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Choosing Extender Styles

An extender’s style refers to its construction. For instance, is it stiff and does it stand upright? Is it made from the same kind of material as the seat belts in my car? Can I adjust it to different lengths?

 

EXTENDER STYLES EXPLAINED

Regular Extenders fold around the body smoothly, like your existing seat belt. They are made of a similar seat belt webbing material as the seat belts in your car. Regular Extenders are always flexible and are typically what most people think of when they first think of a seat belt extender.

Rigid Extenders are made of an incredibly strong cable (shorter ones are a pure rigid construction) that causes the extender to stand upright when buckled into the seat belt receptacle of your car. Depending on the length of the extender, it may have a bit of flexibility and bend slightly towards the direction the seat belt is pulling it. The Mini Extender functions identically to a Rigid Extender, but is so named for its 3” stature.

Adjustable Extenders, like Regular Extenders, are made of the same seat belt webbing material as the seat belts in your vehicle. The difference between the Regular and the Adjustable Extender is that the Adjustable is not a fixed length and can become any length between 9.5” and 26”.

 

DIFFERENT EXTENDER USES, SITUATIONS AND PEOPLE

In order to determine which style best suits your needs, here are some examples of where each style may be a good fit and why.

Plus-Sized People - Plus-sized people utilize our extenders to buckle a seat belt that was simply not long enough to buckle before. Oftentimes, larger people prefer a seat belt extender that is Regular in style so that it will follow the curve of their bodies and wear just like a normal seat belt. However, if the challenge of a plus-sized person is reaching the receptacle around her body to buckle up, a Rigid Extender may be more suitable. Rigid Extenders may press uncomfortably into the sides of larger drivers and passengers.

Low Front Seat Receptacles - Seat belt receptacles in the front seat are often wedged too low between the seat and the center console to be reached by some people. A short Rigid Extender raises the receptacle to make it accessible again.

Buried Back Seat Receptacles - If you find the receptacles in your car are buried between the seat and the back rest of the back seat bench, either style extender may be suitable, but the Regular Extender may seem most normal to you and your passengers.

Rotator Cuff Surgery/Back Injuries/Mobility Impairments/Arthritis - Many people who have had surgeries, who have injuries to their backs, necks or shoulders or who have other general mobility impairments find Rigid Extenders very helpful because they reduce the amount of required rotation and reaching to buckle up.

Law Enforcement - Police officers, sheriffs and service persons wear utility belts and often find it challenging to unbuckle their seat belts in a hurry because the seat belt gets caught on the utility belt; this causes them to not buckle up at all. By using a Rigid Extender, police officers are able to buckle up without getting their belts caught up in one another. Law enforcement personnel almost always prefer Rigid Extenders, typically 7" or 8" long.

Elderly People - Elderly people often derive excellent benefits from seat belt extenders, and they are often split on their preference for a Regular Extender or a Rigid ExtenderThe choice of extender tends to have more to do with the particular challenge they face when fastening their seat belt.

Transportation Providers (Taxi, Limousine Service, Black Car Service, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, etc.) - Those in the transportation industry are best accommodated by Adjustable Extenders because of the variety of people they transport. Adjustable Extenders will lend the greatest flexibility in ensuring that the right size extenders are on hand for any one of any size to buckle up. That said, it's good to have around a short extender, too, so that no one is ever using a length that's unnecessarily long.

Guests in Your Car - If you have guests in your car and want to make extenders available, particularly if you don’t know what size they are in relation to the seat belts, the Adjustable Extender is the best choice. It’s variable lengths will ensure that each person can be individually accommodated and made to feel welcome in your car. Consider also keeping a Mini Extender around to accommodate those who need less length to buckle up. This is a must have accessory for Uber, Lyft and Sidecar drivers for added passenger safety.

Bulky Winter Coats and Clothes - If you get in your car wearing bulky clothes or winter coats in the colder months, buckling up can become impossible due to the extra girth those clothes add. An Adjustable Extender may provide the additional length you need regardless of changing outfits and bulkiness.

Gift Giving - If you’re giving an extender as a gift, first, we’re impressed by your good taste, and second, consider the scenarios here to determine which extender style is the best choice for the recipient. If you are entirely unsure about length and need specifications, we recommend the Adjustable Extender.

 

Already know which extender style is best? Click HERE to shop by car.

Need help choosing the best length for you? Click HERE for more information.

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