As a parent of five children, I consider myself experienced […]
As a parent of five children, I consider myself experienced in the use of most everything associated with children, including strollers, car seats, carriers, etc. We own a variety of car seats to accommodate our five kids and the different vehicles in which we might transport them on any given day. One of our newest additions is the Britax Advocate, and so far we really love it!
The Advocate comes in a variety of colors and patterns, mostly neutral and greys; however, the “Broadway” pattern is pink, which would be a great fit for a family of girls (like ours!). We have the “Silver Diamonds” pattern, which is great for guys or gals, and we look forward to using it for both our current and future children.
The car seat allows for different configurations, including rear-facing for children 5 to 40 pounds and forward-facing for children 20 to 65 pounds. With a car seat that can accommodate such a wide range of weights and ages, it is conceivable that this is the only car seat that you will ever have to purchase. It comes with an optional “Infant Positional Pillow” to make for a comfortable and safe fit for even the smallest passengers. As your child grows taller, you do not need to disassemble and re-route the shoulder harness. Instead, you simply raise the harness adjuster on the back of the car seat, and in seconds you have adjusted the shoulder height! A parent’s dream come true!
The Advocate comes with a great installation manual, and it uses illustrations to direct the user how to install the car seat, no matter what vehicle you have or how you are trying to install it. The Advocate utilizes your vehicles LATCH system to ensure your child is safe and secure. By following the illustrations and diagrams, it is essentially impossible to not install the car seat properly. For added security on rear-facing installations, you can use the optional Versa-Tether, which provides an extra level of security. In vehicles not equipped with LATCH systems, there are diagrams in the manual for routing of seat belts for both the front- and rear-facing orientations. The Advocate includes “Lock-Offs,” which hold the seat belt securely in place until the vehicle seat belt system can respond to a collision, thus improving the safety of your child.
The Advocate is heavily equipped with safety features, including their Integrated Steel Bars, which increase the strength of attachment to the vehicle in the case of an impact and prevent forward flexion of the seat during a collision. There is an impressive amount of side impact reducing technology built in to the seat, and at the end of the day, this is our main concern and a big selling point for us. On each side of the five-point harness there is rubber strap installed. It is intended to prevent twisting of the straps, and it also absorbs some force and provides friction against your child’s chest. We found that these are difficult to use on a small child, and it was explained clearly on the website that these HUGS Chest Pads are intended for forward-facing children, not rear-facing.
Another innovative item in the Advocate is the “Click and Safe” harness tension indicator, which lets you know when the car seat harness is tight enough against your child. Somehow the device measures the tension in the harness, and clicks to alert the user that the harness has reached the appropriate tension! Of course, the parent must still use proper judgment in assessing the tension in the harness, and whether it is excessively loose or tight, but it is a neat feature.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, easily re-configurable car seat for your child, I would recommend the Advocate. It has been a great addition to our collection of car seats, and our kids have enjoyed the great comfort and features, while us parents have enjoyed the safety and peace of mind that we have experienced since installing the Advocate into our vehicle.
To buy: diapers.com