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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I searched the forum and read some threads, but wanted some more up to date information (and some info I didn't see posted). Thanks for the help!

Will have a newborn come this Fall and this is the car seat we are planning on getting:
http://www.amazon.com/Britax-Marathon-Convertible-Seat-Onyx/dp/B000F1QL20

...for safety reasons (excellent rating) and length of use (Rear facing: 5 to 35 pounds. Forward facing: At least 1 year old and 20 to 65 pounds).

I've seen some mention on the board of people using Britax seats in their E and liking them, but not this one in particular (I've seen the Boulevard mentioned).

Anyone with Britax car seats have an opinion to give regarding their experience using them in their Element and why they chose one model over an other (for example, Marathon vs. Boulevard, etc.).

Also, my Element doesn't have side airbags, and while there are pros and cons to everything, having just watched the video on YouTube someone posted a link to here showing impact without side airbags, I'm a bit concerned about that with having the little one in back (though from the looks of it, the airbag might not really reach down to where the little one would be anyways?).

Also, do you all normally keep the car seat in the car all the time? Or take it out each time? (My worry would be the possibility of theft, maybe?)

Well, any thoughts/advice/etc. on any of that would be greatly appreciated!

I'm definitely going to have a certified professional check the car seat installation after we get one, as suggested on the forum! :)
 

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We've considered the Britax Marathon. It's a nice seat we are considering it as my son is about to grow out of the infant seat he's in now.

I don't like the idea of side air bags and an infant. If the seat is properly secured, I wouldn't worry about not having the air bags. The air bag really only cushions your impact with a solid object.

I've never worried about the theft of a car seat.

Thoughts...

Keep your child rear facing as long as possible. Go to the rear facing max on the car seat. (See: http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRearFacing.aspx

A stroller system is nice for infants, but if you can only get one seat, the Britax Marathon is one of the best.
 

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You must be a well-heeled Element owner to be able to afford spending that much on a car seat :grin:. Obviously Britax has a reputation for being great quality but if you're looking for a seat with a long service life and great safety you should consider the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite (if for no other reason than the name sounds kick-ass).

http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Al...ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1277918539&sr=1-1

I've had my 3 year old in this seat since he was big enough for it and he loves it. When putting this seat in the E you need to remove the base, which is easy to do, since it sits it up too high. It's designed for this so you're not hacking the seat or anything. After all the use the seat still looks nearly new, mostly because it cleans up so well. I plan on using it for my daughter, now 8 months old, when she's big enough and moving my son into a booster instead.

I won't tell you not to boost the economy by buying a more expensive seat but there are a few really good seats out there for less money. This particular one doesn't come with the option for black-and-white-cow-spots upholstery so if that's important to you, the Britax might be the better choice.
 

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My crotch fruit rocks a boulevard. I'm too lazy to compare it to the marathon but, I think we chose it because there was a little more padding. The headrest design is second to none and I wouldn't worry about the airbags. The kid seats are designed to work independently of the vehicle's systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies, everyone! And for the peace of mind about the side airbags. Good to know!

breese524 -- I think the Britax Marathon can be used with an infant/newborn and then up to 65 pounds as they grow. Any reason you didn't go with the Britax in the first place? And that's great info about the rear-seating. I saw that posted, but will print out the link you sent. Oh, and we're not going to use a stroller, so no need for one of those carseat/stroller thingamabobs.

CoffeeDragon -- The Britax (basic black) is only $60 more than the one you linked to on Amazon. But I will check that one out. The key thing you said though was, "I've had my 3 year old in this seat since he was big enough for it". We're looking to have one car seat for the whole infant to toddler age range, which is the appeal of the Britax (and worth the extra few bucks). Plus, that's what baby showers (with people going in on a gift) are for! :grin:

Brawsie -- It took me about 10 minutes for it to hit me what the heck "crotch fruit" meant. :) I'm going to look more into the Boulevard and do a more detailed comparison.

Thanks again!
 

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Bloomcounty It's mainly a price thing. We haven't purchased the seat yet. We were waiting for a coupon or sale for either seat. I'm pretty sure we were looking at the Graco MyRide 65, it has 5 shoulder slot things so as your baby grows the shoulder harness can be adjusted. The weight range is 5-65 lbs. So, it is very similar to the Britax. It's the only Graco rated up to 65 lbs that I'm aware of. The rest are rated to 40 lbs.

BTW on the price thing. If you shop at Babies-R-Us sign up for their frequent shoppers thing or do whatever you need to do to be on the mailing list, they send really good coupons. We have a 20% off coupon waiting to be used on the car seat purchase. It's prefect timing b/c our son is 2 inches shorter than the max size for the infant seat.

We have a friend that has used the Marathon from the infant stage through now but, they don't have an Element so I'm not sure if there's anything special about the seat that we would want to know.

The only benefit to the stroller seat combo is that you can carry your baby in the seat from the car to the stroller or from the car to the house when they are sleeping. Otherwise, it's just a big heavy object that you feel obligated to use b/c you paid so much for it (or in our case, family chipped in together to purchase for us).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
breese524 -- Thanks for the tip on Babies R Us! I'll look into it!

I think we may go with the Boulevard instead of the Marathon, as I did more research and it looks like they're basically the same (and can both be used from infant to x-pounds), but the Boulevard has better side impact protection ("side impact protection" vs. "true side impact protection"). Of course, both appear to be top-notch!

My impression is that the Marathon and the Boulevard are both good for use with newborns (I guess starting at 5 lbs.), would you agree? I couldn't see anything on their site that said "newborn" but their lbs. range is 5lbs.-65lbs. (I guess they also have a different seat that starts at 4lbs. but doesn't go nearly as high in weight allowance.) But is sounds like your friend used the Marathon with their infant/newborn?

Brawsie said they use a Boulevard in their Element, so I'm guessing either one would fit/work with the E.

Brawsie -- Can you confirm the above? Do you have a pic to show how well it fits? :)

Thanks again!
 

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breese524But is sounds like your friend used the Marathon with their infant/newborn?
Yes, I haven't heard of any full-term newborns under about 6 pounds recently among my friends. Check out the placement of the lower shoulder strap holes and make sure they look usable with a newborn. As long as you can get the straps to the right tightness a newborn should be fine. (I'm not certified in the seats, so don't take my advice as gospel.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, I haven't heard of any full-term newborns under about 6 pounds recently among my friends. Check out the placement of the lower shoulder strap holes and make sure they look usable with a newborn. As long as you can get the straps to the right tightness a newborn should be fine. (I'm not certified in the seats, so don't take my advice as gospel.)
Apparently there's something else you can order for use with a small infant. I'm going to call Britax on Tuesday and ask about how that works. And it comes with some kind of "infant pillow". Britax is releasing new models in August, and they seem even better (if that was even possible!), so I think we're going to wait (since we have time) and go with the Boulevard 70 when it comes out (hopefully with some kind of discount on Amazon).
 

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All very good questions and replies, but our issue wasn't with which travel set to purchase. We actually chose this one; http://www.chiccousa.com/gear/travel-systems/cortina-30lb-systems/travel-systems-30-fuego.aspx it won me over hands down when doing our research early on.

I am under 30 days from my due date and I'm more concerned with the suicide doors and parting lots? I guess parking farther up and away from folks will have to be the key here. :roll:

Another concern of mine is the Moon Roof with little Baker facing Rear, we are considering having it tinted pretty dark. And still buying a screen for it.

Oh, and Joe is so thankful now that I purchased a roof rack on my return trip from our Last official National meet in OH. We are gonna need it for travel now with the baby in the E. We are also considering a trailer hitch and a small enclosed pull behind trailer. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.​
 

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We inherited an infant rear facing seat when our little boy was born, but that was before we had the Element. The infant only seats are nice because they usually have the carry handle for the seat for easy carrying and the base which just stays in the car. When the munchkin got to be about 9 months old, we switched to a convertable car seat - we now have two Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite car seats (http://www.safety1st.com/usa/eng/Pr...456CAO-Alpha-Omega-Elite-Convertible-Car-Seat). One in the Element and one in the Corolla. One of them is the GRS color and the other is a discontinued tan/black color that fits right in with the Element's interior color scheme. It works as a rear facing car seat up to 35lbs, then it switches to a front facing seat and then a booster seat up to 100lbs. He's 14 mos old and still rear facing, but we plan on switching him to front facing in early August. The only problem we have with the Safety 1st is we have to add some padding under the car seat in the rear facing position to get it properly angled (we have to do this in both vehicles), but we were still able to get the seat really snug and secure. And we have an 07 Element with the side airbags.

Oh, and IMO, I would suggest putting the rear facing car seat on the driver's side and enter from the passenger side so you don't have the clamshell doors opening into traffic. It was impossible for us to get the munchkin out of the car seat from the same side his seat is on. And when you get to front facing, move the seat to the passenger side (in the back of course) and then you can access the car seat from the passenger side so the doors don't open into traffic.
 

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We recently purchased the Britax Marathon for our 6 month old daughter. We have not started using it yet. It is an excellent car seat. We did a test fit in our Element though. I will say it is going to be a pain getting her in and out until she is big enough to be facing forward. Especially with the strap hooked up in the back above the cargo door. You may want to consider a carrier system with a base until your baby gets bigger. They say from 5 lbs up, although they are pretty big for a newborn. It is very handy to be able to just pop them out and carry them inside with the carrier, especially if they are asleep. Congrats on your baby.

Ryan
 

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All very good questions and replies, but our issue wasn't with which travel set to purchase. We actually chose this one; http://www.chiccousa.com/gear/travel-systems/cortina-30lb-systems/travel-systems-30-fuego.aspx it won me over hands down when doing our research early on.

I am under 30 days from my due date and I'm more concerned with the suicide doors and parting lots? I guess parking farther up and away from folks will have to be the key here. :roll:

Another concern of mine is the Moon Roof with little Baker facing Rear, we are considering having it tinted pretty dark. And still buying a screen for it.

Oh, and Joe is so thankful now that I purchased a roof rack on my return trip from our Last official National meet in OH. We are gonna need it for travel now with the baby in the E. We are also considering a trailer hitch and a small enclosed pull behind trailer. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.​
Your concerns are valid. You have to usually face with your driverside next to the curb. Also, I would highly recommend tinting the sunroof darker. We still need to do that, we have to put a blanket over her carseat when it's sunny.
 

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breese524 -- Thanks for the tip on Babies R Us! I'll look into it!

I think we may go with the Boulevard instead of the Marathon, as I did more research and it looks like they're basically the same (and can both be used from infant to x-pounds), but the Boulevard has better side impact protection ("side impact protection" vs. "true side impact protection"). Of course, both appear to be top-notch!

My impression is that the Marathon and the Boulevard are both good for use with newborns (I guess starting at 5 lbs.), would you agree? I couldn't see anything on their site that said "newborn" but their lbs. range is 5lbs.-65lbs. (I guess they also have a different seat that starts at 4lbs. but doesn't go nearly as high in weight allowance.) But is sounds like your friend used the Marathon with their infant/newborn?

Brawsie said they use a Boulevard in their Element, so I'm guessing either one would fit/work with the E.

Brawsie -- Can you confirm the above? Do you have a pic to show how well it fits? :)

Thanks again!
Their shoulder height has to be 10.5" while seated to use the marathon, I would think the boulevard is the same.
 

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I'm a grand pa myself....so no expecting around here.

This may be redundant, and something you young folks automatically know, but my 2010 has some hooks for those fancy car seats to attach to, just under the seat back close to the seat cushion. You just remove the plastic covers, and hook the seat up. Sorry if all of you know this. I didn't know baby seat technology had progressed this far.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We did a test fit in our Element though. I will say it is going to be a pain getting her in and out until she is big enough to be facing forward. Especially with the strap hooked up in the back above the cargo door. You may want to consider a carrier system with a base until your baby gets bigger. They say from 5 lbs up, although they are pretty big for a newborn.
Thanks for the reply! We were trying to avoid using a car carrier, though we realize it's pretty darn convenient. :) I think our plan is to put the car seat reverse-facing behind the driver's seat, and then just climb in the back from the passenger side to get the baby out of the seat (to avoid the whole seatbelt in the cargo door issue). A little more work, but I *think* that should work okay, right?

Their shoulder height has to be 10.5" while seated to use the marathon, I would think the boulevard is the same.
I agree, they do look big. But in the features:
http://www.britaxusa.com/car-seats/boulevard-70

...it lists this:

Infant Positioning Insert may be necessary for small infants to achieve a snug fit of the harness around your child (sold separately)

I'm hoping this will be sufficient and secure (if it wasn't, I'd think it would defeat the whole purpose of having one of the safest car seats out there!). When I called to ask about it a couple months ago, they didn't have a lot of information (because the people answering the phones at Britax were just getting the new information). I'll try to get definitive answers on this before we buy one though.

Anybody know anything about the "infant positioning insert"?

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This may be redundant, and something you young folks automatically know, but my 2010 has some hooks for those fancy car seats to attach to, just under the seat back close to the seat cushion. You just remove the plastic covers, and hook the seat up. Sorry if all of you know this. I didn't know baby seat technology had progressed this far.
Does the 2006 have this? Or is this just the normal way you'd always hook them up?
 

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We finally moved Zeke out of the carrier seat and into one of these bigger seats. And boy do I mean bigger. I'll need to take some photos :)

Because we didn't want to somehow leave Zeke stranded somewhere with no car seat, both cars, the Civic and the Element, have their own seats. When we were expecting, we found a great deal on a Recaro Como on the Woot! web site. The Recaro will reside in the Element. In the Civic we have the Graco MyRide 65, which was on sale at Target.

I'll address the Element and Recaro first. I put the seat on the passenger side rear facing. I'll have to load and buckle Zeke from the driver's side of the vehicle. The Recaro is a nice seat, I like the design of the base, it makes it really easy to level. Installing this sear rear facing in the Element couldn't be easier. Buckle the latch buckles to the seat and tighten. I did need to put something under the seat to level it off. For that I used a purple pool noodle cut to the width of the base.

I haven't taken Zeke anywhere in that seat yet. So no other notes on this one.

Now for the MyRide in the Civic. In the Civic, we are using the center latch points. That's the only way to install the seat rear facing and not have the passenger sit with their knees in the glove box. The added benefit is that two adult passengers can ride in the back next to Zeke. Again, really easy to install, the Graco latch anchors are not a buckle, so it's a bit more work to get hooked up, but I actually like this buckle better, nothing mechanical to worry about. As for the levelness of the seat, again, I used a pool noodle, in fact the same noodle I used in the Element, only this time, I also cut about a third of it out b/c I didn't need to raise the front of the seat as much. The only thing I don't like about this seat is that there is nothing to put around Zeke's head to keep it from moving from side to side.

I think the MyRide would work similar to the Recaro in the Element.

I really didn't like the way that Zeke fit in the Britax Marathon. I took the Graco and the Britax off the shelf at Target and set Zeke in each of them. I thought the Marathon sides where too low and that the seat just appeared to be too large.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Boulevard 70 is in the Element, but...

Hi again,

We lucked out and a relative got us the Boulevard 70 as a baby shower gift, and I've got it installed using LATCH behind the driver's seat (rear-facing, of course). I really would like to use the top tether as well, and the only place it looks like to secure it is on/through the metal anchor/loop that the rear seat itself that the car seat is sitting on uses to be attached to the floor of the car (know what thing I'm talking about?).

It would make the teacher be at a bit of an angle back towards the rear of the car (which I guess isn't ideal), but it seems like it would be better than nothing.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 
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