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I saw an interesting review on Amazon when we purchased another Recaro Signo for my son.. The person who wrote the review said that from his research, there is a difference between American and European crash test standards on car seats.. He even stated that the Britax (American version) failed one of the Britax England crash tests studies
I wasn't aware of this.. Do you know more about this? If this is true, I think it's sad that America is behind UK and Germany standards.
Here's the review I read..
When I first started my research about car seats, I though that Britax was the best car seat on the market. Then I started to do more research on crash tests, read tons of reviews of car seats, and found people stating European car seats were far superior to our American made. Many people recommended purchasing a European car seat.
I researched the European market and found that Germany had the best car seats on the market, England's cars seats were second and American car seats came in third. All German cars seats must pass a crash test of 45mph, England 35mph, American 30mph standards. Since Britax was sold in the UK, I thought they must meet the UK standards, but they don't. They have completely different models and one study proved that Britax American car seats failed the Britax England crash tests studies (they have to because of the different crash test standards 30 vs 35mph). If you have time, research the English car seat market, and look how different their car seats look compared to our American versions (britax.co.uk). Their crash features are far superior to our car seats, All have side impact protection and many have a boot in front of the car seat that keeps the car seat in place during a collision. I tried desperately to buy a car seat from England, but was not able to. I called a ton of private shops, even tried ebay.co.uk and could not get a seller to send me a car seat. I called Britax UK to see if they would send me one, and they could not do it legally.
The next option was to try a German car seat. After much research I found Recaro car seats were not only sold in Germany, but the same car seats (and models) were available here, meaning if they are good enough to pass their standards (45mph vs our 30 mph), they are the best available here in the US. From what I could gather Recaro was not the best car seat sold in Germany, in fact, when I did my research a year ago, depending on which study you looked at, they came in 4th or 5th (it is difficult to read German or find an Amercian article written about German car seats). I happen to find a co-worker who knew German and who was able to read these articles for me. My conclusion was that this was the best car seat I could legally have here in America.
I was still torn between Britax and Recaro because it's safety features were still very similar (and they look very similar in pictures on the internet). I was determined to purchase one Britax car seat and one Recaro (we had two cars), but we went to USABaby to actually see both car seats side by side, this settled our dilemma once and for all. Recaro won, hands down. There is no comparison. The Recaro was so much more sturdy, solid, better side impact protection, superior features than the top of the line Britax (both were essentially the same price.) We purchased two Recaro's. The sales person stated that this was the best car seat available for purchase.
I had a smaller car, so I was concerned that it wouldn't fit, but it did. I had to push the front seat up a bit, but it worked fine. We have had it for over a year and we still love it. I have baby #2 in the Britax infant seat, (they no longer make) which was the top of the line at the time (2007). I was planning on purchasing a Recaro infant seat for baby #2, which was due to come out, but hasn't yet, so we kept the baby in the Britax. Now we are looking into purchasing another two Recaro's for our soon to be one year old. I look at other people's car seats and mine is just so much better than any other car seat I have seen available to purchase. I know they say it's not what car seat you purchase, it has to be the right car seat for the car, and it has to be installed correctly. My theory, you purchase the best car seat available, and you make sure it's installed correctly.
Do your homework and take a look at what is available at Babiesrus, and then look at USABaby or your local retailer who carries Recaro, and make the comparison yourself. There is none, but you have to see if for yourself. I am satisfied that I did my homework and I chose the best car seat that is available for my child. Car seats makers here in the U.S. are just now starting to catch up on the technology that Recaro has had for the past 5 years, which I am pleased to see, but is still not 'up to par', to Recaro's or current European standards. Every child deserves the best chance of survival if 'god forbid' you get into a collision. Recaro's are expensive, but it's worth every bit of sacrafice you need to give up, to purchase the best car seat available for your precious child, here in the U.S.
I hope this will help other's out there who are researching this topic as extensively as I was, because I was not able to find any article or personal review answering my question of which car seat is the best available, and why.