So, my side hustle life has been pretty sweet this year. I recently had the opportunity, thanks to Alamo City Moms Blog, to attend a car seat party.

Wait, what is this, you ask? And how much exactly has life changed over the past two years that we have gone from March Madness and happy hours to car seat parties? Good question. The car seat party was actually a very cool event, sponsored by Britax and the City Moms Blog Network, to share the features of their Britax Advocate Click Tight seat and new safety devices that come along with it.

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Britax-mazingness (cute baby not included) 

What’s so great about this seat? Honestly, I felt like my eyes were opened regarding a lot of car seat stuff. And, you guys, there is so much stuff!

Before attending this event, I really did think most car seats were basically the same and the high dollar price tags associated with some of them were all marketing-schmarketing (obviously as a former marketer I have lots of respect for marketing. Whomp whomp). While I would have loved to have started with a Britax car seat when I was researching, I instead went with something cheaper. I picked something that looked decent, had good safety ratings and included a few good online reviews.

However, there were a couple of things about that seat that made me really nervous, namely:

  • I never felt 100% confident about the tightness/looseness of the seat belt and whether it was holding the car seat in properly.
  • I was concerned that my husband’s seat, when pushed back to accommodate his long legs, could easily jolt the car seat out of place.
  • The harness straps were an area of constant struggle. Noelle can be ultra-dramatic regarding her car seat experiences when she’s alone in the back seat. Hearing gut-wrenching “It’s too tight! Too tight!” cries from the back seat is never fun and it can make you second guess yourself a lot when you’re in the driver’s seat.

Enter the Britax Advocate Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) ClickTight Convertible Car Seat. This seat is amazing. After the first cursory glance, you see the seat’s thoughtful, detail-oriented engineering. It’s pleasantly reassuring to look at – super-sleek and sturdy and stylish all at the same time (totally the love child of the Volvo and the Maserati, you guys).

And then, the safety features. I get great joy from listing them, even with the risk of boring  you, because they are super-fascinating to mom-lifestyle me. I’m all, “Oh wow – the individual rows of stitches are created to rip through one by one to slow down movement and lessen impact in case of a crash. You guys, that is fascinating – and they better give that engineer a Macarthur Grant.” Seriously. That was one of the coolest features that I hope I never need. Other interesting things about the seat include:

  • The ClickTight install is amazing. You open the base, “floss” the seat belt through a couple of restraints on the car seat base, buckle it and snap the ClickTight in place. Voila! It doesn’t move or wiggle. You have no idea the peace of mind this feature gives me because the looseness of our old seat, despite all my best efforts, always slightly freaked me out on every drive, no matter how short. I have it on good authority from my friend Hannah that it’s super-easy to install in practice, that it’s not just something that looks easy when a car-seat-installing professional is locking it down with ease (side note: she did it in less time than it takes to film a Snapchat video, according to social media maven Ariana).
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Our safety instructor “flossing” the seat belt like a boss
  • The Click-and-Safe harness. I’m not really one to acquiesce to Noelle’s shrieks of “too tight!” when she’s buckled in, but after various images circulating on Facebook, I was always a little worried about whether it was in fact too tight. And, being me, I was also worried an incorrectlyplaced snap could crush her little tummy and various other organs in a wreck, etc. (Seriously, being a parent turns you into a total worrywart. Who even knew there were so many things to be considered in keeping a human alive?). The easy-to-adjust harness has guards on the straps to cushion the impact. And, most importantly (drumroll, please!), you have the Click-and-Safe technology, which allows you to tighten the harness by simply pulling a strap at the base until you hear an audible “click” telling you Baby is secure. It’s so much easier than the old seat: having to push the little lever in to pull out the straps, try to keep them even, try to estimate the perfect distance, keep the child from meltdown while doing all this. So. Much. Easier.
  • The anti-rebound bar. Easy to install and keeps a rear-facing seat extra-safe in case of an accident by not letting it tip/shake back and forth. Just one more thoughtfully-designed safety features.

What else is great, and what else should you know, about this car seat? There’s a lot but I will actually just stick to a couple of I Wish I’d Thought About This Earlier points. First, the seat works for babies from five to 65 pounds. Being aware of the fact that you can use the same seat from birth through forward-facing would have made the investment in a seat like this a lot more palatable. Instead of buying several budget seats to accommodate different life phases, you just invest in one great seat and the peace-of-mind that goes along with it. And on that note, as our class presenter shared, getting a great car seat is like getting an insurance policy. You hope and pray you never need it, but you want to make sure you have the best coverage if you do. My girl is so precious to me; of course I want the peace of mind that comes with knowing I’ve done everything I can to keep her safe.

So, if you’re preparing to become a parent, or you’re looking for a car seat upgrade, I wholeheartedly recommend you add this seat to your must-have list. Just don’t worry about getting that diaper genie (use your regular trash can) or Baby Bullet (use your regular blender) and put those funds toward your Safe, Stylish and Awesome Britax Advocate Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Budget.

 

Full disclosure: Thanks to Britax and City Moms Blog Network, I was able to attend this safety class and received a Britax Advocate Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) ClickTight Convertible Car Seat as part of my plunder for attending and learning about the new safety features. However, I still would have bought one even if I hadn’t (and you know that I’m stingy). That’s how impressed I was.

 

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