Recaro Tian Elite Review

from Halfords
RRP £229
Recaro Tian Elite
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by Bryony Firth-Bernard |

Recaro Tian Elite at a glance

Tian Elite combines ergonomic design, intelligent functions and safety. Its lightweight, yet strong, ventilated shell with detachable side impact protection system and innovative ASP system will absorb force in the event of a side collision, for enhanced levels of safety.Made of soft memory foam, Tian Elite has a regulated backrest height and angle, plus extendable leg rest, for added comfort. An adjustable soft-coated 5-point harness ensures optimal safety and comfort in Group 1. The Integrated harness storage offers easy transition to Group 2/3. It is also equipped with unique integrated speakers, audio connection and storage pouch for audio devices.

We spoke to these real parent testers to get their review..

How did this product make your life easier?

Chris: This was a great seat. It went in and came out so easily. I purposely put in a different car that we normally use to travel and found no difficulty at all. I was able to put my little girl in quickly and easily. I thought that she looked very secure inside which gave me peace of mind while we travelled. She also slept very comfortably which made all the difference for when we got to our destination. For quite a big seat it also felt compact for my 22 month old. When I took her and the seat from the car I was able to easily carry both. It also didn't take up excessive space within the car and she was still able to move fairly freely while sitting inside. My daughter was unable to unclip herself which was also great and again offered that peace of mind.

Rachael: This car seat is quite slim which makes it easy to fit in the back of our car without having to think too hard about where our other two car seats are going to fit. With 3 car seats in the back it is always a juggle to find ones that fit together. Our daughter also loves the inbuilt speakers which kept her entertained.

Danielle: I’m currently using this for my 15 month old daughter and I’ve been really impressed with it. Once it’s all been fitted it’s very secure and I’ve had to put it in other cars since and haven’t had any problems when re-fitting. I used a YouTube video that the company has released to fit it and found this very helpful, as the written instructions leave room for doubt sometimes, but with something like this you want to know you’ve got it right and the video confirms that.

Would you recommend this to other parents?

Danielle: I think the overall style and quality of this chair is outstanding. The speakers that are built into the head surround is a unique selling point and I believe this will come in handy when our little one is older and may use devices in the car. There’s nothing worse than hearing the annoyingly catchy children’s songs and having them stuck in your head all day. I’m hoping these will eliminate that! I found it really easy to install and it’s not too heavy like others can be. I love that I can remove the bits that are most likely to need cleaning and don’t feel that this will be a mammoth task when I get to it. Overall, a really lovely quality product.

Chris: Yes, firstly in terms of style this was a sleek, black car seat. My husband was also very impressed as he informed me that Recaro make very stylish car seats. I found it to be very easy to install and I felt like my daughter was safe and secure inside. It also lasts up to around aged 12 so gives that extra value for money.

Rachael: The fact that this car seat is a multi stage car seat is great if that is what you are looking for. Having one car seat that lasts from 9 months to 12 years will be ideal for some families. It is compact and light which means it is easy to lift in and out of the car so would be easy to transfer between cars if needed.

Would you choose this product above all others on the market?

Chris: This is a great car seat for all the reasons mentioned above. There is also the option to plug in an MP3 player or tablet to speakers in the headset which I think is an amazing feature for older children. This wasn't something that would have been safe for me to do with a 22 month old but I do know older children who would be amazed by this.

Danielle: There is only one thing about this product that I didn’t like and that was the clip on the harness. On previous seats I have used they have had some sort of tongue and groove on the two straps that hold the two pieces together before you insert them into the lock so to speak. This seat does not have that, so I have often had to faff around with it to actually get the pieces aligned in the three point harness. I think this is the only reason I would go for another seat as this is quite a simple but practical idea that I think affects the products everyday usability but I cannot fault any other parts of it.

Rachael: This is a forward facing car seat and has no option for rear facing. Given the evidence that extended rear facing car seats are the safest option for children I would be recommending this product over others on the market. I was happy to use it with my older child but wouldn’t be using it with my other children despite the age range being from 9 months.

What changes would you make to this product?

Chris: There would be three changes. Firstly, the option to have different patterns. I saw online that there is also a teal colour but to have brighter, child friendly prints and colours would make a difference I think. Although from adult eyes the seat is lovely. Secondly, for the speakers if there was a Bluetooth option this would be safer in my opinion rather than having wires and would mean younger ages could access this feature. Thirdly, a cup holder would also be welcomed though I appreciate that at this point it's potentially taking away from the beautiful aesthetic of the chair.

Rachael: Despite how light this car seat is and how easy it should be to transfer between cars I found the installation of it quite tricky. The fact that it is iso fix compatible but only for group 2/3 is quite odd and trying to get the seat belt into the right position to be tight enough in the group 1 stage was quite an effort. This could be because I am not used to using a seat belt with a car seat though.

Danielle: The one and only thing I would change about this product is the three point harness. Once in and locked it is faultless, however getting the three parts together is more difficult than it should be. It doesn’t have anything to really hold the top two pieces together while you insert them into the point, so they fly around as you try to insert them, it's even harder when your 15 month old is putting up a bit of a protest. This then results in multiple attempts to get the 3 point harness belt on, which is even worse when you’re trying to strap your baby in on the roadside and there are cars waiting for you. I believe this can be rectified pretty easily as there are many other products out there that have given this more thought. This would make my life easier!

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