- 5 pt. Harness with patented Floating HUGS system
- Built-in lock-off clips, Versa-Tether & Safe Guard Latch Connectors
- EPS and Comfort Foam for safety and comfort
- Birth (5 lbs)
REPLACED DECATHLON WITH THE BOULEVARD
We have used a Decathlon for our 21 month old son for the past 1 1/2 years. Yesterday, after our Stroller Strides class, we were loading up, and the harness adjustment broke as I was tightening the harness. Up until this point, we have had no problems with the Decathlon. I was surprised that such a top of the line seat would up and break on us. We drove immediately to Safe and Secure Baby, here locally, and were told that the seat was broken and it was a manufacturing problem. This morning, I called Britax and they are sending me a new car seat along with a return shipping label to return to them my broken Decathlon, even though our one year warranty expired five months ago. Now, that is good customer service! Needing a car seat immediately, we purchased a Boulevard yesterday, and am completely happy with it. Initially, I was concerned about the “crotch strap” as noted earlier, but it doesn’t matter, because the maximum length of the “crotch strap” on the Boulevard is the same as the maximum on the Decathlon. So, I don’t know why the reviewer on the other page was concerned about her son outgrowing the car seat. He will outgrow them at the same rate – since the crotch strap maximum is the same.I was SOLD on the Boulevard when I was asked, “If you were in a car accident, would you rather have your son’s face hit the side impact protection (on the Boulevard) or the window (on the Decathlon)”. I didn’t realize that when in an accident, the car seat (any car seat) can move quite a distance. Then, I was concerned that my son may fuss over the slightly more limited view when using the Boulevard with SIP. But, it hasn’t affected him one bit. He didn’t care at all, and it made a nice head rest for him when he napped off in the car today. Britax is replacing our broken Decathlon with a Boulevard. It’s worth every penny! and comes with great customer service from Britax, too.
Great Seat – Couple of Complaints…
I researched a few different seats to put in our new Odyssey van in September (07). Our daughter just turned two and we wanted to get a new car seat for her so her Evenflo Triumph could go in my husbands car. She had been using the Triumph since she was about 9 months (rear-facing), and then forward facing from about 14 months. We really loved the Triumph, but I wanted something she could grow into. Meaning – getting the most out of a car seat height and weight wise for the longest period of time.Britax was one of the only ones I found, that actually makes a heavy-duty quality seat that I knew would last. Sure, I looked at a few others that ranked up there with height and weight (i.e. Eddie Bauer, Cosco, and Graco), but none of these compared in quality and durability! We made the trip to Babies r Us so we could “test” the few different seats I had chosen from Consumer Reports ratings. The Eddie Bauer deluxe booster was out because the first time I snapped the metal part into the crotch strap I pinched my daughters skin and she screamed like crazy! I felt so bad, and my husband immediately said, “That’s it for this one!” and put it back on the shelf.The Eddie Bauer would have been the only other one we would have considered because it was more durable and sturdy than the Cosco and Graco. We did try the Britax Boulevard, but found it rather cumbersome to adjust the head rest and my daughter’s head seemed to lean too far forward with the pillow being there. Overall, she looked uncomfortable in the Boulevard. We also tried the Britax Regent. Talk about a monstrosity of a car seat, but we both loved it, especially my hubby! It held my daughter in snug and secure and was easy to install into the test seat they have at the Babies r Us store. My taller than average daughter looked dinky in the Regent! The only reason we decided not to get the Regent was because our daughter still sleeps in her car seat on longer trips and the Regent just wasn’t going to give her the head support and comfort level I wanted her to have while snoozing. By not buying the Regent as opposed to the Decathlon, we only gave up a 15 pound weight and 4″ height ability and we knew our daughter was going to outgrow the height limit WAY before she outgrew the weight limit. When that happens we’ll probably just go to a standard backless booster that she’ll use with the seatbelt from the car.Well, BrU didn’t have the Decathlon at the store, and it wasn’t one I was considering. I had researched the Marathon on Amazon and liked the reviews, but after comparing numerous reviews of the two seats. I decided on the Decathlon for three reasons: 1) It had the infant padding for rear-facing which will be good for our next child that comes along; 2) It had the toddler pillow; and 3) It had the adjustable crotch strap which I knew I would need for my daughter (she’s in the 97th percentile for height, being 36″ tall at 24 months!). Essentially, the Decathlon and Marathon have the same seat structure and height and weight capacities, but the Decathlon has the “extras” I mentioned. Also, the Decathlon has a push-button strap release and tightener. The Marathon has a clasp crimper to hold the straps tight. Knowing the seat structures were basically the same, I toted my daughter over to Target and tried her in the Marathon, and I liked it, so I bought the Decathlon on Ebay.It is so easy to install once you’ve looked over the directions. Of course, at first it took some time, but now it’s a breeze. The thing is rock solid in the captain’s chair of our Odyssey. With the anchor belt and the tether anchor attached this baby isn’t going anywhere unless the whole captain’s chair comes off! Even without the tether anchor it still didn’t move. The material is nice and heavy and the seat is adequately padded. It sits up high so my daughter can see everything outside. I love the “hugs” system the straps have because it makes my daughter fit snuggly into the seat.I only have two complaints about this seat, which really aren’t that bad, just annoyances – 1) Sometimes the straps do twist a bit and I have to untwist them, especially with an independent toddler who wants to push their own arms through the straps and 2) It does take a little bit of strength to tighten down the straps with the push-button strap holder. I usually pull it as tight as I can and then if it still has too much slack I push the button with my left thumb and pull the strap with my right hand until it’s tightened to my satisfaction.Overall, I’ve been very happy with the Britax Decathlon car seat. It was a good investment and as many of the reveiwers have stated – the price is worth every penny knowing that your child is protected very well. One bit of advise I’d give to anyone considering ANY car seat – GO TO A STORE WHERE YOU CAN TEST THE SEATS OUT ON YOUR CHILD! All children are different shapes and sizes and the seats are different. We are so glad we took our daughter to BrU and put her in each seat we were considering – and look, we didn’t even buy any of the seats we were originally considering based on the Consumer Reports ratings I looked at! You just never know!Update – November 11, 2008Still loving this carseat. I had to take everything apart to clean it a couple weeks ago. It was a time consuming task, but not hard. The seat cover cleaned up beautifully and it looks brand new! Unfortunately, my daughter is now three and just about to outgrow the top slots (she’s 41″ now!). She probably has another couple months in it. I’d really like to keep her in a harness for a lot longer, so I’m now checking out the new Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 carseat that’s on the market. It’s getting awesome reviews and it’s a fraction of the cost of this seat or any of the other Britax’s. Baby #2 will be here in December, so this one will be put away for when he/she is out of the infant carrier and this seat is big enough to keep the new little one rear-facing for a longer time!
Good seat but not for infants
No doubt this is a great seat, but it isn’t made for infants, no matter what the description says. Even in its most inclined position, it isn’t comfortable, legs are at a 90 degrees angle which is horrible for a newborn, and the baby’s head is never well supported.Better buy a Maxi Cosi or an other infant seat !
Almost everything is perfect: fine quality velour fabric , very adorable floral print, super soft and comfortable cushion and infant-positioning-pillows system. We have a Honda Accord and the chair fits comfortably in the back seat (we have a 3 months old girl). Ofcourse my husband and I are not very tall and we don’t need to move our front seats further back so it still has enough room for the chair in the reclined rear-facing position (I can see that it would be a hassel for tall people who sit in front with any rear-facing chair right behind their backs). I find the 3-point-harness-positioning buckle EXTREMELY helpful which the Marathon and the Boulevard designs don’t have (the Marathon also doesn’t have any infant-positioning-support pillows and with the Boulevard, the body-support pillow is too big for infants and the head-support-wings block the side-views of todlers). Our daughter is only 13 lbs but I have to move the harness buckle to the middle position already for her to be comfortable. The chair is also easy to install and stays sturdy. I really love it except 2 things which I’m not so fond of: 1/ the comfort pads are too short to keep the baby’s chin and neck from touching the edge of the harness straps. I had to buy a different pair of pads to use instead. 2/ It’s a little bit difficult to tighten or loosen the harness straps. I have to push the button really hard to make it work. Maybe I just have to get used to it. Overall, it’s still a very good chair and the reward is that our baby doesn’t cry any more any time we take her out for a ride now. It’s worth the money.
I did a lot of research before buying a car seat and this one is top notch. It has one of the highest safety ratings. I love this chair. My son loves it too. It not only looks good but is comfy too. It’s easy to install, we have several vehicles and have had no problems installing it in any of them. My son is a big baby. This chair has the capacity to hold up to 65 lbs vs. a lot of other chairs which only hold up to 45 lbs. It is a bit pricey but well worth it!! This is a great car seat!
Go with a different Britax Seat
I had this seat for about 2.5 years. At first, I loved it. Then the straps started getting harder and harder to adjust. It would take both my husband and I pulling on it to get them to budge and even then we could not get them tight enough to really be considered safe. I called Britax (they have the best customer service), I explained my situation and they agreed to replace my seat free of charge with either a Marathon or Boulvard. I chose the Boulevard and I am so happy that I did. It is a fantastic seat and I would highly recommend that anyone looking at this seat consider the Boulevard instead. It is only slightly more expensive but it is much nicer. I also have the Regent which is another fantastic seat and I would highly recommend that seat to anyone with room in their car (because it is huge) and with a child over the age of 1 – it is forward facing only. Britax is the best but unfortunately there is a design flaw in this seat in the way that the buckle is made.