Note: At the time this review post was written, I was about 29 weeks pregnant with Quincy. Little did I know that the practice install for this review would be the permanant install. Quincy was born at 32w3d. I am so glad I had the Britax Chaperone to bring her home in. She’s now 13 months old, and still safely rides in the same seat.
When it came to choosing a new infant carseat for my daughter due in August, the choice was easy. After replacing our former infant seat with a Britax Boulevard due to an auto accident, I was already well familiarized with the Britax brand and was excited to experience the Chaperone.
One of the things that really sold me on the Chaperone was the new height limit of 32” or a weight of 30 lbs. With the American Association of Pediatrics new recommendation of keeping children rearfacing until age 2, Britax really makes it that much easier.
Like her big brother, the Chaperone features Britax’s True Side Impact Protection system. This system protects your baby by distributing crash forces and shielding your child from vehicle intrusion. The Chaperone also has one of my favorite features – the No Re-Thread Head Restraint system – I HATED having to rethread the harness straps in my old seat. It never seemed to be quite the same. The sun canopy, while very light weight, provides excellent coverage and I found it simple to adjust. Also note that unlike many carseats on the market, the handle can be left in any position while in your car.
The Britax Chaperone and accompanying base with the anti-rebound bar and easy twist level adjustmentis no light-weight, but if you are used to their line of convertible seats this should be of no surprise to you. I think the initial impression when we pulled it out of the box was “WHOA!” It’s big. Crazy big. Which means it may not fit in all cars. Definitely a bummer for those who have smaller sedans or don’t drive mammoth SUVs.
One of the very first things we noticed was the ease of install with the LATCH system. You still need to lean and push and pull like most LATCH installs, but Britax really does keep it neat and tidy. There is even a place to tuck the excess straps after tightening the seat – excellent!
The actual carseat is not light at 10 pounds. Now, I’ve heard complaints about this, even before I owned the Chaperone. Well, carseats really aren’t supposed to be lugged around with you baby in them, they aren’t supposed to go on tops of shopping carts etc, so I really don’t see this as flaw. Britax does design the handle to be more ergonomically correct, but I would recommend placing the infant carrier into the matching Chaperone Stroller (which I have not tried) or a compatible stroller.
Pluses for travel is that the Britax Chaperone can be used without the base and is also FAA-certified, which means you can still go on that vacation and keep your little one safe and snug! The level indicators are also on the seat, instead of the base, so you know your seat is at the proper angle, another bonus.
Other features of the Britax Chaperone are the infant / low birth weight foam support and stroller adaptor strap which are included with the car seat.(The Chaperone stroller does not require the additional strap, but all other strollers will. (Although it’s labeled as being “compatible with major stroller brands,” you will need to use the strap provided with the car seat to use the Chaperone with the Graco Quattro Tour, Peg Perego Pliko P3, and the Chicco Cortina)
With great things comes a price tag, with a retail cost of $229, some might think twice, but when you think of superior features of the Britax brand, it helps investment in safety seem minor, at least for me!