How to choose the Best Convertible Car Seat – Ultimate Guide 2021

As a new parent, you may be wondering how many car seat do you need for baby. There are so many types of car seat including the new Convertible  Car Seat on the market that it has become a difficult choice for parents to find a car seat which is suitable for their budget and needs.   Trying to figure out the best child car seat can be both time consuming and frustrating. So here is our buyer guide to help you. Read on.

Here are a few quick facts to know before purchasing a car seat. As your child grow in size and weight, the positioning of the car seat will change. Some people prefer to get the infant car seat as a starter. You can start with a just clip and position car seat in order not to disturb baby sleep or better you can choose a Convertible car seat. For example the Graco 4ever all in one seat. It changes from a rear facing car seat for infant to a forward facing car seat for toddler, to a high back booster for kids weights from to 4 to 120 pounds.

 

Rear-Facing Car Safety Seats

Infants and toddlers are at greater risk for head and spinal cord injuries if they are in a forward-facing car seat instead of a rear-facing car seat, which provides better support for their head and neck.1 Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat (an infant seat or rear-facing convertible car seat with a harness) for as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the seat’s manufacturer.

The limits on most convertible seats allow children to ride rear-facing for 2 years or more. Every child will need a convertible rear-facing seat, because they will outgrow their infant seat well before it is safe for them to ride forward-facing.

Convertible seats (those that can be either rear- or forward-facing) typically have rear-facing weight limits of at least 40 pounds, with some as high as 50 pounds. However, many children reach the height limit before the weight limit for rear-facing. The height limit is not when the child’s feet touch the back of the vehicle seat.

 

Forward-Facing Car Safety Seats

Once they have outgrown their rear-facing car seat (by reaching either the height or weight limit), children should sit in a forward-facing car seat with harness straps as long as possible, and until they reach the weight or height limits of their car seat.

Keep in mind that many convertible car seats and combination car seats have forward-facing weight limits of 65 to 80 pounds when used with harness straps. However, the majority of kids will outgrow their forward-facing car seat in height before they reach the weight limit. The forward-facing height limit is when the child’s shoulders reach the top shoulder strap slot.

Booster Seats

When a child outgrows their forward-facing car seat, they should transition to a booster seat (a seat where the child wears the vehicle’s seat belt as their restraint). To ride safely in a booster seat, a child must be mature enough to sit properly for the entire ride, without slouching, leaning over, or messing with the seat belt. In addition to being able to follow these rules, it is recommended that kids be at least 5 years old and weigh at least 40 pounds before riding in a booster.

Vehicle Seat Belts

A child can ride safely without a booster seat when their body fits properly on the vehicle seat and the seat belt fits properly on their body without the help of the booster. Specifically, the child must be able to sit without slouching and have their knees bend at the edge of the seat, the lap belt must rest on the lap (not the belly), and the shoulder belt should cross between the neck and shoulder. Most kids will need to be close to 5 feet tall and 8 to 12 years old before they can ride safely without a booster.

 

Car Seat Best Practices

The best car seat is one that is used correctly.

  • Tight is right: Make sure your car seat is installed tightly. If, when holding the car seat at the belt path (where the seat belt or LATCH strap passes through), you can move the seat more than 1 inch, then it is not installed tightly enough.
  • Use the tether strap: Every forward-facing car seat in the U.S. has a tether strap. This strap comes from the top of the child’s car seat and connects to a tether anchor in the back of the vehicle. Every forward-facing car seat is safer when it is tethered. The tether reduces how far forward the child’s head moves by at least 4 inches. In so doing, it greatly reduces the risk of brain and spinal cord injury.
  • Check your child’s seat belt readiness: Your older child isn’t ready to ride without a booster unless they can sit with their back against the vehicle’s seat and have their knees bent at the edge of the seat without slouching, with the shoulder belt lying between the neck and shoulder, and the lap belt on their lap (upper thighs), not abdomen.
  • Avoid common car seat mistakes: In addition to choosing the wrong type of seat for your child’s age, common car seat mistakes include not installing the seat tightly enough, having loose harness straps, and turning kids forward-facing too soon (your child’s legs will be bent in a rear-facing seat and this is fine).
  • Use caution with pickup trucks: Children should never be allowed to ride in the cargo area of a pickup truck. Parents should be aware that the smaller rear seats of 2-door, 3-door, and some 4-door pickups are not as safe as larger back seats found in other cars and trucks. The tight back seat increases the chances of the child’s head and other body parts hitting the back of the front seat in a crash.
  • Register your car seat: You will be notified of any car seat recalls if you register your car seat.

There are some amazing car seats on the market today, when buying a car seat, remember one which will be easy to clean and install too. To help you we have compared some prices here:

 

 

 

Seat Bottom Width: 18 in | Rear-facing Passenger Weight Limit: 40 lbs

Foolproof installation
Easiest to use
Comfortable
Average crash test results
Higher Price

In our tests, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB earned one of the highest overall results with perfect LATCH and belt installation scores, creating a virtually foolproof car seat anyone can install. As a result of the innovative ClickTight and strap tightening system, this Britax practically installs itself with only a little help from you. We love the non-rethread harness height adjustment with ten levels, seamless soft fabric, closed outer shell, and three layers of padding for comfort.

This convertible seat is not the best option for families on a tight budget as it is one of the most expensive seats in this lineup. It also isn’t your top contender if you want the absolute best crash test results, as its results are average. However, the Boulevard provides impressive performance in most test areas, making it a potential option if your budget allows. Given that some injuries result from an incorrectly installed car seat, this Britax is a contender for parents concerned with proper installation, thanks to the stupendously easy ClickTight design.

 

Britax is a 70-year-old European company that made its way to the US in 1996. In short order, the company became one of the most popular baby gear brands in the country. The Britax company works to design baby products that improve family life and products include strollers and car seats.

Performance Comparison

Crash Test

 

The Britax Boulevard ClickTight earned an average score for crash tests in this review. All of the seats in this review and sold in the US must meet or exceed Federal safety guidelines as defined in FMVSS 213; which means this seat is considered safe and performed better than some of the competition in an apples-to-apples comparison of results from identical test methods. The test methods BabyGearLab uses are identical to those used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for a true side-by-side comparison of results.

Crash Test Rating0246810Graco Extend2FitBritax EmblemEvenflo Tribute LXNuna RAVAMaxi-Cosi Pria 70Britax AllegianceClek FlloClek FoonfBoulevard ClickTight ARBGraco 4Ever DLXSafety 1st Alpha Elite 65Graco SlimFit All-in-OneChicco NextFitMarathon ClickTight ARBPrimo Viaggio ConvertibleSirona M with SensorSafe 2.0Advocate ClickTight ARBBritax One4Life ClickTight988888776666555443

Product Crash Test Rating
Graco Extend2Fit 9
Britax Emblem 8
Evenflo Tribute LX 8
Nuna RAVA 8
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 8
Britax Allegiance 8
Clek Fllo 7
Clek Foonf 7
Boulevard ClickTight ARB 6
Graco 4Ever DLX 6
Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65 6
Graco SlimFit All-in-One 6
Chicco NextFit 5
Marathon ClickTight ARB 5
Primo Viaggio Convertible 5
Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 4
Advocate ClickTight ARB 4
Britax One4Life ClickTight 3

 

In comparison, the Boulevard had G-force test results that were the fourth lowest for HIC sensors and the second highest for the chest sensor, which hurt its overall rank compared to the competition. However, the HIC forces are far below the maximum allowable by over 710 points and below the maximum chest forces allowed by almost 10 points.

Higher Cost Doesn’t Mean Safer
While the ClickTight seats are more expensive than the non-ClickTight Britax options, this does not mean they are safer. While we understand this assumption, results from crash testing indicate that the ClickTight models are not as safe as the less expensive Britax Emblem and Britax Allegiance seats. The ClickTight options are easier to install, but if you are looking for a quality seat with better crash test results, you’ll need to look outside the ClickTight group.

 

The charts below show the test data from the test dummy sensors in the Boulevard (shown in black) and the test data for the seats in this review that have the lowest recorded G forces (shown in green) for comparison.

The G-force head sensor data for the Boulevard (in black) compared...

The G-force head sensor data for the Boulevard (in black) compared to the Essentials by Britax Allegiance (in green).
Credit: BabyGearLab, MGA Research

The G force chest sensor data for the Boulevard (shown in black)...

The G force chest sensor data for the Boulevard (shown in black) compared to the Clek Foonf (shown in green).
Credit: NHSTA, BabyGearLab

 

The Britax Allegiance head sensor recorded the lowest G-forces during testing. The Clek Foonf chest sensor recorded the lowest amount of G-forces compared to the other products we tested. The Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB differs from the Boulevard ClickTight by having one of the lowest crash test scores in the review. This metric is the only one where the two diverged in their test results, with the Advocate earning only 3 of 10.

The honeycomb base on the Boulevard is designed to help absorb...

The honeycomb base on the Boulevard is designed to help absorb impact forces in the event of a crash.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

The Boulevard also has a honeycomb-shaped component at the bottom of the seat that is designed to absorb the impact of a crash. While it is hard to say that it does this, we like most additional safety features over the standard fare found in most car seats. The ARB version of the Boulevard also includes a removable anti-rebound bar for the rear-facing configuration of this product. This feature is designed to decrease the amount of seat rotation during an accident to prevent the baby from moving too much in the seat.

The LATCH clips on the Boulevard are the simpler version that is...

The LATCH clips on the Boulevard are the simpler version that is somewhat harder to remove than the push button type that mimics a seatbelt.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

Ease of Install – LATCH

 

The Boulevard ClickTight has top-level performance for ease of installation using the LATCH system.

Ease Of Install LATCH Rating0246810Clek FoonfBoulevard ClickTight ARBAdvocate ClickTight ARBMarathon ClickTight ARBBritax One4Life ClickTightChicco NextFitGraco SlimFit All-in-OneSirona M with SensorSafe 2.0Britax AllegianceNuna RAVABritax EmblemPrimo Viaggio ConvertibleGraco Extend2FitGraco 4Ever DLXMaxi-Cosi Pria 70Clek FlloEvenflo Tribute LXSafety 1st Alpha Elite 6510109999988888877764

Product Ease Of Install LATCH Rating
Clek Foonf 10
Boulevard ClickTight ARB 10
Advocate ClickTight ARB 9
Marathon ClickTight ARB 9
Britax One4Life ClickTight 9
Chicco NextFit 9
Graco SlimFit All-in-One 9
Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 8
Britax Allegiance 8
Nuna RAVA 8
Britax Emblem 8
Primo Viaggio Convertible 8
Graco Extend2Fit 8
Graco 4Ever DLX 7
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 7
Clek Fllo 7
Evenflo Tribute LX 6
Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65 4

 

While this seat is known for its easy installation using the vehicle belt, it is just as easy to install using the LATCH hooks. The LATCH hooks are the clip style, which makes them more difficult to remove (you’ll need to push them in and then turn them sideways to pull out), but they work well and are easy enough to use. The seat feels stable once installed and the LATCH belt is easy to tighten and release, or at least not as difficult to release as some of the competition.

The recline angle adjustment handle is located on the foot of the...

The recline angle adjustment handle is located on the foot of the seat base on the Boulevard and is easy to operate, but difficult to use when the seat is in a rear facing configuration.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

The handle for recline adjustment is located near the foot of the seat, as it is in the other Britax options we tested. The handle placement can make adjusting the angle difficult after installing the seat in the rear-facing direction, so we recommend changing the recline before installation to avoid the hassle of loosening the straps to fit your hand in between the car seat and the vehicle seat.

Forward Facing vehicle seat belt installation using the shoulder...

Forward Facing vehicle seat belt installation using the shoulder belt for the Britax Boulevard ClickTight.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

Ease of Install – Belt

 

Installation of the Boulevard using the vehicle belt is where this seat shines in the competition earning the highest result possible.

Ease Of Install Belt Rating0246810Boulevard ClickTight ARBMarathon ClickTight ARBBritax One4Life ClickTightClek FoonfAdvocate ClickTight ARBSirona M with SensorSafe 2.0Nuna RAVAPrimo Viaggio ConvertibleChicco NextFitGraco SlimFit All-in-OneMaxi-Cosi Pria 70Britax EmblemGraco Extend2FitGraco 4Ever DLXBritax AllegianceClek FlloEvenflo Tribute LXSafety 1st Alpha Elite 651099998888877777765

Product Ease Of Install Belt Rating
Boulevard ClickTight ARB 10
Marathon ClickTight ARB 9
Britax One4Life ClickTight 9
Clek Foonf 9
Advocate ClickTight ARB 9
Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 8
Nuna RAVA 8
Primo Viaggio Convertible 8
Chicco NextFit 8
Graco SlimFit All-in-One 8
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 7
Britax Emblem 7
Graco Extend2Fit 7
Graco 4Ever DLX 7
Britax Allegiance 7
Clek Fllo 7
Evenflo Tribute LX 6
Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65 5

 

Pushing the seat bottom down over the belt will create a snug and...
For forward facing installation on the Boulevard the belt path is on...

 

These photos show the belt path for Boulevard in the rear-facing position (above left) and the front-facing position (above right).

The button on the front of the Boulevard seat bottom is used to open...

The button on the front of the Boulevard seat bottom is used to open the seat bottom to access the belt path.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

The ClickTight has a relatively unique belt installation method with a built-in lock-off that is virtually foolproof and makes installing this seat the easiest option we tested, by far. The method means there is no more fumbling around with the seat trying to get the belt tight enough or contorting yourself into the back of the seat to apply pressure to tighten the belt.

The video below shows an overview of the installation of the Boulevard ClickTight.

video thumbnail

 

To install the ClickTight you lift the seat bottom up, thread the belt across the seat bottom, remove the slack (do not try to tighten), and then close the seat bottom by pushing it back down until it “clicks” (hence the name of ClickTight). This installation is so easy we were able to manage it entirely from outside the vehicle without the need for extra pressure on the seat. The seat is very stable and felt secure after every installation, and in every car, we used for testing. Even threading the belt is easier than the competition because once you open the seat, the belt path is right there and easy to access with no need to feed the belt through small openings.

The boulevard has 7 recline positions and a level indicator that...

The boulevard has 7 recline positions and a level indicator that helps parents ensure that the seat is installed properly.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

The Boulevard has an installation indicator that helps caregivers determine when the seat installation is at the right angle in relation to the vehicle seat (not recline angle).

The Boulevard harness release button is fairly deep inside and...

The Boulevard harness release button is fairly deep inside and larger fingers may have difficulty with the opening and shorter fingers may struggle as well.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

Ease of Use

 

The Boulevard performance for ease of use is once again the highest score in this metric (there seems to be a pattern here).

Ease Of Use Rating45678Advocate ClickTight ARBBritax AllegianceBoulevard ClickTight ARBBritax EmblemBritax One4Life ClickTightMarathon ClickTight ARBPrimo Viaggio ConvertibleNuna RAVAGraco SlimFit All-in-OneGraco Extend2FitGraco 4Ever DLXEvenflo Tribute LXSirona M with SensorSafe 2.0Chicco NextFitClek FlloClek FoonfMaxi-Cosi Pria 70Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65888888777777765555

Product Ease Of Use Rating
Advocate ClickTight ARB 8
Britax Allegiance 8
Boulevard ClickTight ARB 8
Britax Emblem 8
Britax One4Life ClickTight 8
Marathon ClickTight ARB 8
Primo Viaggio Convertible 7
Nuna RAVA 7
Graco SlimFit All-in-One 7
Graco Extend2Fit 7
Graco 4Ever DLX 7
Evenflo Tribute LX 7
Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 7
Chicco NextFit 6
Clek Fllo 5
Clek Foonf 5
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 5
Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65 5

 

Ease of use impacts your day to day activities and happiness with a seat, making it one of the more important metrics to consider when choosing a product.

video thumbnail

 

The video above shows some of the features of the Boulevard ClickTight.

The buckle and chest clip on the Boulevard are easy enough to use...

The buckle and chest clip on the Boulevard are easy enough to use, though not the easiest in the group.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

Harness

 

The Boulevard buckle isn’t hard to use and works with one hand, but it is stiff and might be difficult for some people. The chest clip releases without putting your hand under it.

The Boulevard has an easy to adjust, non-rethread harness height...

The Boulevard has an easy to adjust, non-rethread harness height adjustment that work smoothly and is easy to operate.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

The harness on the Boulevard is a non-rethread option that has 14 positions and moves smoothly after squeezing the handle to adjust the height. The harness can change heights with your baby in the seat which is convenient and ensures it always fits properly. Tightening the harness uses the Britax “Click & Safe” harness tightening method where you pull on the strap until it clicks indicating the harness is tight enough. We suggest you still double check the tightness with the pinch test, but we love that Britax is trying to innovate their products to make them easier for parents and safer for children. The strap slides in and out smoothly with little force required to tighten. Loosening the harness is done with a button located relatively deep under the seat cushion and behind a plastic bevel that prevents little fingers from touching it. The crotch strap has two positions that help ensure the right fit for most babies.

The tether and LATCH clips on the Boulevard all stow away in pockets...

The tether and LATCH clips on the Boulevard all stow away in pockets with plastic covers.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

LATCH Storage

 

The LATCH clips on the Boulevard store in small plastic cubbies on the back of the base and the LATCH tether stores in a hard plastic pocket at the top of the seatback. Both storage compartments keep the connectors safely out of the way if necessary. The Boulevard user manual stores behind the seat back and padding. We think there is a chance the manual could get damaged in this location, but it isn’t the worst spot in the group.

The Boulevard manual stows behind the seat back fabric against the...

The Boulevard manual stows behind the seat back fabric against the shell.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

Cover

 

The cover for the Boulevardis hand wash only and line dry. This washing method is a bummer given that some of the competition have machine washable covers. On the upside, this cover is relatively easy to remove and comes off in four pieces making removal quick and painless. Even though the cover tucks into the shell for a seamless look, it is still easy to put back on. Given that children can be messy, we think it is important that the covers are washable.

The Boulevard scored well for quality and comfort with a nice...

The Boulevard scored well for quality and comfort with a nice overall fit and finish that is sleek and polished looking.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

Comfort/Quality

 

This ClickTight seat excels in the comfort and quality, offering additional padding, a padded headrest, and a thicker seat bottom.

Comfort Quality Rating0246810Advocate ClickTight ARBBoulevard ClickTight ARBMarathon ClickTight ARBBritax One4Life ClickTightChicco NextFitNuna RAVAClek FlloClek FoonfSirona M with SensorSafe 2.0Britax EmblemPrimo Viaggio ConvertibleBritax AllegianceGraco 4Ever DLXGraco Extend2FitGraco SlimFit All-in-OneMaxi-Cosi Pria 70Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65Evenflo Tribute LX999999888887666643
Product Comfort Quality Rating
Advocate ClickTight ARB 9
Boulevard ClickTight ARB 9
Marathon ClickTight ARB 9
Britax One4Life ClickTight 9
Chicco NextFit 9
Nuna RAVA 9
Clek Fllo 8
Clek Foonf 8
Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 8
Britax Emblem 8
Primo Viaggio Convertible 8
Britax Allegiance 7
Graco 4Ever DLX 6
Graco Extend2Fit 6
Graco SlimFit All-in-One 6
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 6
Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65 4
Evenflo Tribute LX 3

 

The fabric on the Boulevard is nice. The seat bottom is dense and feels thicker and more comfortable than much of the competition. The fabric looks like it will wear well over time and it fits snugly and tucks into the shell, so it looks relatively seamless.

The plastic shell on the Boulevard helps make the seat look sleek...

The plastic shell on the Boulevard helps make the seat look sleek and keeps all the parts in their place.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

The shell on the Boulevard is almost fully contained. It looks like it will stay clean with a quick wipe and won’t get hung up on anything given the lack of nooks and crannies or sharp edges. We like smooth seat backs as they are easier to clean and less likely to cause injury or damage to the vehicle. The Boulevard has Expanded Polypropylene (EPP), and we prefer this kind of foam to the more common Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). It is less brittle, doesn’t off-gas, and is more environmentally friendly.

The seat bottom on the Boulevard is relatively smooth and doesn't...

The seat bottom on the Boulevard is relatively smooth and doesn’t appear as though it will damage the vehicle seat.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

The fit and finish of this Britax are better than most of the competition. The bottom of the seat is smooth and fully covered with a rubber edge and raised lettering. It is unlikely to cause any damage to a vehicle seat or leave significant indent marks.

The Boulevard is the second heaviest seat in the group at 28 pounds...

The Boulevard is the second heaviest seat in the group at 28 pounds 7 ounces.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

 

Weight

 

The Boulevard is heavy at 28 lbs 7 ounces; with the anti-rebound bar, it gains 1.05 lbs in the rear-facing position only.

Weight Size Rating0246810Evenflo Tribute LXBritax EmblemBritax AllegiancePrimo Viaggio ConvertibleClek FlloMarathon ClickTight ARBChicco NextFitClek FoonfSirona M with SensorSafe 2.0Boulevard ClickTight ARBSafety 1st Alpha Elite 65Graco 4Ever DLXGraco Extend2FitGraco SlimFit All-in-OneBritax One4Life ClickTightMaxi-Cosi Pria 70Nuna RAVAAdvocate ClickTight ARB1066665555555554444
Product Weight Size Rating
Evenflo Tribute LX 10
Britax Emblem 6
Britax Allegiance 6
Primo Viaggio Convertible 6
Clek Fllo 6
Marathon ClickTight ARB 5
Chicco NextFit 5
Clek Foonf 5
Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 5
Boulevard ClickTight ARB 5
Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65 5
Graco 4Ever DLX 5
Graco Extend2Fit 5
Graco SlimFit All-in-One 5
Britax One4Life ClickTight 4
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 4
Nuna RAVA 4
Advocate ClickTight ARB 4

 

The lightest seat is just over 9 lbs, making it a better option for urban dwellers who may need to carry this seat from taxi to town. On the upside, the Boulevard is fairly narrow at 18 inches, with only four seats in this review measuring smaller.

Maufacturer Video

 

video thumbnail

 

‘other-versions’>

Other Versions

 

In addition to the Boulevard, Britax also makes a variety of other car seat options

  • Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB— This is Britax’s most expensive convertible car seat and it is very similar to the Boulevard earning identical scores in most metrics with the exception of crash test results and installation. Because this seat scored lower in our crash test analysis, is slightly harder to install, and costs more than the Boulevard, we recommend the Boulevard over the Advocate.
  • Britax Marathon ClickTight ARB— This is the most economical ClickTight in our review with better crash test results than the Advocate but slightly lower than the Boulevard. This car seat has similar features and functionality to the other ClickTight options in this review and identical performance scores to the Advocate. While it is a nice enough seat, for $10 more you can get the Boulevard with the better crash test results.
  • Britax Allegiance — This car seat is a wallet-friendly option by Britax. While it does not offer the ClickTight installation method, it is still relatively easy to install and managed a higher crash test score than any of the ClickTight options. This makes the Allegiance an economical option that offers an additional margin of protection.
  • Britax Emblem — The Emblem is very similar to the Allegiance, but with a little upgrade in materials and padding including a thicker more substantial headrest apparatus. The two Essentials by Britax options earned similar scores with the only variation being the Emblem having a 1 point lead for comfort and quality. This car seat earned an Editor’s Choice award and makes an excellent choice for parents who want higher crash test results at a lower price.

 

adminfurniture

About the Author

adminfurniture

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required