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  1. #1
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    Boulevard CS vs. Marathon G3?

    Hi - I drive an old Volvo station wagon that had top of the line safety features 20 years ago... 90% of my driving is short trips on neighborhood streets.

    DD (RF at 2) is in the middle of the back seat, currently in a Boulevard 70 CS that expires later this year. A friend just gave me a Marathon 70 G3 that has a few years' life left in it. I'm unsure whether to switch, though, largely because the headwings on the Boulevard SEEM like they offer an extra degree of side-impact protection (tons of people running four-way stops around here). If I don't switch to this Marathon, I have a couple of months to find an option that seems safer to me, whether another Britax with headwings or a Radian RXT like we have in the car that we use for highway trips. I also like to think creatively and am wondering if we could replace the head support foam on the Marathon with the piece from the Boulevard, which seems straightforward since you can replace the foam itself by ordering from Britax if it gets cracked. Part of me knows that sensible people don't hack car seats, but I would like to hear this from people with actual credentials as well (or of course hear if it isn't too crazy. Both covers are in good shape, so we could work it out.) Can you help? Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Boulevard CS vs. Marathon G3?

    Please don't hack a carseat.

    I'd use the Marathon 70 G3 without hesitation provided you absolutely trust your friend with your child's life. It was never checked as baggage on a plane, it was never washed inappropriately, and it was never in any crash that required replacement.

    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
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    Re: Boulevard CS vs. Marathon G3?

    OP here. Thanks for responding to my question about the hack. My main question wasn't about using a hand-me-down seat, however, rather the relative features of the two seats. Of course I trust my friend with my child's life in the same sense I trusted her with her own child's life when he was in it last month. And of course in the same sense I keep using my carseats after we check them on the plane. What do you do when you fly: pay someone else to fly with you just so they can wrangle the carseat into the cabin ('cause my hands are busy with the kids, and that's why they make the CARES harness?), buy a new seat when you get there, or trust a car rental agency?!?

  5. #4
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Boulevard CS vs. Marathon G3?

    Both seats are perfectly safe, so after the one expires, I'd use the other.

    I brought my seats on board. I used a Traveling Toddler to attach it to my rolling suitcase, and either strapped my child into the seat on the suitcase, or put her in a sling on me. Then I'd install it while she sat in the row, then move her into it. When I had only one that's what I did, when I had two my older carried a booster and kept herself out of the way of others while I installed her sister's seat. I used a rental seat the very first time we traveled, and it was horrible. Never ever ever again. They handed me a booster seat for my nine week old.

    If you check your seat, check it over for damage. Baggage handlers are not known for returning everything perfectly, or returning everything period. I went to London over the new year and my gate checked suitcase was lost for three days. I'd hate for that to happen to your carseat.

    Since I often traveled with my two kids alone, there would be no way to buy a new seat everywhere I went, especially as we often traveled internationally alone. I wouldn't want to have to deal with that. Better to have my child on board (the CARES has a severely limited lifespan, and no crotch strap to help with submarining) use it, that way I know the seat is not damaged, not lost, is set up for my child, and I know how to install it when I get there.

    I'm happy to help with any travel questions. My kids and their seats have been to four continents and about 25 countries. We've got it down pat for us, but I also know of several options for people who travel differently than we do (those who check their luggage, who use strollers, that sort of thing).

    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


  6. #5
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    Re: Boulevard CS vs. Marathon G3?

    Thanks! Short of growing another arm, there is no way I can travel with my two kids and carry on two seats! One kid and a baby carrier and a bucket seat, absolutely. Easy peasy, have done that on my own internationally. With another grown-up, one of us can struggle with the seat, but we only have the Britax and Dionos, which are not travel-friendly. We're already using a RSTV and CARES for my 4 year old, which is on the early side, but otherwise I'd have to buy a cheap/lighter-weight travel seat to carry on for my younger kid - and use the traveling toddler - and have my younger kid in a harness... not very practical. We've checked a seat 15-20 times, always in a carry bag, and while there may be invisible damage, there's never been any visible damage.

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