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Britax Marathon 70 Review

By Kristie Turck •  Published 08/25/10 •  5 min read

Last updated on August 19th, 2022 at 11:40 pm

I am always astounded and impressed with the level of safety and the constant strive to exceed safety standards that Britax exhibits as a car seat company.  I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to tour the Britax facility this year and witness a crash test of the new Britax Marathon 70.  Seeing it in real life, in real-time,  really resonates with the importance of proper car seat usage and safety.

The new generations of Britax car seats feature some really amazing advancements in their basic car seat technology.  The number one cause of injury for little kids in a crash is head trauma.  This is always the main focus when the engineers at Britax develop car seats.  Without getting too technical and wordy, here are a few of the new technologies that have been integrated into the new car seats:

Integrated Steel Bars: The new generation of Britax seats now features Integrated Steel Bars which can minimize the risk of your child being propelled forward and hitting the back of the vehicle seat in front of them.  The Integrated Steel Bars provide a further solid connection to the car, reducing the forward movement that occurs during a crash

SafeCell Technology: SafeCell is a waffle-like component in the base of the seat that acts as a shock absorber.  It compresses in a crash, lowering the center of gravity thus reducing the forward propelling motion that forces the child forward, minimizing the risk of injury.

Energy-absorbing Versa-Tether: I’d like to stress the importance of top tethering your car seats.  It’s true that all Britax seats are crash tested and exceed NHTSA standards for non-tethered seats.  But the differences are astounding to examine closer. The BRITAX energy-absorbing Versa-Tether is attached to two points at the top of the seat and attached to an anchor in your car in both rear and forward-facing positions.  The Versa-Tether helps anchor the seat to minimize the movement and slow down the motion of your child during a crash and also absorbs crash forces away from your child in the event of an accident.  It also greatly reduces the forward movement of your child’s head in a crash, minimizing the risk of head injury.  Bottom line, top tether!

These are of course additions to the seat on top of the already existing safety features such as the 5-Point harness and True Side Impact Protection present in all their car seats.

Mom Features I Love

Ok, so it’s SAFE.  Beyond safe. But what about day-to-day functionality? I’ve found that the seat itself looks really stylish (The sample I received had their crimson fabric) but now that the seat accommodates children forward-facing up to 70lbs, it feels considerably roomier and very soft and comfortable.  The 5-point harness operates easily and I know it’s secure and tight enough.  I also love that they now made the shoulder strap pads removable with velcro.  Thank you, Britax!

The seat was very easy to install which is KEY because something like 80-90% of car seats are installed improperly.  I very much appreciate that Britax has figured out ways to increase the weight capacity on their seats so that you can get the maximum life from your car seat without sacrificing safety.

What’s also a great Mom-feature is the ease of adjustment.  You know how fast kids grow… and long gone are the days of re-threading your car seat straps to fit them properly.  Now it’s as simple as moving the side-impact protection headrest via a grip handle behind the seat.  Simply, lift, pull up, and release. Done. That’s it.   I have no patience to be smashed in the back seat wrestling a car seat. These seats are a  cinch to install and adjust.

Britax Marathon 70 and how it fits rear-facing in a Honda Pilot

Britax Marathon 70 rear-faces up to 40lbs and a seated shoulder height of 9 – 16.75 inches (from rump to shoulder) – whichever comes first.

I’ve heard some rumblings about the new generation seats being a bit smaller than the older models that people love.  However, Britax increased the rear-facing weight max to 40lbs for the Marathon 70. I think this is where the size and shape of your child falls into play. Granted, my test subject is only 13 months old and doesn’t come close to the 40 lbs weight limit but there is a tremendous amount of space to fill before he is too big to fit rear-facing.  I’m a supporter of keeping a child rear-facing as long as possible but I inevitably end up switching to forward-facing by age 2 simply because my kids tend to be long and they get extremely uncomfortable with their legs all folded up.  With any seat you consider buying, I’d definitely test the seat out first to make sure it is going to fit your car and your needs regarding rear-facing positioning if that is a selling point for you.  I think it’s also important to remember that each child reaches the max height and weight requirements at different times in their life.


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