The Frontier 85 is a very versatile car seat accommodating children from 25 to 85 lbs in forward facing mode and 40-120 lbs. in booster mode. It will fit a child measuring as much as 65 inches (5’5”) in booster mode. This seat is not a rear facing car seat.
Safety is at the forefront of Britax’s car seats and the Frontier 85 brings together all of the maker’s acclaimed safety features such as it’s True Side Impact protection system consisting of deep side walls and head support that distribute crash forces and help keep the head and neck aligned to reduce injury; a HUGS (Harness Ultra Guard System) that helps to reduce forward movement of the head in an accident; Britax’s Versa Tether system comprised of a set of top tethers in addition to the bottom ones usually found in best convertible car seat for under $100 to hold the seat to the vehicle in multiple spots and help reduce forward movement; SecureGuard, an optional clip that holds the safety belt in place at the lap which prevents the child from sliding under the lap belt; and an energy absorbing base that helps to reduce crash forces.
The Frontier 85 also has several convenience features that make it stand out such as fixed armrests and cup holders and an easily removable cover. The seat is easy to install, featuring a push button system. For comfort, the Frontier 85 has a plush cover and comfort foam and padded wings for your child to rest his/her head during sleep.
Here are some of the top features of the Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat:
- Deep side walls and good head support for side impact protection.
- The 10 position harness height can be adjusted with one hand.
- 3 buckle positions can be adjusted for different sized children.
- The head restraint is also adjustable by way of lever.
- How do customers like the Frontier 85?
The Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat had 333 customer reviews at the time of this writing with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars by customers who reviewed the product on Amazon. It was also the #1 best seller in the Car Seats -> Booster category. Most customers reviewing the Frontier 85 gave it 4 or 5 stars. The most compelling review came from a mother who reviewed the Frontier 85 a day after being involved in a roll over crash in her SUV. She said that her 4 year old daughter, who was strapped into the Frontier 85, walked away from the accident without a scratch. The mother also had a 22 month old son in an Evenflo Triumph car seat and he too, thankfully, was not hurt but one of the straps attaching the Evenflo to the car’s anchor ripped off. Luckily the seat did not go bouncing around but the Frontier 85 performed marvelously. She said she will be buying another Frontier 85 immediately.
Main positives of the Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat according to buyers:
- Plenty of space on the crotch strap which is a full 8.5 inches from the back of the car seat.
- Soft, cushiony material for comfort.
- The seat will not budge when using the Versa Tether in conjunction with the LATCH buckles.
- Cup holders are molded into the seat, not like flimsy ones that hang off the side.
- Britax is consistently ranked among the highest in safety tests.
- Excellent head protection system.
- Spring loaded LATCH clip, rather than manual.
Chief customer complaints about the Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Car Seat:
The seat has a net like material on the seat part (on the Rushmore color, not the Onyx, Maui Blue, Cowmooflage or Livia) that could get caught on clothing and tear.
Has one pull strap for both latches, making it more difficult to install, as opposed to the Britax Marathon which has two independent straps. Several customers mentioned they would like the seat to tighten on both sides.
One customer found the seat to be difficult to put back together without instructions after disassembling it for cleaning.
Several customers that had complaints mainly had issues relating to installation in their particular vehicle. Most were small, subcompact cars.
Several customers complained about the straps twisting.
We found a considerable amount of customers stating that this is their second or subsequent Britax car seat and that they have bought Britax seats more than once because of the superb quality, safety and craftsmanship of Britax car seats. This speaks volumes for these seats, as return customers mean that you’re doing something right. In particular, the Frontier 85 is one of the most highly rated seats we reviewed and the praises from satisfied customers is truly impressive. We could not find any reviews that questioned the safety of the Frontier 85. And with safety being the number one reason for buying a child car seat, the Frontier 85 should be on everyone’s short list when comparing seats. Comfort, ease of installation, and convenience features also ensure that the Britax Frontier 85 makes it to the top of the list for best all around performers.
We would caution anyone buying the seat in Rushmore color to note that the seat, in this color, has a netlike material which can get ripped when caught on clothing or buckles. An alternative would be to buy the seat in one of the other colors which do not have the netlike material. We also found that several reviewers complained about the fact that the Frontier 85 tightens to the vehicle on one side and they would prefer it if the seat tightened on both sides.
Every car seat has it’s positives and negatives, and the Britax Frontier 85 is no exception. Because of it’s size, weight and installation which several customers found cumbersome, it is not the ideal car seat for some, but we found an overwhelmingly high number of positive reviews for this unit. At the time of this writing, there were 335 customer reviews on Amazon. Of those, 268 people rated the Frontier 85 five stars and 46 rated it four stars. Getting such a large number of users, each with different needs, different children, different vehicles and different levels of expertise in installing the seat, to agree on such high ratings mean that the Britax Frontier 85 is truly one of the top car seats available today.