The Britax Roundabout G4.1 – Quality on a Budget
The fact that it is the entry-level seat does not mean that it is wholly lacking in safety and convenience features. Of course, it does not come with the full range of features that you will find on the much more expensive Britax “ClickTight” convertible car seats, but that is well reflected in its very low price.
The Britax Roundabout has been available to buy for many years now (although it has been updated and improved since the original version) and that continued availability is largely due to the fact that it continues to be a very popular choice for those parents and caregivers who either do not feel the need to spend $200+ on a car seat, or simply can’t afford to pay that sort of money.
Some of the features that are missing from the Roundabout G4.1 seat are regarded by many as simply optional luxury extras rather than being related to the important safety aspects of its performance, but in fairness you will find some extra safety features on the Advocate ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight and Marathon ClickTight models.
The all important question that I will address in this Britax Roundabout G4.1 review is whether or not this seat has enough safety features to satisfy you that it’s the right seat for your child?
The Britax Roundabout G4.1 at a Glance
|Rear-Facing Weight||5 - 40 lbs|
|Rear-Facing Height||up to 46"|
|Rear-Facing Seated Shoulder Height||9 - 15.75"|
|Forwards-Facing Weight||20 - 55 lbs|
|Forwards-Facing Height||up to 46"|
|Forwards-Facing Seated Shoulder Height||12 - 15.75"|
|Infant Insert||Yes (Body Pillow)|
|Seat Expiration||7 years|
|FAA Approved for Flights||Yes|
The Britax Roundabout G4.1 Seat’s Key Features
The main differences between the Britax Roundabout G4.1 and the other more expensive ClickTight seats include the fact that it has lower overall child height and weight limits, lacks the ClickTight belt-installation system, and has fewer harness slot height options.
As you will see below, however, it still comes with quite a lot of the main safety features that you will find on the ClickTight seats.
1. Maximum Child Height & Weight Limits
In the rear-facing mode, the maximum weight limit is 40 lbs and the maximum height limit is 46 inches.
In the forwards-facing mode, the maximum weight limit is 55 lbs and the maximum height limit is 46 inches. This is 10 lbs and 3 inches less than the Britax Marathon ClickTight.
Please note that there are seated shoulder height limits too to comply with
Not long ago, the Roundabout’s maximum rear-facing weight and height limits would have been regarded as some of the most generous on the market.
Its rear-facing limits are exactly the same as the more expensive ClickTight seats and so in buying the Roundabout seat you are not actually making any compromise in terms of how long you child can remain rear-facing.
There are now some seats available that will allow kids to remain rear-facing until 50 lbs (provided they are not too tall before then), but they will set you back more than $300 each.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in the rear-facing position until they are at least 2 years old, and the Roundabout’s 40 lbs / 46 inches limits will allow all children to comply with that recommendation comfortably.
The maximum height limits are subject to the following rules. Whilst rear-facing, the top of your child’s head must be at least 1 inch below the top of the head restraint. Whilst forward-facing, the top of your child’s ears must be below the top of the head restraint.
2. Seat Installation
You can install the Roundabout G4.1 seat using its “easy on/off” LATCH connectors if you have the appropriate anchors on your vehicle (which most modern vehicles do).
These LATCH connectors are the simple push button type and are pretty easy to operate.
Like all convertible car seats, there is a maximum child weight limit for using the LATCH connectors and once you have reached that limit you must re-install the seat using the vehicle seatbelt instead.
The LATCH child weight limits on the Roundabout G4.1 are 40 lbs rear-facing and 50 lbs forwards-facing.
Assuming your child doesn’t outgrow the seat by height before they exceed 40 lbs, the Roundabout (whilst lacking the ClickTight system) comes with “lockoffs” to make the process of belt-installation easier.
3. Britax’s Safecell Impact Protection Systems
The Britax Roundabout G4.1 seat comes with a number of collision protection systems built into it.
It doesn’t have the Side Impact Cushion Technology (the big head wings) found only on the Advocate ClickTight, or the extra-padded headrest that is also found on the Boulevard ClickTight, but it does come fitted with:
- Integrated Steel Frame
- Energy-absorbing Base
- V-Shaped Tether
- Side Impact Protection
The Integrated Steel Frame provides added stability and strength to the seat, whilst the Energy-Absorbing Base is engineered specifically to compress in the event of a collision so as to reduce the forces that are transmitted to your child.
This video explains how the Britax Steel Frame works:
The Side Impact Protection comprises a deep protective shell that is said to also absorb crash forces and shield your child from flying debris.
The Tether on the Roundabout G4.1 is V-shaped so as to prevent seat rotation, and the tether straps themselves are specially stitched so that they release themselves in stages in the event of a collision.
The Tether is an important safety feature that helps to prevent the seat from being thrown about excessively in the event of a collision.
In short, all of these systems are basically designed to absorb as much of the energy involved in a collision situation so that your child doesn’t have to.
4. Seat Recline Options
There are quite limited recline options on the Roundabout, but this is quite common for seats at this price point.
In total, there are 3 recline options, which means that the seat lacks the precise adjustment of recline angle that you can get with many of the more expensive premium convertible car seats. That said, you should be able to find a suitable and safe recline angle amongst the few on offer.
5. Infant Insert Pillow
The Roundabout G4.1 seat comes with an infant insert pillow to help babies to achieve a better fit.
It can be used up to a maximum of 22 lbs and only in the rear-facing mode.
6. Britax Roundabout G4.1’s Other Features
The Roundabout’s other features are pretty self-explanatory, and include:
- Tangle-free 5-point harness with chest clip
- Quick-adjust 2-position buckle
- FAA Certified for Aircraft travel
- Made in the USA
Britax Roundabout G4.1 – My Verdict
The Britax Roundabout G4.1 seat has all of the fundamental collision protection systems currently offered by Britax. I have already mentioned that it lacks some of the additional side impact protection found on the more expensive Britax convertible seats.
It has obviously passed all of the required Federal car seat safety tests.
The seat does also lack many of the convenience features found on the other seats, including the ClickTight installation system, the no re-thread harness, easy-adjust headrest, and extra recline options. If you can do without those extra features, this seat is an absolute steal at current prices.
One of the consequences of having less side impact padding is that this seat is narrow and lightweight, which makes it more versatile when trying to fit it into your vehicle.
In summary, it is an excellent option for those looking for a seat that costs under $200 or for those who need an extra seat for use by alternative caregivers or for travelling (due to its relatively small size and light weight).
Britax Roundabout G4.1 Video Review
Britax Roundabout G4.1 Fabric Color Options
Britax Roundabout G4.1 Seats in Canada
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 Roundabout G4.1 Review, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.