Britax Versa-Tether on New ClickTight Convertible Carseats for Forward-Facing Use Only
Effective January 28th, 2015 (approximately), production of the Britax ClickTight convertible carseats (Marathon CT, Boulevard CT and Advocate CT) had a running change that effectively removes rear-facing tethering as an option. Expect some retailers to start receiving updated models in early to mid-February.
- Rear-Facing Tethering is being removed as an option from user guides and labels.
- Changes to all (3) ClickTight models happened at same time
- NOT Retroactive to previous production. Seats made prior to this date can be used as labeled (seats labeled with option can be RF tethered if compatible with vehicle)
- Swedish method issues being driven by less compatibility with vehicles, particularly occupant detection systems and vehicle manufacturer concerns
- Australian method is difficult at best even with an extender. Also, not preferred by consumers because ingress and egress issues for the child.
- The Anti-rebound bar (ARB) will be available to purchase as an accessory hopefully in the next 30-60 days on the Britax website http://www.britaxusa.com/store.
- G4.1 Convertible carseat models (Roundabout, Marathon, Boulevard, Advocate) will adopt this change sometime around mid-2015
- Updated labels and owner’s manuals will determine when a specific model has changed.
- Prior to that time, newer production may transition to RF tether accessory straps with fabric loops, rather than a metal ring, like the ones that ship with the ClickTight models.
- Anti-Rebound bar is available for convertible models made after June, 2010, excluding ClickTight and Classic series models.
Rear-facing is still the safest way to travel for young kids, within the limits of their convertible carseat. Even without a rear-facing tether, Britax ClickTight convertibles will allow many kids to continue rear-facing until 3 or 4 years old.
The authors of CarseatBlog have endorsed rear-facing tethering since it was introduced in the late 1990s on the original Britax Roundabout. We also understand that it can be difficult or impossible to accomplish in some vehicles, and may conflict with passenger-side occupant detection systems in other vehicles. With the lack of real-world data showing how many consumers adopted this technology and a lack of studies about how effective it may be at preventing serious injury, we appreciate the transition to anti-rebound bar systems in general. We note that most convertible carseats in the USA lack any type of anti-rebound feature, and rear-facing is extremely safe with or without an anti-rebound system.
Our main misgiving about this change is that the anti-rebound functionality will not be included in the box as a standard feature in the USA (The ARB is now standard in Canada).
The Britax Boulevard and Advocate CT and G4.1 models remain on our Recommended Carseats List for 2015.