The Britax Chaperone can accommodate babies from 4 pounds to 30 pounds and gets an excellent rating for crash protection in a recent test. The car seat also includes a few extra safety features, including an internal anti-rebound bar that is supposed to offer extra protection in a crash. Parents like its numerous convenience features, including ergonomic handles, easy-to-adjust straps and a range of fun upholstery colors.
On the downside, not everyone thinks this seat is easy to install, and since its base is so deep (30 inches), it may not fit very well in smaller cars. In addition, the Britax Chaperone does not install very securely using a vehicle's seat belt, although it does fine using the LATCH system. Overall, the Chicco KeyFit 30 (Est. $190) gets better reviews, especially for ease of use.
ConsumerReports.org offers the best coverage of infant car seats, since it independently crash tests car seats and rates them for safety as well as ease of use and fit to vehicle. They include the Britax Chaperone in their crash tests. The parenting publication "Baby Bargains" doesn't perform crash tests, but editors evaluate car seats, including the Chaperone, for non-safety-related features and ease of use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also evaluates the Chaperone for ease of use and installation, as well as clarity of instructions. A fair number of user reviews for the car seat can be found at Amazon.com.
Testers at ConsumerReports.org include 28 models in its latest report on infant car seats. The Britax Chaperone is independently tested for crash protection, ease of use and fit to vehicle, then rated alongside others.
Review: Infant Car Seats, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
The ninth edition of "Baby Bargains," like previous versions, doesn't skimp on infant car seat ratings. Dozens of models are reviewed in detail and assigned an overall rating from A through F. The authors don't conduct independent testing, but findings from ConsumerReports.org are factored into the ratings.
Review: Infant Car Seats, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition
3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Editors of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration evaluate a few dozen car seats for ease of use and installation, although they don't conduct independent crash tests. The Britax Chaperone earns a solid overall ease of use rating of 4 stars out of 5.
Review: Britax Chaperone, Editors of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Self-proclaimed car seat experts and bloggers review and give their top four picks for car seats. The Britax Chaperone makes the cut, and a detailed and insightful review is given, complete with pictures from a blogger who personally tried it out. Overall, it's concluded that the Chaperone is a "solid" and safe choice that should last parents a long time.
Review: Recommended Car Seats, Contributors to CarSeatBlog.com
About.com's Heather Corley gives a detailed review of the Britax Chaperone. Corley concludes that the car seat is "a great fit for tiny newborns, but the Britax Chaperone is also roomy enough for some two-year-olds, so there's a good chance you'll really get your money's worth out of this infant car seat." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Britax Chaperone Infant Car Seat Review, Heather Corley
More than a dozen owners review the Britax Chaperone at Amazon.com, giving it an average of 3.6 stars out of 5; those who aren't happy with it say it's too bulky and heavy. Others are pleased with the seat's high safety rating and say it's easy to use.
Review: Britax Chaperone Infant Car Seat, Contributors to Amazon.com