Britax Advocate – Is the Advocate really one step above the rest?

britax-advocate-G4Let’s get names out of way first, there’s the Advocate 70 CS, Advocate 70-G3 and Advocate G4 like many others that Britax makes.  The Advocate G4 or simply just Advocate is the newest in the lineup, while the 70 CS and G3 (referring to 70 lb weight limit) have been discontinued.  If you’ve already looked at price you know this is on the higher end for convertible car seats and are wondering is it really worth it.  I’m going to review the newest Advocate model as well as the G3 since they are 2 newest models.

Eactly how does the Britix Advocate 70-G3 measure up?

A step above the Boulevard and Pavilion models the Advocate boasts some other safety features.  They have added an extra level of side impact protection with Side Impact Cushions placed on both upper sides of the seat.  The cushions absorb crash impact and transfer crash energy away reducing impact by 45%.  I don’t find that the extra padding makes the seat less comfortable or that much more bulky in exchange for the extra protection.  If anything the inside padding makes it more comfortable, like adding more pillows to the couch.  The Advocate also has Britax’s “Click & Safe” harness indicator at the bottom of the seat.  It lets you know when the harness is snug enough around your child.  For me this is only somewhat of a pro since as parents, we should be checking ourselves with fingers first to make sure the harness is tight enough.

 

Quick Specs

  • Item Weight: 25.2 lbs
  • Orientation: forward and rear facing
  • Weight limits: 5 – 70 lb
  • Height limit: 49 in
  • Harness: 5 point

What are the Pros?

  1. HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell – These chest pads have SafeCell which provides further resistance to forward movement in the event of a crash.
  2. True Side Impact Protection and Side Impact Cushion – With the addition of the Side Impact Cushion this is an upgraded feature from the Boulevard.  In addition to the padding made from Energy Absorbing Foam the helps to minimize head movement limiting potential injury to the spine the Side Impact Cushion reduces crash impact energy by 45%.
  3. Base with SafeCell Technology – Made with SafeCell Technology to prevent the child from being propelled forward by compressing in crash and lowering the center of gravity.
  4. Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether – Attachment that anchors the top of the car seat which slows the release of forward movement.
  5. EZ-Buckle System – Keeps harness out of the way so you can place your child in easily.  This is my favorite “mommy feature” so I’m glad they kept it around in this model.
  6. LATCH System – Makes installation a breeze with a push button release.
  7. Click & Safe – Audible noise letting you know that your child is strapped in safely to the harness.

And the Cons?

  1.  Big and Heavy – With the addition of the side cushions for impact protection the seat gets bigger and heavier, makes sense right?  But, if you have a small car or already have a large car seat in the back you may want to measure your space before purchasing this model to make sure you have enough room.  If not, the slightly smaller Boulevard or Marathon may work better.
  2. Short harness – Some parents have complained that the harness is just too short which make it difficult to adjust especially as their little one grows.

How do consumes rate it?

The Advocate gets high ratings at 4.5 out of 5 stars, mostly attributed to the added safety features.

What’s it going to cost?

The Advocate 70-G3 proved difficult to find online and ultimately I couldn’t find much of a discounted rate at $379. Much more expensive in comparison to other models in the Britax convertible car seat line.

The Bottom Line

As this model has been discontinued and is hard to find, I’d recommend going for the newer model.  It’ll last you longer, has upgraded features, and is more affordable.

What’s new in the Britax Advocate G4?

Basically, what’s new in the Advocate G4 are the upgrades made to all other G4 models with the addition of the safety features offered in Advocate models.  They’ve added a new infant pillow insert to be used until they reach 22 lbs that keeps them more secure in the car seat, after they reach 22 lbs remove the pillow.  The newer model still has the Click & Safe harness indicator as well as the True Side Impact Protection and Side Impact Cushion Technology.  The weight limit also changed from 70 to 65 lbs to comply with new guidelines for the LATCH system.

Also, they’ve upgraded their HUGS system with new wavy patterns to stop kids from moving the chest clips around on their own, great for parent’s peace of mind.  The other thing I really like about this upgrade is they made the straps more rubbery and soft feeling which makes it easier to adjust the harness and strap them in.  This seems a bit counterintuitive since they added the wavy pattern to make it more difficult for kids, but it somehow works great.  Additionaly, color coded stickers have been added for easier use, blue for rear-facing and green for forward-facing instructions.

Quick Specs

  • Item Weight: 21.5 lbs
  • Orientation: forward and rear facing
  • Weight limits: 5 – 65 lb (dropped 5 lbs with new LATCH system guidelines)
  • Height limit: 49 in
  • Harness: 5 point

What are the Pros?

  1.  HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell  These chest pads provide resistance to forward movement in the event of a crash.  These have been redesigned from the 70-G3 model for better fit, wavy patterns to stop kids from moving clips, and color coded sections added for easier installation.
  2. True Side Impact Protection and Side Impact Cushion – With the addition of the Side Impact Cushion this is an upgraded feature from the Boulevard.  In addition to the padding made from Energy Absorbing Foam the helps to minimize head movement limiting potential injury to the spine the Side Impact Cushion reduces crash impact energy by 45%.
  3. Base with SafeCell Technology – Again made with SafeCell Technology to prevent the child from being propelled forward by compressing in a crash and lowering the center of gravity.
  4. Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether – Attachment that anchors the top of the car seat which slows the release of forward movement.
  5. EZ-Buckle System  Keeps harness out of the way so you can place your child in easily.  Again, I have to say it, small thing but absolutely amazing feature.
  6. LATCH system – Makes installation a breeze with a push button release.
  7. Infant pillow – New on the G4 model to your infant a more snug and comfortable fit.  Pillow is required for infants under 22 lb, take it out after.
  8. Click & Safe  Audible noise letting you know that your child is strapped in safely to the harness.

And the Cons?

  1.  Big and Bulky – This seat is still wide and big because of the additional side protection added, however the weight did drop 4 lbs from the previous model to 21.5 lbs.  This makes it a bit more manageable to carry but still, if you’ve got a small car, use caution.

How do consumers rate it?

The Advocate comes in at 4.7 out of 5 stars with consumers.  They consistently rave about the easy to install system and extra padding for comfort and safety.

What’s it going to cost?

The retail price on this one is not easy to swallow at $380…ouch!  It’s a bit of a jump from the previous models because of the safety features added.  However, in my experience you can always find the best price online.  I found it on Amazon for $305.14, which is a massive discount from the original price.

The Bottom Line

This seat is about $20 higher than the Boulevard and has 2 key upgrades, more side protection and the Click & Safe harness measure.  I could go either way on the Click & Safe but I think the $20 increase is well worth the added side protection.  If you’re debating between some of the Brtiax models and you have enough room in your car I’d go for the Advocate hands down.

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