Parents want the absolute best for their baby, and the car seats is definitely an item you don't want to skimp on. Today, we'll be going over two popular car seats: a Maxi Cosi car seat and a model from Britax called the Boulevard. Finding a safe and comfortable car seat can be hard when you're new to the whole scene, especially if you don't yet know much about convertible car seats. After evaluating both products, we can confidently say that the Maxi Cosi car seat and the Britax Boulevard are two amazing car seats that will last a long time.
One of the most important pieces of equipment you'll purchase for your baby is a highly protective, comfortable car seat. Safety is every parent's first priority, and nowhere else is this more important than in your car. The Maxi Cosi car seat and the Britax Boulevard are two seats that will work for your infant from birth through the preschool years. This is important to consider if you strongly prefer not to purchase multiple seats in these years of rapid growth.
Car seat technology and features have evolved substantially, in large part due to many changes in safety laws and regulations over the past few years. Today, many parents are looking for a convertible seat that will work from the newborn stage through preschool so they do not have to purchase multiple seats.
Both the Maxi Cosi car seat and the Britax Boulevard provide the benefits of adjustability and convertibility. Both also provide the extended rear-facing capacity that is now required in the U.S. (All infants must now face the rear of the vehicle until the age of 2 years.) The Maxi Cosi car seat and the Britax Boulevard both have a weight limit of 40 lbs. in their rear-facing modes.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Every parent needs to think through several issues and factors before purchasing a car seat. One big one is budget: How much are you willing to spend on a car seat? Another factor is the size of your car's back seat, so make sure you look up sizes of car seats and research how different brands fit in different vehicle types. Another thing to consider is whether you want to buy just one convertible seat that will last a good couple of years, or whether you prefer to purchase an infant seat and then a larger, convertible seat later on.
Types of Car Seats
An infant car seat is designed to keep a child safely restrained in a vehicle from birth to approximately a year old. These seats are rear-facing models only, and they support infants and toddlers from 4 to 35 lbs., with the exact range depending on the brand of car seat you choose. An infant seat should be highly portable so the baby doesn't have to be disturbed when being put into or taken out of the car. Many parents enjoy the conveniences of an infant seat solely because they don't have to wake their sleeping infants. Most infant car seats can be attached to a stroller for extra convenience as well.
Convertible Car Seat
A convertible car seat is a car seat that can accommodate newborns to 4-to-6-year-old children, depending on weight and height. The greatest difference between an infant seat and a convertible car seat is that a convertible seat is not portable. The convertible seat works differently; it serves as a seat that you install in your car and then take your child out of after each trip. For infants to toddlers about 2 years old, you can set a convertible car seat in its rear-facing position. A child can remain rear-facing longer than 2 years if he or she doesn't surpass the height and weight limits. Most medical professionals suggest that keeping your child rear-facing for as long as possible is the safest way to go. Depending on the brand and model of car seat you purchase, the weight limit will vary. However, most convertible car seats such as the Maxi Cosi car seat and the Britax Boulevard support infants, toddlers, and preschoolers from birthweight to an upper limit of between 50 and 85 pounds.
3-in-1 or 4-in-1 Car Seats
These versatile car seats can be used from the newborn stage to the time your child no longer needs a booster seat at all. They offer parents the ability to purchase just one seat to cover all stages of the child's "car seat life." These car seats are generally divided into two categories: A 3-in-1 car seat starts off as a forward-facing toddler car seat with a 5-point harness. It then converts into a high back booster, and finally into a backless booster. A 4-in-1 car seat goes from rear-facing to forward-facing and subsequently converts to a high-back booster and backless booster. These seats can be much larger than typical convertible seats. They may be both taller and wider, taking up more room than most parents are used to. Parents need to be sure that these seats will fit appropriately in their back seats. the 4-in-1 seats have a general weight range of 4 to120 pounds, whereas 3-in-1 car seats tend to weigh 40 to 120 pounds.
Booster seats are used for children 5 years old or older who no longer fit in a convertible seat and can remain properly seated and restrained during travel. Booster seats use the cars seat belts to restrain the child, often relying on the LATCH system installed in all recent-model vehicles. Current U.S. laws state that children must be in a 5-point harness until the age of 5. Booster seats come in 2 styles. A high-back booster comes with back and head supports. A backless booster is just a seat with no back support in addition to what the vehicle itself provides.
Comparison: Maxi Cosi Car Seat vs. Britax Boulevard
Maxi Cosi Pria 85
This Maxi Cosi car seat is a convertible car seat that supports infants/toddlers and children from 4 to 85 lbs. It has some new features that past models did not have. This Maxi Cosi car seat has built-in surround air protection to better shield and cushion your child's spine, head, neck, and vital organs in the event of a crash.
This Maxi Cosi car seat has an easy-remove cover that can be washed and dried without having to remove or re-thread the harness. This Maxi Cosi car seat also has harness holders, which means no more fighting with a squirmy infant or toddler trying to get them buckled in. Another nice feature of this newer-model Maxi Cosi car seat is its magnetic chest clip that is super-easy for parents to unclip, but super-hard for those inquisitive toddler hands!
This Maxi Cosi car seat offers an ultra-cushy and comfortable ride, and it should last all through your child's car-seat-riding years. That's because it goes from supporting a newborn with infant inserts to being set up as a forward-facing seat with a 5-point harness that is rated up to 85 lbs. This is the only car seat we found on the market that keeps your child in a harness up to that weight.
The Britax Boulevard is a convertible car seat that accommodates children from 5 to 65lbs. It has a steel frame and is a very heavy seat. This Britax seat also has a proven "click-tight" installation system and full LATCH system compatibility. The click-tight adjustments allow parents to quickly and correctly secure the seat in their cars.
The Britax Boulevard comes with an adjustable backrest/headrest with 14 different levels. Finding the right height for your infant/toddler won't be an issue. What may be an issue for some parents, however, is that the cover is not washable. The company advises not to wash their covers, but instead to only spot-clean them, which is not always ideal.
The Britax Boulevard sets up as rear-facing for infants and toddlers up to 40lbs. In forward-facing mode, it's rated for 65 lbs. The car seat comes with shoulder pads and a belly pad but it doesn't come with a cup holder.
We learned of a few quality control issues expressed by Britax car seat buyers. Parents have reported frayed straps, click-tight mechanisms breaking, and the crotch buckles being way too short for some toddlers. Parents also note that a seat such as the Boulevard is extremely heavy to move around.
For your money and the features included, our conclusion is that the Maxi Cosi car seat is the way to go. The Maxi Cosi we checked out has several features that the Britax seat just doesn't have. For instance, the Maxi Cosi car seat will work for children up to 52 inches tall and 85 lbs. That's about the size of an average 8-year-old.
The Britax seat only accommodates a child up to 49 inches tall, which is limiting. The Maxi Cosi seat also has a washable, dryable, easy-to-remove cover, whereas the Britax seat cover cannot be removed and machine-washed. The Maxi Cosi seat is also lighter than the Britax seat, and we liked its easy-to-use latch mechanisms.
When it comes to your babies' safety and finding a comfortable safe seat, Maxi Cosi makes things simple for parents. You can watch your budget by buying one seat and using it from the day you come home from the hospital until your child is ready to ride like a grownup.