Britax Boulevard CS Features
The Click & Safe system is the biggest difference between the Boulevard CS and the original Boulevard. The Click & Safe system means that when you pull the harness adjuster, it will make a clicking sound when the harness is tight enough, giving parents a clearer indication that their baby is properly secured.
Other stand-out features of the Britax Boulevard CS include the Versa-tether that can be used rear- and forward-facing, wider harness straps that are less likely to twist, built-in seatbelt lockoffs, premium LATCh connectors, and cushy padding and fabrics for baby.
What I Like About The Britax Boulevard CS Convertible Car Seat
Britax has updated their harness buckles so you hear a click when you buckle in both sides. Before, you only heard the click when the second part of the buckle went in.
While many convertible car seats require that you un-thread the harness and choose from pre-set harness slots, the Britax Boulevard CS has two knobs on the back of the car seat, and you simply turn them to raise or lower the harness height. You can easily adjust the harness height while the car seat is installed rear- or forward-facing, placing the harness slots right at baby's shoulders for a perfect fit.
The built-in lockoffs make it very easy to get a good fit when installing with a seatbelt. If you're installing with LATCh, the sturdy LATCh connectors are easier to push into the seat crack than standard ones, and the push-button release makes them simple to undo when you need to move the car seat.
Britax's Versa-tether can be used even in the rear-facing position, adding stability to the installation and reducing rebound during a crash. The tether has an extra bit of stitching that releases in a crash, too, showing that the car seat should be replaced.
The Boulevard CS has wider, nicer harness straps than most non-Britax car seats. You won't struggle to keep these straps smooth and untwisted.
What I Don't Like About The Britax Boulevard CS Convertible Car Seat
The Click & Safe indicator clicks are not very loud. If you have a baby crying or a lot of parking lot noise, you may not hear the clicks. If you're relying on the clicks to know when the harness is tight, that could be a problem.
It may be difficult for some parents to pull the harness adjuster hard enough to hear the clicking sound. It takes a pretty strong pull to make the mechanism click.
There is only one position for the crotch strap on the Boulevard CS. For infants, this isn't generally a problem, but once your child gets to the larger side of the approved weight limits, the crotch strap may be underneath the child and may be a little uncomfortable or may make buckling up more difficult.
When the Britax Boulevard CS is used rear-facing, you must be careful to check your baby's height against the actual car seat shell and not the head wing portion that slides up and down. There should always be at least an inch of plastic shell (not head wings) over baby's head when rear-facing.
The Boulevard CS doesn't always sit up on its own outside of the car. It's a minor annoyance, but could be problematic if you store your car seat in the house very often.
Should You Buy A Britax Boulevard CS?
However, all of the above features are also available on the original Britax Boulevard for $20-$30 less. The additional cost gets you the Click & Safe indicator, which will be useless to you if you already know how to get the harness tight. If you do need the audible indication that the harness is properly tightened, the Boulevard CS may be a good choice for you, but be aware that you may need to do a bit of tugging to hear the clicking sound.
Most kids will outgrow the Boulevard CS by height well before they reach the 65 lb. weight limit. Your child should be able to use the Boulevard CS until age 5 or 6, though, so the cost is spread over a greater useful life. The Boulevard CS top harness height is a little bit shorter than that of the Britax Marathon (max harness height is almost 17 inches). If your vehicle has side impact airbags, or the car seat will always be installed in the center, and you don't need the Click & Safe system, you should also consider the less-expensive Britax Marathon convertible car seat.