Britax Advocate 70-G3 Review

*This seat has been replaced by the Britax G4.1 series* Britax has been a prominent name in car seats since they introduced their first car seat to the US in 1996.  They make a wide variety of infant, convertible, combination, and booster seats.  Thanks to Britax I was able to test out an Advocate 70-G3 convertible to share my thoughts with our readers.

Britax Advocate 70 G3 installedCSFTL Quick Stats

  • Rear facing weight range: 5-40 lbs.
  • Rear facing height range: head 1” from the top of the shell
  • Forward facing weight range: 20-70 lbs.
  • Forward facing height range: up to 49″
  • Lowest harness height: 9″
  • Highest harness height: 16″
  • 7 year expiration
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 40 lbs.

Features

  • Safe Cell technology in both the base and HUGS pads
  • Ability to tether rear facing using the versa tether
  • Click & Safe snug harness indicator
  • No rethread harness

Features

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe Advocate is Britax’s upper model convertible.  It has been around since 2009.  The model I’ve had the chance to test out is the 3rd Generation (3G).  Like the other generations, this model is the only convertible in the Britax line up with side impact cushion technology, in other words, energy-absorbing cushions on the exterior of the child seat.  According to Britax ‘They are there to reduce side impact crash energy by 45% by diverting crash forces away from the child and providing extra protection for the adjacent passenger.’  Unfortunately, there are no side impact standards in the US so we have no baseline as to what this percentage really means.  We can assume that this 45% is compared to other Britax seats due to the fact that no car seat manufacturers publish their side impact test results.  The downfall to these cushions is that they are very bulky which in turn makes it difficult for 3 across situations, especially in forward facing mode.

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There are only a handful of US convertible car seats that offer rear facing tethering.  This ability allows the seat to sit more rigid in a crash thus keeping the child’s head from hitting the vehicle seat back as it rebounds.  It has also been said that this rigidity helps with movement in side impact crashes.  Unfortunately there aren’t any US studies to back this up, but is a standard practice in many European countries. Many vehicles in the US and Canada do not allow for tethering when rear facing so be sure to contact your vehicle manufacturer if unsure. Britax also has available an anti rebound you can use instead.

Installation


Before installing either rear or forward facing, adjust the recline to the correct position by squeezing the grey lever under the front of the car seat and sliding the seat to the correct position.  The blue level line represents the mid point between the allowed recline range of 30-45 degrees.  For a young baby without head control, the seat should be rotated back to the maximum allowed recline.  When baby has head control, the seat may be as upright as 30 degrees from vertical.  Use the blue line to eyeball or a place to start when installing.


Britax Advocate lower anchors
Lower Anchors

This was one of the easiest seats I’ve ever installed with LATCH.  The lower anchor connecting straps slide on a bar to switch from rear facing to forward facing, so no need to rethread it into the correct belt path. The click connectors make it easy to install and uninstall the seat and each side tightens individually.  Took me just a few seconds to get it in.  To install rear facing check the recline level, click in the lower connectors, put some weight into the seat, and tighten.  When installing forward facing check the recline level, click in the lower connectors, attach the tether strap, then tighten.  Very simple with either install.

Britax Advocate lockoffsSeat Belt

This was a bit more intricate, but still not hard.  You pull the cover up to reach the red (forward facing) or blue (rear facing) lockoffs on the seat.  These allow you to not have to remember what type of seatbelt your vehicle has.  You just unclip the lockoff closest to your buckle, slide the belt through, pull it tight, click the lock off over the lap and shoulder belt, and you’re through.  If installing forward facing, make sure to attach the tether as well.  The lock offs aren’t required, if you prefer to not use them, just make sure your seat belt locks in some way (either at the retractor or latch plate).

Fit to Child

Rear Facing

I found the overall fit of the Advocate extended well from newborn through older child.

Britax Advocate infant insert comparison

Fiona
Newborn Huggable Images Doll
7 lbs
17″
When using the Advocate in the rear facing position the HUGS pads are allowed to be removed to get a better fit.  The first photo is of Fiona without the infant insert that Britax sells separately.  The second photo is with it.  I recommend the insert for any newborn since it helps so much on fit.  It should be used until an infant’s shoulders reach the bottom harness position.  Overall, I liked Fiona’s fit.

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Anders
6 months
18 lbs
26″

We kept the HUGS removed with him since the straps still didn’t fit well with them.  The head support was 3 clicks up and the infant insert was removed as well as the padding insert.  Overall, also a good fit.


Freya
Freya
16 months
18 lbs
30 inches

She fit very well at just 3 head support clicks from the bottom.  We kept the HUGS pads off with her as well, due to the poor harness fit with them.

Britax Advocate Freya

Freya
2.5 yrs
22 lbs
32 inches

We’ve added the HUGS pads back on as she’s grown.    She is on the 6th head support click from the bottom.  She still fits very well with about 2″ left before she reaching 1″ from the top of her head to the top of the shell.  Leg room is getting a bit cramped, but I haven’t heard any complaints from her.

Forward Facing

Unity
3.75 yrs
36 lbs
38.5″

The forward facing build of this seat fit her perfectly.  This child has outgrown this seat rear facing by height.  She said she was nice and comfy in the seat forward facing.

Overall Thoughts

I have had the chance to use the Advocate for 1 year now and am truly very pleased with it.  The material is very plush making it cozy, but can get a bit hot in the summer.  The head support works very nicely for sleeping kids.
Pros

  • Plush interior fabric
  • Ability to tether rear facing
  • Compact fit for tight front to back positions

Cons

  • Bulky Side impact cushions
  • Fit for bigger kids – Unfortunately, I know from past experience with Britax convertibles that they typically don’t fit average to above average children as long as other lower priced convertibles.  Since my models are all on the smaller side, this won’t be a problem for us, but it could if you have an average to above average child.  Remember children should be rear facing for as long as possible.  We have information on when a child needs to move up to the next step.
  • Seat belt lock offs – My biggest complaint I had with this seat is the seat belt lock offs.  They’re hard to get clicked and I had some incompatibility issues with the way my seat belts go through the belt path.  This generation of Advocate has had some changes to the lock off rules from the older generations that should be it easier to install.  Most of these changes are retroactive to the older generations as well though.  These changes are covered in the Britax FAQs.

britax-advocate-70-g3-convertible-car-seat-zebra-e9lg83pLove everything you’ve heard about the Britax Advocate 70-G3?  Want to win one for yourself?  Britax is giving us the opportunity to give away one of these seats to one lucky US reader.  This review was not sponsored by Britax and as always, opinions are all my own! Originally written by Angela Tastad. Edits maintained by CSFTL.

Giveaway is now closed, congrats to Amanda M!

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