When my son was too big for his infant seat, I went crazy trying to find the safest car seat to graduate him to. I scoured Consumer Reports and tried to pry information out of Babies R Us sales people (they aren’t allowed to disclose what seat is the best) and interviewed friends with bigger kids. I eventually settled on a Britax Marathon. It rated well and would have him taken care of until 65 lbs came. Lucky for me they rate fairly well on HealthyCar.org.
I was pleased with the Britax Marathon… until I had the opportunity to test run a new Britax Boulevard CS which just became available at Babies R Us in July. Britax has gone a step further to improve the safety of their car seats to address the harness latch system and beef up the side impact protection. Britax has implemented their Click & Safe™ snug harness indicator, which is supposed to reduce the common misuses of the tightening mechanism of the harness belts. On older seats, like the one I had (Britax Marathon) you buckle the child in and then pull a strap between the legs to make the whole system fit snug. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found 59 percent of all harness straps to be dangerously loose… many times due to operator error. I can’t tell you how many times I looked back to notice my son sitting upright rather than snug on the chair… forcing me to pull over and readjust so he’s be in tighter. The Click & Safe ™ snug harness indicator is now the solution to help reduce that.
Now, once the child is buckled in, pulling the Click & Safe harness strap, you hear a brief “click click” indicating the strap is secured tight and will remain so. From a personal standpoint, this is a little tougher to pull than the older models but it does secure a bit tighter and doesn’t loosen as the child wiggles around.
The other feature they’ve added is Britax‘s revolutionary True Side Impact Protection™ with deep side walls and head support to provide advanced protection in side impact collisions. One in four of all motor vehicle crashes that involve children occur from the side, and these crashes result in a significantly higher injury rate than front or rear crashes.
Again, from a personal use standpoint, I like the fact that there is more head protection with this seat, and frivolously, my son likes to rest his head on them so car trips are a little more comfortable for him.
The feature my husband loves is its easy-turn knob adjusts the headrest and harness height without having to remove the seat from the vehicle. No more taking the seat out and rethreading the straps for 20 minutes. The headrest and strap height adjust in a quick knob turn.
Britax Demo from Kathy Scoleri on Vimeo
I really love the quality and safety performance of this car seat and it just looks cool… not to mention it’s made in the USA and Britax rates well in HealthyCar.org so it’s a seat I can stand behind.