Britax Poplar ClickTight Convertible Carseat Review – Squeeze, Click, Tight!

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2024 Britax Poplar ClickTight Convertible Carseat Review

Cobalt OnyxIn a sea of all-in-one carseats, it’s refreshing that a manufacturer goes back to introducing a new plain ol’ convertible carseat. But there’s nothing basic about the Britax Poplar and Poplar S convertible carseats*, no no. With their naturally flame-retardant “SafeWash” covers that can be machine-washed, these bad boys are amongst the skinniest carseats on the market! While this review will be on the Poplar carseat, all comments and measurements also apply to the Poplar S unless otherwise noted.

*As Amazon Affiliates, anytime you make a purchase through one of our links, we earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for reading our articles and supporting CSB! We strive to bring you the best carseat reviews!

Poplar Weight and Height Limits:
  • Rear-facing: 5-50 lbs., head must be 1” from top of headrest, and 49” or less
  • Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs., 49” or less
Poplar Specs:
  • 17″ wide
  • 18″ top harness slots
  • 14-position quick-adjust headrest and harness
  • 3 buckle slots
  • Energy absorbing V-shaped tether with colored stitching (rip stitching)
  • Dishwasher safe cup holders
  • ClickTight belt tensioner lockoff installation system
  • 6-position recline
  • SafeCell technology
  • Naturally flame-retardant fabrics with no added FR chemicals in SafeWash fabrics
  • Carbon steel frame
  • FAA-approved
  • 10 year expiration
  • MSRP $299.99
Poplar Fashions

Stone Onyx Magenta Onyx Glacier Graphite Cobalt Onyx

Poplar S Fashions

Stone Onyx Sand Onyx Ruby Onyx Onyx Arctic Onyx

Difference Between Poplar and Poplar S:

The Poplar S has an included ReboundReduce™ Stability Bar (anti-rebound bar), an optional use head pillow, and an upper body support pillow at MSRP $349.99.

Comparison Between Poplar and Boulevard/Marathon ClickTight:

The Poplar platform is narrower by one inch (1″), more compact front-to-back by approx. two inches (2″), and has the improved ClickTight squeeze button panel vs. the twist tab on the Boulevard/Marathon ClickTight panel.

Poplar/Poplar S Measurements:

Harness heights: 7”-18”
External widest point: 17”
Shell height with headrest: 29”
Shoulder width: 14 ¼”
Crotch strap depth: 3 ½”, 5”, 6 ½”
Seat depth: 12”
Seat weight: 26.3 lbs. w/padding, 25.4 lbs. w/o padding

Installation Comments:

Like all other ClickTight seats, the Poplar ClickTight is designed to be installed with the seat belt. Just forget the LATCH strap is there altogether because the LATCH install is more complicated. ClickTight is a true lockoff meant to replace your seat belt’s locking mechanism, so you don’t lock your seat belt. It places a lot of tension on the seat belt, so when it’s time to uninstall, unbuckle the seat belt first, then open the ClickTight panel.

The ClickTight panel has been improved so that it has the finger-squeeze buttons to open the panel. Make sure you run the seat belt through the correct color-coded belt path for your installation: blue is for rear-facing, green is for forward-facing. They’re close together, but all you need to do is look for the colors!

I did find I had to use some extra force/use multiple tries to close the ClickTight panel, regardless of how tight the seat belt was. It almost felt like the cover was in the way keeping it from locking into position. Pressing firmly over the squeeze buttons engages the locking mechanism.

The Poplar/Poplar S is egg-shaped, so it doesn’t play well with vehicle seats that have head restraints that angle forward prominently. Even if you’re using this carseat rear-facing now, install it forward-facing with the headrest pulled up in case you must return it if it doesn’t fit. The vehicle head restraint should not press the Poplar’s headrest out of position. My Tesla Model X and Model 3 head restraints push the Poplar’s headrest forward to the point where the back of the carseat doesn’t make contact with the vehicle seat, so I used my daughter’s 2018 Nissan Kicks and my model’s 2017 RAV4 for forward-facing pics because I could remove those head restraints.

ReboundReduce™ Stability Bar – Also known as an anti-rebound bar, the Poplar S has this feature included automatically. Britax says they’ll make this available at a later time for the Poplar. It’s an energy management feature used rear-facing only to reduce rebound. We have more information here.

Recline – The owner’s manual that shipped with the first Poplars contained incorrect illustrations of the recline indicator. The online manual is correct. If you have an original manual, labeled P14845500_A.3:07.23 on the page with the red IMPORTANT/IMPORTANTE words on it, use common sense—the recline ball will be on the side near the child’s head when in its most reclined position.

Rear-facing: Ball must be in the blue

Forward-facing: Ball must be in the green

The Poplar is very compact front-to-back, slightly less so than the Graco Extend2Fit in my installation test by about 1/2″ (remember, your mileage may vary); however, the Poplar has a larger recline range than the E2F so it can be more upright for older kiddos who can tolerate it, so when it’s more upright, it’s definitely more compact.

Overhang – Britax allows up to 3” for the base to hang off the edge of the vehicle seat.

Installation with LATCH – I can think of a very few instances where you would want to install this seat with LATCH. Again, it’s designed to be installed with the seat belt. Just use the seat belt unless you absolutely can’t.

LATCH Weight Limits:

Rear-facing LATCH weight limit: 35 lbs.

Forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 35 lbs.

Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:

Not Allowed

Inflatable Seat Belts:

Not Allowed

Fit-to-Child:

Inserts

Harness pads: DO NOT REMOVE the harness pads from the harness! These have a rubber grip on the back that improve performance in a crash for kids who are the within the sizes indicated below.

  • They’re optional for kids under 22 lbs. The owner’s manual (pg. 13) shows how to tuck them up and behind the headrest or you can try tucking them into the harness slots to shorten them so the chest clip sits at proper armpit level.
  • Rear-facing 22-50 lbs.: MUST be used
  • Forward-facing 22-65 lbs.: MUST be used

Lower infant insert: MUST be used rear-facing under 22 lbs.; remove once child reaches 22 lbs.

Poplar S only: Upper body support may only be used with rear-facing children weighing 5-20 lbs.

  • Only use forward-facing when installing with a lap-only seat belt for kids weighing under 25 lbs.

B is 3 months old, weighs about 13 lbs., and is 23.5” long

S is 3 years old, weighs 33 lbs., and is 37.5” tall

Cover/Maintenance:

The Poplar/Poplar S has 2 cup holders and 2 caps that cover the space where they sit on the carseat. Either the caps or the cup holders must be in place on the seat, so don’t throw out the caps and keep them in a labeled spot.

The 3-piece cover is attached to the seat with elastics (Britax does love its elastics!), plastic tabs, tucks, and a couple of snaps. It takes a lot to keep this carseat looking smart! All pieces, including the infant padding and belly pad, are machine wash- and dryable on gentle cycles. However, those non-removable harness pads, which are right next to your child’s face and gather spit, food debris, barf, etc., are sponge clean only. If your child is prone to carsickness, this may not be the carseat for you.

Removing the cover only took a few minutes, but putting the cover back on took me a painful 27 minutes, which included stopping to watch Britax’s video on where to tuck the plastic tabs. I review a lot of carseats and remove the covers off *all* of them as part of the review process. Putting the “outer rim cover” back on definitely rates as medium to difficult, but fortunately, I don’t think it’s a part of the cover that will be removed often for cleaning, especially if you spot clean it frequently.

FAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines:
  • FAA-certified for use on airplanes; route airplane seat belt over top of cover RF, under cover but over top of ClickTight panel FF
  • 10 year lifespan before expiration

🚗💥🚙 The Poplar/Poplar S 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.

The top tether, if used when the carseat is forward-facing (it should always be used when FF as it’s a massive safety feature!), indicates if the crash is significant enough to warrant replacement. The colored stitching up near the plastic seat shell will pull out, showing damage. This is why the Poplar should not be carried or swung around by the tether as if playing mountain men games 😁.

Poplar/Poplar S Advantages:
  • 18″ top harness slots
  • 14-position quick-adjust headrest and harness
  • 3 buckle slots
  • Thick, comfortable padding
  • Energy absorbing V-shaped tether with colored stitching (rip stitching)
  • Dishwasher safe cup holders
  • ClickTight belt tensioner lockoff installation system
  • 6-position recline
  • SafeCell technology
  • Naturally flame-retardant fabrics with no added FR chemicals in SafeWash fabrics
  • Carbon steel frame
  • FAA-approved
  • 10 year expiration
Poplar/Poplar S Disadvantages:
  • Rounded shape means angled-forward vehicle’s head restraint will interfere with carseat’s headrest
  • Permanently attached harness strap covers
  • Cover, specifically the outer rim cover, is difficult to put back on after cleaning
  • Cup holders or caps will get lost: the caps aren’t labeled for the seat and it’s just a fact of life that they will, at some point, get tossed if the cup holders are placed on the carseat

Boasting tall harness slots, the Britax Poplar/Poplar S grows with a child from infancy through preschool and beyond. Its compact front-to-back and 3-across design allows other carseats and people in the back seat and the updated ClickTight panel means you’ll be able to install it like a pro in seconds. The naturally flame-retardant fabrics are not only beautiful to look at, but environmentally friendly and machine wash- and dryable. The Poplar/Poplar S won’t fit every vehicle or seating position, but when it does, it’s a great option.

Thank you to Britax for for providing the Poplar used for this preview and for offering a GIVEAWAY for our awesome CSB readers and followers!

💖 ENTER THE BRITAX POPLAR GIVEAWAY 💖

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING! THE WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL.

Leave us a comment below and tell us what you love most about the new Britax Poplar ClickTight Convertible! Then click on Rafflecopter to qualify yourself. A comment on the blog is required to be eligible to win,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print – winner must have a shipping address in the USA to claim the prize. Alaska and Hawaii are included. Only one prize will be awarded. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close at midnight on February 14, 2024, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good Luck!

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