Britax B-Safe 35

Last updated date: November 16, 2018

DWYM Score
5.9

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We looked at the top 1 Infant Car Seats and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, Baby Gear Lab, Lucie's List, The Bump, Car Seat Blog, Best Car Seat Hub and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Infant Car Seat you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 105 expert reviews, the Britax Britax B-Safe 35 placed 13th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Infant Car Seat for a detailed review of all the top infant car seats.

Expert Summarized Score
7.2
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
3.3
306 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The B-Safe 35 has a seat belt lock-off on either side of the base and a level indicator on the side of the seat to tell you if the seat is at the proper angle. We also found that this Britax model is even easier to click in and out of its base than our Chicco top pick.
- New York Times Wirecutter
August 21, 2017 | Full review
A good performer overall. The B-Safe 35 Elite adds an externally adjustable harness feature when compared to the B-Safe 35
- Consumer Reports
This seat has the push button anchors that simply click-in to the LATCH connector. The anchors are easy to attach by pushing them into the U-shaped vehicle anchor points. The strap is easier to tighten than much of the competition, and significantly easier when it comes to loosening, which is rare.
- Baby Gear Lab
The Britax B-Safe 35 is a well-built seat for a middle of the road price. Thus, if you’re looking for a great seat with some really solid safety features (yet no anti-rebound feature), you won’t be disappointed. It makes extra sense if you’re planning on a Britax or BOB stroller anyway.
- Lucie's List
The Britax B-Safe is the marriage of top-line safety features and amazing ease of use. That’s happiness in our book.
- The Bump
As the baby grows, you can remove the additional body and head padding to give your baby a bit more room. The car seat also has simple to adjust head protection pads
- Mommy Hood 101
Narrow interior and deep sides provide excellent protection in side-impact crashes
- Car Seat Blog
July 6, 2015 | Full review
Easy to use, stroller collapses easily and can do it with one hand. Love that it only has 3 wheels as it makes navigating a breeze.
- Baby List
The car seat cover comes off, so it can be cleaned. But, the car seat cover can also be wiped clean while in place.
- Best Car Seat Hub
What experts didn't like
We nearly made this model a runner-up pick in this guide, but in July 2017, the chest clip on the Britax B-Safe 35 became the subject of a limited recall. Several chest clips have broken, and the broken plastic part is a choking risk.
- New York Times Wirecutter
August 21, 2017 | Full review
Still retains the buckle slot and harness loop weight requirements that are not labeled on the seat.
- Consumer Reports
Too many seats in our review earned higher scores than the B-Safe 35 to make it a real contender. No matter which metric is the most important to you, there is a product in this review that does it better than the B-Safe 35. Even if your plan is to purchase the Britax B-Agile 3 stroller, you are still better off with a different brand seat. It isn't that we dislike the B-Safe 35, but there are so many products in our review that offer more or performed better with lower prices.
- Baby Gear Lab
I trust the engineering of the seats from a safety perspective, but they are missing the mark with comfort and fit for babies, as you’ll read a lot of people complaining that the seat is too narrow and is outgrown rather quickly. I actually think it’s the depth that babies don’t like because they can’t see out very easily.
- Lucie's List
Leveling the base can be tough.
- The Bump
car seat that weighs about 19 pounds (seat is 10lb + base is 9lb), which we understand may be quite heavy for some parents. That's one of the biggest downfalls with this car seat
- Mommy Hood 101
Proper installation without base is more difficult than usual and may require use of pool noodles to stabilize the recline angle
- Car Seat Blog
July 6, 2015 | Full review
Large babies might not be comfortable in deep cradle of the carrier. Harness cannot be adjusted with baby in the seat.
- Best Car Seat Hub

From The Manufacturer

The B-Safe 35 is your smart choice for an infant car seat from the #1 brand in safety technology. The B-Safe 35 keeps your baby safe and secure so that you can travel in total confidence. The B-Safe 35 has Safe Cell Impact Protection, an innovative safety system found only in Britax car seats. Features include an impact-stabilizing steel frame for superior strength and an impact-absorbing base that compresses to absorb energy during a collision. This integrated system of safety components protects your child far beyond federal safety standards. The B-Safe 35 also has side impact protection and a contoured shell that minimizes your child's side-to-side movement to maximize protection and the space-efficient design takes up less room in your vehicle. The B-Safe 35 includes Britax-exclusive Safe Center LATCH Installation so you're always certain the car seat is accurately installed. Safely secure the car seat in your vehicle with the center-pull straps and lower LATCH connectors. And just press a button to detach. Proudly engineered, tested and built in the USA with global components, you can count on unparalleled safety and quality. Pair this seat with any Britax stroller to customize the perfect travel system. With Britax's Click & Go System, transitioning the B-Safe 35 from the car to the stroller is quick and secure - no adapters necessary.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Chicco KeyFit 30
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 11
2. Peg Perego Primo
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 10
3. UPPAbaby Mesa
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 10
4. Graco SungRide 35
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 10
5. Evenflo LiteMax 35
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 7
6. Maxi-Cosi Mico NXT
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 4
7. Chicco Fit2
Overall Score: 7.1
Expert Reviews: 8
8. Baby Trend Inertia
Overall Score: 7.1
Expert Reviews: 3
9. Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe
Overall Score: 7.1
Expert Reviews: 6
10. Cyber Aton
Overall Score: 6.8
Expert Reviews: 8
11. Recaro Performance Coupe
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 5
12. Baby Trends EZ Flex-Loc
Overall Score: 6.6
Expert Reviews: 5
13. Britax B-Safe 35
Overall Score: 5.9
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On Infant Car Seats

You’re probably already nervous about your first ride home with your tiny bundle of joy. On top of that, you have to try to pick the best infant car seat from a seemingly endless array of options. From the ease of installation to fabric comfort and whether or not it works with your stroller system, it can be overwhelming, to say the least. It’s simple to break down the basics of what you need in an infant car seat so you can find the right infant car seat for your growing family.

Infant car seats — sometimes called bucket or pumpkin seats — are rear-facing and made for infants and toddlers up to two years old. The height and weight requirements vary from seat to seat but they typically work for babies from around 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches in height. Some seats, like the Chicco KeyFit 30, are preferred for preemies but only go up to 30 pounds and 30 inches. The seat usually clicks into or attaches to a base that stays in the car.

Many infant car seats have a carrying handle and an adjustable shade. They also have various types of cushions and inserts that can be used for the smallest infants and then taken out as your child grows.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children stay rear-facing at least until two years old or when they reach the height and weight limit for the seat. According to the CDC, using a car seat reduces the risk of injury in a car crash by 71 to 82 percent. Overall, kids may end up using a car seat or booster up to the age of 12, based on their height and weight.

Knowing that their child will be using a car seat for such a long time prompts many parents to opt for a convertible car seat. Unlike the infant car seat, a convertible car seat starts rear-facing and can change its configuration to a front-facing car seat and then finally a booster. They are just as safe as an infant car seat and must meet the same standards. While this option can certainly be budget-friendly and you may be able to keep your child rear-facing longer, there are some trade-offs.

For some, the biggest deal breaker is giving up the ability to easily transfer a sleeping baby in and out of the car while still in the seat. Since convertible car seats are meant to stay in the car most of the time, they also don’t typically work with strollers and don’t have carry handles. And, since they’re larger to accommodate a growing child, they may not fit well in all vehicles. You’ll want to make sure to consider how you’ll be using the car seat and if it’s important for you to be able to keep your child in the car seat when you’re out and about. Many infant car seats work with a complimentary stroller or travel system, like the UPPAbaby Mesa, and you may save money buying this as a package deal.

The most important part of any car seat purchase is safety. Each car seat uses different materials and features, but they all have to meet the same federal safety standards. Some may choose to do additional safety testing, like the Evenflo LiteMax 35, which is rollover tested. There are a few things you’ll want to look out for, such as a five-point harness and a base that clearly indicates when the seat is attached and positioned correctly with a color change or a bubble level like the Chicco KeyFit 30.

Actually installing and using the seat the right way can be stressful for any new parent, so the easier it is to do, the better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains an ease-of-use rating system to help parents find seats that have clear instructions and are easy to install and use. Anything rated 4 or 5 tends to be more intuitive.

All cars are now required to have a LATCH system (which stands for lower anchors and top tethers) that allows you to attach the car seat with clips near the seatbelt base and behind the headrest or seat. It can sometimes be a struggle to make the connectors the right length so the UPPAbaby Mesa self-retracting option may be a major plus if you have to take the base in and out more frequently. 

Finally, it’s important to consider overall comfort, for you and for baby. Look at features like the weight of the car seat, the ergonomics of the carry handle and quality or type of fabric. Infant car seats can vary widely in weight. For example, the Evenflo LiteMax 35 is only 16 pounds, while the UPPAbaby Mesa is 25.5 pounds. That can make a big difference if you plan to tote the seat any distance with your little one inside.

If you live in a warm climate you may want to look for a cooler fabric like breathable jersey found with the Peg Perego Primo car seat.  The UPPAbaby Mesa features moisture-wicking merino wool which is also naturally flame retardant. While buying online can be the most cost-effective and convenient, you may want to go to a store where you can compare the feel of the fabric and other materials.

DYWM Fun Fact

As of 1985, all states finally have laws requiring the use of car seats on the books. But in 1987, only 80 percent of people were using them. It wasn’t until 2003 that all cars we required by federal regulation to be manufactured with LATCH systems (lower anchors and top tethers) for car seats. This helped promote usage by making it easier and more consistent to install car seats.

Still, according to the CDC, car accidents and related injuries are the leading cause of death among children (ages 0-12) in the United States. They also found that in one year, 618,000 children did not use a car seat or booster seat at least some of the time. While there are a number of factors that cause injury in car accidents, the NHTSA did a study that found that 46 percent of car seats and booster seats are misused in some way. Front-facing car seats are the most common misuse, at 61 percent.

The CDC urges the use of car seats as the best way to reduce the risk of injury. In addition to following the recommended stages for car seat use, you can also find a certified child safety technician in your area to get installation instruction and tips one-on-one. The bottom line: it’s better to use a car seat or booster as recommended than not and there are resources to help you install and use your seats correctly.

The Infant Car Seat Buying Guide

  • Any parent or caregiver who has cleaned a car seat mess will tell you how important easy-to-clean fabric is. Even better, look for car seats that allow you to remove the lining or pad entirely and toss it in the washer, like the Evenflo LiteMax 35.
  • If you travel frequently or live in a city where you may need to use your car seat in a taxi or rideshare you may want to opt for an infant car seat like the Peg Perego Primo. It can be used with or without its included base, giving you more flexibility when on the go.
  • You are not alone when it comes to learning how to install a car seat properly. The NHTSA offers free car seat inspection locations (usually at local fire stations) with trained technicians who can show you how to install it and use it.
  • Believe it or not, car seats expire. That’s why it’s not recommended to purchase a car seat from a yard sale or online reseller or reuse one from a friend. Most infant car seats expire in five to six years. Some convertible car seats last up to 10 years. You may be able to find the expiration date on the car seat itself or in the owners’ manual. If you can’t find a date, note the model number and call the manufacturer. Most car seats do end up looking kind of beat up, but the real risk is caused by plastic getting hot and cold repeatedly over the years. This may cause hairline cracks or brittleness that aren’t easy to see, and are very dangerous in a crash.
  • Once you’ve chosen the perfect seat, you also have to make sure you’re strapping in your little one correctly. Straps should be at or below the shoulder without any looseness or slack. Your child may protest but you should only be able to fit a couple fingers behind the strap. The chest clip should be at armpit level in the middle of the sternum. If it’s too high, it could cause neck injury and if it’s too low, your child could be thrown from the car seat.
  • As an added safety precaution you can add a luggage tag or label to the side of the seat with emergency contact info. Include details like your child’s name, parents name, address and phone numbers, pediatrician name and any medical conditions. This way, first responders can find valuable information quickly, in case the parent or caregiver is injured or unable to speak.