Hands-on Gear Review

Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB Review

Price:   $470.00 List | $379.97 at Amazon - 19% off
Pros:  Easy to install, easy to use, nice quality
Cons:  Below average crash test results, heavy, price
Bottom line:  Easy to install but below average crash test results make the similar Boulevard a better choice
Editors' Rating:   
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Min/Max Rear Facing Passenger Weight:  5 - 40 lbs
Min/Max Forward Facing Passenger Weight:  20 - 65 lbs
Max Rear Facing Passenger Height:  Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint
Manufacturer:   Britax

The Skinny

The Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB is a high-quality car seat with the Britax ClickTight technology that takes the guesswork out of car seat installation. This top performing option includes LATCH and belt installation both utilizing the lower seat bottom to obtain a tight and secure attachment. We like that this product is comfortable, functional, and easy to install. However, its lower crash test results were disappointing compared to the other seats and the similar Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB, which makes this particular option, a product we would not choose over its brother. Except for the lower score, heavier weight, and higher price, the Advocate is very similar to the Boulevard, and we don't think it is worth paying more for lower crash test results.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

Last Updated:
Tuesday
February 28, 2017

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The Britax company feels that families should live life to its fullest potential and strives to create products that allow parents and children to enjoy every moment. Britax has been manufacturing products for over 70 years, and they design their products with fun and safety in mind. In 1996, the company launched for the first time in the United States after years of success in Europe with the best-selling car seats. Britax recently purchased the BOB company and together they continue to create a variety of strollers and car seats.

The Britax Advocate is a high-quality seat that offers a comfortable seat and easy installation.
The Britax Advocate is a high-quality seat that offers a comfortable seat and easy installation.

Performance Comparison


The following graph shows the overall scores for all the car seats we tested with the Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB in blue.


The information in the sections below includes performance results on how the Advocate compares to the competition.

The Britax Advocate has a removable anti-rebound bar for rear facing installation.
The Britax Advocate has a removable anti-rebound bar for rear facing installation.

Crash Test


The Advocate earned a 4 of 10 for crash test results. While it does meet and exceed the Federal minimum requirements and is therefore considered safe, it does not appear to offer an additional margin of protection despite the added safety features it boasts in its advertising.

The data obtained from sled crash testing includes sensor information recorded from the head and chest of a crash test dummy. Our testing takes place at the same facility used by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with the same specifications they use in their testing for a clear one for one comparison. Some of the products have test results that indicate a potentially increased margin of protection with fewer G forces recorded than the average product. The Advocate was not one of these options. In fact, its test results are lower than most and closer to the Federal limit than the majority of seats we tested.


The charts provided here show the test results for the Advocate (in black) and those of the car seats with the best results for the head (HIC) and chest sensors (g) (in green). The charts provide a visual comparison of scores. The HIC score for the Advocate is 352 compared to the best of 251.2 for the Evenflo Tribute LX, where lower is better. The chest sensor result was 58 where the maximum allowed is 60, and the best was 33.4 for the Clek Foonf.

Britax claims a three padding layer system increases potential safety for baby in the event of a car crash. We did not find any evidence that this has been tested or confirmed.
Britax claims a three padding layer system increases potential safety for baby in the event of a car crash. We did not find any evidence that this has been tested or confirmed.

The Advocate has a removable anti-rebound bar (ARB), impact absorbing base, and three layers of protection that Britax claims increases the safety of the seat. We were unable to locate any test data to support the claims, but we do like when a product offers additional features for safety.

Installing the Advocate is very easy using LATCH and it earned a perfect score during testing.
Installing the Advocate is very easy using LATCH and it earned a perfect score during testing.

Ease of Install - LATCH


The Advocate earned an impressive score of 10 out of 10 for installation using the LATCH system. This score is a tie with the Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB and Clek Foonf. This seat has the clip style LATCH anchors that aren't as nice or easy to use as the push button options. Attaching the clips is simple, but removing them require pushing in, twisting, and pulling back; if you forget to twist, it will reconnect.

The Britax Advocate has the simple clip style of LATCH anchor.
The Britax Advocate has the simple clip style of LATCH anchor.

Using the LATCH method is really easy because the seat does most of the hard work for you by helping to get the straps tight without pulling on the straps. The seat portion of the cushion places pressure on the strap and tightens the car seat to the vehicle. The LATCH anchors are more difficult to loosen when you want to remove the seat, but that is fairly standard across all products.

The angle for the Advocate is adjusted using a handle under the front of the car seat. This handle position can be tricky to access when the car seat is installed in the rear-facing configuration. As a result  it may be easier to adjust the angle prior to the seat being attached to the vehicle.
The level on the Advocate is a rubber ball inside a plastic casing that rolls as the angle of the seat changes. The ball should fall within a certain range depending on the configuration and helps parents determine if the seat is at the right angle for attachment.


The Advocate has both a recline angle adjustment feature and a level to help parents achieve the proper angle for correct installation. Angle adjustment uses a handle under the front edge of the seat (above left) and can be harder to access in the rear-facing position. It has seven recline angles. The level is a ball style inside a clear casing that indicates the angle is correct when the ball rests in the labeled range, which is different for the rear and forward facing configurations (above right).

Installation using the vehicle belt is also easy with the Advocate. The seat bottom places pressure on the belt and locks the car seat securely to the vehicle seat.
Installation using the vehicle belt is also easy with the Advocate. The seat bottom places pressure on the belt and locks the car seat securely to the vehicle seat.

Ease of Install - Belt


The Advocate scored nicely with 10 of 10 for installation using the vehicle belt. This is once again a tie with the Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB and both are the only two we tested with perfect scores for both methods of installation, though the Clek Foonf comes close. The ease of installation is likely a result of the similar tightening process for the belt and LATCH straps found on ClickTight options.

The vehicle belt or LATCH strap is threaded through the bottom of the car seat shell and the seat cushion is closed on top to tighten the strap or belt for a secure installation. This feature helped the Advocate earn a perfect 10 for both styles of attachment.
Whether you install the Advocate using LATCH or the vehicle seat belt you still use the seat bottom to obtain a tight and secure installation.

The seat belt threads through under the seat cushion (above left) and the cushion pushes down on the belt (above right) to tighten the strap and lock the seat in place. This process can be done using a lap-only belt or the lap and shoulder belt if present.

Belt installation with the Advocate is just as easy using a shoulder belt as it is with a lap only option.
Belt installation with the Advocate is just as easy using a shoulder belt as it is with a lap only option.

This seat does not have a traditional belt lock-off, and while we are big fans of lock-offs, the pressure and design of the seat bottom clamping the belt (known as their ClickTight method) in place acts somewhat as a lock-off negating the need for a separate device.

Moving the headrest assembly to adjust the harness  height on the Advocate is smooth and works well with the squeeze of a button.
Moving the headrest assembly to adjust the harness height on the Advocate is smooth and works well with the squeeze of a button.

Ease of Use


The Advocate earned an 8 of 10 for ease of use. This is the high score for the metric and ties with all of the Britax options in this review including the Essentials by Britax line. The products are very similar in their design and how they function, so it isn't a big surprise that they share similar scores for several of the metrics.

The buckle and chest clip on the Advocate are both easy to use.
The buckle and chest clip on the Advocate are both easy to use.

Harness


The buckle on the Advocate depresses without excessive force compared to much of the competition. The chest clip can be operated with one hand if necessary and doesn't require a hand underneath it to open. We like this clip and it is the same on all the Britax convertible products.

Moving the headrest assembly to adjust the harness  height on the Advocate is smooth and works well with the squeeze of a button.
Moving the headrest assembly to adjust the harness height on the Advocate is smooth and works well with the squeeze of a button.

This seat has a non-rethread harness height adjustment that moves up and down with the squeeze of a handle on the top of the assembly. Movement is smooth and works well without too much trouble. This adjustment can be done with baby in the seat and has 14 height options, one of the highest in the group. The crotch strap has two positions and combined with the height options make for a good fit for most children.

The harness release button is located at the foot of the Advocate and is a couple of inches beneath the surface.
The harness release button is located at the foot of the Advocate and is a couple of inches beneath the surface.

Tightening the harness is easy with a smooth moving pull strap that makes a click sound when it should be tight enough. It is a good indicator, but we encourage parents to double check the harness by attempting to pinch the shoulder strap. This action should not be possible in a correctly adjusted harness. Releasing the harness uses a button on the foot of the seat.

The LATCH straps on the Advocate store in plastic pockets on the seat bottom.
The LATCH straps on the Advocate store in plastic pockets on the seat bottom.

LATCH Storage


The LATCH anchors on the Advocate are stored under the seat on the side of the base in pockets with plastic doors. This ensures the anchors are kept out of the way when not in use.

The Advocate's user manual stores in the side of the seat under the fabric.
The Advocate's user manual stores in the side of the seat under the fabric.

The user manual storage is on the side of the seat under the headrest. The seat has a tab indicator with a manual icon. The location isn't the best and the manual could be accessed by little ones or succumb to spit up or spills.

With three layers of padding and soft fabric the Advocate is one of the most comfortable options we tested.
With three layers of padding and soft fabric the Advocate is one of the most comfortable options we tested.

Comfort/Quality


The Advocate earned a 9 of 10 for comfort and quality, tying with the Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB and the Chicco NextFit. This seat has ample padding and soft fabric on the sides that converge with the shell well without bunching or poor stitching. The seat bottom fabric is stiffer, but still friendly and feels easy to wipe clean.

The Advocate's smooth back and self-contained pockets make it easy to clean and provide a nice overall fit and finish.
The Advocate's smooth back and self-contained pockets make it easy to clean and provide a nice overall fit and finish.

Everything on this seat is fairly self-contained and the smooth shell means it is easy to keep clean without a lot of the nooks and crannies found on the less expensive products. The overall look and feel are sleek, modern, and durable.

The Advocate is one of the heaviest car seats we tested.
The Advocate is one of the heaviest car seats we tested.

Weight


The Advocate ClickTight ARB weighs 29.4 lbs rear facing with the anti-rebound bar in place, and 28.3 lbs front facing without the bar. This seat is the third heaviest coming in under the 33+ to 38+ lbs for the Clek Foonf and 29.5 and 28.4 lbs for the Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB. The weight of a convertible seat is less crucial than the carrier weight of an infant car seat since you won't be carrying it, but it is something to consider if you travel frequently or will be moving the seat from car to car. The lightest option is the Evenflo Tribute LX at just over 9 lbs. This inexpensive option may be good as a secondary seat or travel choice based on weight and impressive crash test results.

Manufacturer Video


Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

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Most recent review: February 28, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
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