Baby Gear

Britax B Safe 35 vs Elite: Which Infant Car Seat is Better?

If you’re considering the Britax B-Safe series, you might be wondering what the difference is between some of the models – with our Britax B-Safe 35 vs Elite comparison, we’ll be looking at how they differ and which one we think is better.

Choosing an infant car seat can feel like a monumental decision. You’ll want to keep your baby as safe as possible, which goes without saying. Britax is known for being safety conscious. So which B-Safe model should you choose?

The Elite offers a little more in terms of safety features. Not much – but there is a small difference for sure.

Read on to find out how they differ, as well as an in-depth look at both car seats. You’ll see their features, awards, and pros and cons. If you’re after a Britax car seat, hopefully, this will be able to help you narrow down your search.

Bottom Line Up Front Summary: While these are both great seats, the better value for similar safety is definitely the Britax B-Safe 35 here. The Britax 35 Elite has some nice extra features, but is also significantly more expensive for the non-critical upgrades.

Let’s start with the differences!

Main Difference Between Britax B-Safe 35 vs Elite

There aren’t many differences between the B-Safe 35 and Elite:

  • Britax B-Safe 35 has a single layer of side-impact protection, whereas Elite has two layers.
  • Britax B-Safe 35 doesn’t have an easy-adjust headrest, whereas Elite does.
  • Britax B-Safe 35’s covers cannot be removed, whereas Elite covers can be removed to be washed (and are made of slightly softer materials).
  • Britax B-Safe 35 doesn’t have rethread shoulder straps (harness), whereas Elite does have rethread shoulder straps.
  • Britax B-Safe 35 is still being manufactured, whereas Elite is discontinued.
  • Britax B-Safe 35 is cheaper, whereas Elite is a little more pricey.
Our Pick
We Went With the Britax B-Safe 35
$179.99

Both B-Safe 35 and Elite are great options but we have given the B-Safe 35 a slight edge because it's the budget friendlier option of the two and you might end up paying more than you should for the Elite Car Seat for the equal safety, protection, and comfort levels.

Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 12/05/2020 08:34 am GMT

As you can see, there’s not a massive amount of difference here. You may find it difficult to find the Elite, as it was discontinued and replaced with the B-Safe Ultra. However, you may still find it being sold on certain websites or in baby stores, so it’s good to know what the differences are.

Britax B-Safe 35 – Main Features

The Britax B-Safe 35 is an infant seat designed to work with Britax’s Click & Go System, allowing you to transfer your baby from the car to the stroller and back again easily. It has side impact protection, an impact-absorbing base, and an impact-stabilizing steel frame. It’s also engineered, tested, and manufactured in the USA.

It’s designed to be used from 4-35lbs – so from birth (unless you have a very small/premature baby), until they reach the height/weight limit (depending on your child – some babies will have to move on after six months, others can keep using it until they are around a year old).

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite – Main Features

The B-Safe 35 Elite is very similar to the B-Safe 35. It is designed to work with the Click & Go System, again, making it very simple to transfer your baby from the car to the stroller. It has the same side impact protection, impact-absorbing base, and impact-stabilizing steel frame – but it also has an extra layer of side impact protection with the impact-absorbing headrest. It also has a quick-adjust headrest and a soft, removable cover.

It’s designed to be used from 4-35lbs.

It was discontinued in 2018, but you can still find it on some websites and in baby equipment stores.

Safety Features

Britax B-Safe 35

The B-Safe 35 is built to be very safe. It has side-impact protection with a deep foam-lined shell – this will keep them safe and keep them cozy. The contoured shell takes up less space in your car and helps to minimize movement, to keep your very small baby safe (infant seat).

(If you’ve got a very small car and you need more infant seat options, try our article about the best car seats for smaller cars – you might find the right model for you).

It has an impact-absorbing base which compresses to reduce force in the event of a collision. It has an impact-stabilizing steel frame, giving extra strength at the connection point to the vehicle.

It gives a good level of protection, meeting or exceeding minimum safety standards. You don’t have to worry about the B-Safe 35 is unsafe for your child in the event of a collision. However, in crash tests, it doesn’t perform as well as other car seats on the market. For example, the Chicco Fit 2 is very similar to the B-Safe 35 but has slightly better safety features with better crash test performance. The difference isn’t huge, but it might be worth looking at.

Our Pick
We Went With the Britax B-Safe 35
$179.99

Both B-Safe 35 and Elite are great options but we have given the B-Safe 35 a slight edge because it's the budget friendlier option of the two and you might end up paying more than you should for the Elite Car Seat for the equal safety, protection, and comfort levels.

Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 12/05/2020 08:34 am GMT

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite

The Elite is very similar, with the same deep foam-lined shell, contoured shell, impact-absorbing base, and steel frame. It does have one extra layer of protection, however, with the impact-absorbing headrest. Essentially, they both come with the same impact protection, but the Elite comes with two layers on the side, giving you that little bit of extra reassurance that your baby will be safe in the case of a side impact.

Design and Comfort

Britax B-Safe 35

B-Safe 35 is very comfortable for your baby. It has a removable head pad, acting as a cushion for your child, which can be removed when your baby outgrows it.

It also has an extra-large canopy. This is a great thing, as it protects your little one from the sun and rain when you’re out and about using a travel system, or if you’re carrying them.

It has an ergonomic handle, too. So, if you’re carrying them with your hand or forearm, it’s designed to be as comfortable as possible for you.

Design-wise, it’s a narrow car seat, so it’s a good choice if you haven’t got a lot of room in your car. It comes in a range of designs, mostly black, grey, and red. You can get inner padding in polka dots or stripes.

Weight-wise, it’s on the heavier end of the scale (without the infant car seat base) at 10lbs. For comparison, the Nuna Pipa Lite is 6.7lbs, one of the lightest on the market, while the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 is 7.5lbs. If you struggle with heavy lifting, you may want to think about this (especially as it will obviously be heavier with your baby inside it).

It’s designed to be used as part of a travel system. Compatible Britax stroller options include:

  • Britax Be Agile
  • Britax Be Free
  • Britax Be Mobile
  • Britax Be Ready

The car seat base must be purchased separately. You can buy a standard imbact absorbing base or a base with an anti-rebound bar.

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite

Like the 35, the 35 Elite is very comfortable. It has the same removable head pad, extra-large canopy, and ergonomic handle.

However, where it differs slightly is the materials used. The Elite uses slightly softer fabric, with a very easy to remove cover. Any parent knows that being able to easily remove a car seat cover is a great bonus if you need to wash it, so that’s a great bonus.

It comes in various shades of black, grey, and red, with a couple of patterned options too.

It does have an extra feature in the quick-adjust headrest. This allows you to easily adjust the headrest as your baby grows.

The obvious downside to the Elite is that it is even heavier than the 35 at 11.5lbs. If you think you might struggle with this, it’s definitely worth looking at a lighter model (like the ones we mentioned previously).

Where the design also differs is in the shoulder strap positioning – there are 6 positions on the Elite, making it a better, more accurate fit for your baby as they grow. It also has a no-rethread strap system and latch system, so it’s really easy to adjust it as your baby grows.

Again, the car seat base must be purchased separately.

Our Pick
We Went With the Britax B-Safe 35
$179.99

Both B-Safe 35 and Elite are great options but we have given the B-Safe 35 a slight edge because it's the budget friendlier option of the two and you might end up paying more than you should for the Elite Car Seat for the equal safety, protection, and comfort levels.

Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 12/05/2020 08:34 am GMT

Installation/Ease of Use

Britax B-Safe 35

The B-Safe 35 has a car seat base that you can use for easier installation.

The on/off lower anchors easily lock into place and release just by pushing a button. This can be slightly stiff as the car seat locks in super tight. It also has a spring-assisted recline, allowing you to adjust the angle without worrying about compromising on safety, with dual level indicators to let you know that the seat is at the correct angle.

This is much easier to do than use a seatbelt for installation. Many parents find attaching a car seat using the seat belt a bit frustrating and fiddly, and this is no exception – it can be hard to thread the seat belt through the belt clips which can get stuck from time to time.

In terms of putting your baby safely in and out, it’s fairly simple. It has center-pull straps (harness) that tighten quickly. The buckle isn’t stiff, so it’s easy to get them out again, and the handle is easy to adjust.

It’s also really easy to attach it to a compatible stroller. It attaches with a satisfying ‘click’ and feels secure.

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite

There’s not much extra to report here – the Elite works in the exact same way as the 35. The only difference is that parents find it slightly easier to remove the Elite from the base – there’s no stiffness, but your baby still feels nice and secure in the car.

Specifications

Britax B-Safe 35

  • Child Weight: 4-35lbs
  • Child Standing Height: 32” or less
  • Child Seated Shoulder Height: 6.5-11”
  • Car Seat Weight: 10lbs
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7” W x 25” H x 26.5” D

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite

  • Child Weight: 4-35lbs
  • Child Standing Height: 32” or less
  • Child Seated Shoulder Height: 6.5-11”
  • Car Seat Weight: 11.5lbs
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7” W x 25” H x 26.5” D

Recalls

Britax B-Safe 35

There was a recall in 2017 for the Britax B-Safe 35. A clip could break, causing a choking hazard. Although there were no injuries reported, parts of the clip were found in the mouths of three children. Britax stated that this was due to pressure being put on the clips, and that the car seat can still be used if the chest clip is removed or closely monitored for signs of breakage. You can find out if your particular car seat is affected here.

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite

The same recall impacted the B-Safe Elite, too. Models made from Nov 1st 2016 – May 31st 2017 were recalled for the chest clip problem.

Awards and Reviews

Britax B-Safe 35 Awards and Reviews

The B-Safe 35 has won three awards:

It has good reviews from parents, with many praising how easy it is to click in and out of the car using the base/on and off their compatible stroller. They like how easy it is to adjust the harness straps and how comfortable their babies are in the car seat.

There were a few negative points about how heavy it is (particularly for mothers recovering from a c-section), and that the darker fabric gets hot quickly on sunny days.

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Awards and Reviews

The Elite has won two of the same awards as the 35:

Reviewers are generally pleased with the Elite, with many praising how easy it is to use. They also had similar concerns about the weight of the Elite, with some struggling with lifting their baby in and out of the car in the car seat.

Pros and Cons

Britax B-Safe 35

Pros

  • Fairly easy to use with the car seat base
  • Easy to use with a compatible stroller
  • Narrow design
  • Good safety features

Cons

  • Heavy to carry
  • Not the absolute safest out there

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite

Pros

  • Easy to use with the car seat base
  • Easy to use with a compatible stroller
  • Narrow design
  • Removable cover
  • Extra side impact protection
  • Adjustable headrest

Cons

  • Even heavier to carry
  • Not easy to get hold of now

Britax B-Safe Alternative Car Seats to Try

There are some Britax infant seat alternatives you can try that are similar:

  • The Cybex Aton Q is a good option that is compatible with a lot of popular strollers, including the Baby Jogger City Select and City Mini, some Bugaboo strollers, and some Mamas and Papas strollers
  • The Chicco KeyFit or the Chicco Fit2 are both good options that are compatible with a variety of popular strollers – and they’re both very safe
  • If you’re drawn to the B-Safe series because you want to use a travel system, try looking at the Chicco CX Cortina, or the Evenflo Pivot Modular System. These are both decently priced travel system options with safe car seats

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about both infant car seats:

What happens when my baby grows out of their infant car seat?

You can move them on to a booster seat – two recommendations we have are the Clek Oobr or the Evenflo Maestro as safe options, but you’ll have to check that your baby is big enough to move into them first.

Can I use either of them on a plane?

Yes, they are approved to use on a plane – however, that’s without the base, so you’ll have to thread it using the plane’s seatbelt.

Is Britax a reliable brand?

Yes, we’d say so – some people believe they are the ‘safest’ brand out there, but there isn’t an easy way to quantify this. They do make good quality baby products and are focused on safety. A similar brand is Graco – they’ve been around for a long time and make great car seats at a variety of price points.

Can I buy accessories for either car seat?

Yes – you can buy the following from Britax: – Back Seat Mirror – B-Covered All-Weather Infant Car Seat Cover – B-Warm Insulated Car Seat Cover (for more car seat cover choices, try our article here) – EZ-Cling Window Shades – Vehicle Seat Protector

Where can I find the car seat expiration date?

You usually find it underneath the carseat, along with the serial number and date of manufacture.

How can I clean the B-Safe 35?

You’ll have to spot-clean it with warm, soapy water (using a mild soap).

What can I buy instead of the Elite?

The B-Safe Ultra is fairly similar. It has European belt guides, which means it is a little different to use without the base, but it’s compatible with the B Agile, B Free, B Mobile, and B Ready strollers.

Is it still worth buying the Elite even though it’s discontinued?

Yes, it’s a good car seat and you can still use it as long as it hasn’t passed the expiration date.

Conclusion – Which One Should You Get?

Bottom Line Up Front Summary: While these are both great seats, the better value for similar safety is definitely the Britax B-Safe 35 here. The Britax 35 Elite has some nice added features, but is also significantly more expensive for the non-critical upgrades.

If you’ve got your heart set on the B-Safe series, you’re probably better off going for the B-Safe 35. Why? Because the Elite is harder to get hold of, you may end up paying more than you should be for it. The B-Safe 35 is a solid choice. It’s safe, it’s comfortable, and it works well with many Britax travel systems.

However, if you’re willing to spend a little more, maybe take a look at the B-Safe Ultra. It’s essentially the updated version of the Elite, with new features. If you want to spend more on a car seat that will work with the same strollers as the Elite, it’s really worth taking a look.

Our Pick
We Went With the Britax B-Safe 35
$179.99

Both B-Safe 35 and Elite are great options but we have given the B-Safe 35 a slight edge because it's the budget friendlier option of the two and you might end up paying more than you should for the Elite Car Seat for the equal safety, protection, and comfort levels.

Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 12/05/2020 08:34 am GMT

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