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meesh38 09-26-2012 10:00 AM

Roundabout vs Marathon
Ok, so I read the difference btwn the Britax Roundabout and the Marathon which doesn't seem like much. There's a $75 difference btwn the two. When I read reviews people have written, some of them say that the Roundabout feels cheaper, like cheap plastic, and the fabric feels cheap and just not as plush overall. Can anyone confirm this? I'm about to make a purchase of two seats online and I'm going back and forth between the two.

jjordan 09-26-2012 11:53 AM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
The seats are made out of the same materials as the ones from their own generation. Keep in mind that Britax has revised both of those seats over the years, and made changes, without changing the names too much. So the original "roundabout" (also sometimes known as a Roundabout 40) hasn't been made for a while. The next roundabout was the Roundabout 50, now available only at Target, and the standard roundabout NOW is the Roundabout 55. The Roundabout 50 and Roundabout 55 are quite a bit different, and I think made out of different materials.

With Marathons, there haven't been quite so many different seats, basically just the original Marathon (sometimes known now as the Marathon 65 in the US, and is still sold at Target as a "classic Marathon") and the Marathon 70/70-G3 (which is known as the Marathon 65 in Canada - confusing, eh?). The Marathon 70 and Roundabout 55 are made of the same materials.

So if someone is comparing a Roundabout 40 or Roundabout 50 to a Marathon 70, then they are comparing seats made of different materials.

Hope this is helpful and not just adding to the confusion. :)

thtr4me 09-26-2012 12:42 PM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
The Roundabout 55 has the same shell as the new Marathons. The only difference is that the Marathon has a no rethread harness adjuster and a slightly heigher top harness slot height. It also has small head wings. I typically see Roundabouts being sold with the Oynx fabric, which is a slicker fabric, a little like a windbreaker maybe? There are more choices of fabric with Marathons, and more plush options. It is likely that the plush options would feel more expensive next to the Oynx, but Marathons are available in Oynx as well.

The Roundabout55 is a great seat. If the no rethread harness adjuster and higher harness slot height is important, go for the Marathon. If those options are not important to you, than the Roundabout is a great choice. Again, both seats have the same shell, and have a number of overlapping fabric choices.

monica-m 09-26-2012 01:59 PM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
The Roundabout 50 and the Marathon Classic are both Target exclusives. Neither seat is available from Walmart.

jjordan 09-26-2012 04:28 PM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon

Originally Posted by monica-m (Post 15734639)
The Roundabout 50 and the Marathon Classic are both Target exclusives. Neither seat is available from Walmart.

I have no idea why I said Walmart. It's fixed now!

meesh38 09-26-2012 05:43 PM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
This does help, thank you all. I had Roundabouts when my now 10 yr olds were babies and I loved them. I remember them being more expensive back then and Britax didn't have so many seats. IIRC, the roundabout was the gold standard back then. I think I will have to make a trip to BRU tonight to see things in person. I'm seeing good reviews for the Graco as well so now I'm really not sure. :)

monica-m 09-26-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
There really is no "best" brand of car seat. Different seats meet different needs and situations. Britax makes nice seats but they are almost never the first seats I recommend purely because you can get seats with (IMO) better features for less money. So much of choosing a seat is subjective because they all pass the same tests and we don't have the results of the tests so as far as we know, they're all equally safe. Car seat manufacturer marketing departments make all sorts of claims about safety, such as claims about their SIP performance, but they give no data to back those claims up. There are also currently no side impact standards for them to meet.

meesh38 09-26-2012 10:59 PM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
Went to BRU tonight and I think I'm going to go with the Graco My Size 70. I think it's new as I can't really find them online and nothing on sale. It was very similar to the Marathon but I found the adjustment weird on the marathon, although it does unclick easier. The other Graco (forget the name but the one that's very popular right now) was insanely huge I was laughing at it. :) Is it just me or are carseats getting so huge these days? They weren't like this 10 years ago for sure!

jjordan 09-27-2012 06:18 AM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
Consumers are wanting higher weight and height limits in car seats so that they last longer. It is unavoidable that the seats need to get bigger to accommodate bigger children.

The My Size 70 is also sold as the Size4Me 70, so check both names when you're comparing prices.

maramarrie 10-09-2012 12:42 AM

Re: Roundabout vs Marathon
I have a Marathon Classic in Onyx and a Roundabout 50 Classic in Kathryn. I think the Roundabout is a MUCH better deal. Fabric quality is way better on the Kathryn fabric. The Onyx has a sort of black minky fabric paired with a silver/gray woven fabric. The woven fabric is frayed like crazy, probably from the velcro on the harness straps, along with velcro shoes and kid wear & tear. The Onyx seems "cooler" but I think regardless of fabric type, my kid would sweat (he used to have Cowmooflage, which felt similar to Kathryn, and he sweat in both that and the Onyx fabric). I find the Roundabout MUCH easier to tighten the harness and I feel that for $75 difference, I'd definitely get the Roundabout 50. It is VERY difficult for me to get the Marathon harness tight, and I'm not sure why. We've dealt with it since we first bought it. Repeatedly pushing against the same spot on the car's leather seat to tighten the Marathon strap has actually caused the leather to rip. It's terrible. We had an old, short Roundabout Classic before the Marathon and even that was much easier to operate.

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