In this head-to-head comparison, we match two very different mid-range toddler car seats against each other: Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight.
The Graco Extend2Fit and Britax Marathon are two quite different Mid-Range Car Seats yet both offer great safety features and max comfort, usable life, and quality to suit many children and their families.
The Graco Extend2Fit is a stronger performer when it comes to extendable rear-facing, cup holders, and crash test performance. Its higher 50-pound weight limit allows your child to stay longer and safer rear-facing, up to 4 years old for some boys and girls. The Extend2Fit is also lower-priced, lightweight, and more popular among the two toddler car seats.
The Britax Marathon is a bit easier to install with the seat belt, better designed, and has more positions to adjust the headrest and recline. The more headrest and recline positions will give your kid a better fit in all conditions, especially when they are small infants and grow to preschoolers.
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Quick Comparison Overview
- Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Britax Marathon ClickTight are mid-range convertible car seats with superior features.
- The Graco Extend2Fit is cheaper and good for families with a limited budget on a car seat; the Britax Marathon is a bit more expensive.
- Both car seats are durable and last a few years to grow with your child from birth to preschoolers
- The Graco Extend2Fit has a wider weight range from 4 pounds to 50 pounds (the 50-lb weight limit is higher than 40 lbs of Marathon); while the Britax Marathon ClickTight is good for between 5 and 40 pounds of children.
- The Britax Marathon ClickTight is much easier to install;
- Both car seats have a 10-year usable time from the date of manufacture.
- The Britax Marathon ClickTight has 14/7 headrest/recline positions, whereas the Graco Extend2Fit has only 10/6 (four for rear-facing and three for forward-facing).
In this comparison post, we want to help you know what you can expect from both car seats. We dig in a little deeper than those data and specs from the manufacturer, hoping you like this in-depth review of the Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight and you’ll find the one better suits your child and your family’s needs.
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Side-by-Side Comparison Chart
|Key Features||Graco Extend2Fit Car Seat||Britax Marathon Clicktight Car Seat|
|Rear-facing Height and Weight Limits||4-50 lbs/ 49"||5-40 lbs/ 49"|
|Forward-facing Height and Weight Limits||22-65 lbs/ 49"||20-65 lbs/ 49"|
|Adjustable Headrest||10 positions||14 positions|
|Safety||ProtectPlus Engineering||SafeCell Technology|
|Side impact protection||✓||✓|
|Installation Latch||Push-button InRight™ LATCH||Push Button Latch|
|Front Facing Installation||-||Clicktight installation|
|Washable Cover||Machine Washable||Machine Washable|
|Removable Plush Head & Body Inserts||✓||✓|
|Dimensions||19.5" x 23.5" x 21.5"||23" x 18.5" x 23.6″|
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Size Limits / Modes
Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Britax Marathon are excellent convertible car seats with a maximum 65-pound weight limit. That’s the average limitation of all convertible car seats with a 5-point harness used in the forward-facing mode.
But the Graco Extend2Fit has a higher rear-facing limit and wider weight range. It’s good for preemies as light as 4 pounds and big toddlers as heavy as 50 pounds. That means even 4 year old kids could use the Graco Extend2Fit rear-facing before they reach 50 pounds or 49″ tall.
Very few car seats have this 50-pound weight limit, even the premium Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat does not. In our car seat database, there are only Britax One4Life (5-50 lbs) and Diono Radian series (5-50 lbs) have the same top weight limit.
The Britax Marathon ClickTight is quite common like most car seats with extended rear-facing in the rear-facing weight range, between 5 and 40 pounds. That’s good for keeping your child rear-facing for at least 2 years or older, meeting or exceeding the car seat rules in most US states on rear-facing age requirements.
The Britax Marathon ClickTight has a 2-pound wider weight range in forward-facing mode (20-65 pounds vs 22-65 pounds). But this can be disregarded because the majority of parents would choose to put their kids in rear-facing for as long as possible until they outgrow the rear-facing size limit, whichever – height limit or weight limit, comes first.
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Installation
Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Britax Marathon ClickTight can be installed with the LATCH and seat belt.
The Graco Extend2Fit is equipped with rigid LATCH connectors – InRight LATCH, to deliver an easy and tight installation. A rigid LATCH attachment is good if you’re planning to install the car seat on the window side, but may not be compatible with the center seats in some car seats that do not have LATCH.
If you’re planning to install the Graco Extend2Fit with the seat belt, it lacks an advanced feature in premium models – belt lock-off (you can find it in Graco 4Ever DLX and SlimFit3 LX). But you’ll get a proper and tight installation as well if you follow the car seat user manual (I strongly recommend you do).
The Britax Marathon ClickTight is much easier to install properly and tightly. Like any car seat from Britax with the unique ClickTight technique, the Marathon can be simply installed tightly and accurately with the seat belt, without the LATCH limits.
That also means you can even choose any spot in the back seat to place the Britax Marathon, even in the center.
The ClickTight is like a weapon for Britax, making it beat most brands and their car seats if they don’t have another technological weapon to compete with.
However, like any weapon has two sides, the CilckTight has pros and cons for the Britax Marathon. It provides an easier method to achieve a truly tight and proper installation. That’s good! But it also increases the cost of the car seat, resulting in a higher price.
Britax car seats are obviously more expensive than Graco car seats and the majority of car seat brands on the market.
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Safety Standards and Bonus
Like all other car seats sold in the US, the Graco Extend2Fit and Britax Marathon ClickTight have been crash-tested following federal safety standards.
Both convertible car seats have been also tested and proved to provide side impact protection under a 5-point harness in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. That’s why child safety experts recommend keeping in a 5-point harness for as long as possible. Luckily, both car seats are capable of riding children up to 65 pounds or 49 inches. That happened around your kid’s 5 or 6 years old.
Both car seats have a reinforce-steel frame for protection. But the Britax Marathon ClickTight boasts of its SafeCell technology (a crumple zone near the base) to absorb the crash energy and the V-shaped tether for better stability.
On the other side, the Graco Extend2Fit features the company’s exclusive ProtectPlus engineering, proving itself to offer the best protection if any crashes from the front, side, rear, and rollover happen.
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Other Features
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Design
Either car seat will last a few years with a solid build.
They’re bulkily designed and roomy for growing infants and toddlers. The Britax Marathon is narrower at 18.5 inches wide, making it one of the best narrow car seats. But this width is not good enough to do 3 across small cars or even large vehicles with a narrow center seat.
The Graco Extend2Fit is more lightweight, weighing 19 pounds (vs 28.5 pounds). But it’s not one of the lightest car seats for portability.
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Comfort
Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Britax Marathon ClickTight are made of machine-washable fabrics.
That means you can always keep the car seat clean and comfortable by regular cleaning, without spending too much time on it. This is ultra-friendly for busy parents. You know every minute would be very precious when you have kids.
It’s a pity that both car seats do not have an advanced feature on the seat cover. You can not remove the seat cover for the Graco Extend2Fit or Britax Marathon ClickTight like the way the Graco 4Ever DLX comes with a brilliant ‘Rapid Remove’ cover.
The cup holders are another point that the Graco Extend2Fit beats the Britax Marathon ClickTight. The former has two large cup holders on both sides (even if they are square and not as good as those circular ones). The latter don’t have cup holders and are much more expensive.
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Headrest and Recline Positions
The Britax Marathon ClickTight stands out by providing more positions for adjusting the headrest and reclines.
In the comparison of Graco 4Ever DLX vs Britax One4Life, the Britax car seat wins (15 vs 10 headrest positions and 9 vs 6 reclines).
In this comparison review of Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight, Britax wins as well.
The Marathon allows for a 14-position headrest and 7-position recline adjustment; whereas the Extend2Fit has just 10-positon headrest adjustments and 6-position reclines.
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Usable Life Before Expires
Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Britax Marathon are manufactured with a long usable life of 10 years.
Just a reminder, the usable life does not equal to the real usage time. The former started from the date of manufacture; the latter begins when you install the car seat in the vehicle.
Here we have a pro tip for you:
Try to get one car seat that is more popular with more reviews on Amazon and other platforms or in Target or Walmart.
Popular models will earn the manufacturer’s attention and put more resources into these models for a faster supply chain to provide enough stock.
Popularity and Price
It’s very obvious that the Graco Extend2Fit is more popular than the Britax Marathon ClickTight.
The Graco Extend2Fit is the most popular car seat on Amazon, beating other car seats from the same company and other car seats from different brands.
It got over sixty-six thousand reviews, far more than the less than one thousand reviews of the Britax Marathon ClickTight.
According to our analysis and experience, the Graco Extend2Fit is good enough to provide optimal protection to a child (make sure you got a tight and proper installation following the user manual).
Price around $200, the Graco Extend2Fit is an affordable car seat. Sometimes, you can get it under $200 on sale promotion. So we also list it in our best cheap car seats under $200.
The Britax Marathon truly provides an easier way for installation, but that’s not enough to make up the gap of almost $70 price gap that would be great to purchase another booster seat when the little one outgrows the convertible car seat.
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Britax Marathon are FAA approved for aircraft use because both car seats can be only used with a 5-point harness (only harness mode can be used on a plane, so booster seats/modes are not allowed).
Graco Extend2Fit vs Britax Marathon ClickTight: Verdict
The Graco Extend2Fit is a classic for a reason.
It has well-designed safety features, size limits, and comfort that, when added together, just feel right. In other words, the moment you put your child in the car seat and begin riding, you feel the protection to go for road trips, safe and comfortable road trips.
The installation is easy. This is the Aston Martin of child safety seats. The long-lasting and air travel characteristics make the Graco Extend2Fit’s favorite of the two for riding toddlers.
We think it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself wishing you bought something easier to install or with more headrest and recline positions than the Britax Marathon ClickTight. But, if you want more of everything: safety, size limit, comfort – the Marathon ClickTight is just the right kind of car seat you need.