Like many new moms, car safety is not something that I take lightly.
Long before becoming pregnant, I had heard from several moms that Britax was the go-to brand for convertible car seats. So I was very interested when I learned that the company recently decided to re-design several of their bestselling car seats, including the Marathon. How could such a popular car seat possibly be improved? I was determined to find out.
As soon as I took the Britax Marathon 70 out of the box, it was easy to see that Britax designed this seat to be as user-friendly as possible. I instantly noticed several clearly marked parts, such as the recline lever on the front, and was happy to see illustrated installation instructions printed right on the side of the car seat. It’s always a relief to have some guidance when you’re hunched over the backseat of your car and realize you’ve left the manual inside the house!
I plopped the Britax in the backseat of my Nissan Altima (it fit very nicely) and got ready for installation. I located the LATCH connectors conveniently clipped in the carry position in the back of the car seat. Thinking about lugging a convertible car seat through the airport, I immediately appreciated the convenience of including a spot to nicely secure loose straps when on-the-go. I noted that the Marathon 70 also features a pouch to store the Versa-Tether straps when not in use.
Seeing that the LATCH connector straps were currently in the forward-facing position and I was attempting a rear-facing installation, I automatically started to reach for the manual. But before I could even turn to the table of contents, I realized that switching the straps to rear-facing was going to be easier than I thought. The straps simply slide down the steel rails on either side of the seat until you pull them to the area clearly labeled Rear-Facing Belt Path. Wow. No removing of the cover or strap-wrestling required!
I quickly clipped the LATCH connectors into my car’s LATCH system and checked the leveling line on the side of the car seat to make sure it was installed at the correct angle. A quick lift of the recline lever on the front of the seat to lean back the seat and I was done! How easy was that? I attempted to jiggle the seat to make sure it was secure, and thanks to a no-slip rubber bottom, there was no way that seat was budging!
Thinking ahead to days when my baby would be fussing to get out of the car as quickly as possible, I decided to tackle adjusting the straps. After referring to my manual to make sure I knew what I was doing, I was amazed to find that tightening the straps was as simple as a quick tug on the strap that hangs down from the front of the seat. Loosening the straps only required lifting a cleverly concealed lever under the cover on the front of the seat while pulling on the straps. As I envisioned myself getting my daughter in and out of the car in record time, the Marathon 70 jumped up about 100 points in my book!
Knowing all too well that my tiny tot would not stay tiny forever, I was happy to discover that adjusting straps and harness for an older child was as easy as everything else on this miracle car seat. To raise or lower the height of the side impact protection cushions, you simply squeeze a lever on the top of the car seat and lift the entire seat back up or down until it’s in the right spot. Moving the front of the harness only requires sliding the strap through a slot to the next setting.
After checking out how easy it was to remove the car seat cover for washing (no hooks or clips—it just pulls right off!), I was sold. The new Britax Marathon 70 is officially my dream car seat! Here are the details in case you’re still not convinced:
- Rear-facing 5 to 40 lbs.; forward-facing up to 70 lbs.
- SafeCell™ Technology, Integrated Steel Bars, Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether™ and Harness Ultra Guard System (HUGS™) reduces forward rotation of the car seat during a crash
- Side-Impact Protection with energy absorbing EPP foam
- Premium lower LATCH connectors
- Tangle-free, five-point, quick adjust harness
To buy: www.britaxusa.com