Britax has four different convertible seats in the G4 line with a 65-pound weight limit. Read on for my complete review of the Boulevard G4 and why I think it’s one of the best values in the Britax lineup.
Britax seats are very highly regarded for safety. Their convertible seats share many of the same safety features, but additional features are also what separate the different models.
First, the shared features found in the Boulevard: steel bars integrated in the sides of the seat to prevent flex in a crash, SafeCells in the base of the seat to compress and reduce crash forces, and the versa-tether system to slow forward movement when used forward-facing.
The Britax 65-pound limit lineup from lowest price to highest includes the Marathon, Boulevard, Pavilion, and Advocate. Compared to the least-costly Marathon, the Boulevard adds a couple of nice safety features:
HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell Technology: these chest pads are affixed to the seat shell, and not just the harness straps. They’re designed to stay positioned properly in a crash and reduce forward movement of the child in the event of a crash.
True Side Impact Protection: this includes an extra layer of foam to better protect the head in a side impact.
Weight and Dimensions
Depth: 21 inches – The Boulevard occupies less room front-to-back than most car seats supporting up to 65 pounds. This makes it a good choice for smaller cars or when taller passengers are seated up front.
Width: 18.5 inches – The width of this seat is just below average. In most cars it will fit alongside another car seat when one of them is positioned in the middle.
Height: 26 inches – Height is also a bit under average, so this seat doesn’t block rear visibility quite as much as some seats.
Weight: 19.5 pounds – While this isn’t the heaviest convertible seat, with some weighing in at over 20 or even 30 pounds, it is on the heavier side. A lot of this is due to the steel reinforcement bars along the sides of the seat. If you fly frequently there are other seats which are easier to haul around, but the Boulevard isn’t too bad for occasional travel.
Overall, the Boulevard is a fairly compact seat given its height and weight limits and fits most vehicles well.
The instruction manual for the Boulevard G4 has improved from the previous generation. The illustrations are good and it’s pretty straightforward to follow.
LATCH installation for both forward and rear-facing are about as simple as it gets. If you’re using the seat belt installation method, it’s a bit more work to access the belt path and to push down on the seat while removing slack from the belt, but it’s no more of a challenge than belt installations for other seats.
The recline angle can be set to three positions (1-2 for forward facing, 3 for rear facing) and is done simply by pulling a lever underneath the front of the seat and rotating the seat on the base. The level is checked by comparing the level line indicator on the side of the seat to horizontal.
The average person should have no problem safely installing the seat with either method. So long as you take care to check that no straps are twisted, the recline angle is properly set, and that the seat can’t be moved more than 1” side-to-side or front-to-back, you can be confident it’s installed properly.
The Boulevard has a rear-facing limit of 40 pounds, which allows for rear facing well beyond 2 years as recommended by the AAP. This seat can also be used for infants as small as 5 pounds, and it does so quite well with the included infant positioning pillow. This makes the Boulevard a good choice if you wish to skip a separate infant car seat and go right to a convertible.
When installed forward facing, there is a weight limit of 65 pounds and height limit of 49 inches on this seat. You may notice that older models of seats such as Britax’s G3 line were advertised as supporting 70 pounds. This changed due to NHTSA safety regulations put in place in 2014. Because of this, 65 pounds is the highest weight limit you’ll find in new convertible car seat models, which the Boulevard matches.
The 49” height limit isn’t the highest out there, but it’s still high enough to fit most children until they reach 6 or 7 years of age. This does have a benefit – it keeps the seat shell shorter which frees up space when rear-facing and impacts rear visibility less when forward-facing.
This seat uses a no-rethread harness, which means you can adjust the height of both the headrest and the shoulder straps with one simple adjustment, rather than having to remove the shoulder harness and thread it into a higher or lower slot.
The harness buckle also has two positions for better fitment.
Fabric and Design
The available covers for the Boulevard are comfortable and durable. The top cover can be wiped down for small messes, or can be removed fairly easily and hand washed.
Britax offers a total of six colors for this seat – Desert Palm, Durham, Laguna, Onyx, Silver Birch, and Sterling. Desert Palm is only available at Toys ‘R Us and Durham is only available at Target; the prices do run a bit higher than the other colors which are available at Amazon.
Warranty and Customer Service
A one-year warranty is included on this seat, which is typical of nearly every brand.
Britax has outstanding customer service, to the point where I feel it’s a big selling point. If you have installation questions or need replacement parts, Britax is quick to respond and very friendly to work with.
All car seats have an expiration date after which they’re no longer safe to use. The Boulevard expires 7 years from the date of manufacture. Compared to the 6-year expiration date of many models, it’s good for one extra year of usable life.
Britax seats aren’t cheap, but they’re also far from being the most expensive. On each of their models, you’ll find premium features that match most of those on the priciest seats. In terms of quality, ease of use, and safety I do feel they’re a good value.
I think the Boulevard is one of the best choices for the money in the Britax lineup. While the Marathon is the least expensive seat supporting 65 pounds, the Boulevard costs only about $20 more. It adds a couple of very good features for this price difference: HUGS chest pads and an extra layer of side impact protection around the head.
The only accessory included with this seat is the infant insert. Cup holders are a popular addition, but are not included in the box.
Britax has a number of branded accessories available including the previously mentioned cup holder, a seat protector, waterproof liner, seat storage pouch, travel seat bag, and travel cart.
- Excellent safety features
- Easy installation
- Good range of adjustment
- High quality fabric cover
- Great customer service from Britax
- A bit heavy
- No cupholder included
If you’re looking for a safe convertible seat that’s easy to install and adjust, while not taking up too much space in your vehicle, Britax seats are a great choice. The Boulevard in particular is a great value in the model lineup since it adds the HUGS harness covers and improved side impact protection for a bit more than the price of the Britax Marathon.
Compared to the Boulevard, the Pavilion and Advocate add the Click ‘N Safe harness indicator. If you’d like a feature to help tell you when the harness straps are in the right range of snugness, consider moving up to one of these models, but the cost will be higher.
If passenger space next to your car seat isn’t an issue, the Advocate has large large side impact cushions for additional protection. Again, this adds to the price.
If you’re looking for the best combination of value and features in the Britax lineup, I think the Boulevard is a great choice.