Best Booster Car Seat – The original Britax Frontier is one of the top end combination boosters. What the company, Frontier basically did was, improved the maximum weight and height limits and then took care of all the issues they had faced with their customers on the forums. They did all of this tweaking in a year and a half! Which is really great!
The old Frontier has been replaced with the Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat. It is a “Harness 2 Booster” which is a combination of belt positioning booster seat and a forward facing child restraint. It is made for children who are 2 years, 30 – 57 inch tall and weigh between 25-85 pounds. The booster now has a weight limit of 120 pounds as well. Please keep in mind that this is a revised and improved product in many ways.
Here is the list of changes and improvements made in the Britax Frontier 85 which makes it one of the best booster car seat:
1. Armrests are shorter, sturdier and have a fixed design.
2. You can adjust harness height up to 10 positions, up from 8 which the original Frontier had.
3. Limit on the harness height has been increased from 53″ to 57″.
4. Limit on the booster height has been increased from 60″ to 65″.
5. The maximum weight limit of the harness has been increased from 80 to 85 pounds.
6. Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat has a stitched harness which prevents the buckle tongues from getting lost in corners.
7. The chest clip has a picture showing the correct positions.
8. The slots which are present for positioning the lap belt for harness mode installation have been tweaked. Even though the positioning of the belt is the same, the contours have a good angle and are open. This solves the issues which people had in installing it in some vehicles.
9. The bottom of the Frontier 85 has less rough and sharp edges due to the redesign of the cup holders. Sliding is also reduced by the small rubber grips.
10. There are revised attachment points for the fabric cover and plastic belt shield cover.
As you can see, this is a good list of improvements which Britax has made. Almost each of the minor problems which were faced in the original frontier have been fixed!
Now I am going to list some of the advantages of the Britax Frontier 85:
1. Impact Protection On Sides :
Most of the restraints come handy and are effective in front crashes. However, side impacts are getting a lot of attention since they can be a lot more dangerous than the frontal ones. The deep wings on the Frontier 85 for the head and torso give protection from intrusion. The wings which surround the head are made of impact absorbing foam.
2. Five Point Harness to 85 pounds :
This is one of the top features of the Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat. It has a five pound increase from the original Frontier. Even though most of the kids may be comfortable with the booster, some may not be able to remain seated continuously in the same position in a shoulder and lap belt. This is why most of the parents prefer to keep their child in a 5 point harness beyond 40 pounds as it offers more protection.
Crash Indicator :
The top strap has a stitching which indicates that it will break free if it is subjected to forces in a severe crash. The manual clearly shows the directions to check whether the seat is no longer acceptable for usage.
Even though there are a lot of improvements made in the Frontier 85, it has issues which are not major disadvantages, but I would like to see them fixed!
Best Booster Car Seat Improvements:
1. Bulky :
The Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat is HUGE! It’s also heavy, but lighter than the original Frontier. It comes under the larger and heavier models as it is made to include even the bigger and older children as well. It weighs about 20 pounds. The base is measured just above 19″ wide and 19″ deep at the cup holders. It can be a real pain if you want to fit three seats across one row.
2. Restriction In Recline Settings :
The recline block which can be found on the base can be moved back or forward for 2 reclining positions. In harness mode, the recline block should compulsorily be in forward position and in booster mode, it must be adjusted and rotated backwards. This settings might be good for many children, but for those who want to recline moderately, the Frontier 85 does not provide multiple reclining settings.
3. Fabric Cleaning :
It takes a little effort to remove the cover as is the case in most of the seats. It can only be hand washed and line dried so it is advised to avoid spills that might permanently stain the seat. The mesh fabric has also been know to snag a little.
The improvements and advantages of the Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat surely outweigh the minor issues which I have listed above which makes this Frontier the best booster car seat in the market. The Frontier 85 is almost unmatched when it comes for fitting older children in either the booster or the harness. If the Frontier 85 fits in your budget then it’s surely a superb choice for your baby!