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When the time comes to pick out the right car seat for your toddler to get them through the remaining years of needing a car seat period, it can be a daunting task.
If cost is your primary concern, then it probably won’t be hard to choose between the two, as they definitely aren’t in the same cost bracket, but as all parents can attest to, there is a lot more that goes into choosing the right car seat than price alone.
In this case, you’re going to need to look at both the Britax Pioneer and Frontier’s most essential features, like safety, longevity, and comfort for your growing toddler. There’s also the matter of installation, which can make or break your decision with a solid car seat.
If the installation is too difficult to understand or deal with each time you put the car seat in your car, it can sometimes be a deal breaker, so figuring out where both car seats stand where that is concerned in also so important here.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours and yours alone, but before you go out and buy one of these, it’s important to look at the Britax Pioneer vs. Frontier Car Seat from every which way to try and make the right decision first.
Britax Pioneer Car Seat
The Britax Pioneer Car Seat is one of those super convenient car seats that will take your toddler from the days of using a harness to being able to use your car’s own seat belt once they can transition to booster seat.
It may not be the kind that’s suitable for children from the infant stage all the way through the duration of their need for a car seat at all, but it will give you years of use and make it possible not to need any other car seat once your child is ready to start using it.
And really, it will feel like no time at all before your child is ready for it, since the Pioneer can be used for toddlers from 25-110 pounds.
As far as safety goes, there are two layers of protection built into the car seat’s frame, which is made of steel and also includes an impact-absorbing base to do its best to keep your toddler safe in the event of a crash.
And since installing car seats can be where the biggest headache is for some parents, you can simply use the LATCH system to keep it in place and eventually, your child will graduate to being able to use the seat as a booster with a seatbelt.
- Child Weight Capacity: As a forward-facing harness car seat, your child should be 25-70 pounds and when used as in booster mode, the weight limit is 40-110 pounds.
- Safety: There’s an easy to adjust nine position harness for your child’s comfort and safety and the car seat itself has multiple layers of protection built-in to keep your toddler safe at all times. There’s also a V-shaped tether used to help reduce abrupt forward movements.
- Installation: There are lower LATCH connectors on the Pioneer, which help make using the LATCH system easier than ever.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Walmart.
- The material is soft and has a decent cushion to it, but it can also be wiped clean for the most part, which is convenient for spills and crumbs.
- There are multiple recline positions to keep your child in the right position and also give them the most comfort possible.
- It’s relatively easy to use the LATCH system, which has a small storage spot as well.
- There are two convenient cupholders on either side of the car seat which can make long car trips a little bit easier on everyone.
- In some cars, the highest point of the headrest might be almost too tall for the driver to see above it.
- The headrest itself an sometimes feel sort of flimsy or almost loose and therefore rattles around a bit.
- For some parents, it might be a bit on the heavy side, so if you’re using the car seat for multiple cars and have to move it often, it can be a chore.
“The Britax Pioneer Booster Car Seat has been a true godsend. We just upgraded to the booster size seat and let me tell; this is the first time our 3-year-old has not complained about his back hurting from riding in a car seat.” – Todd R. on Amazon.
“We bought two of these at the same time for our two and three-year-old, and they are beautiful. Not only are they the safest rated seats, but they are also fashionable… It was a big decision to buy these because of the price compared to other seats.” – Eliot Simcoe on Amazon.
“My four-year-old and five-year-old both use these seats, and both are still in harness mode with PLENTY of room to go before they switch to booster. I love how low-profile the seats are since I drive an SUV with 2nd-row captain’s seats and have a nine-year-old who has to bypass the seats to get to the 3rd row. I recommend this seat to anyone who is moving up from an infant seat!” – K. Hoskins on Amazon.
Britax Frontier Car Seat
As to be expected, you’re going to see some similarities between the design of the Pioneer and the Britax Frontier Car Seat.
Like the Pioneer, the Frontier also has a steel-integrated frame and two layers of side impact protection, along with a durable energy-absorbing headrest meant to keep your child further safe and give you peace of mind. Your child can also enjoy multiple different recline positions to get the most comfort possible, while also being in the safest position available.
For your own convenience, you can use its unique ClickTight Installation System, which means that you open the front of the car seat, thread your car’s seat belt across it, buckle it, and close the seat. This means you won’t necessarily have to wrestle with the LATCH system, which can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth and challenging to work with, especially when you need to uninstall your car seat.
With nine different harness positions, the Britax Frontier easily grows along with your toddler and adjusting the harness is made to be as easy as possible. Even though you won’t be able to use it from infancy and onward, the car seat will offer plenty of use to help you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth when it’s all said and done.
- Child Weight Capacity: When the Frontier is used as a harness seat for toddlers, they should be 25-90 pounds and with the belt-positioning booster, seat, they should be 40-120 pounds.
- Safety: It has a slow forward moving tether attached to the back of it as well as an energy-absorbing base and thick layers of protection built into the frame of the car seat itself.
- Installation: With the ClickTight Installation System, you lift up part of the seat in the front, thread the seatbelt in it, and close it after buckling the seat belt in your backseat.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on Amazon and on the manufacturer’s website or in-store at Walmart.
- The ClightTight installation makes putting the car seat in pretty much any car a breeze, and it’s hard to get over the benefits it provides.
- It can be used up to 120 pounds, whereas the Britax Pioneer is suitable for children up to 110 pounds.
- Even without a LATCH system in your car, you can get a secure and safe installation each time.
- With all of the different safety measures in place in the design and production of the car seat, it’s hard not to love all that it offers regarding security.
- Although it’s sturdy, the Frontier is also quite heavy to move around.
- The two cup holders are convenient, but they aren’t all that big and may not even fit your child’s sippy cup or snack cup.
- It can be a hassle to adjust the straps to get just the right fit for your child.
“The click tight click system is fantastic! This is the first time I have ever been able to install a car seat securely! My son is five years old, 42″ and 41 lbs and this seat just fits him better than the last seat we had… that one claimed it would fit a child up to 65lbs (yeah, right!) My son adores this new seat, especially the padded crotch and the pads on the shoulders.” – Jenine Handley on Amazon.
“I am very happy with this seat! I purchased this for my skinny six-year-old because it has the highest height limits in a five-point harness seat that I could find, and he was nearing the 5-point limits of his previous seat. My son fits in it very well and is super comfortable, but I would assume a heftier child would not be near as happy in this seat… The install is amazingly easy and super secure – it won’t budge at all in any direction.” – Vanessa Bender on Amazon.
“I’ve owned a ton of car seats… I have six boys… This one is by far the best, most user-friendly car seat. I’ve owned other cheap and expensive corsets and this buy tops them all. I ended up buying a second one immediately for my husband’s car. This is the easiest car seat to install. It literally takes less than 2 minutes to install. When your kiddo is ready for forward facing, this is the one to go to, no doubt. Do not hesitate.” – Shelly Harlow on Amazon.
Whenever you compare two strikingly similar products in the same brand, it can get confusing. While one car seat might have features that seem perfect for your needs, you could then find that the other car seat also shares those features, much like with the Britax Pioneer vs. Frontier Car Seats.
But after looking at both items closely, the stronger option is going to be the Britax Frontier. Of course, the Britax Pioneer offers plenty for your child and is a fine choice on its own, but when compared to the Pioneer, the Frontier is the superior option.
This is thanks in part to easy installation and belt positioning, longevity, and overall safety, so you can be sure that you’re getting exactly what you need for your toddler and, eventually, your small child.
Unlike comparing two vastly different car seats, or at least two from opposing brands, the Pioneer and Frontier are both quite similar in design and what they offer. You honestly can’t go wrong with either, but since this is your child we’re talking about here and their safety is involved, it’s always important to make an educated decision.
If in the end, the Frontier doesn’t seem to work for you, there’s always the option of exchanging it for the other model, but it really does offer the best value for all that you get.
This is especially true since it’s the last car seat your child will need before they graduate to sitting in the back seat with no booster at all. At first glance, these may seem like almost the exact same car seat, but they do have some stark differences that make them their own and set them apart from the others in the Britax brand family.
And because of the fact that your child can use it up to 120 pounds and the safety it offers, among other reasons, the Britax Frontier is your best option here.