So, I took a lot of time and researched convertible car seats when the time came that I could no longer carry Thomas around in the little carrier thing. Click here for my synopsis of convertible carseats. It’s only a few paragraphs, but I obsessed over this for a week.
I finally narrowed the search down to two finalists: the Sunshine Kids Radian 80 and the Britax Marathon 70 Convertible Car Seat. I chose the Sunshine Kids because my Baby Bargains book gave it a slightly higher rating, and it was cheaper at the time.
And I need another one.
At the time, I only needed one. Then I got another car (minivan! Oh yeah!) and needed another carseat – and the Britax Marathon was on sale. So I got it. So I am totally qualified to tell you which one is better: I have compared the two myself, in person, and have used both. Forget Baby Bargains, listen to me.
GET THE BRITAX
- here’s why!!!
The Britax is the one to buy for one simple, frustration-free reason: you don’t have to take the carseat out to adjust the straps. The other one will require you to take the straps through the holes and move them up manually. I did this when I got a giraffe print carseat cover (so cute! from Sassyfrass in Myrtle Beach!) This thing has something that you just pull upwards. There is a reason Britax is the Cadillac of car seats.
DON’T SKIM THE INSTRUCTIONS LIKE ME!
It is REALLY easy to install if you have the LATCH things in your car, which I think most cars do. I went around the coast of SC trying to find a fire station to install mine, because I read (ok, skimmed….) the instruction manual and it seemed far to complicated for any untrained human to handle. However, what I skipped was the part about it being idiot-proof if you have the LATCH. That was step 1 & 2. Pages 2 through eternity were how to install if if you don’t have the LATCH. Those pages are for ancient cars, not 2002 Honda Odysseys.
The fireman was very grateful that I had a minivan and not a Camaro like his last mom. So, while he was trying not to laugh at me while I explained the seatbelt configuration looked too complicated, he installed the carseat in 30 seconds by putting his knee in the car seat and tightening the straps. That’s it. He also gave me some pointers:
- When forward facing (because he’s a year old), the straps should be at or above, never below the shoulders
- You should be able to comfortable fit two fingers under the straps – but it shouldn’t be loose
- The chest buckle should be at baby’s nipples, not below.
Buy the Britax Marathon 70 Convertible Car Seat. Just do it.