Customer Review

2,111 of 2,189 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Own 2 Frontiers and the Nautilus, May 19, 2009
This review is from: Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Matrix (Baby Product)
I own 2 Britax Frontiers in Pink, and the Graco Nautilus in pink as well. As a Mother who owns both models, I will tell you the major differences between these two seats from my point of view.
#1 Frontier is more expensive (which is why I got the Nautilus for my spare)
#2 Frontier is SO much easier to adjust the shoulder height strap. With a simple squeeze of a lever, the straps go up. The Graco needs to be rethreaded. This is BIG pain when you have another child who wants to use the seat. With the Frontier, it is no biggie to pull the lever.
#3 Frontier seat material is prone to wear where the child's bottom and legs rub on the seat. It also shows WAY more stains and soaks up spills quicker than the Graco.
#4 Frontier has 3 crotch strap adjustments for easy fitting. The Graco only has 2 which makes the older kids sit on the strap. This can get uncomfortable. My oldest DD takes the pad off of the crotch strap on the Frontier (she says it makes the seat look like a "baby seat" with the pad), but she can not do this with the Graco, as the crotch strap rubs on her legs causing red irritation when wearing shorts. The graco pad is very thick and wraps the entire strap (between the legs) and then goes up to sit on the belly. She does not seem to mind sitting on it, but it does not look too comfortable to me.
#5 Padding on Frontier is WAY thicker (on both seat and seat back)and more comfortable to sit on. I can't imagine that the Graco would be comfortable for long trips.
#6 Heads slump forward for younger kids when sleeping in the Graco. The "wings" around the head are very fat (giving the appearance of a "yonger child's seat") and are so close to the child's head that it causes it to go forward when sleeping. The frontier has wider "wings" and are perfect for sleeping children. The "wings" are farther away from the head and are angled just right as to allow sleeping and looking out the window. The "wings" are thinner and have more of a "big" kid look. This thinner look in NO WAY implies that Graco is safer for the thicker "wings", as Britax states that its wings are "true side impact protection". Graco does not state this. The plastic around wings appear to be of stronger material on the Frontier, even though they are thinner. Frontier also has the "hugs" system on the harness to minimize forward head movement. Graco does not.
#7 The Graco has only a 12.5 inch seat width for the child to move around in. The Frontier has a 12.5 seat area around the tush, but opens to a spacious 17 inch wide seat. This may not be an issue for the younger kids, but the older ones need more space. This may, however, be an issue for small cars.
#8 Cup holder and "hidden" storage are neat in the Graco. The Frontier has 2 cup holders, but they can not both be out, as one hits the door when installed on far right or left. The cup holders also do not go smoothly in and out when installed in the vehicle, as the seat blocks the cup holder from retracting. This does not happen when the seat is not snugged down, but when installed..... This is not too much of an issue as we just leave them out. This is only an issue when I have a third child trying to walk to the back 3rd row between 2 Frontiers with cup holders out!

Bottom line. If you need a car seat around the time that Britax has a sale, I would get it over the Graco. The price difference at that time would only be $50. I think that your big kids will be happier in the Frontier. If you have a smaller child, remember, he/she will be a big kid soon!
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Comments

Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 30, 2010 6:10:00 PM PST
Lori B. says:
This was helpful, but you shouldn't rate it so highly if you would buy the "other" seat.

Posted on Feb 11, 2010 1:37:44 PM PST
J. Dean says:
Thanks so much for the comparison! We are looking at both seats and your comments really helped.

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 6:02:17 PM PST
Katy Scott says:
wow, thanks so much for the great comparison review. We own two frontiers and are looking for a third booster for occasional use when the children have to ride in someone else's car (like for a school field trip) and this was by far the most helpful review I've read. Thanks so much.

Posted on May 6, 2010 11:26:02 AM PDT
Thank you for such a helpful comparison. I just bought a Frontier 85 with integrated cup holders and smarter fabric combination.

Posted on May 7, 2010 7:18:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2010 7:19:51 AM PDT
P. A. Vinger says:
You say, "Britax states that its wings are "true side impact protection". Graco does not state this," and, "Frontier also has the 'hugs' system ... Graco does not." Well, "True Side Impact Protection" and "Hugs System" are Britax marketing phrases, and can only be used to compare Britax models with these features to Britax models without them. It's like a TV manufacturer saying their top-model set has "ultimate picture" - it's meaningless when comparing that manufacturer's product to a different brand. You seem to have put some thought into composing your review, but such statements makes it hard to take seriously.

Posted on Jul 14, 2010 9:40:03 PM PDT
Jody D. says:
What a great product comparison! THANK YOU for taking the time out to share your opinion with those of us who are looking at both of the seats mentioned.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 3:44:00 PM PDT
Melissa Yost says:
Thankyou very much for taking the time to describe the differences!!!! So helpful! Ignore the negative reviews! This is great! I think this review is very helpful and I take it seriously!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2010 3:44:53 PM PDT
Melissa Yost says:
It's a cost thing...that's all she's implying.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 2:47:21 PM PDT
M. Olson says:
Thank yo so much for taking the time to do a comparison between the two seats. I have been going back and forth for a while now. My son will be 3 this fall and he needs to move from a very old Britax Marathon. I did not want to spend the extra $ for the Frontier but it seems to be made better. I did notice that on the new models it does not have that athletic material that snags and wears out which is good.
So thanks for the information.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 2:52:15 PM PDT
M. Olson says:
Thank yo so much for taking the time to do a comparison between the two seats. I have been going back and forth for a while now. My son will be 3 this fall and he needs to move from a very old Britax Marathon. I did not want to spend the extra $ for the Frontier but it seems to be made better. I did notice that on the new models it does not have that athletic material that snags and wears out which is good.
So thanks for the information.
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