britax Of course, I want the best for my baby. And when we think of the best in car seats, we’re going to think of Britax. They’ve worked hard to earn the reputation, and its no surprise to me that when it came to creating a new baby carrier/carseat and stroller travel system, they set their standards high, to meet our expectations.

The Chaperone carseat & base:

  • Longer than most, it fits a child 4-30 pounds rearfacing. Height is up to 32 inches. (this is a baby carrier seat, it does  not sit forward facing)
  • Comes with a base like none I’d ever seen before. It has an “anti-rebound bar” to stabalize seat in case of impact.
  • No rethread height adjustment: possibly my favorite part of the seat. The head restraint (below) holds the top two restraints in the 5-point harness. In this seat, as baby grows, move this area up to find the proper restraint height. This is much less of a hassle for parents (adjusting with threads is a PITA) and it ensures proper alignment of restraints with 7 heights (should be just below the shoulders when child is rear-facing.)
  • Side protection: extreme. With wing support around the head that provide extra protection and cradle head from wobbling and ensures proper alignment.
  • Includes both LATCH and seatbelt installation on the base.
  • 5-point harness is easy for mom and dad to attach and detach.

I’m certain my baby is very safe in this Britax seat. Its easy to carry and strap her in correctly. And installation in the car was simple. It also fits snugly in a single row of my pilot with 2 other carseats (Graco Nautilus and Britax Marathon).In addition to the safety (which, of course, comes first) baby seems comfortable. The “wings” (as I call them) of the side impact protection cradled her tiny head so nicely I was never concerned about her little head hanging to the side (I had to purchase and install cushions for baby’s older siblings). The cushion is also stronger than many other carseats. Not necessarily plush, but it seems more firm–so that she likely feels less of the hard plastic.  The Chaperone’s seat is simple to remove and wash (when necessary) and, while just as heavy as other seats, the handle makes it easy to carry. The canopy on the seat is huge, and protects her nicely in the rain. It stays up nicely, but when pushed back (as in, not in use) it sags and often falls under the carrier. I’ve found it simple to remove the canopy and do not have it on the carrier on most days. This is a large seat, and we had to move it to behind the passenger side of our car, as there wasn’t enough room for the driver to move his seat back and actually drive the car. Safety, of course, comes first, and I figure I get a tiny bit more exercise because I’m running from one side of the car to the other.

The Britax Chaperone Stroller:

Its been a long time since Britax came out with a stroller. This one is head turning. At least once a day I get comments like “I didn’t know Britax makes strollers!” and “wow! That stroller looks rather space-age. Nice!” (seriously, I’ve heard some rendition of space age twice. Separately.) 

  • without the carrier, the stroller should be used for kids 6 months to 55 pounds
  • Chaperone carseat carrier locks into stroller with ease. Canopys meet in the middle to totally cover baby. And you can still access the basket, even with the carseat locked in
  • basket is huge, really, huge. I can fit 2 fully packed diaper bags, and have room to spare. And (love this feature) the rim has an open setting, so that you can lower the back of the basket to load and  unload items and then fix it back to secure items inside
  • one brake pedal controls both brakes (need to press it firmly), its a pressure adjustment that you use with your foot
  • SIMPLE one handed fold: just pull the child tray out of position, then pull on the handle on the seat and it folds. Its almost too easy (so says the husband who, upon forgetting how to do it, commented that he keeps thinking it will be harder to fold, considering its so fancy)
  • snack trays for both child and parent (parent gets 2 cup holders and a little bin with a cover to hold things.)
  • Adjustable stroller handle height
  • 5-point harness
  • strong, large tires provide all-wheel suspension. Its hard to tell in the picture, but the back wheels sit wider apart than the front. (The front are also smaller). This allows for a greater turning radius and ease in pushing

In September, I joined a Stroller fit class at my gym. I have a jogger, but with baby in sleeping in the Chaperone carseat, I’ve been using the Chaperone stroller. We spend about half of our hour running and fast walking up and down an incline. I was a bit hesitant about using this stroller when jogging, but the stroller has turned out to be a faux-jogger. Its large wheels move smoothly over the hill as I pick up speed. And the thinner base at the front allows for faster, easier turning. Its turned out to be a great infant jogger. And on Fridays, when my 4 y.o. is at soccer, I have no problem pushing the Chaperone through the grass onto the field. Of course its wonderful in the mall as well. A very versatile stroller for all of my needs. The front wheels pop on upon installation. Make sure you lock them on (by listening for the “snap”) but beware that they do unlock if the button is hit. So that if your stoller moves around in your trunk and the release button hits something, they could unlock. For that reason, I have learned to put additional pressure on the front of the stroller each time I open it.

We’re very pleased with the Chaperone Travel System for our baby. Its the stroller and carseat we’ve been using since the day we brought baby home, without even a second thought that it wasn’t “right” for us. Which is a relief, because every mom knows just how hard it is to find a “right” stroller for your needs.

Thanks to Britax for providing a sample of the Chaperone Travel System for review. Buy yours by December 31, 2009 to take advantage of the $100 Mail-in Rebate Promotion


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