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  1. #1
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    Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    We just bought a Britax Marathon last night and installed it right away in our Nissan Maxima.

    Our baby is 14 months, 25 pounds and 31 inches. We installed it rear-facing.

    When we put him in this morning he had NO leg room. In fact, his Graco bucket had far more room for him.

    I can't imagine how it could possibly hold a 40 pound baby in the rear facing position. Did we install it incorrectly?

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Well, without seeing pictures, or knowing if it's with LATCH or the seatbelt, or what recline position you have it in, it's hard to say if you have it installed properly. However, while the new Marathons are better than their predecessors, they're still not exactly known for their leg room. Luckily it's not a safety issue, and unlikely to be a comfort issue for several years. As kids get older their feet touch the backseat, and then go up. Or they cross them. Even the seats with the most rear facing leg room can't support the full leg length of a four year old.

    Here's Piper in a couple of her seats. A Britax Wizard, and a Sunshine Kids Radian. She was 4y3m in the first, and 5y1w in the second.




    She was never uncomfortable. And it's safer for her legs, even like that, to be rear facing.

    HTH If you have any other installation questions, let us know what car you have, in what position you have the seat in (middle, outboard, etc.), LATCH versus seatbelt, and pictures if you'd like.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 61", 99#, seatbelt
    laine 9/16/09, 46", 54#, Diono Monterey, Chicco KidFit Zip Air
    in a 2015 BMW M235i, and my 2011 Mercedes E350 wagon


  4. #3
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Here is DD4 at 2 years 7 months RF in her MA, plenty of room!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member andre149's Avatar
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    MI and Saint Kitts for school
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Just another person popping in to say that my stepdaughter never complained about leg room in her MA, even though she looked squished. We've since moved her out of it because she needed a higher weight limit rear-facing, but never had an issue with leg room
    Currently living on a Caribbean island for vet school... and griping about the lack of car seat use every day

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy miraclebabies's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Indiana
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    I seem to complain about the legroom more than my kids. My oldest daughter rear faced till 3 yr in her MA and she's really tall. She would hang her feet over the sides or rest them on the back of the seat too. My 2yr old has squished legs too when getting her in and out, she's never complained cuz she doesn't know any different. She's never rode ff and won't tip after her 3rd bday, she's just now hit 20#.
    Andrea SAHM to
    W~2/2007
    C~11/2008
    J~2/2010

  7. #6
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Our Marathon had less room than our infant seat as well. It never bugged my kids, but it bugged me and I bought seats with more room.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  8. #7
    Registered User
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Thanks so much for the comments.

    It looks like there just isn't much leg room when it's rear-facing!

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Oct 2008
    Location
    Calgary, AB
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    362

    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Couple of things to keep in mind:
    1. The most common crash (when you hit something with the front end of your car) will cause a RF'ing child's legs (and body, contained by the seat shell) to move towards the front of the vehicle. They're very bendy and at worst may experience a dislocation of the hip (ouch but not a spinal injury!). A FF'ing child in the same common crash will have their legs, arms and head move towards the front of the vehicle without anything holding those parts back. A FF'ing child will probably not dislocate their hip but will be facing whiplash, possible vertebral injuries or even a severed spinal cord. Broken leg = cast it. Broken neck = casket.

    2. A child is inherently more comfortable in positions an adult would hate for a number of reasons. One of the biggest is that a RF'ing child has never known any other way to sit other than with their legs in contact with the vehicle seat back, hanging over the edge or crossed. It's not such a sudden change, like they go from having their legs fit to being like Piper! They'll get used to it and adapt their position to what works for them.

    3. I have heard from a lot of people (and experienced it myself in some vehicles) that their FF'ing children can sometimes have difficulty with their legs/feet going to sleep because of how they hang off the edge of the seat. Either the seat is too long or somewhat inclined, or both, and their legs usually contact the 'edge' at the mid-calf, causing a decrease in blood flow and the feet go to sleep. Or with a slight incline, even if they bend normally at the knee, the pressure cuts off circulation, and sleepy feet result (this happens to me if I don't tip the seats in our truck).

    RF is so safe, even though it looks uncomfortable: there are few, if any, leg injuries associated with RF'ing (except with debris penetration and that doesn't count imo). If it really bugs you, try a couple of other seats.

    Melissa
    Selina joined us Feb 19, 2010
    Calgary, AB, Canada

    Selina RF until 4 years, 1 month, 21 days old.
    FF in Radian until 6 years, 2 months (too tall).

  10. #9
    CPS Technician tam_shops's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Melissa, liked your answer, thought I'd add that my guy went FF at 32#, lost our 33#RF MA & it was replaced w/ a 30# one (Canada). Just won a Radian that RF to 45# & put him RF again, after 2 years FF in a MA, he went back to RF. Only complaint, his new seat didn't have a cup holder. I bought him the SKJP Side Rider thing & put his water in it. He's as happy as can be. Thinks it's funny. And, as you said, yep he used to complain about his legs hanging FF, or put them on the back of the front seat...

    tam

  11. #10
    VikingMor
    Guest

    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    Well, without seeing pictures, or knowing if it's with LATCH or the seatbelt, or what recline position you have it in, it's hard to say if you have it installed properly. However, while the new Marathons are better than their predecessors, they're still not exactly known for their leg room. Luckily it's not a safety issue, and unlikely to be a comfort issue for several years. As kids get older their feet touch the backseat, and then go up. Or they cross them. Even the seats with the most rear facing leg room can't support the full leg length of a four year old.

    Here's Piper in a couple of her seats. A Britax Wizard, and a Sunshine Kids Radian. She was 4y3m in the first, and 5y1w in the second.




    She was never uncomfortable. And it's safer for her legs, even like that, to be rear facing.

    HTH If you have any other installation questions, let us know what car you have, in what position you have the seat in (middle, outboard, etc.), LATCH versus seatbelt, and pictures if you'd like.

    Wendy
    My husband was asking the same thing. Thank you for the visuals! I don't mean to hijack, but I noticed that you have both Marathon and Radian seats. Does the Radian give them more leg room? Does it require less leg room for the front seat than a rear facing Marathon? I'm already pushed up against the dash! Thank you, Wendy, and thank you for the helpful post!

  12. #11
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Marathon Rear Facing Leg Room

    The Radian has loads more leg room than a Marathon. It usually takes up more room front to back, though.

    Do you have your Marathon at a newborn angle? It usually installs quite upright, so it doesn't take up a lot of space in the backseat. I was able to sit in front of our Wizard in our Porsche 911. So unless you have a *tiny* car like that, or it's very reclined, you should have a lot more room with a Marathon.

    In my car, the Radian and Marathon take up about the same amount of space, but I have very sloped seats. In most cars the Radian will take up much more space.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 61", 99#, seatbelt
    laine 9/16/09, 46", 54#, Diono Monterey, Chicco KidFit Zip Air
    in a 2015 BMW M235i, and my 2011 Mercedes E350 wagon


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