Frontier 85 vs. Graco Nautilus - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-17-2012, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have three kids, ages 7.5, 5, and 2.75.  In our Sienna, they're in a Parkway SGL booster, a Frontier, and a rf Boulevard. 

 

We need a seat for dh's car, a Honda Fit.  Our youngest ds's Boulevard will expire in 1.5 years, so I want a seat he can use as a 5 pt harness and then a booster.  For the next 1.5 years, till he needs it, dd and ds1 will use it in dh's car. 

 

I still want ds1 (the 5yo) in a 5pt harness, so we'd install it that way.  Could dd use the seat as a 5 pt harness at her height?  She's around 51-52 inches tall.  Also, would a Frontier 85 be really tricky to raise and lower the headrest when it's installed?  In our original Frontier we'd have to unbuckle it to raise it from the back.  Is a Nautilus easier to raise and lower the headrest?

 

Also, I know there are LATCH weight limits for each make of car.  Can someone post a link to a page that lists how high the limits are for Hondas and Toyotas?  DS1 is 41 lbs, so I installed his Frontier with the seatbelt because I thought I remembered a weight limit of 40 lbs for Toyotas.

 

Finally, is the seatbelt installation easier with a Frontier 85 than it is with the original Frontier?  The long belt path is a pain in the neck.

 

Oh, one more thing, I couldn't find anything on the Britax website about how many years the Frontier 85 has till it expires.  Also, if anyone knows how many years we could use a Nautilus, that would be great to know.

 

Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 6 Old 01-17-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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In order to use a combination seat between two kids, (and for a 52" child I'd suggest the Frontier 85 and nothing else) you'd need to uninstall it every time you switched it between kids.      

 

The Fit is a really small car.  Rather than getting a Frontier for it, how about the Radian for the 5 year old, and a Bubblebum booster for the 7 year old?  

 

Hondas lower anchor limits are 40 lbs.  Toyota defers to the restraint manufacturer, so in both cases, the Frontier 85 would be installed with seatbelt in either car.  Remember though, always use your top tether!


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#3 of 6 Old 01-17-2012, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your advice, Maedze.  Uninstalling the Frontier every time we switched between kids sounds like a huge hassle.  We'd have to do it a few times a week.  Maybe we can just use the Frontier as a booster for both kids when they're in dh's car.  It's not ideal for our 5yo, but it's too hard to switch back and forth between kids any other way.  I don't want to buy another carseat and booster.  I'd prefer a combination seat because it can be used for longer than the Radian .

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#4 of 6 Old 01-18-2012, 04:30 AM
 
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Are the kids ever going to be all three in the car simultaneously?  Cause you're not going to get a Frontier in the Fit and two other car seats!   Otherwise, yes, it's possible to buy the Frontier and use it in booster mode until your youngest needs it.   It's just that it's a HUGE seat.  If you ever want all three kids in that car, it would make a lot more sense to go for something smaller. 

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Originally Posted by riversong View Post

Thanks for your advice, Maedze.  Uninstalling the Frontier every time we switched between kids sounds like a huge hassle.  We'd have to do it a few times a week.  Maybe we can just use the Frontier as a booster for both kids when they're in dh's car.  It's not ideal for our 5yo, but it's too hard to switch back and forth between kids any other way.  I don't want to buy another carseat and booster.  I'd prefer a combination seat because it can be used for longer than the Radian .



 


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#5 of 6 Old 01-18-2012, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No, they'll never all be in the Fit at the same time unless the Sienna breaks down.  wink1.gif  I use the Fit to take ds1 to school by himself or dd to ballet by herself or sometimes I have two kids in it on the weekend.  When they're older and don't all need to be in car seats and boosters, they can all ride in the Fit together.

 

 

 

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#6 of 6 Old 01-18-2012, 10:20 AM
 
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We have the Frontier 85 and while I like it as a seat, it is a total PITA to install. We have to use the long path and I absolutely cannot install it without help. I will say that we get a solid fit- it doesn't move at all- so I at least feel good about that. And yes, you do have to raise the headrest from the back, also a pain. I *think* it has a 6 year life as a harness and 9 year as a booster. Don't quote me on that, but I think that's correct. My manual is in the car so I can't check right now. Also, as to the size of it, we have a Toyota Yaris sedan, which I would be willing to bet is not any bigger than your Honda Fit. It fits perfectly fine in our car, but realistically we can only fit one other person in the back seat, just FYI. 

 

I don't really know much about the Nautilus, but it seems like people really love that seat, too. I can't remember what made us choose the Frontier instead- maybe made in USA vs made in China? Anyway, it seems like either seat would work for you. Good luck figuring it all out. Car seat stuff makes my head spin!

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