The Recaro Performance Rally Convertible Car Seat is a relatively recent addition to the market.
Whilst it retains some of the features that the older Recaro ProRide and Recaro Performance Ride seats came with, there are some very important additional features and improvements for you to consider prior to making a purchasing decision.
The Performance Rally is almost identical to the Performance Racer seat. The main difference is that the Rally comes with the QuickFlip Recline Foot (see below).
So, what safety, comfort and convenience features does the Recaro Performance Rally Seat come with?
Recaro Performance Rally – Key Features
Here are the key features that you will find on the Recaro Performance Rally Convertible Car Seat.
#1 Child Height & Weight Limits
The first things to consider whether choosing a convertible car seat are its child height and weight limits.
The child height and weight limits for the Recaro Performance Rally are identical to those found on the Performance Racer. They are as follows:
The Performance Rally can be used in the rear-facing position if your child weighs between 5 and 40 pounds and their seated height is less than 25.5 inches. (A child’s seated height is measured from top of the head to bottom of the tailbone). In addition to having a seated height of less than 25.5 inches, the top of your child’s head must also not be within 1 inch of the top edge of the headrest.
The Performance Rally can be used in the forwards-facing position if your child weighs between 20 and 65 pounds and their standing height is less than 49 inches. In addition to having a standing height of less than 49 inches, the top of your child’s ears must also be below the top edge of the headrest. A child must be at least 1 year old before using this seat in the forwards-facing position.
The maximum rear-facing weight limits on the Performance Rally seat are generous enough to ensure that your child will almost certainly be able to remain in the rear-facing position for significantly longer than the 2-year minimum period recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Please remember that, just because the seat can be used in the forwards-facing mode from 20 pounds and upwards, it doesn’t mean that you have to. There is compelling research (accepted by the AAP) to suggest rear-facing is about 5 times safer than forwards-facing, so its best practice to only switch them around when their height or weight exceeds the safe limits for continued rear-facing.
#2 High Impact Energy Absorbing Seat with SIP
The Performance Rally seat comes fitted with a high impact energy-absorbing shell together with a full body Side Impact Protection system (SIP). This SIP system includes enhanced side wings to specifically protect the head and face areas of your child.
The protective PUR foam head rests are also said to restrict head and neck movement in the event of a collision.
The reason that the Recaro convertible car seats often look more like racing car seats is that they have been involved in the manufacture of racing car seats for many years as well as child car seats.
Recaro claim to have used their 100-years’ experience as manufacturers of automotive, airline, and racing car seats to engineer a child car seat that provides excellent collision protection, including those involving side impacts.
#3 Twist-Resistant HERO Harness & Safety Stripe
Proper adjustment of the 5-point safety harness (which includes ensuring that the harness straps are not twisted) is an important child safety issue.
It can sometimes be difficult to identify when harness straps are in fact twisted due to the fact that those harness straps are usually dark in color.
Fortunately, Recaro have designed a very simple and effective system to enable you to immediately spot that your child’s harness straps are twisted. It’s called the HERO harness with Safety Stripe.
What is the HERO harness with Safety Stripe?
If you look at the photograph above, you will see that there is a bold white stripe that runs down the edge of both harness straps. This means that any unwanted and unsafe twist in those harness straps is immediately obvious for you to see and fix.
In addition to twist-prevention, the HERO harness is also designed to improve the chances of achieving a proper chest clip position.
The harness and headrest can also be adjusted in unison by simply turning the 2 adjustment knobs that are found on the side of the seat. There is, therefore, no need to re-thread the harness through the seat in order to make these adjustments.
By adjusting the headrest height and the height of the headrest, you are automatically adjusting the harness straps to the correct height as well.
#4 LATCH Installation, Top tether, and Lock-Off Systems
Another important child safety issue is being able to install the seat properly, since an incorrectly installed seat is an unsafe seat.
The Performance Rally comes with a very simple push-button LATCH connector system for quick and easy “foolproof” installation.
It also comes with the all important top tether strap (with handy storage compartment when not in use) and built-in “TrueLock” Lockoffs to make it easier to install the seat in the forwards-facing mode using the vehicle’s seat belts once the weight limit for LATCH installation has been exceeded (Child weight limit of 45 pounds applies to LATCH installation for the Performance Rally according to the User Manual).
Being able to properly install a convertible car seat using the vehicle seat belt is very important and research suggests that as many as 75% of seats are incorrectly installed. The Lockoffs essentially help you to get a secure belt installation (which means no more than 1 inch of seat movement).
#5 Other Comfort & Convenience Features
If you live in an unusually warm part of the country, the CoolMesh ventilation system and shell vents are going to be really useful.
The Chest-Clip Storage Pockets make the loading and unloading of children so much easier.
#6 Integrated Anti-rebound Protection & Dual Cup holders
One of the big changes that Recaro have made to their convertible car seats is the inclusion of an additional anti-rebound protection system.
Recaro have designed an anti-rebound protection system that uses the built-in cup holders on both sides of the seat to absorb and distribute collision forces, whilst also reducing the rotation of the car seat in a crash situation when the seat is in the rear-facing position.
In addition to providing anti-rebound protection, the cup holders are also very handy. There are removable cup holder inserts to help you to deal with the sticky liquid and food build-up that is inevitable whenever small kids are around!
#7 Seat Styling
The Performance Rally seat has just 2 fabric color options:
Performance Rally Styles
#8 QuickFlip Recline Foot
The Performance Rally seat comes with the Recaro QuickFlip Recline Foot.
This gives it an extra recline position when it’s used in the rear-facing mode.
#9 Other Features
Here are some of the other features found on the Recaro Performance Racer Seat:
- Tested to International Standards
- Energy absorbing EPS foam
- Protective and comfortable PUR foam in the headrest
- Cloud Comfort Memory Foam
- Luxurious, temperature balancing fabrics
- Ergonomic shell structure
- Removable cushion insert
- Built in the USA with integrated German engineering (from over 50% components made in the USA)
Recaro Performance Rally – My Verdict
The Performance Rally is almost identical to the Performance Racer convertible car seat. The only differences are the QuickFlip Recline Foot and the fabric styles.
The addition of the Recline Foot will be useful for those seeking more flexibility when installing the seat rear-facing and for those who want an extra recline setting at the start when used for smaller kids.
The Rally is a little more expensive than the Racer seat.
You can read my comparison reviews of Recaro Convertible Car Seats here:
After purchasing any child car seat, you should always read the User Manual thoroughly before using it. It is also advisable to visit your local Fire Department or NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Centre to ensure that the seat is definitely suitable for your child’s specific requirements and that you have installed it correctly. These services are usually provided free of charge.
You can find your nearest NHTSA Centre here.
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