In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB Review

Easy to install but below average crash test results make the similar Boulevard a better choice
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Price:   $470 List | $380 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  ⋅  May 24, 2018
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 15
  • Crash Test - 25% 4
  • Ease Of Install - LATCH - 25% 9
  • Ease Of Install - Belt - 20% 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 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.


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 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.

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.

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

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

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 the LATCH method.
Rear-facing installation is easy with the LATCH system and ClickTight tightening.

Ease of Install - LATCH


The Advocate earned an impressive score of 9 of 10 for installation using the LATCH system. This score is lower than that found on the other ClickTight options we tested but better than the Essentials by Britax products.

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

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.

Installing the Advocate is almost completely foolproof.
Installing the Advocate is almost completely foolproof.

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 difficult to loosen when you want to remove the seat, but that is fairly standard across all products.

The Advocate has an under seat angle adjustment handle that is easy to use but will need adjustment prior to rear-facing installation.
The level of the Advocate is a ball in a plastic case with a range indicated on the side.

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

Ease of Install - Belt


The Advocate scored nicely with 9 of 10 for installation 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 under the seat that is clamped and secured tightly when you press the seat down.
The forward facing configuration also incorporates the ClickTight technology where the seat bottom secures the seat to the belt similar to a belt lock-off.

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 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.

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 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.

Ease of Use


The Advocate earned an 8 of 10 for ease of use. This score is the high 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.

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

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

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 earning a score of 4 of 10 for weight and size. 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 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