Britax Boulevard ClickTight vs. Nuna RAVA
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight and the Nuna RAVA are both convertible car seats that can be used from 5-65 lbs in Canada and permit children to be rear-facing to 40 lbs. In this article we are going to explore the differences between the seats and dive deep on the differences in their installation process [because we've noted lots of confusion in the market!]
About the seats:
- Both can be used from 5-65 lbs
- Both can be used to 49” [but note harness heights below]
- Both have no re-thread harnesses
- Both have steel frames
- Both have 2-position crotch straps
- Both have anti-rebound bars for rear-facing modes
- Both recommend a seatbelt installation
Nuna: 10-position headrest
Britax: 18.65” harness height
Nuna: 17” harness height
The difference in harness height is important to note, as children generally* outgrow a car seat in height before weight. Although both seats can be used to 65 lbs & 49 inches forward-facing, the shoulder straps must come from AT or ABOVE the child's shoulders when forward-facing. For example, if your child is 45 lbs but the shoulder straps come from below their shoulder height, they are no longer able to ride in this car seat and must upgrade to a higher harness height or a booster seat.
*this is a general statement and your child's height and weight should both be monitored to ensure they are within range of their child restraint.
What is a seatbelt installation?Different car seats have different preferred methods of installation to ensure a safe and secure fit in your vehicle. Some recommend the use of UAS adapters [which are lower latches found in your vehicle], whereas some recommend a seatbelt install. ONE IS NOT SAFER THAN THE OTHER. The lower latches were initially built into cars to simplify car seat installs – seatbelts can be finicky sometimes – but the latches can be hard to reach, or not available in the seating position you’re aiming to install in (ie. the middle seat) leading you to install with a seatbelt. Many vehicles also have a maximum weight capacity on latches - often 65 lbs including the weight of the child and the weight of the car seat - meaning you'll move to a seatbelt install eventually. Reference your vehicle and car seat manual for maximum latch weights if using that install method instead.
Britax and Nuna aim to make the seatbelt install process simple, so that you can install with a seatbelt right from the get-go and rest assured that your child’s car seat is secure. That being said, the seatbelt methods that these brands use to secure your child restraint to your vehicle differ & we're looking at how and why!
Britax ClickTight SystemThe Belt Tensioning plate that Britax uses in their revolutionary technology installs the seat tightly without you having to wrestle it to secure it to the vehicle seat. This makes it easier and more effective than car seats that require using a lock-off or the vehicles integrated seat belt retractor.
[FYI the vehicle seat belt retractor lock-off is when you pull your seatbelt all the way out and then let it slowly move back into place, so you hear the ratcheting noise].
To install this seat, you will feed the belt through the rear or forward-facing belt paths, click your seatbelt in, remove excess slack, and close the ClickTight door. If your seat moves less than one inch from side to side or back and forth at the base then you have a secure install!
The ClickTight system really is the only one of its kind and is a great option for grandparents, nannies, or friends.
When rear-facing, you’ll follow the rear-facing belt path to guide your seatbelt through and when forward-facing you’ll follow the forward-facing belt path. They are both clearly marked.
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight has a bubble-level indicator on the side that you’ll use as a guideline for how reclined your car seat should be. Because this car seat can be used from birth [when babies have very little head control], you’ll just want to make sure they aren’t too upright. Once baby has head control, as long as your bubble isn’t in the red, you are in a safe position. The multiple recline positions allow this car seat to fit a wider variety of vehicle seats [deeper, more sloped, etc.]
Although the use of the seatbelt is similar to the install of the Nuna RAVA, it is NOT the same and there are a few additional steps that must be taken with the RAVA to ensure a safe & secure install.
Nuna Rava True Tension System
NOTE: The Nuna RAVA install system is different in Canada than in the United States.
The Nuna RAVA uses a “True Tension” system to install with a seatbelt, this differs from the ClickTight system in that it does NOT have a lock built into it, and you’ll have to secure your shoulder belt with your vehicle Automatic Locking Restraint [seat belt] or a locking clip.
lap and shoulder belt through the appropriate belt path, route your shoulder
belt through the blue shoulder belt positioner on the side of the vehicle seatbelt [only when rear-facing], remove ALL
slack from the vehicle belt system [this will require pushing down on the seat
while pulling up on the shoulder belt], then lock your vehicle seat belt. AN AUTOMATIC LOCKING SEAT BELT IS REQUIRED TO INSTALL THIS CAR SEAT IN YOUR VEHICLE without the use of a locking clip.
To lock your seat belt, pull it all the way out until you hear a ratcheting noise and then slowly feed it back into the retractor while removing slack with your other hand [with the goal of removing any slack from the lap belt] and close the true tension door. If your vehicle doesn't have an Automatic Lock on your seat belt, contact Nuna and they can send you a locking clip. Once the True Tension door is shut and all slack is removed from your seatbelt, then you can test if your seat moves less than one inch from side to side or back and forth at the base. If it does, unbuckle your seatbelt and open True Tension door then try again!
There are 2 separate “True Tension” doors in the RAVA, one for rear-facing and one for forward-facing. Rear-facing is marked blue, and forward-facing is marked red. Follow the path that applies to your install direction.You will then want to open up the Side Impact Protection pod that is located on the side of the vehicle door.
The Nuna RAVA has 1 position for rear-facing mode and 5 positions for forward-facing modes. This means that when installing rear-facing, you have only 1 angle, so if you plan to use this car seat from birth when baby has very little head control, we recommend dry-fitting this seat in your car and/or having a Child Passenger Safety Technician check it to ensure you have a safe fit in your vehicle for all stages of rear-facing.