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on August 14, 2012
I have one each of the Britax Marathon and the Recaro ProRide for our two vehicles. I studied and agonized over the decision on which car seat(s) to get when I purchased them several months ago. There are a plethora of reviews that pit the Britax against the Recaro, so to save you reading time, I'll keep my review brief:

Pros of Both:
-Sturdy, High Quality
-Great padding
-Plenty of adjustment for a good secure fit (and our little girl is definitely behind the growth curve in weight: 1 year old and 17 pounds!)

Cons of Both:
-This is probably vehicle dependent, but if installing as rear facing then sometimes difficult to get it level because of how many vehicle seats slope down. Ultimately, in our Camry I followed manufacturer recommendations and used a tightly rolled towel underneath to achieve the right placement.

Reasons I like Recaro (I'll qualify this by saying both are good, this is just a preference and am probably splitting hairs):
-installation slightly easier due to nature of the latch belts.
-harness release is much easier to find and just seems to make more sense (ergonomically) based on how your hands work when you are reaching in the vehicle.
-seat seems less bulky and easier to transfer child in and out of.
-harness is easier to adjust and fit seems more snug (note on the Britax, fit is FINE, but we can't get any tighter so ideally it could be a hair better.
-shoulder pads stay in place better
-easier for child to see out of (keep those eyes busy!)

So, these reasons may not seem like a big deal...which is what I would have said when I was researching. I will close with saying, both are good, and I did not bother to return the Britax, BUT, if I had to go back several months and do it all over again, I would just get two of the Recaro ProRide models.

Happy researching!
1010 comments536 of 562 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 23, 2013
Two days after installing this seat, I was in a head on collision with my five month old in the back seat. Immediately after the crash I lunged into the back seat to check on him and he was sitting there smiling from ear to ear still holding on to his stuffed animal. He had no idea anything had happened. We both we to the ER and he was immediately released with no injuries. I was sore for a while, but my son was safe and snug and never effected by the entire ordeal. I ordered a new seat (the exact same one) again two hours after our crash to replace the one in the wreck. I would give this seat a million stars if I could. Safe safe safe!!! And super comfortable. My son loves it!
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VINE VOICEon August 1, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Since 2001 I've been hooked on Britax car seats. The quality and ease of use of their seats puts them above their competition. When I was presented with the opportunity to review the Britax Marathon 70-G3 I jumped at the chance to see how it differed from the Marathon 70.

We own a Britax Marathon 70 so I decided to put it next to the Marathon 70-G3 for a side by side comparison. For the most part the seats are practically identical with a few small differences. The harness adjustor strap's release mechanism is the same, and I still find it awkward when compared to the Marathon and Roundabout 55 classic seats. Instead of pressing down, you need to press up. After nearly 11 years of dealing with seats that have easier releases, I still find this to be awkward. Harness height adjustment on this seat is a snap compared to the seats where you need to rethread the harness. You simply have to squeeze and pull (or push) to adjust the height of the harness straps. The ease of use for this function is on par with the simple adjustment of the back on a Graco TurboBooster. Parents who travel frequently and find themselves lugging their child seat through airports will appreciate the added touch of an area to clip the versa tether strap to be used as a carry handle.

The difference between the Marathon 70 and 70-G3 lies in the versa tether and the harness buckle. The versa tether on the new Marathon 70-G3 is energy absorbing and works to reduce forward movement and rotation in a crash. The seat also has the EZ-Buckle System which keeps the harness buckle in a forward position and keeps your child from sitting on the buckle. I can tell you that this feature is quite nice. I have been using a Roundabout 55 Classic with our nine month old and I can't tell you how often she ends up sitting on the buckle and freaking out while I try to pull it out from under her. The new design really works nicely to keep the buckle out of the way when loading the baby into the seat. The design reminds me of the harness buckle on our B-Agile stroller.

Installation of this seat was a snap. I installed it both rear and forward facing in my Toyota Sienna and it was easily and securely installed in both positions. Because the seat is so large, it is possible that this seat may not fit well in smaller cars when used in the rear facing position.

Overall, this is a great quality seat that will keep your little one safe, comfortable and secure for many years. In the nearly eleven years that I've been using Britax seats, I have found each of them to be worth the price.
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on August 7, 2012
We are so happy that we bought a Britax Marathon. It is easy to install, super safe, and our long-legged kids are comfortable in it. My son (now 4) used it happily until my daughter turned 1. However, as soon as we had to move it from the center of the rear row, to one of the sides... the silver fabric of the Onyx heats up so fast, it burns my fingers to touch it. So, we keep a towel over it when not parked in the garage. In retrospect, we should have ordered a velour/cotton fabric that doesn't heat up so much.
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on September 20, 2012
I purchased the britax marathon 70 for my daughter when she was 8 months old. I researched for months and decided based on the fact it was rear and forward facing it was best for us. My daughter loves her seat and we will be buying another when our second dd is the same age. Yesterday our worst fear happened when my 2011 Chrysler 200 was struck almost head on by another vehicle. Hubby was ok and Natalie had only 2 scratches on either side of her neck from the straps. No bruises or anything!!! In combination with the safety of my car (which is totaled) I think the britax saved my daughter from serious injury. The first thing I did while at the hospital was get on here to order her new seat! Thank you britax!!!
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VINE VOICEon August 15, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We just switched our eleven month-old over from her Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Carrier/Car Seat to the Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat, in the reverse-facing position over the weekend. Wow- this is one serious carseat!

Since we only just now switched, I can't comment on this carseat as far as features for little-little babies goes. Looking at it, with all its removable padding to adapt for a tiny baby, it seems like if you don't want to go the route of an infant carrier that snaps into a carseat base, this'd be good for you... but it's just so convenient, when they're small enough to not make your arm fall off, carrying them in an infant carrier, that I'd say hold off on the Convertible until Baby's so big that when you're trucking him or her around in the carrier, you feel as though your carrying arm is getting stretched down to the floor.

Now, as for how this car seat works for a 17-pound eleven-month-old, I think we're going to be really happy with this carseat for the foreseeable future. There's enough structure and padding to secure her in this carseat, and on the buckle part, there's even a padded insert that goes around the buckle mechanism to prevent hot metal touching her skin, or getting those chubby little thighs pinched in the buckle when hooking her in to take her somewhere. Because this carseat looks as though it'd be a bear to get apart to clean up in the event of a Massive Diaper Blow-Out, however, I've added the protection and peace of mind of a Kiddopotamus 'Piddle Pad' in the seat of this carseat. It doesn't seem to interfere with the operation of the harness or buckles or anything. And trust me. It adds a lot of peace of mind when she's in the carseat and may or may not be fully loaded.

Another feature that I really love about this carseat is that the harness is easily adjustable by pulling up on a handle at the back of the carseat. There's no unbuckling, unthreading, threading straps back through the pads, testing, finding out that adjustment wasn't quite right, repeating the whole process until the right height is achieved. No. You can adjust the straps while the baby's right in the seat! Everybody is happier this way! Also, you can get an accessory cup holder to snap into the carseat. Right now, we use a Dropper Stopper to keep our darling from throwing her sippy cups at us while we're driving, but I did get a cupholder to snap in one of these days. I see where it snaps in, and I think it's going to be an easy customization for this car seat. I like that feature!

This car seat looks HUGE, and even more huge than that in the rear-facing position. We installed this seat in our 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, smack in the middle of the back seat. I'm short, so I had no qualms about my seat being comfortable when I drive, but my husband had his doubts that he'd be able to sit as far from the steering wheel as he likes, with his seat at the comfortable angle in back for him. Honestly, I had my doubts about that for him, as well. This car seat's back is contoured to allow for front seat recline (within reason), so we both breathed a sigh of relief.

There are a couple things I don't like about the Britax Marathon 70-G3, but they're nothing that would make me take away a whole star or anything. The first thing is that this car seat is HUGE. But all car seats are HUGE. It's in the interest of safety, and if it means we truck around with a ginormous rear-facing carseat for a little while, until our daughter can ride front-facing, then so be it. It is what it is. The bigger thing with me was that I was utterly stymied as to how to install this carseat in my Jeep, despite the detailed (and kind of large) instruction book. I was literally in tears and crying for the simplicity of just strapping in the Chicco base, and snapping the infant carrier into it. There are all kinds of straps and buckles and such on this Britax seat, and my husband ended up installing it for me. It didn't take him overly long to do it, so I wonder if my patience was just on notice because it's kind of a big deal to switch from infant carrier to Serious Car Seat like this- means Baby's growing up! And it was just a year ago that I was staring at the infant carrier and base and wondering how I'd ever figure out how to use it on a day-to-day basis, let alone get it out of my car and installed into someone else's, if we ended up taking a ride in someone else's vehicle. And it didn't take too long for all of that to be a snap.

So overall, I'm pleased with this car seat. My favorite thing is that this ought to be good for the long-term, and that I won't need to get used to a whole new car seat any time soon. My daughter appears to be comfortable in it, and I know she's safe. I give it five stars and two thumbs up!
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on October 1, 2013
I just bought a replacement Britax Marathon because ours was retired this weekend after keeping my 17-month-old son safe in a head-on collision. We were hit by a distracted driver. Mom and Dad, in the front seat, were pretty beat up by airbags and seatbelts. Little guy, who was still facing backwards in the back seat, has slight bruises on thighs and chest and that's it. Although my 2005 VW Beetle Convertible was totaled, we are all ok.

Thank you, Britax. I am a customer and advocate for life.
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on October 7, 2012
***Update***
Britax shipped me new foam for free so the problem is fixed. I'm still annoyed it broke but I'm happy I will not need to purchase a new seat. I'm changing my rating from 2 stars to 4.
****

We bought the Britax Marathon car seat because it was the only seat that fit our SUV rear-facing in the middle seat and still allowed my tall husband to drive the car. It was great but shortly after the warranty expired the foam on the head piece started to break. Now the foam on either side of my son's head is almost at a 90 degree angle to the car seat and almost touches his head. He really hates this because it is uncomfortable and he can't see anything. I was sad to see that the warranty is expired and especially since this was a really expensive seat. My son didn't even pull on the car seat or do anything that should have caused this damage. I am very disappointed and I don't know what to do now that we need a new car seat and this was the only one that worked (and I do not want to buy it again).
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VINE VOICEon July 30, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We did a lot of shopping for car seats, and kept running into this problem - we drive a normal sedan! Many of the car seats require a hefty recline in the rear-facing position, and simply won't fit. We did figure that if one of us drove, the other could sit in the back next to the car seat, but that's a bit awkward.

This seat stands out because it not only fits, it just feels like a quality seat all the way around. Fit and finish is great, and it seems super comfortable for our little guy.

Pros:
- It fits in a normal sedan. We have a 2010 Honda Insight and there's plenty of room for this seat in the rear-facing position.
- The height adjustment and recline both actuate smoothly with minimal force required.
- The clips and buckles move easily and smoothly, so it's a breeze to put a child into the seat.
- Ample padding - rear, crotch, shoulders, and head all have extra padding. I took some out, since our son's too big for it all, but he looks very comfortable.
- The LATCH system worked perfect. It was easy to get everything in place and get it snapped in.
- The instructions are written in English and make sense. There are also excellent videos on the website that walk through all of the steps in installing the seat. This might not sound like much, but fight it for a few hours on a cheaper seat and then let me know what you think...

Cons:
- It's a bit wide, so don't expect to fit 2 with anything in between them.
- The tether anchor instructions are weird, and I'm still not sure how the heck I'm supposed to use this when rear-facing, since the straps go right over where I'd have to put my son in.
- The instructions say children over 1 year should be front facing. This goes against the AAP recommendations to have children rear-facing until 2 years old.
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on January 10, 2013
I'm a quality engineer so I'm pretty picky with my kids items. I'd did a lot of research on this chair. This is the second convertible chair we own; the first one is an evenflo for my 3 1/2 year old. We are not big fans of our enenflo chair so we wanted a major improvement for this one. We had to buy this quickly because my 8 month old is already 20 pounds. Worth every penny, great features and so far no problems with it. Happy mom and baby.
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