Britax Convertible Car Seats: Boulevard Vs. Diplomat

Updated on February 08, 2009
L.H. asks from Osseo, MN
10 answers

For our first son, we purchased the Britax Boulevard car seat, and I chose that due to the extra neck protection it provides in the event of a rollover. We now have 6 month old twins, and was looking into buying convertible seats for them (we will need two as our first child is only 28 months and will be needing his Britax for some time yet). I discovered that Britax makes the "Diplomat" version, which is supposed to be a more compact version of the Boulevard. Since we have one primary vehicle, a Yukon XL, I'm thinking the compact version would be more convenient... biggest difference is it's only good to 40 lbs. vs. 65 lbs, and 40" tall vs. 49". I'd think I'd go with the 65 lbs. but have found no friend or any person I've asked that has actually used a convertible seat to 65 lbs... most switch to 5 point booster seats by 4 years/40 lbs. So, given this, a thinking I'd be ok with the Diplomat. The difference in price right now is $120 total with the sale that I found. I'm thinking that if, down the road, my 6 month old son needs the additional height/weight, I could have him use our first son's boulevard as he'd be in a booster seat by then.

The concern I have is I can't find a store that carries it to check out in person... so don't want to have to pay to ship back if I don't like it. Also, it looks as though the Diplomat has the same neck piece to protect like the Boulevard does (HUGS system
), but when I compare on them on the Britax website, it says that only the Boulevard has it.

The diplomat gets fabulous ratings and am leaning towards it- but wanted to see if anyone has any experience with it.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I can't do anything that is only forward facing as they need to be rear facing for another 6 months... as for my older son, I have no intentions of taking him out of a 5 point harness, even when he's moved to a booster seat. Plan to get one with that option. Based on some of the responses received, I'm contemplating switching my oldest son to the Frontier (which is still 5 point harness and eventually a booster seat), giving my younger son his boulevard and getting a second boulevard for my daughter. That would save $100 in the long run and not leave me with an extra Boulevard I won't need down the road... wondering if 32 lbs and 36" is too early to move my oldest to the Frontier? He is in the height/weight requirements...

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the information. We decided to get the Frontier for my oldest son, give his Boulevard to our twin son and get another Boulevard for our twin daughter. As much as I like the idea of the Diplomat, it seemed the best use of resources to trade up rather than end up having an extra $250 car seat we didnt' need in another year. I found a site with a sale, no tax and shipping and they're on the way! Thanks!

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

We have the Roundabout which is also more compact and absolutely love it! If I remember correctly I think we found ratings on consumer reports and the Roundabout was rated higher than the Boulevard. Either way, they are highly rated car seats so you probably can't go wrong either way.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I know that this does not answer your question, but we have two Boulevards. He loves them; he used to cry in his baby seat. We had to change over to a regular carseat at 4 mo, because our son outgrew it. He was 24 lbs by 6 mo. So, we need a Boulevard for the larger size. No regrets, still looks brand new.



answers from Minneapolis on

We have the Britax Marathon and love it. Our son will be in it until he outgrows it but either height or weight, age is not an issue at this point. I choice the Marathon over the Boulevard because when campared side-by-side the Marathon's shoulder straps adjusted higher than the boulevard and the crotch strap was farther out from the back. It fits in our daycare provider's car with 2 other seats across the back. It just takes some doing to get them all installed.
I would not purchase a seat with a lower height rating because it seems that every child I know outgrows the seat by height before they reach the max weight.



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter was to immature, to sit in a booster at 4year and 40lbs. She would fall asleep and literally slump out of the booster. She's a very mature child in general but that age isn't the best for boosters.

My daughter did fit in her Marathon til age6. She is now 7 and in a Britax Regent. I will let her use a booster as a spare but I'd rather keep her in a 5pt.

I believe Britax doesn't have the HUGS system on their seats that only go to 40lbs.



answers from Minneapolis on

We are going to keep our 3 1/2 year old son in a 5 point seat for as long as we can to keep him as safe as possible. He's 42 inches tall and 42 lbs. We have the Britax Regent and LOVE it. It is very large, however, and does not go rear facing. It would be for your older son. Since our son outgrew his infant seat at 5 months, we got a larger seat without knowing what we were doing. So we then had to buy the Regent over the summer when he was approaching 40 lbs. I so wish we had bought the Blvd in the first place. I honestly suggest, since you have a larger vehicle, to get the largest seat you can for the future. The extra money is worth it.



answers from Madison on

I use the Britax Regent for both my kids (almost 3 years old and 6 years old). They are referred to as the "cadillac of carseats". They are very sturdy/secure and heavy. Drawbacks, the straps twist easily and they don't lossen and tighten easily. But I believe they are the safest on the market and so overlook some of the drawbacks. You might want to google them.


answers from Minneapolis on

My oldest was riding in the Britax Marathon until he was 6, when he became too tall for it (at 50'' and 45lbs) and moved to the Britax Regent. The Boulevard is basically the same seat as the Marathon, it just has the side wings and its just a shade shorter at the top harness height.

In my opinion.... I would get the Boulevard, knowing I would get at least an extra year, if not two years, out of the seat, keeping my child in a 5pt harness for longer.

Another thing you could do it look into the Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE. It will rear face to 35lbs, and forward face to 50lbs, and most children can use this seat up to age 5/6, and it runs around $150. If you go this route, make sure its the ADVANCE, the regular Triumph is very short and only to 40lbs.

EDITED to clarify that the REGENT and the FRONTIER, both made by BRITAX, are FORWARD FACING ONLY SEATS. You cannot use them with a child that needs to be rear facing, and any child under 33lbs needs to be rear facing.
And whoever said 'i would make my child sit in a seat like that after 40lbs'..... well my oldest was 40lbs at his 3yr appointment.... and no way in heck I was putting a 3yr old in a belted booster! I don't care what the box says, the box is trying to sell the product and doesn't have the best safety of my child at heart. My oldest is now 6.5 50lbs and 53'' tall, in the Britax Regent, where he has at least another 2yrs to grow and remain in the 5pt harness.



answers from Rochester on

If you are going to spend the money, check out the Britax Frontier. It's new and has excellent side impact protection and goes up to 100lbs. I believe that it has 5 point protection, tether anchor and eventually converts into a booster.



answers from Minneapolis on

Maybe I shouldn't make a comment because I can't compare the two you list but I went with a Regent which is up to 80lbs. I am all for a 5 pt. harness instead of a booster seat and my child is 4 and weighs 40lbs. I will have her in that seat until she reaches the height and/or weight limit no matter how much she may protest when she gets older. This is all she knows and she doesn't protest. I'm not sure if you looked at other Britax or not but it seems like you've done your research.



answers from Omaha on

I have the Diplomat seat... and I absolutely love it. As far as the weight restrictions go, honestly, I don't plan on making my son sit in that type of seat when he gets to 40 pounds, so for me, that is not an issue.

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