Whether you’re the parent of a new baby, a toddler, or a school-age child, choosing a car seat is critically important to your child’s safety. Even with all the advances of technology available, car crashes are still the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 to 13 years old, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The best way to protect your family from such a tragedy is to choose a high-quality safety seat and use it from the day your baby comes home from the hospital until he or she reaches the height and weight requirements to move to a regular seatbelt.
The NHTSA offers detailed guidance on the topic of child safety seats. From birth to 12 months of age, infants should ride in a rear-facing seat. Somewhere between age 1 and 2 years, babies will be ready for a forward-facing seat. The maximum weight for seats in this category will vary; some can accommodate your child until he or she is 7 or 8 years old. At that time, your little one is ready for a backseat booster chair.
The NHTSA also reminds parents to consider the available space in the vehicle or vehicles where you will utilize the seat. Measure carefully because some car seats won’t fit well, especially if the car is smaller. If you have multiple children who need car seats or booster seats, you want to be sure you have room for everyone.
The child seat will attach to the seat of the car using either the regular seatbelt or a set of lower anchors but not both. If you have an older car, it may not have the standard anchors, so you’ll need to get a car seat that attaches with the seatbelt. Whichever method you use to secure your child’s safety seat, check the owner’s manual of your car to understand how to lock it in place.
When you’re shopping, you’ll find three main types of car seats available. The first is a rear-facing-only seat. These are only for infants, and most children outgrow them after eight or nine months. When the child reaches the designated weight limit for the seat, it’s time to buy a convertible or all-in-one seat whose configuration can be either rear-facing or forward-facing. The second type of seat is the convertible variety. It can be used from birth until the child reaches the maximum weight limit. At that time, the child may be ready for a booster seat, or you may need another convertible seat with a higher maximum weight limit. Finally, you can choose an all-in-one seat that adjusts to fit your baby from birth until he or she is ready for the adult seatbelt system.
Many new parents elect to purchase a convertible car seat. This is a type of safety seat that you can use both rear-facing and forward-facing. Parents don’t have to buy a new seat for the transition. Historically, these seats have been cumbersome and difficult to adjust. However, advances in engineering have led to seats that can configure more easily. If you’re looking for this type of seat, one of your options is the Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible car seat. It offers convenient features at a reasonable price. Best of all, it’s easily adjustable as your child grows.
Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible car seat is designed to keep your baby safe from birth until he or she is ready to move to a booster or reaches 65 pounds. Its harness adjusts to any of 14 different positions to accommodate your child’s growth.
Rethreading is usually a process that requires removing the straps from the car seat and running them back through a different set of slots to accommodate a growing boy or girl. Though it only has to be done a few times over the life of the car seat, it’s a hassle and a frustration for most parents. As a result, no-rethread car seats have become very popular. The Britax Boulevard is one such no-rethread type of seat.
- In rear-facing mode, this seat accommodates babies from five to 40 pounds and from 7.6 to 18.65 inches at seated shoulder height.
- In front-facing mode, it is safe for children 20 to 65 pounds, and 12 to 18.65 inches at seated shoulder height.
- The maximum height regardless of usage or configuration is 49 inches.
- Info CircleWeight of seat: 29.4 pounds
- Info CircleDimensions: 18.5 inches wide x 23.5 inches high x 23 inches deep
- Info CircleDepth/width of seat: 10.5 inches deep and 11.5 inches wide
- Info CircleShoulder width of seat: 16 inches wide
- Info CircleHeight of harness slots: 14 positions from 8.35 inches to 19.4 inches in increments of 0.85 inches
- Info CircleDepth of buckle straps: 5.25 inches or 7 inches
While the seat has many convenient features, a few appear again and again in product reviews from parents who have bought and used it.
- Consumers love the ease of use of the Boulevard. The harness height adjusts without having to rethread, saving you time and frustration.
- Installation is as easy as buckling a seatbelt. This is an especially helpful feature if you need to move the seat between vehicles often.
- A Click & Safe Snug Harness helps you make sure that you have tightened the harness the correct amount. You don’t have to guess whether you’ve strapped your child in properly.
- Info CircleTwo layers of protection defend your child’s body in the event of a crash. A shell lines the seat to absorb energy, and a foam-lined headrest protects the child’s head to reduce the risk of brain injuries.
- Info CircleThe Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible car seat comes in six different fabric patterns, so you can choose the one that coordinates best with your vehicle’s interior.
Pros and Cons
- The Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat has some advantages over similar seats in this price range. First of all, the installation is the easiest of the seats we reviewed because of the ClickTight system. Installation takes just three steps, and it never needs rethreading. The front of the seat opens to allow you to buckle the belt across. Then you just click the seat back into place. By comparison, the CYBEX Sirona uses the standard LATCH or the vehicle seat belt and takes longer to install. It also takes additional time to install the CYBEX’s SensorSafe technology and configure it on your phone.
- Another advantage of the Boulevard is the number of positions that you can configure. Using the quick-adjust feature, you can set it up in any of 14 different ways. The Click & Safe Snug indicator gives you an audible click, so you know the harness is tight enough. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 only offers six different positions and the CYBEX Sirona only has 10 possible settings.
- On a couple of points, the Britax Boulevard gives up some ground to other seats in this category. The CYBEX Sirona adds SensorSafe technology that coordinates with your phone to help make sure your baby doesn’t get left behind in a car that gets too hot or too cold. It also tells you if your child unbuckles while you’re traveling and reminds you when it’s time for a break on a long road trip. The Britax doesn’t have this technology. On the flip side of that coin, the CYBEX is more expensive because of this advantage. Plus, the CYBEX uses batteries that you will eventually have to replace. If the technology doesn’t appeal to you, it’s probably not worth the extra money and time you’ll spend on installing it, learning how to use it, and keeping it up to date.
- Finally, this Britax seat, at almost 30 pounds, is heavier compared to similar convertible seats. The Diono Radian and the CYBEX are nearly 3 pounds lighter, and the Graco is just over 4 pounds lighter. While the weight is helpful for keeping the seat in place and lends a sense of security and sturdiness, it makes it cumbersome to move between vehicles.
The biggest drawback is the lower maximum recommended weight because it shortens the useful life of the unit. The best feature most commonly cited by owners of this seat is the ease of installation and adjustment, literally requiring less than a minute. When you consider all of the benefits together, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is a sturdy, reliable way to keep your children safe when you’re on the road. It’s not the cheapest, but when it comes to your child’s safety, price can’t be the only consideration.
Last update on 2021-10-21 at 13:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API