CarseatBlog’s Carseat Lockoff Guide
As LATCH weight limits shrink due to federal standards, more and more carseats require using the seatbelt once the child exceeds a certain weight. The problem with seatbelt installations is that most parents have no idea how to lock the seatbelts in their vehicle in order to properly install a carseat or infant seat base. Ask the average parent or caregiver what a switchable retractor is and you’ll probably get a very confused look in response.
This is why every car seat in North America should come with a built-in lockoff! If you are installing with a seatbelt instead of lower LATCH anchors and your carseat has a lockoff device – use it and you will never have to worry about understanding pre-crash locking features on vehicle restraint systems.
Function of built-in lockoff device: A lockoff device can serve more than one function but its main purpose is to cinch or clamp the seatbelt in such a way that it cannot loosen and your tight carseat installation stays tight!
2019 List of Carseats that Have Lockoff(s)
Lockoffs on Infant Seat Bases
There are different types of lockoffs that require different routing so make sure you are following the directions that came with your carseat. Never assume anything. Below we discuss the two most common types of lockoff systems.
Lockoff just for shoulder belt portion of the lap/shoulder belt
- Bases with these types of lockoffs will have a lockoff on each side of the base but you only use one lockoff– on the side where the shoulder belt goes up to the retractor.
Single lockoff device
- clamps both portions of the seatbelt (lap belt and shoulder belt)
Convertible seats with lockoffs will usually have them for both rear-facing and forward-facing beltpaths
Original Chicco NextFit lockoffs (just for shoulder belt portion)
Clek Foonf & Fllo lockoffs (different types of lockoffs for RF & FF beltpaths)
Forward-Facing Combination Seats Lockoffs
Chicco MyFit (this lockoff design can also be found on all current NextFit convertible seats)
ClickTight Technology (available on certain Britax models): The ClickTight compartment acts as a lockoff too!