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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy sixboys's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    I've been using our new Britax Diplomat (DP) for about two weeks now, and I thought it was time to get my thoughts on this new seat out there for anyone else who is considering it.

    First of all, I purchased this seat for my 15 month old son. He had previously been riding in a Britax Boulevard (BV), and he did not like the True Side Impact (TSIP) wings, and was constantly trying to cran his head around them to better see his siblings on either side. Not to mention, when the BV is sitting next to a FF Britax Parkway, the two sets of TSIP make it nearly impossible for those two children to make eye contact. All in all, I just was not happy with the BV in the RF position. My other 2 BVs are used for FF children, and I feel it is excellent when used FF.

    My first thought was to replace his BV with a Britax Marathon (MA) or Britax Roundabout (RA). These seats offer the same ease of use and quality I've come to expect from Britax, but without the TSIP wings. After much debating, I decided to go with the RA. Even though the MA offers a longer period of use, I liked the idea of getting another RA (my first Britax was a RA and I adored it) - and also prefered a seat that doesn't require the use of HUGS in the FF position. I told my husband my plan, and he flat out disagreed. He did not feel comfortable switching baby into a seat without TSIP, and told me to buy the DP, and keep our fingers crossed it would be a better RF seat than the BV.

    I purchased the DP, from Babies R Us, in the Huntington fabric. My first impression was very good. The fabric is soft, softer than the Brownstone fabric on the BV. It has SEWN on shoulder pads! I love them! No more losing shoulder pads under truck seats on this Britax model. Also, as I mentioned previously, there are no HUGS on the DP, which I do not like, so that is a big plus for me.

    My son loves the seat! The TSIP wings on the DP angle out wider, alongside the edges of the seat, vs. the more boxy right angle they make on the BV. This allows him to see side to side much better and therefore is more content. It's also much more cozy of a fit for a baby, he seemed to get a little lost in the BV. Nothing scientific, just a feeling I get looking at him in the seat. It came with an infant pillow insert, but my DS is too old for that. It does fit into the seat well though, and looks like it would be very comfy for a newborn.

    I've installed it RF using lap belt only, lap/shoulder belt and latch. It is a breeze with any of those set-ups. It can RF to 35 pounds, FF to 40 pounds and can be top tethered in both positions. It is 11 inches wide, bottom harness slot at 10 3/4 inches, and the top slots are at 15 inches. You adjust harness height by turning a knob on the back of the seat that does take a little muscle - but is no more annoying than removing the harness and re-threading it like you have to on a RA. Since I use the seat for only one child, this doesn't matter too much to me.

    The negatives for this seat were all ones I was aware of before making the purchase. It is very expensive ($269.99 pre-tax), it isn't too terribly practical as it will likely only last another 2 years at the most. Since it only goes to 40 pounds, I will still need another HWH seat for him once he outgrows the DP. I have older children who will be moving out of their seats when the time comes for baby to move out of the DP, so I won't need to drop more money at that time. Also, the DP doesn't have the convenient latch bars like the BV does, which means I have to thread the latch strap through the front slots, under the cover and pad, and out the other side. Not as slick as using latch with the BV, but no different than you have to do when using vehicle seatbelts.

    The main positive the DP has over the other Britax seats is its RF weight limit of 35 pounds. It has the benefit of TSIP lacking on the MA or RA, but without the same degree of "view blocking" the BV has. It fits well into both our larger SUV and our PT Cruiser. And, finally, my baby loves it. He is cozy, content and well protected. Even though it won't go the same distance as the BV, it is so much better in the RF position with the less restrictive TSIP - that it was worth it to me to invest in.

    In summary, I highly recommend the DP as an excellent choice for a convertible carseat. It is my favorite RF seat I've used so far, (and that includes my beloved Snugride). I would especially recommend it in a family where the seat can be passed down to younger siblings, as the six year expiration on the seat will not be reached before baby outgrows it, and it is an expensive seat!
    Amy
    Happily married to my high school sweetheart.
    SAHM to 3 sweet lil' girls and 6 boisterous and loving little boys.

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Namegirl's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    Re: Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    Thank you for this review! I've been very intrigued by this seat.
    Namegirl
    DD in Turbo
    DS in Turbo, Pioneer
    DS in Diono
    DD in Britax B-Safe

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic Mama!'s Avatar
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    Sep 2007
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    1,638

    Re: Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    I would love to see pics of this seat if you get a chance.
    DD-11, adult belt/ nbb
    DS-9, Vivo
    DD-2.5 ~24#, 33", RF in RA 55

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member
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    Jan 2007
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    4,676

    Re: Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    Thanks for the reveiw!

    Does the headrest push the head forward like the boulevard does?
    J-10.5 yrs, 100 lbs, 4 ft 10.5 ins-adult seatbelt
    C-9yrs-Britax Parkway SG, Clek ozzi, Incognito
    S-6.5 yrs -Britax Parkway SG,

  6. #5
    Member
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    Oct 2007
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    34

    Re: Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    How tall is the DP vs. the BV? We are getting ready to purchase a 2nd seat for my DS and are looking at both of these. We currently have a Decathlon in my DH's extended cab truck. It fits, but sticks forward a bit over the center console in the front. We may end up moving the Decathlon to my car and getting a new one for the truck. Is there a big difference in how far forward the DP sticks out vs. the BV?

    Thanks!
    Cathy

    DS 8 mths

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy sixboys's Avatar
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    Re: Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by arly1983 View Post
    Thanks for the reveiw!

    Does the headrest push the head forward like the boulevard does?
    DS doesn't have a problem with his head slumping in the DP, but he really didn't in the BV either. In both seats my kids sleep with their heads to the side on the TSIP wings. I think one DS used to have head slump a little, when he first went into a BV, but nobody has problems anymore.

    I would say it's pretty much identical to the BV as far as the cushioning behind the head goes, so for children who have a problem with head slump in the BV, it probably would be in the DP as well.
    Amy
    Happily married to my high school sweetheart.
    SAHM to 3 sweet lil' girls and 6 boisterous and loving little boys.

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy sixboys's Avatar
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    Re: Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Mama! View Post
    I would love to see pics of this seat if you get a chance.
    I will try to get some up in the next few days.
    Amy
    Happily married to my high school sweetheart.
    SAHM to 3 sweet lil' girls and 6 boisterous and loving little boys.

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy sixboys's Avatar
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    Re: Review of Britax Diplomat purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by evan'smom View Post
    How tall is the DP vs. the BV? We are getting ready to purchase a 2nd seat for my DS and are looking at both of these. We currently have a Decathlon in my DH's extended cab truck. It fits, but sticks forward a bit over the center console in the front. We may end up moving the Decathlon to my car and getting a new one for the truck. Is there a big difference in how far forward the DP sticks out vs. the BV?

    Thanks!
    Cathy

    DS 8 mths
    The Diplomat is 17 inches wide, 17 inches deep and 25 inches tall (this includes a bit of headwing sticking out, otherwise it's closer to 24.5 inches tall.) I just measured my installed FF Blvd., and I got it at 28.5 inches tall.

    Yes, there is a significant difference in how far the DP sticks out vs. the BV. On the seat of my Ford Excursion, it barely sticks out further than the seat it's sitting on. The BV in that position stuck out quite a bit more than that.

    I wish I could take a picture of the two side by side to give you a better idea, but unfortunately my camera bit the dust when I was taking pictures of my seats and dropped it on the driveway.

    I think the DP would be a perfect solution for your DH's truck.
    Amy
    Happily married to my high school sweetheart.
    SAHM to 3 sweet lil' girls and 6 boisterous and loving little boys.

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