Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB Review
Pros: Easy to install, easy to use, nice quality
Cons: Below average crash test results, heavy, price
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
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 Advocate struggled to keep up with the competition 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 the 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 the results. The HIC score for the Advocate is 388 while the best result belongs to the Britax Allegiance with a 186, where a lower result is better. The chest sensor result was 51, where the maximum allowed is 60, and the best was 33.4 for the Clek Foonf.
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.
Ease of Install - LATCH
The Advocate earned an impressive result installation using the LATCH system. Its installation score is lower than that found on the other ClickTight options we tested.
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 requires pushing in, twisting, and pulling back; if you forget to twist, it will reconnect.
Using the LATCH method is 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 challenging to loosen when you want to remove the seat, but that is relatively standard across all products.
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 transparent 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).
Ease of Install - Belt
The Advocate is easy to install using the vehicle belt. The ease of installation is likely a result of the similar tightening process for the belt and LATCH straps found on ClickTight options.
The seat belt threads through under the seat cushion (above left shows rear-facing) and the cushion pushes down on the belt (above right shows forward-facing) 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.
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 as a lock-off negating the need for a separate device.
Ease of Use
The Advocate is one of the easier option in the review to use earning top marks in this metric. The Britax 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 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.
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.
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 anchors on the Advocate store under the seat on the side of the base in pockets with plastic doors. This location ensures the connectors are kept out of the way when not in use.
The user's 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 as little ones can potentially access it, or it may succumb to spit up or spills.
The cover is removable for washing. It comes off in several pieces and is hand wash and line dry only. Machine washable would be better, but at least it is removable.
The Advocate is clearly a comfortable and quality choice when compared to the competition in this review. 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.
Everything on this seat is relatively 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 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 excessive heft helped it earn a low score for weight and size. The weight of a convertible seat is something to consider if you travel frequently or will be moving the seat from car to car. The Advocate is also wide with a max width of 20 inches, making it a poor choice for those who need to fit multiple seats or people in a row.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz