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What if you only ever have to buy one car seat that will last you from infancy up until your little one no longer needs to travel in a car seat? Wouldn’t that be wonderful and safe you a ton of money at the same time?
We recently moved from one country to another and while it was a difficult decision, we made the choice to sell all of our belongings and start from scratch once we arrived.
First on the list when it came to replacing items for the kids were, of course, car seats. While it is required by law that kids travel in a car seat up until a certain age in most countries (why not all?), for us as parents it is a top priority to keep our kids as safe as possible while on the road.
So in our quest to find a good quality car seat, we came upon two fantastic car seats: The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible car seat and the Britax Boulevard ClickTight. At first glance, it seemed impossible to choose between the two but by carefully comparing the two different seats, we were finally able to make an informed decision.
Take a look at our in-depth comparison if, like us, you are also torn between these two amazing car seats!
- 1 Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible vs. Britax Boulevard ClickTight
- 2 Durability and weight limit
- 3 Two different types of technology
- 4 Recline seat positioning
- 5 Harness
- 6 Product weight and dimensions
- 7 Conclusion
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible vs. Britax Boulevard ClickTight
If you have been doing a little research, you are likely to have come to the conclusion that both Graco and Britax have become trusted household brands over the past few years. They are both known for producing excellent quality baby products that are strong and durable and that parents can rely on.
Main differences between Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 and Britax Boulevard:
If you are only interested in the main differences between the Grace 4Ever 4-in-1 convertible car seat and the Britax Boulevard ClickTight convertible car seat, I will save you having to read through all the technical stuff – here’s a quick summary:
1. Anchoring system
The biggest difference between the Graco 4Ever and the Britax Boulevard is probably the way in which the seat is attached to the car, aka the anchoring system. Graco relies on the LATCH system while weight limit allows for it while Britax uses the seatbelt from the get-go, combined with their ClickTight technology. You can read more about the technical aspect of these anchoring systems down below.
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 makes use of the well-known 5 point harness up to 65 lbs. after which you switch to car’s own seatbelt while the Britax Boulevard has a 14 position harness with its Click & Safe Snug indicator.
3. Weight limit
In short, the Graco can be used for babies from 4 lbs. to 120 lbs. and can be converted into front facing from rear facing position. The Britax is suitable for babies 5 lbs. to 65 lbs., also converting from rear facing to front facing. The interesting thing though was that even though the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 has a greater weight limit; it does weigh less than the Britax Boulevard.
This is just a brief summary of their main differences. For a more detailed comparison, refer to the full article.
Durability and weight limit
Both the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 convertible car seat and the Britax Boulevard ClickTight are seats that will grow, or rather transform, as your little one does, making it the only car seat that you will probably ever need to buy.
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 convertible car seat can be used for infants weighing only 4 lbs., to toddlers that weigh up to 120 lbs.! I have to admit, I am impressed by this. The seat is used in the rear-facing position between 4 lbs. and 40 lbs., after which it transforms into a front-facing car seat (40 lbs. to 65 lbs.). Once your little one reaches 30 lbs. to 100 lbs., the seat can be converted into a booster seat with a high back, which I love. Though purely my own personal opinion, the high back with the booster just feels a little safer and more secure. At 30 lbs. or even 40 lbs. they are still so tiny! Lastly, the booster seat can be used without the high back between the weight of 40 lbs. – 120 lbs.). The leeway with regards to position and weight-limit on this car seat is simply incredible and one of the main reasons I fell in love with it!
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight also offers great durability in terms of weight limit but not as much compared to the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1. The Britax Boulevard car seat is suitable for infants weighing 5 lbs. – 40 lbs. in a rear-facing position. The seat then transforms into a front-facing position that can be used from 20 lbs. up to 65 lbs. In all honesty, I was a little disappointed by the low weight limit of this particular seat and chances are that you may have to invest in another booster as your toddler grows older.
Two different types of technology
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-one and the Britax Boulevard ClickTight each rely on two different types of technologies to safely secure your little one’s car seat. Next, to weight limitation, this was the second most important factor for me when deciding on a car seat!
The Graco car seat makes use of the InRight™ LATCH System. If you are new to the world of car seats, the word LATCH is short for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. The Graco InRight™ LATCH system allows you to properly secure the car seat in only one second in either direction, making installation a breeze.
It features an audible click cue that promises peace of mind when it comes to installing the seat and is simply done by using these anchors within the seat to secure the car seat – no more wrestling with seatbelts. If you drive an older vehicle that was manufactured before 2002, it may be possible that your vehicle does not have this technology but you can still use make use of the seatbelt – It will be just as effective, maybe just slightly more difficult to install (the seatbelt wrestle is real). It is also important to note that all LATCH belts have weight restrictions so be sure to keep an eye on that as your baby grows older. This, of course, means that you will eventually have to rely on the seatbelt again.
The Britax Boulevard relies on their patented ClickTight system in order to secure the car seat correctly. ClickTight makes use of the vehicle’s own seatbelt to secure the car seat in place, arguing that the LATCH system’s weight limit is usually only around 60 lbs. (weight of seat + weight of child). Ultimately, you are forced to make use of the seatbelt again anyway as your child grows older so you only enjoy the benefits for a little while.
Their solution to the seatbelt wrestle as I like to call it includes two steps.
Step 1: The bottom of the car seat opens up easily by pushing and turning the ClickTight button that reveals an open belt path design, allowing you to actually see the seat belt – no more guess work. Simply thread the seatbelt through and insert into seat belt buckle.
Step 2: This is really where the Britax ClickTight technology comes into play. The biggest problem parents usually face when installing a car seat, is to lock in the tension on the strap by locking in the seatbelt. Britax created a genius self-tensing system (ClickTight) that ensures a tight, secure fit every single time. The seat automatically snaps into place when you close it after threading the seatbelt, allowing the seat belt to lock in the tension so you don’t have to constantly pull on belts and straps.
Both of the above-mentioned technologies are great if, like me, you’ve ever wondered whether you’ve correctly installed the car seat. I often found myself pulling and struggling with straps (the dreaded seatbelt wrestle I’ve referred to a couple of times already) but these two technologies really take the guess-work out of installation. Did you know that it is estimated that 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly? It really is a safety thing.
Britax got it right when pointing out that the LATCH system will only work for a short while before you have to make use the seatbelt anyway and I applaud them for their creative thinking. Still, Graco’s InRight system remains a very convenient piece of technology that provides you with an audible cue, giving you peace of mind during those first few months while getting used to motherhood.
Recline seat positioning
As a parent, the challenge one often faces when moving to a front-facing car seat, is the head bob when kids fall sleep. When kids’ heads roll forward while they are sleeping, they tend to wake up crying due to a stiff neck which is why I knew I wanted a car seat that can recline, even in the front-facing position.
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat has a 6 position recline – three of which can be used when rear-facing and 3 of which can be used when the seat is in a front-facing position. The chair is easily adjustable. It also boasts a very generous 10 position headrest that can be adjusted as your little one grows, making it very viable for them to use up until the stage where they no longer need a booster chair.
The Britax Boulevard has seven recline positions, one more than the Graco seat. These 7 positions can be used in either front-facing or rear-facing position BUT you need to be within the recline indicator.
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 convertible seat uses a 5-point harness in both the rear and forward-facing position, up until your child reaches 65 lbs… Thereafter you will need to make use of the vehicle’s seatbelt.
Britax Boulevard has an impressive 14 position harness and also comes with a Click & Safe Snug indicator. If you’ve never heard of the Click & Safe Snug indicator, Britax describes it as “…a mechanical device that has been engineered to sense tension when the adjuster strap is pulled.”
How it works, is that you pull the harness strap tight (it needs to be fairly loose before you start) and you will hear an audible click when your little one’s harness is within the range of acceptable “tightness”. While convenient, it is important to note that this is a secondary mechanism only and you still need to check that the harness is in fact fitted correctly. It does eliminate a little of the guess work though.
Product weight and dimensions
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 convertible car seat weighs in at 23 lbs., a little lighter than the Britax Boulevard ClickTight that weighs a whopping 29.4 lbs.! Both of these convertible car seats are undoubtedly heavyweights but funny enough, most parents seem to prefer something a little heavier because they appear to be sturdy and provide a sense of “safety”.
Neither one of these car seats transform into baby-carriers though so the only time you will be really carrying them, is when you transfer them between vehicles.
The weight is also an indication that both of these car seats are large in size but according to the several reviews, they seem to fit into the backseat of most vehicles. Their dimensions are 21.5 (L) x 20 (W) x 24 (H) inches for the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 convertible and 23 (L) x 18.5 (W) x 23.5 (H) inches for the Britax Boulevard ClickTight.
I also like that both seats not only contains extra padding, but features Side Impact Protection. This of course adds to the bulkiness but seeing as it could protect your little one, I’m sure no one minds.
The nice-to-have extras
The Grace 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible car seat features 2 cup holders which allow plenty of room for either drinks or snacks. I understand that most parents love this feature but for me personally, they often just get in the way and make it more difficult to get your child in and out of the car seat when they are still little. It also usually leads to a mess in the car but this will definitely be a bonus if you like your child to have something nearby. While the standard Britax Boulevard ClickTight does not come with a cup holder, you can purchase them separately as an accessory.
We tend not to move our car seats around too often but if you do plan on moving yours on a regular basis, it is important to take into consideration the ease with which these car seats can be installed/uninstalled (We discussed the method earlier under the technology section if you would like to refer back to it, this section only covers ease/difficulty).
I’ve already mentioned that both car seats are rather heavy but the good news is you probably won’t be carrying them too far at any given time.
The difficulty to install the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat will likely depend on whether you make use of the LATCH system or the seatbelt in order to secure the seat. While the LATCH system does make it a lot easier to install the car seat, at some point you will have to convert to using the seatbelt which not only takes a little longer but is also a little trickier than the LATCH system. I would rate installation here as “medium”, depending on what system you plan on using.
The Britax Boulevard with its ClickTight system, however, makes it very easy to install/uninstall the car seat despite making use of the seat belt from the get-go due to their clever design as discussed earlier.
Let me be frank: While not the most expensive seats on the market, neither of these car seats come cheap. I do believe that this is a case of “you-get-what-you-pay-for” though. Both seats feature well-thought out technology and are manufactured from good quality materials. They are trusted brands and the seats are soft, comfortable and should last you at least a couple of years.
Keeping it clean
The Graco and Britax both have removable car seat covers that are easy to remove and machine-washable. Due to their extra padding though, both can take quite some time to dry and it is recommended that they only be air-dried.
Both the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat and the Britax Boulevard ClickTight make for excellent choices when it comes to choosing a reliable car seat. While they rely on different technologies when it comes to installation, they both appear to be equally safe, each with extra padding, side armor protection, sturdy harnesses, and several recline positions.
I personally prefer the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat BUT it is only because of the stage where I am at with my own kids, aged 3 and 5. I was completely sold by Graco’s generous weight limit and headrest positions meaning that it will grow with my kids and just like Britax, it is safe and sturdy.
If I’m honest though, I do think that if I had a new baby on the way, I would have actually preferred the Britax Boulevard over the Graco despite it having a smaller weight limit. I love their innovative ClickTight technology and the Click & Safe Snug indicator and when you think “new-born”, you often don’t think of three or four years down the line. What can I say, I like products that are innovating and creative.
For now though, both my kids will have to do with their new Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 cas seats because that is what will get them through without having to purchase another seat. Happy driving everyone!
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