Britax Boulevard, Marathon or Evenflo Symphony for Toddler?

Updated on March 07, 2012
R.S. asks from Portsmouth, VA
9 answers

Hi moms! My 2 year old son has gotten too big for our Evenflo Triumph XL Convertible. Plus we're expecting baby #2 and need a new car seat anyway. We're tyring to choose between the Boulevard, Marathon and Symphony. I've read lots of great things about the Britax brand and would love to try it. But here are the issues:

- Boy is very tall for his age. He grows up fast and even pediatrician says he is taller than most kids his age (people who see him think he is 3). So we want a car seat that will last him longer.

- We own a 2005 GMC Yukon XL. It's not that big an SUV, so we need to consider size. I really like the Boulevard but I don't know if it'll fit the Yukon especially with another car seat next to it! (I'm not sure we'll want to put our toddler in the 3rd row!) I like the Advocate too but it looks WAY too big.

- He will probably sit on either side of the 2nd row of the car, next to the Evenflo in the middle where our new baby will be. So we want a car seat with really strong protection for this.

- I read Evenflo Symphony converts to a booster later. But does that make it worth it? We are willing to spend extra for our child's safety!

Please help!

P.S. How long can you keep a toddler rear facing? Our son is forward facing at 2 years old and about 30 lbs. but tall (head is almost level with the Evenflo top now). Can any of these seats still do rear facing?

EDIT: Thanks everyone so far! I am now interested in the Britax Frontier and other brands mentioned. But is the Frontier good even for 2 year olds? I mean, does it offer the same protection as Boulevard and Marathon? It'd be nice to not have to buy another seat. But we'll probably have more kids anyway. :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

I believe the Sunshine Kids Radian may be narrower.

I had the Britax Marathon and loved it. She just grew out of it due to her height. Technically, she could be in a booster, but I'm keeping her in a 5pt harness. We now have a Britax Frontier and I love it. It will convert to a booster when we are ready. Since he's 2 and forward facing,you might want to check it out.

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answers from Washington DC on

We have two of the Britax Boulevards placed side by side in our Jeep Commander, leaving one seat for a passenger. One is rear facing (dd 20 months) and one is forward facing (ds 3 years). The rule used to be 1 year AND 20 lbs but now most PED's are saying 2 years AND of course the 20lbs. It is much safer to be rear facing. My son had longer legs but something my PED said stuck with me so we kept him rear facing for a long time alomst till 2. You would rather have a broken leg (if legs are too long) than a broken neck from a car accident. My dd is very petit so she may be rear facing past 2. Good luck!

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answers from Seattle on

I just moved my 4 year old from his Britax Marathon (he is tall and thin.) It was a great seat that I used when he grew out of his infant seat. It allowed me to seat him rear facing until we switched him at 2.5. His baby sister now is able to use it rear facing. I was cognizant of the manufacture date when I bought it, since they expire in 6 years, so am able to use it for 2 children.

I moved my son to a Britax Frontier 85, which is a combination seat, it has a 5 point harness and will switch to a booster. It has one of the tallest shells on the market. It can only be used forward facing. It also has a 9 year expiration-so I may be able to pass it to the baby when she grows out of her marathon.

There is a great write up on the Frontier here:

It is a great site with a wealth of information!

Also, I purchased online from I agree that paying a bit more for safety in the car is important and albee offers great sales on Britax carseats. Also, I think they ship right from the manufacturer, so I didn't buy a carseat that was sitting on the shelf with an old manufacture date.

Good luck! I love our Britax!

Oh, you can also get the Frontier 85 SICT with side impact protection which may address your concern about your child being on the outside seats.

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answers from Dallas on

I have the Britax Boulevard in the 3rd row of our GMC Acadia, and I'm told the Acadia and Yukon are similar sizes. It fits fine in the back. We have the captains chairs in our middle row, and the Boulevard fit nicely on one of the captain's chairs as well. We moved her to the 3rd row because we have twins and needed the middle rows for them. She is in the middle seat of the 3rd row and has plenty of room. She is also on the tall side for her age. But because the Boulevard is so big, and we will eventually need my daughter to be able to get to the back row, I'm thinking of getting the Britax Roundabout, which I think is their smallest car seat, for my twins when the time comes next year, so that my daughter will have more room to go around them.

The Boulevard can go rear facing for up to 35 lbs. Also, even though kids are tall, they say it's still safer for them to be rear facing and just cross their legs. From what I hear, they now say that you should be rear facing as long as possible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

we have a britax boulevard in one car and a marathon in the other car, plus a chicco keyfit 30 for my baby. in my volvo 4 door sedan they fit together without a problem, even though there isn't much excess space. in my suv, we have the boulevard and the same chicco and they fit with a ton of space. we have a ford explorer, and although it has a third row of seats (which we fold down) i'm sure it's smaller than your yukon xl. my 3 year old daughter is tall too, that britax boulevard is quite big, and very plush and comfy looking.

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answers from Wausau on

I have the Evenflo Symphony 65 e3 and love it!!! I bought this for my youngest and and debating on buying another one for my 3 yr old. We have another evenflo and then a graco Natulis and they can't compare to the symphony. If you need to adjust the straps you just lift the head rest up, to switch to another car it has the anchor feature where it just snaps in, in seconds. It's comfy and roomy. I can put the symphony and the natulis (both bulkier seats) in the 3rd row of my minivan no problem. It also does convert as the child grows. I got mine when Babies r us had a trade in event and got 25% off, but they always have 20% coupons. I have also gotten so many compliments from other parents on the seat and my inlaws have no problem switching over seats (Which use to be a pain in the hinder with them :) )

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have an alpha omega elite that I bought for my first son 6 years ago. All three kids have used it and the last one is still in it. It's been the best carseat I've ever paid for in my entire time as a parent. it's a 3 - in - 1 so they'll never grow out of it. It's got great head support and good cushioning. Which is sometimes hard to find. Imagine in a road trip you have to sit on a solid piece of plastic your toosh will soon hurt. So that's an important feature that many people don't take into consider. Check them out, it has last a very very long time!!!! And I'll continue to use it. Baby #4 is on her way and the age differencde between her and my youngest will only be 21 months. But once she's out of the infant seat and sitting forward, I'll buy another alpha omega elite. Take a look at it and look at the reviews. I think I can count on my two hands of all friends who have them. And they all love them. Their very easy to take apart to for that once every six months to a year cleaning (I don't let them eat in car, so it's always clean) but I can say I've washed it at least 15 times and it's still in perfect shape.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We have the Britax Frontier, and have our 2 and 4 year old boys both in them. Our 2 year old is also about the size of a 3 year old, he's about 35 pounds, and just as tall. I love it because you can still 5 pt harness until like 80 lbs, and then you can also use it as a booster. So you will never have to buy another car seat/booster again. We have used the Marathon too, and will be getting our youngest one here soon. The Marathon is super super easy to install, and the buckles are so much easier to do, and move if needed than car seats that aren't Britax. I have 5 kids with me right now, and 3 in Britax, the other 2 seats take me about twice as long to buckle in as the others.

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answers from Dayton on

I'm a huge Britax fan. (And I will NEVER purchase another Evenflo carseat for as long as I live!)
But I too would recommend the Diono Radian (formerly Sunshine Kids).
It is a very impressive seat...and can rear face up to 45lbs.!

I don't think you could go wrong w/ either Britax though. The Marathon70 rear faces up to 40lbs..
My son is almost 2 and I have no plans to turn him FF anytime soon (he's in a Marathon70).

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