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2019-2020 Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Carseat Review

Britax has finally hit the scene with a brand-new all-in-one carseat: the One4Life ClickTight. We’ve been waiting for a long time for them to jump on the bandwagon since it seems everyone has an all-in-one these days (I mean, if *everyone* is doing it, you must follow suit, right?). That must explain the name, too? 😉 Well, Britax doesn’t disappoint with this feature-rich carseat that improves upon the already easy-to-use ClickTight installation system to give us a 50-pound rear-facing weight limit and tallest all-in-one booster.

One4Life Weight and Height Limits:
  • Rear-facing: 5-50 lbs. AND child’s head is 1” below top edge of headrest
  • Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs., 49” or less
  • Highback booster: 40-120 lbs., 44-63”, at least 4 years old
One4Life Overview:
  • Improved ClickTight installation with color-coded belt guides
  • Adjustable 9-position base
  • No re-thread harness with 15 position headrest
  • Energy-absorbing, rip-stitch V-shaped tether
  • SafeCell technology
  • High strength steel reinforced frame
  • Energy-absorbing EPP foam
  • Deluxe push-on LATCH connectors
  • Flip-forward buckle pad
  • Built-in cooling channels with ventilated mesh for improved air flow
  • On-board harness storage for booster mode
  • Two dishwasher-safe cup holders
  • Easily removable machine-washable cover
  • 10 yr lifespan before seat expires
  • MSRP $364.99-$399.99

Cadet Drift Eclipse Black Plum Black Diamond

One4Life Measurements:
  • Harness height: 7 ½ ”-19”
  • Shoulder belt guide height: 21 ½ ”
  • External widest point: 19 ½ ”
  • Base width: 14 3/4″
  • Shell height with headrest: 30 ½ ”
  • Shoulder width: 14”
  • Crotch strap depth: inner slot: 1 ½ ” without infant insert (headrest in lowest position); second slot: 1 ½ “ with infant insert, 5 3/4 ” without insert; outer slot: 7 ½” without insert
  • Seat depth: 13”
  • Seat weight: 29.5 lbs. with padding, 28.9 lbs. without padding

Don’t forget about our comparison database!

One4Life ClickTight Installation:

Rear-Facing Installation

Angle: Any of 8 recline positions can be used to achieve the best recline for your vehicle and child! And, if necessary, a tightly rolled towel or pool noodles may be used to supplement the recline positions in the event of deeply scooped vehicle seats (hello Mustang and Camaro!). On either side of the base, under the red SafeCell honeycomb, is a red recline button. Push either button and slide the One4Life into the recline position you want—it’s as easy as that. The final “B” recline position is for booster mode only.

For infants and children without head control, the arrow tip must be in the solid blue in the angle indicator on the side of the seat. For kids with better head and neck control, the arrow tip can be either in the solid blue or in the striped blue-green area.

I tried the One4Life in a 2016 Tesla Model X, a 2018 Tesla Model 3, a 2011 Acura MDX, and a 2014 Town & Country, and the recline varied a bit but not much. The most I needed was recline 2 before it was too upright according to the recline indicator in the Model X and the Town & Country. I found it was very easy to get a good recline for a newborn and used 1 noodle in my Model X. The Model 3 seats are more sloped and needed a noodle to properly recline for a newborn. Fit was excellent outboard in the Model 3 with plenty of room for front passengers, though it was quite difficult installing it in the center position because the seat belt anchors are narrower than the carseat base. The tightest I could get it was right about 1” of movement. Because I’m still recovering from a broken knee, I’m unable to work very hard on getting carseats tight. Installs in the other vehicles were seriously easy, which is what makes the ClickTight system so awesome!

 

Use the seat belt! Like all other ClickTight seats, the One4Life is designed to be installed with the seat belt. Just forget the LATCH strap is there altogether because the install is more complicated (though there may be situations where you might need it and I’ll discuss those later). Here are the installation steps, which are conveniently outlined on the cover you lift to access the ClickTight panel:

  1. Recline the carseat so it’s in the appropriate range for your child. The label on the side of the seat helps you determine where it should be.
  2. Open the improved ClickTight panel.
  3. Thread the seat belt through the green belt path and buckle.
  4. Pull the slack out of the shoulder belt. The amount of slack you remove dictates how tight the installation will be, obviously. As with other carseats, you want less than 1” of movement at the belt path. However, if you remove too much slack, the CT panel won’t close.
  5. Push down on the panel to close it. You’ll hear it lock into place. That’s it.

To remove the carseat, it’s not quite the reverse process.

  1. Unbuckle the seat belt first! This removes tension from the CT panel.
  2. Open the CT panel.
  3. Remove the seat belt from the belt path.
  4. Close CT panel.

The video shows all!

LATCH Installation

The LATCH connectors are stored under the ClickTight panel in a pouch. When I first saw this I thought it was cheesy—this is a Britax, after all. But the fabric pouch reduces weight on an already heavy seat, means that you don’t have to try to perfectly align hardware to get it to fit inside a hard plastic compartment in order to get the door to shut, and besides, you’re not looking at it so who cares what it looks like?

Installation with the LATCH connectors is the same as the seat belt installation, but you thread the connectors through the belt path instead of the seat belt—never use both the seat belt and LATCH at the same time as, simply, it places too much crash force on the belt path. With the LATCH connectors, you’ll have to futz more with tightening the strap to get it just right in order for the CT panel to close than with seat belt because there’s less give to it: once the strap is tight, it’s tight and it won’t loosen any in order to get the panel to close. But you may need to use LATCH if installing the One4Life in a position next to a booster rider who may accidentally unbuckle its seat belt and leave it uninstalled, or in a van where the seat belt may otherwise stretch across an opening people walk through to get to the 3rd row. Life happens and you have options (with deluxe push-on LATCH connectors)!

Forward-Facing Installation

If you’re familiar with the Marathon, Boulevard, and Advocate ClickTight convertibles, the forward-facing belt path on the One4Life is oriented differently. You’ll open the CT panel, but the seat belt (or LATCH belt) is threaded behind it, behind the child’s back, like a regular FF belt path. To install the seat, follow the same steps as listed above, but use the blue belt path. Don’t forget to use the top tether! It makes a huge difference in reducing head injuries! If in your vehicle, like my Tesla, the V-tether slides down the sides of the vehicle seat, you can tie the tail of the tether around the tether to turn it into a Y shape or order a tether extender from Britax to make the same shape (see pic). Another consideration with the tether is that it’s long again, so be sure to use the attached elastic to roll and secure the end so you don’t accidentally drive over it. There were horror stories in the olden days about the sounds those tethers made when people would accidentally drive over them!

Booster Installation

The harness is stored on-board in the storage compartment. I think this is the best harness storage I’ve seen! Everything fits in its spot, though there isn’t a spot to keep the harness strap covers.

When used as a highback booster, the seat can be secured with LATCH up to 120 lbs., the maximum weight limit. Remember, since the seat belt is doing the weight bearing in a crash, the lower anchors are only supporting the weight of the carseat, which is why it’s OK to use them through the full weight range of the child, unlike in harness mode. If the LATCH strap or connectors interfere with the vehicle buckle or seat belt in any way, store it in its pouch under the CT panel.

The recline position must be set to position B, which is most upright.

The base is pretty wide, so it may be difficult for some kids to buckle the seat belt. My new-to-a-booster model didn’t find it difficult at all but you can see in my pictures that the base is right up against the buckle.

LATCH Weight Limits:
Rear-facing LATCH weight limit: 30 lbs.
Forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 35 lbs.

Center LATCH Installations with Non-Standard Spacing:
Britax only allows center LATCH installation with the One4Life if the vehicle manufacturer designates it as a LATCH position and the lower anchors have the standard spacing of 11” apart.

Overhang: Britax allows the base of the One4Life to hang over the front edge of the vehicle seat by up to 3″ when it’s used in harness mode. Side overhang is not allowed. When it’s in booster mode, though, no overhang is allowed and the entire base of the car seat must be on the vehicle seat.

Inflatable Seat Belts:
Britax does NOT allow the use of any inflatable seat belt when installing one of their ClickTight convertible or all-in-one carseats.

Fit to Child:

The One4Life has an infant insert with a weight limit of 5-20 lbs. and harness covers. The insert is not mandatory to use but it MUST be removed when your child reaches 20 lbs. if you do choose to use it. Fortunately, you don’t need to remember these weight limits because there’s a label right there on the front of the insert to remind you. While some folks dislike the look of labels like this on their soft goods, I think anything to help you remember is a bonus. The harness covers are optional and shouldn’t interfere with chest clip placement at armpit level.

The harness frequently was longer on one side than the other. This is due to the type of splitter plate used to hold the harness ends and will happen on other seats as well. Here’s how to fix this on a seat like the One4Life that has 2 separate harness straps (each harness strap anchors at the hip and attaches at the splitter plate):

  1. With no child in the seat, pull the harness tight.
  2. Loosen the harness by sliding your hand under the chest clip and pulling out so that both straps pull evenly.
  3. Repeat, if necessary, until straps are even.
  4. To keep the harness as even as possible, pull the harness loose from the chest clip to keep it even.

We put a variety of children in the carseat to test the fit and all of them fit in the harness really well. Baby E was the smallest at 4 weeks old, around 9 lbs. and 20″. She literally fell asleep as soon as I put her in the seat!

S is 10 months old, 16 lbs., and 27″. She’s our writer, Alicia’s, daughter.

For fun and to show the true rear-facing range, the model I recruited for booster pictures decided he wanted to try the seat rear-facing. G just turned 6 years old, weighs 43 lbs., and is 45 ¼” tall.

Here’s G again (6 years old, 43 lbs., 45 ¼”), this time forward-facing in the harness. He loved the One4Life and said it was really comfy.

D is Alicia’s middle son, 6 years old, 38 lbs., and 45″ tall. This is his daily seat and he says it’s comfortable.

L is Alicia’s oldest and is 9 years old, 72 lbs., and 60″ tall (he’s not a shrimp anymore!). You can see by his stats that he’s nearing the height limit, but not the weight limit. Belt fit is good, but Alicia reports he is somewhat tight in the seat. Most kids need a booster until around ages 11-12 to fit in an adult seat belt and that may mean using an inexpensive backless booster once the One4Life is outgrown.

G’s back and he’s still 6 years old, 43 lbs., and 45 ¼” tall. We did have an issue with the shoulder belt with the headrest in this position. There was enough friction between the puffiness in the fabric and the shoulder belt guide so that the shoulder belt didn’t retract when G sat forward. This wasn’t an issue when the headrest was higher.

One4Life vs. ClickTight Convertibles

There are obvious differences between the One4Life and the regular ClickTight convertibles (Marathon, Boulevard, and Advocate), such as the improved CT panel, the ability to convert to a booster, and 3 crotch strap slots. But what about practical size differences?

I installed the One4Life (black shell) to a recline suitable for a newborn and a Marathon ClickTight (white shell) to a recline suitable for a newborn as well. I set the front seats of my 2011 Acura MDX to as similar a recline and distance as I could to make this a fair test. The winner?

The One4Life is about 2″ wider than the ClickTight convertibles, but it is designed for older kids to use.

Cover/Maintenance/Ease of Use:

The soft knit, well-padded SafeWash™ cover contains no added flame retardants and can be thrown in the washing machine on gentle cycle, then dried in the dryer on low, but double-check the labeling on the cover first for specific fabrics. It comes in 3 pieces: a cover for the head wings and down behind the child’s back, a cover for the torso side area, and a cover for the seat portion (nice since you won’t have to remove the whole cover just for a pee accident). Removing and replacing the covers can be considered fairly easy. Each section has a couple of elastics to secure, but it’s more a hassle than it is difficult.

Just like any other harness, spot clean with a cloth dipped in water and a drop of mild soap, then wipe with the cloth rinsed in water. If it’s really bad, you can replace the harness.

I’m not thrilled with the thickness of the harness covers; I feel they are overly padded. Harness abrasion is a true comfort issue, but overly thick harness covers can impede proper harness tightening and I often have new parents take them off until the child is older and they get a good feel for how to properly snug up a harness. The length of these harness covers is good—refer back to the picture of baby E above—they don’t push the chest clip down or out of position in any way. I wish they were . . . less.

The harness covers also are connected to each other and this piece sits behind the cover. There’s nothing in the manual about the harness covers so I thought this was worthy of mentioning. It drove me insane as I dressed and undressed the carseat and tried to figure out which way was up, but as a daily use type of thing, I can see it being quite helpful in keeping the harness covers in place and in keeping them out of the way of the chest clip.

The cup holders are twist and lock to secure to the One4Life. One the one hand, they’re super easy to remove for cleaning. On the other hand, they’re super easy to remove to throw—what fun!

The manual is color-coded to go along with the color-coded labels on the carseat. I found the rear-facing section in the manual to be very muted in coloring, though. Instead of being a bright blue, the text was a purple-tinged grey.

FAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines:

The One4Life is FAA-approved when used with the harness. If you’re using it as a booster seat, you can’t use it on the plane because booster seats require lap/shoulder belts. There are different installation instructions depending on if you’re installing the seat rear- or forward-facing on the plane; see the manual for further guidance. Inflatable airplane seat belts are not compatible with the One4Life.

This carseat has a lifespan of 10 years from the date of manufacture. If you’re looking for this label, it’s in the same spot as on the regular ClickTight convertibles. Lift up the front corner of the ClickTight panel cover and it’s right there.

The One4Life must be replaced after a moderate to severe crash, using the NHTSA guidelines:

  • The vehicle is able to be driven away from the crash site.
  • The vehicle door nearest the car seat is not damaged.
  • None of the passengers in the vehicle were injured in the crash.
  • If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash; and
  • There is no visible damage to the car seat.
One4Life Advantages:
  • Carry handle
  • No re-thread harness with 15 position headrest
  • Improved ClickTight installation with easy access to both RF and FF belt paths
  • Deluxe push-on LATCH connectors
  • On-board harness storage for booster mode
  • Energy-absorbing EPP foam
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Flip-forward buckle pad
  • Infant insert weight limit printed on insert
  • Two removable cup holders
  • Machine-washable and dryable cover
  • 10 yr lifespan before seat expires
Disadvantages:
  • Inner buckle slot length may be too short for some kids
  • Manual is silent on harness covers
  • Manual color-coding needs to be brightened
  • Harness covers are too thick

Britax took its time making an entry into the all-in-one business with the One4Life, but it was worth the wait. The harness slots are the tallest of all the all-in-ones on the market, the 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit is becoming standard, and the tall shoulder belt guides for booster mode make it one that can actually be used. The One4Life has the feel and look of a Britax seat: deluxe fabrics and nicely tucked cover, thoughtful design like a handle for carrying and on-board storage for the harness, and comfort for your child. The improved ClickTight panel makes it even easier to install, which makes up for the wide base. The One4Life probably won’t be the last seat your child will need, but it will take them where they’re going in style and comfort.

 

Thank you to Britax for providing the One4Life ClickTight All-in-One used for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.