Zoë has been complaining about her car seat being uncomfortable for a while now, so I started to wonder if maybe she was ready to move to a booster seat. She turned 4 in May and she’s tall, so I started to look around to find more information on when you should move a child to a booster seat.
I found a great tutorial on the Britax website about how to determine whether your child is ready for a booster seat. After studying that page and some more information online, I have determined that I’m not ready to take Zoë out of a 5-point harness.
However, I still want to make her more comfortable in the car, and her current car seat doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. So, Britax sent me a Frontier 85 to try with her. It’s a Harness-2-Booster – a car seat that converts to a booster seat when your child is ready.
You never have to convert it to a booster though – you can leave your child harnessed up to 85 pounds! There are 10 harness height positions (up to 20”) and 3 buckles positions to ensure the best fit for your child as they grow.
Re-adjusting the harness height is really easy. You don’t have to completely re-thread the harnesses each time your child grows. Just use the quick-adjust handle on the back of the seat to raise or lower it. I really like that feature! The harness is also designed to provide resistance to forward movement in case of a crash.
To adjust the lower buckle positions, you do have to pull the buckle out and thread it back through the bottom of the seat. It took a little muscle to get it back in, but at least I know it’s in there securely!
The Frontier 85 also features Britax’s True Side Impact Protection. The head restraint has an extra layer of energy-absorbing foam to keep your child’s head, neck and spine aligned, and deep side walls lined with energy-absorbing foam to keep your child safer in case of a crash. It also makes a nice little headrest for when your child falls asleep in the car.
In addition, the base of the seat is designed to deform in the event of a car accident to further help absorb the impact.
There is also an Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether that slows forward movement in a crash through a staged-release, reducing the crash forces that reach your child. Our other car seat has a single belt line, whereas this one has 2.
Even with all of these safety features built in, the Britax Frontier 85 is also designed to be comfortable. The seat has High Density Comfort Foam to provide an additional layer of padding to comfortably cushion your child. The cover also has thick comfort foam to provide even more comfort and encourage your child to remain in the correct position. Zoë says it’s much more comfortable than her other seat. That made me really happy to hear!
There are armrests on each side of the seat to help ensure a secure fit and a comfortable place for your little one to rest their arms. We also love the cup holders, which will even fit a 20 oz reusable water bottle. This is a nice feature, because I think Zoë will be growing out of her 9 oz reusable water bottle soon.
Installing the seat is also a snap with the LATCH connectors. It only took me a couple minutes to install it.
Normally, my biggest challenge is uninstalling the seat. Surprisingly, I was able to take the Britax Frontier 85 out of the car as easily as I was able to put it in! This little button made it really easy to loosen the LATCH connectors enough to release them.
You can also remove and wash the cover, which is a great feature with kids who like to snack! And especially important when your kids get car sick like mine do.
Overall, we are extremely happy with our Britax Frontier 85. I think Zoë will be quite comfortable in it for years to come.
The Britax Frontier 85 is made in the USA with global components and certified for aircraft travel in harness mode. The MSRP is $299.99, and it can be purchased on the Britax website or at many retailers like Amazon.com.
Thank you to Britax USA for providing one or more products mentioned in this post. Although I received these items at no charge to me, all opinions expressed are my own.