Weight: 10.5 lbs
*Note that the new Britax Willow infant seat is now out. We have high hopes that the Willow will be a better seat than the B-Safe, and with fewer complaints.
Britax has long been a trusted name in the car seat world. With several design iterations, the Britax B-Safe infant car seat line has been steadily improving. The newest iteration is the B-Safe Gen 2 (base model) and its upgrade version (FlexFit+).
Would it be my top pick as just a standalone car seat? No. But for the price and compatibility with the B-Free stroller, for example… maybe, though recent complaints about the seat getting stuck in the base have given me pause.
The Britax B-Safe Infant Seat now comes in 2 different versions: the B-Safe 35 “Gen 2” and the FlexFit+. Essentially, the “Ultra” became the FlexFit (now discontinued) and the Endeavors is now the FlexFit+.
What has changed? All the Gen2 seats are now “35s”, which means it has weight limit of 35 lbs (it used to be 30 lbs). It’s a little silly because no 35 lb child (roughly, a 3-year old) is going to be sitting in an infant car seat. Alas, it seems they are just going along with the industry trend.
Price-wise, this seat used to be in the more affordable $150 range, but has become more expensive over the past few years ($219+, for all intents and purposes). Ahhh inflation. At $219 (base model), it’s around the same price point as the beloved Chicco KeyFit… See also Best Infant Car Seats.
The biggest change to the B-Safe Gen2 is more room for your baby. Next to other infant seats, you’ll notice the B-Safe is a very deep seat due to the high sidewalls that give it side impact protection. These high walls used to be more narrow, which caused problems for larger babies; in fact, lack of space was the #1 complaint of the previous version of this seat, but users agree that the Gen2 is now sufficiently roomy.
Another common complaint is the sheer weight of this seat, especially compared to lightweights like Graco and Nuna. Here’s the deal: Britax seats are made with a steel frame, so it’s really in a different class than the Gracos, Evenflos and BabyTrends of the world. The steel reinforcement is what makes it a heavier seat (10.5 lbs vs 7-8 lbs for most). You’ll hear about this a lot in the reviews (heavy!!). But remember…. a heavy seat is a seat you’d want in a bad accident. #truth
So where does it stand? The Britax B-Safe is not an economy seat and it’s not a luxury seat either – *It’s somewhere in the middle*. The canopy is awesome, IMO, and the seat is easy to install, complete with built-in lock-offs. The LATCH connectors are awesome, especially when you compare them to nail-breakers, like the entry-level Gracos. It’s little details like this I generally like about Britax.
Another thing to love about Gen2 is the soft goods. The term “SafeWash” means 2 things: the seat cover is naturally flame-retardant (no added FR chemicals); it’s also safe to machine wash and dry (this is harder to come by than you’d think). This wins big points for parents who are concerned about exposure to FRs (flame retardants) and/or for those who’d like to launder (wash AND dry) the seat cover without having to wait for it to air-dry.
Lastly… another consideration is stroller compatibility. If you get this infant seat, you’re pretty much married to a Britax or BOB stroller; it’s nearly impossible to find adapters for this seat with other stroller brands.
Britax B-Safe vs. Chicco Keyfit
Let me boil this down for you… if you are looking at just the car seat alone, I would definitely pick the Chicco Keyfit over the B-Safe any day.
However… if you are looking at it from a stroller+car seat “value” point of view… this is where the Britax package deal shines. The thing is, Britax/BOB make better strollers than Chicco (not that you are married to a Chicco stroller when you buy the Keyfit), but… if you are trying to hit the “easy” button on this decision, the Britax travel system packages are a great value (see below).
As mentioned above, Britax also offers the upgraded version called the FlexFit+ (the Britax Ultra, Endeavors and regular FlexFit have been discontinued and replaced with these.)
The FlexFit+ ($309) has a no-rethread harness, which means adjusting the harness height as your baby grows happens at the push of a button, rather than having to remove the seat, detach the splitter plate and rethread everything manually (this is the base case with most infant seats). It also has an extra layer of side impact protection and a “European belt path”, which makes it easier to install the seat without the base (good for taxis, Ubers and such). Lastly, the FlexFit+ has a built-in anti-rebound bar in the base. Read more about anti-rebound features here. The only source for this model (at time of publish) is Albee Baby in NYC.
Here’s what the base looks like with the anti-rebound bar:
The higher end FlexFit+ is competing in the luxury space with the Nunas and Cybexes of the world. Like those seats, the FlexFit+ has an anti-rebound bar and a European belt path. I’ll note that it’s waaaaay heavier than its European counterparts, at over 11 lbs (vs. 8 lbs for the Pipa). It’s a BIG, beefy seat.
Note: Many users have complained about a defect where the seat will not detach from the base. If this happens to you, you should return it immediately.
Pro tip: If you are intent on having an anti-rebound feature on your baby’s infant seat, the higher end Graco SnugRide “SnugFit” model also has this feature for roughly $100 less.
Bottom Line: The Britax B-Safe 35 Gen 2 seats are solid, well-built seats for a middle of the road price. If you’re looking for a great seat with some really solid safety features, you won’t be disappointed. Just know they are much heavier seats than most. If weight is important to you, I would recommend looking elsewhere. We are less keen on this seat now because of the MANY complaints about the seat not detaching well from the base. The SafeWash cover is non-toxic and easy to launder. The seat combined with the B-Lively or B-Free strollers is an excellent value. It makes extra sense if you’re planning on a Britax or BOB stroller anyway, but Britax seats are generally not compatible with other stroller brands.
*The Britax B-Safe Gen2 is an American-style seat; the FlexFit+ is more of a Euro seat.
A pro (and a con) of the B-Safe is his compatibility with Britax and BOB strollers (Britax owns BOB).
Your lightweight stroller option: Sadly, there is no “Snap N Go” type of frame stroller that’s compatible with the newer B-Safe seats.
Britax Travel Systems
There are some Britax strollers you should have a look at… the compact, 4-wheeled B-Clever ($199) and the “compact all-terrain” stroller, the B-Free ($299). Both of these strollers are fully compatible with the Gen2 B-Safes. It also works with the B-Lively Double Stroller.
Here is where it gets special… you can buy the B-Lively + B-Safe Gen 2 for $529, which is a solid deal. If you’re looking for a compact, all-terrain travel system, check out the B-Free + B-Safe FlexFit *upgraded seat) system for $519 <— that’s a great bargain.
Ponder all of that^^.
All of these strollers utilize the Britax Click & Go connection systems, so you don’t have to buy a car seat adapter for your Britax infant seat.
In the jogging stroller department, if you are already sold on a BOB, B-Safe 35 goes with any of the BOB jogging strollers (with an adapter). Britax is really good at bundling nice products together for a crazy-good price, so take advantage!
Are you a runner? Read about our favorite jogging strollers.
Good luck! ~ Meg