User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:It's just the best seat on the market hands down!
Cons:Price-but nothing is too much when it comes to my son's safety (see above)
The Bottom Line: An amazingly well constructed car seat that is easy to install/use with some of the cutest covers available. I constantly recommend it to friends, family and even strangers!
I am in Canada and the restrictions and safety requirements are different than they are in the USA but some aspects about the seat are similar.
Recommend this product?
The Marathon is better in many regards. It has the longest seatback and highest harness slots which mean your child can be in it longer than a car seat with low harness slots or short seatback.
The Marathon is also one of the few seats that can be rear facing and then forward facing to 48 lbs in Canada. The Marathon is also very easy to install and to fit in many cars. The small cars usually have problems with other car seats, but the Marathon with a higher base and smaller foot print seems to fit well in many too. There are many other attributes that make the Marathon worth it.
As for the merits of the Marathon, here are some points I found a while back on "Why a Britax seat would be worth it" on a website http://www.2monkeybutts.com/ange/marathon.htm
All that being said, here's why I like it:
I bought it for the higher weight limits both rear facing (5-33 lbs) and forward facing (up to 48 lbs in Canada and 65 lbs in the US) and higher seat back harness slots. I intend to keep my son rear facing until he reaches those limits since (after much research) it is BY FAR the safest position for him!
It is easy enough to install PROPERLY (and that's key here). I have tried other car seats but never really felt great about the installation and tightness of the harness.
It fits well in our smaller car (2006 Pontiac Vibe AWD). It is located behind the passenger seat (I know it's the 2nd to least favourable position next to the front seat) but there is no UAS hooks for the centre in our car (most favourable position) and my husband cannot put his seat back far enough to feel safe with the seat behind him (2nd most favourable position).
It is soft to the touch and the cover is removable for cleaning.
It is never too cold (think middle of winter in Canada) so I have no qualms about placing my son in it without the bulky winter layers thus enhancing his safety.
I found it very easy to put him in it and tighten the straps so they are properly secured every time.
I really like the strap covers that keep the belt from rubbing his neck.
When properly installed, your child's head should not slump forward.
Let's not forget that cute fabric!
For those of you who are hesitant to spend the money, here's how I looked at it...
If you paid (on average) $270 for this seat - Assuming you would be using it for approximately 4 years or longer (give or take) - It would end up costing you less than 19 cents a day! Sounds cheap to me for such a highly recommended seat.
Then again, no price would have been too high when it came to my son's safety!
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Amount Paid (US$): 240
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months