The Lexus of carseats

We bought a replacement carseat.  I did a ton of research and almost went for the updated version of what we owned (an Evenflo Triumph, which now lasts to 50 lbs. and no longer has the annoying double shoulder belts) but ended up going for the Britax simply because the weight limit is 65 lbs.  I read a lot of good reviews but no one was able to articulate what was so great about the seat, so I was a bit doubtful going in.  I am not one to buy into hype, so I had to hope I wasn’t making a mistake trying a new seat when we liked the one we had.

We bought the Britax Marathon.  This thing is a monster – freaking huge!  But right away I noticed that the bottom is sculpted and so would work well in the middle of our Subaru Outback, which contains a “hump.”  The second awesome thing I noticed was the way the LATCH is set up – no threading it through a path under the seat; instead, there is a LATCH belt on either side permanently attached to a metal bar, and the connectors are buckles with buttons (so you don’t have to shove your hand between the seats and wiggle the buckle while depressing the “tongue” to get it on/off the anchor).  When you can no longer use LATCH, there are little pockets in which to store the buckles.  Joe installed the seat and was extremely satisfied that he was able to climb in and pull on the latch belts on either side of the seat to get a good, tight fit.  That sucker is not moving!!!

There are also patches of velcro to hold the harness to the side but this is a pretty unnecessary feature, in my opinion, since you still have to move the buckles out of the way or stab the kid’s back.  It was fairly easy to rethread the harness to the proper height, but we did manage to get a belt twisted and so we’ll need to uninstall the seat in order to fix it.  This is one area where our prior seat had the Britax beat because you could literally just lift up the seat cover and slide the harness adjuster to the proper height without uninstalling anything.  Oh, well.

Overall, I’d totally recommend this seat.  Is it worth the extra $100 over the Evenflo Triumph?  Probably, if you use it as a single seat from birth to 65 lbs.  The Evenflo isn’t the greatest for the newborn stage, IMO, because it’s a difficult to get a proper recline (although that could just be our retarded Subaru issue).  I don’t have experience with putting a newborn in a Britax, though.

Edited to add: I forgot the sweet harness “sleeves” that keep baby neck skin from chafing.  Gotta love that.

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