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2015 Britax G4.1 Convertibles and ClickTight Convertibles Comparison

Britax logo Greetings from the ABC Kids Expo! We knew our readers would be interested in comparison photos of the 2015 Britax G4.1 convertibles and the new ClickTight convertibles.

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G4.1 Convertible Updates: 

Lower LATCH anchor limits will change

  • Roundabout G4.1, Marathon G4.1 and Blvd G4.1 – Rear-facing up to 40 lbs. (unchanged from current G4 models); Forward-facing up to 50 lbs. with LATCH (after that you must use seatbelt to install seat)
  • Advocate G4.1 - Rear-facing up to 40 lbs (unchanged from current G4 models); Forward-facing up to 45 lbs. with LATCH (after that you must use seatbelt to install seat)

SafeCell branding: Roundabout & Marathon will be “Complete”; Boulevard “Complete Plus”; Advocate “Complete Max”

Shorter tether strap length (extenders will be available for rare cases where strap isn’t long enough to reach tether anchor)

Boulevard G4.1 and Boulevard ClickTight:

Pictured below are the 2015 Britax Boulevard G4.1 (red) and the new Britax Boulevard ClickTight (green).

Britax G4 and ClickTight  Britax G4 vs ClickTight front

Britax G4 vs ClickTight back to back  Britax G4 vs ClickTight side

Britax G4 vs ClickTight top 2  Britax G4 vs ClickTight top

As you can see the shape of the shell is different but overall the new ClickTight Boulevard isn’t wider than the current Boulevard G4 model.

Quick Comparison of G4, G4.1 and ClickTight Specs:

All Britax convertibles (G4, G4.1 and CT models) are rated from 5-40 lbs. rear-facing

G4 and G4.1 models are outgrown rear-facing by height once the child’s head is 1″ from the top of the shell (not the headwings)

All ClightTight models are outgrown rear-facing by height once the child’s head is 1″ from the top of the headwings (Note: Boulevard  CT and Advocate CT models are taller than the Marathon CT model)

All Britax convertibles (with the exception of Roundabout) are rated from 20-65 forward-facing and up to 49″ tall.

ClightTight models have taller top harness slots than G4 and G4.1 models.

Finally, an update to our earlier previews with a forward-facing ClickTight installation.  (Rear-facing install shown in our previews linked below)

For more detailed info on the new ClightTight convertibles see our previous posts on the subject:

Rear-Facing Space Comparison: Britax G4 Convertibles vs. New Britax ClickTight Convertibles

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

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

 

Pre-Order Britax ClickTight convertibles at Amazon.com

Pre-Order Britax ClickTight convertibles at Albee Baby

Mythbusting: Infant seats are bubbles of protection

Next time you’re standing on that wiggly kitchen stool, changing yet another lightbulb…don’t forget what Sir Isaac taught us. So what do you think—does gravity find babies attractive, too? CONFIRMED? PLAUSIBLE? BUSTED? Ten pounds of feathers, ten pounds of bricks, or ten pounds of baby—gravity doesn’t discriminate.

Earlier this year, Home Depot employee Chris Strickland was launched to notoriety when his quick actions saved an infant from a three-foot tumble off of the top of a shopping cart. Unfortunately, not all babies have a guardian angel like Mr. Strickland looking out for them. The Internet is full of stories from parents and on-lookers about children falling from carts. In 2011, a three month old infant died after falling from a shopping cart. While we know that carseats save lives, it’s easy to understand why parents believe that their children are also protected while “clicked” in their infant seats into place on the top of a shopping cart. And while videos of people pouring ice water over their heads to avoid donating to charity explode on the Internet, stories like Kristin Auger’s barely garner public attention.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.01.26 PMWhen we think about children being injured or killed in carseats, we typically think about car crashes. Researchers in British Columbia collected 5 years of child restraint-related injury data (N=95), published in this 2008 Pediatrics International article, that should have you re-evaluating this exclusive assumption. While this article was intended to address carseat misuse, it does so in the context of out-of-vehicle use. The authors concluded that “among all infants, falls were a common mechanism of injury resulting from CRS misuse” and urged for preventative efforts to help educate parents and caregivers on out-of-vehicle child restraint injuries. In this study, 6% of subjects had been injured in falls from shopping carts…all of which were completely preventable.

I took a field trip to a local Target to snap a photo of the warnings parents see on each and every cart, warning them against placing carseats on carts…

Shopping Cart "Warning"

Shopping Cart “Warning”

….is it any wonder parents are still confused?

 

Myth…BUSTED!

 

 

 

 

Watch the shocking Home Depot video where not only does the carseat tip from the cart, but the infant wasn’t buckled in the carseat:

Super Extended Rear-Facing Carseats

Want to keep your child rear-facing until 2 years for safety?  Almost any current convertible carseat in the USA will allow that for most kids.  A decade ago, Extended Rear Facing meant keeping a baby rear-facing beyond 1 year AND 20 pounds.  Britax set the trend of ERF convertibles over 10 years ago with the original Britax Marathon and Wizard that allowed kids to remain rear-facing well beyond 2-years old.  Today, other models have set the bar even higher.

Here are some of the top contenders for Super-ERF carseats that have among the highest weight and/or height limits in the USA.  They can all accommodate even the tallest and heaviest kids rear-facing beyond 2 years old and many kids rear-facing until 3, 4 or even 5 years old.  These aren’t the only great ERF carseats; we update our complete list of rear-facing convertible carseat height and weight limits periodically.  In no paritcular order:

Diono Rainier

Diono Rainier, currently around $340 at Amazon.com.  Diono’s new upscale all-in-one carseat.  Check out our preview of the Diono Rainier.  Up to an industry-leading 50 pounds rear-facing and up to 44″ tall.  Includes a tether that can be used rear-facing to reduce rebound.  The Diono Pacifica has similar ratings. The Diono Olympia and slightly narrower Diono Radian RXT have a 45 pound rear-facing weight limit and above average rear-facing height limits as well.

 

 

Clek Foonf

The Clek Foonf, currently starting under $380 at Amazon.com.  Matches Diono’s Rainier with a 50 pound rear-facing weight limit, a narrow profile and an anti-rebound bar.  It has a taller shell and rear-facing seated height limit than the Diono models, but a slightly shorter 43″ standing height limit. Please see our full review of the Foonf.  The new Clek Fllo will have similar ratings.

 

 

Graco Size4Me

Graco Size4Me 65, around $150 at Amazon.com.  A more typical 40-pound rear-facing weight limit, but arguably the tallest usable rear-facing seated height limit on the market.  Here is CarseatBlog’s full review of the Size4Me (Previously known as the Size4Me 70).  The Graco Headwise 65, Graco MySize65 and Graco Fit4Me 70 have similar ratings.  All are great values for Super Extended Rear-Facing.  The new Graco 4Ever All-In-One has similar ratings as well.

 

 

Safety1st Elite Air 80

Safety 1st Elite Air 80, under $220 at BabiesRUs.  While rated to 40 pounds rear-facing, it probably has the tallest seated height limit currently available.  Unfortunately, that limit is somewhat hampered by a 43″ standing height limit that may reduce its rear-facing potential for the tallest children.

 

Consumer Reports Updates Convertible Carseat Ratings – July 2014

CR rockThe updated ratings on convertible carseats are published and the results are going to make some people happy and others not so happy. There’s just no way around that. Parents who already own top-rated convertible seats are going to be happy while those that own seats at the bottom of the lists may be less-than-pleased. Some may even question whether they made a mistake buying “X” carseat instead of “Y” carseat.

Before we get to the CR top rated picks, let’s talk about what the “BEST” convertible carseat is. We say this all the time as Child Passenger Safety Technicians, but it’s the truth, hence why it’s repeated so often. The BEST carseat is the one that fits your vehicle (installs tightly), fits your child (is appropriate for their age/weight/height), and that you can use correctly on every single ride. And of course it needs to fit your wallet too. The best carseat is not necessarily the most expensive carseat you can (or can’t) afford. And it’s not necessarily the carseat that matches the rest of your nursery collection or the one that everyone raves about online.

While we think our Recommended Carseats list is a great place to start, the seats on our list aren’t going to work for everyone and every situation. Remember – what works best for *your* child in *your* vehicle might not be the best choice for your sister or your neighbor or your friend, and that’s important. For example, a loosely installed carseat or one where you can’t easily adjust the harness to be snug on your child is not safe. A convertible carseat that doesn’t fit rear-facing in your car is not going to be the best choice for your child either.

The Ultimate Rear-Facing Convertible Carseat Space Comparison – Size Matters!

It’s important to point out that this round of ratings is based on crash test results using their previous testing methodology (30 mph, FMVSS 213 standard bench, testing with 3-point lap/shoulder seatbelt or LATCH and no blocker plate). Convertible seat testing with their new crash test methodology is underway, but those results will not be published until some time early next year. For more info on Consumer Reports’ new crash testing program please see our previous blog on the subject:

The Safest Infant Carseats? New Crash Protection Ratings and Methods from Consumer Reports

Currently CR evaluates carseats on several points, including fit-to-vehicle, ease-of-usage, price and crash test performance. We can’t comment on specific scores but after our meeting with CR last year, we do have a general idea of how their ratings are assigned within these categories.

They brake down the convertible carseat ratings into 3 categories:

  • Convertible seats rated to 40 lbs.
  • Convertible seats rated to weights higher than 40 lbs. (what we call “higher-weight harness” convertibles)
  • All-in-One seats that can be used rear-facing, forward-facing and also as a belt-positioning booster.

In the up to 40 lbs. category, the Cosco Scenera, Scenera 40RF, Cosco Apt 40RF and Safety 1st onSide Air were their top rated picks. I don’t think the Scenera 40 RF is still being made or sold anywhere but the “regular” Cosco Scenera, the Cosco Apt 40RF and the Safety 1st onSide Air are all widely available and they are all budget-friendly seats (under $100) too. Just don’t expect them to fit your child for as long as larger competitors. These are basic, budget-friendly seats for infants and toddlers that should last many kids until at least age 3 and some to age 4. They also make great travel seats.

Cosco SceneraCosco Apt 40 RFSafety 1st onSide Air - stock

In the over 40 lbs. category, the Chicco NextFit is the top rated convertible seat followed closely by the entire Britax convertible lineup – Britax Advocate G4, Britax Boulevard G4, Britax Pavilion G4, Britax Marathon G4 and Britax Roundabout G4. The Britax Roundabout G4 and the Evenflo SureRide were rated as “Best Buys” because they offer good value for their price but they also received good scores in all categories.

Chicco NextFit - blogBritax Advocate G4 - OnyxBritax roundabout G4 - onyx

In the “All-in-One” category – the Evenflo Symphony was the top rated seat among the 5 models tested.

Evenflo Sym65 - Ocala

You can find their newest ratings on convertible seats at their website, www.consumerreports.org. Unfortunately, you have to be a paid subscriber to see the full ratings report.