Top critical review
44 people found this helpful
Not what I expect from Britax
on February 1, 2012
I love Britax car seats and have been using them for my children for the past ten years. The B-Safe was our first experience with a Britax infant car seat and I am rather disappointed in this seat. My first issue with the seat is the car seat base. When the seat arrived the base was broken right out of the box. Britax customer service is great and after having to email photo proof that the base was indeed broken, they agreed to send a replacement. The replacement base was defective and one of the level indicators did not work. Customer service wasn't exactly willing to replace the base for a fully functional one at first, but after I insisted that I wanted them to honor their warranty and replace it with one free of defects, they agreed to send another replacement. Turn around time from when the seat was delivered to when I was actually able to use it with the base was a full month. I was also saddled with the inconvenience of lugging the base that had to be shipped back along with an infant to the UPS store twice.
Once I was was able to install the base in the car I found myself annoyed by the base which claims "superior ease of use" on the base box. Adjusting the foot of the base is not as easy as a Chicco KeyFit or Graco Snugride base. The locking clip on the B-Safe base is very stiff and you feel like you are going to break the clip when you try to open it. It was so difficult to release that I needed my husband to do it and even he had some difficulty with it. The button that allows you to adjust the base foot does not function as the owners manual states when you are trying to put it back in it's original position. I cut several of my fingers adjusting the base. If I were to recommend an infant car seat based only on the car seat base I'd rate this product only one star and tell you to steer clear of it at all costs.
The seat itself isn't horrible. I like that it is slightly lighter than our Chicco Keyfit 22 and can accommodate an infant up to 30lbs. The canopy on the seat is generous and is more user friendly than the Chicco Keyfit canopy. The fabric on this seat wipes clean quite easily which is a plus if you have a baby who spits up frequently. The headrest for the seat is nice and plush, but it is unclear as to whether using it is optional or not. Chicco comes out and states that it does not have to be used past 11lbs, but Britax makes no mention as to whether or not it must be used.
I found the harness straps easy to adjust as is typical of Britax car seats. I was disappointed that the velcro tabs to hold the harness straps open when you are loading the baby into the seat which are typical on the convertible models are not part of the infant seat design. That small touch would have made the seat much better in my opinion.
If you have a compatible Britax B series stroller, this seat can be used with it to form a travel system. I have a B-Agile stroller so I tested this seat out with the stroller. The seat snaps on to the stroller nicely and sets the baby up a bit higher than the Chicco Cortina travel system has the baby, but I didn't like that the car seat seems to wiggle and have some play when it's attached to the stroller. I also do not like how the seat detaches from the stroller. You have to use both hands and press a release button on the sides of the seat which leaves you holding the seat not by the handle but by the sides. I don't like this feature at all and see it as a great way to increase the risk that you might accidentally drop the car seat.
Overall, I really don't recommend this seat. For the money, you'd be better off buying a Chicco Keyfit seat. The Keyfit is easier to install and is more user friendly than the Britax B-Safe.