If you’re a regular reader here, then I’m sure you’ve heard my opinion of keeping babies and kids in an extended rear facing car seat. I feel very strongly about keeping kids in rear facing car seats for as long as possible.
In Debate with the Danielle’s: Extended Rear Facing Car Seats I wrote,
“The most common type of crash is the frontal crash. In a frontal crash, the entire back of a rear-facing car seat absorbs the crash force, protecting the child’s head, neck, and spine. The side impact crashes are less common, but more serious. Having the car seat rear facing again protects the head, neck and spine. The child’s head stays contained better within the car seat when it is rear facing.
In a crash with the child in a forward facing car seat, the body is held in place but the head and arms are thrown violently forward which can stretch or break the spinal cord. The spinal cord of a child sitting forward facing can stretch up to 2 inches. Unfortunately a spinal cord only needs to stretch 1/4 of an inch to break or cause paralysis.
Here are some statistics I have found in my search:
- 42% of all unintentional childhood deaths are due to crashes
- In 2006, unintentional motor vehicle traffic deaths were the leading cause of injury death for ages 1-34. Under age 1, they ranked 3rd (behind unintentional suffocation and homicide).
- 42% of fatalities for children up to age 8 in the back seat are from side impacts.
- For children in car seats, forward-facing kids are 4 times more likely to be injured in a side impact than rear-facing kids.
- Rear facing car seats reduces the risk of death by 71%.”
When Baby Jack was nearing one year old, I knew I wanted him out of the baby carrier car seat, but I still wanted him rear facing, so I began my hunt for the perfect car seat.
Grace was rear facing in a Britax Boulevard until she turned 4 years old in April and we were very happy with that car seat… So I was very happy when I was sent the Britax Marathon 70-G3 to use for Baby Jack.
Britax Marathon 70-G3 Specifications:
- Rear Facing 5 lbs to 40 lbs.
- Forward Facing: 1 year AND 20 lbs, and up to 70 lbs.
- Height: 49 inches or less
- Car seat weight (product weight): 19.5 lbs
Britax Marathon 70-G3 Features:
- Base with SafeCell Technology features SafeCells designed to compress in a crash, significantly lowering the center of gravity and counteracting the forward rotation of the child seat which normally propels the child toward the front seat
- Integrated Steel Bars strengthen the connection to the vehicle and reduce forward flexing of the child seat during a crash
- Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether features a staged-release tether webbing to slow the forward movement, reducing the crash forces reaching the child, and a two-point attachment to minimize forward rotation while anchoring the top of the child seat
- Side Impact Protection comprised of deep side walls lined with energy-absorbing EPP foam distributes crash forces, shields from vehicle intrusion, and contains the head, neck and body
- Tangle-Free, Five-Point Harness distributes crash forces across the strongest parts of the body and provides a secure fit
- HUGS (Harness Ultra Guard System) Chest Pads provide resistance to forward movement in the event of a crash
- Rear and Forward Facing Recline for child comfort and positioning
- High Density Comfort Foam provides an extra layer of padding to gently cushion your child
- Plush, Easy-Remove Cover with matching comfort pads and infant body pillow to provide extra comfort and easy cleaning without disassembling or uninstalling the child seat
- Quick-Adjust, No-Rethread Harness repositions the harness shoulder height without disassembling the harness straps
- Premium Lower LATCH Connectors for a quick and simple installation featuring a push button for easy release
- Built-in Lock-Offs ensure a snug lap and shoulder belt installation with minimal effort
- Anti-Slip, Contoured Base grips and protects the vehicle seat while offering optimum vehicle fit
- Harness Holders keep harness straps pulled to the sides when placing your child in the car seat
- Certified for Aircraft Travel
- Made in the USA with global components
- 7 different fabric design/color options
- MSRP (USD) $289.99
My very first thought (before using the car seat) was that I was happy to have a seat that could rear face up to 40 lbs. Gracie just turned 4 years old in April and she was just hitting 40 lbs. at that point. It’s nice to know that I could use this car seat for Baby Jack for so many years in rear facing position.
We have been using the Britax Marathon 70-G3 for quite some time now and we even drove over 3000 miles from Illinois down to Florida and back up again… and we are very pleased with this car seat. Baby Jack is really comfortable and we feel that he is very safe and snug due to all of the safety features.
One of my favorite safety features is the HUGS (Harness Ultra Guard System). This system provides resistance on the chest pads to prevent the child from forward movement in the event of a crash – I really love this and I really notice the difference compared to my other car seats that I have used in the past.
Knowing that the Britax Marathon 70-G3 has the base with SafeCell Technology, integrated steel bars and side impact protection really gives me a peace of mind. This isn’t just ‘any’ car seat, this is one of the safer ones.
Another thing both Mike and I love about the Britax Marathon 70-G3 is the tangle-free five-point harness. Over the years, and all of the car seats we have used, straps getting twisted is one of our biggest pet peeves so this is a fantastic feature. We also love the quick-adjust, no re-thread harness… very convenient. I hate re-threading straps! And recently I used Baby Jack’s car seat for a neighbor girl and had to adjust the straps – this was such an easy task. Love that feature!
Over all, I am very pleased with the Britax Marathon 70-G3 car seat. This seat will most definitely be one we use rear facing for an extended period of time for Baby Jack, and then will still be able to use it in a forward facing position for years to come.
The Britax Marathon 70-G3 can currently be purchased for around $214, not sure how long that will be the price though.