- Side impact cushion technology features energy-absorbing cushions on the exterior of the child seat to reduce side impact crash energy by 45% by diverting crash forces away from your child and providing extra protection for the adjacent passenger
- Safecell technology features safecells designed to compress in a crash, significantly lowering the center of gravity and counteracting the forward rotation of the child seat which normally propels the child toward the front seat
- Click and safe snug harness indicator is an audible aid that provides extra assurance when the harness is within range of appropriate snugness
- Integrated Steel Bars strengthen the connection to the vehicle and reduce forward flexing of the child seat during a crash
- True Side Impact Protection offers an extra layer of EPP foam, keeping the head, neck and spine aligned, and deep side walls lined with EPP foam to distribute crash forces, shield from vehicle intrusion, and contain the head, neck and body
Are the Air Bladders Worth the Extra Money? I think Yes.
I had an Advocate 65 prior to buying this 70 model, but the extra EPP foam lining the shell (the advocate 65 has no foam on the side of the shell…… what gives Britax?), collapsing honeycomb base, smoother belt path to smooth out the CS feature, and stronger/more integral mounting bars convinced me to drop another 300 bucks on the 70. Some guys get a new iphone when a new version is available, I get another car seat. The CS feature is junk on the Advocate 65, but it doesn’t get in the way as long as you pay attention and get the straps tight enough (I always just ignored the click and kept on pulling/guiding the straps). My wife was getting very irritated with the CS feature on the 65 and said “the new one is ten times better”. The 65 had sharp edges where the belts feed through the back of the seat causing the belt tension between the back of the seat and clicker to be high, but not tight enough around your child. The 70 model has smooth curves though the back of the seat so tension in the clicker area equals tension around your kid…. much better.I’ve read countless posts by “certified technicians” saying the air bladders on the Advocate are a waste of money. I’ve read reviews where people say it’s “Twice as safe” with the air bladder. My assessment is that many of these people are making statements beyond their understanding. To become a certified CPS technician you take a 4-day class and pay 75 dollars, not an impulse and momentum physics class. Be careful what you believe in online reviews. It’s also well known that companies have departments that talk up their products in online reviews and talk down the products of their competition so you really never know.Consumer Reports is apathetic to the Advocate’s air bladders. They state they do not test side impacts and subsequently rate the Advocate lower than the Boulevard (same model without air bladders) because it costs more. What this amounts to is they completely ignore the air bladders potential in their rating, don’t test for it, reduce it’s overall rating because it costs more and then make a small comment about the fact it may help in the small print. A few years back they did some side impact testing and published a worrisome review about American car seats (European seats were better in their test). They retracted the article for some litigious reason I believe (excessive testing or something…. but just the same the European seats were not flying off the base whether or not it was an excessive test). For this reason Consumer Reports will never get another dollar from me. They are being lazy and litigation weary instead of jumping in head first and creating an excellent side impact test that would reveal the value or lack of value of side impact technologies from all the manufacturers. For now people that just look at the rating dots will never know CS is throwing out safety features from the ratings because they don’t test for side impact, which they say result in a large percentage of fatalities (***shaking head***). As of Jan 2011 an “Excellent” safety rating from CS is only referring to frontal testing and side impact appears to have zero weight in their rating system.Here is my opinion based on an engineering background. Because crash dynamics are complicated, I don’t want any of these statements to be taken as a God given fact in the application of every car wreck. I’m taking the time to write this because all the one-line negatories from certified technicians. I’ll just state the simple laws of physics that apply in these types of situations so you can decide if you want to spring for the air bladders or not. It is very likely that if the OUTSIDE of the advocate impacts another object in a crash be it a caving door panel or the bumper of a jacked up truck, the air bladder will slow down the rate at which your child’s head goes from motion to rest because the air bladder functions just like an air bag in your car (a balloon that is not air tight but allows for forces to be dissipated over a longer time (milliseconds longer). The time it takes for your child’s head to go from motion to rest is inversely related to the impact force your child’s head will experience. In simpler terms the the slower they slow down, the lower the maximum impact force they will experience. This is why air bags are in all cars now, they slow down how fast you come (measured in small factions of a second) to rest greatly reducing maximum force. Maybe any wreck that these features come into play is unsurvivable I don’t know…. It makes me go cross eyed when a certified tech says “the air bladders on the advocate don’t do anything”. I’m not certain they are as valuable as Britax says they are, but geeeezzz. Ask yourself this: If you are wearing a hockey mask (similar to your child’s seat shell) and your greatest enemy gets one free swing at your face with an Aluminum baseball bat, would you or would you not opt to place an air bag on the front of your hockey mask?If your seat is in the center of the car and nothing impacts the air bladder, then it won’t help. An example would be a side crash in which the seat was mounted in the middle and the car did not crush and nothing penetrated the interior of the car. In this scenario the base of the seat would hold the upper part of the seat (via the car belt/latch) in place while your child hits the inside reducing their velocity and momentum to zero. In this situation the air bladder does not help.What my assumptions lead me to believe is that if you are putting your seat right next to the vehicle’s door with a good chance of something hitting the side of the seat (or another person), or the seat pivoting and slamming on the interior door panel in a side impact or roll, then the chances the air bladders will be advantageous are high, where as if your seat will be in the center there is less of a chance (but not zero) this feature will lend a helping hand in an accident. I have a minivan with the seat mounted in the middle and I still believe strongly in my extra investment for the air bladders based on the impact and momentum laws of physics and the potential of objects penetrating the cabin space from the side and hitting the car seat. The added cost of the bladders for how much safety they add may be on the expensive side, but I’m willing to pay 20 percent more for a seat that is 10 percent safer (I’m making these numbers up I don’t know how much safer it is). I want maximum protection and am willing to pay for it and deal with the extra size.I’ve observed that the 70 exhibits less torsional rigidity compared to the 65. I believe this is due to the honeycomb collapsing base. I’m not convinced this is a bad thing, in fact it may be intentional.Buying a seat is confusing and there seems to be more bad information than good information out there. From what I can tell the people we trust to regulate/test the car seat industry seem to have dropped the ball. I think the Advocate is one of the best choices I have, but I get this feeling that the manufacturers in America have whipped our officials into keeping things easy/cheap for them. There was a good article in the Chicago Tribune a couple years ago in which HALF the American car seats performed poorly in a government study (including Britax). The conclusions of the article/test was basically….. finger pointing and “we need to do something better”.I think Britax should be rewarded for developing and marketing products that exceed the pathetic regulation system. It’s a shame they have to ride lower on the ratings because there is no standardized test for the types of impact that hurt more kids.Good luck!**************************************************************Update 3: Amazon is currently selling a “Previous Version” and a “Current Version” of the Advocate 70 CS. Since I just bought my fifth Advocate from Amazon that happened to be this “Current Version” I felt compelled to transfer the effort I put into reviewing this identical product from the “Previous Version”. A phone call to Britax today (2/2/2012) confirmed that there is no difference between the two versions of the advocate 70 other than the model number.**************************************************************Update 2: As you read below you will see that I think this is a good seat and recommend it for people concerned about safety. That being said I’m hoping Britax engineers will read this and quit building the CS feature into their seats. As I state below the CS feature of the 70 model is much better than the 65 model, however, it’s really just a gimmick. It offers ZERO value to the seat other than letting Britax add another feature on the feature list. The click is almost never enough tension (even if you groom the belt and tighten it around your kids legs first). One should always check the tension of the belts with their hand. I’m willing to bet that parents that rely on the click are not properly tightening the straps. The 70 model is still easy to tighten on your kid, but the CS feature needs to go Britax. The 65 model’s CS feature/belt path is well below average in terms of usability. I own two Advocate 65’s and one Advocate 70 and would pay 50 dollars right now to remove the CS feature on all of them. Don’t let this point cause you to buy another seat. This is still a great seat.Another complaint, and again this is just nit picking as I do honestly recommend this seat: The 65 model had an excellent head rest/upper belt feed-through adjustment drive screw. They replaced this with a pull handle above your kids head in the 70 model claiming it was an upgrade….. Nope. I think this was a cost reduction redesign. You can’t adjust the head rest height if your kid is in the seat (unless you push them away from the back of the seat) as any weight at all on the back of the seat renders the mechanism unusable. You could adjust the height on the 65 with your kid in place. Also the drive screw of the 65 has infinite adjustment while the 70 has a set number of positions (not a big deal but still). You only adjust this a handful of times over the life of the seat (unless you are using it with two different size kids back and forth) so it’s not a big problem.The Advocate 70 adds lots of great safety features and it’s my seat of choice. For the next model Britax needs to delete any sort of clicking anything and just have a standard cam locking tightening strap. Also go back to the drive screw as implemented on the 65 model but smooth out the belt path like the 70….. That would be a GREAT seat.************************************************Update: We have had the Advocate 70 three months now and are still very satisfied with the seat. As initially observed, the CS feature is much more viable in this model over the 65. One of the clips that holds the cover on came off, but it doesn’t seem to even have been needed anyway. One thing that has become obvious to me is that the 70 model (as opposed to the 65 model and other manufacturers) has a lot of structure on the side and forward of the child’s head. This makes it more difficult to get a kid in and out (while facing backwards the gap between the car seat and advocate seat is smaller), but what it boils down to is your kids face is completely protected on the sides. As I stated further in the review, I want maximum safety and am happy to give up a little convenience and view so the kids side is pretty much completely protected. Our kid seems to be perfectly happy with this seat, but it doesn’t offer much side viewing. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. For every person there is a happy medium. On one extreme you could give your kid a breathing tube and pack them in a foam sphere four feet in diameter, on the other end is no seat at all. I’m very happy with the Advocate 70’s safety vs. convenience trade offs.******
Way too big!
Was way too big for our car. And I couldn’t figure out if the padding above the shoulders was removeable. I didn’t see that it was and my son was already close to hitting them. His shoulders wouldn’t have fit in the seat much longer, the pads would have been pushing him down. And he’s not a big kid!
The best car seat
This car seat is high quality, same as on the picture. Very easy to take off the cover and I wash it in the washing machine (hand wash mood). The color is nice, we use it more than one year and the color is the same. It is very comfortable and roomy, my Baby sleeps a lot in it while I’m driving. My friend bought the same and her Baby likes it too. I checked the internet and this seat is very safe. It is a little bit bulky, but I don’t mind. The safety is the first.
Hopefully the right decision
My nine month old son, who is on the taller side and weighs about 22 pounds, was uncomfortable sitting dressed in winter clothes in his Chicco Keyfit 30. Therefore, we decided to upgrade his seat to something larger.The purchase process was a somewhat frustrating experience. As the primary purpose of this product is to protect a child in a car crash, it would seem reasonable that there would be [independent] data out there to help the buyer make an educated decision. Apparently, neither the government (who would rather spend money on …fill in the blank) nor the consumer watchdogs (cover story of the last CR issue is a survey of readers’ favorite stores..wtf), think it is important. As far as I know, CR never did car seat tests after botching them the last time in 2007. So, we are left to decide based on features, physical dimensions, anecdotes, manufacturer’s reputation, marketing propoganda, and other secondary criteria.Having come to grips with this sad reality, I narrowed down my choices to two seats that seemed to have the best “professional” and consumer reviews: this one andDiono Radian RXT. Both seats were in stock at my local bbb so I went to take a look.Here is my take on the two seats (I ended up buying the Britax). Britax is huge, I installed it rear facing and tethered in the center seat of a Toyota Rav4 and it baisiclly took up 1/3 of each of the two other seats, and created a new blind spot. I know you “can”, and I have a friend who has, but this seat is not a good option to take on an airplane (turns your kid into the fat person that no one wants to sit next to). It feels solid and took about 45 minutes to figure out how to install for the first time (80% of that time spent on tethering), so if you have done it before, it should take much faster. It’s made in the USA. My son finds it very comftorable (not sure if he’ll change his mind when his legs get longer). Britax’s other seats in this family all have great reviews.Diono Radian RXT is much slimmer but also taller. It also looks and feels solid. There is less padding and no “air bags.” It is made in China. Being able to fold the seat into something more compact is a big plus. One of the low reviews of the RXT mentions that a lot of the positive reviews are written by people with only a single review. I checked and that is true, but there are also positive reviews from Amazon verified buyers – mixed feelings about this, probably not a big deal. It allows you to keep the kid rearfacing longer. If you think that matters, go on youtube and watch videos of older kids sitting rear facing with their feet around their ears, safer-maybe, realistic-unlikeley. Longer “expiration date” and ability to use as booster are pluses.In the end, we chose the Britax due to brand reputation and that it is made in the USA. As a final note, we liked the Onyx color, but it has a high rating for toxicity on Healthystuffd@torg. We went with the Opus Gray, which is rated medium (as are most other seats, and all of the highly reviewed seats).Hope this helps. Would have been better to write a review that went like this: “Bought this seat because it is the safest.” – but, we have no idea.
Nice seat but not for us
This is a nice seat, seems very sturdy and safe.Issues that I think wouldn’t be a problem when the seat was forward facing but that is still about a year off for us so I returned it.- I can scoot the seat back enough for me to drive the car but it is a little tight for my husband.- Also the sides come up so much that it was hard to get him in and out of the seat. Between the door jam and those sides I had to kind of maneuver him into and out of it.- Also we live in Florida so the large sides restricted air flow to him. He was constantly hot in the seat.Again if we were closer to facing him forward I would’ve kept the seat because I think our issues wouldn’t be issues but we are too far off to just deal with those things.I returned it and got a Diono Radian RXT and like it a lot. We still have the seat not being able to go back all the way issue but it is not as bad as this one.BTW – Car installed in was a Chevy Equinox.
BEST Car Seat
Luckily, my little son has not been in an accident so I can’t tell you how this seat performed under horrible conditions. I researched forEVER to find the most sturdy, safe car seat and found that Britax is the ONLY car seat that met my high standards. Britax does twice as many tests as other car seat companies. When I got this car seat, I was so excited to find that it is rock solid in quality. The steel bars running through the seat up through the back are so comforting. Every other car seat I looked at in person (even the $200 + ones, were made of only plastic). I am a first time mother, so I don’t know how difficult it is to install other car seats, but it did take some time to figure out how to install it (even though the directions were clear). The car seat seems on the wider side, probably because of the side impact cushions for the other passengers. If the seat is in fully reclined rear facing position, you can’t recline your front passenger seat if you have a smaller vehicle (we have a small SUV Ford Escape). But, everything about installing it was incredible though as far as safety goes. Everything is so securely clamped down, this carseat is not going anywhere. I was completely impressed. It does not move or budge, it has no wiggle room. It is heavy, sturdy and solid. I like this because I want my son to be safe. I will never compromise buying a lightweight smaller car seat just for my own ease. I figure, what’s the point of even having a car seat if it’s not going to protect my child in the event of an auto accident. I will do whatever it takes. The fact that paramedics recommend this car seat above all others speaks volumes. Also, the seat is soft and comfy – the straps too – and my son seems really cozy and happy in it. I am SO happy about this car seat in every way. 🙂
doesnt feel securely buckled
We purchased this seat for our growing little girl when she got too big for her infant carrier (britax chaperoned). We like the reputation of the company and excellent reviews. Only complaint is that it doesn’t feel securely in place when rear facing. I plan on taking it down to our local station to get checked soon.Also one of the fuzzy shoulder strap covers was missing from our shipment.
The best car seat ever!!!!
I don’t care how big this car seat is, you will not get a car seat better built than this one. My 11 month old son absolutely loves how comfortable it is. Not only is it comfortable, the construction is superb and worth every penny. I am 8 month’s pregnant and will be purchasing another one for the new baby.
Fantastic car seat (and should be for the price)
My wife and I purchased 2 of these car seats for our cars after we got tired of lugging our son around in his pumpkin seat. We chose this particular car seat after several days of reading consumer reports and product reviews. It’s a well-made, sturdy seat (and it weighs a ton). Installation was very easy — it took no more than 15 minutes, from start to finish. You’ll find that if you move the front seat far enough forward to place yourself in between the front seat and the car seat, you can put your entire body weight on it and pull both LATCH straps extremely tight. Doing this, I actually got it tight enough that the seat didn’t move at all at the base where the LATCH connectors attach (and I’m not a big guy — 5’7″”, 155 lbs). The most difficult part of the installation was finding the anchor points on each of our cars so that we could attach the Versa-Tether. My wife’s SUV (Volvo XC90) actually has an anchor point under each front seat, so when the car seat is in the rear facing position, the tether could be attached the anchor under the passenger side seat. Unfortunately, my car (Honda Accord) only has anchor points behind the headrests of the backseats, which means when the car seat is installed rear facing, the tether has to go across the top of the car seat to be anchored. This has made it a bit more difficult to get my son in and out of the seat without getting a limb caught on one of the straps. Of course, this issue is a function of the car I drive, and not the car seat itself, but I thought it was worth mentioning.All in all, these are great car seats and we couldn’t be more pleased with our purchases. Of course at ~$300 per seat, I was hopeful we’d be happy with our purchases. If you’re looking to spend a bit less, the Roundabout is another good Britax carseat. We purchased the Roundabout for grandma’s car and didn’t feel the need to buy a top-of-the-line model. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Advocate, but is another good carseat. Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Britax carseat. We’ve enjoyed them and hope we remain happy with them.
We have had this car seat as well as a Graco model for around a year now and wow, what a difference. The straps on the Graco are constantly twisted, the fabric is a pain to get off to wash, and it just feels cheap.The Britax, however, is wonderful. Excellent safety ratings, the fabric is a breeze to take off for washing, the straps always stay smoothed and therefore don’t bother my son, and (minor but nice for us) the slot for the cupholder is under the fabric and isn’t always slipping off like the screw-on models for other brands do.The safety features are why we bought the Britax but the overall ease of use and my son’s preference for it is what makes us love it. When it is outgrown, we will definitely be purchasing a Britax replacement!!!
Love this car seat, worth the $$$!
Amazon always has the best prices for anything britax, so we are very happy with this purchase. Only thing is the HUGS straps ripped after about a year 1/2 (I am very late to write this review!). I replaced them, so all is fine
This car seat is very sturdy. It feels much safer than the infant, travel system car seats. I wish we would have started out with this one. We’ll definitely splurge for another Britax if we have another baby. The fireman that inspected our car seat installation said that Britax is the only car seat available in the U.S. that is sold internationally, which speaks to the quality. The Click and Safe is OK but sometimes it doesn’t seem like it is tight enough the first time it clicks. It comes with padding/covers on the seat belts for added comfort. The baby gets a little warm in it in the summer so we have to make sure the AC is getting to the back seat. When the baby falls asleep, his head falls forward a bit because of the way our back seat angles. We put a pool noodle under the car seat at the direction of the car seat inspector and that works great. I don’t see how the pool noodle could compromise the safety of the seat, even though some other reviewers seem concerned about it. It really isn’t any different from the seat of the car. Now that we’ve tried it, I wouldn’t change to another car seat!
Britax Advocate is the best!!!
Received my daughter’s Britax Advocate 70 car seat in Serene and I am extremely happy with it! First off, we previously had the Britax B-Safe travel system when our daughter was a newborn and she’s used it up until now and she is about to be 1yrs old. She can still fit in it, but I wanted to get her a new one as she’s a longer and needs a little more room. It’ll also be easier for me to put her in it since I’m still going to have her rear-facing in the middle of the backseat as long as possible. We’ve been so impressed with the quality and safety with all the Britax car seats and so I knew we would stick with Britax for many years and babies to come! The Advocate itself was clearly well made. You can feel the sturdiness in it and the quality. I chose this particular model because of the extra side-impact protection. It is definitely on the wider side, so if you have an SUV or van, this seat is ideal. While this would still fit into a smaller vehicle, other passengers in the back might be a little cramped. Anyway, be sure the read up and refer the Britax’s main website for the additional safety features. In person this car seat is everything I had hoped for regarding safety, quality, longevity, and aesthetics. The serene color is perfect for our cream leather interior and for warmer climates (we travel back and forth from CA to FL) versus the darker black/gray versions. I highly recommend!!
Good seat overall but a lot of disadvantages!
Even though officially techs say all car seats are equally safe and all pass the same official safety tests, I got the Britax Advocate because I read other independent safety reviews and it looked comfortable and cushioned. After using it for around a year (my son is now 2 years old and still rear facing) I can say that it is, in general, a very good seat. HOWEVER: It does not allow for extended rear facing in general (my son is thankfully not tall) which is the safe option (children should rear face until 4 years old for safety, this is science-based). It is not the most comfortable option for rear facing as it makes the toddler sit more crunched, not enough leg space and the sides are high so he feels kind of cowered in the seat. It is certainly not his favourite and he often prefers to ride in his father’s car where he uses a Diono Radian (also rear facing) and its much more comfortable for him and also to get him in and out of the car. Also, the side protection foam has broken very easily just from getting him in and out of the seat. Overall it is a good seat but i would go with another option if I were to purchase a seat again.
Safest Car Seat on the market
Couldn’t be happier then this carseat. As an injury claims adjustor I wouldn’t trust my child in anything but the best. Nothing is better then Britax. A little pricey however it goes up to 70 pounds and 49 inches… its going to take my kid till shes probable 5!
Great seat! My son loves it!
This is a Britax, so you can pretty much rest assured that whatever seat you get from them will be safe. But we found a variety of features that sold us on this seat. We bought this seat because my 4 month old HATED his Chicco infant seat. He cried every time we tightened it, which is no wonder because it left his shoulders hunched over. We have been using it for several months and finally decided to write a review because we are buying another one! We love this seat because he seems to be super safe in it! Also, its easy to adjust and has more height options (no more hunched over baby. Some people seemed worried about the side impact cushions, but we have him on the side and we wanted extra protection. Because it is positioned on the side (in space that would otherwise be empty) It only takes up maybe 2 extra inches, maybe. I don’t think it is really much wider than the base though. Also, I was shocked at how short this seat is!! In the rear facing position it is set in a lower setting and doesn’t seem to take up as much room as the infant seat. I was awkward sitting in front of the infant seat and gave up the front to sit in the back. With this seat I can comfortably sit in the front passenger seat again! As for the click and safe it isn’t necessary and usually isn’t 100% accurate so PLEASE check your child every time!! I am buying this seat for the baby sitter who leaves it WAY too loose, so at least the Click and Safe will give her a guide so that she will hopefully hit the target. That’s actually the very reason we are buying this seat. Also, I feel reassured when I hear the click, even though I still check it. Bottom line, my screamy, fussy, refluxing baby went from SCREAMING car rides every time, to one happy camper. That is enough to sell me, even without all the awesome safety features! Bottom line, I love this seat, it fits well, doesn’t take up much space (even if it looks like it does), my son loves it, and it feels super safe. I would highly recommend it.So it’s been awhile now, we’ve moved on pot a. If boy seat and passed this onto his sister. I he pave to say that in my husband’s Nissan Rogue has small doors and it was rather tough to get him in and out with the sides of the seat, but I still feel like he is safer. Also, the reason we bumped him up was because the straps we’re getting short! There really wasn’t enough slack to loosen the straps much to get him in and out. He still fit the rear-facing requirements, so I’m not quite sure how thes eat can really actually fit a larger child at all.
I purchased this car seat because my 10 month old son outgrew the one we were using. After doing a lot of research I chose the Britax for its safety. I also liked how well it fit in the back seat (rear-facing) without having the front seat too far forward. It was very easy to install (I watched the how-to video) and I was able to do it myself. The fabric is very soft and velvety although my son does get hot in it during the summer months. The harness is easy to latch even with a squirmy baby. I would recommend this car seat to anyone, in fact we just purchased one for in the grandparents car.
Nice seat, mounted in Nissan Sentra
Our little man is 20lbs and one year old, and grew out of his Peg Perego Primo Viaggio, so after researching and talking with friends we went with this seat. Originally we were looking at theBritax Boulevard 70 Convertible Car Seat (Current Version), Onyxbut low cost difference of 30-40 dollars pushed us to get this “top of the line” version. The Click/Safe is not a big deal for us operationally, usually just give it a second tug. The “cushions” on the sides of the seat add an inch or so to each side, I was worried they would stick out farther.Mounting: 2002 Nissan Sentra 4dr. Location: behind drivers seat, rear-facing. Mounting the seat was pretty simple with the LATCH buckles clicking in, then planting a foot on the base and pulling on the strap. The seat is in the 3rd recline (most) position. The base is at the latch buckles, the door side is on the side cushion. If you try and place the base against the rear seat back and tighten the latch straps the seat will not fit or be level. Also as others have noted the recline cannot be changed once the base is mounted. The top tether was secured to the right rail of the drivers seat with the included strap. I did not tighten the top tether until I had the driver seat repositioned. I am 5’5″ and my wife is shorter than me, with the drivers seat set and the top tether tightened there is 1-2in between the headrest and child seat.Use. As others have noted, in smaller 4dr cars this seat is tight. I have found it easiest to do a head in first seating. The tightening strap for the harness is plenty long, and once you get used to finding the release it is easy to operate. The rear seat back does not get in the way of activating the release. I do find the length of the shoulder straps surprisingly short at full release. I do wonder how this may affect the usability in the future as he grows and/or is wearing jackets and such. Currently though, even with his winter jacket and such on there is no problem getting him in. The black pad (behind the shoulder straps and gray rubber pads) is removable, as is the whole cover and buckle pad. The bottom buckle has two distance positions. You can get a cup holder for this seat if you can figure out which one to get….. and if it will fit the sippy/bottle/jug that your child is using. I am going to make a holder/tray out ofKydex-T Plastic Sheet – .093″ / 3/32″ Thick, Calcutta Black, 12″ x 24″ – Pick Size And Colorand have it click on and off the big stout metal frame.3/2/2012 Update: Personal Experience note. Get a (Back) Seat cover or piece of waterproof fabric and place under seat before installing, your child will sooner (me) or later inaugurate the car seat, back seat, and everything else with tasty vomit (seat belts are a real pain to clean!). I would use PUL fabric, it is machine washable and is used in hospital settings, it is also available in “baby prints” at some stores/chains. Get enough fabric to do 2 covers. Thank you for reading.
Great Seat but big
We bought this in addition to a Britax seat we already have in my Wife’s car. My car being an SUV we decided to get the seat with extra protection on the sides. Which I think will be of more use for passengers in the event of an accident. Word of warning. I am 6’3 and the seat only just fits in behind the driver’s seat when rear facing but leaves more than enough space too easily fit the baby in to the seat. Being 6’3 makes loading the baby in to the seat easier for me; my wife who is 5’5 finds it slightly more difficult as she now has to lift the baby in to the seat rather than lowering him in to it. I would advice for SUV use only due to the total overall size of the seat.From our babies point of view he loves the seat the texture of the cowmooflarge he loves and the nice sung fit helps him sleep well on longer trips. As we use this seat in a SUV he has great view out the back windows of the car which he enjoys. From a cot point of view I think you have to view it in this context do you put a value on your baby’s life?
Very good purchase but prefer infant seat for baby < 2 months
Very nice purchase but we preferred “infant car seat” when baby is less than 2-3 months old.Hospital staff did not even knew about “Convertible Car Seat”….Have to buy new infant car seat from store at the day of delivery..(not have too…but we did as we also though infant car seat will be better).After 2/3 months now we use this though. Very comfy expect the buckle at the bottom center is not soft enough on strap…..