So, the Britax Frontier vs Pioneer debate still rages on as driving moms voice their opinions on which is the best Britax brand toddler car seat.
While both are forward-facing harness-2-booster seats for 2-years upwards babies, the view of many moms is that the ClickTight convertible Frontier is the goddamn best as it makes it easy to switch child seats between cars. But is that the only difference? Stick around for the review.
1. Britax Frontier
The Frontier is a nicely padded seat with a steel-integrated frame and a durable energy-absorbing headrest that keeps your toddler relaxed and safe along the ride. Safety and comfort are ensured with the impact-absorbing side pads, multiple recline positions, and a pair of armrests. But that’s not all that makes this convertible toddler car seat the winner.
What moms love about the Frontier apart from the safety features is the adjustable harness position. When shopping for a baby car seat, you need to get something that grows with your child; otherwise, you’re going to be spending money after every growth spurt – and we know babies can really grow fast.
How does the Frontier manage to grow with your child? The harness can be adjusted to nine different positions effortlessly. And though you can only use this seat until your toddler gets taller, the adjustable harness system makes it worth the money.
Another game-changing feature is the convenient ClickTight installation system. Here the nuisances of wrestling with those damn LATCH systems are eliminated for an EZ-buckle belly pad. You just need to open the front of the Frontier, pull the seat belt of your car seat across it, buckle things up then close it.
Where Does the Frontier Excel in?
•The ClickTight installation feature makes it easy to switch seats between cars.
•Safecell impact protection
•Multiple positions recline
•Can take up to 120lbs babies
•EZ-Buckle system keeps the belly pad and buckles forward so the child won’t sit on it.
What the Frontier misses?
•It’s a bit bulky to move around
•The cup holders aren’t big enough for sippy and snack cups
•It’s a bit cumbersome to find the fitting harness for your child with the adjustable harness system.
2. The Britax Pioneer
The Pioneer is also a forward-facing convertible seat suitable for toddlers until they can start using the car’s seat. The Pioneer is similar to the Frontier in many aspects, including the energy-absorbing base, steel frames with integrated layers of protection, cup holders, and multi-position reclining seat.
Where it pales in comparison to the Frontier, however, is the lack of the convenient ClickTight Installation.
Where Does the Pioneer Excel in?
•Soft and thick padded material that’s easy to wipe clean
•Multi-position reclining seat so you can find a comfortable rest position.
•Easy to use LATCH connectors
•Convenient cup holders
What the Pioneer misses?
•Headrest feels a bit flimsy, loose and keeps rattling
•Bulkiness and lack of ClickTight make it cumbersome to switch seats between cars.
•The headrest is a bit too tall
Now that you are familiar with the features of the two convertible toddler car seat models, let’s look at how they compare.
Similarities between the Britax Pioneer vs Frontier
Both the Pioneer and the Frontier are harness-2-booster seats boasting of tons of safety and convenience features that make them suitable for toddlers. In fact, they are almost identical such that:
•Both seats can be converted to a booster seat with the car’s seat belt as soon as the child can no longer be harnessed.
•Both are heavy children car seats
•Both are easy maintenance as they use removable covers, albeit not suitable for machine-washing.
•They are both loaded with safety features such as thick padded material, impact-absorbing headrest, side wings, and a pair of armrests.
•They’ve both been designed by Britax for 2-years and upwards children
•Both are forward-facing only
•Both seats can grow with your child courtesy of the adjustable harness system.
•Comfortability is ensured with the multiple recline position.
What to Keep in Mind When Selecting Between Frontier and Pioneer
1. Design and Color Choices
The thick cushion material, armrest, and impact absorbing base aside, the two models are available in different color choices. For Pioneer, you can choose between 8 color options, while for the Frontier, you can choose between 9 color options.
2. Ability to switch seats between cars
Both the Frontier and the Pioneer have the same width, depth, and height, but the Frontier ClickTight feature makes it easy to switch the seats between cars. The 9-position harness guarantees a secure and comfortable fit.
Did you know that while we depend on car seats to keep our little ones safe, 75 % of car seats are not correctly installed, and car crashes are the number one cause of injuries and even death for babies under six years? Better go with a car seat that is easy to install; the Frontier is easier to install and hence more likely to perform as intended.
3. Child Weight
Britax pioneer is for 2-years and up babies of 25-70 pounds when you use as a toddler forward-facing harness seat. When used as a booster, it can take a 40-110 pounds baby.
The Frontier, on the other hand, is suitable for heavyweights. It’s slightly tougher and quite durable. As a harness seat, it takes 25-90 pounds, and as a booster seat, it can take up to 120-pound toddlers.
4. The best seat that grows with your child
While both the Frontier and Pioneer boast of the 9-position adjustable harness system, the Frontier holds the edge when it comes to the seat that grows with your child. It’s slightly tougher and quite durable as compared to the Pioneer. It’s recommended for physically large toddlers, but you can buy it for any child too if you want a seat, he/she won’t outgrow quickly.
Lastly, keep in mind that all Britax children car seat are suitable for between 6-10 years starting from the manufacturing and not the purchase date