All You Need to Know About Seat Belt Locking Clip – The Best Guide

For quite some time, seat belt locking clip served as a means to fasten lap and shoulder belts when installing car seats. However, the significant impact of new trends resulted in their multiple options.

Therefore, there are various locking clips types, as well as multiple reasons why you should use them when traveling in any vehicle. Since their main objective is to protect the persons sitting in cars, it seems that you can rarely find vehicles without the seat belt locking clips nowadays.

The primary motive for this is the fact that they protect seats from tipping. This way, the chair that you installed - lightweight or more robust - won't lock you tighter if there are bumps on the road. 

However, that's not the only reason why you should use them. So, let's see why they are the best option for you and your children! Shall we?


What are The Seat Belt Locking Clips?

seat belt locking clip amazon

Frequently, those are affordable, light, and small pieces of metal that protect the seat belts from sliding away and keep the shoulders and lap tightly. Therefore neither the seat nor your children will slip away during the ride and will be safe. 

You might find it tiresome to place it properly, and YES, the task might be challenging, but it only shows that you're doing your job correctly! If you don't set and secure it properly, you won't be able to prevent injuries and accidents. 

If you're in a cab, the driver will have to wait for you until you're sure your kiddo is safe and ready for adventure!

Two Types of Seat Belt Locking Clips

As there are two options concerning locking clips, we have classic seatbelts and the so-called LATCH. The LATCH stands for lower anchors and tethers for children.

LATCH is straightforward to use - you can effortlessly hook or push in the clips, and later tighten the strap. If you must install car seats, the process is the same - string the seatbelts through the paths, buckle them up, and pull them out before the places feed back in at the top. The new US laws interpret this last step as locking at the retractor. 

However, not everywhere can you find these clip systems. And for those who don't use them, the installation is more accessible. But, if the seat contains a shoulder/lap belt that you can't lock with the retractor, you might need something else to help you with it.

Which Locking Clips Do You Need?

seat belt locking clip racing

The answer depends on which car seats you have, and where you're traveling.

If you have a journey in the United States, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, and you're taking forward-facing or convertible seats, you'll be able to use the LATCH seat belts locking clips. 

But, you should know that their names may vary from country to country. Therefore, somewhere you can search for LATCH and get ISOFIX or LUAS clips.

However, you should not worry since the system and installation process is the same; it's just the name that differs from those that you're used to.

If you're using those clips, your child's weight should match the seat belt clips' maximum weight capacity and seats. It ranges from 35 to 50 lbs, depending on the importance of your car seats. Another benefit is that you can lock the belts at the retractors when in these countries. 

Contrary to these situations, if you have a kid heavier than the LATCH capacity, or without a base, you'll need a locking clip with you, for the child's better protection. As it doesn't take too much place, you can always have it in your pocket.

On the other hand, there are multiple classic car seats with lap-belts only, and they might be effortless to install. Just string the seatbelt under the two free passages, known as arms, and then tighten the seat belt.

But if you're taking a bigger car seat, then you can place the seat belt under the cover, and voila! You've locked your child for maximum safety and protection!

Car Seats That Don't Require Locking Clips

seat belt locking clip for baby seat

As you probably know, there are multiple car seats with already installed locking systems, famous as "lock-offs." These mechanisms in advance keep your children safe since you don't need other clips to tighten their seat belts and provide better protection. 

If your seats come with these clips, you'll get instruction manuals to see how to install or use them properly. Also, those seats don't usually come with additional locking clips.

So, if your seats don't have necessary clips, please contact the manufacturer to send you a clip, or ask a safety technician to help you install it.

In general, infant car seats come with extra locking clips; however, you might find them attached to the base, and not on the belt itself. But you should pay much attention when choosing the seat since the station might be massive and it will take your time to travel and take it wherever you go. 

Therefore, some car seats without locking clips are Chicco, Combi, Clek, Britax, and many others. You can check them all on Amazon and see the best options for you and your children. 

Traveling has never been easier! 

How to Properly Install and Use the Locking Clips?

seat belt locking clip baby bunting

If you don't know how to install and use the clips appropriately, please watch various videos where you can see a step-by-step process completion, and you can try on your own. 

As it can be challenging, and you still don't know how, please contact safety technicians or instructors, and they will show how to do it properly, and assist you. 

But, here are some useful tips you should know for easier installation, and requirements for easy use:

  • The belt must be a shoulder type, and not a lap type only.
  • The lap and shoulder parts should contain the same fabric content. 
  • The latch part - the one with the metal buckle part - needs to slide freely along the seat belt in question.
  • If you use a lap belt only, there is a high possibility that it might lock on its own. 

Therefore, you should consider these features before choosing the seat belts and car seats for your little ones!

Final Thoughts

We've come to an end. Now, let's revise! 

As you can see, the seat belt locking clip is essential and useful as they add more protection and keep your children safer. But you have to follow the steps on how to use and place them correctly on the seat belts.

You can also observe some seats that don't need the clips, but you'll have to be careful and check their bases and whether they come with additional clips, or that's not the case.

Finally, the locking clips are an excellent choice if you want to prevent children's injuries and tighten them better in their seats. This way, they won't slip away, and can travel with you wherever you go!

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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