Britax Marathon – Exploring the Pros and Cons of the 70-G3 and G4

britax-marathon-g4You might be thinking after reading the name of this car seat, Marathon, does that mean it’s going to last me a long time, really go the distance like running a marathon?  I definitely was.  Looking at this car seat I definitely see it’s a possibility especially since it’s a convertible car seat, so it goes from infant (5 lbs) up to almost 6 years old depending on height and weight.  That’s potentially six years of use which is good considering car seats expire after 6 or 7 years normally.  The Marathon line has a few car seats but I’m only going to review the newest models the Marathon 70-G3 and Marathon G4 or simply Marathon.

What are the details on the Britix Marathon 70-G3?

The Marathon 70-G3 was discontinued by Britax as of December 2013 with the introduction of the Marathon G4, however this car seat is still available at online retailers like Amazon with very high reviews.  In addition, the Marathon 70-G3 has a ton of adjustment and safety settings to keep your child comfortable and secure.  This includes their HUGS (Harness Ultra Guard System) chest pads which provide resistance, preventing them from going forward in the event of an accident, and padding on the seat bottom and sides to keep your child not only comfortable but safe and sound in the seat.

Hands down my favorite thing about this car seat is what they call the EZ-Buckle system which lets you hold the seat buckle away so you can easily put your child in the seat.  I call this my extra set of hands because…that’s basically what it is and it’s amazing.

 

Quick Specs

  • Item Weight: 19.5 lbs
  • Orientation: forward and rear facing
  • Weight limits: 5 – 70 lb
  • Height limit: 49 in
  • Harness: 5 point

What are the Pros?

  1. HUGS Chest Pads – These chest pads provide resistance to forward movement in the event of a crash.
  2. Side Impact Protection – Sides are made from energy-absorbing EPP foam which keeps the child safe by shielding them on the sides and lessening the crash force.
  3. Base with SafeCell Technology – Again made with SafeCell Technology to prevent the child from being propelled forward by compressing in crash and lowering the center of gravity.
  4. Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether – Attachment that anchors the top of the car seat which slows the release of forward movement.
  5. EZ-Buckle System – Keeps harness out of the way so you can place your child in easily. ← AMAZING!
  6. LATCH System – Makes installation a breeze for parents.

And the Cons?

  1. No infant insert – No infant insert means having to buy this separately to add while your baby is still small to make sure they fit in the seat snug and secure.
  2. Could be considered heavy – At 19.5 lbs this may be difficult for some who want to take the car seat in and out, but not an issue if the car seat is staying in place.
  3. Short seat – If you have an above average in height infant, a common complaint is the seat is too short to keep them rear facing but they don’t weight enough to be turned forward or aren’t old enough, so watch out those of you with future NBA stars on your hands, the rest of us should be fine.

How do consumers rate it?

In reviews, it gets an overall score of 4.6 out of 5 stars, and most users would highly recommend it to their friends.

What’s it going to cost?

The Marathon 70-G3 has been discontinued and replaced by the newer Marathon G4 however it is still being sold on Amazon for around $340 as I’m writing this.  This price is what I would consider on the higher side.

The Bottom Line

As a convertible car seat the Marathon 70-G3 is great, it’s safe, secure and easy to use.  But, with the introduction of the Marathon G4 with its upgraded features and since the 70-G3 has been discontinued, I’d go with the G4.

What’s changed on the new Britax Marathon G4?

Replacing the older model is the Marathon G4.  It has a lot of the same features as the older model but also a few key upgrades.  It has an upgraded HUGS system making it harder for kids to move the harness clips around, and they’ve also added 2in more to the harness which helps accommodate kids longer.  They also added in a new infant pillow insert to be used until they reach 22 lbs.  In my opinion, this was a much needed upgrade and such a simple one to make to keep an infant locked in the seat more securely (high five Britax designers!)

They had to change the weight limit also from 70 to 65 lbs per new LATCH system guidelines, so this is more of a regulatory change.  But, a cool new feature helps with a problem I know we all face at some point, losing the instruction manual…it happens right?  The put color coded sticker on the seat to provide instruction whether you have the seat rear or forward facing.  Lastly, fun new colors have been added to the range in pinks, blues, prints, and more neutral greys or my favorite kiwi green!

Quick Specs

  • Item Weight: 19.5 lbs
  • Orientation: forward and rear facing
  • Weight limits: 5 – 65 lb (dropped 5 lbs with new LATCH system guidelines)
  • Height limit: 49 in
  • Harness: 5 point

What are the Pros?

  1. HUGS Chest Pads – These chest pads provide resistance to forward movement in the event of a crash.  These have been redesigned from the 70-G3 model for better fit and color coded sections added for easier installation.
  2. Side Impact Protection – Sides are made from energy-absorbing EPP foam which keeps the child safe by shielding them on the sides and lessening the crash force.
  3. Base with SafeCell Technology – Again made with SafeCell Technology to prevent the child from being propelled forward by compressing in crash and lowering the center of gravity.
  4. Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether  Attachment that anchors the top of the car seat which slows the release of forward movement.
  5. EZ-Buckle System  Keeps harness out of the way so you can place your child in easily.
  6. LATCH system  Makes installation a breeze for parents.
  7. Infant pillow  New on the G4 model to your infant a more snug and comfortable fit.  Pillow is required for infants under 22 lb.

And the Cons?

  1.  Could be considered heavy  Like the previous model, at 19.5 lbs this may be difficult for some who want to take the car seat in and out, but not an issue if the car seat is staying in place.
  2. Short seat – Still with the short seat complaint for tall babies.  Too tall to be rear facing but too young or don’t way enough to be turned forward.

How do consumers rate it?

In reviews, it gets an overall score of 4.7 out of 5 stars, additionally most users would highly recommend it to their friends leaving no question that this is a great car seat.

What’s it going to cost?

The Britax Marathon G4 retails for $289.99 but if you shop online you can find the best price.  Amazon offers many Britax car seats including the Marathon G4 at a discounted rate of about $200-260 depending on color choice and they normally ship for free.

The Bottom Line

The pros of this car seat far out way the cons.  It is a bit pricey but, as a convertible car seat offers a longer period of use, from infant upward.  It is also a consistent favorite of parents raving about its ease of use, its several safety features, and most importantly parents feel safe buckling their little one into this car seat.  All in all the Britax Marathon G4 is a win in my book and well worth the cost.

2 Comments

  1. What is the age limit on your myride? We have a Britax car seat that goes from 9 mthons to 4 years. My daughter will be 4 in april and I have just moved her into a full backed booster seat. I read that the limit for a booster is between 18 -20kg/ 40-45 Ibs. Until this size it is not possible for the adult seat belt to adequately hold the child and can cause serious internal injuries even at 30 mph.I would trust your instinct. You could get a combination seat, one that has a harness that can be removed and converted into a booster seat when she is older. This might give her more room as I know the bucket style seats can get cramped when they get bigger.My 6 year old still has the back on his booster and I cannot imagine removing it any time soon as it provides cushioning from side impact.References :

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment. I’m a bit unclear as to if you have a question here on the Britax Marathon since it seems you might be asking about the age limit on the Graco MyRide. Car seat manufacturers typically structure limits by weight and height rather than age as kids grow at different rates. For both the Britax Marathon and Graco MyRide the weight limit would be 65 lbs, and 49 inches tall for the Marathon, and 50 inches tall for the MyRide. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recommend that kids stay in this forward-facing harnessed seat until at least age 5, and then they can be switched to a booster seat. The average 5 year old is about 40 lbs and 43 in tall, so they should be able to stay forward facing until then. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

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