If you’re spent any time searching car seats—whether it be for the first time or the fifth time—you’ve likely seen the brand Britax in the mix. If you’ve never tried a car seat from Britax, you might wonder what all the hype is about, or why people might spend more money on these infant and toddler seats.
Britax is generally synonymous with quality in the baby vehicle safety world. These car seats are popular and prevalent everywhere, but not the cheapest models available on the market. So, how do some of their notable sellers measure up? We took a look into the brand and reviewed five of Britax’s most popular models.
The Britax Brand
Britax is a car company that has been in business for over 70 years. Initially, they made their name as one of the bestselling infant and child car seat companies in Europe. They launched their American division in 1996, and since that time has become a dominant player in the car seat market in the United States as well.
Britax is now known as an upper-level car seat company, making quality seats and carriers for those who perhaps do not want to spend their money on the absolute most expensive model, but a more superior car seat than most. Britax seats and carriers that are above average in both price and construction.
With one out of three vehicle accidents be inside collisions, be focused on side impact protection in a big way. They began using energy-absorbing foam in 1996, and improved head and neck stability with a specially designed headrest in two. With one out of three vehicle accidents be inside collisions, be focused on side impact protection in a big way.
They began using energy-absorbing foam in 1996, and improved head and neck stability with a specially designed headrest in 2002. They also lead the way in 2009 by creating “Americas first” energy-deterring cushions on the outside of seats.
Britax devised the ClickTight installation system to solve the problem of improperly installed car seats. It is said that three out of four are installed incorrectly or on safely. Britax considered this unacceptable and introduced their click tight line in 2013.
The concept of these models is to make installing the seats simple and somewhat fool-proof. Placing and clicking in the car seat is said to be as straightforward as buckling a seatbelt.
Are Britax Seats Cheap?
For those on an extremely tight budget, Britax may not be the seat for this market. With their common carriers and car seats ranging around $170 to $300 per model, there are certainly more affordable versions to be had out there.
Budget is a consideration to make before buying Britax, especially if you select a model with a lower weight limit, as the car seat will not fit a child’s weight for very long if they are higher on the growth charts.
In 2015, Consumer Reports also posted a potential issue with the Boulevard and Marathon versions of the ClickTight seats. Although, it’s unlikely Britax has not fixed the issue, and even then, the problem with one side of the seat lacking stability was said to be simple to fix, even for those who already had the seats.
5 Best Britax Car Seat Reviews
1. Britax Frontier ClickTight
The Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat is designed for toddlers to bigger kids. This model is ideal for those who plan to use a full car seat well into childhood years.
Instead of removing the back to turn it into a booster seat, the Frontier is meant to adjust with a child until they are fully outgrown from car seat years.
The nine-position adjustable back and headrest continue to move up as kids grow. This seat can fit kids up to 120 pounds (the weight of some petite adults and adolescents).
It requires no rethreading and has two layers of side-impact protection. With a steel frame, energy-absorbing base, and forward movement reduction, the safety features are thorough.
2. Britax Marathon ClickTight
With the Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, you can start out with a newborn infant and seat a child forward-facing up to 65 pounds.
In many cases, that will carry your child into the first elementary school years. Considering the amount of use that can be had from this higher weight capacity car seat, the cost can be well worth the money.
The ClickTight design makes for straightforward installation of the seat. There are seven recline positions to suit your child as they move from newborn, to the infant, to toddler, and then into big kid sizes.
Parents should note, this is not a car seat carrier. If you are looking for a car seat that can be removed and carried with a handle while an infant is sleeping, this may not be the right model for you.
3. Britax Advocate ClickTight
This is a seat that can start out as a newborn’s first ride home and grow with your child into early grade school years. Forward-facing, the Advocate has a weight capacity of up to 65 pounds.
No rethreading is required for the straps on this harness, and even better, it clicks when it locks into place. While that might seem like a small feature, the satisfying click of knowing the harness is securely tighten is something many parents love about this seat, instead of hoping everything is snug and will not come loose.
The price tag is a bit steeper on this model , but the ratings are high. This seat is not a carrier, but overall a fantastic infant-to-small child car seat.
4. Britax B-Safe 35
The Britax B-Safe 35 is ideal for those who want a Britax infant car seat, but also want a carrier that can be removed from their vehicle.
This model comes with a base that gets strapped into your car, and the carrier/seat simply clicks into place and can be removed to take your infant out if they are sleeping.
The B-Safe has a removable newborn body cushion to both help protect your baby and help cradle and position their small body.
We like that this seat has a compact design to minimize the space it takes up in your vehicle. If you have more than one car seat in your ride, this can be a significant benefit to some parents. The B-Safe is also slightly more affordable than some Britax seats. The biggest drawback is that the weight limit is only 35 pounds, and this does not grow with your child into bigger kid years.
5. Britax Boulevard ClickTight
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight is a well-rated model by parents for a lot of reasons, some of which are the click-in-place harness that alerts you when it is snuggly adjusted, and the dual-layer of side impact protection.
The weight capacity on this seat goes up to 65 pounds, so this is a model that can grow quite a bit with your child. It is suitable for newborns and becomes a forward-facing seat in older toddler years. There is even a recline position when forward-facing, which is not available in many other car seat models.
What If I Think My Child Will Outgrow a Seat Soon?
Kids cost money, to some extent, there is no way around that fact. So, when it comes to car seats, you can expect to buy, at the minimum, two during your child’s life—one for their infant and early toddler years, and one for the later toddler/childhood years.
Often these second, more upright car seats for older kids can convert from a car seat to a booster seat by merely removing the back portion once the child gets too tall for the headrest.
If you have a baby who is on the bigger side or suspect you might (because of tall genetics, for example), it is a wise move to look for an infant car seat with a higher weight limit. Some infant seats will only be suitable for babies and toddlers up to, say, 50 pounds. If you purchase a seat/carrier that is good up to 65 pounds, for instance, you could potentially get an extra year out of the car seat.
Children’s growth spurts can come in waves, and while they might gain 10 pounds and grow several inches in six months, it could take another year, or close to it, for them to acquire that next 15 pounds. Many parents are surprised by the different a slightly higher weight limit can make on a car seat.
It is also worthwhile to consider what a car seat is meant to do, potentially save your child’s life. Do you have to spend a ton of money to keep your child safe? No, absolutely not. Many affordable car seats have five-star safety ratings. However, with some pricier models, additional safety features are built-in.
So, if you want to forget the wipes warmer, but splurge a bit more are something a vital as a car seat, no one should begrudge you for opting to spend more on your kid’s safety.
Some Perks in Britax Seats
Britax focuses a bit on the side-impact issue in car seats, which is a smart move on the company’s part. Some versions of their infant safety systems feature three layers of protection and energy-absorbing foam.
The ClickTight feature is also one of their most significant perks, as installing a car seat can be a frustrating experience. Many parents rave about the ClickTight installation and say they couldn’t live without it. Others found it aggravating in their particular vehicles, so testing it out for yourself with your specific care is something you should try if at all possible.
In some versions of Britax seats, the adjustable harness for your child clicks into place, as well. As opposed to five-point infant harnesses that tighten but don’t click, it can be hard to know how secure they are, or whether they can be pulled and loosened by your toddler while on the road. The lock-in-place clicking feature is something we love about Britax’s design.
Which is Right for You ?
In the end, you’ll need to weigh out your budget, how important it is to have a carrier, or conversely, how much you want a stable seat that will grow with your child for a long time. If you have the means, an infant carrier can feel like a lifesaver when you need to get your baby to sleep in the car, and don’t want to wake them when getting out of the vehicle.
On the other hand, if spending a few hundred dollars on a seat is tough for you, but you really want the Britax brand, picking a model with a higher weight limit might be worth it. Regardless, our general takeaway is that you can feel confident you are buying a safe and quality piece of equipment with Britax.
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