With the announcement of the ClickTight Installation System in the 2015 models of the Marathon, Boulevard, and Advocate convertible carseats, Britax has indeed introduced a Game Changer into the convertible carseat market. Gone are the days of huffing and puffing and yanking on seat belts and LATCH straps to get carseats installed tightly. As technicians in the field, we know a loose install is one of the top 2 mistakes we’re going to see in a vehicle when it comes to a checkup event. ClickTight was a big deal with the Frontier 90 and is just as big of a deal for any carseat rated above 40 pounds or so, due to new federal standards limiting the use of the LATCH system.
Do these convertibles hold the cure for all possible misuse? Of course not. There may be some incompatibilities and the price may put it out of reach for many families but we can’t make advances in child passenger safety without advances in technology and those advances often come with a hefty price tag – at least initially. For that price tag, you also get increased height limits and a 10-year expiration date, so there is some value added!
Kecia, our lucky reporter in the field, got to touch and feel and see these cool new seats. We will have a full review coming in September. For now, she took a ton of pictures for us and a video and reports that baby Jack fits beautifully in the new Marathon without the lower body insert (see pics). With the lower body insert, the bottom harness slot measures about 6.5″.
These pics below show the preemie doll using the lower body insert. The Britax convertibles are rated from 5 lbs. to 40 lbs. rear-facing, so our 4 lb. Huggable Images preemie doll is too small to fit in any of them, but Kecia wanted to get an idea of harness slot fit.
The Marathon CT is going to be a smaller seat for Britax while the Boulevard CT and Advocate CT have a growth spurt (see photos below). The difference between the Boulevard CT and Advocate CT are the side impact cushions, now called MAX. You can see the height difference between the MACT and BVCT below. To recap the big news from our earlier article, the Boulevard and Advocate ClickTight models have considerably taller height limits. At the maximum height setting, the usable rear-facing height limit will be about 28″ (Editor’s note: This is 1″ below the top of the reference point on the head restraint “shell” just below the red adjustment lever that is 29″ tall based on a representative production model we measured later) because the head restraint is now structurally reinforced. The top forward-facing seated shoulder height increases to almost 19″. The Marathon ClickTight has more modest increases over the G4 version. It also has a reionforced head restraint, but it doesn’t adjust as high. Please keep in mind that all of these measurements are estimates from a late prototype and may vary slightly for production models!
Canadians will enjoy the arrival of their ClickTight convertibles sometime around mid-to-late November. Canadian models will ship with an anti-rebound bar to satisfy the Canadian anti-rebound standards.
An anti-rebound bar for the U.S. convertibles with ClickTight will be available as an accessory (for purchase separately) sometime in early 2015. Anti-rebound bars for the current U.S. G4 convertible models will be available for purchase (again, being sold as an “accessory”) even sooner – probably by mid November. This is GREAT news and we’re very excited that Britax has decided to make the anti-rebound bar available to American consumers
We have some pics of new fashions being offered on the seats. We’ll follow up with more comparisons from KIM coming up in a week and a half and at the ABC Show as well.
Advocate in “Limelight”
Kecia says, “Overall, the new Britax CT convertibles exceeded all expectations I had. The attention that was clearly paid to even the smallest details is really impressive. There is a lot to love in this new CT lineup and I think consumers are going to be very, very happy.“