Carseats Comparisons

Chicco NextFit vs. Britax Marathon: Which Should You Buy?

For some parents, investing in a convertible car seat is simply a given. Why go through the sometimes painstaking process of getting an infant carrier car seat, and then a car seat for your older baby, followed by a toddler seat and booster seat when you can skip a couple of steps?

Granted, convertible car seats aren’t the be all end all when it comes to car seats, but when looking at the Chicco NextFit Convertible vs. the Britax Marathon ClickTight, it’s easy to see some of the advantages that come along with convertible car seats.

While both car seats are indeed designed to fit your growing child, the Chicco NextFit does offer nine different recline positions, whereas the Britax Marathon has just three, which may not be enough for some children.

On the flip side, the Britax Marathon does offer a ten position headrest, while the Chicco NextFit has six positions in which it can be moved up to accommodate your growing child.

Both car seats, however, do have similar prices, which can make a choice a little more difficult, since in some cases, the cost is a huge deciding factor.

Instead, then, you might want to look at all of the other aspects of each car seat to try and determine which is best for you and your little one between the Chicco NextFit vs. the Britax Marathon ClickTight.

Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat

The Chicco brand itself has a ton of different kinds of car seats for almost all of your needs, including the Chicco NextFit Convertible, designed to grow with your child from infancy to toddlerhood.

Just by looking at the seat, you can see that it will feel almost like a cocoon for your little one with sides that act as protective barriers and a five-point harness that can be adjusted with one hand.

Since the car seat is meant to grow with your child, there are two different possible positions for the chest clip and the headrest can move up six different positions so that even your tall two-year-old can remain comfortable while in the car seat.

In order to get the right kind of angle, it even has level bubble indicators on the side so you’ll know just the right way to have the car seat positioned once your child is buckled in it.

Plus, there’s a SuperCinch latch pull to make installation secure and easier than some LATCH installation instructions with other car seats. From the nine different recline positions to the multiple headrest levels, the Chicco NextFit is designed to accommodate your child as he or she grows while keeping them safe and comfortable.

Features

  • Installation: By using the SuperCinch latch tightener, you can utilize the LATCH installation anchors in your car but without some of the headache that typically comes along with them.
  • Safety: The five-point harness can be adjusted as needed with one hand to secure your baby or toddler and the higher sides of the car seat mean more coverage and protection for your child.
  • Weight Guidelines: In rear-facing mode, the car seat can be used with babies from 5-40 pounds and for forward-facing, they should be 22-65 pounds.
  • Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in store at Buy Buy Baby.

Pros

  • The Chicco NextFit can potentially be used for toddlers through preschool age, which means that you could get several years of use from it.
  • It’s narrow enough to fit in the back seat of smaller cars, which also means that it could be easier to take your infant out of the seat each time.
  • Installation with the SuperCinch latch pull makes it easy to do for pretty much anyone.
  • The bubble level indicator on the side will help you know which recline is the most safe for your child so you won’t have any doubts or concerns.

Cons

  • Because both sides of the car seat are relatively high for safety, it can be difficult for younger or smaller babies to be able to see out of the seat on either side.
  • While it may fit comfortably in the back seat of both cars and SUVs, the Chicco NextFit is still quite heavy.
  • The headrest can sometimes go back down a level or two, meaning that you’ll have to readjust it more often than not.

Reviews

“Love it. Great design, very easy to install, non-rethread harness, comfortable and good quality. It has nine recline positions — any position can be used rear-facing or forward-facing. It comes with side storage for LATCH anchors, a removable cup holder on the side of the seat and an infant insert for added support for babies from 5-11 pounds.” – Rose H. on Amazon.

“I bought cheaper car seats in the beginning. I couldn’t get them to fit well in my car. I bought this Chicco one and it installed in less than five minutes. It gets so tight and keeps my daughter safe. It’s amazing.” – Trent Roesbery on Amazon.

“This is the absolute best car seat for a compact car (Honda Civic), I recommend it too all my friends. Even if you have plenty of space, this thing is metal (a.k.a. heavy) but strong. It is so easy to install that even I (mom) can do it by myself. It’s comfortable for the kids, it’s easy to adjust as they grow. It’s easy to vacuum out the Cheerio goo and wipe down the fabric.” – Niccole Brege on Amazon.

“I absolutely love this car seat! Everything adjusts to perfectly fit your child. I love how the cup holder can switch sides or be removed. The car seat has high sides that add more protection all the while staying comfortable. Speaking of comfortable, it is very well cushioned that my child is not only highly safe but very comfortable in long car rides.” – Sasha Martin on Amazon.

Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat

The biggest and most important aspect of the Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible is all of the safety that it provides.

It’s been side impact tested of course, but it also has deep walls on either side, which are lined with energy absorbing foam to evenly distribute any blows that might happen in the event of a crash.

It also as an integrated steel frame built in to the back of it where it sits against the back seat of your car and an impact absorbing base that actually compresses to take a lot of the force during crashes.

The five point harness is also tangle free to allow for less of a struggle each time you buckle your child in the car seat. Other than superb safety, though, the Britax Marathon offers the ability to use the car seat until your child reaches 65 pounds, provided that he or she is still comfortable and safely buckled in the seat up until that point.

This makes it similar to the Chicco NextFit in that regard, but clearly, the safety features of the Britax Marathon are unparalleled when it comes to many other similar convertible car seats.

Features

  • Installation: There’s a pull strap to make installing the car seat via the LATCH system easier and also an audible click that will let you know it’s been successfully and safely attached.
  • Safety: Among the many safety features with the Britax Marathon are the SafeCell energy absorbing base, steel integrated frame, and layers of energy absorbing foam throughout the inside of the seat.
  • Weight Guidelines: In rear-facing mode, the car seat should be used with babies from 5-40 pounds and when forward-facing, they should be 20-65 pounds.
  • Where To Buy: You can primarily find it on Amazon.

Pros

  • The many different safety features and precautions in place will give any parent peace of mind with their child in the car seat.
  • The padding around the head area is thick and soft enough to be comfortable and provide safety, but not too bulky to be uncomfortable when your child wants to move his or her head.
  • You can take the cover off and clean it in the washer, so if there are particularly big spills or accidents, you don’t have to scrub it clean on the actual frame.
  • In general, it doesn’t take up too much space in the back seat.

Cons

  • To put the car seat in different recline positions, it can be difficult, especially if it’s already installed.
  • There’s no level bubble indicator to help you get the seat in the right position, as the Chicco NextFit has.
  • There isn’t much neck support, so if your toddler or baby falls asleep in the Britax Marathon, their head will slump forward.

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 fit well in the seat. Now at 22 pounds, 11 months, she still has lots of room.” – J. Donahue on Amazon.

“We’ve had this about two months now and have been very happy with this seat. This is my second Britax because I just feel my baby is very secure in them. It’s got lots of extra safety installation straps and it wraps up around her very nicely.” – Cally A. Neal on Amazon.

“This seat seems well worth the high cost. The quality is great, and we believe it is one of the safest option 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.

The Verdict

Right away, it was likely pretty clear that both the Chicco NextFit and Britax Marathoncar seats are fairly similar in what they offer and both of their costs alone. But upon closer examination, you might realize that the Chicco NextFit is actually a superior choice in this instance.

Yes, it’s hard to ignore that the Britax Marathon has the energy absorbing foam built into the sides of the car seat for added safety, which are certainly useful and needed in a car seat, the Chicco NextFit is still a stronger choice here.

Because of its design and a level indicator, the Chicco NextFit will surely give your baby the right angle and fit in your car. And because it can be used for children up to 65 pounds, it will last your baby a long time, well past that one year mark. Both the Chicco NextFit and Britax Marathon are both top quality convertible car seats, or else it wouldn’t be necessary to compare them, but your best bet is to go with the Chicco NextFit.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a safe, reliable, and comfortable convertible car seat for your child, some of the important qualities to look at include cost, safety features, and longevity.

For both of these car seats, they do meet or exceed most expectations in those areas, but with the Chicco and Britax brands, that’s to be expected.

Between the two, the Chicco NextFit may be the superior option here, but there’s always the off chance that you’ll find yourself drawn to the Britax Marathon instead.

The important thing is that you feel comfortable with the purchase and that your child is as safe and comfortable as possible.

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