Britax Boulevard CS Review

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
The Boulevard CS is the latest convertible seat from Britax and touts “True Side Impact Protection” along with the new “Click & Safe” feature. This new innovation gives a loud click and tactile feedback when the caregiver has adjusted the harness strap system correctly. This model can be used rear-facing for children 5 to 35 pounds, and front-facing for children above 1 year old and from 20 to 65 pounds. The maximum standing height limit is 49 inches. On their website, Britax lists seated shoulder height limits of 10.5″ to 16″ while rear-facing and 12″-16″ front-facing. While similar to the Britax Marathon, the Boulevard CS also adds the innovative harness height adjustment system found in the standard Boulevard and Diplomat models. This allows parents to change the harness height to fit their child using a knob, even without removing the seat from the vehicle.

Conclusion

The Boulevard CS is the latest convertible from Britax with some great safety features, including the innovative Click & Safe system. The ease of installation and adjustments is exceptional, at least for us, in our vehicles, with our kids. The increased weight and height limits are also key features found in only a few other models available today. The side impact protection alone makes it a good choice to consider if you are using it in an outboard seating position. Most convertible carseats with a 5-point harness should provide reasonable side impact protection, though the Boulevard CS should be at least a modest improvement. On the other hand, models like the Boulevard CS should have a significant advantage in side impacts for kids over 40 pounds who would otherwise be using a backless booster or other booster that offers minimal side impact protection. For parents who know how to get a snug harness fit already, the standard Boulevard is a great alternative for a little less money. For bigger kids where the crotch strap might be a concern, the Britax Decathlon is worth consideration.

For those who like the Click and Safe feature, the Boulevard CS is a great choice for average and larger babies. As with any seat, parents of premies or small infants closer to 5 pounds should definitely check the fit before buying. On the other end, the majority of kids will make it to 50 pounds or beyond in the Boulevard. So, used from birth, this seat should last many kids for a full 6 years. Like many manufacturers, Britax recommends a six year limit on the use of their restraints. I’ve only had a few days experience with the BVCS, so keep in mind these comments may change as I get more experience with the seat. I will update this review as it is necessary.
The full review may be found at Carseatblog.com .
 
ADS

bensmom

Admin - CPS Technician
The Boulevard CS, which adds the “Click & Safe™” feature to the popular Boulevard child safety seat, is marketed with Britax’s trademarked “true side impact protection.” Like most of the other higher weight harness seats that Britax manufactures (or has manufactured), it can be used both rear-facing (from 5-35 pounds) and forward facing (from 20 to 65 pounds). It also features an infinite adjusting harness, so that theoretically, the harness always can be positioned “at” the child’s shoulders with a simple twist of a knob (no rethreading harness straps). New on the CS model, the harness adjuster makes a “click” noise when it encounters tension, indicating that the harness is tight. If “more” is “better,” this seat is close to perfect.
Despite all of its user-friendly features, I find it much harder to use this seat correctly than any of my other seats (I use other Britax-made seats on a daily basis (generally a Roundabout and a Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe, sometimes a Marathon), but I also own and use a Sunshine Kids Radian, Cosco Scenera and SafeGuard Go). Specifically, I find the harness more difficult to tighten (and often need to use two hands) than most of my other seats (my husband also has this complaint). This is still true even after 4 weeks of almost daily use. More troublesome to me, the “Click & Safe” feature seems to “click” when the harness is still too loose. With my kids, the harness generally is not tight enough until 2-3 “clicks.” I also discovered that, while my 4.5 year old can buckle himself and get the harness tight enough in the Marathon or FPSVD, he cannot tighten the harness on the Boulevard CS, which adds extra time to our car loading time because I need to buckle and tighten both kids’ seats. I believe that this is because of the “click” mechanism and the angle that you must pull to tighten the harness.

Does this mean that the Boulevard CS is not safe? No. Will I keep using the seat? Of course – my kids fight over it and it is a great seat — I’d be silly not to. But I know that as a tech and an advocate, I will always make sure that the harness is tight enough and I will take the extra step to do that, not relying on the “click” feature. It all goes back to the “best” and “safest” seat being the one that you will use correctly every time, not necessarily one with the most features. A top of the line seat is only as good as the caregiver installing and using it.

This review can be found at carseatblog.com
 

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