The child passenger safety community is abuzz with the news that Britax has released a new rear facing only car seat. The Endeavours is similar to the B-Safe 35 Elite, but it also features an anti-rebound bar on the base and European belt routing on the carrier. Intrigued? So were we! Let’s take a closer look.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Weight range: 4-35 pounds
- Lowest harness position: 6 inches with the insert in position 1 (see below)
- Height range: 32 inches or less
- Expiration: Six years from the date of manufacture listed on the label
- Handle position: Any locked position for use in vehicle
- Weight of carrier: 11 pounds with the infant insert
- Crotch buckle slots (without insert): 4 inches, 6 inches
- Shell height: 19 inches
- Width at widest point: 17 inches
The Endeavours features an anti-rebound bar. This reduces rebound rotation, or the tendency of the seat and base to move up towards the back of the car after the initial impact.The anti-rebound bar on the Endeavours is unique in that it has a mesh overlay, which can be easily removed for cleaning. Britax told us the mesh helps prevent footprints on the vehicle seat, once the child’s legs are long enough that their feet may touch the vehicle seat.
Impact Absorbing Base
The Endeavours base features Britax’s SafeCell technology, which compresses to absorb crash energy.
European Belt Routing
The Endeavours can be installed without the base using European belt routing. This installation method helps stabilize the seat and decreases rotation. We’ll talk more about this method later in this review.
Quick Adjust Harness
The Endeavous features a no-rethread harness that adjusts quite easily. Simply pinch together the two red buttons on the back of the seat, and then slide the harness up and down.
Easy Remove Cover
The Endeavours has an easy remove cover, which is removed by pulling on a red and black tab on the side of the seat. (Pro tip: Easy remove or not, take pictures along the way so you remember where every part attaches to the seat!)
Installation: With the Base
In preparation for installation with the base, I lowered the recline foot by squeezing the lever on the base, which stands out in red and is easy to find.I had no trouble getting the recline angle indicator correct in my Honda, which has relatively flat seats. Britax does allow the use of a rolled towel or pool noodle under the base if needed to recline it further.
Although lower anchor installation was straightforward, I encountered some of the same challenges that I’ve had with the B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite. I had trouble getting the leverage I needed to pull the black straps to tighten the lower anchors.The mechanism involves attaching the lower anchor connectors and then pulling a strap on top of the base for each. So far, so good, but the problem is that on these Britax bases, you pull the middle of a continuous strap, so getting a good grip is difficult. I found that pushing down hard on the base as I pulled each strap helped some.
Vehicle Seat Belt
The vehicle seat belt installation was also quite easy! To install with the seat belt, thread the belt through the belt path, buckle, pull the shoulder belt to tighten and then slide the shoulder belt under the lockoff. This setup is virtually identical to that of the Chicco Keyfit.
Installation: Without the Base
In the past, I’ve had trouble getting a secure baseless installation on the B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite, because the belt guides are so wide and the bottom of the seat is so narrow.Well, I am happy to report that the European routing on the Endeavours has solved this problem! The European belt guide is clearly marked with a well-designed label.
The carrier is small enough that vehicle seat belt should be able to fit around it in most vehicles. Baseless installation is an excellent option for travel, for car services such as Uber, or for vehicles that are short on front to back space. I was disappointed to see that the Endeavours manual did not encourage European routing over American routing, as European routing decreases rotation in a crash and yields a more stable installation.
I tried American routing as well, but I was not able to get a secure installation.
I was thrilled to see that the infant insert has two positions available. The insert must be removed when the baby reaches 11 pounds, just like the B Safe 35 Elite’s insert.
The manual refers to the following options for the infant insert as Option 1 and Option 2. We’ve found it easier to explain how to use them if we call them Position 1 and Position 2.
The seat ships with the insert in what the manual calls Option 1, which we’ll call Position 1. This position has the insert cutout against the buckle. This position will help the shoulder straps be low enough to reach the tiniest newborns (4 pounds and above).
Option 2, which we’ll call Position 2, is the reason I’m thrilled. Very often, long torsoed babies do not need the extra boost up to reach the straps, but they do need support behind the back to help align the body with the headrest. For Position 2, the insert should be rotated 180 degrees and placed below the headrest, behind the fabric panel.
Modifications at 11 pounds
The Endeavours requires two important modifications once the baby reaches 11 pounds. These modifications impact the fit of the seat, so we’ll explain them in depth.
First, the crotch buckle must be moved to the outer slot. This is true whether or not the buckle is pressing against the baby.
Second, the straps must be adjusted in the back to use the lower strap loops. Some of our more experienced readers might realize that this is rarely done on seats with a no-rethread harness, where there are no slots for the harness straps.On the Endeavours (and the B-Safe 35 Elite), this change must be made at 11 pounds.
Fit to Child
For our preemie doll, I put the insert in Position 1. The fit was excellent; the straps were below the shoulders, and the harness was snug. On a long-torsoed preemie, Position 2 may be needed.
Our newborn doll fit well with the insert in Position 2. I did notice that, as on the Cybex Aton Q, the headrest is a bit above where the straps come out of the seat, with the result that the headrest presses near the top of the head for newborns and smaller infants. This can cause the head to tip down for some babies.The manual states that the straps should be “in the closest harness height position at or below the child’s shoulders,” so adjusting the headrest height isn’t a solution in this case. For a shorter torsoed baby, putting the insert in Position 1 may help.
This little guy is about two weeks old. He weighs 7 pounds and is about 21 inches long. I tried the infant insert using Position 1 and Position 2. With Position 1, the sides of the buckle dug into his legs, and he had some head slump as his upper back was not supported. Though he had had enough of our modeling session, the fit was much better on him with Position 2.
4 Month Old
This little princess is 4 months old, almost 25 inches and 12 pounds. Because she weighs 12 pounds, we made the adjustments to the crotch buckle and the strap loops as detailed above. This left a gap at the crotch, and Britax confirmed for us that a crotch roll (a rolled up cloth in the gap) may not be used in this situation. When I pulled her down so her crotch was at the buckle pad, as would happen on a car ride, her head did slump a bit due to the fact that her back wasn’t supported. Remember, the inserts aren’t allowed after 11 pounds.
8 Month Old
This is my son; he’s 8 months old, weighs about 20 pounds and is almost 29 inches long. He may have confused “car seat photoshoot” with “actors’ workshop”; he was not happy in this seat and wanted me to know it.He doesn’t usually sit in a car seat with a headrest, and I’m wondering if his discomfort was because he couldn’t lean his head back. Additionally, we can see that the Endeavours is so narrow internally that his shoulders seem tight.
Despite those challenges, the seat did fit him well in terms of the buckle and harness placement. This also seems like the right place to note that the Britax crotch buckle cover, which they call a flip-forward belly pad, helped tremendously in keeping the crotch buckle out of the way when I was putting him in the seat.
Our 31 inch tall toddler doll didn’t have a great fit in the Endeavours. The doll has outgrown the seat by torso height, and just like on our 8 month old model, the seat was too narrow to accommodate the width of the shoulders and torso. This fit indicates that as babies approach a year, the seat may be outgrown. This is earlier than other seats with the same stated weight and height limits.
Important Information: Where to Find
The Endeavours can be used on aircraft without the base. I was happy to see a warning in the manual not to use an inflatable airplane seat belt. This type of seat belt is becoming more common, yet caregivers may not know whether they can be used.The FAA approval label is found on the side of the carrier, clearly written in red.
The manual stores in an easily accessible compartment on the top of the base.
The Endeavours carrier and base expire 6 years after the date of manufacture. The carrier and base each have a label on the underside with the date of manufacture.
The Endeavours has many ease-of-use features and safety features which will appeal to parents and expectant parents! Families who travel frequently will also appreciate the European routing for a more secure baseless installation.
Due to the smaller size of the carrier, parents who are expecting a larger baby may want to select a different seat, and parents and caregivers may need to check the fit after the 11 pound adjustments are made. We congratulate Britax on this new addition to their lineup of seats!
Britax has generously offered to partner with us and give away an Endeavours to one lucky person! Enter here.