By Maura Keating
Choosing the right car seat can be a bewildering experience. When my husband and I began our baby registry, we started with car seats. We entered the store armed with articles from Consumer Reports. We had reviews, statistics, and recommendations, but we stood helplessly before the displays since model numbers never seemed to match up, and we weren’t sure what would fit in my compact car. We did finally make a decision, but kids grow all too quickly and before we knew it, our son was ready for the next car seat and then the NEXT one, and we had to start all over again.
The Britax Frontier Combination Harness-2-Booster Seat may be the last car seat that you will need. It is designed to accommodate children two years and older and at least 25 pounds and 30 inches tall. As a harness seat, the Frontier can be used until your child reaches 80 pounds and measures 53 inches. The Frontier then converts to a booster seat and is usable up to 100 pounds. The Frontier comes with a $280 price tag, but with features that you will grow to love and a seat that will last, the Frontier is worth every penny.
We used the Britax Boulevard convertible car seat as my son’s second car seat and loved it. Britax seats feel sturdy. With a simple design and innovative details, Britax car seats make daily use effortless – the way car seats should be and rarely are.
Installation of the Frontier can be somewhat tricky at first, but we have found that to beÂ true with all car seats. It gets easier with practice. Always make sure to have your installation checked by a local certified car seat technician. After perusing the lengthy manual, I handed the job over to my capable husband, and he emerged from the car relatively unscathed. The Frontier is a large and heavy seat. Its size feels necessary both in terms of protection and because of the range of coverage that the Frontier offers.
The head rest is fantastic. Britax’s “True Side Impact Protection” (they look like wings) offers the highest available protection in a side collision. The wings have the added bonus of keeping my son’s head from rolling when he falls asleep in the seat. No more mid-nap wakeups! The seat upholstery is made of a breathable mesh fabric that will be perfect for the warmer weather. The straightforward design of the seat makes it easy to clean crumbs out of the crevices of the seat, and when need be, the cover is removable for a machine wash. TWO retractable cup holders make this seat even cooler-one for a cup and one for a snack. A lever at the back adjusts the head rest. Adjustable rubber armrests flip up for easy exit and entrance but must be kept down during travel. The wide straps with a no-thread harness adjuster are relatively easy to adjust and do not twist as easily as straps in other car seats that I have wrestled with. Tucking the straps behind the arm rests helps prevent twisting. It only takes one hand to tighten or loosen the straps while a child is in the seat. For me, the harness is the real reason to purchase the seat. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recommends that children be kept in harness seats for as long as possible. The Frontier ensures that your child will be able to use the harness up to an 80-pound weight limit. Most other car seats only offer 5-point harnesses up to 40 pounds. Safety is our goal when choosing any product for our kids, but most especially for the car seat. Britax has safety covered with the new Frontier seat. It also helps that they managed to get the style and function right, too, while making the seat appeal to toddlers AND their parents.
The Details: The Britax Frontier Combination Harness-2-Booster Seat. Available in the following colors: Red Rock, Rushmore, Canyon, and Pink Sky; MSRP, $279.99. To find the Britax Frontier near you, visit the “Where to Buy” link at http://www.britaxusa.com/.