The Britax Allegiance is an impressive lower-cost convertible car seat by Britax. This seat has the best crash test head sensor result, is easy to use, nicer quality, at a reasonable price. We like that the Allegiance has push-button LATCH anchors, belt lock-offs, and an easy-to-use harness height non-rethread adjustment assembly. The Allegiance has less padding than the other Britax options, and it can be somewhat more challenging to install, especially using your vehicle belt. However, given the impressive crash test results and its general ease of use, we think it is an excellent buy for the price. If you think you'd like a little more padding for comfort or potential safety, then the Britax Emblem may be a better choice for you for only $40 more. Read more about our favorite car seats in every category.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on December 18, 2021, with sections designed to help you determine which seat might be right for your child.
Britax Allegiance Review
Pros: Price, easy to use, best head sensor crash test
Cons: Less padding, somewhat harder to install using vehicle belt
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|Pros||Price, easy to use, best head sensor crash test||Best crash test results, rear-facing till 50 lbs, price||Great crash test results, easy to use, attractive price, lighter||Price, easy LATCH installation, easier to use||Budget-friendly, better crash test results, narrow|
|Cons||Less padding, somewhat harder to install using vehicle belt||Not the best quality, harder belt installation||Harder to install using the vehicle belt||Average crash result analysis||Thin padding, harder to install, lower quality|
|Bottom Line||Better crash test results make this easy to use, inexpensive seat a winner||Best crash test results on a budget-friendly seat that lets little ones sit rear-facing for longer||A lightweight, easy to use seat with excellent crash test result and price||Slightly better than an average seat with no real standout features||Inexpensive choice with impressive crash test results|
|Rating Categories||Britax Allegiance||Graco Extend2Fit||Britax Emblem||Graco SlimFit All-i...||Evenflo Tribute LX|
|Crash Test (35%)|
|Ease Of Install - LATCH (20%)|
|Ease Of Install - Belt (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Comfort / Quality (10%)|
|Weight / Size (5%)|
|Specs||Britax Allegiance||Graco Extend2Fit||Britax Emblem||Graco SlimFit All-i...||Evenflo Tribute LX|
|Crash Test HIC Score||186||214||218||320||251.2|
|Crash Test Chest G Clip||43||40||42||43||42.7|
|Min/Max Rear Facing Passenger Weight||5 - 40 lbs||4 - 50 lbs||5 - 40 lbs||5 - 40 lbs||5 - 40 lbs|
|Min/Max Forward Facing Passenger Weight||20 - 65 lbs||22 - 64 lbs||20 - 65 lbs||22 - 65 lbs||22 - 40 lbs|
|Max Rear Facing Passenger Height||Child's head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint||Child's head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint||Child's head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the head restraint||40" and the child's head must be at least 1 in. below the top of the child restraint.||37"|
|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 seat shell.||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.||40"|
|Measured Rear Facing Seat Weight||18.5 lbs||18.7 lbs||18.8 lbs||18.6 lbs||9.3 lbs|
|Measured Forward Facing Seat Weight||18.5 lbs||18.7 lbs||18.8 lbs||18.6 lbs||9.1 lbs|
|Recline Positions||1 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
|4 Rear Facing
3 Forward Facing
|1 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
2 Rear Facing
2 Forward Facing
|1 Rear Facing
1 Forward Facing
|Max Recline Angle||42°||51°||42°||°||45°|
|Shoulder Harness Positions||10||10||10||10||4|
|Crotch Strap Positions||2||2||2||3||2|
|Built in Lock Off||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|No Rethread Harness||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Onboard Manual Storage||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Level Indicator On Seat||Line on Decal||Ball in Tube.||Line on Decal||Ball in Tube.||Line Molded onto Shell|
|Seat Lifespan||7||7 yrs||7||10 yrs||6 yrs|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||90 Days|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Essentials is a Britax company that consists of budget-friendly products for parents looking for safety and quality without the high price. Britax launched the Essentials line as a "value brand" to help delineate the difference between the Britax car seats and value versions that cost less. Currently, Essentials includes the Britax Allegiance and the Britax Emblem convertible car seats. Recently, Britax absorbed the Essentials line into their ordinary Britax group of products.
In the review, the Allegiance earned a respectable score for crash test results and the BEST head sensor (HIC) results. All seats sold in the US must meet or exceed the FMVSS 213 Federal Safety guidelines. Therefore, all of the seats in this review are considered safe and provide at least a basic level of safety. As indicated by better than the average test results, some seats potentially offer an additional margin of protection. The Allegiance is one of these products.
The Allegiance has the best HIC result out of all the products with 186. The next closest is 218 for the Britax Emblem with a 218. The maximum allowed for this test is 1000, with lower results being better as it means fewer Gs exerted in the head area. The chart below shows the results of the sensor.
The chest clip sensor result (g clip) for the Allegiance is 43, where the maximum allowed is 60, and lower results are always better. The best for the group is 33.4 earned by the Clek Foonf. The Allegiance result is well below the maximum allowable result and is better than seven competitors. These results give the Allegiance one of the best-combined results for the group. Not too shabby for a value seat.
Ease of Install - LATCH
Installation of the Allegiance is easiest using the LATCH method, which makes sense as this should theoretically be the easiest installation method for any seat. While it lacks a center strap or self-ratcheting straps, the Allegiance manages to be easy to install because it has two straps instead of one for a tighter, more secure fit. The straps require more strength to pull than those with unique features that help you, but it isn't as challenging as some competition, and most parents will find it manageable.
The Allegiance has the push-button style of LATCH anchors that we find more comfortable to use. Pushing the anchor into place and pressing a button to release is more straightforward than the clip style.
The level on the Allegiance is located on the base side and is a line (above left) you observe in relation to the ground under the car, not the car itself. If the angle needs adjustment, you can use the angle adjustment underneath the seat (above right) to find the right angle for proper installation.
Ease of Install - Belt
Eventually, all convertible car seats need to be installed using the vehicle belt, and the Allegiance is no exception. While not as straightforward as the LATCH, it is still fairly easy to install using the vehicle belt. It isn't that installing this seat with your vehicle belt is difficult; it just isn't as easy as some of the competition.
The belt pathway is harder to use, and threading the belt means removing the cover and padding so you can find and use the lock-off (above left). Even so, the fabric can get in the way of the lock-off, leaving you wishing you had a third hand. Is it manageable? Sure. Is it simple and easy? Not really. The lock-off can be hard to close and harder to open if you get the seat belt nice and tight (above right).
Rear-facing installation with a lap/shoulder combo (above left) is the most difficult to thread and tighten. The forward-facing installation (above right) is somewhat easier and the one you are most likely to have to do at some point if your car has LATCH thanks to weight restrictions as your child grows. It is also the most stable installation when using the vehicle belt.
Ease of Use
The Allegiance earns a respectable result for ease of use, just one point below the high for the metric. Your daily interactions with this seat are unlikely to cause any frustrations, thanks to a straightforward design with features that work as expected.
This seat has the same buckle and chest clip as the other Britax options. They are stiff but manageable without additional effort or hands. The harness height adjusts by squeezing the top and sliding the assembly/headrest up and down. This process is easy to do with your baby in the seat without rethreading. It has ten shoulder strap height positions and two crotch strap positions for a personalized fit for most children.
The Allegiance has a harness tightening strap at the seat's foot and a release button right above it under the cover. Both are straightforward and work without excessive force.
The LATCH anchors store on the seat base and click in place on the back of the seat (above left). The storage location keeps the straps out of the way, so they don't interfere with the installation and aren't accessible by little ones. The manual storage is behind the fabric in a pocket on the seatback. This location prevents little ones from playing with it, but it does mean damage can happen if your child gets sick or spills something.
The cover of the Allegiance is easy to remove and replace. It needs hand washing and line drying, which isn't as useful as machine washable, but we will take it over spot clean only.
The Allegiance offers less padding and fabric that feels less durable than more expensive Britax competitors. This car seat is nice looking but basic in design and the materials used. While it is well designed and the elements come together pleasingly without mistakes, it doesn't feel as sturdy or durable as the traditional Britax line. The lack of extra padding and self-containment hurt the Allegiance in this metric. Compared to the competition, it lacks significant features for comfort, and it looks sloppy with the straps and back exposed. The overall fit and finish are good, and the Allegiance's score for this metric is only two points lower than the high.
The Allegiance weighs 18.5 lbs and is 18.8 inches across. These measurements are part of the equation that helped the Allegiance perform better than average for weight and size.
While a weight over 18 lbs seems excessive, it isn't that heavy given that you consider that most of the competition weighs more. The same concept holds for the width measurement, where several options are wider than the Allegiance. If you need to fit more than one safety seat or a combination of seats and people in your backseat, we suggest measuring your vehicle or buying from a retailer with a generous return policy.
Should You Buy the Britax Allegiance?
We believe this budget-friendly seat is definitely a contender depending on what your goals are and it narrowly missed earning an award in this review. The Allegiance is remarkably similar to the Emblem, and it has identical metric scores in almost every metric but comfort. With similar crash test scores and one of the best HIC sensor results in the group, it is hard to ignore this budget-friendly option. While it is a pared-down Britax and lacks some of the fancier features on the ClickTight models, we think it is an impressive option that doesn't break the bank.
What Other Convertible Car Seat Should You Consider?
The Britax Emblem is a virtually identical seat to the Allegiance with a slight bump in price and padding for comfort. If your budget is uber tight, you can't beat the Allegiance between the two options, and we suspect little ones won't notice the lack of padding. However, if you can afford to spend a little more, we think the Emblem might be the better choice. Overall, it is largely based on your goals when the race is this tight, and we recommend doing a comparison side by side before buying.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More