Although both of these models are two-in-one convertible car seats, there is a considerable price gap that separates them. Britax Marathon is quite more expensive than Graco Extend2Fit. So, which one is actually better for the money? Read the detailed comparison of Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fit below to find out!
What we will discuss below include:
– The dimensions of each convertible car seat here
– Which model that is easier to set up
– Which model that has a better harness system
– The additional features of each model
– The safety ratings of Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fit
– The available color choices on each model
– Which convertible car seat that is more recommended
Size and Weight
The first thing that you need to consider when buying a new car seat is the dimensions of the product. Will it actually fit inside your car? Will it eat up so much of leg room? If you have three young children, you may need to use three car seats simultaneously, so finding a slim and compact model becomes essential.
Britax Marathon measures 18.5 inches wide, 23 inches deep, and 23.5 inches tall. It is pretty big and wide. However, it is not as wide as Graco Extend2Fit. If you have a wide-enough car, like the 2015 Honda CRV, you can fit three units across the backseat. However, you won’t be able to fit three units across the same row if your car is smaller.
Unfortunately, this model is really heavy. It has a weight of about 26 lbs. Hence, it is only recommended for a fixed installation in a single car. It is not portable enough for portable use or traveling, even though it has been FAA-approved for airplane use.
Graco Extend2Fit is even bigger and wider. It measures 19.2 inches wide, 22.1 inches deep, and 25.2 inches tall. You won’t be able to fit three units across the backseat. However, you can still fit two units easily inside your car.
This model has a weight of about 23.7 lbs, which means that it is actually a bit lighter than Britax Marathon. It is also FAA-approved for airplane use. But it is still more suitable for a fixed installation; it is a bit too heavy for traveling.
Next, let’s compare the installation of Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fit. Nobody wants a car seat that is difficult to set up. The installation should also be solid and secure enough so that the car seat won’t wiggle around.
Britax Marathon is generally better in this aspect. This model comes with the patented ClickTight installation system, which works with the vehicle’s seatbelt. Since this system works with the seatbelt rather than LATCH connectors, it can be used on both newer vehicles and older vehicles. The ClickTight system is very easy and quick to use. You just need to buckle the seatbelt to the right position, and you can easily achieve a tight and secure installation.
In addition, Britax Marathon has 7 recline positions. There is a label on the side that provides clear indicators for the suitable angles in different seat positions. It can recline almost completely flat, so it is suitable for an infant.
Graco Extend2Fit is actually also easy to set-up, but it is just a bit more difficult than Britax Marathon. It comes with the InRight LATCH installation system, which works with the LATCH connectors of the vehicle. You can quickly connect the attachments, but some people still find slight difficulties in tightening the installation. Graco Extend2Fit can also be installed using the vehicle’s seatbelt in a basic set-up.
There are 6 recline positions on Graco Extend2Fit. It also has a label that provides clear indicators for the right angles in different seat positions. This model is also suitable for an infant, as it can recline almost completely flat.
Both Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fit have easy-to-adjust harness systems. They both allow you to adjust their harness systems without having to take the car seat apart or conduct manual re-threading. However, they have different harness positions.
Britax Marathon is very nice because it has 14 harness positions and 2 buckle positions. Hence, it can provide the most accurate fit for your child as he or she grows. Since the quick-adjust harness system is very easy and quick, you can make sure that the fit on your child is snug and secure from time to time.
Graco Extend2Fit, on the other hand, comes with 10 harness positions. The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows you to adjust the headrest and harness position in one motion with a single hand. This is very practical. You can easily get a snug and secure fit for your child.
Britax Marathon is awesome in terms of build quality and specifications. Unfortunately, Britax Marathon doesn’t come with equally impressive features. This model does not have any cup holder. Although this is not a major disadvantage, the lack of a cup holder is quite inconvenient. If you really need one, you can purchase the optional cup holder from the company and attach it onto the car seat.
At least, Britax Marathon has a removable, machine-washable seat cover. So, whenever you need to clean the seat, you just need to remove the cover and throw it into the washing machine. It will go out clean and fresh, and you can let it air-dry before putting it back on the seat.
Graco Extend2Fit is great in terms of build quality as well as features. This model comes with some nice extras. First, it has two integrated cup holders, which can be very handy and practical. You can put water bottles, snacks, or other small items in these compartments.
Second, it is equipped with a four-position leg extension panel which can provide up to 5.0 inches of additional legroom for better support and comfort.And third, of course, the seat pads are all removable and machine-washable. So, the cleaning and maintenance is easy.
The next thing that you should consider when choosing between Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fitis their safety ratings. Well, both models are definitely able to provide excellent protection, but their height and weight limits are slightly different.
Britax Marathon is equipped with a highly durable steel frame and an impact-absorbing base. These two vital components work together in redirecting impact forces away from your child into the base. In addition, it has a layer of side impact protection which is made of impact-absorbing foam. The enveloping shape of the seat will help to shield your child from debris.
Britax Marathon can serve as a rear-facing car seat or forward-facing car seat. It can be used since your child’s infancy until they pass the toddler age range. While in the rear-facing position, Britax Marathon can safely hold an infant between 5 – 40 lbs. Make sure that the child’s head is at least one inch below the top of the seat. While in the forward-facing position, Britax Marathon can safely hold a toddler between 20 – 65 lbs, with a maximum child height limit of 49 inches.
Graco Extend2Fit also features a highly durable steel-reinforced frame and base with thick side pads. According to the company, this model has been engineered and tested rigorously to meet or exceed the government and industry safety standards. The side pads are made from impact-absorbing foam to ensure optimum side impact protection, and they also perform a good job in shielding the child against debris.
The experts recommend keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, because this position is known to be the safest with the lowest risk of injury in case of a crash. Graco Extend2Fit is great because it allows you to keep your child in a rear-facing position for a bit longer.
In the rear-facing position, the weight limit is 4 – 50 lbs. Make sure that the baby’s head is at least one inch below the top handle of the seat. Meanwhile, in the forward-facing position, the weight limit is 22 – 65 lbs, and the maximum child height limit is also 49 inches.
Available Color Options
Britax Marathon is available in eight color choices. The variants include Ashton, Bubbles, Cowmooflage, Oasis, Ollie, Tempo, Verve, and Vue. However, most of these variants are dominated by monochromatic colors, such as black, gray, and white. The only ‘colored’ variant is Oasis, which is light blue.
Graco Extend2Fit is also available in eight color choices. The variants include Binx, Gotham, Ion, Solar, Davis, Hayden, Kenzie, and Spire. Although the number of options is similar, Graco Extend2Fit is slightly better in terms of variety because it has different hues instead of just variations of monochromatic colors. For example, Solar has red lines on the black seat, Kenzie has pink lines on the black seat, and Spire has light blue parts which contrast nicely with the gray parts.
Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fit
Both are very good car seats. However, Graco Extend2Fit is slightly more recommended because it provides a better value for the money while still providing excellent safety and protection. It has two integrated cup holders and a legroom extension panel. It can also keep your child in a rear-facing position for longer.