When it comes to car seats, one of the biggest struggles we face as CSPTs and as parents is installing a car seat correctly. When Britax introduced the Frontier combination car seat, they introduced a revolutionary installation mechanism called ClickTight that makes installing the Frontier about as easy as it gets.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Forward facing weight limit: 25-90 pounds
- Forward facing height limit: 30-58 inches tall
- High back booster weight limit: 40-120 pounds
- High back booster height limit: 45-62 inches tall
- Highest harness position: 20.5 inches
- Highest booster guide position: 23 inches
- Expiration: 9 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 40 pounds
- Two crotch strap positions
- Push button lower anchor connectors
- Click Tight seat belt installation
- No rethread harness
- Recline setting for harnessed mode
- 2014 IIHS Best Bet for 2014 models
- Width at widest point: (child’s shoulders) 22 inches
- Width at the seat pan: (child’s knee area) 20 inches
The Frontier has nine different harness positions: the lowest measures 12.5 inches, and the highest is 20.5 inches. It is the tallest harness height available, not including special needs seats. The seat features a no-rethread harness, which makes adjusting the harness heights for multiple children a breeze. The harness adjusts from the top of the restraint; this is a nice improvement over the Frontier 85, which required the seat to be uninstalled to adjust the harness height.
There are two different crotch buckle positions and switching the buckle positions is so easy that it can be done without uninstalling the seat. There is no removing the buckle, simply slide it from one slot to another.
Another benefit to this buckle is the EZBuckle: it flips the crotch buckle forward when not in use, which means no more digging under bums to find buckles!
The moment of truth! Is installing the Britax Frontier really that easy? Without hesitation, I can say that yes, it really IS that easy. I was able to get a solid, correct installation without fighting, sweating, and wrangling.
Installing with ClickTight: Vehicle Seat Belt Install is Recommended!
To install, pinch the two clamps inside the cover of the seat to release the ClickTight panel. Once the panel is open, thread the vehicle seat belt through the belt path. The belt path is marked by the green arrows on the outside of the seat’s shell.
Next, fasten the seat belt and shut the ClickTight compartment. The top tether is a crucial part of your child’s car seat, we highly recommend using it for all forward facing installations. The Britax Frontier requires use of a tether anchor when used in harness mode for a child weighing more than 65 pounds. For our friends in Canada, tether use is required on any forward facing harnessed seat.
Video! It’s That Easy!
For your viewing pleasure, I made a video. By the time I made the video, I had installed the seat in about 7 or 8 vehicles, but it was just as easy the first time I did it.
Installation with Lower Anchors
Though the vehicle seat belt is the preferred installation method, the Frontier can also be installed using the premium lower anchors. The process is quite similar to installing the Frontier with the vehicle seat belt. Since the Frontier’s lower anchors have a 40 pound weight limit for the child, a lower anchor installation may be short-lived. When the child reaches 40 pounds, a vehicle seat belt installation is required.
The lower anchors come neatly bundled inside of the ClickTight compartment. To do a lower anchor installation simply attach the lower anchors and close the ClickTight. Once again, you have a rock solid installation with no hassle.
When the lower anchors are not in use, they stow neatly inside of the of the ClickTight compartment. Over time, they do tend to slip around a bit and can get in the way of installing the Frontier using the vehicle seat belt. If the ClickTight panel isn’t closing easily, make sure the lower anchor connectors are tucked out of the way.
Fit to Child
3 Years Old
This model is 3.5 years old, weighs 34 pounds, and is 39.5 inches tall. Her opinion of the seat can be seen in her smile. In words, she calls it comfy and soft. Sleeping in the seat has also proved to be comfortable, and we have not seen any head slump.
8 Years Old
This model is 8 years old, weighs 90 pounds and is 49 inches tall. He’s right at the harnessed weight limit of the seat but he still fits into the harness well and comfortably.
Converting from Harness to Booster Mode
One of the challenges on most combination harness and booster seats is the need to uninstall the seat to remove the harness straps to switch it to booster mode.
The Frontier’s harness remains attached to the seat so there are no parts to lose when making this switch! The crotch buckle folds down, and the bottom cover fastens over top of it.
To release the harness there is no re-threading through small slots. Open the ClickTight compartment, and on each side there are holders for the harness.
Slide the harness off of each side, and close the compartment. Then roll up the straps, and tuck them under the sides of the seat.
Lower Anchors in Booster Mode
Lower anchors can be used to secure the seat in booster mode. This prevents the booster seat from becoming a projectile in the event of a crash.
Fit to Child
6 Years Old
Here we see a 6 year old model. She weighs 45 pounds, and is 48 inches tall. The vehicle seat belt sits low on her lap, and correctly on the shoulder.
Note: the recline mode cannot be used while in booster mode.
8 Years Old
Here, our 8-year-old model displays the fit in booster mode. He’s 8 years old, 90 pounds and 49 inches tall.
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA Approval: The Frontier and Pinnacle 90 are FAA approved for use on an airplane. To install on an airplane, leave the ClickTight panel closed and run the airplane lap belt over top of the ClickTight compartment. As a service to you, our fabulous reader, we travelled with a Frontier and wrote about the experience.
Date of Manufacture: The date of manufacture label is found on the outside of the seat’s shell, just behind the child’s left shoulder.
Manual Storage: The manual stores in a handy pouch on the seat’s cover, just behind the child’s back.
Blast From the Past: Frontier 85 vs Frontier
Frontier 85 combination car seats are now few and far between. But we’ll offer a quick comparison for the few that remain.
The Frontier 85 offered a rock solid installation via the long belt path. But that installation method was a challenge to master. The Frontier offers that same rock solid installation via ClickTight and almost no sweating is required.
The Frontier 85 had a recline block on the bottom of the seat that had to be forward for harness mode, and backwards for booster mode.
To access the Frontier 85’s full height in booster mode, a screw needed to be removed from the back of the headrest. The Frontier simply extends to its full height by squeezing the handle on the headrest.
The Frontier 85 had three crotch buckle slots while the Frontier only has two. But the distances seem to be a happy medium of the three buckle slots.
The Frontier 85 has a top harness height of 20 inches. The Frontier’s top harness slot is 20.5 inches.
- Click Tight makes it extremely simple to install using the seat belt Seat belt installation is recommended with this seat.
- Highest harness height capacity available
- No rethread harness
- EZ buckle holds the buckle forward when buckling/unbuckling
- Push button lower anchor connectors
- Easy remove harness
- Can use LATCH in booster mode
- Seat is very large and heavy
- High price
Britax hit the nail on the head with the Frontier! It’s a long-lasting combination seat that is easy to install. It also turns into a long-lasting booster that provides a great vehicle seat belt fit. This seat is impressive not only to CPSTs, but also to caregivers.
Over the years, we’ve had an embarassingly large number of car seats in our family. In all those years, and through all of those seats, the only one that my wife felt truly confident about installing was our Frontier. There is no higher compliment than that!
The Britax Frontier Booster Car Seat is available on Amazon.com.
A huge thank you to Britax for providing this seat for us to review. No other form of compensation was received and all opinions are our own.