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Britax Marathon VS Boulevard: Which Infant Car Seat Is The Best?

Britax Marathon VS Boulevard: Which Infant Car Seat Is The Best?

There are so many convertible car seats on the market that it’s almost impossible to sift through them all and find the best one.

One of the comparisons that parents are often faced with is Britax Marathon VS Boulevard.

The car seats in the Britax Marathon VS Boulevard showdown are considered to be top of their line and appear to be one of the go-to options.

Comparisons such as this one help parents to at least eliminate some of the competition which makes it easier to pick when purchasing.

These two models from the same manufacturer are frequently considered because Britax is one of the most highly regarded car seat brands on the market with many parents swearing by the quality of their products.

That’s why it’s no surprise that two of their most popular products, Britax Boulevard and Britax Marathon, are contenders for the position of top car seat.

Not only that, but these two in particular share many similarities which makes it harder for parents to figure out which one is better for their kids.

That’s why I’m here today, to help clarify their pros and cons and ultimately crown the winner of this little showdown.

As always, first I’ll run through the features of each one and what makes them special in detail before comparing the two in several of their key aspects until I determine which one is better overall.

Read on if you want to find out who’ll be crowned the victor.

Britax Marathon VS Boulevard: The Rundown

1. Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

Let’s take a look at the Britax Boulevard ClickTight convertible car seat features.

Pros:

• Very easy to install. You can use the LATCH system or the seat belt.

If you get lost, Britax offers tutorials on their YouTube channel that will help you.

• Can be configured into both a front and rear facing position, depending on your child’s age and size.

• Depending on the configuration, the weight limit of the Boulevard changes, but is solid regardless.

The rear facing position can withstand weights from 5 all the way up to 40 lbs while the forward facing one can go from 20 lbs to a 65 lbs upper limit.

• The Boulevard is quite compact allowing it to be transferred in and out of the car with ease.

You can adjust it without needing to be a professional gymnast to reach around when getting the baby out of the car. It’s an ideal car seat for compact cars.

• Shoulder straps on the side are secured by Velcro which makes getting the child out of the seat easier than in seats with rethread harnesses.

• It comes with a great number of safety features that double as comfort features too, namely the 2 layers of side impact protection, the comfy foam covered backrest, the impact-absorbing base, and the 5 point no-rethread harness.

• Other safety measures include a steel frame and a V-shaped tether which keep the baby in place and protect him in the unlikely event of a car accident.

• 14 height adjustable positions for the headrest and 7 recline positions for the backrest that help the Boulevard grow with the baby.

• The cover is removable and entirely machine washable.

• 9 different sleek and colorful designs for you to choose from to personalize your child’s exclusive car seat.

Cons:

• All the extra safety measures, especially the steel frame, make the car seat quite heavy which can be a nightmare to lug around.

• The seat features no cup holders for the baby’s bottle, though that’s only a minor gripe.

• While the seat itself does grow with your child, the buckles on the straps sadly don’t and they may start digging into his skin later on which can be quite uncomfortable.

The configurations

What makes it so special right off the bat is that it features both a rear facing and a forward facing mode with the former being able to withstand anywhere from 5 lbs all the way up to 40 lbs of weight.

The latter can go even higher than that, known to be able to handle a weight limit of 20-65 lbs with little issue.

cute baby girl sitting in a car seat

The size

The dimensions are relatively compact too considering all of the comfort that it provides, making it a comfy 23×18.5×23.5 inches.

The installation process

Unlike many of the other car seats that you’ll find on the market, Britax car seats have quite an easy installation process, making sure to provide as much ease of use as possible for new parents.

All that’s really needed is to buckle the car seat up to secure it, much like the mechanisms of a common seat belt and you’re good to go.

You can also connect it using the LATCH system.

The safety features

The 5 point, 14 position no-rethread harness is the pinnacle of safety as far as car seats are concerned, making sure your little one stays put no matter what.

This helps ensure a high level of comfort for the child for even the bumpiest of rides, and the fact that there’s no rethreading on the harness means that there won’t be any unnecessary tangling involved.

The harness itself is also easy to use thanks to the Boulevard ClickTight mechanism.

All you really need to do is ensure you hear the harness indicator click when adjusting it, that way you know that it’s been secured nice and tight around your child’s body.

That’s not the only safety measure they’ve included though!

The Boulevard car seat has multiple tacked on, the major one being the sturdy steel frame that provides a safe shell for your child just in case.

Another one of the important safety features included is the impact absorbing base with their patented SafeCell technology which better absorbs the energy of the impact and cushions the blow in case of an accident.

The same technology is also used in the 2 layers of side impact protection for those extremely bumpy rides that might have a baby jostling all over in other seats.

There’s also the plush foam padding that covers the back of the seat that’s both a safety measure and a comfort feature of the seat, ensuring the best of the best for your little bundle of joy.

For all of you looking for that extra dose of safety, the Boulevard has an ARB option which comes with an added anti rebound bar to prevent any forward movement of the car seat if the LATCH connectors or seat belt fail somehow.

safety seat for baby installed in car

Level of comfort

It’s also worth mentioning that the seat is meant to grow with your child, that way you won’t have to replace it if your child hits a sudden growth spurt.

The headrest itself has 14 different positions that it can adjust to height-wise while the back end of the seat has 7 different recline positions for customizing the child’s car experience.

Removable seat cover

Another great, albeit simple, feature of this car seat is that the cover is easily removable and is fully machine washable.

This allows you to just chuck it in the washing machine and get it done and not have to rely on some gimmicky cleaning product.

This way, you don’t risk damaging the car seat itself and it’s easier for the cover to dry off.

Personalization options

For all you fans of customizing everything that relates to your precious child, the Britax Boulevard comes with 9 different designs for you to choose from for just a few extra bucks.

The price

Speaking of which, the Boulevard’s base design comes in at around $325 (as of writing this article) which is about what you would expect to pay for a seat of this caliber, at least as far as Amazon is concerned.

Of course, the price might change in the future.

2. Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

Next up in the Britax Marathon VS Boulevard battle for the best convertible car seat is the Britax Marathon ClickTight convertible car seat.

Pros:

• Quite easy to install thanks to the LATCH connectors that, when paired with their anchors, keep the seat in place through even the strongest of impacts.

Just make sure to fiddle with it until you hear a click sound and you’ll know it’s set.

The other method is to use the seat belt of the car and run it through the back of the car seat to serve as an alternate method of installation.

• Has both a rear and front facing configuration option with the rear one being able to handle children from 5 to 40 lbs while the front one goes from 20 all the way to an astonishing 65 lbs.

• Jam packed with all sorts of safety measures like the 5 point, no-rethread harness, the Britax-patented SafeCell technology that can be found in the impact cushioning base, and the protection on the side.

• V-shaped tether in the back to ensure the head and backrest stay in the same position that you set them up in.

• Optional anti-rebound bar available for an extra fee and for an added degree of safety.

• Easily removable seat cover that’s fully machine washable.

• The cover, as well as the padding on the seat are made from a breathable material to ensure the maximum levels of comfort for your baby.

• More affordable than the Boulevard.

• 8 different color patterns for you to choose from for a little bit of extra money.

Cons:

• Some users have reported that the seat cover is somewhat low quality and that it frays or becomes less durable after only a few washes.

• Despite the additional positions on the buckles, the straps can still feel a bit too constrictive for larger kids.

The installation process

Much like its competitor, the Marathon is easy to install thanks to the ClickTight installation system that it shares with the Boulevard.

All you really need to do is get the LATCH connectors or the seat belt anchored in its proper position until you hear a click sound and you’re ready to go.

sweet baby girl sleeping in a car seat

Level of comfort

Another similarity that the two share are some of the safety features, namely the 5 point, no-rethread harness as well as the 14 possible harness positions.

The Marathon, however, also features a 2 position buckle which makes it a lot more comfortable than the Boulevard when adjusting the car seat to grow with the child.

Speaking of growing with the child, the headrest has 10 positions to help adjust the height limit, as well as 7 recline positions to keep comfort at a maximum.

Configuration options

The Marathon car seat, much like its competition in this little duel, can be placed in both a forward facing and rear facing configuration.

It has the same weight limits of 5-40 lbs for the rear one and 20-65 lbs for the front configuration.

Size

The dimensions of this seat are identical to the Boulevard, coming in at 23×18.5×23.5in with the width around the shoulder being a comfortable 16 inches.

Given these measurements, it also shares the Boulevard’s trait of being compact enough to be easily transferred in and out of the car, making its installation even easier.

Safety features

Going over to the most important category once more, the safety measures.

The Marathon too features the sturdy and durable steel frame that helps keep the baby protected from any severe impacts or debris in case of an accident.

Then there’s also the impact absorbing base that carries the patented SafeCell impact protection system that crumples in on itself to absorb a good chunk of the impact force and keep your baby safe.

The main difference between the Boulevard and Marathon however is the fact that the latter only has one layer of side protection whereas the former has two, though it doesn’t do much to diminish the overall safety of the product.

In fact, it makes it a bit lighter in comparison to the Boulevard, making it easier to carry.

sleepy baby sitting in a car seat fasten with safety belt

Much like the Boulevard, the Marathon also offers the option of purchasing an extra anti rebound bar if you’re someone who wants the maximum level of safety for your precious child.

This is a good investment, especially if you live somewhere where the number of car crashes is dangerously high due to reckless drivers.

It’s grim to think about, but sadly that’s the reality and the reason why all these safety measures are designed in the first place.

While the likelihood of the connectors failing at any point is highly unlikely given how all of the Britax safety measures go through rigorous crash tests, there’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to your child’s safety.

Another similar safety feature between the two is the V-shaped tether in the back that also keeps the seat steady and doesn’t allow the headrest to budge anywhere other than its intended position.

Removable seat cover

The car seat cover is very easy to remove and can be washed in a regular washing machine with all your other laundry.

It’s a simple feature, but one that’s greatly appreciated and that actually saves parents a lot of hassle as cleaning it directly on the seat can be a real nightmare!

The price

Considering everything, the price on Amazon comes in at just under$300 (as of writing this article) for the base version of the seat.

The price, however, can always change in the future.

Personalization options

If you’re a mamma like me that wants to further personalize your baby’s car seat, you can choose from 8 different patterns for a small fee.

Britax Marathon VS Boulevard: The Comparison

adorable baby boy sleeping in a car seat

Let’s see how well these car seats compare to one another so the winner of the Britax Marathon VS Boulevard standoff can be determined once and for all.

Despite their numerous similarities, there are a few points where they differ which will help determine the winner of this little contest.

The ease of installation: A tie

Due to sharing the same dimensions and the same installation system, the two products start off dead even.

The level of comfort: Marathon wins

Both models offer the same number of positions and features that keep the child in place and comfortable.

However, the foam padding of the Boulevard doesn’t allow for much breathability.

When looking at the Marathon, this model ensures both breathable padding and fabric as well as resolving the issue of the buckle discomfort for older kids.

The safety features: Boulevard wins

These are mostly the same, however, the extra layer of side protection that the Boulevard has puts it that much ahead of the other competitor, giving it the win in this category.

The number of configurations: A tie

Both of the car seats can be configured to be either front or rear-facing, meaning they both score the same amount of points in this category.

The number of customization options: Boulevard wins

While this won’t be what decides the winner, it’s an inclusion I felt was needed.

The Boulevard just barely inches out a victory here thanks to one additional color option in comparison to the Marathon, making it the winner.

The price: Marathon wins

young woman standing against the baby car seats in store

The final category, as always, is the price tag.

While they’re both relatively close in terms of price, the Marathon’s base option is about $30 cheaper than the Boulevard, making it more budget-friendly.

Keep in mind that the price might change in the future.

The overall winner: Britax Marathon

When all is said and done, I personally believe that the Marathon takes the win here.

While it might lack that one layer of side protection, this car seat is a lot more comfortable, lighter, and cheaper than the Boulevard while having many of the same features.

In my eyes, this makes it the overall winner and the better purchase if you’re looking for overall quality, though if safety is your only concern, you should probably give the Boulevard a go.

Of course, the Boulevard itself isn’t bad by any means.

They’re still more or less the same product with very slight differences here and there.

Plus, this is only my personal opinion.

If you feel like it wasn’t the right verdict, I have laid out all of the information above that you can freely analyze and form your own decision on the matter and find the car seat that best fits your child’s needs.

In Conclusion

cute little girl driving in a car while sitting in a car seat

While this little Britax Marathon VS Boulevard competition was fun, it’s worth mentioning that they’re both car seats of astounding quality for their price because they come from a great manufacturer.

The people over at Britax have been the advocates of child car safety ever since their inception and they strive to retain that standard with each new model they produce.

They go through rigorous tests to make sure the seat keeps children safe from even the worst of roadside accidents while also keeping them comfortable.

They also make sure that the seats are built to last and that they won’t be rendered unusable over just a little bump here and there.

The bottom line is that you really can’t go wrong with either of the two seats.

At worst, you’ll lose out on a few dollars, but the seats will last you a long time.

Whichever one you choose, I’m sure you’ll make the right decision, just make sure to read over the information on each one carefully.

I do hope that I’ve at least managed to make the decision a little bit easier for you. Until next time, mammas.

READ NEXT: 19 Best Narrow Car Seats And Boosters

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