My Favorite Convertible Car Seat
- What: Britax Marathon carseat
- When: Birth (5 lbs) to 65 lbs
- Why: High safety ranking, ease of use
- Where: Amazon
I love my Britax Marathon car seats. I fell for Britax many years ago, not only because of familiarity from working with so many of their car seats, but also because the compact size of the Roundabout fit my small car in a rear facing position. But once I got my first Marathon, I switched loyalties from the Roundabout to the Marathon in a heartbeat. Then again, I no longer drive a compact two door car as a family vehicle.
The convertible Marathon works from birth with the included infant inserts. The LATCH and tether connectors install easily, because the LATCH connectors slide along a metal bar to get the closest, tightest installation possible with less struggle. But best of all are the harness height adjustments. The entire head protection moves up and down with the harness straps with the use of a big red lever you squeeze from the top. The ten position adjustments let you fit your child’s rapidly changing height with ease no matter which way you choose to install the seat. I no longer have to guess which harness height slot fits best. It’s super simple to move between two kids with different heights that fit the weight range, and the high weight limit at 65 pounds keeps kids in the seat longer to stay safer and get more use for your money. A child can ride rear-facing up to 40 pounds, as long as they don’t exceed the seated shoulder height limit of 16.75 inches. (The total standing height limit is 49 inches. My six year old, who tends to be in the 75th percentile and up for height, stands 48 inches tall now, though he has outgrown his Britax seat by height and not weight.)
The cover comes off and can be tossed into the washing machine for easy cleaning, and if your preschooler feels strongly about additional amenities like cup holders, you can purchase those as well.
I would not recommend the Marathon for airplane travel, however. It does not fit through most airport security x-ray machines, and must be hand checked, which only adds time to the security process. Standing around in your socks while someone determines if your car seat presents a security hazard is not my idea of a good time. The Marathon weighs 19.5 pounds all by itself, so it’s not one you want to be lugging around or taking in or out of the car frequently for additional riders and carpooling.
But for everyday use, I’ve come to depend on the Marathon to get the job done quickly, easily, and most importantly, safely.