Car Seats, Convertible Car Seats — May 20, 2017 at 6:38 am

Britax Boulevard vs Marathon vs Advocate Car Seats

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Britax Boulevard vs Marathon vs Advocate

Parents want to choose the best car seat for their child’s use for several reasons. Bear in mind that car seats aren’t just seats for kids while they are riding in the back of the car; indeed, they must provide the child with optimum safety features, as mandated by law, as well as comfort and convenience features for both parents and their kids.

Of the dozens of brands offering child car seats in the market, the Britax brand is among the more well-known brands for good reason. Britax car seats are constructed with durability, functionality, and even beauty in mind, making them among the preferred choices of parents. We've featured Britax car seats many times here at Kid Sitting Safe, including in our Britax vs ChiccoBritax vs Graco and Britax Frontier Reviews. This article compares three of Britax's latest convertible car seats—the Boulevard, Marathon and Advocate.

Britax Boulevard vs Marathon vs Advocate Specifications Compared​

BRITAX BOULEVARD CLICKTIGHT

Weight - 29.4 lbs

Child Weight RF: 5 - 40 lbs

Child Weight FF: 20-65 lbs

Max Child Height: 49"

Dimensions: 23"D x 18.5"W x 23.5"H

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - RF

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - FF

  • 2 layers of Side Impact Protection formed by a deep foam-lined shell, quick-adjust head protection.
  • SafeCell Impact Protection: impact-absorbing base, impact-stabilizing steel frame and patented V-shaped tether.
  • ClickTight Installation System
  • 7 position recline
  • No-rethread 14-position harness
  • Auto level indicators
  • Plush foam padding and fabrics
  • Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator
  • Easy-buckle system
  • Easy-remove cover

BRITAX ADVOCATE CLICKTIGHT

Weight - 30.6 lbs

Child Weight RF: 5 - 40 lbs

Child Weight FF: 20-65 lbs

Max Child Height: 49"

Dimensions: 23"D x 20.5"W x 23.5"H

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - RF

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - FF

  • 3 layers of side impact protection formed by a deep foam-lined shell, quick-adjust head protection and energy absorbing side cushions.
  • SafeCell Impact Protection: impact-absorbing base, impact-stabilizing steel frame and patented V-shaped tether.
  • ClickTight Installation System
  • 7 position recline
  • No-rethread 14-position harness
  • Auto level indicators
  • Plush foam padding and fabrics
  • Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator
  • Easy-buckle system
  • Easy remove cover

BRITAX MARATHON CLICKTIGHT

Weight - 28.5 lbs

Child Weight RF: 5 - 40 lbs

Child Weight FF: 20-65 lbs

Max Child Height: 49"

Dimensions: 23"D x 18.5"W x 23.5"H

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - RF

NHTSA Overall Ease of Use Rating - FF

  • Side impact protection formed by a deep foam-lined shell.
  • SafeCell Impact Protection: Impact-absorbing base, impact-stabilizing steel frame and patented V-shaped tether.
  • ClickTight Installation System
  • 7 position recline
  • No-rethread 12-position harness
  • Auto level indicators
  • Plush foam padding and fabrics
  • Easy-buckle system
  • Easy remove cover

Britax Boulevard ClickTight

The Boulevard is an outstanding convertible car seat that can accommodate a child weighing between 5 and 40 lbs. (rear facing), or 20 and 65 lbs. (forward facing). Emphasis must be made that the child’s standing height should be 49” or less while the shoulder height should be 9-16.75” (rear facing) and 12-16.75” (forward facing).

These height and weight limitations also apply to the Marathon and Advocate car seats. The Advocate has a marginally heavier weight compared to the Boulevard and Marathon—it weighs 30.6lbs compared to 29.4lbs for the Boulevard and 28.5lbs for the Marathon. All of these Britax seats are fairly heavy due to their solid impact stabilizing steel frames for superior safety protection.

The Boulevard is among the best car seats because of its optimum safety features that we believe exceeds many safety standards. There are several aspects to its safe design, namely:

  • The deep shell has a thick lining of foam that provides your child with a safe and comfortable cushioned seat. The shell is also designed to absorb as much energy as possible in case of a collision, although it isn’t a foolproof design.
  • The steel frame is designed with superior strength and stability in mind, a must when your child is riding in the back of the vehicle. This is also strongest at the most important part—the point where the car seat and the vehicle connects.
  • The V-shaped tether reduces the amount of seat rotation, an important safety feature in case of a crash. The staged-release stitches also decrease the forward movement in case of an accident.

Of course, no car seat is 100% safe in a collision or crash but these safety features can reduce the risk of serious, even fatal injuries to a child securely strapped in.

We have also previously reviewed the Britax Boulevard (the older G4.1 model) against another popular convertible car seat, the Graco Size4Me65 in our Britax vs Graco car seat comparison. Check out that article to see which seat came out on top.

Other features that make the Boulevard a top choice in car seats are the 10-position harness coupled with the 2-position buckle for a comfortable yet secure fit; the 3-position recline seat; and the removable body pillow. Cleaning the car seat is also easy because its cover can be completely removed in one motion and cleaned in the washing machine.

PROS

  • Easy installation with either LATCH or seatbelt;
  • The Click Snug & Safe Harness Indicator when tightening the straps is really helpful (clicks when straps are appropriately tight around baby)​;
  • Side head protection provides great added protection compared to other seats plus makes a comfortable support for sleeping kids!
  • Seat does not take up too much space and so are good for smaller cars or if more than one car seat is required in the back.​

CONS

  • Does not come complete with a cup holder, which needs to be bought separately;
  • Doesn't come with a tether strap for rear facing instatllation​;
  • LATCH installations are limited due to LATCH weight limit - although this is normal for all car seats.

Britax Marathon ClickTight

The Marathon car seat shares many of the notable features of the Boulevard, with a few exceptions. The main difference is in the design details, such as:

  • it has a single layer of side impact protection compared to two on the Boulevard and three on the Advocate;
  • you also don't get the quick adjust head protection or the Click Snug & Safe Harness Indicator with this model; and
  • the Marathon has a 12-position quick adjust harness compared to 14-position on both the Boulevard and Advocate.
  • As a result, the Marathon is the cheapest of the three seats.​

Like the Boulevard, the Marathon has the Britax SafeCell impact protection technology that keeps your child as safe and secure as possible while strapped into the car seat. This is complemented by side-impact protection technology embedded in the shell, which the company assures can absorb crash forces well. The steel frame, with its V-shaped tether and energy-absorbing base, provides the foundation for strength and stability in the car seat.

The bottom line: The Marathon convertible car seat may well save your child’s life in case of a crash or collision. Just be sure to securely strap in your child using the 12-posiiton safety harness to increase the chances of survival, as well as ensure comfort while traveling. Check that the anchors are also locked into place—listen to the click—for added safety; the anchors can also be quickly released in case you want to remove the car seat.

Britax Advocate ClickTight

The Advocate car seat has plenty of advocates, pun intended, which isn’t surprising considering its top-of-the-line features. This is the most expensive convertible car seat in the Britax range. The key difference that sets it apart are the three layers of Side Impact Protection compared to two on the Boulevard and a single layer on the Marathon. Furthermore, it has additional energy absorbing side cushions which you don't get with either the Boulevard or Marathon.

We have also previously reviewed the Britax Advocate against another popular convertible car seat, the Chicco Nextfit Zip in our Britax vs Chicco car seat comparison. Check out that article to see which seat came out on top.

Like the Boulevard and Marathon, the Advocate is easier to install than its apparently complicated design warrants, especially as there’s little assembly involved. The on/off lower anchors can be conveniently connected to the vehicle’s seat with a click, while its release occurs with just a simple push of a button.

Even your young child will like being seated in it, thanks to the 7-position recline. You can adjust the angle depending on whether you want your child to be in an upright or reclining position, such as awake or asleep.

No matter your child’s age and their preferred recline position, you should check that they are securely strapped in, otherwise, the safety features of the Advocate will be of little use in case of an accident, even a minor one, since your child can be thrown from his seat. Strapping your child in should be fast and easy—listen to the audible clicking sound that indicates the safety harness has been secured.

Even as your child grows, the harness grows with them, so to speak. This is because the 14-position adjustable harness can be adjusted depending on their growing size, as is the case for the 2-position buckle that moves outward.

Safety isn’t just the main concern in the Britax car seat; your child will also be comfortable while strapped in, thanks to the plush foam padding, soft fabrics on the seat, and the removable body pillow.

BRITAX ADVOCATE PROS & CONS

PROS

  • The click feature when tightening the straps is really helpful (clicks when straps are appropriately tight around baby)​.
  • Easy installation with either LATCH or seatbelt;

CONS​

  • Does not come complete with a cup holder, which needs to be bought separately.
  • Some users report that the tether and anchor strap compartments pop open on their own.
  • Some users have had difficulty removing the seat using the Click-Tight button system​.
  • Some users have complained that the harness straps are always uneven​ and are too short.

Conclusion

The abovementioned Britax car seats may seem to have space-age materials and design, which can be bewildering for first-time parents, but these are necessary for both parents and children. Each one of these Britax car seats provides excellent features and functions that parents will be happy about using for their child. The final choice will boil down to your own needs and wants in a car seat, such as your budget, safety, comfort and convenience features desired, and color combos, among others.

A further point to note is that the Britax Boulevard, Marathon and Advocate seats all can be purchased with Anti-Rebound Bars (ARB) for around an extra $30 per seat. Alternatively this can be bought separately for a similar price and retrofitted to the seat as an accessory. The anti-rebound technology minimizes rebound rotation associated with crashes by stabilizing the seat when it is setup rear-facing. This is a good safety enhancement and we highly recommend it if your budget allows. 

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