The Britax brand is the leader in the car seat market. It never lets us down! Once you decide you will use the best car seats for your kids, you choose the Britax models.
However, you cannot choose between the Britax Boulevard and Britax Marathon car seats.
Both are the best car seats with overall design, quality, and maximum safety features a car seat can provide.
But, who's better? Find out in our exclusive Britax Boulevard vs Marathon contrast chart!
Table of Contents
- Britax Marathon vs Boulevard: The Clash of Giants!
- The Britax Boulevard Seat: Pros & Cons
- The Britax Marathon Seat: Pros & Cons
- What is the difference between Britax Boulevard and Marathon?
- Which Britax car seat is the most comfortable?
- What age is Britax Boulevard for?
- Does the Britax Marathon turn into a booster?
- Does Britax Boulevard convert booster?
- How many years is a Britax Marathon good for?
- Britax Marathon vs. Boulevard crash test: Which is safer?
- How long can you use Britax Boulevard ClickTight?
- Britax Boulevard vs Marathon: The Final Verdict
Britax Marathon vs Boulevard: The Clash of Giants!
1. Design and Specifications
Both car seats come from the Britax car seat brand. Both are excellent in the overall design and top-quality features.
Both models are convertible car seats, with maximum weight limits between 5 and 65 pounds.
Namely, both car seats offer:
- Rear-facing position for kids 5-40 pounds, and
- A forward-facing place for children 20-65 pounds.
In addition, the Britax car seats offer the same height limits, up to 49 inches of maximum height.
The Britax Boulevard and Marathon convertible car seats also feature the same proportions, measuring 23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches, so there's not much difference concerning design and overall specifications.
However, a slightly noticeable difference tackles their overall weight.
Namely, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight convertible car seat weighs 27 pounds, while the Britax Marathon weighs 28.5 pounds.
It's not that critical, and you will find both Britax seats adjustable and practical for shorter and longer trips.
However, bulkier car seats are more stable for vehicle trips.
So, the Britax Marathon ClickTight convertible car seat might be only slightly more advantageous than the Britax Boulevard for your peace of mind. But, it's not definite.
Both seats are bulky and robust in the rear-facing configuration.
2. Safety Features
Both models offer maximum safety standards regarding Britax Marathon vs. Britax Boulevard convertible seat.
Both models perform well in rigorous crash tests, and they couldn't be on the market if they showed errors and lacked in some parts.
Concerning the Britax Boulevard convertible car seat, it offers a steel frame. Thus, the Britax seat provides durable and sturdy protection. And the car seat utilizes the SafeCell technology.
The seat is also essential for its two layers of side-impact protection, supporting your child's head, neck, and torso. As a result, the child will be safe and stable inside the car seat.
The side-impact protection contains the energy-absorbing foam padding to absorb and redirect the external forces, energy, and pressure and spread them around the safety shell.
So, your kid remains undamaged and intact inside the seat.
On the other hand, the Britax Marathon convertible car seat uses the SafeCell technology for side-impact protection with the energy-absorbing foam.
The SafeCell absorbs all forces and impacts, reducing any forward movement in an accident or a car crash.
Unlike the Boulevard car seat, the Marathon seat provides a reliable mechanism that protects your baby from the most severe type of collision.
Yet, it offers only one layer of side-impact protection.
So, SafeCell wins over the two layers of side-impact protection, and the Britax Marathon is again slightly more advanced than the Boulevard. Why?
The main reason for this is that numerous parents claim the model is a life savior!
But, both seats provide the impact protection and absorbing base, frame, and shell to keep your child's neck, head, spine, and torso stable and intact while in the car seat.
However, according to the NHTSA RF and FF ratings, the Britax Marathon ClickTight car seat has five stars, whereas the Britax Boulevard car seat has four stars. So, Marathon is again slightly advanced.
But, both car seats will be similar to the third model, the Britax Advocate ClickTight car seat.
The Britax Advocate convertible model contains three layers of side-impact protection, formed by the external cushions, foam-lined headrest, and an energy-absorbing shell.
In addition, the Britax Advocate also has 5-star ratings according to the NHTSA and the highest weight and the most significant dimensions (23 x 20.5 x 23.5 inches) for the increased stability in motor vehicles.
So, the Britax Advocate is a great car seat for different travel modes and maximum stability. It also offers both the rear-facing position and forward-facing way and weighs 40 pounds.
Still, when we compare the three car seats, our vote goes to the Boulevard, thanks to the overall design shell and extra safety features - SafeCell composition.
3. Car Seat Installation Process
These are the easiest car seats to install and use!
When comparing the Marathon vs. Boulevard vs. Advocate ClickTight car seats, all three car seats contain the well-known ClickTight installation system.
The ClickTight installation system offers you two positions: rear-facing and forward-facing. Once you decide what mode you will use, you will choose the setup method.
You can install the three car seats with the LATCH system or the seat belt system.
After placing the Britax car seats, you will push and turn the ClickTight button. Thus, you will pop the seats up.
The next step is to connect the LATCH system - lower anchors connectors, attach them correctly to the seat or run the belt through the belt path.
Finally, pull up the straps after the "click" sound to make them tight and fixed.
Due to its limitations, many parents claim that the seat belt installation is much easier than the LATCH connectors.
Besides, the ClickTight installation system offers a three-step installation procedure and makes it quick and effortless to install all three seats.
And an easy installation is necessary for busy and active parents.
However, if you prefer LATCH more, you can opt for other similar brands, as the system better works with them.
And since both Boulevard and Marathon car seats come with the exact mechanism, the result is a tie. So, you can choose the better seat according to your preferences and needs.
4. Comfort and Support
Boulevard and Marathon have the exact dimensions, yet the first one is lighter and somewhat smaller in design.
So, it will fit two at the back of a small car, so it's a great seat for more fun.
In addition, the seats have non-rethreading 5-point harness systems. A 5-point harness is an excellent unit for your child's safety features, as it has 14 positions.
And, since all three models - Boulevard, Marathon, and Advocate car seats feature the same harness design for babies up to 6-years old kids, you can adjust the shoulder straps for kids' comfort, more support, and stability.
Of course, the two seats also feature multiple recline positions with the automatic level indicator.
The automatic level indicator is crucial when setting up the seats, letting you know when the seat is at the correct angle, whether it's a rear-facing, or forward-facing position, based on your child's age and maximum weight limit.
Marathon also utilizes ten positions of the adjustable headrest. In addition, you can use the removable body pillow when your child grows and provide more room.
Another noticeable difference is the padding.
The Boulevard has two layers of padding, which the Marathon lacks, so when your child grows, they are more cozy and adjustable to multiple conditions.
So, if you want a comfortable seat, you can choose the Boulevard.
The Boulevard also offers a V-shaped tether reducing the seat rotation for extra safety. It will thicken and slower the movement in a collision, making your little one stable and fixed.
But, the Marathon features the same safety system, so the result is tight.
Both models have a removable seat cover. The car seat cover is quick to clean and maintain.
It contains breathable mesh materials, with maximum airflow and ventilation, for the top car seat's comfort.
However, the Marathon offers natural, natural flame-retardant fabrics with no chemicals.
The main difference here is that the Boulevard requires hand-washing rather than machine-washing and maintaining process.
On the other hand, the Marathon is slightly advanced, as it offers durable materials suitable for machine-washing and cleaning maintenance.
You can also air-dry the car seat's cover and make it fresh for subsequent use. Hence, it might be easier to maintain Marathon than Boulevard, so we again vote for the first.
But, Marathon lacks the plush foam padding the Boulevard offers, so we vote for the second. So, choose what you like.
5. Extra Benefits
As the car seats have higher weight limits, they support older kids. So, cup holders are a must!
The Marathon child safety seat does not have a cup holder, so you will have to obtain it separately and attach it to the car seat.
On the other hand, the Boulevard also does not include a removable cup holder, and you can also buy it separately.
You might install it on the right or left side. You can also wash and clean it effortlessly.
Thus, you can keep your little ones occupied and focused on beverages and snacks for more convenience on the road.
Britax got terrible ratings and negative answers for their design. I mean, we all expect cup holders for the pricing, and I would like to see crucial turning points in the near future.
You cannot expect parents to pay more than $300 and not get holders. It's not fair.
6. Price Tags
If you're not on a tight budget, you can pick either of the seats.
The Boulevard model is $30 more expensive than the Marathon, yet both models are pretty exclusive, requiring more money.
Of course, the price includes all benefits a typical car seat should have:
- advanced side-impact protection & safety features
- rear-facing and forward-facing positions
- steel frame
- performance, etc.
So, you won't regret the money, whatever your choice might be.
The Britax Boulevard Seat: Pros & Cons
- two layers of side-impact protection
- quick setup
- machine-washable cover
- adjustable harness
- removable cover
- no cup holder
- too expensive
- bulky in the rear-facing position
- robust and heavy
The Britax Marathon Seat: Pros & Cons
- cheaper than the counterpart
- reclining angles and level indicator
- machine-washable cover
- the least weight
- effortless installation
- safety benefits
- still pricey
- no enough padding
- robust and bulky in the rear-facing mode
What is the difference between Britax Boulevard and Marathon?
The two most significant differences cover the protection and the comfort features.
The Boulevard features two layers of side-impact protection and the SafeCell system for reducing forward movement in accidents.
However, the Marathon offers only one layer of side-impact protection along with the SafeCell technology and V-shaped tether for reduced movement and more stability.
In addition, the Marathon is claimed to be a life savior and has better ratings, according to the NHTSA.
Another difference is that the Boulevard offers more padding than its opponent so that it might seem cozier for extended use.
The third difference is slight - the Marathon is heavier than the Boulevard.
Which Britax car seat is the most comfortable?
The Britax Boulevard is the most comfortable car seat, according to multiple experts and parent experiences.
It features 14 harness positions, seven reclining modes, and two buckle positions, ensuring a proper fit as your kiddo grows.
And it has extra padding for more comfort while in the seat.
What age is Britax Boulevard for?
So, it is an excellent model for all children from their birth to four or five years approximately.
However, your children should stay in the rear or forward-facing harness as long as possible until they reach the maximum size and weight limits before boosters.
Does the Britax Marathon turn into a booster?
No, it doesn't. The car seat offers only two modes of use - rear and forward-facing, with a harness system. It will cover your babies from five to 65 pounds.
Does Britax Boulevard convert booster?
No, it doesn't. The seat is a convertible one, so it provides only two modes of use. These are rear and forward-facing positions.
The first support kids between five and 40 pounds and the second kids between 22 and 65 pounds.
So, the seat doesn't include any of the booster modes.
How many years is a Britax Marathon good for?
The Britax Marathon can last up to 10 years from the date of manufacture.
You can find its serial number and the expiration date on the label attached to the frame and shell.
Britax Marathon vs. Boulevard crash test: Which is safer?
The safer one is the Boulevard, although the NHTSA gives higher ratings to the Marathon.
The main reason is that the Boulevard offers a double layer of protection, whereas the Marathon features only one.
Both have the SafeCell composition and the steel frame, but more head protection is required in the case of a crash. The same goes as your child grows.
How long can you use Britax Boulevard ClickTight?
You can use it for ten years from the date of manufacture. It's the same as the Marathon model.
And for children, all children between zero and four to five - sometimes even six years old can use them.
If they are not ready for boosters, keep them inside the convertible harness sets for as long as possible.
Britax Boulevard vs Marathon: The Final Verdict
So, what's your ultimate choice? Will you choose the Boulevard or Marathon?
Both car seats are exceptional in all critical points. Both have the same quality benefits and safety standards, and both have the same protection standards.
However, the Boulevard offers slightly better safety standards than the Marathon.
But, in all other points, the two-car seats are pretty much the same. The Boulevard is only slightly more advanced in comfort, too.
It features more padding for more coziness during extended usage.
But, if you consider the NHTSA ratings and price tags, then the Marathon car seat might be a better option for you.