Britax Boulevard ClickTight Britax Boulevard G4
The New Britax Boulevard ClickTight is Released!
As promised, Britax has just released its brand new series of convertible car seats, all of which come fitted with their revolutionary ClickTight Installation System. However, this new method of installing the seats is not the only change that Britax have made to their range of convertible seats.
There are 3 models in the range and the Boulevard ClickTight is the mid-range option. The other 2 models are:
The only difference between the Boulevard ClickTight and the top-of-the-range Advocate ClickTight is the Side Impact Protection System. The Advocate comes with extra Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT) and you can read my side-by-side comparison review of the Advocate ClickTight vs Boulevard ClickTight seats here.
The new ClickTight convertible car seats are more expensive than their existing G4 equivalents and 2 key questions for parents considering whether or not to buy them are:
- What are the differences?
- Are the ClickTight seats worth the extra money?
The Boulevard ClickTight costs $369.99 and the Boulevard G4 costs $256.
So, the main purpose of this comparison review of the Boulevard ClickTight and Boulevard G4 seats is to identify the main differences between them in order to help you to make a better informed decision about which one to buy for your child.
To my taste, the visual design of the new ClickTight seats is much improved, but what about the more important safety and convenience features?
The latest series of Britax convertible car seats has been branded “ClickTight” as opposed to the previous “G4″ series branding due to the fact that they have taken their revolutionary “ClickTight” system and added it to ALL of their newly released convertible seats.
Before I start to compare the seats in more detail, it is worth pointing out that the standing height limits and overall weight limits for the ClickTight and G4 models remain unchanged:
- Rear-facing between 5 to 40 lbs or 49 inches (standing height)
- Forwards-facing between 20 to 65 lbs or 49 inches (standing height) – must be at least 1 year old
Note: Although these seats are rated as suitable for forwards-facing use from 20 lbs (if child at least 1 year old), the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly 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.
Britax Boulevard ClickTight vs Boulevard G4 – The 6 Main Similarities
Let’s first run through 5 of the most important things that have remained the same. The following features are found on both the ClickTight and G4 versions of the Britax Boulevard
#1 Integrated Steel Bars
Both seats comes with durable integrated steel bars to strengthen the seat’s connection to the vehicle and reduce forward flexing in the event of a collision.
Here is a short video that explains how the Britax Steel Frame can help to protect your child in a collision:
#2 SafeCell Impact Absorbing Tether
The Impact Absorbing Tether is basically a strap that is attached to 2 upper parts of the seat and which is used to secure it to your vehicle’s the lower anchors. This is a very important safety feature and you should make sure that you read the user manual very carefully to ensure that it is used correctly.
It is claimed that the safety benefits of using the Impact Absorbing Tether are that it:
- Diverts crash forces away from your child by distributing them across a larger surface area of the seat shell;
- Minimises movement of the seat in a crash (in all directions);
- Helps to slow your child’s body down in a crash.
This short video explains how the Absorbing Tether can help to protect your child in a crash:
#3 Base with SafeCell Technology
The SafeCell Base is designed to compress in a crash, lower your child’s center of gravity, and counteract the forwards rotation of their seat. In so doing, this is said to reduce the risk of your child’s head hitting the back of the seat in front of them – the benefits of this are obvious.
Here is a short video that demonstrates the potential safety benefits of Britax SafeCell Bases:
#4 Side Impact Protection
Both seats come with the following Side Impact Protection Systems:
- Rigid seat shell with deep side walls and energy-absorbing foam
- Headrest with energy-absorbing foam
They do NOT have the Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT) that is only found on the Advocate seats.
What is SICT?
Britax Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT) comprises energy-management cushions that are positioned on either side of the seat. Britax claim that these cushions reduce side impact collision energy transfer by 45%. They are said to absorb side impact forces before they even reach your child and, thereby, reduce the risk of serious head injuries. Although I haven’t seen any independent test results to support Britax’s claims about these cushions, that does not mean that they are necessarily false. The cushions certainly do look reassuring and Britax claim that they make a significant difference in side impact collisions.
The SICT features means that the Advocate models are pretty wide at 21.5 inches, and this will probably cause problems if you need to fit 3 in a row on the rear seat of a standard-sized family vehicle.
So, if you have (or intend to have) 3 kids using convertible car seats at some stage, you will probably need to consider the Boulevard models instead of the Advocate.
#5 Quick-Adjust No Re-thread Harness
As your child grows, you will need to adjust the height of the harness straps and headrest. Many seats require you to re-thread the harness each and every time you need to make adjustments and this can be a real pain. The Britax system makes it quick and easy for you to adjust the harness and headrest heights without having to re-thread anything.
You simply press the red button and pull the top handle until you get the desired position. More information about how to use this feature and choose the correct settings are found within the user manual.
Note: Although both seats come with quick adjust no re-thread harnesses, the G4 seat only has 10 positions as opposed the 14 positions on the new ClickTight seat. This difference is due to the new much increased seated shoulder height limit on the Advocate and Boulevard ClickTight models, and you can read more about this change below.
#6 Click & Safe Harness Indicator
Both seats come with the Britax Click & Safe Harness Indicator mechanism.
Click & Safe is an audible indicator to help determine when your child’s seat harness is within the appropriate range of “snugness”. It is designed to be used as an additional safety feature as opposed to replacing your own judgment completely in this matter. Obviously, 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 that you are not snug enough (if not within the range) rather than an absolute guarantee that your child is snug enough.
So, if it says your child is not snug enough then tighten more. If it says that your child is snug enough, still check with your own eyes and hands that this is correct.
You can find close-up pictures of the safety features here.
Watch the video below to see how the Click & Safe feature works (it shows the G3 model but is still valid for G4 and ClickTight seats):
Britax Boulevard ClickTight vs Boulevard G4 – The 3 Big Differences
There are 3 big differences between the Boulevard ClickTight and Boulevard G4 seats.
#1 The ClickTight Installation System
Given the branding of the new seats, this is considered by Britax to be the main difference between the ClickTight models and G4 models.
So, what is ClickTight and why is it so good?
There are 2 very important reasons why the introduction of the ClickTight installation system on all Britax convertible cars seats is such a great improvement:
- The 2014 LATCH Law changes mean that convertible car seats need to be re-installed using the seatbelt once your child reaches a certain weight (40 lbs for the Britax ClickTight seats);
- Standard belt-fitting systems can be confusing for parents and research suggests that about 75% of seats are incorrectly installed.
So, although the ClickTight installation method does not bring any “direct” safety benefits, there are likely to be some major “indirect” safety benefits for those parents that otherwise might find it difficult to install their child’s seat safely using more traditional belt-fitting mechanisms. Getting a proper installation is a huge part of child car seat safety and any technological development that makes this process easier is a very good thing.
As you can see from the images and videos below, installing a convertible seat using the Britax ClickTight system is very simple and quick process. Furthermore, there is even a handy indicator to confirm that you have done it correctly!
So, in short, ClickTight takes away most (if not all) of the stresses of trying to install convertible car seats using the seat belt, and since it is almost fool-proof, it vastly improves your chances of getting it right the first time and keeping your child safe.
ClickTight has 3 very simple steps:
- Open the Compartment
- Feed the Belt into the Slots
- Close the Compartment
Although you use the 3 same steps, there are different belt-retaining slots for forwards-facing and rear-facing:
This short video from Britax introduces the ClickTight system:
The promotional video above doesn’t show you in detail how to install seats using the Britax ClickTight system, but fortunately this great video from “The Car Seat Blog” does:
#2 Shell Length & Height Limits
As I have already mentioned above, the new Boulevard ClickTight seat comes with extra harness adjustment slots due to the fact that Britax have significantly increased the length of the seat shell. As a result, the seated shoulder height limit of the Boulevard ClickTight seat is 1.9 inches greater than the G4 version. The top harness slots on the Boulevard ClickTight (19.4 inches) are 1.9 inches higher than the G4 model (17.5 inches).
The published seated shoulder height limits for these 2 seats are:
- RF Seated Shoulder Height – 7.6 to 18.65 inches
- FF Seated Shoulder Height – 18.65 inches or less
- RF Seated Shoulder Height – 9 to 16.75 inches
- FF Seated Shoulder Height – 12 to 16.75 inches
Note: Britax have changed the reference point for assessing whether your child has outgrown the seat’s height limit. Instead of using the top of the outer shell as a guide for the ClickTight models, you should now use the top of the inner shell and ensure that your child’s head is not positioned higher than a a point 1 inch below the read “headrest” adjustment lever. You should read the user manual carefully to check that you fully understand this height-checking procedure prior to using the seat.
As a result of these enhancements, the useable rear-facing height limit on the Boulevard ClickTight is approximately 28 inches to the top of your child’s head with the headrest at the highest setting.
This increased seated height limit is going to be very useful for the parents of taller children since they almost always outgrow the height limits on convertible car seats long before they outgrow the weight limits.
#3 7-Position Recline with Automatic Level Indicator
The new Boulevard ClickTight seat comes with a 7-position recline and automatic level indicator, which serves at least 2 useful purposes. Firstly, it helps you to find a comfortable position for your child when using the seat. Secondly, it ensures that you can quickly and easily install the seat at a recline angle that is safe for your child. Vehicle seats are all manufactured differently and it can sometimes be difficult to know whether or not you have installed the seat correctly.
The Britax automatic level indicator means that you can get peace of mind that the recline position is correct rather than having to take an educated guess.
Can I Still Buy the Britax Boulevard G4 Convertible Car Seat?
The answer is YES and the great thing is that, if you decide that the Britax Boulevard G4 is your preferred option, you can now buy them at huge discounts to the normal retail price.
Where to Buy the Britax ClickTight Convertible Car Seats?
The MRSP for the Britax Boulevard ClickTight seat is $369.99, but there are some better deals available sometimes.
Canadian ClickTight Seats
Britax ClickTight Comparison Reviews
You can read my comparison reviews of the new Britax ClickTight Seats here:
- Advocate ClickTight vs Boulevard ClickTight
- Advocate ClickTight vs Marathon ClickTight
- Boulevard ClickTight vs Marathon ClickTight
Different Fabric Color Options
The Boulevard ClickTight and Boulevard G4 seats come in very different fabric color options.
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 to share or questions to ask about my Britax Boulevard ClickTight vs Britax Boulevard G4 post, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.