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Highly Adaptive Positioning Car Seat for children with special needs

The Thomashilfen Commander masters every challenge. As a special seat for special requirements and positioning, it is ideally suited for highly individual supply solutions.

Children are supported wherever they need support and protection. Especially for children with little upper body control, the fixed lateral trunk supports offer this extra support – the supports have proven themselves over many years of use in rehab strollers. A huge selection of accessories and easy handling make the adjustment perfect.

Highly Adaptive

  • integrated Velcro back plate is ideal for accommodating special construction solutions
  • Precise support of the upper body possible - individually adapted to the child

Head of the child always well supported

  • Headrest has 9 steps to grow with you
  • Relaxed reclining even on longer journeys - with additional usable upholstery inserts, the headrest becomes even softer and more comfortable

Comfortably equipped

  • soft, breathable upholstery for pleasant seating comfort without annoying sweating
  • adjustable integrated rest position

For the thirst in between

  • large cup holder, can be used on the right or left

Multi-functional base

  • Swivel base helps parents and caregivers with a back-friendly and stress-free transfer - the pull cord is conveniently accessible
  • The 3-level seat tilt relieves the child if sitting upright becomes too exhausting and enables a relaxed rest and sleep position even during car rides
  • various footrests provide support and prevent slipping out of the seat

Comfortably and safely strapped

  • In the padded 5-point positioning harness, children sit comfortably upright without losing their grip.
  • No time-consuming rethreading of belts for parents and caregivers when adjusting the headrest.
  • Useful strap connector prevents annoying and dangerous twisting of the straps.

Colour choices

Features & Highlights
  • special Velcro back plate is perfectly suitable for special construction solutions
  • multiple possibilities of upper body support for children who need a lot of support
  • comfortable handling - 5-point harness adjusts automatically as the child grows along
  • integrated 9-position height-adjustable headrest incl. additional upholstery
  • practical drink holder (can be used on the right or left)
  • optional use of modular function plates with swivel and/or tilt function and further accessories
  • ECE Group II-III (German safety standard for child car seats)

Modular swivel- & tilting Bases with Versatile Accessories

The unique, modular combination of SWIVEL BASE and TILTING BASE can be supplemented with a variety of accessories as required.

For easy handling, the release For easy handling, the releaselever (draw latch) on theswivel base is easy to reach.It can be mounted either onthe left or right front of theswivel base.

An adapter plate is ALWAYS required to use the accessories. In the following we show some examples:

Pioneer for rehab car seats - since 1988

For over 30 years, Thomashilfen has been supplying special children with rehab car seats in cooperation with strong partners such as Britax, Römer or RECARO. Today, we also use our know-how to develop our own rehab car seats. All of our many years of experience with the needs of children and parents flow into them.

Examples of functions

Head supports

9-way height adjustable – easy and quick to adjust, grows step by step with your child

Easy positioning

5-point positioning belt with central adjuster "grows" with the child, without rethreading the belts

Velcro back plate

special Velcro back plate is perfectly suitable for special construction solutions

Rest position

slight rest position (+3°) can be easily and quickly adjusted directly on the seat


THOMASHILFEN Commander - Installation
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Technical data

Dimensions & Weights THOMASHILFEN Commander
Seat depth 34 cm / 13.4"
Seat width, front (with supports) 33,5 cm (22 cm) / 13.2" (8.7")
Seat width, rear (with supports) 28,5 cm (17 cm) / 11.2" (6.7")
Back height (seat) 55 - 75 cm / 21.7 - 29.5"
Shoulder height (belt guide) 25 - 44 cm / 9.8 - 17.3"
Seat tilt-in-space (basic model)
Seat tilt-in-space (with tilting plate)

5,5° / 11° / 16°
Lower leg length (Footrest directly attached to adapter plate) 23 - 40 cm / 9.1 - 15.7"
Lower leg length (Footrest attached to swivel base + tilting base) 28 - 45 cm / 11 - 17.7"
Overall dimensions (w x h x d) 55 x 65 x 45 cm / 21.7 x 25.6 x 17.7"
Weight of seat approx. 8,5 kg / 18.7 lb
Max. carrying capacity 15 - 36 kg / 33.1 - 79.4 lb


Standard features


Seat and back with integrated 9-fold height-adjustable headrest; back plate (with hook-and-loop fasteners); seat cushion; back cushion; head cushion; additional head cushion inserts; crotch pad, small; 5-point positioning belt with central adjuster; chest clip; shoulder protector; cup holder (can be used right or left); removable covers, machine washable up to 40° C

Our rehab car seats

Hercules Small - Hitting the roads today with tomorrow's safety in mind!
Hitting the roads today with tomorrow's safety in mind!
RECARO Monza Nova 2 Reha - Leichter Autositz mit höchstem Sicherheitsstandard
Special Needs Adaptive Booster Car Seat that offers Swivel option!
THOMASHILFEN Navigator - Weltweit erster faltbarer Reha-Autositz, der perfekte Reisebegleiter
The world's first foldable rehab car seat - a perfect companion for active families
RECARO Sport HERO Reha - Car seat with the innovative HERO Safety System
Car seat with the innovative HERO Safety System
Hercules Prime - Modular rehab car seat that grows with the user for a long time
Modular rehab car seat that grows with the user for a long time
THOMASHILFEN Major - Flexibler Allrounder für unkomplizierte Alltagseinsätze
Allrounder Car Seat for children with special needs
THOMASHILFEN Commander - Spezialist für Kinder, die unterwegs viel Unterstützung brauchen
Highly Adaptive Positioning Car Seat for children with special needs
THOMASHILFEN Octopus - Reha-Gurtsystem als sichere Positionierungs-Lösung
Offers children and adults stable hold and support without restriction

    FAQ – Frequently asked questions about rehab car seats

    When do I change to the next weight group?

    Group 0/0+:
    - The baby's head must not protrude beyond the upper edge of the shell. A change to the next larger seat (Group I) should be made as late as possible.

    Group I:
    - For safety reasons, a change to Group II should not be made before 15 kg, and if possible not until the child reaches 18 kg.

    The back of the child's head should always be supported by the seat shell. Above all, the weight specification for the corresponding child seat must be observed. In the interest of the child's safety, a premature change to a follow-up seat is not recommended.

    My child often opens the seat belt buckle while driving. What can I do?

    You should stop as soon as possible and fasten the child's seat belt again. The child should be taught, as far as possible, that unbuckling the seatbelt leads to an immediate stop of the ride. We advise against using any technical aids that make it more difficult to open the seat belt buckle.

    Please remember that in the event of an emergency, an unfamiliar rescuer must quickly free the child from the child seat. Therefore, it should be possible to find and open the red opening button directly.

    What does crash test mean?

    A crash test involves simulating a collision between vehicles under realistic conditions. This controlled process is usually carried out by independent institutes. Via the crash test, the safety of the seat is confirmed by an independent body. The seal of the test institute may only be used if the crash test is successful.

    What is ISOFIX?
    • Internationally standardized fastening system for child seats
    • VSimplifies seat handling and reduces or eliminates errors when installing child seats.
    • ISOFIX replaces the securing of child seats with the vehicle's own three-point belt. In addition to securing the child seat via the ISOFIX anchorage system, ISOFIX child seats are secured in the vehicle with a stand or tether (top tether). ISOFIX child seats are only offered for the lower ECE weight groups.
    • Check with the type list of the child seat whether the respective ISOFIX child seat may be used in your own vehicle.

    Caution: Danger of confusion
    ISOFIX does NOT replace the seatbelt - the child must always be secured with the prescribed harness according to the instructions for use of the seat.

    • Some manufacturers use the ISOFIX anchorage system of the vehicle to additionally stabilize child seats for larger, heavier children (e.g. RECARO Monza Nova Seatfix Reha).
    • Here, however, the attachment does not replace the securing of child and child seat by the three-point belt. Advantage in addition to the additional stabilization: The seat no longer needs to be strapped when NO child is sitting in it.
    Is a used child car seat still safe?
    Make absolutely sure that the used seat has not been involved in an accident with an impact speed of more than 10 km/h. Seat belt pads should be present and belts should not have any damage. The seat belt buckle and locking systems should function properly. A child seat should also only be purchased or used second-hand if the instructions for use are present and it has the ECE 44/03 or ECE 44/04 test standard.
    Is it necessary to take into account the maximum permitted weight of the respective ECE group?
    The weight of the child is decisive for the max. use of a child car seat. However, if the child is very large and the head extends over the edge of the seat shell/headrest, the child is safe in a larger seat. Therefore, in these cases, you should switch to the next higher seat group.
    My child does not have enough room in his rear-facing seat for his feet?
    This is more a question of comfort and not dangerous for the child. Rear-facing child seats offer significantly more safety. In Norway and Sweden, rear-facing transport of the child is practiced much more than in our country for safety reasons.
    In a car accident, the child was on board in the seat!

    You should know that already in an accident with an impact speed of about 10 km / h a car seat can be damaged. Before using the car seat again : Have it checked by a manufacturer with suitable equipment. Such checks can only be carried out with special equipment. A visual inspection alone is by no means sufficient as micro cracks may have formed in the seat shell.

    Professional safety checks are usually time-consuming and very expensive. Thomashilfen therefore does not offer these checks and we recommend that in the event of an accident with an impact speed of 10 km/h or more, the old seat should be replaced with a new car seat as a precaution.

    Can I buy new covers for my child car seat?
    The cover wears out over time. It becomes stressed and sunlight and dirt affect it. With normal wear and tear, it is advisable to replace the cover after a period of use of 3 to 4 years. The modern covers of Recaro seats are very easy to clean and remove. The cover is part of the type approval! Therefore, please use only original replacement covers.
    How many years can you use child car seats?

    Many manufacturers recommend that child car seats should not be used for longer than about 5 years. After that, material fatigue may occur, which can negatively affect safety in the event of an accident.

    We recommend when buying or using used car seats:
    Do not buy/use a car seat whose history you do not know! This also applies, for example, to rehab seats from the reuse of health insurance companies. You may then run the risk of using an accident-damaged seat for your child, for example. It is therefore recommended that you have the "accident-free" status of a used seat confirmed in writing by the previous owner/occupant.

    A child seat should also only be used, purchased or used if the instructions for use are available and it has the test standard ECE R 44/03 or ECE R 44/04 (recognizable by the orange ECE test mark).

    Is it safer to place a child seat in the front passenger seat or the back seat?

    Accident statistics show that child car seats offer the greatest safety for the child when the seat is placed on the back seat behind the front passenger. But beware. A large number of accidents also occur because the driver turns to face his or her child in the back seat while driving.

    The use of a child car seat on the front passenger seat is often preferred, especially when transporting disabled children - due to the possible and sometimes necessary direct visual contact with the child.

    However, this requires the express permission of the child seat manufacturer (see information in the instructions for use) to place the child seat on the front passenger side and that an existing front airbag is deactivated.

    With rear-facing seats (e.g. THOMASHILFEN Co-Pilot or seat shells), protection of the child is also guaranteed on the front passenger seat - but here too, the existing airbag must be deactivated. However, it is safer to place rear-facing child car seats in the back seat as well. By using an additional mirror (available everywhere in baby specialty stores), you can then even enable visual contact.

    We generally recommend using the child car seat on the back seat and there always on the passenger side. This allows you to place the child in the vehicle from the safe sidewalk side.

    Are there spare parts for child car seats?
    Only for those that comply with the standard regulation ECE R 44/03 and higher, which has been in force since 1995. Since manufacturers and retailers have no longer been allowed to sell child seats with old approvals since 1999, repair and spare parts supply by the manufacturer - also for product liability reasons - are no longer possible for old seats.
    What does the ECE marking on child car seats mean?

    Child seats must be approved by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). This approval is achieved by awarding an ECE test seal to the manufacturer of the child car seats. Since April 2008, only child seats that have been tested according to ECE44/03 or higher may be used. You can tell whether this is the case by the first two digits of the 8-digit approval number on the orange ECE test seal (Fig.), because these indicate the test version. If the number begins with 00, 01 or 02, the seat is obsolete and may no longer be used.

    Since when do children have to wear seat belts in vehicles?

    Since April 1993, there has been a general obligation to secure children in motor vehicles in Germany. Restraint systems for children must be used that are built, tested and approved in accordance with ECE Regulation 44/03 or 44/04 and bear the ECE test mark.

    Commercially available child seats for the car are only equipped with a "5-point belt" up to Group I (up to 18 kg body weight); from Group II onwards, children are only secured with the car safety belt together with the child seat.

    For children with disabilities, this protection is often not sufficient, e.g. if there is trunk hypotonia or spasticity. For this reason, manufacturers of rehab car seats offer so-called "positioning belts". These are used solely to achieve a better sitting position for the child, but they must never be used without securing them with the vehicle's 3-point belt.

    What must be observed when using child seats in conjunction with airbags in the car?

    Basically, all warnings on the child seat and in the car as well as all instructions in the child seat's user manual and in the vehicle manual must be observed.

    Unlike the front airbag on the passenger side (which must be deactivated for rear-facing Group 0+ seats), side airbags inflate only very shallowly. So they hardly come into contact with the child seats. So there is no danger from a side airbag if the child is properly secured in its seat and cannot lean out of it. This is usually the case with infant carriers and group 1 seats.

    For older children, the use of a seat with a backrest and the greatest possible lateral protection is strongly recommended to prevent the child from tipping out sideways while sleeping. In modern child car seats, such as the RECARO Monza Nova 2 Reha, this lateral protection is already fully integrated due to the chassis shape that is drawn far around the child.

    Do all car seats offered by Thomashilfen fit in every car model or on the back seat?

    Basically yes, but you should check the type list of the car child seat manufacturer - only the vehicles mentioned there are checked for the selected seat.

    On our internet pages we have stored the most current type list for our seats. There you can easily check whether the car-child rehab seats offered by Thomashilfen also fit your vehicle.

    However, it is also important to try out the selected child rehab seat together with your child in your vehicle. Only then you can be sure that the seat fits not only for the vehicle, but especially for your child.

    What does the "type list" mean in connection with ISOFIX?

    Child seats are approved according to ECE R 44/03 and 44/04 in various categories, each for different types of installation or use. In some cases, especially for installation with ISOFIX, the approved vehicles are listed in a type list.

    The harness is getting too tight for my child. Do I need a bigger seat?
    This question is asked especially in winter, when children wear more voluminous clothing (even in the car). They are usually in the upper weight range of the respective group for which the corresponding child seat is designed. Nevertheless, it is better to avoid bulky clothing than to switch to the next seat too soon. As a general rule, the tighter the belts, the safer the child seat as a whole. Therefore, dress your child according to the inside temperature of the car and only allow him or her to switch to the follow-on seat when he or she has reached the weight or size for it.
    Can I use a child car seat on the front passenger seat?

    In principle, child seats can always be used on the front passenger seat. However, it is advisable to move the front passenger seat all the way back to give the child the greatest possible legroom. If there is a passenger airbag, it must always be turned off. If there is no switch, your specialist automotive workshop can help you.

    Please follow the instructions in the user manual for your child seat as well as the instructions in the owner's manual for your vehicle.

    As a general rule, however, children should be transported in the back seats if possible - this is where the risk of injury is lowest.

    Can a booster seat also be used without a backrest?

    Based on the minimum requirements of the ECE R 44/03 and 44/04 standard, a booster seat can be used without a backrest for children weighing 15 kg or more. The actual purpose of the booster seat is to position / guide the vehicle's 3-point seat belt optimally over the child to be strapped in.

    Good booster seats usually offer lateral protection in the pelvic area, but not in the head and torso area. Cheap products usually have no lateral elevation and therefore do not even offer this protection!

    The use of a seat cushion in combination with a backrest as a unit (the classic child car seat) therefore best corresponds to current safety findings and meets the requirements for good side impact protection. The child's head and body are supported laterally - this is safer in the event of an accident, but also ergonomically favorable when your child is sleeping in its seat. In addition, the belt guide integrated into the headrest on modern seats guarantees that the shoulder belt is positioned correctly on the shoulder according to the size of the child.

    Can my child keep his winter jacket on in the car?

    If a child wears a thick anorak or overall, the seat belt of the child seat cannot be tightened, does not sit in the right place and, above all, is not close enough to the body. In the event of a fall, the belt must first compress the thick down filling of the jacket before it can hold the child in place. This limits safety considerably. Therefore, it is necessary to take off the jacket. Until the temperature in the car is comfortable, you can cover the child with his anorak or a blanket.

    What is a "Top Tether"?

    Due to an ECE amendment, ISOFIX seats can be approved as "universal" if they are equipped with an additional anchorage point "Top Tether" at the back of the seat shell. A tether attached between this additional "Top Tether" anchorage point and a special anchor point in the vehicle prevents an adverse forward tipping movement in the event of an accident.

    These child seats may be used in all vehicles with ISOFIX anchorages and third anchor point, but only in the weight class 9 to 18 kg and only forward facing! Although the additional anchor point enables universal usability of the seats, it also means a certain loss of operating comfort and thus increases the risk of incorrect operation.

    My child often opens the seat belt buckle while driving. What can I do?

    You should stop as soon as possible, fasten the child's seat belt again and instruct them about the danger before continuing the journey. You may need to repeat this "educational measure" several times. In any case, avoid praising your child for opening the lock or even demonstrating its ability to others.

    Keep in mind that in an emergency, an outside rescuer will need to quickly free the child from the child seat.

    A lock that is too difficult or impossible to open could possibly prevent this. Therefore, even if it is sometimes difficult, especially with disabled children, we recommend that you do not use any technical aids such as a belt buckle that increases the pressure force, cover for the belt buckle, etc.

    Rehab child car seats are often too heavy to carry when changing to another vehicle!

    Child car seats of older design are sometimes very heavy. Modern child car seats are characterized by high side protection, good climate control and, above all, light overall weight.

    With the RECARO Monza Nova 2 Reha, a modern designed seat with a basic weight of only approx. 6 kg (!) is offered in the rehab sector. This makes it the lightest seat in this segment, to the delight of all mothers who, after all, often have to transport the seat from one vehicle to another in practice.

    Why are rear-facing child car seats actually safer?

    Baby car seats are almost always mounted backwards to the direction of travel. There is a reason for this: the child's head is heavy compared to the rest of the body. In a 9-month-old baby, the head accounts for 25% of the total body weight, compared to only 6% for an adult. Therefore, in a crash in a forward-facing seat, the child's neck is disproportionately loaded. In a rear-facing seat, the forces are distributed over the entire back and head in an optimal path.

    wedish accident research shows that rear-facing seats reduce the risk of serious injury by 92%, while forward-facing seats show a reduction in the risk of injury of only 60%.

    Thomashilfen offers the THOMASHILFEN Co-Pilot seat here, which can be used in a rear-facing position up to a body weight of 10 kg.

    Can I use the front passenger seat even though the front passenger airbag cannot be deactivated?
    Under no circumstances should a rear-facing child car seat be placed in front of an activated airbag! It is life-threatening for your child. If you do not have the airbag professionally removed or deactivated, the front passenger seat must not be used for this seat!
    Do children also have to be secured in cabs?

    The obligation to secure children also applies to journeys in cabs. Seats must be available for a maximum of two children, at least one of which must be from ECE Group I (9 to 18 kg). When ordering a cab, parents should be sure to announce that children will be traveling with them and insist on securing them with child seats.

    You should always take rehab car seats specially adapted for your child and transport your children only in them.

    Which child seat do you use for children with disabilities?

    For many types of disabilities, children can be secured very well in specially adapted rehab car seats. Expert advice from your local medical supply store, which should also have its own children's rehab department, is crucial for seat selection.

    It is important that you try out the seat once in your vehicle together with your child - this is the only way to avoid incorrect fitting.

    Further questions about fitting your child with a rehab car seat? Please feel free contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    What is the safest place for children in the car?

    The best place for a child in the car is in the back seat behind the passenger seat. When getting in and out of the car, you and your child are on the sidewalk side, not in the middle of the roadway. Even if two or more children are being transported in the car, they should always enter and exit on the sidewalk side. The child safety locks on the doors should always be activated. The space in the middle of the rear seat, if three-point seat belts are available, is also optimal and additionally offers the child a clear view to the front. If the child seats are mounted against the direction of travel, it is best to have an accompanying person sitting in the back to look after the offspring. And it is certainly not wrong to check now and then that the seat belt buckle has not already been opened by clever little children's hands.

    How do I properly secure my child?
    Make sure that the child seat can be firmly and securely fastened. The seat must not tilt or slip. Ensure that the child's seat belt is correctly routed. Always place the shoulder belt neatly over the shoulder and as centered as possible over the collarbone. The lap belt should run as low as possible over the groin. Never run the shoulder belt under the child's arm! Always fasten the child seat and child as tightly as possible. Adjust the belt routing and head support to the growing child as required. And in the case of seats with a catch element, the catch element must never be omitted.