Nautilus vs. Frontier We have 3 vehicles. There are two Evenflo Triumphs in two cars and a Britax Frontier in the third. My son is 3 and at 39 pounds, the limit for our Evenflos is 40 pounds. I need to buy two new car seats and though I ADORE the Frontier, I'm leary of the high price. One of the things I love most about the Frontier is the "seatbelt" type buckles that attach to the LATCH clips in the car. The weight is fine since the seat usually stays in the car (I always find it funny that people complain about the weight). Please help me decide which seat, the Frontier or the Nautilus.
I went to the store today intending to buy the Frontier...I've used Britax seats for my kids from their first car seats. But I left the store with two Nautilus'...here's why: 1. I own a Regent, and the way the cover is attached to the seat is horrible. The cover is constantly slipping off when my child gets into and out of the seat. The Frontier looked better, but did there were "weaknesses" in the way it attached to the seat itself. The Nautilus covers were well-attached with elastic/hooks in many places. And - bonus! - you can remove the bottom cushion without taking the top apart, which is key for a potty-trainer. 2. The arm rests seemed flimsy on the Frontier. They would not stay in position, and constantly drooped downward. On the contrary, the Nautilus cup holder is solid. 3. The cup holders were difficult to open and stay open. Cheap materials and design for an expensive seat. The arm rests on the Nautilus are stationary, but much more solid and comfortable to use.
Price was not a factor in this decision, and I considered saving $200 on two car seats simply a bonus. They both seemed to be solid seats, and the Frontier just did not live up to the expectations I had from owning 2 Boulevard's...and therefore did not warrant the price premium.
I would go Nautilus myself, but be sure to stop at a local store to check the fit first -- some chunkier kids don't fit well in it (depending on their proportions) Also, the Matrix & Bravo patterns are a meshier fabric - Gallaxy & Reese are fuzzier. It is also available in 'girl patterns' - Rachel, Mariposa & Miley
If you're looking at price factor, then the best bet would be the Nautilus. It's half the cost of the Frontier. If you really like your Frontier, then use it as your primary carseat, and on longer trips. Then, use the two Nautilus' in the least used cars. I'm pretty sure the Nautilus doesn't have the "seatbelt" type clips for the LATCH, but I've read numerous reviews saying that it's not hard to adjust the "hook" style clips of the Nautilus onto the LATCH anchors, and, installed properly, it's a very tight fit. I agree with Grace, you need to take your son to "test" him in the Nautilus. It may not be a right fit and you'll have to go with the Frontier. I don't personally own a Nautilus yet, but I'm intending to buy one when my daughter outgrows her Britax Decathlon (which will be real soon), and decided on it over the Frontier because of cost factor, and also because of all the great reviews of the Nautilus. I've looked at the Nautilus in person at several stores and also tried my daughter in one to make sure it's the one I want. My daughter is 3-1/2 yrs. old, 42 inches tall, and weighs 38 pounds and the shoulder straps on the Nautilus would be set at the second one down from the top, so she'll have some growing room for the harness. Good luck with whatever you choose. Both seats are good!
PLEASE read my review of the Nautilus and the comments attached to it. I wanted the Nautilus to work, but the closeness of the crotch strap simply disqualified it. Please read my 3-star review under the name Dad of Two Boys.