Britax Essentials Convertibles – Introduction
The Britax Essentials Range of Convertible Car Seats were introduced to the US Market during 2018. This new Essentials range is not intended to replace the current Britax convertible car seats, which remain available to buy.
Instead, the Britax Essentials range of convertible car seats is designed to allow parents to buy a premium model from a very reputable and popular manufacturer at a comparatively low cost when compared to their existing premium range.
There are 2 models of seat in the Britax Essentials range:
Within this post, I hope to provide you with an overview of the features that can be found on these 2 new seats so that you can decide whether or not they might be suitable for your child and your budget.
The Emblem is the top of the range seat and has some extra features than can’t be found on the Allegiance seat, but both have good safety features and, impressively, both retail for under $250.
So, what exactly can you expect from the Essentials by Britax convertible Car Seats?
Britax Essentials Convertibles – Main Features
This post is not intended to be a full review of the Britax Emblem and Allegiance Convertible car seats. It is, instead, a relatively short post designed to introduce these seats to you and explain some of the main differences between these new models and the older (and more expensive) Britax Convertible seats.
1. Child Height & Weight Limits
Both the Britax Emblem and Allegiance Convertible seats come with fairly standard height and weight limits for this category of car seat.
As you would expect, the limits are different depending upon whether your child is riding in the forwards-facing or rear-facing positions.
Although you should check the User Manual for more detailed information regarding the limits, the basic numbers are:
- Rear-Facing – 5 to 40 pounds / head 1 inch below the headrest / head pad
- Forwards-Facing – 20 to 65 pounds / 49 inches
So, if you buy one of these Essentials convertible seats, you probably won’t have to compromise of longevity. In this instance, lower price does NOT mean lower height/weight limits.
2. ClickTight Installation
It is worth noting that neither the Emblem nor the Allegiance seats comes with Britax’s innovative ClickTight Installation system. Britain’s premium convertible car seats all comes with this ClickTight installation system, but that comes with a higher price tag.
In short, the ClickTight installation system makes it easier to ensure that the car seat is fitted correctly using the vehicle seat belt rather than LATCH connectors.
You can discover more about ClickTight here.
3. Side Impact Protection
Both Britax Essentials convertible car seats come with deep foam side impact protection within the main body of the seat in addition to a stabilising steel frame.
In addition to side impact protection features within the body of the seat, the Emblem seat has some extra protection for the head area of your child.
The extra headrest on the Emblem seat is also very useful if your child (like most) has a tendency to fall asleep on car journeys. Without a headrest that curves around the head area, a sleeping child’s head will have a tendency to roll over to the side and into slightly awkward position. With the headrest, there is an extra layer of support and protection in this very important area.
The headrest / head pad on the seats has 10 adjustable positions, which move in concert with the harness when the red button on top of the seat is squeezed.
4. Safety Labels
Having to repeatedly read through the User Manual to ensure that a seat is correctly installed and used can be a time-consuming and confusing process.
Fortunately, the Britax Essentials convertible seats have perhaps the most comprehensive series of user labels on any car seat. Just about every process is covered by an easily accessible and well-explained user label positioned in a sensible part of the seat. This is a massive improvement over previous models and helps to ensure safe use of the seat.
5. Emblem & Allegiance Features – Summary
Here is a list of the main features found on both the Emblem and Allegiance seats:
- LATCH Lower Anchor Limit – 40 lbs
- Premium Lower Anchors
- No-Rethread Harness
- Adjustable harness and headrest/head pad
- Stabilising Steel Frame
- SafeCell Technology in Base
- Impact Absorbing Chest Pads
- Infant insert
- V-Shaped Tether
- Seat carry handle (unusual for a convertible)
- Multiple recline positions
- 7-year expiration
6. Emblem vs Allegiance – Difference
There is just one main difference between the Emblem and Allegiance seats.
The Emblem has a full headrest, whereas the Allegiance has a smaller head pad.
This provides an extra layer of protection for your child’s head area and I recommend that you buy the Emblem over the Allegiance if your budget can stretch that far.
Britax Essentials Convertibles – Video Reviews
Britax Essentials Convertibles – My Verdict
The Britax Emblem and Allegiance are a nice addition to their range of convertible car seats.
The safety labelling is great on both seats, but I prefer the Emblem over the Allegiance due to the extra layer of protection in the headrest.
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.
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