The Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB
The ClickTight part refers to Britax’s unique and foolproof mechanism for installing the seat using the vehicle’s seat belt rather than by using the LATCH connectors. Britax first introduced the ClickTight installation mechanism into their “harness to booster” range of car seats (for older children) and it proved so popular amongst parents and car seat safety technicians that Britax decided to extend the ClickTight system to their convertible car seats as well.
The ClickTight installation system is explained and demonstrated fully further down this page.
ARB stands for Anti-Rebound Bar.
The Boulevard ClickTight ARB comes pre-fitted with an anti-rebound bar. This adds yet another layer to this seat’s impact protection systems, the full details of which are explained more fully below.
Boulevard ClickTight ARB – Safety Features
So, what are the main safety features that can be found on this seat?
#1 Child Height & Weight Limits
The Boulevard ClickTight ARB comes with the following child height and weight limits:
- Rear-facing from 5 to 40 lbs, or 49″
- Forwards-facing from 20 to 65 lbs, or 49″ (must be at least 1 year old)
Note: Although this seat is rated as suitable for forwards-facing usage from 20 lbs and upwards, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should remain rear-facing for at least 2 years and preferably longer. So, do NOT rush to switch your child to forwards-facing mode once they reach 20 lbs. Instead, try to keep them rear-facing for as long as they remain within the height / weight limits for that mode of use.
There are some “seated shoulder height” limits to consider as well::
- Rear-facing – 7.6 to 18.65″
- Forwards-facing – 12 to 18.65″
The rear-facing weight limit is lower than other seats on the market, but your child should still be able to remain in the rear-facing position for 3 years or so.
It is quite common for convertible seats to have 40 lb rear-facing limits, but there are extended rear-facing seats on the market that have 50 lb limits.
#2 The ClickTight Installation System
The ClickTight installation system involves a simple 3-stage process. You open the compartment, feed the seat belt through the appropriate route, and then close the compartment until you hear the “click”.
The ClickTight installation mechanism on its own does not make the car seat any safer, but there is a very important indirect safety benefit for some parents in using the ClickTight system.
Installing convertible car seats using the vehicle’s seat belt can be difficult for many parents and, as a result, mistakes are often made. Research suggests that up to 75% seats are installed incorrectly, which makes them unsafe.
So, any mechanism that makes it easier to achieve a safe installation is to be welcomed.
The ClickTight installation system is important even if you intend to start off by installing using the LATCH connectors. LATCH connectors have a maximum child weight limit and so there will come a time when you have to switch to belt-installation because your child is too heavy to continue using LATCH (see User Manual for full details).
There are different seat belt routes for forwards-facing and rear-facing and you must make sure to use the correct one.
Note: In 2015, Britax phased out the rear-facing tether so pleas check the user manual for up to date information about this issue.
#3 SafeCell Base
The Britax SafeCell Base comprises a honeycomb structure and is designed to compress in a crash. It also lowers your child’s center of gravity and counteracts the forwards rotation of the seat. This results is a reduced risk of injury.
#4 SafeCell Impact Stabilising Steel Frame
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB has a SafeCell Impact Stabilising Steel frame, which strengthens the seat’s connection to the vehicle and reduces its forwards flexion in the event of a collision.
This video explains how the Britax Steel Frame helps to protect your child in a collision:
#5 Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB)
The new Anti-Rebound Bar is a padded steel bar that is attached to the foot-end of the seat. Its purpose to manage the rebound of the seat during a collision, by pressing into the back of the vehicle’s seat front.
In testing for the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Britax found that the ARB minimizes the risk of injury to rear-facing children by reducing rebound rotation by 40% and stabilizes the car seat during frontal, rear-end, and side-impact crashes.
So, there appears to be good evidence that the ARB enhances the safety of the seat.
#6 SafeCell Impact Absorbing Tether
The Impact Absorbing Tether is a strap that is used to secure the top part of the seat to to the lower anchors in your vehicle. The top tether system is a very important safety feature that helps to prevent the seat from flexing forwards in the event of a collision.
#7 Multiple Recline Positions with Automatic Level Indicator
The Boulevard ClickTight ARB seat comes with 7 different recline positions and an automatic level indicator to help you to find a comfortable position for your child when using the seat and also to ensure that you can quickly and easily install the seat at a recline angle that is safe for your child.
The Britax automatic level indicator means that you can feel confident that the recline position is safe rather than simply having to guess.
Having multiple reclines positions also makes it easier to fit the seat into certain smaller vehicles.
#8 Quick-Adjust Harness & Headrest
As your child’s height increases, you will need to adjust the height of the harness straps and headrest to ensure a correct fit. Many seats require you to re-thread the harness each and every time you make these height adjustments and this can be a real chore.
The Britax Quick-Adjust makes this process very easy indeed.
You simply press the red button at the top of the seat and then pull the top handle upwards until you get the desired position.
#9 Side Impact Protection
The Boulevard ClickTight ARB comes with 2-layers of side impact protection.
This comprises the foam-padded headrest and a deep foam lined shell.
It does not comes with the Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT), which is only found on the Advocate version of this seat.
What is SICT?
Britax Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT) comprises energy-management cushions that are positioned on either side of the seat. These cushions reduce side impact collision energy transfer by about 45% and are said to absorb side impact forces before they even reach your child. This reduces the risk of serious head injuries.
The one downside is that the Side Impact head wings make the Advocate ClickTight ARB 20.5 inches wide, whereas the Boulevard is just 18.5 inches wide.
If you need to fit 3 car seats in a row, the Boulevard is a much better option than the Advocate, due to the significant difference in seat width.
If you don’t need to fit 3 in a row and want the Side Impact Head Wings, you can check out the Advocate version here.
#10 Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator
The Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator uses an audible click to tell you when the harness is tightened correctly, rather than requiring you rely entirely upon your own judgment.
You are still advised to double-check with your own eyes and hands rather than just relying entirely upon the Click & Safe indicator.
If the indicator suggests that your child is snug enough but s/he still looks a little insecure – tighten a little more.
It is best used as a warning system when your child is not snug enough rather than an absolute guarantee that your child is snug enough.
The NHTSA “Ease of Use” – 5 Stars
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does NOT carry out official safety tests that allow you to rank seats in order, it does carry out pretty extensive “Ease of Use” evaluations on the seats and then publishes the data to help parents.
These “Ease of Use” ratings are a useful starting point when considering which convertible car seat to buy.
What are the “Ease of Use” Ratings?
According to the NHTSA, the safest car seat is the one that:
- is appropriate for your child’s age, height and weight
- fits in your vehicle correctly
- is easy to use
A seat’s “Ease of Use” rating is based upon:
- The Content & Clarity of the Seat’s Instruction Booklet
- How Easy it is to Install the Seat
- The Content & Clarity of the Seat’s Labels
- How Easy it is to Restrain the child in the Seat
Since correct car seat installation is such an important factor in ensuring that it is safe, it is perfectly reasonable to look at these ratings because they are specifically measuring the ease with which the seat can be use safely.
Each of the 4 “ease of use” factors listed above are given a “star rating” out of 5 and then an overall star rating at the end that takes account these individual factors.
The Britax ClickTight seats are the only convertible car seats that currently boast a 5-Star Overall Ease of Use Rating in the forwards-facing position.
Advocate ClickTight ARB – Other Features
The other notable features include:
- Plush Foam Padding in the cover, buckle pad, shoulder pads and removable pillow.
- EZ-Buckle System keeps buckles and straps out of your way when placing your child in the car seat.
- Easy-Remove Cover for cleaning convenience.
- Certified for Aircraft Travel
- Made in the USA with global components
Boulevard ClickTight ARB- “MBeans” Video Review
Boulevard ClickTight ARB – My Verdict
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB comes loaded with great safety and convenience features. One downside is that its rear-facing weight limit is not as generous as other seats.
I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one of these seats if I had another child if I needed to fit 3 in a row in a normal-sized vehicle. If I didn’t, I would pay the extra and buy the Advocate version instead.
The only other Britax convertible car seat that comes fitted with both the ClickTight installation system and the Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) is the Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB.
The only difference between the Boulevard and Advocate ClickTight ARB seat is that the Boulevard version does NOT have the SICT head wings. In all other respects, the seats are exactly the same.
Where to Buy the Boulevard ClickTight ARB
Canadian ClickTight Seats
After purchasing any child car seat, you should always read the User Manual thoroughly before using it. It is also advisable to visit your local Fire Department or NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Centre to ensure that the seat is definitely suitable for your child’s specific requirements and that you have installed it correctly. These services are usually provided free of charge.
You can find your nearest NHTSA Centre here.
Get in Touch
If you have any comments or questions in relation to my Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB Review, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.