on April 6, 2011
We recently purchased a frontier 85 to replace our first one we had that was in an accident.. out son walked away with out a scratch while the rest of us had some injuries (whiplash, neck and back sprains, concussion... and he was totally fine thanks to his 5 point harness!). We had it in the gray color before, this time my son picked the Maui Blue. He has had a Frontier for the past year, and since my husband is military we travel a lot, and spend a LOT of time in the car. My son is 4.5, 36lbs, and 40 inches. We practice extended harnessing so this car seat is perfect. He is able to sleep in it with no head slump (the mild recline is perfect for this!), has a lot of room, and is very comfortable. He will be able to use this for a long time as we are only a few clicks up from the bottom now, with a LOT more to go!
-Cover comes of pretty easily
-LOTS of growing room
-Mild Recline features great for car nappers
-Lots of color options
-Britax has GREAT customer
-Great booster convertible
-If you liked how the marathon had Two independent latch hooks to tighten, this only tighens on one side, which makes it a little more challenging to install
-Small hole for belt path
-It is slightly bigger than other similar seats on the market
In my opinion, the Pro's WAY overpower the cons. We plan on keeping our little guy harnessed for a few more years, and this is my favorite car seat we have ever owned!
on February 8, 2013
Two main reason I returned them... 1. The chair was too narrow in the shoulder for my 6 y/o son. The shoulder width of this chair was equivalent to the Recaro convertable car seat we have, and that just didn't make any sense... I hardly doubt this chair will hold a child all the way upto 85 lbs when my barely 60 lbs 6 y/o son doesn't fit in it. 2. The cup holders were a nice idea but in reality when my son sat in the chair, his thighs were half way hanging into the cup holders on both sides... either they need to make the actual seats wider or omit the cup holders all together and come up with another way to put the cup holders somewhere else. It is ridicuous!!! Unless your child sits with both his legs closed together while he rides in this, he/she wont be able to use it to put drinks there! And if they do, I am sure they wont be comfortable sitting in their chair with their drinks rubbing against their thighs. So it goes back to the question... I don't think this chair will be ale to support a 85 lbs child in a 5 pt harness and be able to use the cupholders... another thing, the cup holder is not flushed to the chair and that area is bare so it may hurt or leave markings on the back of your child's thigh when they sit on the chair. Great idea but poor execution!!! They need to put that cupholder else where on the chair! Thus we purchased Clek Oobr... my suggestion is, if your child is not that far away from converting to a 3 pt system car seat, look at other car seat companies out there, alot of parents like myself were sold on the Britax promise that I can keep my child at a 5 point harness all the way upto 85 lbs, but I quickly realized that that just is not true for every child. My 6 year old son who weighs almost 60 lbs said the Britax frontier seat was too small for his shoulder. We returned this one for Clek Oobr and my son was comfortable and happy. Now I just gotta get the seat belt clip extenders so he can buckle himself in the seat.
on January 12, 2013
There are a lot of great things about this seat.
-The cow pattern is fantastic!
-The no re-thread adjustable harness is AWESOME. To adjust the harness height, you simply loosen the seat in the car to get your hand behind, then squeeze and slide the back up or down and then let it click into place. Hooray for no re-threading!
-This seat is HEAVY, which is a pro and a con. It's well made and sturdy, so I feel like my child is more secure. But if you need to move this seat between cars often, you may want something lighter or to buy a second seat if you can afford it. This seat weighs 20 lbs.
-I like the way the head rest cradles my son's head - in the event of a collision, I feel like his head and neck will be well controlled. The buckle strap has 3 available positions. For my tall but skinny almost 5 year old, we moved to the second position. He's very comfortable, and there's still one looser slot we could use if needed.
-The seat was EASY TO INSTALL. I read other reviews about it being tough to get a tight install. Well, I will say, if you don't really thoroughly read the manual, you might have a hard time. If you're installing with LATCH, you simply need to pull the seat lining forward to see the belt path and pull tight. The back of the seat, the cushioning, splits. The top overlaps the bottom. Lift the top, then pull the bottom forward. (It's made to do this.) Then you can see the belt path. Make sure the latch belt is flat and smooth. Then, after you click both latch connectors onto the latch hooks, pull the strap into the belt path, and tighten by pulling into the seat. You should have no trouble getting it tight this way. Then the excess belt stores in the seat and you place the cushions back. My car has leather seats and I use an seat protector. I have had trouble with some seats getting a tight install. This seat is rock solid with little effort. I haven't tried the seat belt install yet, but will have to soon as my latch only supports 65 total lbs and my 40 lb son with his 20 lb seat will soon be too heavy for the latch system. Oh, and if you need to use a locking clip for a seat belt install, Britax will send you one free of charge.
Now, a couple of things I don't like...
-The instruction manual can be confusing. I had to read the manual more than once to figure out how to install this seat. It would be MUCH easier if Britax would color code the sections, as in "Harness Mode Installed with LATCH" vs. "Harness Mode Installed with Seat Belt" vs. "Booster Mode" etc, and it would be nice if the Harness Mode and Booster Mode were separated more. I felt like I was flipping all over the place to find the instruction I needed. Color coding, better division of instruction and maybe some streamlining would help. It made the installation seem harder than necessary. However, if you really take the time to sit down and read the manual BEFORE trying to install, it is very helpful.
-The seat is HEAVY. (Already said this as a pro, but this is also a con.)
-The arm rests are fixed. It would be nice if they lifted up to make getting in and out a little easier, or even to allow more space if an adult needs to ride next to this seat. Not a big deal though.
Overall, I like this seat very much. My son says it's very comfortable. He moved out of a Britax Marathon. He LOVES that there are 2 cup holders so he can keep his sunglasses in one. He chose the cow print because he thinks it looks like Jessie from Toy Story! lol I LOVE that I can keep him harnessed for a while longer. He'll turn 5 in a week and just barely weighs 40 lbs. I feel better knowing his little body is held securely. I got a GREAT price on Amazon, and with the free shipping and free returns, this was a win win situation. Oh, and I was nervous about the age of the seat since the price was so good - 33% off retail - but this seat has a manufactured date of 12/2012 and I purchased it in 01/2013, so the seat is brand new!
I have already decided that, as long as I still like this seat by summer, I am going to buy another one for my daughter (now 2 1/4 yrs old) later this year. The seat will grow with her, so it will be the last seat either of my kids need! Hooray for that, too!
on June 10, 2013
I bought 3 different car-seats for my daughter & family, one for use in each of our cars. (They are the Britax Marathon, Britax Frontier 85, & the Recaro Prosport). All seem equally heavy & bulky, though the Marathon is geared more toward a younger & smaller child. All seem equally comfortable but the Marathon is probably best in transitioning out of the infant carrier (we previously had the Graco Key Fit 30 & loved it!). First we got the Marathon at about 12 mo. Then we got the Frontier & the Recaro at about 18 mo, and my Grandson loves all of of them equally. They are very similar in style & I can't say one is really better than the other. They are all bulky & rather difficult to manage & transition out of the cars, so we just leave them in place in the perspective cars & travel with him primarily in those 3 cars where the Marathon, Frontier, & Recaro are placed. We have never had them rear facing in any of these 3 carseats, so I can't comment on that. Of course he remained rear facing in the Graco Key Fit until he outgrew it. He is 27 months now, & still fits in the Marathon but he especially likes the Frontier & Recaro because he can sit more upright & see out better. He has no problems napping in any of the 3 carseats.
on July 7, 2012
I bought 2 of these seats. One for my 6 1/2 yr old and one for my 4 1/2 yr old. I also own 2 sunshine kids Radian XTSL seats so comparatively I have great things to say about both but I definitely LOVE the Britax seats more.
We'll start with my only cons on the seats.
-Can not latch past the cars recommended weight which is usually 40-48lbs. (Sunshine kids/Diono can latch to 80lbs regardless of car's weight limit due to special superlatch they have as long as a car was built after sept 1, 2005.) So must be belted on older heavier kids.
-no rearface for younger kids and weight starts at 25lbs instead of 5lbs like the Sunshine kids or else I would have bought this seat as my only seat for the kids!
-2 cupholders builtin
-Long and Short belt paths for different cars' needs.. made for a tight secure install by using the Long belt path in my 2nd row of a 2006 Honda Odyssey.
-Kids say it's comfortable and are their favorite seats right now.
-With my 6 1/2 yr old (aver. height, slightly under weight at 45 lbs) I still have 4 1/2 inches to go on torso length before he outgrows the top shoulder height, whereas in my sunshine kid seats, he's already in the top holes and you have to rethread the straps in the sunshine kids.. however in the sunshine kids there shoulders can go above the top strap but not in the britax seats.
-armrests, the kids like these
-easy to adjust in a smooth pull (the sunshine kids kinda 'crank' when you adjust the tightness on the straps)
-straps do not twist and they have these nice strap folds on the sides of their waist to keep the metal clasp in place and not falling too deep into the crack behind their bottoms that you can't find them- which happens all the time in their other seats.
- I got the Onyx color and its a great fabric!! My sunshine kids are showing wear but this fabric doesn't appear to 'pill' or 'catch' on anything so i am sure it will stay looking like new for a long time!
-Booster mode when the 85lb harness limit has been met.
I just love this seat already and feel that my kids are safe and secure in them and know that we will be able to enjoy these for a very long time still. My seats were delivered from Amazon in June 2012 with a DOM of March 2012 just in case anyone was wondering if they'd end up getting an old seat without picking it out themselves.. I am definitely pleased with the DOM compared to purchase date.
on February 8, 2013
I followed these steps to install the seat:
1. Watched the video on YouTube showing how to install (searched for "Britax Frontier 85 latch installation")
2. I have leather seats, so put the towel underneath the seat, removed the headrest, folded another towel lengthwise and covered the seat with it, including the top of the seat where the headrest was. The straps for the third latch (the one that's behind the seat - I didn't even know the third latch was there).
3. Assessed the best position for the connector that comes from under the crotch. By default it's in the far back position, I'll call it first position. I needed this strap to be a bit farther from the back, in the second position (the middle one). To re-adjust it I took off the cover of the bottom of the seat, so I could get under the cover, then turned the seat on the side so you I could access under the seat. Pulled out the metal part that is lodged in the grooves, and pushed it through the hole, so the whole crotch strap came out on the top of the seat. Re-inserted the strap (metal part first) into the middle hole in the cover, then pushed the metal part of the crotch strap into the respective hole in the seat itself, and lodged the metal part into the grooves under the respective hole.
4. Put the cover back on. Then attached the latches: first the two that go into the seat (then tightened the seat up) and then the third latch behind the seat, as shown in the video.
NOTE: It's always a good idea to have a policeman or a fireman to inspect how well you have installed the seat.
Installation into Sienna 2011 - 15 min (including all readjustments). Writing this review - another 15 min:) My son loves the seat. It looks very comfortable and snug.
on January 14, 2013
This Booster is not cheap its a quality seat. If you are a worried about a booster seat not providing enough support for your child this the one for you. It is sturdy and comfy. My daughter is on the smaller side of the growth chart so i wasn't sure about going to this kind of seat. After seeing it I was no longer concerned. She is completely secure in this seat and she feels like a big girl. It is perfect for your growing toddler into kid stage. This will be her last car seat for sure. She loves the dual cup holders. It has a high back and wide seat (not too large) it doesn't tip easily from side to side either. You can't put a price on safety and that is why I invest in Britax they are pricey but you are getting what you pay for and more.
on July 4, 2012
We ended up buying two. These are quite large... for kids up to 85 pounds but can also fit in a smaller car. When my grand daughter out grew her infant seats we purchased one for my 2005 Chevy Suburban, it was great. My wife drives a 2006 Mini Cooper S coupe. We were worried about finding a larger child seat that would fit in the back seat of her car. I decided to try our new Britax Frontier 85 in the back of her Mini. I was shocked... It fit great. The base foot print actually being reasonably small for a large scale child seat. We ordered another for her Mini. The seat is very high quality. Britax has come up with a unique push button latch assembly that makes it easy to hook and unhook the seat from the metal anchors often buried deep behind the seat cushion. No more fumbling and frustration trying to get the child seat hooked or unhooked. Expensive but highly recommended
on February 21, 2012
This is another great seat from Britax, we own and still use a Britax Boulevard car seat. While very expensive they are by far the best car seats we have bought/used over the years. Some people have given reviews with the issues they have had with the straps getting twisted (cough, cough, my wife too) but I never have a problem. I get the kids in and out very quick.
The only weird thing about this seat is that the little black cloth circle around the harness buckle always pops off. I keep finding it on the floor after I take my daughter out. Also there is a black plastic flap on the bottom of the seat that adjusts depending on what mode you use the seat. i.e. booster, etc. For some reason the way my seat is in the acura MDX it rattles when no kid is in it. Very annoying when driving by myself, but I just put a small piece of cloth under to stop it.
Great seat, buy it online, we saved $90 by getting it from Amazon vs the big box retailers.
on December 19, 2013
I had to make the decision to switch my daughter forward facing and wanted a seat that would fit her well, adjust properly, and work well in my car. I tried this out at Babies R US first to make sure I could get a good, safe install. After I confirmed that, we purchased it.
This seat adjusted well height-wise to my daughter. I liked that when we adjusted the straps, the head guard still hit in the right placed. Other seats, when should straps were at or above her shoulders, would make the head rest go up above her ears. I just thought it didn't serve the purpose.
As for the install using the LATCH system, it was relatively easy. It has an easier latch hook release button (It's a button, similar to a seatbelt button, rather than having to jam your hand all the way between the seat back and bottom to release the clip. However, as good as that is, it's bulky and you have to work to get a good install. The angle of the strap causes it to twist as you pull to tighten the LATCH strap. It seems like a good idea, but the placement causes the seat and the back of the car seat to block you getting a good grip without twisting the strap. I've found that using one hand to shove the LATCH strap down while pulling up removes a lot of tension and I'm able to get a good fit with minimal shifting (less than the recommended 1 inch).
The seat color (Livia) allows for the seat to not get too hot in the summer. I live in Alabama and we have some pretty intense summers. However, I try to make a point of keeping light colored blankets in my car to avoid direct sunlight on the seat when not in use to keep the sun from drying it out as much and bleaching it anyway, and it also prevents the metal buckle from getting excessively hot (still gets pretty hot from the oven-effect).
The fabric is easily wiped down with a damp cloth. Unfortunately, I've had my daughter get sick in the car a couple of times, and again, the fabric allows for this to lift. Since you shouldn't use Lysol or anything on this seat, that was important to me. It doesn't seem to stain easily either.
The seat grows with the child, but is compact enough to make me happy in my 2007 Camry. It doesn't take up a lot of room and doesn't make my child sit up too high (important when she gets bigger). I know some parents like their child to be able to look out of the window starting at 6 months old, but I'm perfectly fine with her being somewhat below the window level for longer. Makes me feel like she's safer anyway. She can tilt her little head back and see out some (enough to see Christmas lights in the yards, etc.) so it works.
Finally, the crotch piece and the shoulder covers do their job effectively without compromising the harness, which was a BIG hit with me. The shoulder covers keep the harness from digging into her neck/shoulders, without shoving the shoulder covers into her throat and suffocating her. The only problem with the crotch cover is that when she climbs out of the car, it likes to get stuck between her legs and fall out. I've found it on the ground in the afternoon at daycare from when she got out that morning. Luckily it was still there. Just be aware that it can fall out and you'll be good.
Overall, this is one of my favorite seats (I've been through a lot). It has excellent ratings, fits well in my car and with my child, and is pretty easy to install. I used it for about a month before purchasing another for our other vehicle. I wish I would've gotten a different print, just to change it up, but my daughter is stuck on pink, so there we go!
***Note, the self-adjusting harness straps adjust with the headrest, but you will have to loosen the seat when trying to adjust the straps. So be prepared to have to uninstall the seat (or at least loosen it up) to get to the back where the lever is. Although this can be a pain, children tend to only have to have this adjust a handful of times, which also makes you have to reinstal it to ensure a proper fit periodically at the very least.