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Britax Roundabout vs Britax Marathon Car Seat: Which is Best for Your Child?

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Most parents are pretty familiar with the Britax brand by the time they research car seats and the one thing they will find is that there are so many to choose from. And when you have so many from the same brand that is also quite similar, it can be hard to decide which is best.

Like when you look at the main differences between The Britax Roundabout vs. Britax Marathon Car Seat. Because they are so similar, it might be hard to figure out which one is the better option, but when it comes down to it, as long as you look at them both closely, it can be a little less daunting to choose the stronger car seat for your family’s needs.

The Marathon, for example has seven different recline positions, whereas the Roundabout has just three. Then again, the Roundabout does have superior multiple layers of side impact protection and you really can’t ignore the value in that. The most important things to look at with any car seat are safety, longevity, price, and comfort. And since these are two similar car seats from the same brand, you should also look at those aspects here before you make your final decision. 

Main Differences Between The Britax Roundabout Vs. Britax Marathon Car Seat

  • Cost: The Britax Roundabout is considerably less costly than the Britax Marathon.
  • Weight Limit: Your baby can use the Roundabout until they reach 55 pounds, but they can use the Marathon up to 65 pounds.
  • The Marathon is a bit slimmer than the Roundabout, so it might be easier to fit in your back seat.
  • There are more recline positions with the Britax Marathon than the Britax Roundabout.

Britax Roundabout Car Seat

Because the Britax Roundabout Car Seat is technically a retired Britax car seat, it is a little more difficult to find online and in-store than some other Britax car seats. Right now, it is readily available on Walmart.com, but it is currently sold out on Amazon. That could speak to you about how much in demand the car seat is and how well-received it has been by parents and kids alike.

But that could be because of the car seat’s safety and all around comfort. It has a tangle-free five-point harness to keep your child buckled in securely but without the worry of getting the straps twisted while getting your little one in and out of the car seat. It also has SafeCell Side Impact Protection which adds literal layers of safety to the sides of the car seat to keep your child as safe as possible in the event of a crash.

There are multiple recline positions to choose from as your child grows and it has a two-position buckle to keep your child comfortable as they grow. A lot of times, the buckle in the middle can become uncomfortable as children grow and the different positions offered for this one help ensure that your child gets the most comfort out of the Britax Roundabout for as long as possible.

Features

  • Child Weight Range: The car seat is designed for babies from 5-40 pounds in the rear-facing position and 20-55 pounds in the forward-facing position.

  • Safety Features: It is made with a steel reinforced frame, an impact absorbing base and multiple layers of side impact protection.

  • Car Seat Size: The Roundabout is 21 x 18.5 x 26 inches.

  • Price: Check it out on Amazon!

  • Where To Buy: You can primarily find it online on store websites like Walmart at this time.

  • Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on this car seat.

Pros

  • The Roundabout is fairly affordable for most families, especially as a convertible car seat.

  • It is made with several different safety precautions put into place.

  • It provides a good amount of legroom when kids are still in the rear-facing position.

  • The car seat just feels more durable and stable than a lot of other similar convertible car seats.

  • There is added support cushion padding which adds to the comfort factor.

Cons

  • The fabric padding might not hold up too well after being put through a cycle in the washer.

  • It might be hard for some parents to find a Britax Roundabout since it is no longer available on its website and is sold out on Amazon.

  • Parents might need to pull on the harness extra hard in order to get it correctly in place and fitted on their children.

Reviews

“I love this new convertible seat for my five month old. He is 20 pound, rear-facing and tethered. When we had less kids and more money, I was buying the high-end Britax seats — Boulevard ClickTights and all that jazz. But, after eight years of three kids in Britax seats, I didn’t think I could afford another one. But then I found this Roundabout! I’m so excited I could afford it, and it’s great for the price tag. Not as many bells and whistles as a Boulevard, but I’m thrilled with the quality.” – Valerie R. on Amazon.

“We bought two of these for each of our vehicles. We recently transitioned our daughter to this seat out of her Britax infant seat. We are appreciating that it is much easier to get her in and out of this seat compared to the infant seat (which is intentional and part of the design I’m sure based on toddler anatomy compared to newborn and infant). This car seat is well made, high quality and feels very sturdy and durable. I feel comfortable driving around with my daughter knowing she is in a Britax seat.” – Jessica A. on Amazon.

“These are excellent quality. Every time I put my child into it, the steel frame gives me a sense that they’re well protected and secure. They are extremely easy to take in and out. Everything on them functions properly. The kids always seem comfortable and happy. We actually have four of these and I always recommend them to everyone with kids. Truly a great product!” – Chris McKinney on Amazon.

“What can I say? All parents know Britax is top of the line. And this one is no exception. Awesome safe compact car seat. Love that it works front and backwards facing. Bought it for my 1.5 year old when little brother arrived and needed the rear-facing infant seat, and now two years later it is still going strong as little brother uses it! Seat washes easily, click in easily, and lightweight for easy removal if needed.” – Kajsa Mayfield on Amazon.

Britax Marathon Car Seat

The Britax Marathon Car Seat is easily one of the more high-end options from the Britax brand. Its biggest selling point is the simple ClickTight Installation System, which makes installation as quick and easy as possible. You simply lift up the seat to thread your car’s seat belt across it, click it into place, and then close the car seat bottom.

There’s no strenuous pulling or yanking to get anchors in place and you can easily take the car seat out of your car to install on another as needed. There are also 14 different headrest positions to keep your child safe, comfortable, and supported as he or she grows. And in case you need to recline the car seat in one of its seven recline positions, you can use the bubble level indicator to make sure you have it installed and angled at just the right degree.

You can also rest easy knowing that a lot of safety was taken into consideration when the Marathon was made. It has a steel integrated frame and impacts absorbing base to keep your little one safe and give you peace of mind. The name of the game here is obviously comfort, convenience, and safety all around.

Features

  • Child Weight Range: The car seat is designed for children from 5-40 pounds in the rear-facing position and 20-65 pounds in the forward-facing option.
  • Safety Features: It’s made with a steel integrated frame, impact absorbing base, and side impact protection.
  • Car Seat Size: The car seat is 23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches.
  • Price: Check it out on Amazon!
  • Where To Buy: You can find it on Amazon or in-store at Target.
  • Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on this car seat.

Pros

  • The Marathon can be used a little longer than the Roundabout since it does go up to 65 pounds.
  • The ClickTight installation makes installing the car seat a breeze in essentially any car.
  • There are a lot of different safety features built-in and set in place to keep your little one safe as he or she grows.
  • With so many headrest adjustments, your little one can continue to have head and neck support as he or she grows.
  • It’s also easy to adjust the harness.

Cons

  • The car seat cushion cover isn’t machine washable, so that can be a deal breaker for some parents.
  • It might be on the pricier side for some families.
  • The straps might be a little too tight on some children.

Reviews

“The best car seat I have ever bought! I was back and forth on this one and the Maxi Cosi Pria 70. I did extensive research on both, and made my decision! My favorite feature is definitely the ClickTight (Britax has way better safety features)! I installed the car seat today, and it was the tightest I have ever gotten a car seat, and it took not even five minutes (it is heavy, about 35 pounds)! The straps are not hard to adjust, and the crotch buckle comes with a little pad so you won’t pinch when buckling! Easy to buckle, and no hassle with the buckles going under the baby’s butt!” – Kristiana G. on Amazon.

“This beast of a car seat is amazing. I can’t believe I had my daughter in one of those cheap Graco infant carriers. When I strap my daughter in, I know that she will be as safe as can be. It’s easy to install and super easy to strap her in (She’s six months old). Best of all, she’s comfortable in it. I had some issues with the recline lever (it broke) but I called Britax and they sent a replacement seat within three days. They made a customer for life with their incredible customer service.” – Jeanne McCormack on Amazon.

“Awesome! Easy to adjust and everything is pretty intuitive. Provides great protection and makes us feel secure knowing our child is well protected. This is the second one we have purchased so we have one in each car. As with all convertible car seats, it is heavy so it makes switching cars a pain so we decided to buy another one. They are more expensive than other car seats but our child’s safety and our peace of mind is worth the money.” – Chris Ohta on Amazon.

“This is hands down the best car seat I have ever used. It is so easy to install, and once it is installed it is in there tight. It does not move. The only drawback, and really it is not that big of a deal, is it is a little heavy. I feel that it is probably a little on the heavy side because of all the safety features built in, for example, the steel frame. It can be used rear or front facing and it has seven tilting positions. I would highly recommend this car seat.” – Susan J. Clark on Amazon.

The Verdict

The Britax Marathon and Britax Roundabout share a lot of the same qualities. They come equipped with similar safety features and even similar longevity. But at the end of the day, the stronger option is the Britax Marathon Car Seat. It was designed with your baby’s growth in mind. Not only can you adjust the headrest as they grow, but you can also adjust the recline to keep them seated at just the right angle, even as they get older and bigger. While both car seats share similar safety features and the rear to forward convertible aspect, the Britax Marathon is the more high-end option. And sometimes, parents may prefer to go with the more reliable long-term option.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason to think that going with either of these is the wrong option, so to speak. Britax car seats in general are fine choices for parents who need either infant or convertible car seats that will hold up well over time. The Marathon and Roundabout are certainly no different. But in this case, the stronger option just happens to be the Britax Marathon Car Seat.

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