User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Ease of use, safety, comfort
The Bottom Line: Easy to use, safer than most and comfortable for the little one.
I am infatuated with my son’s Britax car seat. When I worked at Babies R Us (about 6 years ago) I learned just about everything I could learn about car seats, how they’re made, how seat A stacks up against seat B and the ratings and what you should look for. You also learn all the quirks that come with each seat as you’re constantly taking seats down to let guests try them in the in-store bench seat. Around my second month there I fell in love with the Britax Roundabout (up to about 40 or 45lbs if I recall correctly.) Shortly after I learned of the Britax Marathon which goes up to 65lbs. Wow… so 5 years before I had my child, I knew what he was going to be in after his infant seat.
Recommend this product?
Anybody who has an infant and has a car equipped with LATCH knows how big of a pain it is to use the standard LATCH clips that come with most infant seats. You have to get the base in tight and then strain, break a few nails, work up a good sweat, get the hubby involved only to have him stand off to the side to watch helplessly and struggle to get the LATCH to connect. Britax uses a seatbelt buckle style clasp that is so unbelievably easier to use. Get the belt tight and then put your knee into the seat and *clip* it’s on as fast as you can buckle a seatbelt.
I love the little pads at the shoulders of the belts, I’ve always been careful to NOT give my little guy a belt burn by slowly tightening the belt and using a finger here and there to keep it away from his neck anyway but the guards keep little necks free from burns and adds an added comfort to the seat that most adults don’t even get to enjoy!
Another awesome little feature is the velcro. Yes there is velcro on the straps and the arm rests but it won’t come directly into contact with his skin… this is SO convenient if you’re running around for the day. The straps stick to the sides so you can get the little guy (or girl) in the seat and buckled in record time compared to putting in your little one, shifting your pride and joy to get the straps out from behind him and then buckling. You would not believe how much time it saves not having to fight with the straps. He doesn’t have enough time to work up a good fuss before he’s in.
About three days after we installed the seat our son got ill in the car. I don’t know if it was the change from rear facing to forward or if teething and everything else caught up to him at once but he didn’t fare so well on his trip to grandma’s (retired mothers-in-law make for awesome babysitters!) Well, he got sick on himself and the seat. It was quick work removing the cover and tossing it into the wash on a cold cycle and a tumble low dry. It didn’t shrink, it didn’t get funky lumps in the dryer, it maintained shape and went on as easily as it did coming off.
A few other things to note that are just as common with most car seats. It has a 5-point harness, a recline feature, easy to use tighten and release system for the harness, the option to use with LATCH or with your standard seat belt, an easy to clean surface and easy enough height adjustment on the belts for when your little one has one of those spurts. I have also noticed that the material stays moderately cool in the summer even though it is black.
The Britax Marathon, while quite large… (it takes up a little rear view mirror space.) It is STILL by far the best convertible car seat I know of on the market. I am a proud owner.
For the record, I also purchased a second hand little used Roundabout for my son (after checking out the seat for signs of abuse, mind you) as a secondary car seat for my husband’s car. These car seats are built tough, built comfortable, built for safety and BUILT TO LAST. I highly recommend Britax for your child. When it comes to safety and peace of mind… “Good” just isn’t enough.
My only gripe is that the Roundabout is much smaller and I wish that the Roundabout had the same max weight, then I might be writing about it instead. Oh well!!!
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Amount Paid (US$): 215
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months