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Recaro: In with the new

Recaro: In with the new

Como - side profileWhen I was in Cologne in September for the Kind + Jugend show, I was struck by the size of the Recaro booth. It was enormous. In a show filled with big, impressive booths, this one was particularly formidable. They had so many different kinds of seats, it was dizzying. But in the US, their line is a fraction of what it is in Europe. In about two years, they’ve seen a lot of success, but they’ve only had three seat models, all of them for toddlers and preschoolers.

But there was never any doubt that Recaro had more models coming down the pike. Sure enough, at JPMA they introduced four new seats: The Como and the Signo, both convertible seats, and the Vivo and Vivo Lite, both booster seats and replacements for the discontinued Young Style. The catalog they distributed also offers a teaser for two additional seats to be released “soon”: the Picco, an infant car seat, and the Alto, a high-back booster.

Como & Signo

Como SandThe form factor on both seats is similar to the Britax convertible seats – a molded plastic shell that sits on an elevated base. Both of these convertible seats will hold a child rear-facing from 5-35 lbs and forward-facing from 20-70 lbs. Both will come in four microfiber colors, Cobalt (gray/blue) Sand (beige), Midnight Desert (black/tan) and Blush (gray/pink). Both have a Side Impact Protection cushion and both are FAA approved. Here are the main differences:

Signo BlushThe Como is Recaro’s entry level convertible seat. The Signo is a step up. The Como has 5 harness and headrest adjustment positions. The Signo has an infinite knob adjustment system (like the Boulevard) that controls both the harness and headrest positions. Both seats have high-end latch connectors, but the Signo has the latch straps attached to metal bars, so they don’t need to be rethreaded when you turn the seat from rear- to forward-facing. The headrest on the Signo is upgraded, with a double wall head support. The Signo also adjusts slightly higher than the Como, so it can accommodate a child to 60″, versus 59″ for the Como.

Vivo and Vivo Lite

Vivo Midnight DesertI found this to be somewhat confusing, but the only difference between the Vivo and the Vivo Lite is in the fabric. The Vivo has microfiber and the Lite has a breathable fabric with soft mesh inserts. But the Crimson Vivo model has microfiber and mesh, so go figure.

Both seats go from 30-100 lbs and up to 59″. Both have side impact protection and six height positions. The Vivo will cost slightly more than the Vivo Lite.

Pricing for the new seats is not finalized yet, which is the main reason it’s taken me so long to spill this information. As soon as I hear, I’ll post an update. But I understand that the seats will be priced competitively against the Britax seats. Could be trouble for Britax – the seats are great looking and more fully featured. The extra height and weight limit is a really nice plus. They don’t have nearly the breadth of fabric choices that Britax offers, but they seem to be campaigning against that from the outset – the tagline that closes their catalog is “Don’t get cute – get Recaro.”

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