Delight Travel Vest is an innovative and unique product. It can function either as a wearable booster or, if the tether is attached, as a kind of hybrid between a harnessed car seat and a booster seat. This makes it a remarkably versatile product for school-aged children. It’s a dream to travel with, thanks to its small size — simply toss it in your bag and you’re ready to go! The sizes available fit a broad range of children and the adjustable belt guides achieve a consistent belt fit in the vast majority of vehicles and seating locations. We were delighted to meet the Delight and see all of the improvements on a product that we’ve grown so fond of over the years.