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More on New Britax Advocate, Marathon and Boulevard ClickTight: Sneak Peek Review

 

 

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Our comprehensive review of the Britax Boulevard ClickTight is now posted here: http://carseatblog.com/30080/britax-boulevard-clighttight-convertible-review-sometimes-things-just-click/

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.

Britax ClickTight convertibles

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.

*UPDATE – our comprehensive Britax Boulevard CT Review is now posted here.

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″.

 

20" doll in Marathon CT - no lower insert needed  20" doll in Marathon CT - no lower insert needed  Marathon CT lowest harness ht measurement - with lower body insert

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.

CTMApreemiefront  CTMApreemieside

 

Installation:

Comparisons

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).

Britax Marathon, Boulevard & Advocate ClickTight Preview: Game Changers for Installation, and Rear-Facing Too?

marathonct

Britax Marathon CT

The big news in the carseat world is that Britax is introducing a new line of convertible carseats with their patented, ultra-simple seatbelt installation system.  These models with ClickTight are new designs from the ground up and have some important other differences too.

*Update: Our complete review of the Britax Boulevard with ClickTight is now posted here: Britax Boulevard ClightTight Convertible Review: Sometimes Things Just Click

The current “G4″ Convertible lineup will continue to be sold at present price points alongside the somewhat more expensive ClickTight models.  That is great news because the Britax G4 convertible models have a great LATCH installation system and fit into small spaces very well.  Check out our review of the Britax Advocate G4 and stay tuned for our full review of the Britax Boulevard ClickTight next month. So, you know about ClickTight, but here’s what a lot of advocates and parents really want to know.  First, when can you get one?  Britax plans to begin shipping to stores in the first week of September, with product appearing on many virtual and brick&mortar shelves by mid-to-late September.  And second, what are the height limits?!  Are they a “gamechanger” or a dud? The new Britax Marathon ClickTight is only modestly taller than the current Britax Marathon G4.  The top harness slot height increases from 17.5″ to 17.7″ and the top seated shoulder height from 16.75″ to 16.95″.  The overall standing height limit is 49″ tall.   The rear-facing height limit will also increase somewhat, to about 25.5″ tall to a point 1″ from the top of the head restraint. That point was just below the red adjustment handle at over 26.5″ tall.  Somewhat taller than the Marathon G4, with the main addition of the great ClickTight installation system.  (Editors note: Measurements updated for production model). Now the BIG news: The Britax Boulevard ClickTight and Advocate ClickTight get a significant height increase!  The top harness slot height increases from 17.5″ to 19.5″, among the highest for current convertibles.  The seated shoulder height increases from 16.75″ to 18.65″ tall in the top adjustment.  The standing height limit is also 49″ tall.

Britax Advocate ClickTight

Click To Enlarge

Perhaps the biggest news of the day, these two models will no longer use the top of the outer shell as their reference level for rear-facing height limits!  That limit will now reference 1″ from the top of the inner head restraint “shell” instead.  That point is defined as roughly 1″ below the red adjustment lever for the harness height adjustment. Please keep in mind that these are approximate measurements from a final prototype, but the estimated usable rear-facing height limit should be almost 28″ tall for the Boulevard and Advocate with the head restraint in the highest position.  Bam!  (Editors note: Updated for production models. We measured about 29″ to the bottom of the red level for maximum height adjustment, so one inch below that gives a 28″ usable rear-facing seated height limit to the top of the child’s head). Other notable changes?  They all have an new 7-position recline system with an automatic level indicator.   The Marathon gets a 12-position harness height adjustment, while the Boulevard/Advocate have a 14-position adjustment.  All have two crotch strap positions, similar to current G4 models.  The Pavilion G4 model is being phased out, and the Click & Safe harness tension adjustment system will now be standard on all Boulevard models.  These new ClickTight convertibles are a lot heavier than the G4 models, due to the ClickTight system and steel reinforced shell.  They are a little bigger as well, so they won’t be as handy for travel than the non-ClickTight G4 models.  And, of course, there new fashions! Stay tuned for video and more photos later today.  You can also find our comparison to the current G4 models.

Evenflo Titan 65 Convertible with SureSafe Installation System – Unboxing, Preview & Giveaway

This brand new retail version of the popular Evenflo convertible also know as the “SureRide” will be available exclusively in Walmart stores and on walmart.com beginning on August 11th. The Evenflo Titan 65 with “SureSafe” offers some nice features not found on other retail Evenflo SureRide models. The SureSafe Series is all about making installation with LATCH easier. The seats in this Walmart-exclusive lineup will include the Embrace infant seat, Titan 65 convertible, Triumph LX convertible and the Symphony LX All-in-One. All the Evenflo “SureSafe” models will feature:

  • SureSafe Quick Connectors for installation with lower LATCH anchors
  • SureSafe LATCH Guides (plastic funnel guides for the lower anchors in your vehicle)
  • Buckle pockets (hold buckle tongues out of the way when loading/unloading child)

Check out the video for the rest of the details! http://youtu.be/37zp3gFIG8Y And get this – the price will still be under $100!  MSRP will be $99.97 which is a great deal for consumers looking for a budget-friendly, higher-weight harness convertible. For the record, the LATCH limit on this new model is 50 lbs. which is really nice considering how many other convertible seats are limited to lower weight limits because of the new LATCH weight limit regulations that went into effect earlier this year. More info on the Titan 65 with SureSafe can be found on the Evenflo website:  http://www.evenflo.com/Products/Evenflo/Car_Seats/Titan_65_SureSafe/

Giveaway:

This contest is closed, sorry!  A winner will be announced on Rafflecopter soon.

This contest is sponsored by our Car-Seat.Org community forum.  It’s a little different than most of our contests, because you must follow the Rafflecopter instructions to leave a comment both here at CarseatBlog AND also at Car-Seat.Org to enter!  If you don’t enter at both places, you will not be entered, sorry! Winner will win their choice of one (1) carseat, either an Evenflo Titan 65 SureSafe OR an Evenflo SureRide DLX.  Winner may choose any fashion in stock and eligible for free shipping at Walmart.com online eligible for free shipping, up to a maximum of $100 (no third party vendors sorry).  Titan 65 SureSafe is expected to be in stock on or around 8/11, so there may be a delay if the winner prefers this model.

Winner must have a U.S. shipping address.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print (these may be in addition to the rules listed in the Rafflecopter terms) Winner must have a USA shipping address to claim the prize.  Only one prize will be awarded.  Winner’s shipping information will be shared with Walmart.com online for delivery of the prize.  We reserve the right to use an alternate supplier for fulfillment. Previous CarseatBlog contest winners are eligible.  Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close on August 11, 2014, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!

Diono Rainier Convertible plus Booster Preview

Diono Rainier - ClaraThe new convertible+booster lineup from Diono features deeper side wings than the previous Radian models and some other minor changes. In the head area, a compression wall design features a rigid double wall structure for enhanced side-impact protection. The outside wall compresses under load to absorb additional energy in an impact, enhancing side-impact crash performance without increasing width. New fabrics on certain models wick moisture for comfort. The harness webbing is slightly different and the seat now comes with 2 sets of harness strap covers.

The Diono Rainier, Paifica & Olympia are either currently shipping or coming soon to Amazon.com and specialty retailers.  Stay tuned for the Diono Rainier review at CarseatBlog!

      

Diono Rainier Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing 5-50 lbs.; or outgrown by height when there is less than 1.5″ of shell above child’s head or child reaches 44″
  • Rear-facing lower LATCH anchor limit is 35 lbs. (once child weighs more than 35 lbs. you must install with seatbelt)
  • Forward-facing 20-90 lbs.; or outgrown by height when top of child’s ears are above top of restraint or child reaches 57″
  • Forward-facing lower LATCH anchor weight limit is 40 lbs. (once child weighs more than 40 lbs. you must install with seatbelt and tether, if tether is available)
  • Booster 50-120 lbs.; up to 57″
  • 5 sets of harness slots
  • 3 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • Aluminum reinforced headrest
  • Energy-absorbing EPS foam
  • SafeStop load-limiting device (only use with forward-facing children who weigh less than 40 lbs.)
  • Rear-facing tether capability
  • Heavy-duty SuperLATCH lower anchor connectors
  • Comes with 2 sets of harness strap cover – usage is mandatory (use one set for children under 65 lbs; other set for children over 65 lbs.)
  • FAA certified for use on aircraft
  • Folds flat for travel or storage
  • When used with harness seat has 8 year lifespan before expiration; when used without harness in booster mode seat may be used up to 12 years (4 extra years)

The Diono Rainier is packed with features but does it pass the ultimate test by pleasing a finicky rear-facing 4-year-old?

 

Edited to add: Here are a few comparative pics showing the Diono Rainier next to the previous generation Diono Radian R120. Even though it looks much wider, the Rainier is actually only 1″ wider but the widest point is now up at the top. The side walls of Rainier are also considerably deeper than its Radian predecessors.

Side-by-side Diono Rainier & Diono Radian R120

Back-to-back Diono Radian R120 & Diono Rainier

Back-to-back Diono Radian R120 & Diono Rainier

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Back-to-back Diono Radian R120 & Diono Rainier