In 2013, Britax shook things up with the introduction of ClickTight technology on the Frontier combination car seat. This technology has made installation simple, to say the least, and we hoped and waited for Britax to add ClickTight to their convertible car seat line. The wait is over — the ClickTight convertible seats: Britax Advocate ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight and Marathon ClickTight seats are here to stay!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 5-40 pounds
- Rear facing height range: child’s head 1″ from the top of the fully extended head restraint
- Forward facing weight range: 20-65 pounds
- Forward facing height range: up to 49″
- Shell height: 29″
- Lowest harness position: 7.5″ with newborn insert
- Highest harness position: 18.65″ per Britax (we measured slightly higher once installed)
- Expiration: 10 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 30 pounds rear facing, 35 pounds forward facing
- ClickTight Installation
- Two position adjustable crotch strap
- Seven recline settings for rear and forward facing
- No re-thread harness
Installing the Advocate ClickTight is unlike any convertible car seat you’ve ever installed. In fact, forget everything you know about car seat installation. As the name states, the biggest feature of the Advocate ClickTight is the ClickTight installation. Just open the ClickTight, thread the seat belt through the appropriate belt path, and close the ClickTight. There are a few other steps, but it’s basically as simple as that.
To open the ClickTight, push with one finger on the dimple of the ClickTight dial. The dial will flip-up and can be rotated 90 degrees, which will open the ClickTight. The belt paths, as well as everything else on the seat, are clearly marked with blue for rear facing and green for forward facing. Thread the seat belt through the appropriate belt path and buckle it; and this is the part where you need to forget everything you know about installing a car seat. Don’t pull the seat belt tight as you would with most car seats, because the ClickTight is going to do the tightening for you. Remove the excess slack, close the ClickTight, and in most cases you’ll have a secure installation with less than 1″ movement at the belt path. The ClickTight functions as a lockoff, so there is no need to engage the seat belt’s locking retractor if using a typical lap/shoulder belt with a sliding latchplate and switchable retractor.
If you are installing in a vehicle with a lap-only belt or a lap/shoulder belt with sewn on latchplates, it is important to make sure the seat belt is locked according to the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.
Not sure how your seat belts lock? Learn more in our article: Lock It Up.
The Advocate ClickTight is equipped with lower anchors, which store in a compartment at the back of the seat’s base. Because the seat belt installation is so simple, Britax has chosen to use j-hook style connectors rather than the premium push button connectors you may be used to with other Britax seats. Britax recommends that the ClickTight convertible car seats be installed with the vehicle seat belt.
To use the lower anchors, remove the strap from the storage compartment and thread through the appropriate belt path after opening the Click Tight. Attach the lower anchors to the lower anchor connectors in the vehicle, remove excess slack, and close the ClickTight. It is important to note that the Advocate ClickTight only allows for lower anchor installation in seating positions with standard 11″ lower anchor spacing, and that the child must weigh less than 30 pounds rear facing or 35 pounds forward facing to install using lower anchors.
The tether on older versions of this seat can be used both rear and forward facing, and you can find the tether neatly stored in a panel on the back of the seat. When rear facing, if your seat allows, the tether can be attached using the enclosed tether connector strap attached to a fixed location that is bolted to the floor. It is important to note that this strap is different from previous generation “d-ring” tether connector straps, the ClickTight connector strap has a webbing loop on either end, as opposed to the metal ring users of previous generation Britax seats may be familiar with. Also important to note is that some vehicles may prohibit the use of a tether connector strap in this method, so it is important to consult your vehicle and car seat owner’s manual prior to use of the tether while rear facing. A second option for rear facing is to attach the tether to the anchor typically used for forward facing, which means the tether strap will run around the child seat and may make it difficult for loading and unloading the child. If the tether anchor is too short to reach the anchor or the provided rear facing tether connector webbing, Britax can provided an extension. It is important to note that the tether extenders for forward and rear facing are different, so you must specific which direction you intend to face the seat when you call to request the extender. Britax recommends, but does not require, use of the tether while rear facing. An anti-rebound bar is now available for purchase from Britax. This is used to control rebound and can be used on all ClickTight convertibles in all vehicles without restriction.
Forward facing, the tether should be used at all times and must be attached to a tether anchor that is approved by the vehicle manufacturer. If your vehicle has tether anchors located on the ceiling or floor of your vehicle, you may find the Advocate ClickTight tether strap to be too short to reach your vehicle’s tether anchor. If that is the case, contact Britax and they can provide an extension so that you may utilize the tether anchor. My Honda CRV has ceiling mounted tether anchors, and the tether strap attached with room to spare.
The Advocate ClickTight features seven recline positions. To adjust the recline, squeeze the handle located at the bottom front portion of the seat. The Advocate ClickTight can be in any of the recline positions provided the indicator reflects the appropriate position for the age and direction of the child. The rear facing zone is clearly labeled in blue, keeping with the blue labels for all the rear facing components of the seat. The light blue zone is required for infants without sufficient head and neck control, while the darker blue can be used for older infants and toddlers that can safely sit more upright. The green zone represents the allowable recline settings for forward facing, any of which can be used if the indicator rests in the green and the Advocate ClickTight does not overhang the vehicle seat more than 3″. I was able to install the Advocate ClickTight forward facing in three of the more upright recline settings without exceeding the overhang requirements and while keeping the indicator in the green zone. This provided a nice recline, which may be particularly useful for children with special needs that require them to sit at a more reclined angle. I would love for there to be an additional indicator that shows which of the seven recline positions the seat is in, as I found it a little difficult to tell whether I had gone one click or several clicks when adjusting the recline. If necessary, a pool noodle or tightly rolled towel may be added to further adjust the recline of the Advocate ClickTight, but with 7 adjustable positions and a generous range of allowable angles, there are very few scenarios in which it would be necessary.
Fit to Child
The Advocate ClickTight is rated for children from 5-40 pounds, and does not state a standing height limit for rear facing. Unlike previous Britax convertible car seats that only allowed rear facing until 1″ from the top of the shell of the car seat, the Advocate ClickTight has a reinforced head restraint which allows for rear facing until the child’s head is 1″ from the top of the fully extended head restraint. Fully extended, the head restraint of the Advocate ClickTight measures 29″, making it competitive with the tallest rear facing convertible seats currently available. Most children will reach the 40 lb weight limit before ever reaching the maximum height capacity of the Advocate ClickTight rear facing.
With the lowest harness position measuring 7.5″, and the fully extended head restraint measuring 29″, the Advocate ClickTight has the potential to fit a large range of children.
Huggable Images doll Jo is 4 pounds, 17″. She is below the 5 lb weight limit of the Advocate ClickTight, but I wanted to try her in the seat to get an idea of whether or not a 5-6 lb newborn would truly fit in the seat. I was able to get the straps nice and snug, and even had several clicks to go before the harness was at its tightest. Unfortunately, the harness straps were well above her shoulders so she would not be able to ride in this seat. Small or premature newborns that are longer in the torso may fit appropriately, but if you are expecting multiples or a premature birth, it would be a safe bet to have a rear facing only seat available to use from birth.
Huggable Images doll Fiona is 7 pounds, 17″ and she fit beautifully in the Advocate ClickTight. The straps were just a bit below her shoulders and easily passed the pinch test. The Advocate ClickTight’s seven recline positions came in handy here, I placed it in the most reclined position and it was well reclined enough for a newborn.
The impact absorbing chest pads are a little bit bulky for Fiona, so I removed them along with the comfort pads and found it much easier to tighten the harness on her small body. She is using the infant insert, which can be used or removed at any time provided the child fits correctly in the seat with or without it.
Grace is 21 months, 23 pounds and 31″. She fits great in the Advocate CT, there is plenty of leg room and she will be able to ride rear facing for years to come.
I find it very easy to get her in and out of the seat, and I love the multiple recline options that allow her to be comfortable enough to doze off in the car, yet upright enough to see out the window and fit easily behind the driver’s seat. I have moved the crotch buckle to the outer position for her, as I found the inner position to be uncomfortably digging into her thighs.
Lillian just turned 4 and is 30 pounds and 39″. She loved the Limelight pattern on our Advocate ClickTight, and had plenty of room to grow rear facing, both in height and weight.
The main downside for her is the length of the crotch buckle, which is rather short and can make it uncomfortable for the child while getting buckled. The Advocate ClickTight doesn’t offer quite as much leg room as some other seats, but still offered plenty of space for her to easily climb in and out of the seat and ride quite comfortably.
Forward facing, the Advocate ClickTight is rated from 20-65 pounds and up to 49″. We at CSFTL commend Britax for recommending several times in the manual that children ride rear facing until a minimum of two years old, ideally until they have reached the maximum rear facing weight or height capacity of the seat before riding forward facing.
Installation of the Advocate ClickTight forward facing is nearly the same as it is rear facing. Open the ClickTight, thread the seat belt through the forward facing slots, close the ClickTight, and then attach the tether.
Big Kid – 6 Years Old
Sam is 6 years old, 43 pounds and 47″ and has lots of room to grow in the Advocate ClickTight. Initially, I had him sit in the seat and was concerned because the harness barely had enough slack to get around his body. I was able to buckle him in but there was no growing room to be had.
Upon further investigation into the manual, I found information that the harness can be lengthened several inches to accommodate older children. Once I made that adjustment, there was plenty of room for him, and he has several inches of growing room before he will have outgrown the Advocate ClickTight.
Big Kid – 7 Years Old
Zeke is 7 years old, 53 pounds and 51″. As you can see, he has outgrown the Boulevard ClickTight he is sitting in, which features the same limits as the Advocate ClickTight.
I wanted to try a child at the upper end of the limits for this seat. While he is under the 65 pound weight limit, he has exceeded the 49″ height limit and his shoulders are higher than the “maximum seated height” label in the shoulder area of the seat, though the harness straps are right at his shoulders. He is also physically too large for the harness to be buckled. Even after extending the harness straps, they were not long enough to be fastened.
To adjust the harness strap length, open the ClickTight and you will find that the hip portion of the harness is wrapped around the anchor. To lengthen the harness, detach the strap, and slip the sewn on end over the anchor. You can find full instructions from Britax here. When the ClickTight convertible seats initially became available, some parents found that this portion of the harness was not fully attached from the factory. It is important, with any seat, to check that all components are functioning correctly before use. Read more about that issue and how to check.
The Click & Safe is designed to give an audible “click” when the harness is snug enough on the child’s body. It definitely clicks, but not always when the harness is tight enough. The clicking mechanism is located behind the child’s shoulders, so it’s very easy for it to think there is enough tension if the caregiver hasn’t made sure to remove all the slack from the hip & torso area prior to pulling the tightening strap. It’s a great helper, but it’s still important to make sure all slack is removed from all areas of the harness before travel, don’t just rely on the click.
To adjust the harness, simply squeeze the red handle and pull the head restraint up or down to the desired position. Position the harness straps at or below the child’s shoulders for rear facing; at or above for forward facing.
The comfort pillow goes underneath the child’s bottom and helps provide a secure fit for newborns and small infants. Britax directs the caregiver to remove the comfort pillow after the child can sit comfortably in the child seat without additional support.
The impact absorbing chest pads are highly recommended for forward facing, but can be removed when rear facing to ensure a snug fit on infants and smaller children. To remove the impact absorbing chest pads, the harness must be detached from the splitter plate on the back of the seat. Most of the back of the seat is enclosed, and I found it rather difficult to thread and rethread the harness.
The EZ Buckle pad keeps the buckle in the forward position when unbuckled, making it easy to load the child without having to dig the buckle out from underneath them. The buckle has two positions, measuring 5″ and 7″ deep , with the strap measuring 3″ in length. Whichever slot is closest to, but not under the child, may be used for rear facing. Forward facing, Britax requires use of the outer slot. To switch between positions, open the ClickTight, rotate the buckle strap and slide it into the next position.
If you’re familiar with previous generation Britax car seats, you are probably familiar with this feature under the name SICT, or Side Impact Cushion Technology. Britax has changed the name, and also slightly changed the design of the external cushions, designed to divert energy away from the child in a crash. They are sleeker and less obtrusive than previous models, while still providing the same crash protection to the child.
We love it when a manufacturer thinks about the little things – like where can you stow the instruction manual for easy reference whenever a question comes up? The Advocate ClickTight has a handy little storage pocket underneath the cover for convenient storage and quick access to any question that comes your way. We also love the tidy storage spots for the lower anchors and tether, shown earlier in our review.
The cover has four separate pieces. The manual directs that it should be hand washed and line dried, not machine washed or dried. Removal of the cover is a little bit time-consuming but not overly difficult. You do not have to disconnect the harness in order to remove it. One note that we found, after handwashing the cover, it retained quite a bit of water and had to air dry for a couple of days before it was ready to be used again.
You won’t find the label containing the date of manufacture and serial number in its usual spot by the left shoulder, if you’re familiar with Britax restraints. The Advocate ClickTight has hidden this important label underneath the cover near where the child’s knees would be bent if in the seat, a bit of a throwback for those of us who have been car seating for a little while now and shall remain nameless. The great thing about this label though? Add ten years to the date, and that is the Advocate ClickTight expiration. With generous limits AND expiration, this is a seat that can get almost every kid well through birth to the age when they’re ready to move to a belt positioning booster seat.
The FAA Approval information is written in red letters in the label at the base of the seat. It’s right below the recline indicator.
Note: if you’re flying with the Britax Advocate ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight, or the Marathon ClickTight and using the Gogo Kidz Travelmate, you’ll need to order a longer strap for the Travelmate.
The car seat model used in this review is the Advocate ClickTight, with a brief cameo from the Boulevard ClickTight. You can find the ClickTight technology on the Marathon, Boulevard, and Advocate ClickTight models. The Boulevard and Advocate ClickTight share the same specifications, the Boulevard is simply lacking the external side impact protection cushions. The Marathon ClickTight features the ClickTight technology, but has a somewhat lower height capacity: 16.95″ seated height versus 18.65″ seated height of the Boulevard ClickTight and Advocate ClickTight and lacks the reinforced True Side Impact Protection head restraint that the Boulevard and Advocate ClickTight feature.
- ClickTight installation makes installation very simple
- High rear facing height limits
- No re-thread harness
- High price tag
- Seat is fairly heavy at 29.4 pounds
- Short crotch buckle
The Britax Advocate ClickTight is simple to install, long-lasting, and easy to use. The few minor drawbacks we found were the high price, heavy weight, and tendency for the parent to try to over tighten the seat belt unnecessarily with the ClickTight. The ClickTight family will be a great addition to many back seats, and we hope it keeps kids rear facing longer, and helps more caregivers install their seats correctly with ease. You can find the Advocate ClickTight on Amazon.com.
There was a recall for this model announced on August 13, 2015. Please check to see if your seat is affected and order the necessary fix.
Want to win an Advocate ClickTight for your Little? Britax has generously offered to provide one Advocate ClickTight for CSFTL readers, enter using the Rafflecopter widget below! Contest is open to residents of the US only, ages 18 & up. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Originally written by Emma Douglas. Edits maintained by CSFTL.