Britax Roundabout – Looking into the Pros and Cons of the 50, 55 (G4)

Britax Roundabout G4No the Britax Roundabout does not spin round and round like the name may suggest, although maybe that’s a feature they should look into?  Either way the Roundabout comes with several names, the 50 with a max weight of 50 lbs and the 55 or G4, the newest model, which you guessed it, maxes at 55 lbs.  In this review I’ll talk about both models since they are both still available and neither has been discontinued as I’m writing this.

So how about that Roundabout 50?

The Roundabout is very similar to the Marathon but, what I would consider falls on the lower end up the feature spectrum which the lower price reflects.  As the name suggests the weight limit for this seat is 50 lbs, which is 15 lbs lower than other Britax convertible car seats.  It still has the energy absorbing base and an energy absorbing tether for protection in the event of a crash.  However, it is missing other safety features like the HUGS chest pads to provide resistance to forward movement and steel bar reinforcement to provide more protection during a crash.  The Roundabout covers the basics, as I would consider them, in features and safety as we’ll see below in the pros and cons.

 

Quick Specs

  • Item Weight: 15.54
  • Orientation: forward and rear facing
  • Weight limits: 5 – 50 lb
  • Height limit: 49 in
  • Harness: 5 point

What are the Pros?

  1. Energy Absorbing Base – Prevents the child from being propelled forward by compressing in crash and lowering the center of gravity.
  2. Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether – Attachment that anchors the top of the car seat which slows the release of forward movement.
  3. Harness Holder – Makes it easier for you to put your little one in by keeping the harness out of the way.
  4. Price – As you’ll see below this is one of the only Britax convertible car seats coming in well under $200.
  5. LATCH System – Makes installation a breeze for parents.

And the Cons?

  1.  No infant pillow insert or removable/washable cover – 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, and without an easily removable cover its difficult to clean, however there are covers available to buy.
  2. Less crash protection overall – As I said the Roundabout covers the basics, with the basic level of crash protection padding and support through the seat, but it doesn’t go about that like the other Britax models do.

How do consumers rate it?

Consumers rate the Roundabout 50 at 4.3 out of 5 stars which is a great rating.  It gets a bit of a lower rating then other convertible seats for less safety measures than others.

What’s it going to cost?

This is one of the pros to this model, one of its biggest selling point is the fact that online you can find this car seat for just $135.99.  This is an AMAZING price for a car seat.

The Bottom Line

The price here is the biggest advantage to buying the Roundabout.  If you’re on a budget and don’t have $200 plus to spend on a “higher end” car seat, this is a great choice.  It’s budget friendly and meets safety requirements protecting your little one from harm’s way.

So how about the Roundabout G4 as they call it?

The Roundabout G4 is what I would consider a slightly upgraded version of the previous model, as it should be, it’s the newer model after all.  It climbs a bit closer to the Marathon, and still stays well under $200.  Upgrades from the Roundabout 50 model are the base with SafeCell technology for increased protection as well as the addition of integrated steel bars.  Just like the Marathon G4 this model has Side Impact Protection and the added infant pillow to be used until they weigh 22 lbs.  One real pro for me is the weight on this model, other car seats can weight quite a bit which can make it difficult to take in and out if you need to switch cars but the Roundabout weighs 17.6 pounds which is very manageable even with an infant inside if needed.

Quick Specs

  • Item Weight: 17.6
  • Orientation: forward and rear facing
  • Weight limits: 5 – 55 lb
  • Height limit: 46 in
  • Harness: 5 point

What are the Pros?

  1.  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.
  2. Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether – Attachment that anchors the top of the car seat which slows the release of forward movement.
  3. 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.
  4. Infant pillow – New on the G4 model to your infant a more snug and comfortable fit.  Pillow is required for infants under 22 lb.
  5. Harness Holder – Makes it easier for you to put your little one in by keeping the harness out of the way.
  6. Price – As you’ll see below this is one of the only Britax convertible car seats coming in under $200.
  7. LATCH System – Makes installation a breeze for parents.

And the Cons?

  1.  No washable cover – Without an easily removable cover its difficult to clean, however there are covers available to buy on Amazon in a variety of colors and patterns.
  2. Less crash protection overall – As I said the Roundabout covers the basics, with the basic level of crash protection padding and support through the seat, but it doesn’t go about that like the other Britax models do, however it does come close to the Marathon.

How do consumers rate it?

Consumers rate the Roundabout at 4.7 out of 5 stars keeping it well at the top of the list.  People love that this seat has great safety rating at an affordable price.  Also, many buy it for a second car or for the grandparent’s car so they don’t have to fuss around every day transferring car seats between.  Can we say HUGE time-saver! And as we all know…as parent we need all the extra time we can get.

What’s it going to cost?

This is one of the pros to this model, not only does this model come super close to the Marathon, just missing the HUGS chest system and the EZ-Buckle system, which may not even matter since it still has harness holders, it comes in almost $100 lower at $289 on Amazon.

The Bottom Line

If you can go $10 higher and get the newer Roundabout G4 instead of the 50, think no more just DO IT if you’re wavering between these two.  It has upgraded features that make it well worth the extra 10.  Simply said, the Roundabout G4 is super budget friendly and has good consumer ratings and safety ratings so it’s a great buy for the under $200 or even under $150 market.

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