Reboarder child seat in the test & comparison

A reboarder is a child seat that is installed in the car against the direction of travel and allows the child to sit backwards. And even after the baby seat. Because rear-facing transport in the baby seat is currently only prescribed up to a weight of 13 kilos or in the new i-Size standard (ECE R 129) up to an age of 15 months.

Reboarders create additional security

The sitting position of the child against the direction of travel still has decisive safety advantages: Babies and small children only have weak or no development of their neck muscles. In addition, the head is very large in relation to the body size. Babies and small children in particular cannot withstand the stresses of a frontal collision. That is why rear-facing transport is essential – even when you are a small child. Because only from the age of about four years the ratio of head and body size has normalized and the musculature of the cervical spine is sufficiently developed to be able to withstand a frontal crash.

The system fits up to the age of four

Children up to the age of four can be transported in the reboarder. These are either follow-up seats for the baby seat or child seats that can be used from birth. Most reboarders are already approved according to the new i-Size standard. The new standard will replace the old group classification (ECE R 44) in the long term. In this case, it is no longer the weight of the child that decides which child seat is suitable, but the body size, which is determined individually by the manufacturer for the respective seat. Accordingly, the usage periods of the reboarders are different.

In addition, the manufacturers often specify a weight limit. The reboarder GB Vaya, for example, is approved for a body height between 45 and 105 centimeters. At the same time, the maximum weight of the child is 18 kilos. The seat can therefore be used up to the age of four.

A swivel function creates variability

Reboarders also have different functions: many of them are now equipped with a swivel function. This makes it particularly easy to insert the child, as the seat can be rotated 90 degrees. The seat can therefore be turned towards the car door and the child can be placed straight through the door into the seat. When buying a reboarder, it is advisable to pay attention to this function, because it is not only easy on the parents’ nerves, but also on their backs. In addition, the swivel function reduces the risk of incorrect operation, since the child can be seen clearly in the seat and all belts can be optimally adjusted.

Some reboarders even have a 360-degree rotation function (e.g. Recaro Zero.1 Elite i-Size). They can be used both backwards and forwards. In the event that parents want to keep open the possibility of transport in the direction of travel. Nevertheless, rear-facing transport is compulsory up to the age of 15 months.

It is usually attached using Isofix

Since most reboarders are already approved according to the new i-Size standard, they are usually attached to the vehicle using Isofix. The rotating reboarders stand on an integrated base, other models can be snapped into a base. The Isofix arms are attached to the anchor points of the vehicle. In addition, the seat is secured against tipping in the event of an accident: there is either an additional support foot or a so-called top tether belt, which is hooked into the designated point on the back of the vehicle seat. The reboarders in particular, which stand on an (integrated) base, can only be attached with the Isofix system. Therefore, it should be clarified in advance whether it is possible to install the child seat properly with the respective car. However, almost all modern cars now have the standard required for i-Size. Otherwise, the type list of the respective seat provides information.

But there are also reboarders that can be secured in the classic way with the vehicle’s three-point belt (e.g. Britax Römer Max-Way Plus). The reboarder has its own belt system for the child. This can be adjusted via the headrest. It sits optimally when the belt lies directly over the child’s shoulder. Once the child is strapped in, the belt should be tightened so that two fingers can comfortably fit between the belt and the child’s upper body – then it is tight enough. Pads on the straps prevent cutting into the child’s neck and chest area.

Babies need a newborn insert

If you want to do without the classic baby seat and want to transport the newborn in the reboarder, you should also buy a newborn insert. This ensures that the baby lies as flat as possible and that the seat fits well. Care should be taken to ensure good padding and a firm hold in the seat. If the child has outgrown the insert, it is simply removed. The seats are also adjustable at the headrest to adapt to the size of the child.

As with all child seats, reboarders also offer many additional functions. An angle adjustment of the base, for example, is particularly practical: With an inclined seat, the level can be compensated by the base so that the seat is as straight as possible. An additional tilt adjustment of the seat on the base ensures that the child has as flat a position as possible in the seat. This will prevent them from tipping out of the car seat’s protective area when they fall asleep. For comfort, manufacturers offer additional options such as ventilation systems, padding and various fabrics.

It is important – if the seat is not used immediately from birth – to test sit with the child. Because the seat should fit the child and the child should feel comfortable in it. It is also advisable to test the installation in the car. Installing a reboarder with its bulky base is often difficult, especially in small and compact cars.

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