Type: Convertible seat.
Limits: 5 to 40 lbs. rear facing, 20 to 65 lbs.
forward facing. Height limit: 54″.
NHTSA ease of use rating:
Rear-facing: four out of five stars.
Forward-facing: five out of five stars.
Pros: Same as Boulevard but with added side impact protection. Top of the line Britax seat.
Cons: Price. Big seat—may not fit into smaller vehicles.
Comments: This seat is the same as the Britax Boulevard with one major difference: the Advocate has added side impact protection cushions that compress to protect the child during a crash. Yep, think of these as side-impact air bags for your car seat.
The ClickTight Advocate features seven position seat recline and fourteen harness height positions. And the side impact protection is integrated closer to the seat compared to the earlier version of the seat. As a result, the Advocate is narrower than previous versions: 19.4″ vs 20.5″. That may not sound like much, but this slimmer profile may enable you to fit three Advocates in the back seat of a mid-size vehicle.
One nice feature can also be a negative: the cover is easy to remove for washing. But we noted more than a few readers said it came off way too easily when in the car.
As with all Britax convertible seats, you get SafeCell technology to minimize seat movement in a crash, integrated steel bars for strength and an energy-absorbing Versa-Tether that can be used forward or rear facing.
FYI: There is a version of the Advocate sold in chain stores called the Advocate Ultra Comfort Series—this is the same as the Advocate, but adds a cup holder, an exclusive fabric and memory foam in the seat. Price: $360. Is the Advocate Ultra Comfort Series worth the upgrade? Well, the memory foam is nice, especially if you are taking long trips. Otherwise, a regular Advocate is fine for most folks.
Reader feedback on the Advocate has been very positive. Like most Britax seats, ease of use is the star here—it is easy to adjust and install. On the downside, the seat is heavy and bulky . . . so this isn’t the right seat for car pooling or some small cars. Yes, there was a safety recall on this seat in mid 2015 for a defective harness adjuster button, but seats manufactured after August 2014 are good to go.
Britax recently released an updated Advocate model called the Advocate ARB ($376 retail), which features an anti-rebound bar for rear-facing use. This padded steel bar attaches to the foot-end of the seat and prevents the seat from snapping back in an accident. Britax claims safety testing showed anti-rebound bars reduced seat rebound by 40% and helps stabilize the seat even in side-impact and rear-end crashes.
What if you have a Britax Advocate (or Boulevard) and want to add the anti-rebound bar? Yes you can—Britax is selling the anti-rebound bar as an accessory for $32.
Consumer Reports gave the Advocate a “basic” crash test rating, ranking it seventh overall out of 32 seats. It appears CR tested the Advocate without the anti-rebound bar, so it is unclear if the seat would have performed better than the basic rating in that case.
Reader feedback on the Advocate has been quite positive. A few folks reported trouble installing the seat with LATCH, but that is the exception to the rule.
Overall, this is an excellent seat—the rating only falls short of a full “A” because of the high price. At $300+, we realize the Advocate ClickTight may be outside the budget range for some parents. Rating: A-