Britax’s New Car Seats – Great Features, Confusing Names

I have been testing several new Britax car seats and will post the reviews shortly. The first of these is the Britax Roundabout 50, which is a 50 lb. weight limit version of the popular Roundabout model, giving parents who don’t have the room for a 65 lb. car seat a better bridge to a booster. I have tested it out in my car which is a sedan and would not fit a larger seat and it works really well. With the move to smaller cars, this is a nice addition to the product line.

This new seat brings up another issue though. By keeping the Roundabout name and changing the size of the seat, Britax has broken its rule of using unique names for each size convertible model. Further confusing the product line, Britax has introduced several new models as Click and Safe variations (Click and Safe is a snug harness indicator), making picking the right Britax seat somewhat challenging. I like the notion of the new compact, midsize and high capacity categories the company is using (http://www.britaxusa.com/car-seats), but it would be much simpler if they reused names across the different weight capacities to indicate similar features. They could then simply add the weight limit to the model name as they did with the Roundabout 50. As an example, the Marathon is really just a 65 lb. limit Roundabout and the Diplomat and Boulevard are seats with similar features but different weight limits (40 and 65 lbs. respectively). So why not have the following naming scheme for the convertible seats? Here is my recommendation:

Compact Convertibles
• Britax Roundabout 40 (currently the Roundabout)
• Britax Diplomat 40 (currently the Diplomat)

Midsize Convertibles
• Britax Roundabout 50 (this is the new model, which sets up the category for more midsize variations down the line)

Full-capacity Convertibles
• Britax Roundabout 65 (currently the Marathon)
• Britax Decathlon 65 (this model can probably be phased out as it offers least differentiation)
• Britax Diplomat 65 (currently two similar models, the Boulevard and the Boulevard CS, which should be merged into one)
• Britax Advocate CS 65

Using this system distinguishes each model line by weight and features, ranging from the lighter, side-impact protection to the full protection available in the new Advocate. In theory, the Click and Safe feature should be added to all models as they are redesigned rather than available only in separate models of the same seat. I can promise the folks at Britax that this would go a long way toward clearing up the confusion and helping parents to find the right seat. Anyone agree/disagree?

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