Britax Marathon 70 Vs. Graco MyRide 65

“What is the difference between the Britax Marathon and the Graco MyRide convertible car seats?”

If you are trying to decide between the Britax Marathon 70 and the Graco MyRide 65 in your quest for the best car seat, then here are some facts to consider while you make this car seat comparison:

(Note: All the information on this page referencing the Britax Marathon refers to the newest design, the Next Generation Britax Marathon 70, not the classic model, the Britax Marathon 65.)

what is the difference between the britax marathon 70 convertible car seat and the Graco MyRide 65?
  • The Graco MyRide is ergonomically easier to get older rear-facing children into and out of than the Britax Marathon, due to the shape of its design. If you plan to ERF (extended rear face – keep your child rear-facing past the mandatory 12 months, which is much safer) then this is going to be a consideration. For babies under the age of 12 months, there was no difference because the children were smaller.
  • The top harness slot of the Graco MyRide is slightly higher than that of the Britax Marathon. Since most kids end up outgrowing their car seats by height rather than by weight, you will probably get slightly more use out of the MyRide as your child grows taller. As the names imply, the MyRide can be used forward facing until 65 lbs, while the Marathon can be used forward facing until 70 lbs. However, practically, the vast majority of children will outgrow these seats when they are 50-60 lbs due to their height.
  • The Graco MyRide’s seat is a bit deeper than that of the Britax Marathon, which can give an older or hefty child more sitting room in the car seat.
  • The Britax Marathon is much easier to install than the Graco MyRide. If you plan to keep your car seat in the same car ALL THE TIME, then this may not be a big issue for you; however, if you might sometimes transfer the car seat between different vehicles (Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandma’s, the babysitters’, etc.) then you’ll probably want a convertible car seat that installs quickly and easily, like the Marathon.
  • The straps of the Britax Marathon are much thicker and heavier than the straps of the Graco MyRide. The MyRide’s straps tend to get buried behind your child, and you have to fish them out fairly often; however the Marathon does not have this issue to to the convenient Velcro on the sides which holds the straps out of the way while you put your child into the car seat.
  • If you need to have 3 car seats side by side, then the Britax car seats actually puzzle together at the bases and fit better than 3 MyRides would fit in one row of the car.
  • The cover of the Britax Marathon is of higher quality, and stands up to repeated washings better than that of the Graco MyRide.
  • The Britax Marathon has the ability to be tethered rear facing, which the Graco MyRide does not.
  • The Britax Marathon has a no-re-theread harness adjuster, which means that you can simply squeeze a lever (I’ve done this with just one hand!) and raise or lower to head rest of the car seat, which raises or lowers the height of the harness straps. On the MyRide, you will have to manually re-thread the harness straps in order to raise or lower the harness height. This ease of adjusting the harness height is a significant consideration if you will use this car seat for various children of different heights – i.e. if you will use it for different siblings, cousins, play-dates, or car pools on a regular basis. You can re-thread the harness straps of the MyRide in the rear facing position without uninstalling the seat; in the forward facing position you must uninstall the entire seat to re-thread the harness straps.
  • The shell of the Britax Marathon is slightly shorter than the shell of the Graco MyRide.
  • The Britax Marathon has built in lockoffs, which the Graco MyRide does not have.
  • The Graco MyRide comes with dual cup holders, which the Marathon does not have, although Britax does sell a cup holder accessory for a few dollars that can be added to the Marathon.
  • Due to the cup holders on each side of the Graco MyRide, this car seat is wider than the Britax Marathon. Keep this in mind if you have a compact car and want to fit three car seats, or one car seat plus two large passengers into the same row.
  • Some parents reported that the actual seat cover of the Graco MyRide can pop off the shell of the car seat at the edges, which has never been reported to be an issue with the Britax Marathon.
  • The Graco MyRide comes with a splitter plate and 3 possible harness lengths, along with confusing instructions in the manual. If you choose this car seat, be sure to read the manual very thoroughly to ascertain that your harness is being used properly. The Britax Marathon has a much more straightforward harness and manual. This is a consideration if a grandparent or other caregiver may sometimes adjust the car seat – someone who may not take the time to read all of the instructions.
  • The Graco MyRide does not feature an adjustable crotch buckle, so it may get tight on older kids, whereas the Britax Marathon has an adjustable crotch buckle which can be moved outward as your child grows.
  • You can fit a newborn baby into the Graco MyRide. While the Britax Marathon claims that it can be used from birth, practically, most infants will be too short to fit well into the Marathon until around 3-8 months of age, because of the height of the lowest harness straps.
  • The Graco MyRide expires six years after it is manufactured; the Britax Marathon 70 expires seven years after its manufacturing.
  • The Graco MyRide is significantly less expensive than the Britax Marathon. Prices tend to fluctuate slightly, however I’ve always found the best prices on convertible car seats to be on Amazon. Check the current price of the Marathon here and the MyRides’s current price here.


9 Responses to “Britax Marathon 70 Vs. Graco MyRide 65”
  1. Jools says:

    Just want to post a tidbit I didn’t see mentioned… the Marathon (all Britax convertibles, actually) has an optional foam infant insert available for small babies that makes them fit in the seat as newborns safely.
    It would be wasteful to include it with the seat, since most babies start out in infant carriers, but for those who wish to skip the carrier, it’s a viable option to ensure good fit.

  2. Marsha Edgerton says:

    Will the Britax Marathon 70 fit in correctly in the back seat of a 2011 Toyota Rav4? Actually, I’ll need to install 2. My daughter has twins and the Safety 1st Air 65’s we had purchased are too tall to install in the recommended RF reclining position.

    • Ellen says:

      It should be ok with those 2 seats on the outboard seats of the car (not in the middle). You might want to get one for starters just to double check, but most people who have newer versions of the vehicle (not from the 90s) seem to have successfully installed it in those seats.
      Good luck!

      • Marsha Edgerton says:

        Thank you so much! I’m going to order one Britax Marathon 70 and compare them side by side in my vehicle.

    • Briana says:

      I just put the marathon 70 in my 2009 rav and it was fine. In fact, I was worried too. I’m 5’4 and when my seat was adjusted to my liking, I had about 6-8 inches left between the back f my seat and the back of her rear facing marathon.

  3. Ryan says:

    Something you forgot to mention — the main reason I’m considering buying the Marathon 70 to replace the Graco My Ride 65 I currently own, is the Marathon 70 claims to be 6 inches less deep (front to back length), so should fit better in my little Toyota Yaris. Currently, the Graco is pressed against the front passanger seat, even though the front seat is moved up quite far (uncomfortably so).

  4. Yelena says:

    After doing some research it appears that Britax has the highest amount of toxins in all car seat manufacturers. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Orbit Baby and Britax are phasing out brominated and chlorinated flame retardants (BFRs & CFRs), which are added to plastics for fire resistance, and have been associated with thyroid problems, learning and memory impairment, decreased fertility, and behavioral changes. Although fire retardants in foam are necessary to meet certain fire-safety standards, non-halogenated fire retardants are available, and many have a better safety profile.

    Both companies are also phasing out chlorine, associated with the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is widely used in plastics and is of concern to the environment and public health during all phases of its life cycle. PVC contains chemicals called phthalates, which have been associated with decreased fertility, pre-term deliveries, and damage to the liver, testes, thyroid, ovaries, kidneys, and blood.

    Heat and UV-ray exposure in cars can accelerate the breakdown of these chemicals and possibly increase their toxicity. Babies are the most vulnerable population in terms of exposure, since their bodily systems are still developing and they spend many hours in their car seats.

    Britax, which manufactured one of’s most toxic carseats in 2011, sent an email to the Ecology Center yesterday stating the following: “BRITAX stands by its commitment to expand its specifications to focus on reducing and/or eliminating the usage of all chemicals containing bromine or chlorine to all components, not just those that are in close or direct contact with children. This new specification has several challenges, but we fully expect that all suppliers will be compliant by the end of 2012.”

    From the report, here are the most toxic car seats and the least toxic:

    Most Toxic 2011 Car Seats:

    Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey
    Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon in Platinum
    Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Misty
    Least Toxic 2011 Car Seats:

    Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
    Convertible Seat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
    Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders

  5. Yelena says:

    So my question is, how serious have the toxins been found to be in all Britax car seats and can they somehow be removed?

    • Ellen says:

      The issue regarding toxins is one of those grey areas that cannot be definitively answered. You would think that if the toxins would be a serious issue, they would not be allowed by law. However, we know there are many things in this world where individuals think differently than the government, and it takes time for laws to be enacted. The fact that there is no law against the chemicals used means that there likely is no concrete data to show as evidence that there is something harmful. You need to use your intuition as a mother to decide if it’s something you are comfortable with or not. Just like mothers choose all the time how to vaccinate or use cleaning products in their home or any other thing they think may or may not be harmful, it is up to you to decide your comfort level. There is no way that you can remove the chemicals without voiding the warranty on the car seat. Good for you for doing your research, and best of luck in your decision!

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