One of my kids is 4 going on 5 and a little while back it was getting increasingly difficult to get him in and out of his car seat due to his weight and height. As soon as he met the height and weight requirements I wanted to move him into a booster seat to help save my back. At that time I was reviewing a booster seat made by another company. A traditional booster seat that met all current safety standards but it was too much of a transition for my son. Going from a bigger, 5 point harness Britax to a belt positioning booster seat that essentially just sits in the backseat and has no other straps other than the car’s chest and lap belt. Needless to say, this change was a little too much freedom for him. He’s still a very wiggly kid so in a regular booster seat he was practically climbing out of it and wiggling all over the place.
So when Britax sent us their new Frontier 85 Harness-2-Booster seat to test out I was really thrilled to see that parents now have a choice that rests in between a car seat and a booster seat. The Frontier 85 Harness-2-Booster is a brilliant car seat / booster. Kids can be 2 and at least 25 lbs to graduate to it and it allows a child to be in a 5 point harness up to 85 pounds, which is fantastic. I feel so much better knowing my son is really strapped in much like his other Britax seat. It also anchors into the car just like a car seat whereas other boosters just rest on the seat to elevate the child for proper belt positioning. Which is what they’re supposed to do. But I definitely prefer this for my 4 year old. The seat is secured to the car, he is secured with the 5 point harness to the seat and he can’t wiggle out of it.
The Frontier 85 has a lot of really great features like arm rests, 2 cup holders, and easy adjusting positioning. The side impact head restraint (you literally turn one knob) makes adjusting the seat for your child’s height a cinch. Adjusting the harness straps doesn’t require re-threading or any complicated steps either – you simply use a pull handle in the back of the seat and lift up to desired position. No re-threading means I’m a happy lady (my husband was happy about that too). The seat has deep side walls and a padded seat which keep my son really comfortable. He spent an 8 hour car ride in it with no complaints other than “Mom I have to go potty”.
The easier a car seat is to install, the more likely you are to install it correctly. The Frontier 85 is a cinch to install and adjust. There are 10 harness positions and three buckle strap positions. The harness also has sewn buckle stops to help prevent the harness from twisting and sliding out of place. When he is old enough to be in a regular booster seat, this converts to a belt positioning booster seat accommodating kids up to 120 pounds and 5ft 5 inches tall… that’s a lot of mileage out of one seat.
The Frontier 85 Harness-2-Booster seat has the safety features Britax is known for – True Side Impact Protection and is designed specifically to absorb crash impacts in such a way that it absorbs crash force energy as well as keeps your child’s head neck and spine aligned properly to minimize injury during a crash.
When the seat is in booster mode, the seat is compatible with the SecureGuard attachment that works with your car’s seat belt to create anchor anchor point in between the child’s legs to prevent them from slipping under and prevents the lap belt from riding up onto their stomach. They think of everything!
I’ve said it before, Britax really goes beyond in ensuring maximum safety with ease of use, which I can’t imagine is an easy task. If you child is ready to graduate to a booster but is not yet old enough for the responsibility of a belt positioning booster seat, this is the car seat to invest in. SafeMama™ tested and approved.
Where to get it: You can find the new Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat on Amazon.com
Britax provided a seat for review but in no way does that affect my opinion of the seat. Car seats that have been reviewed are then donated to a local children’s charity. The Britax Blogger Advisory Board consists of select bloggers who routinely test and review juvenile products. Britax gives these board members previews of its new products or product ideas, in return for the bloggers’ candid assessments. The bloggers are not paid for their service, but are reimbursed for any travel expenses.