An improved seat belt restraint system having a 'comfort' feature for controlling tension in a shoulder belt. The comfort feature partially relieves tension exerted by the seat belt retractor on the vehicle occupant, yet prevents excess slack from developing in the shoulder belt which can negatively affect occupant protection performance of the restraint system. A webbing guide is provided which forms the upper anchorage of the shoulder belt of the restraint system. The webbing guide includes a sensing lever which contacts the seat belt webbing and is moved through various angular positions in response to tension applied on the shoulder belt. When the sensing lever is in an angular position corresponding to excess slack in the webbing, the webbing can pass freely through the guide loop and the retractor can freely retract webbing. In the case where the shoulder belt is fastened on the user and a proper level of tension is provided, the sensing lever frictionally engages the webbing to partially offset the retraction force exerted by the retractor. When excess tension is applied to the belt webbing, frictional engagement with the webbing is also relieved, allowing additional webbing to be extracted from the retractor.
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