Britax Marathon ClickTight Maxi-Cosi Pria 70
This is my in-depth comparison review of the Britax Marathon ClickTight and Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 convertible car seats. Please note that this is the Pria 70 with TinyFit insert rather than the previous version.
The normal retail price of both seats is somewhere in the region of $300, but you can usually buy them online at significantly discounted prices.
Britax and Maxi-Cosi are both experienced and well-respected manufacturers of child car seats and so you can be assured that both seats come fitted with some premium safety and convenience features.
Although your child would almost certainly be well served by either of these seats, you will probably want to compare them in more detail so that you can choose the seat that is likely to be the absolute best for your family’s particular circumstances.
The Marathon vs Pria 70 at a Glance
|Feature||Marathon ClickTight||Pria 70|
|Rear-Facing Weight||5 - 40 lbs||4 - 40 lbs (with insert)|
|Rear-Facing Height||49"||40" (see below)|
|Forwards-Facing Weight||20 - 65 lbs||22 - 70 lbs|
|Forwards-Facing Height||up to 49"||up to 52"|
|Belt Installation System||ClickTight||Standard|
|Harness Height Range||8.35 - 17.7" - 12 positions||5 - 17.5" - 9 positions|
|Recline Positions||7 (with auto indicator)||3|
|Side Impact Protection||Britax Complete SIP||Air Protect SIP|
|Seat Expiration||10 years||10 years|
|FAA Approved for Flights||Yes||Yes|
Marathon vs Pria 70 – Features Compared
1. Child Height & Weight Limits
With the TinyFit insert fitted, the Pria 70 seat has a slightly lower minimum child weight limit of 4lbs in the rear-facing position.
So, if you have or are likely to have a premature baby then the Pria 70 seat might be a better option than the Marathon ClickTight. Having said that, the 5 lbs limit on the Marathon seat will be perfectly adequate for the vast majority of normal weight babies.
The upper weight limits of both seats are identical at 40 lbs. Neither is considered to be an extended rear-facing convertible car seat in terms of weight limits, but 40 lbs is pretty standard for a convertible seat.
Although both seats say that you can switch your child around to forwards-facing at about 20 lbs or so, this is not recommended by car seat safety experts. You are strongly advised to keep your child rear-facing for at least 2 years and longer if you can. By weight, both seats will allow you to rear-face for longer than 2 years.
In rear-facing mode, the Marathon ClickTight wins out when it comes down to maximum child height limits since it goes all the way up to 49 inches, whereas the Pria 70 is limited to 40 inches (provided your child’s head is at least 1 inch below the headrest adjuster). So, if you have a tall slim child they would probably get more rear-facing use our of the Marathon.
The overall maximum weight limit on the Pria 70 is 5 lbs more than the 65 lbs limit on the Marathon ClickTight seat.
When it comes to the overall maximum child height limit in the forwards-facing mode, however, the Pria 70 has an extra 3 inches to go with its extra 5 lbs.
So, some children might get a little extra use overall with the Pria 70 despite the fact that they will get less opportunity to remain rear-facing.
Note: There are some “seated shoulder height” limits to consider for the Marathon ClickTight as well though:
- Rear-facing – 7.6 to 16.95″
- Forwards-facing – 12 to 16.95″
2. Seat Installation Methods
As you would expect of premium convertible car seats, they can both be installed using LATCH connectors.
The Pria 70 comes with a very simple “one-click” push button LATCH system and the Marathon also has a very easy to use LATCH installation system. The Marathon’s method is somewhat different because the ClickTight compartment means that you don’t need push on LATCH connectors anymore.
So, there is not really anything to choose between these seats when it comes to LATCH installation.
You must remember that all convertible car seats come with LATCH weight limits and, once those limits have been reached, you must re-install the seats using the vehicle’s seatbelt instead.
The LATCH limits for the Marathon ClickTight are 35 lbs (rear-facing) and 40 lbs (forwards-facing).
The LATCH limits for the Pria 70 are 40 lbs in both modes.
Check the User Manual to ensure that this information remains correct at the time of puchase.
Seatbelt Installation & ClickTight
This is where there is a big difference between the 2 seats. Whilst the Pria 70 uses a standard belt-installation method, which can prove tricky for some parents and caregivers, the Britax Marathon come with the simple and pretty much foolproof ClickTight installation system.
Research suggests that as many as 75% of seats are incorrectly installed and this creates an increased risk of injury to your child in a collision situation. So, anything that makes it easier to install a seat safely is a big bonus.
This ClickTight installation system is one of the reasons that the NHTSA gives the Britax Marathon ClickTight seat the maximum 5-star “Ease of Use” rating when used in the forwards-facing position.
It is easier to show the ClickTight system in action rather than try to explain it in words …
3. Side Impact Protection & More
Let me start by saying that it is very difficult to compare and fully evaluate the side impact protection systems on convertible car seats.
The reason is that there isn’t even a standardised side impact crash test included as part of the Federal Safety Tests that all seats must pass before being released for sale onto the US market. Crazy I know, but it’s true.
The NHTSA has lobbied for such tests to be introduced but, as of yet, there is no sign of them being introduced in the near term.
So, all that you can do is to look at what each manufacturer has included within their products, listen to what they say about their side impact protection systems and make your own mind up. Generally, the more layers of side impact protection the better, but it is hard to draw concrete conclusions because of the lack of accurate data.
The seat manufacturers will make claims about their protection systems, and they will have carried out their own tests, and its up to you whether your trust their word or not.
Pria 70 – Air Protect & FlexTech
The Maxi-Cosi Air Protect system is incorporated into the main seat and also the TinyFit insert. You will see that the seat has areas that are marked with “<air>” labels.
They are positioned in order to protect the head, neck and face areas in the event of a collision. The basic science is that, in the event of a collision, air is released within them so as to better distribute the crash forces away from the most vulnerable parts of your child’s body.
You can’t see the Pria 70’s FlexTech Energy Management System because it is concealed within the structure of the seat itself.
Maxi-Cosi state that they have used the latest computer crash-test modelling systems to devise a structure that is rigid in some parts and flexible in others.
The basic idea is that in a crash situation you don’t necessarily want the seat to be rigid in all areas or flexible in all areas and so they have sought to implement this concept into the seats.
The Pria 70 also comes with a top tether strap that should be used when in the forward-facing position.
Marathon – Complete Side Impact Protection etc.
The Marathon ClickTight comes with the Britax Complete Side Impact Protection system, which basically consists of a deep foam lined shell.
It does not come with the Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT), which is only found on the Advocate version of this seat, or the enhanced foam-padded headrest, which is found on the Advocate and Boulevard versions.
The Marathon seat also comes with a number of other impact protection systems.
The Britax SafeCell Base comes with a honeycomb structure that is designed to compress in a crash. It is also supposed to lower your child’s center of gravity and prevent twisting of the seat.
The Britax Marathon ClickTight seat also comes with the SafeCell Impact Stabilising Steel frame, which provides added strength to the seat’s structure and acts to reduce its forwards flexion in the event of a collision.
The Impact Absorbing Tether is a strap that is used to secure the top part of the seat to to the lower anchors in your vehicle. This helps to prevent the seat from being thrown forwards in the event of a collision.
4. Seat Recline Positions
Pria 70 – 3 positions
The recline options are pretty limited on the Pria 70 seat, but it is know as being pretty good at fitting into small vehicles.
There is no automatic level indicator to tell you when if you have achieve a correct recline angle.
Marathon – 7 positions with Automatic Indicator
The Marathon ClickTight seat has 7 different recline positions that are adjusted using the red handle situated under the front of the seat. It also has an automatic level indicator to help you find a suitable position for your child.
The Britax automatic level indicator means that you can feel confident that the recline position is safe rather than simply having to guess.
The ability to choose from a variety of recline positions also makes it easier to install the seat into smaller vehicles.
The Marathon ClickTight recline system is far superior to Pria 70 seat.
5. Harnesses & Headrests
The Pria 70 has 9 adjustable shoulder harness positions to choose from, but the Marathon ClickTight has 12 options.
As your child grows, you will need to increase the height of the shoulder harness position and with cheaper seats this will mean having to completely unthread the harness straps from the seat first.
Both the Pria 70 and Marathon ClickTight seats have excellent harness and headrest adjustment features that mean you won’t have to re-thread the harness (which can be pretty tricky) each time your child moves to the next level.
With both seats, you simply squeeze the handle on the top of the headrest and pull upward until you achieve the desired height setting. By adjusting the headrest, you automatically adjust the height of the shoulder straps, which will save you a lot of time and stress.
Marathon ClickTight vs Pria 70 – Videos
Marathon ClickTight vs Pria 70 – My Verdict
They are both great seats but, unless you have a baby that needs the 1 lb lower minimum weight limit that comes with the Pria 70 with TinyFit insert or you want to take the chance to maybe get a little longer use out of a convertible seat due to the Pria 70’s better overall height and weight limits, I would choose the Britax Marathon ClickTight seat.
Not only does it come with the excellent ClickTight installation system that takes all of the difficulties out of belt-installation, but its recline options and harness adjustment options are just a little better.
If you love the look of the Marathon ClickTight, but just want to compare it to the 2 other higher spec versions, you can read my comparison reviews here:
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 or questions in relation to my Britax Marathon ClickTight vs Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Comparison Review, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.