A Carseat Nerd's Blog

A Carseat Nerd's Adventures in Carseats

I’m a Rebel. Meet the not-legal (in the US) Britax Two Way Elite. January 12, 2011


Britax makes a seat in Sweden called the Two Way Elite. It rear faces from 20 to 50 lbs, and can be used forward facing from 33 to 50 lbs.   I think it’s a very sweet seat.  Unfortunately for me (and many others), it’s not technically legal to use here in the US. It hasn’t been tested to NHTSA’s criteria.  For about $500, I could import one, but that’s a A LOT of money for one child seat.  A fellow tech in my area happens to have one and was willing to let me borrow it for a week.  I didn’t get measurements, unfortunately. And I forgot to take pictures until I was waiting to meet her to return it to her, so all I have is cell pics. And Mr Orange was quite grumpy.  But here they are!

Here’s the seat uninstalled sitting in the back of my Pilot:

I didn’t get an English language manual, but it has installation pictures printed on the back of the pillow!

I never installed it forward facing, with the assumption that if I were to import this seat, I would only be using it rear facing. With a 50 lb rearfacing limit and a 50 lb forward facing limit, I saw no reason I would use it forward facing.

The cover goes all the way around and zips down the back. Totally awesome!

It has a little flippy foot that you either leave tucked under the seat (like above) or flip out to change the recline angle.  There’s a locking adjuster with a strap on it so you can lock it in any position in the range of tucked and fully flipped.  It also has two rear facing tether straps, which are totally different than the tethers we use on US seats.

When installed, they look like this. (Who made such a mess in my car?!)

I know it’s hard to see, but the female end of the tether strap wraps around the leg of the front seat just like the Britax and Sunshine Kids rearfacing tether D-ring on US seats does.

The US Britax seats have velcro tabs on the harness to keep it out from under your child’s bum while you put them in.  The Swedish seats have spiffy little rubbery tabs with holes!

The harness is a little different also.  First, you’ll notice it doesn’t have a chest clip. At all. The European regulations require that their seats have only one mechanism to unlatch to remove a child from their seat.

It also buckles the opposite direction as our US seats. Our lap portion comes from behind the buckle part and our shoulder straps come from in front.  This seat is not threaded incorrectly-this is how it is from the manufacturer. I didn’t get a good picture of it, but it has a puzzle buckle. That means that you put the two metal buckle tongues together before plugging them into the buckle.

The apparently gigantic harness pads supposedly keep the harness straps in the correct position.

They are connected to each other via a strap that threads through the back of the seat.

So, on with the installations.  Keep in mind these installations are going entirely by the directions of the owner of the seat-who also lacked an English manual.

The “long belt bath” went over the “arm”, under the seat, and back over the “arm”.

From the top:And the “short belt path”. Up from under, over the seat, and down through again.

From the top:

And occupied:

Close up of the growth room with a funny mid-yawn face:

Overall, I really liked this seat. I mean REALLY liked it.  But for $500 for a 50 lb seat, I just couldn’t justify importing when I can get a $300 US seat with a 45 lbs rear facing limit. Even if the Two Way does install easier and takes up less front to back room than the Radian.

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6 Responses to “I’m a Rebel. Meet the not-legal (in the US) Britax Two Way Elite.”

  1. Hayley Says:

    Glad you liked it. I know I missed it when you were taking good care! It actually goes to 55lbs rear facing. So it’s 9-25kgs (20-55lbs) rear facing and 15-25kgs (33-55lbs) forward facing. You forgot to mention the rear facing height limit is when the tip of the ears are even with the top of the shell, so you get about 5 more inches than in the radian. For a tall 3 yr old, I’d totally get it! Plus it doesn’t expire but they recommend a 10 year limit (and I wouldn’t feel comfortable going much after that anyways). Oh! And it’s actually 400 including international shipping!

  2. Erin Says:

    http://www.carseat.se

    Late, I realize, but $340 includes shipping to the US. Seriously considering it!

  3. Ashley Says:

    And you could add a chest clip, right??

    • carseatnerd Says:

      No Ashley, I wouldn’t add a chest clip. The seat has been tested without it and passed EU standards without it. I would never suggest adding anything to a seat without specific manufacturer approval.

  4. Erin Ropes Says:

    What is the standard for height when it’s forward facing? Is it still the tip of the ears level with the top of the shell? Trying to figure out if my now 6 year old needs to upgrade to a higher max harnessed booster. Love that it lasted her this long, and up until a month ago she was still rf!

    • carseatnerd Says:

      Erin,
      At 6 years of age, and assuming neurotypical status, your daughter would be just fine in a booster or US approved harnessed seat. I don’t know what the rules are for the Two Way Elite, as I didn’t have the English manual. As for US seats, you would need to read your seat’s manual for their rules. As a general rule, yes, tops of ears level with the shell.
      If your daughter was still within the stated limits of your convertible seat rear-facing a month ago, chances are good she’s still okay forward facing. There are a few seats that are outgrown both directions in a very short period.


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