In this article, we will discuss the comparison between two convertible car seats from Britax, which are Britax Marathon vs Roundabout. Although they seem to share some features in common, there are several differences that set them apart. In the end, Britax Marathon is much more recommended than Britax Roundabout. Continue reading below to find out why!
Below, we will discuss further about:
– Which convertible car seat that is more compact and lightweight
– Why the Marathon is much easier to use than the Roundabout
– The seat features of Britax Marathon vs Roundabout
– The comparison of their safety and weight/height ratings
– The available color variants on Marathon and Roundabout
Let’s start by checking the dimensions of these two Britax convertible car seats. We need to make sure that the model that you choose will actually fit inside your car. It is particularly important if you need to use two or three car seats simultaneously across the backseat, or if you want to be able to bring your car seat along when traveling. See also: Britax Marathon vs Graco Extend2Fit.
Britax Marathon actually isn’t as tall as Britax Roundabout, but it is bulkier and heavier. Britax Marathon measures 18.5 inches wide, 23 inches deep, and 23.5 inches tall. You probably won’t be able to fit three units in the same row, but fitting two units across the backseat is easy.
The bulky body makes it not recommended for a particularly small car, as it will take a significant amount of leg room if placed behind the driver’s seat. In addition, Britax Marathon is really heavy with a weight of over 24 lbs. So, even though it is FAA-approved for airplane use, it is not really recommended for traveling.
Britax Roundabout is quite tall, but the body is slimmer and more compact than Britax Marathon. It measures 18.5 inches wide, 21 inches deep, and 26 inches tall. As the effect, it won’t take as much room in your car. Just like the case with Britax Marathon, Britax Roundabout will not let you fit three units across the same row, but you can easily fit two units across the backseat.
Besides having a slightly more compact body, Britax Roundabout is also relatively lighter. It has a weight of about 17.6 lbs. It is FAA-approved for airplane use. Although there are other lightweight models that are more suitable for traveling, this model is pretty much a viable option.
One of the biggest differences between Britax Marathon vs Roundabout is their installation systems. In general, they both are easy to use. But Britax Marathon is even easier and more convenient to use than Britax Roundabout because of the more sophisticated installation system.
Britax Marathon comes with the company’s patented ClickTight system. This installation system works with the vehicle’s seatbelt, so it is compatible with both older and newer cars regardless of whether the car is equipped with the LATCH feature or not.
It is incredibly easy and simple to use. All you need to do is buckling the seatbelt into the connector. The installation is very solid and secure. You don’t need much effort to achieve a properly tight set-up. Although Britax Marathon also has standard LATCH connectors, using the ClickTight system is much more recommended.
There are 7 selectable recline positions on Britax Marathon. You can change the recline level to be almost flat in order to suit the need of an infant or small baby. You can gradually adjust the recline level as your child grows.
Britax Roundabout doesn’t have the ClickTight system. Instead, it has the Easy-On/Easy-Off LATCH connectors. It generally works well in cars that have the LATCH feature. Most users don’t have any problem in attaching these connectors, but some users say that the connectors are a bit difficult to tighten.
You can still use this car seat if your car doesn’t have the LATCH feature, as it can also be installed using the vehicle’s seatbelt. However, without the ClickTight system, Britax Roundabout’s the seatbelt installation is not as quick and practical as Britax Marathon.
This car seat has 3 selectable recline positions. However, Britax Roundabout is not recommended for a small baby, as it does not recline much. It only reclines to provide a more comfortable and supportive sitting position for a toddler or a big kid.
The next big difference between Britax Marathon vs Roundabout is their harness systems. Once again, Britax Marathon is much easier to use than Britax Roundabout. The primary reason is that it does not require any manual re-threading.
Britax Marathon comes with an easy-adjust no-rethread harness system. It has 14 harness positions and 2 buckle positions to provide the most comfortable and secure fit for your child as they grow. Changing the harness position is very easy and quick. So, with Britax Marathon, fitting the harness straps on your child won’t be a nightmare.
Britax Roundabout, on the other hand, comes with a tangle-free five-point harness system. It also has 2 buckle positions, and changing the buckle position is easy and quick. However, changing the harness position requires manual re-threading. So, you will need to spend some time and effort in order to adjust the harness fitting on your child.
Britax Marathon comes with a removable pillow which can enhance the fit and comfort for a small kid. Unfortunately, it does not come with any cup holder. This is a slight inconvenience, as most parents need at least one cup holder for keeping the child’s milk bottle. The optional Britax cup holder is sold separately. You can buy this optional accessory if you really need a cup holder.
You can take off most of the fabrics on this car seat. The fabrics are machine-washable. So, when you need to clean spills and stains, you just need to remove the fabrics and put them in your washing machine. Let them air-dry before putting them back on the car seat.
Britax Roundabout also lacks a cup holder. But this model is also compatible with the optional Britax cup holder accessory, which is sold separately. So, you can get the cup holder and attach it to the car seat if you need a place to put your child’s milk bottle.
You can also remove the seat cover for cleaning. Some users say that the seat cover is machine-washable, whereas some others say that the seat cover can get shredded if washed in a washing machine. To avoid any potential problem, washing the seat cover by hands is more recommended. If you really need to use a washing machine, you should use a gentle setting to avoid damaging the seat cover.
Safety and Weight/Height Ratings
When choosing between Britax Marathon vs Roundabout, keep in mind that they have different weight and height ratings. You will be able to use Britax Marathon for a longer time than Britax Roundabout due to the higher weight limit.
Britax Marathon can be used in the rear-facing position for a child between 5 – 40 lbs. It can be used in the forward-facing position for a child between 20 – 65 lbs. The maximum child height limit is 49 inches. So, you will be able to use this car seat for a few years before you need to switch to a booster seat.
Britax Marathon has very good safety and durability. It has a layer of side impact protection with thick energy-absorbing foam, a sturdy steel frame, and an impact-absorbing base. These components work together to remove or redirect impact forces away from the occupant. The car seat has passed all applicable federal and industrial safety standards, and it has also been side-impact tested.
Britax Roundabout is also suitable for a child between 5 – 40 lbs in the rear-facing position. However, it is only suitable for a child between 20 – 55 lbs in the forward-facing position. It doesn’t have an exact height limit, so you should at least keep the child’s head at least one inch below the top of the seat.
Despite the lower weight limit, Britax Roundabout is also equipped with great safety features. It has the SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection to absorb crash forces and shield against debris particles. It also has the SafeCell Impact Protection with an impact-stabilizing steel frame and impact-absorbing base. The car seat has passed all applicable safety standards, including the side-impact test.
Available Color Variants
Last but not least, let’s see the available color variants on Britax Marathon and Britax Roundabout. You probably have a particular preference for the color of your car seat.
Britax Marathon is available in at least 8 color variants. There are Ashton, Tempo, Ollie, Bubbles, Cowmooflage, Vue, Verve, and Oasis. There are more options here, and you have a better chance of finding a color variant that suits your preference.
Britax Roundabout only has a few color variants. There are Onyx, Dash, Silver Lake, and Isabella. Most of the variants are different combinations of black and gray.
Britax Marathon vs Roundabout
Between these two models, Britax Marathon is much more recommended. This model has a better installation system which is easier to use. It also has a very practical no-rethread harness system. It can last for a longer time due to the higher weight limit.