Britax Frontier.....am I crazy for considering this?

(27 posts)(15 voices)
  1. All of my IRL friends think I am crazy for considering this car seat for 5 1/2 year old DS. We just took him out of his Britax Marathon because I just realized he has been in this car seat since he was 4 months old! This puts the car seat at just about the 6 yr expiration date. He also just passed 40lbs, so we had to stop using the latch system. So, technically he could still use the seat for about another year (until he outgrows it by height...he is tall), but I don't feel comfortable using it past the expiration date. The more I read about the expiration dates, the more it makes sense. I was wondering how the heck a plastic car seat could expire, but seeing how we live in FL and I see what the intense HEAT and sun does to plastic, I know understand!

    Anyway, he is currently in a highback booster that I purchased from BJ's a few months ago. It was originally purchased as a spare (it was on sale for $25) but got good reviews online. I cannot remember the name at the moment. Something Ventura?

    Anyway, I don't like how we cannot use the latch, so the booster is just sitting on top of the actual car's seat and the seat belt is the only thing holding DS. If I take a turn, I can see DS shift. I know seat belts when used properly are as safe as 5pt harness seats, but I just don't know how "proper" DS is going to be in his seat. Now that he has the freedom to move around more, he is using it. God forbid, he be leaning over to get something when the unthinkable happens!!!! And you all know I live in FL, so I have HORRIBLE elderly drivers just waiting to ram into me each day.

    All my friends keep telling me that DS just needs a regular booster. They tell me that he will refuse to sit in the harness soon. They tell me they are very big and bulky and I will hate it when I have to carpool kids around.
    EVERY single child in DS's preschool (all age 5) are in regular seat belt boosters.

    So, now I am thinking I am crazy for wanting to buy the Britax Frontier to keep him harnessed as long as I can. I know odds are that he would be perfectly safe in a regular booster, but what if?????????

    otyack

  2. We got a frontier abotu 6 months ago. I was rear-ended and DD (5 1/2 at the time) was sitting in the seat (marathon). The insurance co HAD to replace the seat since it was occupied. The accident was very minor. There was only slight damage to my bumper. We got a Frontier. It is big, but I love it. DD has not complained about it at all. I say keep them harnessed as long as possible.

    Sandra

  3. If I could fit a Frontier into my car I would do it and H is 6yrs old and a big kid. He's 49" and 55 lbs. He's still in his Britax Wizard but he's maxed it out for height and it is expired or very soon to expire.

  4. I don't think you are crazy. My boys are big and we bought that seat. We love it

  5. Have you looked into CLEK boosters? They use LATCH to hold the seat to the car and a seat belt for the actual restraint. Supposedly because of this the 40 lb restrictions on LATCH don't apply (since the seat itself is well under 40).

  6. My 5 year old twins still sit in their Britax Decathalons.

    I got a minivan when I became pg with my 3rd because I couldn't fit all 3 seats across my SUV. So I'll be damned if I'm going to move them out of their 5 pt harness for the sake of convenience and ease (I didn't want a minivan and still don't).

  7. My twins are 5.5 yrs and they are both in Frontiers.The 1 yr old is in a Boulevard.

    I will not put the twins in belt positioning boosters so at the time I changed from their Boulevards my only choice was the Frontier or Nautilus. I love my Frontiers.

    paixtaki

  8. I don't think you're crazy and don't worry if others do. You do what you feel is best to keep your child safe.

    And if he does start giving you a hard time about it, you can tell him that it's one of those non-negotiable things in life like brushing your teeth or looking both ways before you cross the street. It just is.

    I recently bought a new seat (Radian 80 XTSL) so I can keep dd (2.5) rear facing until 45lbs and in a car seat until 80lbs. She was in the Britax Diplomat and I could've turned her around at 35lbs, but I wanted her rf as long as possible.

    My friends thinks I'm nuts -- not one of them has her child still rf. I think they're nuts.

    ...Lisa

  9. All of my IRL friends think I am crazy for considering this car seat for 5 1/2 year old DS...
    This is the same thing I did. My little guy is 6 1/2 now and happy in his car seat. It is safe and much more comfortable than the Graco booster (it also has the side wings) that we use when we travel and for my husband's car. He doesn't have a problem w/ the 5 point belt. I recommend it to everyone that's looking for a booster for an older child.

  10. DS is 5.5 yo and he is in the Graco Nautilus. He has never complained, and I feel like he is much safer in it. DD is 2.5 yo and is still RF in a Britax Roundabout in one car and a Radian in the other car. I don't see what the rush is if they still meet the height and weight restrictions.

    Jennifer

  11. If you are crazy you are in good company. We bought a Frontier for dd about a year ago. Now at 6.6 she is still in it. I love it and it is what we are comfortable with. She calls it her big girl seat and likes the cup holders.

    Sara

  12. You're not crazy at all... we just bought a new 5-point harness seat for our 5.5-year-old DD. She'd outgrown her old seat and we did lots of research on boosters and convertible car seats. Everything I read said that kids are only safe in boosters if they sit properly in them (e.g. no sleeping in the car, no leaning over to get things). We did get a high-back booster for my DH's car which the kids rarely ride in, but we decided we wanted to keep her in a 5-point harness for daily use. We went back and forth between the Frontier and the Radian XTSL which are both great seats. We ended up going with the Radian because it's much narrower - we do lots of carpooling and I like being able to fit 3 seats across in my 2nd row. FYI, if you do want a booster seat there are now boosters that latch in so they don't move around the car. All of my DD's friends are in boosters and they comment on her 5-point harness sometimes, but I just tell them this is safer. The one good thing about the Radian is that she is able to buckle and unbuckle herself, so I think that makes it feel more like a big kid seat to her. Some of the boosters are hard to buckle and unbuckle because of the way they sit right up against the buckle, and she could buckle the Frontier but couldn't unbuckle it.

  13. I agree with all the PP's - it's not crazy to keep your child as safe as possible! Better safe than sorry, we will probably get the frontier or some other 5 pt harness when my 4 year old DDs outgrow their Marathons.
    Vanessa

  14. My 4. y.o.'s are in Frontiers in my car, and in Decathlons in the car DH usually drives. I want to keep them in 5 pt restraints as long as possible. They like the Frontiers, and I plan to keep them in them until they outgrow them. They can buckle themselves in, and DS can unbuckle himself (and help his sister unbuckle), but they freak out if they are not buckled in when I start the car!

  15. My 6 to dd is in the Frontier. It converts to a booster so why not?

  16. Thanks for the replies everyone! I pretty much have the same opinion about using a harness at this age

    So here is my last question. I have been reading so much about limits on using tethors and anchors on cars. The golden rule seems to be, no anchors or tethers after 40lbs. Research I read shows the actual weight is 65lbs, but you need to include the weight of the car seat, so they are doing the math for us (child, 40lbs + carseat 25lbs).

    Then I read the Britax Frontier is an exceptions to this rule and allows top tether or lower anchors to be used with the harness and as a belt positioning booster. But then it states that you should go by your car's manual as well. I am pretty sure our 2010 Honda Oddesey states that you cannot use the latch/achors over 40lbs? Is this true?

    EDITED TO ADD: After further research, I came across this....Honda's LATCH limit is 40 pounds. That is the weight of the child only. Honda has already accounted for the weight of the seat. Subaru is the only manufacturer whose weight limit doesn't already take into account the weight of the seat. Subaru's limit is 60 pounds combined child and seat.

    So, when Britax raves about how their booster can be latched and tethered, it really isn't possible. Then the Radian is really marketing their super latch....where it can be latched to 85lbs or so pounds. Well if you do further research, they say you MUST go by your cars latch limit. SOOOOO confusing!
    otyack

  17. otyack - have you looked at these seats?

    sunshinekidsbaby.com/?gclid=CIOc5YyS1KECFVZY2god7mPMNQ

    I can't use because our older SUV doesn't have LATCH. We don't have a tether system either.

    And BTW.....my friend has her 8yr old in a Frontier. All her mom friends make fun of her but she doesn't care. She wants her in a 5 pt harness until the very last moment available.

  18. Kristine-
    This is where I am so confused. So, this super latch can be used with my latch system that has a limit of 80lbs. EVERYWHERE i read online says that you go by either your car's manual limit or the car seats limit.....whichever is less.

    otyack

  19. Ok, so you're saying that Honda says their LATCH max is 40lbs and the Sunshine seat people are saying their seat goes to 80lbs using LATCH, right? Which do you go by, your car's guidelines or the seat manufacturer? Ok, I get your dilema now.

    Hmmm. The Honda is the leading mom minivan so you'd think they would have the topdog car seat installation system.

    The Sunshine seats sound like it's LATCH or nothing for their seats. You couldn't use a seatbelt if you wanted to??????

  20. otyack - I would post your questions on car-seat.org They have the expertise to answer you. Let us know what you find out.
    Jennifer

  21. Basically, no one knows.....

    carseatblog.com/?p=4301

    I am just very skeptical of using the latch on DS who is 40ish lbs. Yes, it is so much easier and actually holds the seat much tighter than using the seatbelt, but god forbid the latch not work properly. Sure Sunshine did their testing, but did they test on EVERY single car and latch? I sometimes hate that I am such a skeptical person and need to see SOLID research to believe in a product.

    otyack

  22. My little guy is over 40 lbs and I use the latch and the tethor.

  23. My little guy is over 40 lbs and I use the latch and the tethor.

    So, are you using the latch with the seatbelt? I was thinking we could do that with the Frontier, but didn't know if that got in the way of secruing it properly with the seatbelt?

    otyack

  24. I think you either use LATCH or the seatbelt - not both. Tether is the top anchor strap thingy that goes from the bottom/back of the carseat and over the actual car seat and clicks into some hook attached to the car. So you can use LATCH or the seatbelt with the tether.

  25. I think you either use LATCH or the seatbelt - not both. Tether is the top anchor strap thingy that goes from the bottom/back of the carseat and over the actual car seat and clicks into some hook attached to the car. So you can use LATCH or the seatbelt with the tether.
    Yes, this is exactly how I have them in my car... Although I always wonder why it is not recommended to use Latch and a seatbelt. To me it seems like it will be safer?

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