Britax Advocate Clicktight Review: Is It The Safest Car Seat?

The Britax Advocate Clicktight is one of the most popular car seats around. Parents love it because it’s built like a tank, feels like a cushy chair, and will grow with your child until they are 65 pounds.

But is it the right car for you?  In this review we cover everything you need to know.

So first:

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Why Buy The Britax Avocate Clicktight?

The Britax Advocate ClickTight it is one of the safest car seats around. It prevents two of the most common parent mess-ups: lack of proper installation, and not getting the straps to fit perfectly. It is also has 3 layers of side impact cushion technology.

The first issue Britax’s ClickTight car seats solve is the lack of proper installation: Between 75-95% of car seats are not properly installed. That’s a whole lot of kids whose parents think they’re safe – but who aren’t really safe at all.

The Britax Advocate ClickTight is easy to install, and nearly impossible to improperly install, provided you follow their instructions.

The other tricky part about car seats is getting the straps to fit perfectly – and Britax has taken care of that problem, too.

Their Advocate ClickTight car seat has a harness indicator, so you’ll know when the harness is tight enough. Plus, the harness can be positioned 14 different ways and the buckle can be used in two different positions, making it easier to find the perfect fit for your child.

In addition, the Advocate ClickTight has 3 layers of Britax’s side impact cushion technology, which works to absorb, and thereby reduce, the energy transferred in a side crash.

Pros and Cons

PROS:

  • It is one of the safest car seats around
  • It is extremely comfortable
  • It is easy to install

CONS:

  • It is pricier than other car seats

Using it for newborn babies

Though you can’t cart it around on your arm like the classic infant car seats, the Britax Advocate ClickTight provides your newborn with a safe, secure ride.

The Britax Advocate ClickTight is a convertible car seat which can be used rear- or forward-facing. Its headrest can be adjusted to your baby’s height, and with 7 different ways to recline the seat, finding the proper angle for your newborn or infant is easy.

To protect their necks, the AAP recommends parents secure babies under two years of age in a reclining, rear-facing safety seat.

It’s worth noting Britax recently came out with an “anti-rebound bar” which they’re attaching on select Britax Advocate ClickTight models. When used in a rear-facing seat, this bar changes the center of gravity and helps lessen head excursion in case of an accident. If your model doesn’t come with an anti-rebound bar, you can purchase one cheaply and easily.

Using it for toddlers and older kids

The best part about using Britax’s Advocate ClickTight for toddlers is that you can choose when to switch your child from rear-facing to forward-facing.

Though you’re still bound by the general “one inch below the top of the seat” rule when rear-facing your child, with a “seated shoulder height” of 18.65″, you’ll have plenty of flexibility to choose exactly when to make the switch.

Important note: In order to rear-face safely (in any car seat), the top of a child’s head must be at least 1″ below the top of the seat. This rule does not apply to forward-facing only car seats, or to convertible car seats used in a forward-facing position.

Use your Britax Advocate ClickTight as a rear-facing car seat for babies and toddlers up to 40lbs, then face it forward for toddlers and older children who weigh between 20lbs (9kg) and 65lbs (29.5kg). Remember, children should be left rear-facing as long as possible.

For older kids: you probably know how important it is to keep your child in a car seat – not just a booster – for as long as you can. The Britax Advocate ClickTight will keep your child forward-facing and safe until he or she reaches 49″ (124cm) in height and 65lbs (29.5kg) in weight.

Britax mentions the difference between “seated shoulder height” – i.e., tush to shoulder when sitting down – and absolute height. In the unlikely instance your child’s “seated shoulder height” reaches 18.65″ (47cm) before your child’s total height reaches 49″, you’ll still have to switch to a booster, regardless of how much he or she weighs.

No worries, though – most kids won’t reach those height limits until they’re around 7 or 8 years old.

How does it compare to other car seats?

Britax Advocate vs Boulevard

Britax’s two top-of-the-line car seats are practically identical in every way. There’s only one difference: The Advocate ClickTight has 3 layers of side protection, whereas the Boulevard ClickTight has only one. As a result, Britax’s Advocate ClickTight is two inches wider than their Boulevard ClickTight.

Three layers are definitely better than one – but the question is by how much. The Boulevard ClickTight also meets safety standards and the actual difference may not be any more than minimal. If you can go for the Advocate ClickTight, why not? But if those two inches matter to you (for instance, if you have a small car, or if you have more than one safety seat) – you may want to rethink the Advocate and buy the Boulevard.

Click here to see the best price on Amazon for the Britax Boulevard Clicktight

Britax Advocate vs Marathon

Though Britax’s Advocate ClickTight and Boulevard ClickTight are nearly identical except for the side padding, their Marathon ClickTight is slightly different.

First of all, the Marathon ClickTight is a full 2 inches shorter than the other two ClickTight car seats, and it has two less harness slots, for a total of 12 instead of 14. It’s also less expensive than the other two (the Advocate ClickTight and the Boulevard ClickTight are nearly the same price).

And even though the Marathon has the same weight limits for forward-facing and rear-facing as the other two seats, its shoulder-to-tush height limit is two inches less, standing at 16.75″ instead of 18.65″.

Like the Boulevard ClickTight, Britax’s Marathon ClickTight is 18.5 inches wide – two inches narrower than the Advocate ClickTight. The Marathon also does not come with the harness safety indicator – though you can always learn how to tighten the harness properly on your own.

Click here to see the best price on Amazon for the Britax Marathon

Britax Advocate vs Pavilion

First of all, Britax’s site says – officially – that their Pavilion car seats have been retired and replaced. Probably, they’ve been replaced with the ClickTight series. Britax is still offering replacement parts, though, so if you need some, go to their site and click the link. Keep in mind that it’s not clear how much longer they will be offering this service.

Regardless, let’s say you get offered two hand-me-down car seats which have never been used. One is an Advocate ClickTight and one is a Pavilion, either G4 or 70-G3. Which one should you take? Probably the Advocate ClickTight.

First of all, the Pavilion’s maximum “seated shoulder height” is 16.75″ instead of the Advocate ClickTight’s 18.65″. Also, it doesn’t have the ClickTight easy-to-install mechanism, so you’ll be on your own for that. To be clear, between 75% and 95% of car seats are not installed correctly, making the ClickTight technology incredibly useful and important.

(Note: NEVER accept a car seat secondhand without first taking it to be checked for safety. And NEVER use a car seat which has been in an accident. Those car seats which have never been in an accident should still be replaced every five to ten years, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.)

Britax Advocate vs Chicco NextFit

Chicco’s NextFit has the same height and weight limits as the Britax Advocate ClickTight, but they’re distributed slightly differently: You can only transfer your child to forward-facing at 22lbs, instead of the Advocate ClickTight’s 20lbs. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s something to note. The NextFit also has nine reclining positions, whereas the Advocate ClickTight has “only” seven.

It’s worth noting the NextFit is slimmer and lighter than the Advocate ClickTight. Again, this isn’t bad or good – but it may make a difference for some of you. In addition, the NextFit has a zipper feature, which allows the fabric to be easily removed and washed.

Two important features the NextFit lacks are an indicator telling you when your child’s harness is properly adjusted, and an easy installation system. This means you’ll have to get both of these right on your own (and most parents get at least the installation wrong).

Click here to see the best price on Amazon for the Chicco NextFit

Britax Advocate vs Clek Foonf

Like Britax’s ClickTight series, Clek’s Foonf car seat offers easy forward-facing installation. However, the rear-facing installation has to be done the old-fashioned way. On the other hand, the Foonf comes with an anti-rebound bar, whereas not every ClickTight model does.

The Foonf has a higher rear-facing weight limit than the Advocate ClickTight (50lbs instead of 40lbs), and a comparable maximum height. The catch? In order to use the seat for a newborn, you need to buy Clek’s “infant-thingy” insert.

Click here to see the best price on Amazon for the Clek Foonf

Britax Advocate vs Maxi-Cosi Pria

Maxi-Cosi has two Pria models: The Pria 70 and the Pria 85. The biggest difference between Maxi-Cosi’s convertible seats and Britax’s convertible seats is that Maxi-Cosi’s aren’t good from birth – unless you always birth 9- or 10-pounders, and even then, only the Pria 70 will fit your child.

In other words, you could say these seats are made for a slightly different audience. The Pria 70 goes from 14lbs to 85lbs (the ClickTight series is good only until 65lbs), and the Pria 85 can hold a child from 9lbs to 85lbs.

Both can safely secure a child of up to 52″ total (head to foot) height, which is slightly longer than the Advocate ClickTight. Meaning, your 8 or 9 year old may be able to ride in a Pria seat, whereas an Advocate ClickTight seat will probably fit a 7-8 year old. This shouldn’t be such a huge difference, but it’s still worth noting.

And though the Pria models have head protection, they don’t seem to have harness indicators or an easy installation system.

Click here to see the best price on Amazon for Maxi Pria models

Britax Advocate vs RECARO Performance RIDE

RECARO’s Performance RIDE has similar height and weight limits to Britax’s Advocate ClickTight, but their seated maximum height is about three and a half inches more than the Advocate ClickTight’s (22″ instead of 18.65″.) The flip side of that extra height is the Performance RIDE may partially block the driver’s ability to see out the back window. Also, some parents have reported it to be a nightmare to take apart when it needs to be cleaned.

It’s worth noting that some of the first search results for RECARO’s seat highlight a safety issue: used forward-facing, the harness straps may loosen, hampering its ability to keep your child safe in case of an accident.

One last note: The RECARO seat is narrower than the Advocate ClickTight, and is supposed to have more breathable fabric.

Click here to see the best price on Amazon for the RECARO Performance RIDE

When and how to install the Advocate ClickTight rear-facing

You’ll want to use the car seat in a rear-facing position from the time your child is born until they’re old enough, tall enough, and heavy enough to be turned forward. Remember, the AAP recommends keeping children rear-facing until they’re at least two years old.

So, how do you install the car seat in a rear-facing position?

Before we go on, you need to know that Britax’s own site has great instructions AND videos. (Neither Britax’s instructions nor this article are a replacement for a user manual.)

To install an Advocate ClickTight car seat in a rear-facing position using the car’s seatbelt, all you really need to do is:

1. Open the seat by pressing the ClickTight dial and rotating it until it releases.

2. Recline the child’s seat and place it rear-facing on the vehicle’s seat.

2. Make sure the vehicle’s seatbelt is completely smooth and thread it through the rear-facing belt slots under the seat. Buckle the seatbelt, then pull tight and remove slack.

3. Close the seat until you hear a click. Check to make sure the ClickTight logo is horizontal.

4. Check that the ball on the recline indicator is in the appropriate area for the child’s age.

5. Check that the car seat cannot be moved more than one inch in any direction.

To install an Advocate ClickTight car seat in a rear-facing position using LATCH, here’s what you need to do:

1. Open the LATCH compartment at the back of the car seat’s base, and remove the LATCH connectors.

2. Open the seat by pressing the ClickTight dial and rotating it until it releases.

3. Recline the seat and place it, rear-facing, on the vehicle’s seat.

4. Pull the lower connector strap to what would be the child’s left side and extend it full length. Then, slide the connector strap into the rear-facing belt slots under the seat.

5. Firmly press the lower connectors over their adjacent anchors. Ensure the connectors are secure and the strap is straight. Then, pull the end of the strap to remove the slack.

6. Close the seat until you hear a click. Check to make sure the ClickTight logo is horizontal.

7. Check that the ball on the recline indicator is in the appropriate area for the child’s age.

8. Check that the car seat cannot be moved more than one inch in any direction.

When and how to install the Advocate ClickTight forward-facing

When your child is ready to be turned forward-facing (after age two and when they have reached the rear-facing weight limit), turn the car seat to its forward-facing position.

Again, Britax’s own site has both videos and instructions for this, and neither these nor the Britax site’s instructions are a replacement for the user manual.

To install the Britax Advocate ClickTight using a car’s seatbelt, all you need to do is:

1. Remove the car seat’s tether from its compartment, and place it over the seat’s back. Close the compartment.

2. Ensure the car seat’s base is flat against the seat of the vehicle, and that no more than three inches of the car seat’s base hang over the edge of the vehicle’s seat. Check that the vehicle’s headrest does not interfere with your car seat’s headrest or push the seat forward.

3. Open the Advocate ClickTight by pressing the ClickTight dial and rotating until it releases.

4. Slide both the shoulder and lap belts into the forward-facing belt slots, and buckle the seatbelt. Remove the slack from both the lap and shoulder parts of the belt. If you are using only a lap belt, push the seat down into the vehicle’s seat to tighten the belt.

5. Close the seat until you hear a click. The ClickTight logo should be horizontal.

6. Check that the recline indicator is in the appropriate area for your child’s age.

7. Check that the seat cannot be moved more than one inch in any direction.

8. Locate the vehicle’s tether anchor, attach the tether, and remove the slack.

To install the Britax Advocate ClickTight in a forward-facing position using LATCH, here’s what you need to do:

1. Remove the car seat’s tether from its compartment, and place it over the seat’s back. Close the compartment.

2. Open the LATCH compartment at the back of the car seat’s base, and remove the LATCH connectors.

3. Ensure the car seat’s base is flat against the seat of the vehicle, and that no more than three inches of the car seat’s base hang over the edge of the vehicle’s seat. Check that the vehicle’s headrest does not interfere with your car seat’s headrest or push the seat forward.

4. Open the Advocate ClickTight by pressing the ClickTight dial and rotating until it releases.

5. Pull the lower connector strap to what would be the child’s left side and extend it full length. Then, slide the lower connector strap into the forward-facing belt slots under the seat.

6. Firmly press the lower connectors over their adjacent anchors. Ensure the connectors are secure and the strap is straight. Then, pull the end of the strap to remove the slack.

7. Close the seat until you hear a click. The ClickTight logo should be horizontal.

8. Check that the recline indicator is in the appropriate area for your child’s age.

9. Check that the seat cannot be moved more than one inch in any direction.

10. Locate the vehicle’s tether anchor, attach the tether, and remove the slack.

How to clean the Advocate ClickTight

Britax provides instructions for how to clean their car seats. First, remove the car seat’s cover and hand wash it in cold water using mild soap. Let it dry flat. Do not iron and do not put it in your dryer – even if it means canceling your trip to the grocery store.

To clean the seat’s harness, remove the harness from the seat. Britax’s site has instructional videos on how to do this. Run the harness under warm water. Do not use soap. Test the buckle by fastening and unfastening. If it does not click, rinse it again. When the harness is clean, dry it with a towel and reattach it to the seat.

How to recline the Advocate ClickTight

Reclining the Britax Advocate ClickTight is relatively simple: Pull the recline handle at the bottom of the seat, and rotate the seat until you reach the desired angle. Make sure the ball in the recline indicator Is in the appropriate area for the child’s age. Release the recline handle and check to ensure the seat has locked into position.

Remember, if you’re trying to install the seat, you need to set the recline angle BEFORE you put the seat into your car – not after.

Where to buy the Advocate ClickTight

The Britax Advocate ClickTight can be bought pretty much anywhere. You can easily buy an Advocate ClickTight on the internet, via Amazon or eBay. Or pick one up at Target, Toys R Us, Kohl’s, Walmart, and many other stores across North America.

The bottom line

The bottom line of this Britax Advocate ClickTight review is this:

The Advocate ClickTight is a high-quality car seat good for ten years. Parents whose children were secured in this car seat during a car crash went out and bought another Advocate ClickTight after the crash, because their child came through without a scratch.

It is an easy-to-clean, easy-to-use seat which doesn’t have to be replaced as your child grows.  If you can’t fit the Advocate ClickTight in your car, the Boulevard ClickTight is a good alternative. But if you’ve got room in your car for the Advocate ClickTight, it’s probably one of the best convertible car seats you’ll find. And Britax’s nearly fail-proof easy installation feature practically ensures your child will be secure even if you’ve got two left hands.

Click here to see the best price on Amazon for the Advocate Clicktight

Have you ever used an Advocate ClickTight? What did you think? Let us know!

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Chana

Chana Roberts is a freelance writer, editor, and mompreneur, with a passion for helping small businesses succeed. She cares deeply about safety and everything kid.

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