34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Britax quality at a more affordable price,
This review is from: Britax Marathon Classic - Solstice (Baby Product)
We happily paid top dollar for our first two Britax carseats (a Roundabout and Marathon) for the safety and convenience of installation, and don't regret it at all. When we needed a third, I couldn't resist the great price of this "Solstice" model, only offered through Target, and often on sale at an extremely reasonable price. Considering the fantastic safety record of Britax seats and the (usually) higher price, I actually called the company to make sure this wasn't a knockoff copycat. They assured me that this was the same seat as every Marathon sold up until about 2008, when they changed the design a bit to accommodate a slightly higher weight limit. These ARE NOT the "old ones" leftover after the production model changed... rather, they are a more inexpensive brand that has been produced for Target as a kind of "entry-level" model because they knew that some people (me, for example) don't care so much about choices in cover material patterns. With this one, you get the cover pictured, and if you want a different one you can purchase a replacement cover. The padding and cover on the Solstice model shown here are comfortable, neutral, resist stains, and hold up well under heavy use. The weight limit on this goes to 65 pounds (the non-"classic" models go to 70), which most kids will outgrow in height before they outgrow in weight. Don't let the lower price deter you... this is EXACTLY the same as our classic Marathon seat purchased a few years earlier (before it was "classic" and was still just "Marathon"), and in fact, the covers and pads on our two are interchangable. I've never had a problem with either of my kids (as infants or toddlers) being uncomfortable in these seats. We've used them rear-facing and forward, and I wouldn't buy any other brand or model.
As for the reviewer who couldn't figure out how to adjust the harness height, it is (as has been noted by a user comment to that review already) clearly illustrated on page 35 of the manual how to do so. The reviewer clearly was NOT looking at the written documentation Britax provides in their instruction manuals. And for the "twisted strap" problem... I noticed on our new Solstice model Marathon that the LATCH strap does have to rotate somewhat to buckle in when forward-facing (difficult to explain, but I wouldn't consider it a "twist"... only a "rotation," since the strap is not folded over on itself in any way). This is something that I ONLY noticed because it was sitting next to an older model Marathon whose LATCH straps looked different. When I called Britax customer service, it was explained to me that the design had been changed to better accommodate rear-facing installation, and it would not affect the safety in any way. She was correct... I can get this one just as tight to the seat and immovable as our other Marathon, and just as easily.