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2015 Britax Marathon ClickTight Review

2015 Britax Marathon CT Convertible Carseat Review

Click here to enter our Marathon CT GIVEAWAY!!!

MA CT twilightClickTight isn’t a new-new technology anymore, since it was introduced on the Frontier and Pinnacle combination seats almost 2 years ago, but what *is* new is how it’s being applied to Britax’s convertible carseats. Britax has taken ClickTight and made it so that it takes seconds to install a ClickTight convertible seat. The new Britax Marathon CT is a Euro-styled, well-padded carseat designed to fit newborns to preschoolers.

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between the three new ClickTight convertibles.  All Britax CT convertibles have the ClickTight Installation System, an impact-absorbing base with 7 recline positions, rip-stitch energy-absorbing tether, HUGS harness pads, a steel reinforced frame, EPP foam, and other side-impact protection features.

 

  • Britax Marathon ClickTight – This model has a no-rethread harness and standard rubber HUGS pads. The top harness slot height and the overall height are about 2 inches shorter than the Boulevard CT and Advocate CT models.  MSRP $329.99

MA vs BV

  • Britax Boulevard ClickTight – All the features of the Marathon CT plus SafeCell HUGS pads; deeper, plastic-surrounded headwings; “Click & Safe” snug harness indicator, top harness slots and overall height 2″ taller than Marathon CT. MSRP $369.99

Britax also markets a less expensive series of smaller convertibles.  We recently reviewed the 2015 Britax Boulevard G4.1 that often sells for less than $270 at Amazon.  Its sibling, the Roundabout G4.1 can be found online for under $170, and sometimes less when on sale.

Weight and Height Limits:

  • Rear-facing 5-40 lbs. AND child’s head is 1” below top of head rest
  • Forward-facing 20-65 lbs., 49″ or less, at least 1 year old*

*Britax recommends that children ride rear-facing to the highest weight or height specified

MA CT cowmooMA CT rioMA CT twilightMA CT verveMA CT vibe

Marathon CT Overview:

  • ClickTight installation system (also acts as a built-in lockoff device)
  • Complete Side Impact Protection – deep protective shell
  • 12 position headrest with no-rethread harness
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • 2 position buckle with EZ-Buckle System to keep buckle to the front and forward of the child when loading
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • SafeCell impact-absorbing base – these cells compress in a crash, which lowers the center of gravity of the child and reduces forward head excursion
  • Energy-absorbing, rip-stitch Versa-Tether®
  • 7 recline positions to help achieve a proper recline angle in any vehicle
  • Smooth bottom base with grippy edges that won’t damage vehicle upholstery
  • FAA-approved for use on aircraft
  • 10 yr lifespan makes it a good value; sells for under $280 at Amazon
  • Made in the USA!

Marathon CT Measurements

Harness slots: 7 ½”-17 ½”
External widest point: 17 ½”
Shell height with headrest: 27”
Shoulder width: 14”
Crotch strap depth: 5”, 7”
Seat depth: 12”
Seat weight: 28 lbs.

Installation

No lockoffs! What? I am celebrating no lockoffs from the brand that introduced lockoffs to the American public?

Quick Look: 2015 Britax Boulevard Review “G4.1″

Britax Advocate G4.1, Britax Marathon G4.1 and Boulevard G4.1 Review Update for 2015

The Britax Boulevard G4 and other Britax G4 convertibles are getting a facelift for 2015. So, this review is a very minor update to our 2014 Britax Advocate Full Review. We recommend reading our full review for all the details of the Britax G4 and G4.1 convertibles, as this review will just cover the updates for 2015. The Britax G4 convertibles have not changed in any significant way, but only have some minor labeling and marketing changes moving into 2015 with the unofficial G4.1 designation. Here are the changes:

  • Label added to infant positioning pillow.  MUST be used for children weighing 22 lbs. or less in a rear-facing position.  DO NOT use over 22 lbs.  DO NOT use in a forward-facing position.
  • Boulevard now marketed with Complete Side Impact Protection PLUS, indicates the energy-absorbing head restraint system with side impact wings.
  • P1040660Maximum limits continue to be 65 pounds forward-facing (seatbelt), 50 pounds forward-facing (LATCH) and 40 pounds rear-facing.
  • Top tether length shortened; extenders available
  • Rear-Facing accessory tether strap will be revised to fabric-only loop
  • Red accents added to height adjustment lever and recline lever.
  • New Britax Logo with SafeCell Impact Protection.
  • New 2-color box; helps identify the 4.1 model (photo, right)
  • Anti-Rebound Bar is an optional accessory

BritaxBoulevardG4.1RF BritaxBoulevardG4.1FF

 

Britax Convertible Features Comparison:

*Tip: If you’re viewing from your phone – turn it sideways to see more columns of the chart in landscape mode.

 

Boulevard G4.1 Pros:

  • One of the easiest LATCH installs on the market
  • Easy front adjustment for harness height with 10 positions
  • EZ Buckle System is wonderful; no digging out buckle from under the child!
  • Two crotch strap positions, three recline positions
  • Better than average fit rear-facing in smaller cars
  • Ability to tether rear-facing or use anti-rebound bar (optional accessory)
  • Click & Safe harness adjuster helps you know when the harness is adjusted reasonably well
  • Seated maximum shoulder height label for visual reminder of when seat is outgrown
  • Infant positioning pillow provides excellent fit on newborns
  • Made in USA!

Cons:

Conclusion:

There are no major changes for 2015 on the Britax Boulevard G4.1 or the similar Roundabout, Marathon and Advocate G4.1 models.  The big change for Britax was the introduction of the Britax ClickTight Convertibles, with more features, higher limits and a bigger price tag.  Meanwhile, the G4.1 models continue to be great convertible carseats at a lower price point.  The lowest priced model, the Britax Roundabout G4, sells for under $145 at some retailers.  Meanwhile, the Advocate G4.1 packs the most premium features, is easier to use than many competitors and comes with unique, patented external side impact cushions.  All install easily with LATCH and fit well in small cars.  For those reasons, we continue to include them on our Recommended Carseats list!

The 2015 Britax Boulevard G4.1 sample used in this update was provided by Britax USA, no other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Evenflo Symphony DLX Elite All-in-One Carseat Review – A Concerto of Safety, Function & Style

Evenflo ProComfort Symphony - stockHere at CarseatBlog we’re very familiar with the Evenflo Symphony which first debuted back in 2008. We’ve reviewed every generation of this popular All-in-One carseat and I’m happy to report that the latest DLX/Elite version continues to impress!

First, let’s clarify that there are two different models of the Symphony that are currently available on store shelves. The Symphony DLX (aka Symphony Elite) is the premium model with SureLATCH connectors. The Symphony LX model has differently shaped headwings and standard push-on lower LATCH connectors instead of the patented, self-ratcheting “SureLATCH” connectors.

Both models are very nice but if you’re drawn to the less expensive LX model because you prefer the regular push-on LATCH connectors, or you’re just trying to stay within a more limited budget, the Symphony LX model still has a lot of great safety and convenience features to offer. Just make sure you’re looking at the newest LX model. The new LX models have the dual integrated cup holders – the older LX models do not and the older models also lack the deeper headwings for enhanced side-impact protection.

In this review we will focus on the premium DLX (aka Elite) Symphony model. There are different versions of the DLX model and some versions are exclusive to certain retailers like Target and Babies R Us. Here is a breakdown of the different DLX models, which stores carry them, and what’s special about that particular version:

ProComfort Symphony DLX – Target exclusive. Cover has Buckle Pockets and “Gel-Matrix Technology”  inside to reduce pressure points and improve comfort. ProComfort fashions include “Cambridge” (Black/Green) & “Alexandria (Black/Pink).

Evenflo Symphony - ProComfort Evenflo Symphony - ProComfort - pinkEvenflo ProComfort Gel Matrix Pressure Relief graphic

Platinum Symphony DLX – Babies R Us exclusive. Cover has Buckle Pockets and OUTLAST® Performance Fabrics which absorb hot and cold temperature, releasing as needed. Outlast® technology, originally developed for NASA, utilizes phase change materials that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort.

This technology has the ability to:

  • Actively absorb and store excess heat, helping to reduce overheating
  • Allow the child to stay at a balanced temperature and prevent chilling during the cooler months; if the child’s skin temperature drops, the stored heat is released
  • Reduce perspiration so the child stays drier and more comfortable

The thermal image below shows the difference in body temperature after 30 minutes of sitting in the same style carseat – one with OUTLAST®  fabric and one with regular fabric. If you live in a warm climate or just have a kid who is a sweatbox – this technology will help keep your kiddo feeling comfortable all year round.

Evenflo Symphony Platinum - Martina Evenflo Symphony Platinum - Emerson Evenflo OUTLAST thermal-image

Symphony Elite – Available at Amazon. Modesto (Blue) and Paramount (Black) fashions are the newest Symphony Elite fashions available on Amazon.com. These new fashions include the buckle pockets feature. Ocala (Red) & Porter (Green) do NOT have the buckle pockets feature.

Evenflo Symphony Elite - Modesto Evenflo Symphony Elite - Paramount

Evenflo Symphony - Ocala Evenflo Symphony-DLX-Porter

Evenflo Symphony DLX/Elite Specs:

  • Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs, 19-37″ tall, top of the child’s head is at least 1″ below the top of the headrest in either of its two lowest positions
  • Forward-facing with 5-point harness:  22-65 lbs, at least 1 year old, height of 50″ tall or less (shoulders must be at or below top harness position and top of ears must be below the top of CR headrest)
  • Booster mode: 40-110 lbs, at least 4 years old, height 43.3 – 57″ (top of ears must be below the top of CR headrest)

Features:

  • Evenflo SureLATCH connectorAll-in-One (Rear-Facing/Forward-Facing/Booster)
  • Infinite Slide harness system easily adjusts to the perfect height for your child
  • 5-position adjustable headrest (bottom 2 positions for rear-facing)
  • 3 recline positions (1 position for RF, 2 for FF)
  • SureLATCH lower anchor connectors
  • “e3″ Side-Impact Protection – thick, energy-absorbing EPP foam lines the deep headwings
  • Buckle Pockets (on some models)
  • Dual integrated cup holders
  • FAA approved for use in aircraft (with harness)
  • LATCH attachments can still be used in booster mode
  • 8 year lifespan before expiration

Measurements:

  • Lowest harness height: 7.5″
  • Highest harness height: 17″
  • 1 crotch strap buckle position: 6.5″
  • Booster Mode: 19″ to shoulder belt guide in highest headrest position
  • Rear-facing internal height measurement (with headrest in 2nd position): 23″
  • Widest measurement point (at cup holders): 20″
  • Weight: 19.8 lbs. (according to my digital bathroom scale)

Installation Comments:

Clek Fllo Convertible Carseat Review: Cool, Hip—Dare I Say, Royal?

fllo-flamingoInnovators in carseat coolness, Clek doesn’t disappoint with its latest to the convertible seat lineup: Fllo. Fllo will always be the princess to Queen Foonf, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t mighty in her own right. Both have abundant safety features to keep your child’s crown safe. Read on to find out what makes Fllo majestic in her own right.

Weight and Height Limits

Rear-facing: 14-50 lbs., 25-43”, able to sit upright alone, head is at least 1” below top of headrest

Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs., 30-49”; age 1 minimum, age 2+ recommended

Fllo Overview

  • Retails for about $70 less than Foonf; the Fllo is typically $379 or less at Amazon.
  • Optional steel anti-rebound bar designed to limit rebound in the aftermath of a crash
  • Built-in lockoffs for both rear- and forward-facing
  • Rigid sub-structure: Fllo has a steel sub-structure that prevents twisting in a crash
  • Structural headrest: headrest is lined with energy absorbing foam and connected to seat frame with steel rods
  • Energy absorbing foam both inside and outside the frame of the carseat
  • Designed for extended rear-facing: designed to accommodate rear-facing kids to age 4
  • Recline adjustable based on child’s weight
  • Adjustable crotch strap: crotch strap has 2 different lengths and 2 different positions to accommodate bigger kidsEACT
  • EACT Safety System: The Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology Safety System is an aluminum honeycomb that sits under the child, designed to absorb crash forces.
  • Narrow footprint: Fllo is one of the narrowest convertibles currently on the market
  • Crypton Super Fabrics: 8 Crypton covers that are waterproof, wipe clean, and resist bacteria; Crypton is also GREENGUARD Select Certified and free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants (Drift not included)
  • FAA-approved

 

fllo-driftfllo-inkfllo-shadowfllo-slatefllo-tankfllo-thunderfllo-flamingo

fllo-tokidoki-all-overfllo-tokidoki-rebel

Fllo Measurements