Britax Boulevard or Marathon Convertible car seat?

Elizabeth - posted on 12/30/2008 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I am seeing a GREAT deal on the Marathon online (in a girly print, but still $100 off!) but is Boulevard better? And, should I be thinking of baby #2 just in case it's a boy - or will I want/need a new carseat by then anyway? And if baby #1 is below 65lbs when baby #2 needs a convertible car seat, I'll need a new one anyway...help!

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MacKenzie - posted on 01/01/2009

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Both the Marathon and Boulevard are excellent choices for convertible car seats. They are both good for 6 years, rear-face to 35 lbs. and forward-face to 65 lbs. The Boulevard has additional side-impact protection. Considering that your daughter will be able to use this seat until she outgrows the harness (likely sometime between ages 5-6) you will need to buy another seat for another child down the road. So get the great deal on the girly print!



As for Consumer Reports....Some Britax seats were rated poorly in Consumer Reports, but Consumer Reports does not employ car seat techs and just has their engineers strap the seat down before performing the test. The seats are not likely installed properly prior to the test as a result. It is not a reliable source for safety info about car seats. In fact all ease of use reports are entirely subjective. A person who is not trained in the use of car seats cannot provide reliable feedback about their use and installation. Most of these reports are issued by engineers...not car seat experts. I would encourage you to look at real-world reports of safety and ease of use. Any mom who has owned a Britax will tell you it is the easiest seat to use and install! And the ability to tether RF increases your child's safety by up to 400%. Britax is one of the only companies to offer this feature. Yes, Britax seats cost more, but they also offer additional safety and comfort features, incomparable ease of use, and the peace of mind tht the company performs more safety checks and crash tests than any other car seat manufacturer. Rest assured that the marathon is one of the best seats currently on the market! Let me know if you have any questions about your new seat ;0)

MacKenzie - Car Seat Tech since 2002, mommy since 2000

Crystal - posted on 02/11/2011

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i am actualy looking at both of those as well where did you see it for 100$off i need one soon and due to hubby being laid off money is super tight but love britax

Kristin - posted on 12/30/2008

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I am urging all moms to please start subscribing to Consumer Reports, the only independent testing magazine that goes above and beyond Government testing standards. On all car seats tested, only ONE BRITAX passed their crash test ratings and that is the Britax Marathon. the top rated safety seat is the Chicco Key fit and the Eddie Bauer was pulled from the market after they released their independent tests. Price has nothign to do with anything, if you feel you need to pay $200 to get a safe seat, the fact aht Britax had only ONE seat that passed, is proof that it is not true. The Baby Trend is about $90 and was one of the top 5 rated seats. Governmetn testing only requires seats to pass a safety test with crashes done head on at 30 mph, like what are the odds of that? What about side testing at different speeds? What about rollovers on the highway?I know personally of 2 toddler deaths in MN that occured with kids PROPERLY strapped into carseats with a "supposed" safe rating. One of THE BEST on the market has ALWAYS been the Graco Snugride, I'm afraid Britax doenst' make the cut.

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Ginny - posted on 01/10/2009

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i am currently debating a marathon or a decathlon....anyone have any advise?  i see above that people love their marathons, why did you get that over the decath? my little one is 3 months and just hates his snugride. we are ready for the upgrade!

Elizabeth - posted on 12/31/2008

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I read about the Britax in "Baby Bargains" (my bible of baby gear) and they say the marathon and boulevard are the best. I think I"m going to go "girly" and get the good price. I have a couple of girlfriends who have the Britax too who like it. THanks for all the input, ladies! Sarah - thanks for the tip about replacement fabric!!

Kristin - I have the Graco SnugRide for the infant seat, she's about to grow out of it. But it's been a great carseat. And I got the metrolite travel system and really like the stroller too, easy to maneuver and light enough to lift in and out of the trunk.

Kristin - posted on 12/31/2008

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As for booster seats...the rules are this...babies up to 20 pounds at at LEAST 1 year of age must be rear facing in an infant or convertible seat and RECLINED if it's rear facing. If baby's head is one inch from top of infant seat or baby weighs 20 lbs. before one year of age, use a convertible seat that goes to 30 lbs. or more, in the rear-facing direction



Kids over 1 year of age and between 20 and 40 pounds, shoudl be in forward facing convertible upright seat with 5 point harness and preferably the LATCH system. You can ONLY have the shoulder straps in the top slot if using a forward facing. If they are too small to use the straps in the top slot, they need to stay rear facing. You use this seat until the child is at least 40 pounds, or the shoulders reach the top of the harness or the top part of the kids ears are above the top of the seat.



Kids over 40 pounds can be in a booster until about 80 pounds and MUST ONLY be used with a shoulder belt. NEVER with a lap belt only. Must be facing forward, NEVER in the front seat and NEVER in the center seat in the back car seat since there are normally not shoulder belts there. You use a booster until your child is about 4'9. Kids age 13 or younger should ALWAYS be in the back seat, NO EXCEPTIONS. Air bags are designed for adults and can kill your child. I know of 2 infant deaths around my town that happened to kids strapped into infant seats that were unsafe!

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I love the Marathon! If you don't want it let me know! I have a 3 month old who will need one soon! My 3 year old daughter has one and we love it!

Kristin - posted on 12/31/2008

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YES< car seats DO have a lifespan. Most manufacturers put a limit of 6 years on their car seats, but not all. The best place to find this information is inside the instruction manual that came with your car seat. If you can’t find the information (or the instruction manual) call the manufacturer and find out. And don’t forget to ask for another manual, most companies provide them for free.



Once you know the life span of your car seat you need to check out the seat ITSELF. On the car seat you will find a sticker or label with the make and model of your car seat along with the date of manufacture. Car seats expire from their date of manufacture, not the date you received the seat or first installed it in your car. It is important enough to repeat - most car seats are good for no more than 6 years from the date they were manufactured.

Sarah - posted on 12/31/2008

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In my opimion, Marathon is better...but, we bought the Decathlon. I like it the best of all of them. You can buy replacement fabric for the seats direct from Britax or even on ebay...go girly! :)

Sarah - posted on 12/31/2008

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Hmm...don't know much about higher-end carseats, but I saw a post saying the life of a carseat is around 7 years. A lot of carseats these days have a 5-year self-imposed limit, and lots of states/provinces have their own requirements. Here in Illinois, the maximum life of a car seat is 5 years from the manufacture (not purchase) date, and the manufacture specs on height and weight are not necessarily correct. Good example..boosters are approved for use with children over 30 lbs. but in Illinois, a child has to be 4 and 40 lbs. to ride in a booster with just a seat belt. So before you buy anything, you might want to check your local laws. Actually had a friend get 2 citations and 2 moving violations for having one kid in an outdated car seat and one in a car seat he was not tall enough for. That right there is $280, so make sure you get the right seat!

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To Elizabeth, I believe I have heard/read, by safety standards, the life of the car seat is around 7 years? But, to let you know, I LOVE my Britax Marathon. It is like the cadillac of car seats. Well worth the price. As far as the height with rear facing as Sara had mentioned in her post, it comes with a tether that attaches under the front seats that pull down on the seat so it does not sit up as high. (I liked that feature as well.) Like I mentioned in my prior post, I still use ours for my son who just turned 5 as a toddler seat. I believe the seat goes up to 65 pounds or until their ears go up over the top of the seat, so I don't know how close you are planning on having your children together but you could just keep that seat for your first child and use as a booster if you should have a boy or if the second would happen to be a girl and the first is old enough for a toddler/booster seat, you could always buy a less expensive booster seat for the first child. So, there are a couple different ideas for you! Whatever you decide, I don't think you can go wrong! Happy New Year!

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Phew . . . you scared me for a second. My son has had the same Britax car seat since an infant. He just turned 5 and we are still using it as a toddler seat. I had to go look at what type it was and it was Marathon. I feel much better now. I do also subscribe to Consumer Reports.com and can't remember if I had checked that out over the years or not. I am hoping I did. I too urge all mothers to use their site. It is a small fee a year for some great information.

Sara - posted on 12/30/2008

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I have both of those models... One for one car, etc.

I like the Blvd better - not as high/tall. I can barely see over it when it was rear facing and I am 5'9" - my DH is much taller and had no problem. So we have a tall baby - but the Blvd has more features for making it just his size - better for accidents.



BTW - just go with a good deal - they won't know if the print is right for their sex. It won't give him issues if his car seat is pink. But that's just my two sense ;)

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