Recaro Performance Sport Review

Recaro Performance SPORT Review

If anyone knows anything about car seats, it would be Recaro.  Don’t know who they are?  They are a German company best known for car seats.  But in this case when I say car seats, I’m talking about the bucket seats in your car that you sit in, not your child.

At least that’s what they’re best known for, but they also design airplane seats, infant car seats, and toddler car seats.  Clearly, they have the whole seat thing down pat.  Wouldn’t it make sense then, that they shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re looking for a car seat for your child?  I certainly haven’t overlooked them.

If you’re like me, and you didn’t initially go with a combination or 3-in-1 car seat, once your baby’s about to hit 20 pounds, it’s time to look for a toddler car seat.  And of course you want one that’s easy to install, but safe as well.

The Recaro Performance SPORT is a truly impressive car seat.  From simple things like pockets that allow you to store the latch connectors, to the fact that it’s been FAA certified, allowing you to use it while flying.  As long as you are using it with the harness, that is.

Safety Features

Like the Nautilus Elite, the Performance SPORT meets all the new FMVSS 213 safety standards.  The maximum weight allowance has also been recently adjusted up to 65 pounds, meaning that your average 8 year-old child should be able to sit in it with the ease.

Another feature is the new HERO Harness System technology.  This technology positions the shoulder pads so that they fit the child’s head, neck and shoulders in the appropriate manner, without twisting the harness and while ensuring the chest clip is positioned properly.  They won’t slide up and down the harness straps.

Another safety feature is Recaro’s Safety Stripe System.  This is a solid white stripe that appears on the outside edge of the five-point harness.  It’s designed in a manner to alert parents to a possible twist of the harness.  Either that a twist is about to happen or has already begun to happen.


  • Cloud Comfort Memory Foam
  • Luxurious, temperature balancing fabrics & CoolMesh air ventilation keep your child cool, comfortable and happy
  • Racing-Inspired Full-Body Side Impact Protection with metal reinforced side wings designed to protect each of the 5 vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact crash: head, neck, face, torso and pelvis
  • Twist-resistant HERO harness technology ensures the highest level of protection and comfort


The Performance SPORT comes with a SoftTouch seat cushion, so there’s no doubt your child will be in for a comfortable, cushiony ride.

In other car seats that I’ve reviewed one of the complaints has been the crotch buckle or the crotch strap and where it situated.  The crotch buckle on this car seat is easily adjustable with three slots that mean you can perfectly position the buckle to the size of any child.

Recaro Performance SPORT Usage

LATCH connectors make installing the Performance SPORT a breeze.  For some reason however, the LATCH recommendation on this car seat is that it is to be discontinued at 52 pounds.  Also at 52 pounds, the top tether is no longer supposed to be used, even when using a seatbelt.

Considering the new recommendations that the top tether is important for older children, this is odd.  Having said that, it should be noted that the way the shoulder belts fit over the top of the seat likely provides the benefits that would be attained from top tether usage.

Pros and Cons

Unlike the Graco SmartSeat, this model is not one you can use from birth on.  You also need to completely uninstall the car seat in order to move the straps.  Pretty much everything else is a Pro.

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