The Britax Endeavours Infant Car Seat. The Britax B Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat. These two car seats are so similar that it’s scary. Okay, not really, but with so many features that are the same, how are you supposed to choose which one to get?
My recommendation is the Britax B Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat. It’s got everything you need in a safe and semi-affordable seat.
Why exactly did I crown the B Safe 35 Elite the winner? I looked at seat safety, installation, comfort, and any bonus features for each seat and compared them side by side. I spent many hours reading reviews, questions, and specs. Here’s a complete look at my analysis.
Both of these seats are among the safest on the market. That’s because Britax prides themselves on being exceptional when it comes to research and design. The result is well-made seats that go above and beyond all federal safety standards.
Let’s start at the bottom. Both of these car seats utilize the impact absorbing base that features Britax’s SafeCell design. This honeycomb of awesomeness will compress during an accident, which will divert some of that energy away from your baby.
The next feature that these seats have in common is a steel reinforced base. Britax says they’ve done this to help offer strength where it’s needed most- at the connection point between the seat and your vehicle. This means that your seat will keep its integrity and keep connected to the vehicle when you need it to. However, it means that you can expect a much heavier car seat. The Endeavours and B Safe weigh in at 11.5 pounds each, which is on the heavier end of the car seat spectrum.
Shell and Shape
There’s 2 layers of protection in this car seat, in addition to the overall safe shape of the design. The first layer is the energy absorbing shell. It’s designed to be a deep bucket seat and shell, although this does mean that the seat is a bit deeper and narrower than other seats. The entire shell is lined with a energy-absorbing foam.
The shell of the Endeavours is a bit bigger than that of the B Safe. The Endeavours measures in at 17.75 inches wide, by 25 inches tall, by 30.62 inches deep. This is deeper than the B Safe’s 26.5 inches deep. Since the seats are reported to have the same internal dimensions (aka the same amount of space for your kiddo), I’m going to chalk that up to extra foam and therefore, extra safety.
The next layer of protection is the foam lined headrest. Both car seats have the comfy and effective head rest that is meant to both be a pillow for your child and shield their most precious body part. The headrest has wings to help with side impact protection particularly.
The Endeavours has something that the B Safe doesn’t: an anti-rebound bar. This is a funky little screen thing that goes down by baby’s feet. The solid frame is designed to help counteract the forces of a crash. The result is 30% less rebound rotation during an accident. This equals 30% more safety for your child.
But can I tell you a little secret? The anti-rebound bar is attached to the base. And you can buy the base separately. So as long as you have the Britax B Safe, B Safe 35 Elite, or Endeavours Infant Car Seat, you can use this base and reap the benefits of the bar. This is great for already owners of a Britax. But if you are starting from scratch and really want this feature, it makes more financial sense to just buy the Endeavours car seat set.
Safety is, of course, a key criterion in our selection of the top newborn car seats.
Beyond the actual design of the seat, the installation of the seat is paramount to safety.
Both of these car seats have the SafeCenter latch system. This particular latch system applies all of the weight onto the center of the base. This makes it really easy to get the right fit in your vehicle.
To use the latch system, you can release the latch straps from their little hidey holes in the base. Once you have them clicked into the latch anchors in your vehicle, you pull the lower connector straps, which are the straps that you can see in the middle of the base. Once you have those as tight as you can pull them, you can feed any extra strap material back into the base. Not only do you now have a secure car seat, but you have a clean one without a surplus of straps hanging around, too.
Recline and Level
Part of getting the best and safest fit in your vehicle is getting the right recline. You heard me correctly. Recline isn’t for babies comfort, it’s for their safety. You want them to be upright so that they’re safe in a crash, since that’s how the seat is designed to work. But during those first few months, you also need them to be reclined enough that their chin won’t fall forward and their airway won’t get obstructed.
Britax makes getting the right angle for their seats easy. They have spring assisted recline in all of their bases, including those for the B Safe 35 Elite and the Endeavours.
You can adjust the seat to the right angle and use the built-in indicator level to check your work. These levels are more than just guideline stickers. They are real, moving levels with a red stripe that will be in the middle of the level when you have the car seat reclined properly. So helpful!
Some cars have the ability to lock their seat belts into place, and some don’t. Since you want your seat belt to stay put during an accident, some car seat manufacturers have added lock offs to their car seats to provide that extra measure of safety, no matter what vehicle you have.
The lock offs are really easy to use. If you are using the vehicle seat belt to install your car seat base, you can use the lock offs (they don’t work with lap seat belts). You just run the vehicle belt up and into the little red lock off clips on the side of the base. The bright red color and labeling makes them hard to miss.
Using the lock offs keeps your car seat base installed snugly and correctly. It’s a great feature that’s only found in higher-end car seats, like Britax seats.
European Belt Guide
Yet again, the Endeavours has one thing the B Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat doesn’t: that odd-looking, yet helpful European belt path guide. Most car seats allow for the American belt path, which means the the lap and shoulder belt can be placed across the baby’s legs for installing the seat without the base. The B Safe 35 Elite has this American path feature.
However, this seat uses the European belt path, which is safer because it encompasses the whole seat. This means that impact is distributed to the back of the car seat, where the shell can absorb the impact, as opposed to the impact being concentrated only on the one part of the car seat where the belt touches the frame.
The Endeavours car seat has a fancy guiding path for buckling in your seat this way. There’s a little badge on the back side of the car seat that keeps the shoulder belt in the correct position. I wouldn’t say that this makes traveling easier per say, since both of the seats can be used without the base. I will say that this makes traveling without the base safer.
For more information on the infant car seat Britax Endeavours, click the link to read my full review.
You want a seat that baby wants to be in. That’s why comfort still matters.
I know I already talked shape and dimensions when I talked safety, but I want to talk about it again from a comfort viewpoint. Britax brags about their seats being more streamlined and narrow in design. While that does equate to more room to breathe in the car, it also equates to less room to breathe in the car seat. These seats are notoriously small- the shoulder width space is only 10 inches! My big babies outgrew them within the first year. There’s not a lot of shoulder space, and long babies beware!
Harness and Buckles
Speaking of running small, let’s talk buckles and harness. The crotch buckle is moveable to 2 different positions, but it still seems to be tight. I think it’s because the strap just isn’t long enough to accommodate chunky thighs. Chubby babies want to be safe and comfy too, and this seat only accomplishes one of those things.
The rest of the harness is really padded. There are shoulder and belly pads to help keep the harness from cutting into your child. Ironic in light of the above comments, I know, but still helpful.
The harness is amazing though. It has 6 different height slots to help achieve the right fit. But best of all, there’s no rethreading for each slot. Just adjust the entire padded headrest up or down to the slot height that you need. It’s so convenient! Add to that the easy adjust harness button by baby’s feet, and both seats have a winning harness system
Cover and Padding
Soft fabrics make babies happy, that’s just science. Maybe it’s mom science, but science nonetheless! Both the B Safe 35 Elite and Endeavours seats have soft and plush fabrics that make baby feel luxuriously snuggled. The foam padding all over helps, too!
The headrest is amply padded, which is great for safety and comfort. It does take up a lot of space though, so keep that comfort consideration in mind. There’s also the removable body pad/infant insert that takes up space. At least it can come out for more room for baby.
The cover is easy to take off. It takes some doing, but you can just pull the easy off tab on the cover to get it loosened. At that point, it’s pretty easy to figure out.
It’s a shame that you can only hand wash it! I prefer seats that can be machine washed. I could see how these higher quality fabrics would stay nicer if they didn’t get washed all the time. But it would up the parent-friendly factor if the washing machine could do my work for me.
Handle and Canopy
The handle of both car seats is ergonomic. It’s nothing fancy, but it does have a good shape and some nice padding. It’s also easy to click and move forward or backward.
The canopy is a not-exciting feature that I love. The canopy is nice and big! It actually extends out and past the carrying handle, which is a rarity among car seats. This will keep your kiddo comfortably shaded. Plus, the material is easy for parents to clean and take care of. And it doesn’t rip easy.
These seats both have the Britax Click and Go capability. This means that either of these seats can be used with compatible bases and strollers for interchangeability. It also means that you can build your own travel system by cherry picking your favorite car seat and stroller. This is great news for those parents who already own Britax baby gear, since they can probably use that gear with both of these seats.
Britax B Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat
- 4.8 stars, 12 reviews- Albee Baby
- 3.7 stars, 27 reviews- Bed Bath & Beyond
- 4.8 stars, 15 reviews- Target
Average: 4.43 stars
Britax Endeavours Infant Car Seat
- 4.7 stars, 3 reviews- Albee Baby
- 4.4 stars, 37 reviews- Bed Bath & Beyond
- 4.1 stars, 25 reviews- Target
Average: 4.40 stars
Which is the Winner?
Both of these car seats are winners. But only one can be my favorite. And that favorite is the Britax B Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat.
These car seats are the same size, the same shape, and come in almost the same colors. They have unquestionable safety. They’re easy to install with a great latch system. They’ve got a padded harness, soft fabrics, and a big canopy. In fact, they’re difficult to tell apart.
Biggest separators- the anti-rebound bar and the European belt path. These are exclusive to the Endeavours. They slightly raised the safety bar (pun totally intended), and gave a safer option for traveling without the base.
But not worth it for the extra cost.
Hear me out. It’s not like the B Safe 35 Elite is not safe. It has literally every other safety feature that the Endeavours has. If you want that super safe bar, just buy the extra base with the bar on it. And you can still use it in a vehicle without the base! You just have to use the regular American belt path. So why pay a whole lot more for features that you almost already have?
The other reason that I picked the B Safe 35 Elite is because it is slightly higher rated overall. After reading through tons and tons of reviews, I noticed that the B Safe 35 Elite got more rave reviews. It also has more reviews overall (especially on that goldmine called Amazon), so you can be a better judge of its character.
If you are debating between the two, get the Britax B Safe 35 Elite. You will love it, your baby will love it, and your wallet will love it.