Comparisons

Britax Boulevard vs. Marathon: Which Britax Carseat Works Best for You?

Britax is arguably one of the premier car seat brands, so naturally, you can’t help but look at all of the best and not so great aspects of the Britax Boulevard vs. Marathon.

Since they’re both from the Britax family, it’s not all that surprising that they both have a generally similar design and shape, but of course, there are going to be some distinct differences as well. While both car seats can be transitioned from rear to forward-facing and as a whole they both accommodate children from 5-65 pounds; the Boulevard offers two layers of side impact protection to keep your child safe on the event of a crash. Of course, the Marathon also has an energy-absorbing shell, but the security may, in fact, be a bit different and potentially not as thorough as that of the Boulevard.

As far as the overall design of both car seats, the Boulevard is a bit roomier in height and may fit better in your backseat, when compared to the Marathon.

Both are designed to grow with your child, but the Marathon may be a little bit bulkier on the sides, even if it’s not dramatically so. Then again, the Marathon has thick and cushioned chest pads that are in the car seat to help prevent your child from moving forward too much during sudden stops, and you can’t compete that that small but effective feature. Overall, when comparing the Britax Boulevard vs. Marathon car seats, it’s easy to see where they share some of the same important features with each other. But because they’re still entirely separate car seats, it’s also important to be able to tell them apart and look at their strengths and weaknesses.

Britax Boulevard

One of the most important things that were taken into account when designing the Britax Boulevardcar seat was safety. It has two layers of side impact protection, and on top of that, it has an energy-absorbing base. This means that if there’s a car accident, the base will compress to feel the brunt of the force rather than have your child feel it while in the car seat itself.

Since the frame is steel-reinforced, you can be sure that the design of the car seat will be strong enough to handle most accidents. The installation of the Britax BoulevardBritax Boulevard is also designed to help give you peace of mind when it comes to your child’s safety, which is, of course, another big plus with this car seat. When you adjust your child’s harness, there is a clear clicking sound to let you know that you’ve positioned it correctly and that your child is securely buckled in.

Aside from the many safety features, though, there was also plenty of attention to comfort taken into account in the creation of the Boulevard. Since it’s meant to grow with your child from infancy to toddlerhood, there are 10 different positions for the height of the back of the seat, three different recline positions, and it has plush and comfortable padding.

Features

  • Safety Features: It has multiple layers of side impact protection, a steel frame, energy-absorbing base, and V-shaped tether, which means that your child’s car seat is less likely to move during impact.
  • Installation: The Boulevard has an easy to use LATCH system, which makes installing the car seat, whether it’s rear or forward-facing, a breeze.
  • Child Weight Limitations: In rear-facing, the car seat is suitable for babies from 5-40 pounds, and forward-facing from 20-65 pounds.
  • Price: On Amazon, the [easyink identifier=”B01N9RD5FP” locale=”US” tag=”thebabyswag-20″] Britax Boulevard [/easyazon_link] is $270. Check out the latest price!
  • Where To Buy: You can find the car seat on Amazon or in-store at Buy Buy Baby.

Pros

  • Not only is it easy to install, but the Britax Boulevard is also relatively easy to move in, and out of your backseat in case you need to use it in multiple cars.
  • Installation is relatively easy, so you won’t be left with a hard to understand instruction booklet and hours spent trying to figure it all out.
  • When you’re getting your child out of the car seat, there’s Velcro on either side of the car seat to hold the straps to the side and make it easier.
  • There’s a lot of cushion and comfort, so your growing toddler will remain comfortable while in this car seat rather than feeling as though they’re growing out of it sooner rather than later.

Cons

  • It gives plenty of peace of mind in terms of safety, but because of all of the reinforcements, the car seat I also exceptionally heavy.
  • Unfortunately, there are no cup holders on this particular car seat.
  • The buckle may feel too short and, therefore, uncomfortable as your child grows.

Reviews

“After owning other big brand car seats I wasn’t expecting to love this one but I do! In fact, it is the best one so yet! Easy to install, comfortable for my two kids and very easy to wipe clean.” – Danielle on Amazon.

“This is a great, solid seat. My daughter is comfortable and has a lot of room to grow. Installation was really easy, which is important for me as I am slightly paranoid about installing incorrectly. With this, it was no problem at all. I love this seat!” – Jessica Olson on Amazon.

“I have a Britax Marathon Clicktight in our other vehicle and I like this Boulevard so much more. Wish I would have purchased two Boulevards. Much easier to install, adjust, buckle, and unbuckle.” – Nicole West on Amazon.

“Very happy with the Britax Boulevard. Unlike other seats we’ve tried it actually fits rear-facing in our Ford Fiesta without cramming the front seats into the dashboard. It’s a great seat and we got it at a great price.” – Danielle Coates on Amazon.

Britax Marathon

Unsurprisingly, the Britax Marathon is also all about safety and comfort. In this case, the safety comes in the form of what’s called SafeCell Technology. With it in place, it can compress and lower the center of gravity with the car seat, meaning that your child is less likely to be propelled forward in the event of a car crash.

It also has side impact protection, which has energy-absorbing foam to keep your child’s body and head that much safer while securely buckled in the car seat. Plus, the energy-absorbing versa-tether helps minimize the forward movement and also minimize the forward movement of the actual car seat if there’s a crash while your child is in the car seat.

The Marathon also has 10 positions for the headrest, much like the Boulevard, to accommodate your growing toddler’s height, and there’s even a removable body pillow for younger or smaller babies who may need it early on to keep them safe and comfortable.

In order to properly install the car seat, there’s an easy to use LATCH system that’s even easier to use with this particular car seat, and three different recline positions, which can make installation a lot easier in some cases. And, just in case you need further installation peace of mind, there are built-in lock-offs in the back of the car seat to ensure proper seat belt installation and keep the car seat as securely installed as possible.

Features

  • Safety Features: For safety in the car seat, it has SafeCell Technology, side impact protection, and an energy-absorbing tether in the back of the car seat to avoid forward motion of the seat during crash or impact.
  • Installation: The simple LATCH installation option has an audible click to keep it in place properly, or you can opt for the seat belt installation in the back of the car seat.
  • Child Weight Limitations: When rear-facing, the Marathon is designed for babies from 5-40 pounds, and 20-65 when forward-facing.
  • Where To Buy: You can find it on Amazon or in-store at Walmart.

Pros

  • Overall, the thick fabric and padding are still breathable enough, so your child isn’t likely to get too warm on long car rides.
  • It’s relatively easy to take the car seat cover off for cleaning, which can be a lot better than pure on the spot cleaning while it’s still attached to the frame.
  • Installation is simple, regardless of which option you choose.
  • The safety is, as to be expected, virtually unparalleled, and offers plenty regarding full-body protection while your baby or toddler is securely buckled in the car seat.

Cons

  • The quality of the fabric cover and liner isn’t as impressive as that of other car seats and can begin to come undone or unravel over time.
  • It takes up a decent amount of room in the back seat of most cars, so it can be difficult to put more than one Marathon in your back seat.
  • The straps around your baby’s thighs might be too tight or uncomfortable for some.

Reviews

“The thing I love most about this car seat is how easy it is to install and take out of the car. It takes less than ten seconds for me to perform either option. The padding is excellent and very comfortable for our little boy. Other highlights are its ease of adjustment and the sharp look.” – Chris Upton on Amazon.

“I love my car seat! We have been using a convertible car seat since birth, skipping the infant bucket seat. Our daughter was born weighing seven pounds 12 ounces, and she fits well in the seat. Now at 22 pounds, 11 months she still has lots of room. The Britax fits well in both of our cars.” – J. Donahue on Amazon.

“This seat seems well worth the high cost. The quality is great, and we believe it is one of the safest options for our little one. It is a little big for the back seat of our sedan, but I expect that when we turn it to forward-facing space will improve.” – Claton Gardner on Amazon.

“I could not be any happier with this purchase. Britax makes wonderful products. This is super comfortable for our 13-month-old, she has plenty of room to grow, and can stay safely and comfortably rear facing for many more months.” – Rebekah Hills on Amazon.

The Verdict

The Britax Boulevard and Marathon are both excellent choices when looking at them for your growing child. They can both be used for newborns and toddlers, which is a huge plus and one of the main qualities that some parents look for when choosing a car seat for their child. They both offer superior safety features that can’t be beaten by many other brands, and although the cost of either option may not be the most suitable for some parents, you get what you pay for. And with both of these, you get plenty.

However, when it comes down to it, the overall more logical choice is going to be the Britax Boulevard. Thanks to the fact that it offers safety, easy installation, and affordability, you really can’t pass it up. Yes, the Marathon provides similar safety features, but with the Boulevard, you get a car seat that you likely won’t regret in the long run. With either option, you’re going to get a car seat that can be used for literal years and comfort and safety as well, but with the Boulevard, you also get a more affordable price, which can make a big difference, and that’s partly where it becomes the stronger choice out of the two.

Final Thoughts

Again, it’s hard to ignore that with the Britax brand, most of the car seats are going to be fairly similar. In this case, that’s true, and when looking at the Boulevard vs. Marathon, there are a ton of similarities. But for every identical, or close to identical, feature, there are a few that set them both apart from each other.

This is why the Boulevard is the superior option and why it’s probably best for you to go with that one, opposed to the Marathon. Honestly, either option is solid, since Britax has proven itself to be a stellar and trusted brand time and again, but in this instance, if you have to choose between the two, then it’s going to be the smartest move to go with the Boulevard. Because of its safety, cost, and longevity, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a car seat that can beat it.

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