The Britax Marathon ClickTight is incredibly popular, yet there are so many alternatives. How do you know what’s right for you?
In this review we aim to answer all the questions you may have before getting this convertible car seat, plus a lot more than you may not have even thought of:
Is the Marathon ClickTight a good buy? Will it fit your child? Is it safe? Is it easy to install? How does it compare to other car seats? And of course – where can I get a good deal?
So first of all:
Table of Contents
Like the others in Britax’s new ClickTight series, the Marathon ClickTight is a convertible car seat, good for babies and children who need to rear-face or forward-face.
It features 7 recline positions, 12 harness positions (and 2 buckle positions), and 12 headrest positions.
Like the other ClickTight car seats, the Marathon ClickTight offers easy installation and meets current and strict safety standards. The ClickTight mechanism is actually one of the seat’s most important features: 75-95% of car seats are installed incorrectly, placing too many young children at an increased risk of serious injury or death in case of a road accident.
With the Marathon ClickTight’s easily adjustable harness and no-fail installation, parents can rest assured that their children are in fact safe in their car seats. And that’s pretty important.
The Britax Marathon ClickTight is a safe car seat with enough recline, buckle, and harness positions to ensure a perfectly safe fit for every child – from birth until about age 7.
With Britax’s ClickTight technology, this seat is easy as pie to install. Kids enjoy a fun, comfortable ride, and if you’re worried about crumbs, the fabric is washable. Best of all, it keeps kids safe during road accidents.
Parents and kids are sure to enjoy the cool colors and designs, and the seat’s slim fit means it can be placed easily next to another safety seat.
Another important safety feature is the anti-rebound bar. This is a relatively recent addition to car seat safety in general, but it’s important for rear-facing seats. As its name suggests, the anti-rebound bar works to limit the car seat’s rebound movement in a front-impact crash. Not all Britax ClickTight car seats come with an anti-rebound bar, but even if yours doesn’t, you can buy a compatible bar relatively cheaply.
Note: Britax’s anti-rebound bar is only comatible with the ClickTight convertible car seats.
Here are the technical features of the Marathon Clicktight:
How does the Britax Marathon ClickTight compare with other car seats?
The Marathon ClickTight is a later version of the Marathon G4.1, and expires in ten years instead of in seven. Also, the Marathon ClickTight can rear-face children with a 7.6” seated shoulder height, while the Marathon G4.1 is only suitable for children with a seated shoulder height of 9”.
On the other hand, the ClickTight is 11 lbs heavier than the G4.1, weighing 28.5 lbs instead of the G4.1’s 19.5 lbs. The seat width and shoulder width offered are also slightly different.
Safety-wise, the two are pretty similar: Both feature Britax’s SafeCell impact protection, as well as a V-shaped tether. However, the Marathon ClickTight offers more recline positions and more harness adjustment options. Plus, the ClickTight technology ensures proper installation both rear-facing and forward-facing, whether you use the car’s seatbelt or LATCH.
Also, the Marathon ClickTight has seven recline positions and 12 harness positions, whereas the Marathon only has three recline positions and 10 harness positions.
Britax’s Advocate ClickTight is two inches taller than their Marathon ClickTight, and has two more harness slots (14 instead of the Marathon ClickTight’s 12). As a result, the Advocate’s seated shoulder height limit (or “shoulder-to-tush” height limit) is 18.75”, two inches more than the Marathon’s. It’s worth noting that the Advocate ClickTight also comes with a harness safety indicator.
The other main difference between the seats is that the Marathon ClickTight is 18.5” wide, while the Advocate ClickTight is 20.5” wide. This means the Marathon ClickTight is great for smaller cars and parents who have more than one safety seat, where the Advocate ClickTight might not fit.
Britax’s Roundabout car seat is a convertible car seat somewhat smaller than the Marathon ClickTight. Respective to its smaller dimensions, the Roundabout’s maximum height and weight limits are lower than the Marathon ClickTight’s. Also, the Roundabout only has one layer of side impact protection, while the Marathon ClickTight has two.
Another significant difference is that the Roundabout does not allow for headrest adjustment, whereas the Marathon ClickTight offers 10 different heights for the headrest. And, obviously, it doesn’t have the ClickTight technology – though it does have an an easy latch system.
Yes, the Roundabout is significantly cheaper than the Marathon ClickTight, but it also lasts less time: The Roundabout expires after just 7 years. And even if seven years is enough, you’ll probably need to move your child to a booster earlier.
One more point worth noting: Britax has retired their Roundabout 55 car seat.
Britax’s Boulevard ClickTight is a slimmer version of their Advocate ClickTight. (When I say “slimmer version,” what I mean is that the width is the only difference. The Advocate and Boulevard ClickTights are identical in every other way.)
The Boulevard ClickTight is the same width as the Marathon ClickTight, and both have two layers of side impact protection. However, the Boulevard ClickTight has a shoulder-to-tush height limit of 18.75” instead of the Marathon’s 16.75”. Also, the Boulevard ClickTight is more expensive than the Marathon ClickTight.
The main difference between the Marathon ClickTight and the Frontier (or Frontier ClickTight) is that the Frontier is a high-backed booster with a harness, and the Marathon ClickTight is a convertible car seat. This means that the intended age groups, as well as height and weight limits, are completely different.
Children should ideally remain rear-facing until they are at least two years old or reach the maximum height and weight recommended by their car seat’s manufacturer. Boosters are intended for children who have grown out of forward-facing car seats but are not yet tall enough or heavy enough to use a regular seatbelt.
The Frontier boosters are combination forward-facing car seats and booster seats. The Frontier ClickTight (the 85 and 90 have been retired) can be used as forward-facing car seats for children aged two years and older, from 25 lbs and 30” to 90 lbs and 58”. When used as a booster, the Frontier ClickTight accommodates children from 40 lbs to 120 lbs and from 45” to 62”.
Chicco’s NextFit has the same height and weight limits as the Britax’s Marathon ClickTight. However, while the Marathon ClickTight allows you to forward-face your child from 20 lbs, the NextFit only allows forward-facing from 22 lbs. Also the Marathon ClickTight offers seven different reclining positions, while the NextFit offers nine.
The Marathon ClickTight is half an inch slimmer than the NextFit, but it’s also heavier, at 28.5 lbs instead of the NextFit’s 25.5 lbs. One cool thing about the NextFit is their zipper, which allows for easy removal (and cleaning!) of the seat’s fabric.
However, the NextFit lacks both an easy installation system and an indicator telling you if your child’s harness is properly adjusted. Both of these are important safety features. The Marathon ClickTight has an easy, no-fail installation system, and though it doesn’t have a harness indicator, it does offer easy harness adjustment.
Britax has retired its Marathon (G1), but still offers replacement parts for the seats. Bear in mind, though, that the seat is only good for six years.
Other than the fact that one is retired, there are a few main differences between the Britax Marathon G4 and the Britax Marathon ClickTight. The first, obviously, is that the Marathon ClickTight uses Britax’s easy-installation technology, while the G1 doesn’t. Also, the Marathon (G1) can only seat children with a shoulder-to-tush height of up to 16″. It’s only .75″, but considering that children don’t grow as fast as they get older, that .75″ may be worth a few months.
Also, the Marathon (G1) has only four harness positions, compared to the Marathon ClickTight’s 12, and can be used rear-facing only up to 35 lbs (instead of 40 lbs). It’s also .2″ wider than the Marathon ClickTight.
Both the Diono Radian RXT and the Marathon ClickTight have steel frames and are considered to be sturdy, safe car seats.
However, the weight and height limits differ significantly: The Radian RXT allows children to rear-face up to 45 lbs (the Marathon ClickTight up to 40 lbs), but its maximum height limit is 5 inches lower, at 44″ instead of the Marathon ClickTight’s 49″.
That said, the Radian RXT’s forward-facing height limit (57″) is significantly higher than the Marathon ClickTight’s, probably because the seat can be used as a harnessed booster in addition to a convertible car seat. Used as a forward-facing car seat, Diono’s Radian can accommodate children 20-80 lbs; used as a booster, it can seat children 50-120 lbs.
It’s also slimmer and lighter than the Marathon ClickTight, at 17″ wide and 26.5 lbs. And one cool thing about the Radian RXT is that it can be collapsed and carried as a backpack. (But what does that do to its crash sturdiness? I don’t know. And neither do you, frankly.)
The downsides? There are several. First, there are only five harness positions, compared to the Marathon ClickTight’s 12. Second, you’ll probably need an angle adjuster – sold separately – when using the Diono seat rear-facing. Third, while the Diono Radian RXT can be used for ten years as a booster, it can only be used for eight years as a car seat.
The biggest disadvantage to the Radian, though, is its lack of an easy installation system. While it’s true that the seat is slimmer than most, making installation less complicated, it’s also true that most car seats are not properly installed.
Maxi-Cosi offers two Pria models: The Pria 70 and the Pria 85. Neither of the Pria models are good from birth: The Pria 85 accommodates children from 14-85 lbs, and the Pria 70 can accommodate children between 9-70 lbs. To use these seats from birth, you’d need their special infant insert, which may need to be bought separately.
That said, the Marathon ClickTight accommodates children only up to 65 lbs and 49”, whereas the Pria models accommodate children up to 52”. However, the Pria models lack an important safety feature: They don’t have an easy installation system.
Graco’s Extend2Fit car seat is a convertible car seat which can also be used as a booster. The seat fits babies from 4 lbs – a pound lighter than the Marathon ClickTight’s minimum weight, and accommodates rear-facing children up to 50 lbs (Marathon ClickTight users need to forward-face at 40 lbs). Older kids outgrow the Extend2Fit when they reach 100 lbs.
The Extend2Fit has 6 recline positions and 10 headrest positions, and includes an extendable panel which is supposed to provide extra leg room. It also features an easy-installation system for LATCH users. While the Extend2Fit is significantly lighter than the Marathon ClickTight, it’s also nearly an inch wider – which may make a big difference if you need to squeeze more than one safety seat into the back seat.
Graco’s Nautilus is a three-stage booster seat, not a convertible car seat. The Nautilus fits children 22-120 lbs, and and children can use the “harnessed booster” option until they weigh 80 lbs. Toddlers can begin using the Nautilus when they reach 27″, and will outgrow the backless booster stage at 57″.
The Nautilus has 3 recline positions, 5 adjustable headrest positions, and an easy “lock-off” system to ensure safety. Like the Marathon ClickTight, this seat can be used for ten years.
According to Britax’s site, their Pavilion car seats have been retired and replaced. Most likely, the replacements are the ClickTight car seats. If you need replacement parts, Britax still offers them, but if you’re looking to buy the car seat itself, you may have difficulty finding one. Just remember that since Britax has retired the car seats, the availability of replacement parts may be limited.
Even if you found a new Pavilion seat for sale, the Marathon ClickTight would still be the better deal. The main reason? The ClickTight technology ensures that you’ll install your child’s seat properly: The vast majority of car seats (between 75%-95%) are not properly installed, endangering young children in case of an accident.
Also the Pavilion seats expire after 7 years, whereas the Marathon ClickTight expires after 10.
Evenflo’s Triumph LX car seat has the same weight limits as Britax’s Marathon ClickTight, but allows forward-facing only from 22 lbs, instead of the Marathon’s 20 lbs. However, their maximum height limit (50″) beats the Marathon’s by one inch, and the seat weighs 20.5 lbs instead of the Marathon ClickTight’s 28.5 lbs.
The Evenflo Triumph LX has a level indicator showing whether the seat is installed at the correct angle, as well as an easy harness adjust system. However, one customer said the knobs were difficult to turn, making harness adjustment incredibly difficult. It’s important to note that the same customer also said there were no level indicators, and wrote her comment three years ago. Also, other customers disagreed, and said the knobs were very easy to use.
The Triumph LX does not seem to have any “easy installation” features.
The RECARO ProRIDE and Britax’s Marathon ClickTight have the same height and weight limits. However, rear-facing children need the harness to be at or below their shoulders, and the ProRIDE’s lowest harness strap position is simply too high. The ProRIDE is also half an inch wider than the Marathon ClickTight, which may pose a problem for parents who need to place three safety seats side by side in the back row.
Though the ProRIDE doesn’t have a no-fail installation system, they do have a safety stripe on the harness straps designed to warn parents when the strap is at risk of twisting. One parent said the ProRIDE’s straps are less likely to twist than Britax’s. Personally, I wish all car seats had such an indicator.
On the other hand, it’s not clear how long the ProRIDE can be used, so if you buy one, ask for the expiration date first. Also, several customers reported that the RECARO ProRIDE can be very difficult to install, whether with a seatbelt or with LATCH. Rear-facing customers were especially likely to have difficulty.
The Graco My Ride 65 is a sturdy, safe car seat offering color-coded LATCH straps for each belt path, as well as an infant insert designed to accommodate smaller babies.
While it doesn’t have a no-fail installation system, the seat’s “regular” installation is considered to be relatively easy. On the other hand, you’ll need to rethread the harness each time you adjust the straps’ height, and not every parent knows how to rethread it correctly.
Graco’s My Ride 65 fits babies and children 4 lbs to 65 lbs, and up to 49″. In other words, the specs are the same as the Marathon ClickTight’s, except that the My Ride 65 can accommodate babies from 4 lbs instead of from 5 lbs.
The My Ride 65 probably won’t fit in your car if you’ve got another two safety seats in the back: at its widest point, the seat is 22″ across. It’s also worth noting that while the Marathon ClickTight can be used for ten years, the My Ride 65 needs to be tossed after just seven.
Important Recall Note:
Graco Children’s Products Inc. (Graco) is recalling certain Graco My Ride 65 convertible child restraints, models 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334. In the event of a crash, the child seat webbing may not adequately restrain the child. As such, these car seats fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213, “Child Restraint Systems.”
Graco will notify owners, and dealers will provide consumers with a replacement harness, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 17, 2017. Owners may contact Graco customer service at 1-800-345-4109. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
The Britax Marathon 65-G3 and 70-G3 are no longer available, either on Amazon or on Britax’s site. Probably, Britax retired these seats because they replaced them with the Marathon ClickTight.
Bear in mind that although you can still buy replacement parts for the 70-G3, it expires after either six or seven years. Also, do not buy car seats second hand. They may be “invisibly” damaged and compromise your child’s safety in case of a crash.
Yes. According to Britax’s blog, “All Britax harnessed car seats, including infant car seats, convertible car seats, and combination harness-2-booster seats, are certified for use on aircraft.”
The Britax Marathon ClickTight is good for ten years of use, after which it should be replaced. If you are in an accident, you should replace the car seat immediately, regardless of its expiration date.
Britax’s Marathon ClickTight comes in several colors: Gray with light gray dots, turquoise with white and black dots, solid dark gray, cow print, pink and gray rectangles, textured gray, red, solid light gray, and black and white stripes with turquoise accents.
Unfortunately, the popular Ashley Floral (yellow with flowers) print is not available for the Marathon ClickTight – it was only available for the Marathon, and according to Britax’s site (and Amazon), it’s now out of stock.
To clean your Britax Marathon ClickTight, follow our detailed instructions for cleaning the Britax Advocate ClickTight. Remember, don’t immerse the straps in water.
Here’s how to remove and replace the car seat’s cover:
Most children will be able to rear-face in the Marathon ClickTight until around three years of age; the AAP recommends keeping children rear-facing until at least two years old, and longer if the seat’s height and weight limits allow it.
To install the Marathon ClickTight rear-facing, follow the detailed instructions for installing the Advocate ClickTight rear-facing. Or, watch the relevant video.
To install the Britax Marathon ClickTight rear-facing using LATCH:
To install the Britax Marathon ClickTight rear-facing using a lap belt:
To install the Marathon ClickTight rear-facing using a lap and shoulder belt:
To install your Marathon ClickTight forward-facing, follow the instructions for installing the Advocate ClickTight forward-facing. Want to see it in action?
Install the Marathon ClickTight forward-facing using LATCH:
Install the Marathon ClickTight forward-facing using a lap belt:
Install the Marathon ClickTight forward-facing using a lap and shoulder belt:
In 2015, two of Britax’s car seats, the Boulevard ClickTight and the Marathon ClickTight, were discovered to have an easily fixable safety flaw: The harness straps’ loop had not been pulled fully over the lower anchor’s hook.
Again, this is easy to remedy, and because the straps are meant to be adjusted to fit the child, there is no safety concern after you check the harness and pull it over the hook. It’s also not clear that Britax hasn’t remedied the issue in the two years since. Two people complained that one strap became loose while the other was too tight, and two others complained that the seat is difficult to remove from their car.
That said, the overwhelming majority of customers were glad they bought the Marathon ClickTight, and some were literally gushing over it (including two child passenger safety technicians). So go ahead and buy the Marathon ClickTight, but take five minutes to check the harness before you use it.
The only recall for the Britax Marathon ClickTight was issued on Aug 27, 2015 as a voluntary recall, and included Advocate, Boulevard, and Marathon ClickTight car seats produced between August 1, 2014, and July 29, 2015. These seats were recalled because the harness adjuster button sometimes remained in the “release” position after the harness was tightened.
Britax automatically mailed a free remedy kit to all registered users.
The Britax Marathon ClickTight is a solid, safe, car seat which the vast majority of customers find easy to install. Many parents have said it literally saved their child’s life. If you need a solid, slim car seat and want to know that you’ve installed it properly, the Marathon ClickTight is probably an excellent choice.