Britax is a leading manufacturer of child passenger safety products – including premium infant car seats. Some of the brand’s constant bestsellers are the Marathon ClickTight and the Boulevard ClickTight convertible car seats. The question is, which one is better and safer? How do you even choose between the two? Our detailed Britax Marathon vs Boulevard comparison article can help you decide which car seat is a better fit for your child.
Britax Marathon vs Boulevard
Since the Marathon and the Boulevard hail from the same Britax collection, there are, inevitably, plenty of similarities between the two. For instance, both have more or less the same design, structure, and shape. In fact, they even have the same dimensions and weight capacity. Both are also convertible from rear to forward-facing positions, which means that they are designed to grow with your child.
Of course, there are striking differences as well, especially in terms of safety, convenience, and overall costs. These differences may serve as the deciding factor when choosing which product to go for.
Refer to the comparison table below for a quick overview of the Marathon and the Boulevard.
|Specifications||Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat||Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat|
|Car Seat Type||Convertible||Convertible|
|Product Dimensions||23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches||23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches|
|Product Weight||27 pounds||29.4 pounds|
|Rear-Facing Mode Weight Limit||5 to 40 pounds||5 to 40 pounds|
|Forward-Facing Mode Weight Limit||20 to 65 pounds||20 to 65 pounds|
|Material Type||Steel and mesh fabric||Steel and mesh fabric|
|Key Features||Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat||Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat|
|ClickTight Installation System||Yes||Yes|
|No-Rethread Harness Positions||14||14|
|SafeCell Impact of Side Protection||Yes||Yes|
|Layers of Side Impact Protection||1||2|
|Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator||No||Yes|
|Automatic Level Indicator||
|Retail Price||Starts at $239.99 (Click here to check the latest promotion)||Starts at $324.99 (Click here to check the latest promotion)|
1. Weight Capacity
Both the Britax Marathon and the Britax Boulevard have a weight capacity of 5 to 65 pounds, although the maximum limit depends on whether they are set to rear- or forward-facing positions. In the rear-facing mode, the car seats can accommodate up to 40 pounds. Meanwhile, the forward-facing mode is suitable for babies weighing anywhere between 20 and 65 pounds.
Both products come with the brand’s patented ClickTight Installation System, making them an absolute breeze to install. It is as simple as opening, buckling, and closing a seat belt – no need to manually tighten it. Not only do you save time and effort. You can also rest easy knowing that your child is safely strapped in the seat before every ride.
Still, do not rely on the ClickTight Installation System alone. Before even attempting to set up the car seat, make sure that you have already read and understood the installation instructions. This will play a crucial role in your child’s safety.
When it comes to safety, Marathon and Boulevard do not disappoint. Both feature Britax’s SafeCell Impact Technology and Anti-Rebound Bar for superior protection in the event of a crash.
SafeCell Impact Protection
The SafeCell Impact Protection is essentially an integrated system consisting of several components, each with distinct functions. Altogether, they work in tandem to safeguard your bundle of joy during a collision. In particular, they absorb energy and limit your child’s movement. More impressively, this top-of-the-line technology even goes beyond the federal safety standards.
- Side Impact Protection. This protective cushion surrounds your child’s neck, head, and torso while absorbing crash forces and protecting them from flying debris. Take note that the Marathon only has a single layer of Side Impact Protection, while the Boulevard has two, resulting in an advanced level of protection. Specifically, the Britax Boulevard is outfitted with an energy-absorbing headrest to enclose your child’s head and neck.
- Impact-Absorbing Tether. The unique two-strap design minimizes forward movement and seat rotation in the event of a crash.
- Impact-Absorbing Harness Pads. As the name indicates, these special pads absorb energy and inhibit your child’s forward movement during a collision. Both the Marathon and the Boulevard have a five-point safety harness, which fastens to the shoulders, hips, and between the legs.
- Impact-Stabilizing Steel Frame. The high-strength steel frame bolsters the seat structure, keeping it stabilized at all times.
- Impact-Absorbing Base. It crumples to absorb crash forces, driving the energy away from your precious child. Furthermore, the base also prevents forward motion.
Both models have an Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) – one of the brand’s newest features. It helps reinforce the car seat during the rear-facing mode, reducing movement in case of an accident. Although handy, the SafeCell Impact Protection is usually more than enough to keep your child out of harm’s way.Know that both products are available without ARB – and at a significantly reduced cost.
Both the Marathon and the Boulevard offer unparalleled comfort. So, whatever car seat you end up choosing, you can rest assured that your little one will remain snug and cozy throughout the ride.
Both models use ventilated mesh fabric for enhanced airflow. This keeps your child feeling cool and comfy while on the road.
Foam Padding and Fabrics
Despite being breathable, the fabric is not thin at all. Instead, both the fabric and padding are thick and plush for ultimate comfort.
Comfort goes hand in hand with convenience. Fortunately, the Marathon and the Boulevard come with helpful features that make the process much more seamless – both for you and your child.
As mentioned earlier, the Marathon and the Boulevard have the same dimensions. Since they are convertible, they can be larger than other infant car seats. However, this also means that they can support bigger babies or tots. At any rate, if you have a small vehicle, measure the back seat first to confirm if it can accommodate the car seat.
The Marathon weighs around 27 pounds, while the Boulevard is slightly heavier at about 29 pounds. This means that aside from being bulky, both units are also quite heavy and difficult to lug around.
For maximum convenience, both the Marathon and the Boulevard boast a quick-adjust, no-rethread harness. It simply means that, unlike other models, you do not have to fully remove the car seat out of your vehicle to reposition the harness. Instead, all you need to do is quickly squeeze and lift the back of the car seat to adjust the car seat. This way, you can regularly modify the harness settings and ensure that it is appropriate for your child’s ever-changing size.
Automatic Level Indicator
Both the Britax Marathon and Boulevard are available in multiple recline positions. To make things more seamless, Britax has installed the products with easy-to-read Automatic Level Indicators, which let you find the correct and safe recline angle for your vehicle and your child. In other words, you get to eliminate guesswork and save time without compromising your child’s safety.
Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator
While both these ClickTight models are installed the same way, the Britax Boulevard is slightly more convenient of the two. That is because it has a Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator. It simply means that the car seat will emit an audible “click” sound when the harness is tight, so you can be confident that the harness has been properly adjusted every single time.
This is not a dealbreaker, though. If you decide to go for the Marathon, you will just have to spend a bit more time ensuring that the harness is secure enough. At any rate, remember that the Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator is merely a secondary feature. Whether you settle on the Marathon or the Boulevard, you will still need to learn how to correctly install and adjust the car seat, as well as how tight the harness should be on your child.
Fabric and Material
The fabric material is an important consideration since little kids can get pretty messy. Every now and then, you will need to remove and wash the fabric to keep the car seat clean and smellingfresh at all times. Lucky for you, both the Marathon and the Boulevard are furnished with easy-to-remove, machine-washable cover. In fact, there is no need to unthread the harness to take the cover off. To clean, all you need to do is run the fabric on a gentle cycle, preferably using cold water.
6. Ease of Use Ratings
No one wants a product that is complicated to operate. Do not fret. Both the Marathon and the Britax earn high marks in the Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In this scoring system, the NHTSA computes the ease of use of car seats in several categories.
Refer to the table below for a summary of the results.
|Ease of Use Rating|
|Britax Marathon ClickTight (without ARB)|
|Britax Marathon ClickTight (with ARB)|
|Britax Boulevard ClickTight (without ARB)|
|Britax Boulevard ClickTight (with ARB)|
The price is where the difference between the two car seats becomes more apparent. The Britax Marathon retails at around $240 (without ARB) or $340 (with ARB), while the Boulevard costs about $325 (without ARB) or $410 (with ARB). With the Boulevard, you will be paying more for the added convenience and degree of protection.
So, Should You Choose Britax Marathon or Boulevard?
Know that one product is not necessarily better than the other. It all comes down to selecting which one is more suitable for your bundle of joy. At the same time, you also need to consider your lifestyle, preferences, or even budget.
Both models are built for safety, comfort, and convenience. They are engineered to grow with your child – from infancy to toddlerhood and even beyond. They are also simple to install, use, and adjust.
If you are on a limited budget, the Britax Marathon is the way to go. Just because it is cheaper, however, does not mean that it skimps on quality – far from it. In the end, themaindifference is that it only offers one layer of side impact protection – which is not bad at all. You can also go for the no-ARB option if you want to save even more cash. Do not fret.The SafeCell technology should be enough to safeguard your baby in the event of a collision.
If you have some extra bucks to spare and want extra protection for your child, then by all means go for the Britax Boulevard. Pair it with an Anti-Rebound Bar, while you are at it. It will give you more peace of mind knowing that you have equipped your child with the highest levels of protection. To sweeten the deal, it is also a valuable investment that will last for many years.
But to be perfectly honest, both models are pretty solid options. With Britax, your child is in good hands. After all, the brand has been around in the market for decades – and has withstood the test of time for a reason. Whether you buy the Marathon or the Boulevard, you can rest easy knowing that your bundle of joy is safe and comfy – come what may.