Britax Boulevard vs Marathon: Car Seat Model Comparison and Reviews

Updated March 27, 2019

So you’ve seen the range of ClickTight car seats offered by the popular and trusted brand Britax which includes four choices of car seat. The advocate is the most expensive of the four and has the most features while the roundabout is the most affordable. In between those there is the marathon and the boulevard which seem to have very little difference.

If you are considering the middle two and looking at the Britax Boulevard vs Marathon you’ll probably be wondering what differences there are to justify the slight price difference between the two, with the boulevard being a little bit more expensive.

In this article we will explore the differences and the similarities between the two and decide whether it’s worth paying the higher price for the boulevard as opposed to the marathon and deciding whether you get more value for your money.

Britax Boulevard vs Marathon: Similar Features

We’ll start out by looking at the features that both of these car seat models have and this will show why they are both high quality items that can serve you well in the long run. They’re both very well designed products where your child’s safety and comfort are paramount as well as being user friendly for your convenience when using them.

ClickTight Feature

This is one of the best features that the range has to offer and is what makes the ClickTight range distinctive from other Britax ranges and other brands of car seat. It enables you to install the car seat easily by feeding it through the front end of the seat. Once the seat belt is in place, you can close the front of the seat and it ensures the installation is tight and secure.

This means you don’t have to worry about adjusting the tightness of the seat belt like you do with other car seat models making the installation process a little more convenient for you.

However, it is important that you don’t completely rely on the ClickTight feature to do all of the work for you. Read through the instructions thoroughly and ensure you check over the car seat once you have installed it to make sure you have it installed properly.

Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) Option

One of the first things you’ll notice when looking at both the boulevard and marathon is the option to add an ARB. This increases the price of the car seats quite dramatically but adds an extra safety precaution if the seat was to be facing the rear.

The benefit of the ARB option is to stabilize the seat and prevent it from jostling and moving around as you travel along in your vehicle. It works well, especially if you have a car with little suspension that reacts to every bump and crack in the road.

This option is not absolutely necessary, and is not worth it at all if you don’t tend to have the car seat rear facing, but for those that do, it adds that extra bit of security and peace of mind which is worth considering.

Anti-Rethread Harness

The boulevard and the marathon allows you to adjust the harnesses without having to thread them through the slots in the seat. On other car seat models that do require you to do this, it often means having to get the car seat out of the car which is a great hassle.

This feature prevents you from needing to remove the car seat from the car; you can simply adjust the height of the harnesses with the click of a button. This is extremely user friendly and another one of the best features that the ClickTight range has to offer as it enables you to adjust the harness as your child grows without the hassle that comes with other car seats.

SafeCell Impact Protection

The impact protection feature refers to the properties of the materials that the car seat is composed of and their ability to absorb the energy from an impact minimizing its effect on your child in the event of an accident.

The steel frames, deep foam lining, and the structural design of the base of these seats all work together to absorb the shock in the case of an impact giving them an overall increase in their ability to keep your little one safe.

The harness pads are also SafeCell and are padded with the appropriate materials best to absorb the shock to minimize the damage that can be cause by sudden tension in the harness caused by a collision.

Reclining Positions and Automatic Level Indicator

Both the marathon and the boulevard have the ability to be adjusted to multiple reclining positions giving you the ability to optimize the seat to your child’s comfort and to fit in your vehicle.

There is also a handy and easy to read level indicator present on the side of the base of these seats which give you an idea of the angle of the seat and suggestions on what is best for your child by their age.

Easily Removable Cover

Another fantastic feature seen on the ClickTight car seat range (except roundabout) is that you are able to remove the car seat cover without having to unthread the harness or take the car seat out of the car. This makes it super convenient for when you want to throw the cover in the wash and have it washed and ready for the next journey.

Britax Boulevard vs Marathon: Different Features

As you can tell, there are so many features that are the same in both models but what about the differences? Well you would be excused for not noticing them because there are only a couple! But do they justify the price difference?

Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator

The boulevard features a harness indicator which tells you whether the harness is tight enough or not. This is a small feature but it does go a long way to give you peace of mind, instead of you worrying during the drive whether you adjusted the harness enough.

Also, by knowing when the harness is tight enough through this indication, you won’t go too tight through your own estimation causing your child to experience discomfort.

Side Impact Protection

The side impact protection is a layer of plastic with shock absorbing materials in the centre that composes the sides of the car seat. This helps the seat to reduce the amount of energy transmitted to your child during the event of a collision or road accident.

The boulevard has two layers of side impact protection while the marathon has only one. Now, some may say that this does not justify the higher price but I would argue that safety is a key concern with regards to child products, especially car seats and it’s always worth paying a slight increase in price if it means mitigating risks.

Product Weight and Limitations

Some things you have to admit no matter where you lean on the Britax Marathon vs Boulevard debate. Given the number of features, and the materials that these car seats are made from, they are understandably quite heavy when compared to other, cheaper quality car seats.

The weights for each model are as follows:

Marathon: 28.5 pounds

Boulevard: 29.4 pounds

Both models also have certain limits as to the height and weight of the child using the car seat in certain seating positions that should be adhered to as the manufacturer recommends.

Child Weight/Height Limits

Rear Facing: 5-40 pounds

Forward Facing: 20-65 pounds

Child Standing Height: Up to 49 inches

ClickTight Marathon Child Height Limits

Child Seated Shoulder Height – Rear Facing: 7.6 – 16.95 inches

Child Seated Shoulder Height – Forward Facing: 12 – 16.95 inches

ClickTight Boulevard Child Height Limits

Child Seated Shoulder Height – Rear Facing: 7.6 – 18.65 inches

Child Seated Shoulder Height – Forward Facing: 12 – 18.65 inches

In Summary

Given that the boulevard is not much more expensive than the marathon but offers added protection, a handy harness indicator and a broader range of should height limitations which allow children who are a little taller to use the seat, it gives you great value for your money to justify the price difference.

Other than that, the features are pretty much the same, they are both high quality car seats but are quite heavy and so wouldn’t be suitable travel car seats and if you do remove the car seat frequently and travel a lot with your child then you may prefer to look into the prospects of a travel system.

But what do you think? Have you used one of these car seats yourself? Are you familiar with the Britax brand? If you would like to contribute to the Britax boulevard vs marathon debate or would like your car seat opinion to be heard, please feel free to comment below!

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