Britax Marathon ClickTight Britax Marathon G4
The New Britax Marathon ClickTight is Here!
Britax has released its brand new series of convertible car seats, all of which come fitted with their revolutionary ClickTight Installation System. However, this new method of installing the seats is not the only change that Britax have made to their range of convertible seats. You can read about all of the major changes below.
There are 3 models in the new range of seats and the Marathon ClickTight is the entry level option. The other 2 models are:
The new ClickTight convertible car seats are more expensive than their existing G4 equivalents and 2 key questions for parents considering whether or not to buy them are:
- What are the differences?
- Are the ClickTight seats worth the extra money?
The Marathon ClickTight used to cost $329.99, but you can now find them as low as about $220! The Marathon G4 costs about $200.
So, the main purpose of this comparison review of the Marathon ClickTight and Marathon G4 seats is to identify the main differences between them in order to help you to make a better informed decision about which one to buy for your child.
To my taste, the visual design of the new ClickTight seats is much improved, but what about the more important safety and convenience features?
The latest series of Britax convertible car seats has been branded “ClickTight” as opposed to the previous “G4″ series branding due to the fact that they have taken their revolutionary “ClickTight” system and added it to ALL of their newly released convertible seats.
Before I start to compare the seats in more detail, it is worth pointing out that the standing height limits and overall weight limits for the ClickTight and G4 models remain unchanged:
- Rear-facing between 5 to 40 lbs or 49 inches (standing height)
- Forwards-facing between 20 to 65 lbs or 49 inches (standing height) – must be at least 1 year old
Note: Although these seats are rated as suitable for forwards-facing use from 20 lbs (if child at least 1 year old), the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that children should remain rear-facing for at least 2 years and preferably longer. So, do NOT rush to switch your child to forwards-facing mode once they reach 20 lbs. Instead, try to keep them rear-facing for as long as they remain within the height / weight limits for that mode of use.
Britax Marathon ClickTight vs Marathon G4 – The 5 Main Similarities
There are at least 5 very important things that have remained the same and the following features are found on both the new ClickTight and older G4 versions of the Britax Marathon:
#1 Integrated Steel Bars
Both seats comes with durable integrated steel bars to strengthen the seat’s connection to the vehicle and reduce forward flexing in the event of a collision.
Here is a short video that explains how the Britax Steel Frame can help to protect your child in a collision:
#2 SafeCell Impact Absorbing Tether
The Impact Absorbing Tether is basically a strap that is attached to 2 upper parts of the seat and which is used to secure it to your vehicle’s the lower anchors. This is a very important safety feature and you should make sure that you read the user manual very carefully to ensure that it is used correctly.
It is claimed that the safety benefits of using the Impact Absorbing Tether are that it:
- Diverts crash forces away from your child by distributing them across a larger surface area of the seat shell;
- Minimises movement of the seat in a crash (in all directions);
- Helps to slow your child’s body down in a crash.
This short video explains how the Absorbing Tether can help to protect your child in a crash:
#3 Base with SafeCell Technology
The SafeCell Base is designed to compress in a crash, lower your child’s center of gravity, and counteract the forwards rotation of their seat. In so doing, this is said to reduce the risk of your child’s head hitting the back of the seat in front of them – the benefits of this are obvious.
Here is a short video that demonstrates the potential safety benefits of Britax SafeCell Bases:
#4 Side Impact Protection
Both seats come with the Britax Complete Side Impact Protection System comprising:
- Rigid seat shell with deep side walls and energy-absorbing foam
Britax describes the benefits of this side impact protection system as follows:
Distributes crash forces:
The combination of deep side walls and energy-managing foam allow for a larger surface area to divert crash force energy away from your child during impact.
Shields the child from vehicle intrusion:
During a side impact crash, your child could be injured because of the lack of a crumple zone and/or coming into contact with any intruding objects. The seat’s deep side walls create a barrier between your child and any possible intruding objects.
Contains the head and body:
Side Impact Protection helps to contain your child’s head and body in the seat, keeping them from making contact with the vehicle door or window.
Note: The Boulevard and Advocate seats come with enhanced side impact protection features – you can read about them in this post.
#5 Quick-Adjust No Re-thread Harness
As your child grows, you will need to adjust the height of the harness straps and headrest. Many seats require you to re-thread the harness each and every time you need to make adjustments and this can be a real pain. The Britax system makes it quick and easy for you to adjust the harness and headrest heights without having to re-thread anything.
You simply press the red button and pull the top handle until you get the desired position. More information about how to use this feature and choose the correct settings are found within the user manual.
Note: Although both seats come with quick adjust no re-thread harnesses, the G4 seat only has 10 positions as opposed the 12 positions on the new ClickTight seat.
You can see close up pictures of these safety features here.
Britax Marathon ClickTight vs Marathon G4 – The 3 Big Differences
There are 3 big differences between the Marathon ClickTight and Marathon G4 seats:
#1 The ClickTight Installation System
Given the branding of the new seats, this is considered by Britax to be the main difference between the ClickTight models and G4 models.
So, what is ClickTight and why is it so good?
There are 2 very important reasons why the introduction of the ClickTight installation system on all Britax convertible cars seats is such a great improvement:
- The 2014 LATCH Law changes mean that convertible car seats need to be re-installed using the seatbelt once your child reaches a certain weight (40 lbs for the Britax ClickTight seats);
- Standard belt-fitting systems can be confusing for parents and research suggests that about 75% of seats are incorrectly installed.
So, although the ClickTight installation method does not bring any “direct” safety benefits, there are likely to be some major “indirect” safety benefits for those parents that otherwise might find it difficult to install their child’s seat safely using more traditional belt-fitting mechanisms. Getting a proper installation is a huge part of child car seat safety and any technological development that makes this process easier is a very good thing.
As you can see from the images and videos below, installing a convertible seat using the Britax ClickTight system is very simple and quick process. Furthermore, there is even a handy indicator to confirm that you have done it correctly!
So, in short, ClickTight takes away most (if not all) of the stresses of trying to install convertible car seats using the seat belt, and since it is almost fool-proof, it vastly improves your chances of getting it right the first time and keeping your child safe.
ClickTight has 3 very simple steps:
- Open the Compartment
- Feed the Belt into the Slots
- Close the Compartment
Although you use the 3 same steps for forwards and rear facing, there are different belt-retaining slots for forwards-facing and rear-facing:
This short video from Britax introduces the ClickTight system:
The promotional video above doesn’t show you in detail how to install seats using the Britax ClickTight system, but fortunately this great video from “The Car Seat Blog” does:
#2 Shell Length & Height Limits
As I have already mentioned above, the new Marathon ClickTight seat comes with extra harness adjustment slots due to the fact that Britax have slightly increased the length of the seat shell. As a result, the seated shoulder height limit of the Marathon ClickTight seat is 0.2 inches greater than the G4 version. The top harness slots on the Marathon ClickTight (17.7 inches) are 0.2 inches higher than the G4 model (17.5 inches).
The published seated shoulder height limits for these 2 seats are:
- RF Seated Shoulder Height – 7.6 to 16.95 inches
- FF Seated Shoulder Height – 16.95 inches or less
- RF Seated Shoulder Height – 9 to 16.75 inches
- FF Seated Shoulder Height – 12 to 16.75 inches
This increased seated height limit on the Marathon ClickTight is dwarfed by the massive 1.9 inch increase on the Advocate ClickTight and Boulevard ClickTight seats as compared with the equivalent G4 models!
You can read more about these other ClickTight seats here:
#3 7-Position Recline with Automatic Level Indicator
The new Marathon ClickTight seat comes with a 7-position recline and automatic level indicator, which serves at least 2 useful purposes. Firstly, it helps you to find a comfortable position for your child when using the seat. Secondly, it ensures that you can quickly and easily install the seat at a recline angle that is safe for your child. Vehicle seats are all manufactured differently and it can sometimes be difficult to know whether or not you have installed the seat correctly.
The Britax automatic level indicator means that you can get peace of mind that the recline position is correct rather than having to take an educated guess.
Can I Still Buy the Britax Marathon G4 Convertible Car Seat?
The answer is YES and the great thing is that, if you decide that the Britax Marathon G4 is your preferred option, you can now buy them at huge discounts to the normal retail price.
When Can You Buy the Britax ClickTight Convertible Car Seats?
The MRSP for the Britax Marathon ClickTight seat is $329.99, but you can sometimes find them on sale at discounted prices.
Britax ClickTight Comparison Reviews
You can read my comparison reviews of the new Britax ClickTight Seats here:
- Advocate ClickTight vs Boulevard ClickTight
- Advocate ClickTight vs Marathon ClickTight
- Boulevard ClickTight vs Marathon ClickTight
Different Fabric Color Options
The Marathon ClickTight and Marathon G4 seats come in very different fabric color options.
Canadian ClickTight Seats
After purchasing any child car seat, you should always read the User Manual thoroughly before using it. It is also advisable to visit your local Fire Department or NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Centre to ensure that the seat is definitely suitable for your child’s specific requirements and that you have installed it correctly. These services are usually provided free of charge.
You can find your nearest NHTSA Centre here.
Get in Touch
If you have any comments to share or questions to ask about my Britax Marathon ClickTight vs Britax Marathon G4 post, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.