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  • Britax Marathon vs. Graco ComfortSport

    When Alex was outgrew his Graco Snugride infant carseat late last summer, I settled on the Britax Marathon as his new carseat for two major reasons: safety and the high weight limit. In retrospect, the high weight limit wasn’t that important, because the pace of Alex’s weight gain has slowed considerably. I have no regrets, though, because of the Marathon’s high safety rating and ease of use.

    The Marathon is a convertible carseat, meaning it can be used rear-facing and forward-facing. It can be used rear-facing until the child is 33 pounds and forward-facing until 65 pounds. Even without the LATCH system, it was easy to install. The padding is cushy, particularly compared to the SnugRide and ComfortSport, and the straps are wide. There are two pads on the shoulder straps to prevent the straps from cutting into your child’s neck. When you do undo the straps, you can velcro them to the sides so they don’t fall into the middle of the seat and end up under your child when you try to buckle him in. It wasn’t as easy to tighten the straps with the Marathon as it was with the SnugRide, but I’ve gotten used to it and can get it quite tight.

    We bought the ComfortSport for the trip to Hawaii because it was more portable than the Marathon since it’s smaller and lighter. Compared to the Marathon, however, the ComfortSport has narrow straps, no protective padding on the straps, and is darn difficult to tighten. In fact, although it is a convertible, when I tried to install it rear-facing, it was all but impossible to tighten the straps so we had to install it forward-facing. Because of the narrow straps, I think Alex simply wasn’t as comfortable in the ComfortSport as he is in the Marathon. Although not as cushy as the Marathon, there is a decent amount of seat padding on the ComfortSport. The LATCH was a little difficult to work with because it was hard to get it to loosen, a problem I don’t remember having when we installed the Marathon. However, the ComfortSport was incredibly easy to install on the airplane.

    The bottom line: We will continue to use the ComfortSport for traveling but are very happy that it’s the Marathon we use daily. It was $270 that was well spent.