Britax Boulevard 70 G3 Convertible Car Seat Review
The Britax Boulevard convertible car seat:
A Comprehensive Review from experienced consumers. Read about the Pros and the Cons and where to get the best price for this safety seat.
Table of Contents: (Click titles to jump ahead!)
It can take a significant amount of time to research the Internet in order to find the perfect car seat for your baby. Thankfully for you, I have done all of the ground work and have compiled a spreadsheet that offers all of the features as well as the price ranges of convertible car seats. One of the major problems in compiling this chart, is that many websites offers different information, which, in some cases is completely contradictory to the information on another website! For your convenience, I have produced this review of the Boulevard that takes into account all the reviews from other parents and professionals, as well as up-to-date information from Britax employees, so you do not have to go through multiple websites, since I already did research for you!
The Britax Boulevard 70 G3 is an improvement over the older Next Generation Boulevard 70.
Please Note: This review is for the new Boulevard 70 G3. You can still buy the older Next Generation Britax Boulevard 70 in stores and online, so if you are looking for a review of the older Boulevard 70, you can use this review and check out our write up on this page which shows you the three changes that have been made in the G3 version of this car seat. And if you’re looking for the old Boulevard 70 CS, then you’ll want to see our chart on this page, which shows how it’s been renamed as the Pavilion G3.
This car seat is completely convertible which means that you get the most use out of the money that you spend. A convertible car seat means that it grows along with your child. It faces the rear of the car for the new baby and is perfect for your older child up until she weighs 70 pounds. When it is facing the back, your child needs to be at least 5 pounds, which is typically the least a baby can weigh when released from the hospital. (For preemies who are less than five pounds, check out this page for other recommendations.) In this rear-facing position, the child can weigh up to 40 pounds. When the seat is facing forward, the child must weigh at least 20 pounds and no more than 70 pounds and must be at least one year old. Those who have more than one child and who need to have two car seats should keep in mind that due to this seat’s size, if you have two Britax seats in the same row of your back seat, there won’t be much room for a third passenger in that row in small cars — however, the Btitax seats do ‘puzzle’ together nicely and many parents with minivans or large sedans can fit 3 Britax seats side-by-side.
Here is all the information about the stated limits of the Boulevard G3 as well as the exact measurements for various aspects of this seat:
Rear-facing Weight Range: 5-40 lbs.
Rear-facing Height Range: 49 in. / at least 1 inch shell above head
Forward-facing Weight Range: 20-70 lbs.
Forward-facing Height Range: up to 49 in.
Forward-facing Age Range: 1 year and older
Shortest Buckle Position: 5.5 in.
Longest Buckle Position: 8 in.
Lowest Harness Height: 8.75 in.
Highest Harness Height: 17 in.
Internal Seating Depth: 11.5 in.
Internal Seating Height: 24 in.
Internal Bottom Width: 11 in.
Internal Shoulder Width: 12 in.
External Seat Width: 20 in.
Crotch Buckle Length: 5.25 in.
Britax Boulevard Convertible Car Seat Safety:
My first and foremost concern when choosing a car seat was obviously safety.
The most essential aspect of car seat research is always safety. The Britax G3 convertibles offer additional safety features not found in other brands:
Britax’s additional safety features: (not found in other brands!)
Britax has patented SafeCell technology, which it uses in the base of its car seats, as well as in the HUGS harness pads. The SafeCells are honeycomb-shaped hollow walls that are designed to compress in case of an accident.
You can see how the SafeCells lower the center of gravity and absorb crash forces in this short video:
This video shows you how the SafeCell technology has been added to the HUGS pads (explanation of HUGS to follow!) in order to deflect crash forces away from your child:
Britax is the only company that incorporates the HUGS system in their convertible car seats. HUGS is an acronym for Harness Ultra Guard System, and this means that it exceeds the standards that are set by the federal government for car seats. It cushions the neck and chest, restrains the upper body in order to keep it from moving forward in the event of an accident. With this system, there is a higher level of safety as the baby or child cannot slip out of the seat while you are driving.
The patented, energy-absorbing Versa-Tether has staged-release tether webbing, anchoring the top of the seat at two points to minimize forward movement. This is analogous to falling out of a high branch of a tree — the Versa Tether breaks up your fall by forcing you to fall onto multiple branches on the way down, rather than just free falling from the top of the tree. You can see this concept clearly in this video, starting around 32 seconds in:
Additionally, you can clearly feel the straps of the Britax are superior to any other strap in the marketplace, and the straps on most other brands felt thin and even flimsy in comparison to the thick, durable, and wide webbing of the Britax straps. The additional width spreads impact and holds the child more securely in case of a crash, so that alone is worth the extra bucks that this seat costs.
Additionally, the Boulevard also has an additional feature called True Side Impact Protection, which is a system composed of the rigid seat shell, the deep side walls minimize impact in case of a crash into the side of the vehicle- which is actually one of the most common types of crashes. (This is actually the one feature that this Boulevard has, which its cousin, the Marathon, does not have.)
Britax Boulevard Convertible Ease of installation:
One of the biggest issues with car seats is not the fact that they do not offer the protection that is needed; rather, statistics show that unfortunately, most car seats are not installed properly by those who are using them!
This car seat offers the most in quick and easy installation and daily use. This also means that the seat does not have to be installed and removed constantly as it is ready to go every time it is needed, and the harness height can be easily adjusted with necessitating accessing the rear of the seat.
Parents who had used other brands of car seats felt strongly that only a Britax did not budge a bit once it was installed!
Note: Ease of installation is of paramount importance regarding SAFETY if you will switch the car seat between Mom/ Dad/ Grandma/ the sitter’s vehicles on a regular basis. (Otherwise, someone, at some point, won’t bother to install the car seat correctly when transitioning to different cars.)
You can see how easy it is to install this seat using LATCH here: (It’s nearly as easy to install using seat belts, too!)
Testimonial from a Dad: “My 18 month old daughter was riding in one of these when the truck she was in, a Dodge Ram, rolled over repeatedly at highway speed. My wife was cut and bruised and her mother suffered fractured vertebrae. My daughter literally was not scratched.”
Britax Boulevard Car Seat Ease of Strap Adjustments:
With the patented Versa-Tether, it is impossible to strap in the baby or child incorrectly and these straps are guaranteed to never tangle. The head pad and harness are fully adjustable which means that they grow with the child and can be adjusted between a child and a baby with ease. (This is one of the few car seats we recommend if you’ll be using them for carpool or playdates, as it can easily handle the adjustments of kids of various heights!) The infant body pillow can be inserted to give the little ones a better fit and keeps the straps from rubbing on their tender bodies. There are also belt holders that also offer safe traveling because they do not swing around as you’re driving the car and get in the way of other passengers. The buckle latch is flexible which means that it is much easier to close and open for ease of taking the child out of the seat while still being secure enough to hold him in securely. Parents appreciate the ease of use of the Quick-Adjust harness mechanism which does not require strap re-threading. Finally, the five point harness system ensures that the baby is secure without creating friction points on his delicate skin.
Look how simple it is to adjust the harness in this user-friendly video:
What about changing kids from thick parkas to light Spring jackets?
If you dress your child in bulky clothing, you only need to adjust the straps using the pull strap or release button found in the very center of the front of the seat, which is terrific for those chilly autumn days when you need a parka one day and just a light jacket the next day.
No “fishing” for the side straps under or behind your baby!
Another handy feature only found in Britax car seats is the Velcro on the side of the straps, which keeps them out of the way while placing the child in the seat. A common occurrence in other brands is having to ‘fish out’ the straps from under the child after he is sitting in the seat. This makes getting into the seat easier and faster. (Who wants to hold a crying baby while searching under his bottom for that elusive strap?!)
Comfort of the Britax Boulevard Convertible Car Seat:
When baby is feeling comfortable, everyone in the car is happy!
It is vital that any car seat be comfortable for the child in order for them to be able to nap or sit in it for long periods of time. This seat is large, plush, and comfortable. The base is sculpted to offer a fit that is perfect for any size baby or child. With just one hand, the seat can be reclined for those times when the little ones fall asleep. There is also extra padding in the headrest and head portion of the seat that not only cushions the head, but offers more safety too. It’s like a Lazy Boy recliner that’s been shrunk to fit your baby!
Height matters – here’s why:
The height of this car seat is advantageous over other lower-sitting car seats since it allows your baby to see out the window which definitely minimizes crying and makes driving more pleasant. (You wouldn’t want to be stuck looking at a door handle and not being able to view any scenery, would you?!)
Parents who used the Britax in the rear-facing position reported that this is one of the only seats where the baby’s head did not roll forward while she was sleeping in that position that looks like a dead puppet — the Britax keeps your baby’s head secure against the seat. One other nice feature is the pads on the shoulder straps: many inferior car seats cause red marks on babies necks due to the friction with the rough straps.
Real customer reviews from real parents:
“I bought a Graco car seat but had so much trouble getting a tight install that I gave it to Goodwill and ordered a Britax Boulevards. I cannot tell you how pleased I am with this seat, it’s everything I could want. Easy to use and install and very comfortable! I should have bought a Britax to begin with!” ~ Julie H.
Parents have stated that this car seat is a bit large and heavy. The bulk of the car seat was mentioned by many, however they thought it was an important aspect of the seat as it offers protection and is not a major issue, unless you’ll need to switch it between cars on a daily basis (In which case a lightweight seat like the Coccoro might be a better option). One family reported about an accident, and the seats were so secure that one baby slept through the accident! Even with the large size, those who drive smaller compact cars had no problem seeing over the top of the seat when in the upright and front position.
The cost was also an issue as it is a bit more expensive than other brands. When considering that the company replaces any car seat that has been in an accident where there is frame damage, the safety of the child can be worth the high price tag for many.
Washing the seat cover:
Babies sometimes vomit, have leaky diapers, or spill their juice on their car seats. Although the directions say to hand wash and air dry the car seat cover, many parents reported to having washed all parts of the car seat cover in the machine on the gentle cycle, and then having it look as good as new after multiple washings. (Machine wash the cover at your own risk, be sure that your washing machine’s setting for gentle is truly gentle!) Inferior brands tend to pill and get worn out after washing, which necessitates ordering a new car seat cover for about $50 every time your child throws up or has a leaky diaper, or just spills a yogurt all over the seat! If you think about it, it’s certainly a good idea to have a replacement cover on hand, just in case you need to go somewhere in a hurry after the baby has dirtied it — and you don’t want to wait for it to be washed and dried. The straps and body of the seat can be sponge washed without any harsh chemicals or immersion. Some parents found it easiest to hose off the straps and body outdoors with a garden hose; or you can simply use a wet rag moistened with a bit of dish or laundry soap.
Another benefit of the Britax Boulevard: You don’t need to uninstall the car seat to get the seat cover off in order to wash it! Many other brands of car seats have washable covers, but require you to access the rear of the seat, and therefore uninstall it from your car each time you want to wash the cover. This makes the washing process much faster and eliminates the hassle of uninstalling and reinstalling the car seat just because of some spilled milk!
Where can I get the Best Price for the Britax Boulevard?
After lots of surfing, visiting local stores, and calling stores miles away, I found that Amazon.com beat local stores and other websites by $20 – $80 on a regular basis. However, because they are generally the cheapest, it often sells out, so if you see it in stock on Amazon grab it while it’s still available!
Note: Sometimes, when you check out this car seat on Amazon, you will not see a price, rather, Amazon will say, “Check price in cart”. So you add the item to your cart, and then you are shown the price. While this may be inconvenient, it saves you a lot of money: The manufacturer does not allow the product to be sold for less than a certain amount of money publicly. Since Amazon sells this car seat for less than the manufacturer’s allowed price, they cannot display the price until you have added the item to your shopping cart. So, that extra click of your mouse will save you a nice amount of dollars over buying the car seat in a local store or at any other website.
You can see a video demonstrating how you will secure your child in your Boulevard here: