Britax Roundabout G4.1 Britax Marathon G4.1
The Britax Roundabout G4.1 and Marathon G4.1 convertible car seats are the 2 most basic models on the market today.
They lack some of the more luxurious convenience and comfort features that can be found on the more expensive Britax “ClickTight” seats and also have more basic side impact protection systems.
They remain extremely popular amongst those parents and caregivers, especially those who do not wish to pay for extra features that do not directly impact upon the safety of the seat and those who perhaps are unable to afford the hefty price tag of a premium convertible car seat.
In this comparison review of the Britax Roundabout G4.1 and Marathon G4.1 convertible car seats, I hope to be able to provide you with enough information about the important features on these seats so that you can make an informed decision about which one is likely to be best for your child.
The Britax Roundabout G4.1 & Marathon G4.1 at a Glance
|Feature||Roundabout G4.1||Marathon G4.1|
|Rear-Facing Weight||5 - 40 lbs||5 - 40 lbs|
|Rear-Facing Height||up to 46"||up to 49"|
|Forwards-Facing Weight||20 - 55 lbs||20 - 65 lbs|
|Forwards-Facing Height||up to 46"||up to 49"|
|No-rethread Harness||No||Yes (10 positions)|
|Infant Insert||Yes (Body Pillow)||Yes|
|Seat Expiration||7 years||7 years|
|FAA Approved for Flights||Yes||Yes|
Roundabout G4.1 vs Marathon G4.1 – Similarities
1. Seat Installation
Both seats come with Britax’s simple push button “on & off” LATCH connectors.
Like all convertible car seats, there are maximum child weight limits for using the LATCH connectors and once you have reached those limits you must re-install the seat using the vehicle seatbelt instead.
The LATCH child weight limits on both seats are 40 lbs rear-facing and 50 lbs forwards-facing.
Assuming your child doesn’t outgrow their seat by height first, the Roundabout and Marathon seats (whilst lacking the ClickTight system) both come with “lockoffs” to make the process of belt-installation easier than otherwise would be the case.
2. Britax’s Safecell Impact Protection Systems
The Roundabout and Marathon seats come with a number of collision protection systems built into them.
They don’t have the Side Impact Cushion Technology (big head wings) found only on the Advocate ClickTight, or the extra-padded headrest that is also found on the Boulevard ClickTight, but they do come fitted with:
- Integrated Steel Frame
- Energy-absorbing Base
- V-Shaped Tether
- Side Impact Protection
The Integrated Steel Frame provides added stability and strength to the seat, whilst the Energy-Absorbing Base is engineered specifically to compress in the event of a collision so as to reduce the forces that are transmitted to your child.
This video explains how the Britax Steel Frame works:
The Side Impact Protection comprises a deep protective shell that is said to also absorb crash forces and shield your child from flying debris.
The Tether on both seats is V-shaped so as to prevent seat rotation, and the tether straps themselves are specially stitched so that they release themselves in stages in the event of a collision.
The Tether is an important safety feature that helps to prevent the seat from being thrown about excessively in the event of a collision.
3. Seat Recline Options
The recline options on both seats are quite limited.
There are 3 recline options, which means that the seat lacks the precise adjustment of recline angle that you can get with many of the more expensive premium convertible car seats.
You should, however, be able to find a suitable recline angle amongst the few on offer.
4. Infant Insert Pillow
Both seats come with an infant insert pillow to help babies to achieve a better fit.
It can be used up to a maximum of 22 lbs and only in the rear-facing mode.
5. Other Shared Features
The other shared features include:
- Tangle-free 5-point harness with chest clip
- Quick-adjust 2-position buckle
- FAA Certified for Aircraft travel
- Made in the USA
Roundabout G4.1 vs Marathon G4.1 – Differences
1. Maximum Child Height & Weight Limits
- Rear-facing mode: 5 to 40 lbs and 46 inches.
- Forwards-facing mode: 20 to 55 lbs and 46 inches (minimum age of 1 years old).
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in the rear-facing position until they are at least 2 years old, and both the Roundabout’s 40 lbs / 46 inches limits and the Marathon’s 40 lbs / 49 inches limits will allow all children to comply with that recommendation.
- Rear-facing mode: 5 to 40 lbs and 49 inches.
- Forwards-facing mode: 20 to 65 lbs and 49 inches (minimum age of 1 years old).
Please note that there are seated shoulder height limits too to comply with on both seats.
So, the Marathon G4.1 has an extra 3 inches in the rear-facing position and an extra 10 lbs and 3 inches in the forwards-facing position.
You might want to consider the likely size and weight of your child (based upon his or her genetic inheritance) when assessing how important these extra limits on the Marathon G4.1 are likely to be for you.
The maximum height limits on both seats are subject to the following rules. Whilst rear-facing, the top of your child’s head must be at least 1 inch below the top of the head restraint. Whilst forward-facing, the top of your child’s ears must be below the top of the head restraint.
2. Safecell Impact Absorbing Harness Pads
The Marathon G4.1 has special harness pads that are said to help absorb crash forces, whereas the Roundabout G4.1 has a standard harness.
3. Quick-adjust Headrest (10 positions)
The headrest on the Marathon G4.1 is superior to that found on the Roundabout G4.1, which is results in a larger maximum height limit.
The Marathon’s headrest can be adjusted incrementally through 10 different positions by simply squeezing and pulling the red handle at the top of the seat.
As is obvious from the photographs, the Roundabout does not come with any form of adjustable headrest.
4. EZ Buckle System
The EZ buckle system simply holds the harness buckle forwards to make it easier to load your child into the seat.
5. Padded Headrest
Again, you can see from the photos that the Marathon seat comes with a padded headrest. The Roundabout seat does not.
Britax Roundabout G4.1 Video Review
Britax Marathon G4.1 Video Review
Britax Roundabout G4.1 Fabric Color Options
Britax Marathon G4.1 Fabric Color Options
Britax “G4.1” Seats in Canada
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.
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If you have any comments or questions in relation to my Britax Roundabout G4.1 vs Marathon G4.1 Comparison Review, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.