We first met ClickTight technology from Britax in our very first review, the Frontier combination car seat. You could say CSFTL is as old as ClickTight! Since those early days, the ClickTight family has grown and changed, all the while remaining a remarkably simple and effective way to install a car seat. The Advocate ClickTight is a proven fan favorite seat and we’re thrilled to update our older review to highlight the lovely new fabrics featured on today’s product line.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 5-40 pounds
- Rear facing height range: can be used until the child’s head is 1 inch from the top of the fully extended head restraint
- Forward facing weight range: 20-65 pounds
- Forward facing height range: up to 49 inches tall
- Shell height: 29 inches tall
- Lowest harness position: 7.5 inches with newborn insert
- Highest harness position: 18.65 inches per Britax (we measured slightly higher because we measure from the outer edge of the harness position)
- 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
Advocate, Boulevard, Marathon
This series of seats includes three models: the Advocate (pictured here), the Boulevard, and the Marathon. These additional seats have the same height/weight limits and installation instructions as the Advocate seen here, they just have fewer additional features such as SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection MAX. The Boulevard and Advocate have a more robust head support. All are available with the SafeWash fabrics.
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 under the a-lock at the front of the seat, 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. Pulling the tightening strap too fast can also cause it to click prematurely. 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.
Impact Absorbing Chest Pads
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.
Adjustable EZ Buckle
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.
SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection MAX
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. This option is only available on the Advocate, it’s not available on the Boulevard.
Cover Removal and Cleaning
The cover has four separate pieces. 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. Some Britax covers require hand washing and drip drying. Others, like the green ombre SafeWash cover featured here, are safe to machine wash and dry. Refer to the product care label on your specific cover for detailed washing instructions.
First, Open the ClickTight Panel
Important note: the ClickTight convertible car seats install best with the vehicle seat belt.
That’s why the lower anchors are stored in a place that’s kind of hard to find.
The most prominent feature of the Advocate ClickTight is the ClickTight installation.
Just open the ClickTight panel, thread the vehicle seat belt through the appropriate belt path (rear facing is on the seat pan, under the area where the child’s legs would go, forward facing is behind the child’s back), buckle the seat belt, remove most of the slack from the belt, then close the panel. There are a few other steps, but it’s basically as simple as that.
Vehicle Seat Belt
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 are clearly marked with blue for rear facing and green for forward facing.
Thread the vehicle 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 vehicle seat belt tight like you would with most car seats, because the ClickTight is going to do the tightening for you. Remove the excess slack in the belt, close the ClickTight, and in most cases you’ll have a secure installation with less than 1 inch of movement at the belt path.
The ClickTight functions as a lockoff, so there is no need to engage the seat belt’s locking retractor with a 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 vehicle’s seat belts lock? Lock It Up takes a closer look.
The Advocate ClickTight is equipped with lower anchors, which store in a compartment at the back of the seat’s base. Note: the manufacturer recommends installing this seat with the vehicle seat belt so we do, too!
Because the seat belt installation is so simple, Britax has chosen to use standard j-hook style connectors rather than the premium push button connectors you may be used to with other Britax seats. They really really want you to install this seat with the vehicle seat belt.
Britax recommends that the ClickTight convertible car seats be installed with the vehicle seat belt.
We will provide short instructions on installing the seat with the lower anchors but have absolutely found that Britax is correct — installing this seat with the vehicle seat belt is the way to go!
To use the lower anchors, remove the webbing from the rather hidden (because the vehicle seat belt is preferred on this seat!!) storage compartment and thread through the appropriate belt path (rear facing is on the seat pan, under the area where the child’s legs would go, forward facing is behind the child’s back) after opening the ClickTight.
Attach the lower anchors to the lower anchor connectors in the vehicle, remove excess slack from the webbing, 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 inch 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.
Forward facing, the top tether should be used at all times and must be attached to a tether anchor in the vehicle. 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.
The Advocate ClickTight has 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, this is consistent with the blue labels for the rear facing components of the seat. There are 3 zones:
- Light blue — this is the required recline angle for infants without sufficient head and neck control.
- Darker blue — this is for older infants and toddlers who can safely sit more upright.
- Green zone — this shows the allowable recline settings for forward facing, any of these settings can be used if the indicator rests in the green and the Advocate ClickTight does not overhang the vehicle seat more than 3 inches.
We installed 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 noticable recline angle, which may be particularly useful for children with special needs that require them to sit at a more reclined angle.
We did find that it’s a bit difficult to tell which of the seven recline positions the seat is in, it’s a bit difficult to tell whether the seat had reclined one click or several clicks when adjusting the recline angle.
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 the top of the child’s head is 1 inch from the top of the shell of the car seat, the Advocate ClickTight has a reinforced head restraint that allows for rear facing until the child’s head is 1 inch from the top of the fully extended head restraint.
Our Huggable Images doll weighs 7 pounds and is 17 inches long. The doll gets a great fit in the harness on this seat. While we do always suggest that caregivers check the fit on any newborn, we can assert that many newborn humans would also fit well in the seat.
This adorable model is 15 months old, weighs 22 pounds and is 30 inches tall. He’s got plenty of room to grow in this seat. The low sides make getting him in and out of the seat pretty easy, that kind of accessibility can be a big bonus for many families!
21 Months Old
This model is 21 months old, weighs 23 pounds and is 31 inches tall She fits great in the Advocate ClickTight, 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, because the inner position was digging into her thighs.
3 Years Old
This 3 year old model is already quite experienced at testing car seats for us! She’s 3 years old, weighs 26 pounds, and is 37 inches tall. She’s getting a bit short on leg room but more importantly, she has plenty of room to grow in torso height. Since car seats are designed to protect the head, neck, and spine, she’s got some room to grow left in this seat in this mode.
Forward facing, the Advocate ClickTight is rated from 20-65 pounds and for heights up to 49 inches tall. We 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. Loosely attach the top tether, then open the ClickTight. Thread the vehicle seat belt through the forward facing slots, close the ClickTight, and then tighten the tether.
3 Years Old
This 3 year old model weighs 26 pounds, and is 37 inches tall. She’s got plenty of room in the seat and it offers a consistent harness fit. She found the seat quite comfortable and is happy to ride in this seat on a regular basis.
6 Years Old
Here we have a 6 year old model. She’s approaching the top height for the harness (though she hasn’t outgrown the seat’s maximum height limit of 49 inches tall, her seated shoulder height is approaching the 18.5 inch maximum harness height for this seat) but we’d expect that since she’s 6.
6 Years Old
This model is 6 years old. He weighs 43 pounds and is 47 inches tall. He’s got 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.
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.
Important Information: Where to Find
Date of Manufacture Label
You won’t find the label containing the date of manufacture and serial number in its usual spot by the left shoulder, a place you might look if you’re familiar with Britax car seats. 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.
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 may need to order a longer strap for the Travelmate.
The manual stores in a pocket on the cover, this pocket is behind the child’s back.
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 seat 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.
CSFTL Celebration Giveaway!
As part of our ongoing CSFTL Celebration, Britax is partnering with us to give away one Boulevard ClickTight. Please read our terms and conditions, then enter below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway