As caregivers for young children, caregivers need to put a lot of time into making the home safe and comfortable for babies and toddlers to explore. However, there's more to the world than that, and it's essential also to keep children safe while traveling. Car seats are the primary way to do so, but it can be difficult to tell at a glance if a product will get the job done.
Britax is one of the brands you can choose from as you shop for car seats, and they have numerous models that you can consider. Overall, though, this brand has a high reputation in the market, in part thanks to their stylish looks and high safety ratings when it comes to their products.
As an informed shopper, however, even hearing about excellent safety ratings isn't always enough to give you peace of mind, especially in regards to a product that your child will use regularly. That's why we've built our comprehensive Britax car seat review to help you learn if this brand is the right choice for your family.
As mentioned, Britax is a company that specializes in baby products, from car seats to strollers to combinations of the two. Among their car products, they have all-in-one models, as well as those aimed for specific age groups. Just a glance at their list shows that Britax gives you plenty of choice as you shop.
With so many products, it would be hard to cover them all in one review article, so we'll be focusing on two of their car seats to help you get an idea of what to expect from a Britax model, as well as touching on some company features as a whole.
For those looking for an infant-specific car seat, here's the Britax B-Safe Gen2 Infant Car Seat model, which also is convertible and can serve as a carrier and even a part of a stroller system, so long as you have a compatible base. For caregivers who want to purchase one car seat and rely on it through all applicable stages of their child's life, we'll also be looking at the Britax Marathon ClickTight.
With that out of the way, let's get into our Britax car seat review!
Throughout the years while they'll need a car seat, children go from tiny infants to taller sizes. For both purposes of comfort and safety, your chosen car seat should be able to accommodate your child's size. Each member of the Britax family will have its own indicated size limits, so you'll want to confirm these before making a purchase.
With the Britax B-Safe, the car seat is an infant-geared model, which means that it can only fit tiny children. Britax recommends the safety range for babies that weigh between four and thirty-five pounds. They also suggest a maximum height of thirty-two inches. Once your child passes these limits, you'll need a new car seat.
The Britax Marathon ClickTight seat, on the other hand, is a convertible car seat model geared for use throughout infancy to until your child no longer needs a booster in the vehicle. The recommended infant size range is between five and forty-pounds. After that point, you'll need to switch the seat into the forward-facing mode, which fits children up to forty-nine inches and sixty-five pounds.
There are scarce customer reports of children not fitting comfortably into the seat due to belt length, even if the child was within the size limitations.
Installation may not seem like the most pressing concern, especially if you plan to leave the seat in one car. However, it's still better to have a smooth install of a car seat, and that goes extra for families that rotate car seats around.
Britax actually makes use of two different installation models. The LATCH system is one of the most common across different brands, and it's present in the Britax B-Safe. Overall, the LATCH system allows for a simple install, and there aren't too many reported problems with Britax car seats on this front.
The other installation model that Britax offers is the ClickTight or CT version, which, as the name suggests, is the system used on the Britax Marathon. This newer system provides even smoother installation than LATCH can, though there can be a slight learning curve. The downside to the CT system is that it's not compatible with inflatable seatbelts, which are starting to enter the vehicle market.
A car seat can seem like exactly what you need—until you unpack it and realize it doesn't fit into your car. Size can be an extra challenge if you have multiple car seats lined up side by side. To avoid these issues, you should always measure the interior of your backseat and compare it to the measurements of the car seat.
The Britax B-Safe has dimensions of 26.5 by 17.8 by twenty-five inches, while the Marathon ClickTight measures in at twenty-three by 18.5 by 23.5 inches. With both these sizes, you'll find it a challenge to have three car seats in a row, unless your vehicle's interior is on the larger size. The seat in front may also lose some leg room, but these aren't uncommon problems for car seats.
Safety is undoubtedly one of the essential parts of a car seat. Britax does include multiple safety features in their models, such as the various impact protection paddings and shock absorbers. For the most part, Britax meets and then surpasses the minimum safety standards set by the government for car seats.
Even with all these positive aspects on Britax's side, there are a few safety concerns, such as the inability to evenly tighten straps for some parents. With the Marathon ClickTight, you'll also need to keep an eye on the strap release button, since snack crumbs can build up and impact the safety latch
Since you'll be spending a lot of time with a car seat in your vehicle, the look can have an impact on your final decision once you've settled on a model. While a matter of personal taste can come into it, Britax car seats are often appealing in terms of design. Each of our chosen models has multiple colors and design patterns that also handle regular messes well.
Looking at customer reviews for Britax car seats provides many insights on products. Many parents and caretakers express their satisfaction with the easy install, the comfort of their children, and the safety features, which have even stood up to car accidents and kept the child inside in healthy condition.
On the other hands, it's also possible to find negative reviews, where parents have found specific models to be lacking in full safety, with some products not holding up to wear and tear. While we've discovered positive experiences overall when it comes to using Britax car seats, it's also notable that many parents have had poor times interacting with customer service, which is a detractor on Britax's part.
Looking at a product on its own in extensive detail can tell you a lot about if it's right for your family, but no market is a vacuum—and that holds for the car seat industry as well. Britax is one of many that may have caught your attention while researching products. How does it hold up in comparison to Chicco, Graco, and Evenflo?
Looking at budget first, Britax does tend to be more expensive than these other notable comparisons. That's not to say that Evenflo and others don't have higher budgets, but these companies all have a focus on innovation and safety concerns, which pulls the expense up. One thing that Britax does surpass the competition in is that it has some of the smoothest installations, especially for those with the CT system.
However, the other brands have plenty to offer as well, seeing as Britax car sears often lack included cup holders and can have difficulty uninstalling when you need to shuffle them between cars. Graco's Snugride Click Connect 35 stands out, as it is compatible with strollers not even in the brand's family. Evenflo stands as close competition when it comes to safety innovations.
While it would be nice if there were only one car seat option that stood as the undisputable best, that's sadly not the reality. Any of these brands will serve you well; your focus should be on finding the product that fits your family's needs, vehicle, and budget the best.
After considering all the factors, we have to say that we understand why Britax has become such a notable name in the realm of car seats. We enjoy the different designs, as well as the included safety features, which we find essential when it comes to products for children. Additionally, the easy install is also a bonus, especially with the updated CT system, which is available on some of their models.
That said, the negative factors do come into play. Some of them are practical uses, such as whether or not the car seat will fit into your vehicle—as well as if your child will fit comfortably into the car seat to make it worth the investment. As for the safety concerns raised by customers, Britax seems to be paying attention and continuing to meet government standards, which is reassuring.
The budget is easily one of the most significant sticking points, as these car seats don't come cheap. Even so, Britax has built quality models that are worth the money, so long as it's within your budget. For those who don't see themselves spending upwards of two-hundred dollars on a car seat, you can find other products that still provide safety and comfort for your child.