Britax Frontier 85 The Best Combination Booster Car Seat Review
When you are expecting your child you know that the infant car seat that you choose for your new addition will be the most important piece of equipment that you purchase. This seat will protect your newborn in his first ride home from the hospital and as he grows bigger and stronger. This importance doesn’t end, however, when your baby has gotten old enough to not need the special size and shape of an infant car seat. To keep your baby as safe as possible for as long as possible, and to stay in line with the newest of child restraint legislation that has increased both the age and weight thresholds for removing a child from proper restraints, it is important that you transition from an infant seat to a toddler seat and then to a convertible booster seat that is designed to protect your child further into the most vulnerable years of childhood.
It is important that you start shopping for your child’s convertible booster seat before he is ready for it so that he is always traveling in the safest seat for his age and size. While in the process of selecting a convertible booster seat there are certain things you should look for, including:
- Convertibility—the ability to change your car seat from one configuration to another allows you to use one car seat for a longer time during your little one’s childhood. This is much more convenient and less expensive than getting a new seat each time your child grows.
- Weight capacity—your child’s weight is one of the most important factors that goes into deciding when he is ready to transition from an infant seat to a toddler seat and then to a booster seat. Checking the weight capacity of a convertible booster seat ensures that you are not selecting a seat that is too large or too small for your child.
- Padding—your child’s comfort is very important, especially if you will be traveling for long periods. Ensure that your child fits comfortably into the seat and that he is able to sit in it for extended trips without the seat becoming uncomfortable or painful.
- Safety features—the most important part of any car seat is its safety features. The entire purpose of a car seat is to keep your child safe while traveling. Ensure that the seat you are considering has features that will protect him in the event of a collision as well as during normal driving.
- Usability features—you should not feel like using your child’s car seat is a huge inconvenience. If the seat that you select is not usable you may resist using it correctly or not use it for as long as you are supposed to according to safety regulations. Check for features such as a washable cover.
This is not a small seat, which should be kept in mind when considering it. The dimensions of this seat are 27 x 19.5 x 23 inches. It weighs 19.6 pounds in use with a shipping weight of 23.6 pounds.
A car seat is only as safe as the security of its installation. You must ensure that you have installed your child’s convertible booster seat properly and securely in order to ensure that the safety features of the seat are functioning correctly. It is intimidating to realize that a large percentage of car seats that are installed are actually installed incorrectly and children are riding around in them. This is why it is recommended that you install your child’s car seat—whether it is his first infant car seat or his convertible booster seat—and then bring it, without your child in it, to a free car seat checkpoint at a hospital or a fire station so that a trained expert can check the installation and ensure that it is done correctly, or make modifications and instruct you on how to install the seat in the right way.
To make the installation of your child’s convertible booster seat easier, the Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat is designed to be installed in two different ways. You can choose to use the integrated LATCH system, which involves tethers with buckles strategically placed on the seat and hooks anchored in the floor of your vehicle. These elements connect and can be tightened to secure the seat to your vehicle. The other option is to use the regular vehicle seat belts, which is how the seat will be installed when using it as a booster seat.
The unique push-button system on the Britax Frontier 85 provides a tight, secure fit and gives you peace of mind that you have installed the car seat properly and it will not move unexpectedly or excessively in the event of a collision or other driving conditions.
Children grow very quickly, and many families find themselves having to buy several different seats in a short span of years. This can not only get very expensive, but it can be frustrating to realize that you suddenly need a new seat and have to purchase one urgently in order to ensure that your child remains safe when traveling. This is why a convertible booster seat is such a popular choice. The purpose of a convertible seat is to allow you to adjust the seat to accommodate your child through several different stages, eliminating the need to purchase additional seats throughout his childhood and ensuring that you can adjust the seat whenever needed to keep your child as safe as possible.
The Britax Frontier 85 is designed to begin as a forward-facing toddler seat for younger children who have just graduated from a rear-facing infant seat at the age of two years or just over to a high capacity booster seat capable of accommodating children well into their childhood years. The conversion is accomplished by removing the 5-point harness system and raising the head rest then utilizing your vehicle’s regular safety belts to restrain your child into the seat. The booster seat will lift your child into the proper position to be able to use the regular seat belt safely, meaning that it will not cross his body on the neck or abdomen, which often happens when a child that is too small to use the regular safety belt is put in the car without being in a booster seat.
The Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat is a high weight capacity convertible booster seat. This means that it is designed to safely handle children that are larger than can be accommodated by many other booster seats. Keep in mind that all states now have stricter regulations regarding the age and weight limits for a child traveling without a restraint. A high weight capacity booster seat ensures that your child travels lawfully—and safely—further into childhood, even if he grows faster than expected.
This seat is built to be used initially with children as young as 2 years weighing 25 pounds and up to 85 pounds while still using the 5-point harness, which is considered by most safety experts to be the most effective means of keeping your child safe while traveling.
When used as a booster seat the Britax Frontier 85 can be used by a child from 40 pounds all the way up to 120 pounds. For most children this weight capacity is well beyond the legislation in most areas, which is generally 80 pounds and at least 8 years.
The central element of the Frontier 85’s safety system is the 5-point harness. This critical piece of safety equipment features straps that come up over your child’s shoulders and over his hips, as well as up between his legs. Buckles connect all of the straps together for rider retention and security. When positioned correctly the straps should not cut into your child’s neck, and the central buckle should rest on his chest at arm pit level. This ensures that the harness system is able to hold your child in place in the event of a collision or a sudden stop.
The harness of this convertible booster seat can be easily removed in order to convert the toddler seat into a booster seat.
Anyone with a young child knows that car rides can be pure misery if a child is uncomfortable in his car seat. The padding of the Britax Frontier 85 provides comfort and security as well as protection from collisions. The plush padding features energy-absorbing foam that provides tremendous absorption of shock if your vehicle is involved in some kind of crash, protecting your child’s body from absorbing all of that energy. This cover can be removed for spot cleaning when those little inevitable travel messes occur, but it is not machine washable.
The Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat has several safety features to protect your child during travel. These features include the high weight capacity 5-point safety harness, LATCH system, deep side walls and high back, 360-degree energy-absorbing foam and safety structure, and an energy-absorbing base. When using this seat as a booster you can utilize the SecureGuard clip that will hold the lap belt in place to protect your child’s abdomen. In both configurations your child’s head and neck are protected by the Harness Ultra Guard System which is designed to reduce the forward movement of the head.
Because this convertible booster seat is able to be used for many years, it was also designed to be highly adaptable. Beyond just being able to accommodate a high weight limit, the seat can also be adjusted to your child’s growing body. All children grow differently, so it is important that you are able to adapt the seat to his specific body in order to keep him as safe as possible.
10 harness positions allow for up to 20 inches of shoulder height while three buckle positions allow for adjustments to protect the child inside as he grows. The head restraint is easily adjusted with a one-hand lever. The harness itself can be changed without having to completely disassemble the entire harness. The front harness system allows for quick tightening of the harness.
Parents are quite receptive to this seat for after their children have graduated from a rear-facing infant seat. They appreciate the high weight capacity for the harness because it allows their children to remain fully restrained for much longer than other seats. If never involved in a collision the seat has a nine-year lifespan, which means that it can be used for the entire time that a child needs to be in a car seat before using the regular safety belt. Older children are comfortably accommodated with a crotch strap that is positioned further out than most other seats and extremely long harness straps.
The soft, smooth padding of this seat provides comfort even during long trips, while the posture-supporting design promotes a straight spine and neck. The usability features, including the cup holders, arm rests, and storage compartment, make integrating this seat into your lifestyle is an easy and convenient transition. Parents are also pleased with the range of color options that allow consumers to choose the option that fits with their personal aesthetic and appeals to the tastes of older children, as well as the adaptability of the seat that promotes a fully customized fit for all riders.
Most importantly, parents appreciate the side-impact protection, energy-absorbing foam, and other safety features that they feel protect their children during collisions and normal driving conditions.
Despite the great reception by some parents, there are some complaints regarding the Britax Frontier 85. Some parents feel that the installation of this seat is very difficult and that it is difficult to tighten the harness. Similarly, some parents had problems with the car seat feeling loose when installed using the LATCH system, and were displeased with the unwieldy shape making it impractical to install this seat with other car seats.
Others note that the cover does not stay in place and can get bunched up under the child which can be very uncomfortable. Other issues that have been mentioned in regards to the padding include that when the headrest is raised the padding becomes thicker at the top of the seat than the bottom, which forces the rider’s back into a strange angle, that the materials are not durable and tend to fall apart, and that the cover is not machine washable, which presents problems when trying to keep the seat clean. The seat being heavy has also gained some complaints.
This convertible booster seat earned 4.5 stars on Amazon.
This convertible is a bit on the pricier side, coming in at an average retail of $299.99, and $202.99 on Amazon. Uasually Amazon will give Britax Frontier 85 30% discount which mean you can save $90 on this car seat. click here to check recent discount on amazon.
Posture support—this seat encourages your child to sit with good posture, strengthening his spine and keeping him comfortable, as well as facilitate proper breathing.
High side walls—a deep rider well protects your child from side impact.
High density comfort foam—foam padding ensures your child’s comfort even during long drives and supports his body in the event of a collision.
Armrests—molded armrests give your child somewhere to rest his arms, also providing security and added protection.
Cup holders—an added usability feature, cup holders let you give your child a sippy cup or bottle of water without him having to hold it throughout the trip.
Premium lower LATCH connectors—this seat features LATCH connectors on the lower portion of the seat, providing a firmer anchor when installed using this system.
Harness Ultra Guard System—this system holds your child’s head in position to reduce forward movement and lower the risk of injury during a collision or sudden brake.
Energy-absorbing foam liner (EPS)—this foam absorbs the shock of an impact, protecting your child’s body from this dangerous energy.
Color-coded vehicle belt guides—these guides help you to properly position the shoulder and lap belts when using the seat as a booster.
Mature fashions—the colors and patterns of this seat are geared toward the older child, making it more attractive to children that will be using it when they are in the later portion of the capacity range. They are also appealing to families that want a more coordinated or subtle aesthetic for their vehicle.
Certified for air travel—children traveling in the air are safest when properly restrained in a car seat. This booster allows even older children to be protected during a flight.
Energy-absorbing base—the base of this seat was designed to absorb shock, preventing much of the energy from actually impacting the seat itself.
Storage compartment—traveling with little ones, and even older children, can be made much easier when things like snacks, toys, and other supplies are kept close at hand. This compartment provides organization so that your vehicle doesn’t get overwhelmed but your child still has the things that he needs when traveling.