Motherf*lter: Britax Roundabout

Before Em was born, a very kind friend of mine purchased the Britax Roundabout for us. It has one of the highest safety ratings and customers seemed to love it. Check out how it was put to use before Emory was born.

We used an infant car seat for the first couple of months. We were supposed to get six months out of that puppy but Emory grew too fast. I don’t think we got three. Anyway, we moved him up to the Roundabout right away. And he’s been riding in it comfortably ever since.

The car seat is fantastic. But don’t take my word for it, check out this review from Consumer Reports. It scores pretty high across the board. And it saved a boy’s life when the minivan he was in got struck by a train! That puts my mind at ease while driving on the Jersey Turnpike where some drivers are out to kill everyone who gets in their way. And I sleep a little better knowing that at the very end of the month, when we leave for a week’s vacation in North Carolina, he’ll be protected along the way. I think the biggest complaint is the cost. (160 – 180 dollars) But, you get what you pay for, right? And this sucker is still holding strong for us.

Not only do customers like myself rave about it, but recently Roundabout’s big brother (so to speak) was released, the Britax Roundabout 50, with a 50-pound weight limit. Britax recently sent me one to test out.

My only (and I’m really looking for something here) complaint is that my boy does tend to sweat in it during the summer months. Granted, my kid seems to sweat more than the next kid, so it could just be an Em thing. But I’d much rather have it be comfortable for him and just adjust the car’s internal temperature.

So, for all you upcoming parents out there, the Britax Roundabout 50 gets a big fat thumbs up from our household.


  1. Perfect timing! My 5 month old daughter will be growing out of her infant carrier soon and I was about to start car seat shopping. I’ll be sure to check it out.


  2. I feel like all car seats are sweaty, no way around it. I guess we’ll be in the market for an upgrade soon (though I’ll be sad because it’s so convenient to carry Cole around in our existing one and snap it into the stroller, too), so I’ll keep that one in mind. Thanks!


  3. I should mention that this car seat can be put rear-facing. We did it for over a year!!

    Meredith I wondered that too.


  4. I think all car seats are ‘hot’ and non-breathable – we just try to get air vents pointed at our daughter.

    We love Britax – we had the infant carrier and then we used the marathon in one car – its a bit bigger than the Roundabout. When we needed another for our other car we went with a Boulevard and I don’t think I can go back now! It has this true side protection thing and easy adjusting of shoulder straps – awesome. Its pricier than Roundabout but car seats are not something I mind paying for.


  5. We use the Britax Boulevard and really like it. I used an infant travel system until Amelia was 8 months old, then decided to get a “big girl” carseat. We got a really great sale on the Boulevard, and really like it. I do miss being able to just take the whole seat out of the car and carry it with me, but that was going to happen sooner or later.

    This seat does rear face until 35 pounds, I think. There are some new suggestions to keeping babies and toddler rear-facing until age 2 now, so the higher weight limit is important.


  6. For us, we had to switch Em forward-facing because he became too long—it had nothing to do with weight. Keep that in mind parents with younger children.

    Not sure if that makes sense. He still isn’t quite at 35 pounds, but he outgrew it lengthwise a while ago. (I think he was too long at about 15 months.)


  7. Britax all the way for us, too. Although we have the Marathon for each of our guys. I feel good about putting them in something so safe and am willing to pay for them. But, deals can be had online – it’s a matter of watching and waiting. And I too missed the infant seat when we had to switch – I loved the convenience of just taking the whole seat – especially if he was sleeping!


  8. maybe you can sew up a cover / liner for it out of linen?

    i used to swap out my couch covers for linen in the summer – feels 10x cooler


  9. Michele,

    You might remember that I work for State Farm. We were funders and participants of the largest child occupant protection study ever done (Partners for Child Passenger Safety, PCPS). The number one pediatric hospital in the nation (CHOP) did the research for this 10 year study. The study was basically my life for 10 years.

    One of the resources that came out of the study is a tool for parents to learn about proper restraint use for their children. You can access this resource at

    I’m glad you got good use out of the car seat.


  10. I’ll just throw this out there. The little one and I were in a serious car accident last year. She was just under one year and was in a rear facing infant car seat (Evenflo Journey/Embrace). The damage (both to our car and our lives) was tremendous. Our car was totaled and I spent a week in the hospital and several months in outpatient rehab with multiple fractures and internal injuries.

    How was my daughter? She escaped with one bruise to her inner thigh. That’s it. Why such a difference? Well, I am sure other factors play into it, but the pediatric ER doc indicated (to my husband, seeing as I was unconscious) that because the car seat was properly installed and she was tightly (and I mean TIGHTLY) restrained in the seat, the seat absorbed most of the force, not her little body. I can only imagine how much worse (upteen-fold) the entire accident and recovery would have been if my daughter was injured.

    So for my PSA today, I’d like to urge everyone to have their car seat installation double-checked by your local police department (they often do this for free or check here: ) and to carefully read and follow those car seat directions. I know it may seem like your little one might be more comfortable if the belts were a little looser, but often they are not designed to operate effectively this way. Whatever car seat you choose, you owe it to your children to use them correctly.

    And for the tie-in to this post (finally…)…. we replaced her car seat from the accident with the Britax Diplomat. After much research, we decided that this one would meet our needs best. Yes, Britax does cost more than other brands, but given our accident experience, the added padding and side impact protection give us some additional piece of mind.


  11. Egirl: I had no idea that happened to you and I am truly sorry. I am happy you and your daughter are OK. I know I only know you as a regular (and helpful!) commenter here, but I feel as though I know you a little more than that somehow. It pains me knowing you went through that.

    Also, thank you for the PSA!

    You know, communities (especially here in the city where cops are often too busy to bother with stuff like this) should designate days near a local park or something where folks can swing by and have a cop look over everything. It’d be really helpful.

    Thanks again. And SFarmer: Thanks for the link!


  12. So glad to be on the other side now! And I meant “peace” of mind, not “piece”… but I’m sure you know that! :)


  13. Awesome. I was just cruising the baby sites looking at the Marathon last night.


  14. We bought the Roundabout for our second child, and so far we love it. I have a lot of friends with preschool aged kids who are still riding in theirs. It really is a solid car seat.

    And I second Kelly. Car seats are just not very breathable – they’re mostly hard plastic with a thin layer of fabric on top. Not exactly cool at the best of times, sadly.


  15. Hi – We bought a Britax Marathon and it’s great. No complaints and my daughter seems to like it a lot. We bought it online at Albee Baby and got a great deal because the fabric choice wasn’t popular. Also, if you live outside NY, you don’t pay sales tax (and I think we got free shipping). So, you might find a deal to offset the cost. We still would have bought one, by the way. :)

    I love your blog – I’ve lurked for a while now and never commented. I think I found it when I was pregnant and I keep checking. Some of what you write makes me laugh, some makes me nod in agreement, some makes me cry. So thank you.


  16. We took our Britax twice for flying. Once we took it with us in the plane. The other time, we check it with our luggage. Couple of years later, a friend told us to check the car seat as the impact from being thrown often (with the luggages) may impact the car seat. I took a look at the foam inside of the car seat and sure enough, there was a crack. Has this happened to anyone?


  17. Chi! I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes sense. They say the same thing about bike helmets. If you fall, or even if the helmet hits the floor hard or you move it and it gets smacked around, you’re supposed to replace it right away because it’s no longer solid and therefore safe.

    So, it doesn’t surprise me, but I so hadn’t thought of that! I don’t fly much.

    Is there any way you can bring it on and store it above? Or is it too large?


  18. I have Britax Marathon and it fits snuggly on the plane seat. I don’t think you can store it above as it’s bulkier than the carry-on luggage.

    My kid is now almost 5 so we bring the booster seat.

    Another thing I haven’t tried is as with your stroller, we can check it at the last minute at the runway so that may have less impact to the car-seat.


  19. I just wanted to share with anyone interested that I just bought the Marathon at and until tomorrow only 7/15, they are offering 10% off with the code BABYUTEN, free shipping also!
    I really should have bought 2 because these car seats aren’t as easily interchangeable between cars as the infant carrier we currently have, so the 2nd on will have to wait for us until the next deal rolls around.


  20. We have a Britax Boulevard and love it. It’s also made in the USA, which explains some of the high price.

    We solve the hot carseat problem by packing the (empty) seat with frozen water bottles before putting my daughter in it. She seems a lot calmer on sweltering days when we’re out and about – when we don’t chill the seat, she really protests at being fastened in. And by protests, I mean screams.


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