There are many different car seats that you can use for your newborn – some only last about a year, while others convert to forward-facing and booster seats. The B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat with Elite Base is rear facing only, so it isn’t an all-in-1 seat, but the added safety features and ease of use make it an attractive option for any parent. Do you really need these extra features? Read my review to see how the pros weigh in with the cons.
Height and weight limitations:
- 4-35 pounds
- 32 inches or shorter
- The B-Safe is REAR-FACING ONLY
Britax features what they call safe cell impact protection on their car seats. Safe cell is a system of safety features that help provide protection beyond the requirements for crash test ratings. The B-Safe has a steel frame and a compressing base, both of which help keep a child safer in the event of an accident.
I love that Britax doesn’t just do the bare minimum when it comes to safety standards. I try not to give into scare tactics that companies sometimes use to compel you to buy their product. But when it comes to car seats, I am willing to pay a little extra upfront to provide any extra protection for my son.
Easy to install
Britax prides itself on having easy to install car seats. The B-Safe 35 comes with a base that uses LATCH technology and straps that are easy to tighten. If you have installed using LATCH before, depending on the car seat you have, it can be really difficult to tighten the LATCH straps. I’m talking pulling a muscle in your leg difficult.
The Britax B-Safe has what they call safe center LATCH installation. You tighten the straps at the middle of the base, which is easier to access no matter what seat you are installing the car seat in. No more awkward leaning over the base and pulling with all your might; it is a super simple install.
Comes with one base
The B-Safe 35 Infant seat comes with one base, but you can purchase another elite base if you need it. I only have one car that we use for my son’s seat, so I never found the need for two bases, but I would not want to have to uninstall and reinstall the base each time if I did switch between cars a lot.
If you have more than one car that you will be using your infant seat in frequently, I would highly recommend having a base in each car. With a base in each car, you won’t have to switch out and reinstall the base each time you want it in your other car. This is also great for grandparents or babysitters who may not be as familiar with the installation. If they keep the base in their car, you can ensure a correct installation each and every time.
The Britax B-Safe 35 is FAA approved for use on airplanes. I didn’t realize until I took my first flight with my son that some car seats aren’t! It is important to note, however, that the Elite base is not approved for use on airplanes. So if you are planning on traveling with this seat on a plane, make sure you plan ahead and refer to the owner’s manual so you can ensure a proper installation for your flight!
The B-Safe 35 has an extra large canopy – very important to help keep the sun out of your little one’s face while you are on the go! My son HATES having any sun in his eyes, so this is always on my checklist for baby products.
Clicks into stroller
The B-Safe works with any Britax Click & Go stroller, to use as a travel system. My travel system was one of my most favorite and deemed necessary products that I had. Having a car seat that clicks into a stroller means you don’t have to wake your little one to move them from car to stroller. This is priceless in my opinion.
All these fabulous features helped the B-Safe easily make our list of top rated infant car seats.
Because the frame of the B-Safe is made out of steel, the B-Safe 35 car seat is heavy. At 10 pounds, it is relatively heavy for a bucket style car seat. This is a major downfall in my opinion for an infant seat, because you want to be able to easily transport it without disturbing your sleeping newborn!
That being said, once your child gets a little weight on them, it becomes uncomfortable to carry them around in a car seat, no matter how heavy the car seat itself is. So while this is something to consider, on this particular car seat, I think the other features outweigh this concern.
Cover is not machine washable
The cover on the B-Safe is not machine washable – Britax recommends spot cleaning by hand if needed. I really prefer to have a car seat with a machine washable cover just because it makes spills and messes so much less of a hassle. When spot cleaning, you have to wait for the area to dry whereas with machine washing, you can just throw the cover in the dryer and be done with it. Is this a deal breaker? Not for me, but I do see this as a possible area for Britax to improve in the future.
Not a 4-in-1
There are car seats on the market that advertise “growing” with your child so that you just need the one seat for all of their car seat needs, from infant to toddler and so on. The B-Safe 35 is not a 4-in-1 or all-in-1, meaning you will need to replace it eventually with a car seat that fits your growing toddler’s needs.
While its unfortunate that you will be spending more money down the line, I think buying an initial infant seat may be the way to go. My son’s infant seat didn’t even last us a year because he outgrew the height limitations before then. I started thinking how we should have just purchased a 4-in-1 to begin with, because now we were spending more money than I had expected.
The thing is, though, by having a lightweight car seat that was part of a travel system, we were able to have more freedom. We didn’t have to worry about waking him up after a car trip – we could simply take the car seat off the base without disturbing him. Similarly, if he fell asleep on the way to somewhere, we didn’t have to transfer him from car seat to stroller, we just clicked the car seat into the stroller and we were on our way – happy, sleeping baby and all.
Because the B-Safe 35 has a deep seat to protect from debris in the event of an accident, it is rather narrow, which may leave some babies feeling squished. If you have a bigger baby, you may find yourself needing to upgrade to a bigger seat sooner than you want to.
- Safe – exceeds federal standards
- Easy to install
- Approved for air travel
- Big canopy
- Includes one base
- Compatible with Britax strollers
- Seat cover is not machine washable – needs to be spot cleaned
- Not an all in one
- Too narrow
The B-Safe 35 is pricey compared to other bucket-style infant car seats on the market. In my honest opinion, the price is worth it for the extra features (easy installation, safe cell protection) that come with this seat. It is important to note again that this seat comes with one base, which adds to the overall cost of the product. And because the base makes it so easy to install, I’m willing to pay that extra amount since the base is included.
B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat:
- 4.4 out of 5 stars, 153 reviews – Target.com
- 5 out of 5 stars, 13 reviews, AlbeeBaby.com
Elite Extra Base:
- 4.8 out of 5 stars, 209 reviews – Babies “R” Us
- 4.9 out of 5 stars, 10 reviews – Target.com
Ease of Use Ratings
When it comes to safety, installation and ease of use are incredibly important. While all car seats are required to pass federal safety testing, some are easier to use than others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration computes an ease of use rating for every car seat in several categories. See the ratings below.
The Britax B-Safe 35 received a rating of 5 stars.
The base was rated independently and also received a 5 star rating.
I’m a bargain hunter, but I never mind spending a little extra for a quality car seat. And in case you didn’t quite catch it, Britax makes safe car seats.
The Keyfit is great- This car seat will do its job and keep your little one safe. I personally like the way it’s designed to be narrow and more compact, but this does have one downside. It does mean if you have a chunky little monkey for a baby, they might start to get a little bit cozy in this car seat sooner than you think. But for most kids, it will definitely get them through that first year until you want to put them in a convertible car seat.
But it is heavy for an infant seat (due to the steel frame), and will only last you a year or so. It weighs roughly about 10 pounds without the baby in it, so as baby gets older and you have to haul the car seat to and from the house, it gets to be quite the workout. But I am willing to sacrifice a few pounds of weight for a steel-integrated frame that keeps baby safe in the car.
The easy installation gives you peace of mind knowing that you are installing the seat correctly each and every time, and that alone is worth spending a bit more than your average bucket car seat. If you are looking for an all-in-one seat, this may not be for you, but otherwise I would highly recommend the B-Safe 35, and an extra Elite base if you are going to use it in more than one car.