In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB Review

Easy to install but below average crash test results make the similar Boulevard a better choice
Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:   $385 List | $308 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to install, easy to use, nice quality
Cons:  Below average crash test results, heavy, price
Manufacturer:   Britax
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jun 12, 2019
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 18
  • Crash Test - 35% 4
  • Ease Of Install - LATCH - 20% 9
  • Ease Of Install - Belt - 15% 9
  • Ease Of Use - 15% 8
  • Comfort / Quality - 10% 9
  • Weight / Size - 5% 4

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, which makes this particular option, a product we would not choose over its similar Britax 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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77
Star Rating
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Pros Easy to install, easy to use, nice qualityEasy to install and use, cozy comfort, nice qualityGreat crash test results, easy to use, attractive price, lighterBest crash test results, rear-facing till 50 lbs, pricePrice, easy to use, best head sensor crash test
Cons Below average crash test results, heavy, priceAverage crash test resultsHarder to install using the vehicle beltNot the best quality, harder belt installationLess padding, somewhat harder to install using vehicle belt
Bottom Line Below average crash test results override easy to install, we like the Boulevard betterParents will love this easy to install, quality seat with nice featuresGreat lightweight seat with excellent crash test results that is very easy to useRear-facing up to 50 lbs and the best crash results are a bonus to this budget-friendly seatBudget-friendly, easy to use option with better crash test results make it a standout
Rating Categories Advocate... Boulevard... Britax Emblem Graco Extend2Fit Britax Allegiance
Crash Test (35%)
4
6
8
9
8
Ease Of Install LATCH (20%)
9
10
8
8
8
Ease Of Install Belt (15%)
9
10
7
7
7
Ease Of Use (15%)
8
8
8
7
8
Comfort Quality (10%)
9
9
8
6
7
Weight Size (5%)
4
5
6
5
6
Specs Advocate... Boulevard... Britax Emblem Graco Extend2Fit Britax Allegiance
Min/Max Rear Facing Passenger Weight 5 - 40 lbs 5 - 40 lbs 5 - 40 lbs 4 - 50 lbs 5 - 40 lbs
Min/Max Forward Facing Passenger Weight 20 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs 20 - 65 lbs 22 - 64 lbs 20 - 65 lbs
Max Rear Facing Passenger Height Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint Childs head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint
Max Forward Facing Passenger Height 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the head restraint. 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the head restraint. 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the head restraint. 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the seat shell. 49" and the child's ears must be below the top of the head restraint.
Measured Rear Facing Seat Weight 29.4 lbs 29.5 lbs 18.8 lbs 18.7 lbs 18.5 lbs
Measured Forward Facing Seat Weight 28.3 lbs 28.4 lbs 18.8 lbs 18.7 lbs 18.5 lbs
Width 20" 18" 18.9" 19.6" 18.8"
Recline Positions 7 7 1 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
4 Rear Facing
3 Forward Facing
1 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
Max Recline Angle 53° 51° 42° 51° 42°
Shoulder Harness Positions 14 14 10 10 10
Crotch Strap Positions 2 2 2 2 2
Built in Lock Off No No Yes No Yes
Anti-rebound Device Yes Yes No No No
Head Support Yes Yes No No No
Newborn Insert Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
No Rethread Harness Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Onboard Manual Storage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Level Indicator On Seat Ball in Tube. Ball in Tube. Line on Decal Ball in Tube. Line on Decal
Foam Type EPP EPP EPP EPS EPP
Seat Lifespan 10 yrs 10 yrs 7 7 yrs 7
Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year

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.

Performance Comparison



Britax claims a three padding layer system increases potential...
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.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Crash Test


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 Essentials by Britax Allegiance earned the best HIC result with...
The Essentials by Britax Allegiance earned the best HIC result with a 186 compared to the 388 of the Advocate.
Credit: BabyGearLab, MGA Research
The Clek Foonf earned the best chest clip value with a 33.4 compared...
The Clek Foonf earned the best chest clip value with a 33.4 compared to the Advocate value of 51.
Credit: BabyGearLab, MGA Research

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 Britax Advocate has a removable anti-rebound bar for rear facing...
The Britax Advocate has a removable anti-rebound bar for rear facing installation.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

The same belt pathway you use with the seatbelt is what you use for...
Rear-facing installation is easy with the LATCH system and...

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.

The Advocate uses clip style LATCH anchors which we feel are more...
The Advocate uses clip style LATCH anchors which we feel are more difficult to use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Installing the Advocate is almost completely foolproof.
Installing the Advocate is almost completely foolproof.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 an under seat angle adjustment handle that is easy...
The level of the Advocate is a ball in a plastic case with a range...

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).

Using the vehicle belt to install the Advocate is easy thanks to the...
Using the vehicle belt to install the Advocate is easy thanks to the ClickTight technology that tightens the strap for you.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 ClickTight installation method on the Advocate uses a belt path...
The forward facing configuration also incorporates the ClickTight...

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.

The vehicle belt or LATCH strap is threaded through the bottom of...
Whether you install the Advocate using LATCH or the vehicle seat...

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.

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

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 and chest clip on the Advocate are both easy to use.
The buckle and chest clip on the Advocate are both easy to use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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

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 straps on the Advocate store in plastic pockets on the...
The LATCH straps on the Advocate store in plastic pockets on the seat bottom.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

LATCH Storage


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 Advocate's user manual stores in the side of the seat under the...
The Advocate's user manual stores in the side of the seat under the fabric.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Cover


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.

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

Comfort/Quality


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.

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

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 is one of the heaviest car seats we tested with a...
The Advocate is one of the heaviest car seats we tested with a slightly higher weight when you use the anti-rebound bar (ARB).
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 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.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz