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Britax vs. Chicco: Who Makes the Best Car Seat?

Joanne Stene
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by Joanne Stene

To keep our children safe, installing a high-quality car seat is a must. While there are several reputable brands to choose from, two of the best are Britax and Chicco. Both companies produce car seats built to keep your baby and small children secure. So, which one should you choose? Britax vs. Chicco?

In this article, we will break down both brands and look at their most popular models. We’ll look at each one’s enhanced safety features, ease-of-use, comfort, and overall safety. Let’s get started!

Chicco Versus Britax: Which Brand Is Safer?

When we looked at the NHTSA safety ratings for the most popular car seats from both Chicco and Britax, we found that Britax has a slightly higher overall rating than Chicco. While it does vary between particular models, Britax never falls below a 4-star rating out of five in any category.

We compared the safety ratings and features of several popular car seats from both brands. However, for your reference, here’s what we found when we compared two of the most popular models from Britax or Chicco:

 Britax ClickTight BoulevardBritax ClickTight MarathonChicco IX Zip NextFitChicco Sport NextFit
Ease of Use5544
Installation4444
Child Security5555
Instructions Evaluation5554

*The NHTSA scores on a rating system of one to five stars.

As seen from the above data, both brands score highly in all categories. Nonetheless, Britax scores a little higher when it comes to overall ease of use.

When evaluated by the NHTSA, Britax scores an overall rating of 5 stars. The brand has received extensive testing by the IIHS and has the organization’s endorsement. What’s more, Britax has eliminated using flame retardants in any of their products.

On the other hand, while Chicco does not have as many accolades as Britax, consumers regard the brand highly for its quality car seats. The many verified reviews on Influenster point to the fact that Chicco produces reliable and safe baby products, including car seats.

That said, let’s break things down so that you can make an informed decision when shopping for the car seat that’s right for you.

Installation

Both Chicco and Britax have revolutionary installation methods for car seats. Both are easy to install and provide safety and security.

Chicco employs several installation features that can be used by both the seatbelt and the LATCH system common to most cars. A lot of car seats from Chicco have the LockSure Belt System and a SuperCinch Tightener.

The SuperCinch Tightener is a strapping system that securely fastens the car seat using the LATCH system. The LockSure Belt System is an alternate installation method using a standard seat belt with lock-offs integrated.

As for Britax, the company’s car seats use what they call the ClickTight Installation System. This method makes installation easy and secure, making many Britax car seats a popular choice for parents, including the Advocate, Marathon, and Boulevard.

Ease of Use

When we looked at customer reviews and ratings for both brands, Britax gets a slight edge on Chicco when it comes to ease of use. On top of that, when you look at the ratings from the NHTSA, Britax scores slightly higher than Chicco.

With this in mind, it’s essential to realize that this is an overall rating. We looked at installation features for ease of use, the ease of use for removing and putting a child in the car seat, and the manuals and instructions. While both brands vary when it comes to these things, many consumers are happy with their purchase of either brand.

Lifespan

Britax and Chicco manufacture car seats that are designed to carry your baby from infancy through toddlerhood. That said, Chicco’s popular NextFit car seat has an 8-year lifespan, while Britax’s Clicktight models have a 10-year lifespan. In other words, either brand should be the first and only car seat your child will need.

Comfort

Britax car seats have plush foam padding and machine-washable fabrics. On the other hand, Chicco car seats are built with EPS energy-absorbing foam with a 3D AireMesh backrest for improved ventilation and comfort.

Chicco seats also have padded ComfortFlex harnesses and an infant insert that is removable for maximum comfort for newborns. For this reason, Chicco wins over Britax when it comes to comfort, as the brand has more features designed for your child’s comfort.

Quality

When it comes to quality, the ClickTight seats have a steel frame that is impact-stabilizing. This frame provides enhanced stability for installing the car seat in your car and exceptional strength against impact.

Comparatively, Chicco car seats have steel reinforced frames and foam that is energy-absorbing for protection against side impact. Both brands build reliable and safe car seats. However, it should be noted that Britax is manufactured entirely in the United States, while Chicco products are built in China.

Best Britax Seats
At The Best Prices
Have a look at the best selling Britax Car Seats on Amazon!

Pros and Cons of Britax vs. Chicco

When you get down to it, Britax and Chicco have a lot of similarities. For example, both the NextFit and ClickTight models feature systems for fast and easy installation. They’re also both engineered with steel frames for durability and safety. On top of that, most of the car seats from both brands are rated with a minimum weight of 5 pounds and a maximum of 65 pounds.

That said, there are also some crucial differences between the brands to keep in mind. For starters, ClickTight Britax models are considerably heavier than the Chicco equivalent. What’s more, Britax seats are made in the US, while Chicco ones are produced in China.

Lastly, it’s critical to note that Britax ClickTight models are designed with a level indicator to ensure installation at the ideal angle for the comfort of your child. However, Chicco NextFit models employ a ReclineSure Levelling System with a bubble level indicator.

Britax Pros and Cons

Pros
  • ClickTight installation system
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Easy LATCH installation
  • Most models include SafeCell side-impact protection
  • Some models are cheaper than their Chicco counterparts
Cons
  • Bulkier and heavier than equivalent models from other brands
  • Many models do not have cup holders
  • Somewhat challenging to uninstall

Chicco Pros and Cons

Pros
  • NextFit models make installation easier when using the seat belt method
  • Lightweight for improved mobility
  • Premium LATCH connectors
  • Simple to install
  • Zippered cover can be removed and cleaned
Cons
  • Costs more than Britax
  • Car seats made in China
Best Chicco Seats
At The Best Prices
Have a look at the best selling Chicco Car Seats on Amazon!

Basics to Look for In a Car Seat

Infact car seat

For your child’s safety, it is recommended that you have a rear-facing car seat at least until age two. In some cases, your child may graduate to a front-facing seat earlier or later, depending on the car seat’s height and weight limits. Other things to consider include:

  • Has 5-point safety features
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Compatibility with stroller brands and models
  • Aircraft travel certification

For obvious reasons, the most important factor of any car seat is its safety features. Every car seat should have a 5-point security harness, appropriate safety inserts for newborns and small babies, and side-impact protection.

Additionally, it’s good to look for a car seat that is removable from a base that is installed in the car. The primary reason for this is that you can keep the base installed in the car and then lock the seat when it’s time to drive.

This method ensures the base is always safely and correctly placed while providing you with mobility for moving your baby around. What’s more, you have the option to purchase more than one base so that you can use the car seat in different vehicles.

Another handy feature to look for is compatibility with a stroller. For instance, many car seats have a simple click-and-go style mechanism so that the seat can be removed from the car to a stroller for easy transport.

Lastly, ensure that your car seat is certified for aircraft travel. If you ever need to travel with your infant on an airplane, you’ll be glad to have this feature.

Bottom Line

When shopping for a quality car seat featuring comfort and safety, Britax vs. Chicco both produce some excellent products. Both brands have car seats designed with improved features for comfort, safety, and ease of use.

Chicco car seats feature the LockSure system and the SuperCinch tightener for easy and secure installation. Similarly, Britax has the ClickTight Installation System for a super easy setup.

For this reason, it isn’t easy to pick a clear winner. Both brands produce high-quality car seats that are safe and easy to install. However, there are a couple of things that edge Britax car seats over their Chicco counterparts.

All in all, Britax has a slightly higher safety rating than Chicco. It has also received a number of accolades and recognitions. What’s more, Britax’s car seats are manufactured in the US and tend to be a little less expensive.

We hope this article has been helpful and wish you the best when it comes to choosing the car seat that is right for your little one!

About Joanne Stene
Joanne Stene
Joanne is a mother of 2 young girls and a technical writer with over 20 years of professional experience. She originally got interested in the topic of car seats as her two daughters were born and during the course of research into which seats to buy for her family. That interest has turned into a passion of sharing information on the Elite Car Seats website.
Joanne Stene
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