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Recaro Polaric car seat

The Recaro Polaric looks very much like other Group 1 car seats – until you realise that it is fitted facing the back of the car.

Posted: 9 December 2008
by Debra Stottor

Recaro Polaric car seat
Once your baby is out of his infant carrier (or Group 0+ seat), he will need to move to a Group 1 car seat. However, almost always, the move to a Group 1 seat also means the move to a forward-facing seat. The Recaro Polaric is rear-facing, but why?

Car seat ages and stages

Let your child's weight be your guide of when to move up to a bigger seat as some children are smaller than others of the same age. The 0+, 1, 2 and 3 group sizes can be combined depending on how adaptable a particular seat is, but packaging will guide you if you are unsure.
  • Infant carrier – Rear-facing seats for children weighing up to 13kgs. This is from birth to a maximum age of nine to 12 months (but quite probably younger). These are classed as Group 0 (up to 10kg) or 0+ (if they go up to 13kg).
  • Child seat – Forward-facing (some rear facing seats can safely be turned round, where this is clearly stated) seats for children weighing from 9kg to 18kg or up to 25kg. This is from about nine months to four years. These are classed as Group 1 or 2 depending on what weight the particular seat is designed to go up to. If they are suitable all the way through from birth they will include 0+ in their classification.
  • Booster seat – These integrate the adult belt into a seat with good support for the child's body (and preferably head). These are suitable for children weighing between 15kgs and 25kgs. This is about four years upwards until the child no longer needs a special car seat. These are classed as Group 2 and 3 seats.
  • Booster cushions – These are what they say, really. They will lift the child up so the adult seat belt cuts across their body more comfortably. These are suitable for children from six years of age. These should be used until your child is over 135cm in height, after which time, an adult belt may be used.
The Recaro Polaric - why does it face backwards?
The answer, it seems, is safety.
Apparently, rear facing Group 1 seats are five times safer in a frontal collision. They protect the neck and head by distributing the force along the back of the seat and are much more effective at protecting internal organs.
In Scandinavia, children are not turned forward until they have reached at least four years old and weigh more than 25kg (55lb) – and it seems to work: between July 2006 and November 2007 not a single child under the age of six was killed in a car crash in Sweden, compared to an average of 21 a year in the UK.

The Polaric's design for safety
Recaro recognised that there was a gap in the UK for a rearward-facing seat and had the means to fulfill customer requirements. Other car seat manufacturers also make rear-facing Group 1 seats, but have so far chosen not to market them in the UK.
In this seat Recaro have left nothing to chance in terms of safe fitting. The seat is fitted using the car’s Isofix anchoring points, while two belts at the back secure it to the front seat of the car, preventing the seat from rising in the event of a rear-end collision. There’s also a foldaway floor support for extra security.
The seat has a large side protection shell for safety in a side-impact collision and for improved holding when cornering, along with an energy-absorbing chest and head area.

Great design and comfort
The Polaric also reclines for added comfort while your baby is sleeping. And from a practical point of view, the covers are easily removable and are machine washable at 30°C.
Recaro Polaric car seat The Polaric is a good-looking seat and your toddler will be in the same high position as he would be in a forward-facing seat, so will be able to see just as much out of the window – but after you’ve passed it.
It is available in microfibre fabric in Black/silver, black/aquavit and grey/petrol priced £199 and in Bellini fabric in asphalt/grey, priced £194. It is suitable for children weighing 9-18kg (20-40lbs), or from 9 months to 4.5 years.
As this is a specialist seat, you will probably need to order it specially. Call Recaro on 01926 484111 to find out which Recaro retailers have the seat, so you can try the child in the seat, and the seat in the car to ensure a good fit.

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