Britax Marathon VS Boulevard; Extra Safety or Affordability?

While it is common for parents to go for all-in-one car seats, usually a 3-in-1, which is more cost-efficient in the long run, some parents may opt for a conventional 2-in-1 convertible child seat (RF & FF only).

If you belong in this category and Britax is your preferred brand for high quality and ClickTight convertible car seats on the market, then here you go with this comparison of the Britax Marathon vs Boulevard, the contenders for premium safety and affordability.

The difference between the Boulevard, the more expensive one, and the Marathon is that the former has a double layer of side impact protection over the latter.

Beyond this, every other major features and specs are similar, such as the installation features (ClickTight models), other safety features, weight & height limits, comfortability for your child, and ease of use features.

However, the price difference is not significant for this difference in layers of side-impact protection (2 vs 1). Therefore, a few more bucks for an extra layer of ‘premium safety’ may be worth it after all.

Read on to learn more about these car seats’ general features and specifications.

NB: The Britax Advocate ClickTight has been retired, as announced by Britax.

Related: Britax Boulevard vs Britax One4Life (a 2-in-1 vs a 3-in-1 from Britax).

Related: Britax One4Life vs Nuna Rava (both 3-in-1 from different brands).

Common Specs & Features in the Boulevard and Marathon

boulevard clicktight vs marathon clicktight

The following are the common similarities in these car seats

  1. 2-in-1 convertibles – rear- & forward-facing
  2. RF weight – 5-40 lbs
  3. FF weight – 20-65 lbs
  4. Height limit (rf & ff) – less than 49″
  5. Product dimension of 23″D x 18.5″W x 23.7″H
  6. A 5-point no-rethread harness system
  7. ClickTight installation system
  8. V-shaped tether
  9. High-strength steel frames
  10. SafeCell technology
  11. 14-position adjustable headrest
  12. 7-position recline
  13. Ease to read level indicators
  14. Easy to remove SafeWash® cover
  15. Plush fabrics and foam padding
  16. No added flame-retardant chemicals
  17. No cupholders (this is actually a CON)
  18. FAA-approved (rf & ff)
  19. 10-years to expiration
  20. 1-year limited warranty

Understanding the Difference Between Britax Marathon and Boulevard

The difference between the Britax Marathon and Boulevard is that the Marathon has a double layer of side impact protection and is more expensive. In contrast, the Boulevard has a single layer.

Since the significant difference between both models is the layers of side-impact protection, what does that really mean then?

Side-impact protection is the use of combined design features such as side walls, head and side wings, and EPS energy-absorbing foam around the areas of the seat to protect a child’s head, neck, and torso in side-impact collisions, which is the most frequent and severe of crashes, and pose the most severe threat to child safety.

Britax doubles this layer of side-impact protection by including a foam-lined headrest and external cushions around the head, neck, and torso, making it more padded, giving you that rest of mind of a safe seat and extra comfort.

boulevard dual layer side impact and marathon single layer

Notwithstanding, the Marathon’s side-impact protection meets safety standards and will also absorb crash energy and reduce the risk of injury.

For some extra bucks, you can have the Boulevard.

Britax Marathon Clicktight VS Britax Boulevard Clicktight Specs & Features

boulevard clicktight vs marathon clicktight

While both car seats have very similar specs and features, understanding these features will help you know what you are getting from your convertible safety restraint.

The following will highlight the common specifications and features in the Marathon and Boulevard.

ClickTight Installation System

The ClickTight technology is Britax’s proprietary installation system that allows easy installation with either the vehicle safety belt or LATCH system, safely and securely, through a belt path just underneath the seat opening to the belt buckle or lower anchor connectors, as the case may be.

When you close back the seat, you should hear a click sound; that confirms a secure installation, hence the name, ClickTight.

The ClickTight installation system is featured in the Marathon and Boulevard.

On the one hand, using the LATCH system, you will face a weight limit as your child grows. On the other hand, using the seat belt system, there are no weight limits.

Size, Dimension & Weight

The Marathon and Boulevard measure the same dimension and weigh comparatively the same weight, save for a pound difference. While the Boulevard ClickTight weighs 29.5 lbs, the Marathon weighs 28.5 lbs.

At a dimension of 23″D x 18.5″W x 23.7″H, with emphasis on the width, 18.5″W, either of these seats will barely fit three across in a small vehicle, but they will be compatible as a third seat with two other compact seats like the Graco SlimFit3 LX or the Diono radian; or as two seats with a Graco or Diono as the third.

Related: Graco SlimFit vs Diono Radian.

However, at the height of 23.7″H, any of them will be great when RF and will save front-to-back space in a comparatively small car.

I have recommended the Britax Boulevard ClickTight as one of the best car seats for Ford Explorer models with regular seat belts and Tesla Model 3.

Related: Best car seats for Tesla Model 3.

SafeCell technology

The Britax SafeCell is a technology that forms a crumple zone at the car seat base to absorb crash energy. This safety feature gives you the peace of mind that in the event of an accident, your child’s safety can be ensured.

Adjustable headrest & Recline positions for comfort

While your child is expected to grow as they use the car seat from rear-facing to forward-facing, so will the need to adjust the headrest and harness come up over time.

The Marathon and Boulevard offer a whooping 14-position adjustable headrest that keeps your child comfortable through their growing years.

Similarly, when in either RF or FF, you may need to adjust your child’s safety restraint to fit better in your car and provide a good head position for your little one. The 7-position recline and easy-to-read level indicator come to the rescue.

Seat cover, fabric, padding, and flame retardant

Dealing with a messy seat can be a thorn in the flesh.

What more than an easy-to-remove car seat cover that is machine washable? And say you are on the go and need to clean up that mess quickly? You can quickly and easily clean up the SafeWash® seat cover and continue the ride.

A well-padded cushion and comfy fabric, free of flame-retardant chemicals, is not left outside the box. The plush fabric and foam padding will give your darling angel that premium comfort for a quiet ride.

Wrap-Up: Final Decision-Making Highlights

While not much difference exists between the Britax Boulevard and Marathon, save for the dual layer side-impact protection in one and a single layer in the other, all other features and specs are the same for these high-quality convertible car seats from Britax.

It is a no-brainer that where the safety of your little one is of utmost priority, a few more bucks would get the Britax Boulevard; otherwise, if you are constrained by budget, the more affordable Britax Marathon will still serve a great purpose.

Cheers to happy parenting!

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