Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Carseat Review – The New Generation of Britax Safety


Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - cowmooflageThe B-Safe 35 Elite is the newest rear-facing only infant carseat from Britax USA. Don’t confuse this new model with the original B-Safe model. The Britax B-Safe 35 Elite is a completely different seat which shares the same platform as the newly released B-Safe 35 model but offers a no-rethread harness feature not found on the standard B-Safe 35 model. For more info on the B-Safe 35 (non-elite) model, see our full review here.

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Specs & Features:

  • Rear-facing only: 4-35 lbs.; 32″ or less (1″ rule also applies)
  • No-rethread harness with 6 height positions
  • SafeCell Impact Absorbing Base
  • Enhanced side-impact protection
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions (use inner position for babies under 11 lbs. and outer position once baby weighs more than 11 lbs.)
  • 5 position adjustable base with lockoffs for simple seatbelt installations
  • Premium push-on lower LATCH connectors
  • Energy-absorbing EPS and EPP foam
  • Handle can be in any of the 4 locked positions in the vehicle
  • Large canopy
  • Easy to remove cover
  • FAA approved for use in an airplane (carrier only – base cannot be used on the plane)
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration

Extra B-Safe 35 Elite bases are available for $99.99

B-Safe 35 Elite Fashions 

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - Vibe Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - cactus green Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - cowmooflageBritax B-Safe 35 Elite - red pepper center  Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - domino

Each B-Safe 35 Elite comes with a lower body newborn insert (optional for babies 4-11 lbs.), a buckle cover and harness strap covers. The buckle cover and harness strap covers are entirely optional.  If used, the infant insert cushion should be removed when the baby weighs more than 11 lbs.

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - inserts

B-Safe 35 Elite Measurements:

  • 6 harness height positions
  • Lowest harness height with lower body insert: approximately 5.5″
  • Highest harness height setting: 11.5″
  • Crotch strap/buckle positions: 4″, 6″
  • Internal shell height:  20.5″
  • Width of base at beltpath: 9″
  • Width of base at widest point: 14″
  • Width of carrier at widest point: 17.5″ from the outside of the handle
  • Carrier weight: 11.4 lbs. (according to my digital scale)

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - naked Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - naked Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - naked


Adjustable Base & Recline Angle Indicator – the B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite models share the same 5-position adjustable base. This is an entirely different base than the one that came with the original Britax B-Safe model. The new B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite models are NOT compatible with the original B-Safe model bases. The 5 recline positions on this base make it easy to find the perfect recline angle in most vehicles (double check that you are on level ground to begin with). If your vehicle has steeply sloped seats and you can’t achieve an acceptable recline angle even with the adjustable foot fully extended – Britax allows the use of a rolled towel or pool noodle in the seat bight. If you use pool noodles or a rolled towel – lower the adjustment foot on the base to its lowest (flush) position before adjusting the angle with noodles/towel.

Britax B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite base Britax B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite base - recline indicator

Installation with LATCH –

The B-Safe 35 Elite is very easy to install with the premium push-on lower LATCH connectors. Extend the straps, attach the connectors to the lower anchor bars then pull on each center strap until the base is tight and doesn’t move more than 1″ from side to side when you test for tightness *at the beltpath*.  After the base is tight, feed the slack of the center straps into the base and you’re good to go!

B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite base - tighten latch straps  B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite base - feed slack into base

Center LATCH installations with non-standard LATCH spacing are NOT allowed. This means that you will need to install with seatbelt if you plan to install the base in the center seating position of most vehicles. There are some vehicles that have dedicated lower anchors for the center position but those vehicles are few and far between. When in doubt – measure the distance between the center of one lower anchor bar and the center of the other lower anchor bar. Standard LATCH spacing is 280 mm, which is just over 11 inches. If the spacing between the lower anchor bars in the center seating position of your vehicles is greater than that – you have non-standard LATCH spacing and you should use the seatbelt to install this base in that seating position. Or install the base in one of the outboard seating positions to take advantage of LATCH.

Installation With Seatbelt – The B-Safe 35 Elite is relatively easy to install with seatbelt in most vehicles thanks to the built-in lockoffs on the base. There is a lockoff on each side of the base but only use one on the side where the shoulder belt goes up to the retractor. Only the shoulder belt portion of the seatbelt is slipped into the lockoff which will cinch the belt and hold the base tightly in place.

B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite base - seatbelt lockoff B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite base - seatbelt lockoff

For the record, I did run into an incompatibility issue with installing the base in the captain’s chair of my 2005 Ford Freestar minivan. I could not achieve a tight installation using the seatbelt no matter how hard I tried or what tricks I employed. Installing with lower LATCH anchors yielded a much better install in this situation.

Installation Without Base – the B-Safe 35 Elite can be installed without the base using standard belt routing but it can be difficult to install this way and you will most likely need a trio of pool noodles that have been taped together to support the seat and maintain the correct recline angle. Baseless installation is definitely a weak spot for both the B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite models. And while I know that most parents will never use the carrier without the base, I do hope that future versions of this seat will address this shortcoming. When the lap/shoulder belt is routed correctly – it will look like this:

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - installed without base Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - installed without base trio of pool noodles taped together



The low bottom harness slots combined with the optional lower body insert help this B-Safe 35 Elite model fit the vast majority of newborns and even preemies very well. The insert is optional but probably helpful for smaller newborns. Take the insert out once the baby weighs more than 11 lbs. The harness strap covers are purely optional and remove quickly and easily because they have Velcro on one side. For what it’s worth, I almost always remove the harness strap covers on a newborn (if they’re optional) because they just tend to get in the way more than anything else.

4 lbs., 17″ preemie doll with lower body insert

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - preemie doll Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - preemie doll

20″ newborn doll – no insert necessary

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - newborn doll Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - newborn doll

Baby E – 4 months, 14 lbs., 24″

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - 4 months, 14 lbs., 24"

Adjusting harness strap length – the B-Safe 35 Elite comes out of the box with the harness attached to the metal splitter plate in the inner (upper) loops. This is the newborn setting. When your baby is over 11 lbs. you can take the straps off the splitter plate and reattach them at the bottom of the strap to allow a little bit more length in the straps. If you reuse the seat for subsequent babies you will want to remember to reset the straps to the smaller newborn setting.

Out-of-the-box harness setting for newborns

Out-of-the-box harness setting for newborns

Over 11 lbs. harness setting

Over 11 lbs. harness setting

Stroller Compatibility

Both the B-Safe 35 & 35 Elite models use Britax’s Click & Go system to fit on any of their strollers. The B-Safe 35 Elite is compatible with the Britax B-Ready, B-Agile, B-Agile Double, & the brand new B-Free stroller. Note: The B-Agile Double can only accept one carseat. With the Britax adapter bar, you can also make this carseat compatible with BOB jogging strollers but keep in mind that it is not recommended that you actually jog with your stroller when an infant carseat is attached to it. Compatibility with other stroller brands will depend on whether that manufacturer offers a Britax adapter.

Britax B-Safe 35 - travel system


The B-Safe 35 Elite cover is easily removed and you don’t need to detach the harness from the splitter plate to get the cover off. Getting the cover back on after it’s washed is a little more time consuming but not overly difficult. Cover must be hand washed using cold water and mild soap. Line dry only.

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - FAA certificationFAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines/Inflatable Belts:

  • FAA certified for use on airplanes but only without the base
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration
  • Requires replacement after a moderate or severe crash (Britax follows NHTSA’s guidelines for crash replacement)
  • Installation with inflatable seat belts is not currently allowed with B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite

B-Safe 35 Elite Advantages:

  • No-rethread harness with 6 height positions
  • Narrow interior and deep sides provide excellent protection in side-impact crashes
  • Impact-absorbing base with Safe Cell technology and premium lower LATCH connectors
  • Lockoffs for simplified installation with seatbelt
  • Fits preemies and small newborns well
  • Large canopy
  • Easy to remove cover
  • Quick and easy attachment to any Britax stroller with Click & Go system
  • Instruction manual and labels are clear and easy to understand
  • Made in USA
  • Cowmooflage!

Disadvantages: (In fairness, these aren’t necessarily problems but I list them here to inform potential consumers of specific B-Safe 35 Elite issues)

  • Narrow interior and deep sides mean it will be outgrown more quickly than other competitive infant seat models that are more open and roomy
  • Heavy carrier – weighs in at 11.4 lbs.
  • Proper installation without base is more difficult than usual and may require use of pool noodles to stabilize the recline angle
  • Cover must be hand-washed


Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - canopyThe Britax B-Safe 35 Elite is a solid contender in the current infant seat market thanks to its numerous safety and convenience features. The no-rethread harness, impact-absorbing base with SafeCell technology, lockoffs, large canopy and easy attachment system to Britax strollers are all welcome features. Plus, any Britax seat available in “Cowmooflage” has to be worthy of the Britax name, right? The potential downsides are the weight of the carrier, the narrow interior dimensions and the possibility that it may not install easily without the base. However, if the B-Safe 35 Elite fits your needs and installs well in your vehicle then it may be the perfect seat for you as long as you’re aware of its quirks. As always, our sage advice is to “try before you buy”.  In cases where that isn’t possible – at least hold onto the box and the receipt until you’re sure this seat is going to work for you and your most precious cargo.

For more information on the Britax B-Safe 35 Elite see the Britax website:

Thank you to Britax USA for supplying this B-Safe 35 Elite sample for review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.



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