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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy SillyLily's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    Britax Companion Review

    Britax Companion

    The Companion gets mixed reviews, and is generally not liked or recommended on this forum. I am definitely in the minority, as I purchased this seat and was very happy with it. I am not a tech, so my review is strictly as a mom/gear addict. The Companion does fit a niche of people, and those that are in that niche are very happy with the seat. In fact, some of the reasons I like the seats are the exact reasons that others hate it!

    The seat is made of a very sturdy plastic. This is one of the reasons I chose it over some of the other infant seats available. The thinner plastic on the Graco, Baby Trend, and Evenflo seats felt wimbly, while the Companion is much more solid and inflexible. I can’t say whether this really has anything to do with how safe the seat is, only that I (personally) felt more comfortable with it. Of course, this lends itself to one of the most negative aspects of the seat: its weight. It is a heavy seat, at about 10 pounds not including the base. I didn’t mind this or really even notice, because most of the time I left the seat in the car or used a snap-n-go stroller (made by Baby Trend). I am the type of mom that really doesn’t like to tote around the baby seat, and usually used a stroller or sling. Actually, for my first, I never purchased an infant seat; I used only a convertible seat since she was born. So I really debated over even buying an infant seat for my second.

    Another feature I loved with this seat was the inflatable SIP head pad, which is also something that many people hate. I absolutely never had to worry about my daughter’s head moving around or flopping. It was never a problem for us, my daughter didn’t mind it until she was almost 16 months old and started to get car sick. She could have used the seat for a while longer, but we were ready to move her up to a convertible.

    The Companion is, truly, a “bucket” seat. I hear people call infant seats “buckets” or “baby buckets” all the time. The Companion really is a bucket. The hard protective plastic comes all the way up around the baby inside. The baby also lies quite flat in the seat, which is great especially for the very young babies. And there is also an optional foam insert which can be purchased from Britax for very small babies (under 7 pounds). My daughter was 8 lbs. 4 ozs. at birth, so it wasn’t necessary. She actually fit quite well from birth.

    The harness adjusts from the front, the straps are easy to rethread, there are several harness heights to choose from, the cover is made out of a very nice fabric, it has a great canopy that is fairly large, and the crotch strap has a couple of different positions it can be in.

    The seat can be installed with or without the base. The base has a built-in seat belt lock, LATCH storage clips, and an anti-rebound bar. I found it easy to snap the seat in and out of the base, but many people have a hard time with it. I believe it is associated with how heavy the seat is. While pulling the release lever on the back of the seat, you have to lift the seat straight up (or just lift the back straight up and then swivel it out of the base).

    The biggest negative I had with the seat was that the carrying handle/arm does have to be down. That makes the seat take up more room in the back seat of a vehicle. The seat is very wide. Actually, the seat isn’t all that wide, but the carrying handle adds an extra inch on each side of the seat. Despite this, I was able to fit 3 across in the back seat of my Audi A6 with this seat, a Scenera, and a Boulevard.

    I only tried this seat in a Britax Preview stroller and a Baby Trend Snap-n-go, so I can’t say what other strollers it will work with. It doesn’t work on grocery carts or upside down high chairs, which I consider a good thing because that way parents aren’t tempted to do so! It works just fine in the sling things and on the plastic high chairs that the seat flips off of that are specifically designed to have an infant seat set in them.

    A big reason a lot of people don’t like the seat is because it is expensive. I have seen recently that the seat can usually be found for around $170, which is comparable with many other seats including the Chicco Keyfit, Maxi Cosi Mico, Combi Connection and Shuttle, and even some of the Safeseats and Snugrides (the top of the line ones).

    It is a cinch to install, with seatbelts or LATCH. Even my husband was able to easily and correctly install the seat. I used it in a Buick Rendezvous (all 5 back seat positions), a 97 Chevy Suburban (all 6 back seat positions), an Impala, an Audi A6, a Chevy Lumina, Pontiac G6, a Toyota 4runner, a Chevy Grand Prix (2 door car), and a GMC Jimmy. Those are just the ones I can think of off of the top of my head. The only vehicle it wouldn’t fit in was a Toyota Tundra access cab (it was too long, even before putting the arm down).

    I, personally, loved the seat. I got a ton of use out of it (16 months), and could have gotten at least another 4+ months out of it if I had wanted to before moving my daughter to a convertible. It met all of my requirements, was solidly built, easy to install correctly, and had tons of bells and whistles (such as built in lock offs, anti-rebound bar, SIP, nice canopy, Britax-style LATCH connectors). I can definitely see how a lot of people would not like the seat, it is heavy, the arm has to be down, it is on the more expensive end of the infant seat spectrum, it is large, and it has the mandatory head insert.

    I sold the seat to fund a new Radian, and I really miss it. The Radian is so much harder to install. 

    Mindy, mom to Sicily (age 5, 37 lbs, Radian 80 princess), Lily (age 3, 30 lbs., FF in a Maxi Cosi Priori or Radian XT), and Liam (born in January, riding in a cowmoo Britax Chaperone)

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  3. #2
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    Talking Re: Britax Companion Review

    I love myBritax Companion, too!

    It's been a wonderful seat, very sturdy, easy to install, and the TSIP head wings help keep my baby's head/neck from flopping over when he sleeps in the car - which is always! Now that's a happy baby.

    The car seat was purchased at Buy Buy Baby and I ordered an extra base for it from Target.com.

    I have the BabyTrend Snap 'n Go universal stroller for it - well priced, lightweight, folds up compact, and very good to use.

    Initially, I tried the Kolcraft Universal stroller, but it was NOT compatible (even though the Kolcraft customer supprt rep tried to tell me over the phone that it was). The Companion would just rest on top of the Kolcraft - no snapping or clicking into place, no attachment points at all. Nothing. OK, Kolcraft, what happens then when the stroller hits a pothole?

    The BabyTrend Snap 'n Go has an actual harness strap to securely connect the car seat to the stroller.

    Overall, would recommend Britax Companion to anyone.

  4. #3
    Registered User
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    Nov 2008
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    5

    Re: Britax Companion Review

    We've had a Britax Companion in use for 7 months now and it's been great. It's built like a tank. Even after this many months of daily use it's showing no signs of wear. We only have one base. My wife has found it as easy to use a seatbelt to hold it down when using the car without the base (and that's saying something).

    I've used it in a Maclaren Quest and a City Elite, both with their optional infant carrier brackets. The fit seems like it could be more secure but after this many months using them I've had no trouble at all.

    I'd definitely recommend it to others.

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