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  1. #1
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    Three Frontier 85s across

    Hi,

    We are currently using 3 Britax Boulevards three across in the middle bench seat of my Armada. They have fit well and we love these seats! We are now planning to move these seats to a grandparent's car and buy new seats for our car. We are looking at the Britax Frontier 85 for all 3. I wanted to see your thoughts on the fit of them 3 across in my car. I am assuming they will fit fine since the Boulevards do but wanted to be sure before I order. I want to make sure the arm rests and cup holders will be usable with them all 3 crammed up against each other! I have heard it may not be the best for petite kids b/c of the size but it looks like it's the highest rated, safety-wise.

    Also, I would love opinions on if this is truly the best seat for my kids. We love Britax and I don't put a price tag on safety so I am not trying to save money. Just want the best seat. I know I want a 5 point harness that can convert to a booster later. My kids are going to be harnessed til junior high the way I feel now! My kids are pretty petite so I want to be sure this seat won't swallow them and they will fit comfortably. We won't be moving the seats around so I'm not very concerned about ease of switching them from car to car.

    Here are my kids' stats -
    Girl - 5 1/2 years old - 38 lbs - 43" tall
    Boy - 5 1/2 years old - 39 lbs - 44" tall
    Boy - 4 years old - 35 lbs - 41" tall

    They all rear faced in the Boulevards until they were almost 3 years old. They are just about the only kids in their classes at school that are not in a backless booster. This is so frustrating to me that so many people choose convenience over safety! I am keeping them harnessed for as long as possible. I would like this seat to last but want it to fit comfortably in my car both for the kids and for ease of use.
    So, given my vehicle type and the sizes and ages of my children, what are your recommendations or thoughts? I would really appreciate any input!

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Kac's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Great job keeping your little ones rear facing so long!

    Frontier85s are beasts in size. I really don't know if they'll fit 3 across.


    The Britax Frontier85 is just as safe as the Evenflo Maestro ($80) and Graco Nautilus ($150). More expensive does not equal safer. All carseats pass the same tests so as long as they are installed correctly and used properly each time, then they are all just as safe. It's more about what fits your car and fits your child properly. There is no "best seat" out there.
    Kacie, CPST.
    Aunt to SIX little loves between the ages of two weeks and seven years!

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  5. #3
    CPS Technician Cryssy Jane's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    I don't have any experience with your car, so hopefully someone will chime in on that, but I agree with PP, the Frontier 85s are a beast. I can't get two next to eachother in my impreza (although yes a smaller car), but that would have to be one big backseat for all three to fit. I'm going to go look for pictures of your backseat and see if that gives a better representation.

    Crystal: CPST, DCP and BFF to:
    Hania: 3 months, rf in a nuna pipa
    Piper: 2 years, 26lbs rf in a monkey clek fllo
    Isabella: 4.5 years, 32lbs rf in a clek foonf
    Rocking out in a 2015 Subaru WRX and a 2006 Toyota Sienna

  6. #4
    Carseat Crazy DaniChildcare's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Yep, another comment about the fact that they are beasts!!!

    I'm 5'0, 110lbs and a full grown adults, and i could ride in this seat! It is seriously about the size of an adult "bucket seat" - not sure you're going to be able to get 3 across!

  7. #5
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    I would like to stick to the ones that are rated highest or as a Best Bet from the IIHS. I am taking them this weekend to test out the fits of seats. But I guess I am just not sure since how they are now is not the size they'll be when they are still in these seats in 2 or 3 years. I know they are beasts of seats, but just don't know if they are too huge. I checked the measurements and if I am reading it right, the Frontier and the Boulevard are both 19" external width and I can fit all 3 Boulevards across just fine. My car, Nissan Armada, is quite the beast of a car itself! We call it the tank! A friend with a Yukon fits a Frontier, Boulevard, and infant seat across hers. But since I'm getting all 3 of the same seat, I just don't know. Hoping someone on here has 3 Frontiers across in an SUV?

    I also forgot to mention that we'd also like these seats to "look" more like big kids seats since they'll have them a while and will still be in boosters when their friends are out of them. That is obviously not the most important thing but if we can get a safe seat that looks like a big kid seat (I think the Frontier does) rather than like a car seat, we'd rather do that and they are less likely to fuss when I insist they stay harnessed. I looked at the Maestro but it looked more like a car seat to me rather than a booster? I haven't seen it in person but just my thought from online research? Nautilus I know is a highly recommended one but I haven't seen it at the top of the ratings for safety?

  8. #6
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Quote Originally Posted by DaniChildcare View Post
    Yep, another comment about the fact that they are beasts!!!

    I'm 5'0, 110lbs and a full grown adults, and i could ride in this seat! It is seriously about the size of an adult "bucket seat" - not sure you're going to be able to get 3 across!
    I laughed about this b/c I though the same thing! I'm 5'2" and 115lbs and given the specs, I can comfortably fit in it myself! Maybe a good thing when the kids aren't in the car and we need an extra seat for an adult? I can just ride in a booster. Kidding!!!

  9. #7
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Just an fyi, but there is no proven safety for older kids in harnesses vs. boosters. If your 5yos are sufficiently mature enough, there is no safety reason to not booster them. It's totally a parental decision.

    If you want harnessed seats that look like boosters, the nautilus fits the bill.
    Mommy to two wild little boys and a little princess!
    DS1 (01/05, 46 1/2", 44 lbs), Boring Gray Turbobooster / Harmony Literider
    DS2 (07/07, 39 1/2", 40lbs), Harvest Complete Air / Booster Training in a Maui Blue PWSG / RSTV
    DD (07/09, 33", 23lbs), rfing Flair MyRide / rfing Scenera

  10. #8
    Carseat Crazy #1babysitter's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Love this seat. It will definitely not swallow your kids because they are big enough. A boy I babysit rides in it and he is 34" and 32 pounds and fits great in it. Not sure if you will be able to do a 3 across. It is pretty wide at the base. You might be able to but it will be hard.

    Highly recommend getting this seat. It makes a great booster too!

  11. #9
    CPS Technician Kac's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Other than the IIHS, what ratings are you looking at?

    Honestly, with your kids' weights, they would have plenty of time in the Graco Nautilus or Evenflo Maestro. I'm only suggesting this because you may need to do two Frontier85s and a Nautilus or Maestro in order to get a three across.

    And like DahliaRW said, harnessing and boostering are equally safe as long as your children can sit properly each time and have a good fit in the booster. (Typically around age 5 or 6).
    Kacie, CPST.
    Aunt to SIX little loves between the ages of two weeks and seven years!

  12. #10
    Carseat Crazy #1babysitter's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Quote Originally Posted by Kac View Post
    Other than the IIHS, what ratings are you looking at?

    Honestly, with your kids' weights, they would have plenty of time in the Graco Nautilus or Evenflo Maestro. I'm only suggesting this because you may need to do two Frontier85s and a Nautilus or Maestro in order to get a three across.
    Agree. You would have a better chance with 2 Frontiers and 1 Nautilus. I would get the Nautilus for your 4 year old since he's the smallest. It converts into a decent booster and he will get to a great age in the 65 pound harness. You could also look at the ProSport.

  13. #11
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Thanks for all the input. I don't feel safe using a seat belt with them. #1 b/c of their size. They aren't 40 lbs yet and they don't grow very fast so I won't booster them at the low end when I have the option to harness them longer. It may not be proven harness is safer than the belt but it's peace of mind for me and I just feel that they are safer when harnessed. #2 they are all 3 wiggle worms and I don't think they'd sit still in seat belts anyway, even if I wanted them to, even the 5 1/2 year olds!

    If I had it to do over again, I'd make sure I got an SUV that had a 40/60 split 3rd row and I'd move one child to the back. Mine doesn't split though and we need the room in the back so everyone has to be across the middle row.

    As for getting different seats, not really an option for us. All 3 are very much into everything being equal and fair and the same. We even have a "car seat calendar" that rotates who sits in which seat each day of the month. Nuts I know, but it has solved much drama in the mornings! I guess with 2 of the same seat and one of the other it would still fit into our rotation calendar but I prefer to have all 3 the same.

    I guess I just feel like the Frontier feels sturdier? Maybe that's b/c it's so big and heavy? I might not have an option to even put 3 Frontiers across but I am thinking since the 3 Boulevards fit I might have a chance. I have had the 3 Boulevards in every configuration and all worked great.

    My only concern with fitting them is where the widest width is and maybe someone can tell me about this -

    The widest part on the Boulevard is up a little from the actual seat of the vehicle so when I put all 3 seats in, that part can kind of cram up against each other and it fits well, and actually secures the seats even more. Now with the Frontier, I think (from photos) the widest point is at the very base by the cupholders (is this correct?) and I wonder if there is any room for them to squish up against each other. Like my professional terminology? Or if they are too hard to push up against each other? Both seats show 19" as the widest external width. Any Frontier owners able to confirm where the widest point is compared to the Boulevard?

    I am going to test all these out this weekend with the kids but that won't really help me know if 3 across will truly fit. I guess I need to take my tape measure!

  14. #12
    CPS Technician christineka's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Quote Originally Posted by Steph230 View Post
    I guess I need to take my tape measure!
    Yeah. The frontier is 19 inches wide. Measure your back seat. If you've got 58 inches, then you can fit them. I wouldn't plan on using these seats as boosters, though. It would be tough to buckle!
    Christine *mom* to

    Dd1 age 17 (seatbelt), Dd2 age 15 (seatbelt), Ds1 age 14 (seatbelt), Dd4 age 12 (Seatbelt), Ds2 age 10 (Probooster), Dd4 age 7 (rstv), and dd5 age 1 (rfing Pria)

  15. #13
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Thanks! I'll measure my seat and see how wide it is. I think it's at least 58" wide. I think it's longer than I am tall and I'm 62" tall.

    I will report back on what fits and doesn't fit in case anyone else needs to know. I can't find much about Frontier 3 across except that an Armada should be able to hold any seat 3 across. I guess we'll see!

    I never realized how many people had questions about doing the 3 across. I have many pics I can post on that thread in the hopes of helping someone. I was a regular visitor of the CPS techs at a hospital here. I always have them check my installs and they helped me to secure my 3 across in each configuration! Paranoid mama!

  16. #14
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    How close to the width of your friend's Yukon middle row seat to your Armada's?. If they are close you *may* be able to do it. I can get 2 regents and a BLVD 3 across in my suburban (and can easily do 3 BLVDs), and I think I could probably get 3 frontiers (I will have to borrow some and try it now ) 3 frontiers will be a tight fit - it is harder to get the same seat 3 across as different seat, as the widest and narrowest parts of the seats are sitting the same places. If you are "puzzling" or "meshing" different seats together you can fit opposite narrow and wide parts for a closer fit. Do you know how to check for an independent installation? The seats should not press together so much they make them seems tighter than they really are.
    Jess, CPST and mom to 6 girls
    W(7/28) is rocking an Aton, S(3) rides in a Nextfit or RXT, O(6) has a Frontier 90, the big girls (9, 11) have Monterey Boosters and incognitos, and the oldest is 15, wears a seat belt and is driving!

  17. #15
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    No, I don't know her width but I just called her and she is measuring hers and I am going to measure mine to see. I know I have more leg room than she does in the second row and my second row seems larger than hers. I know - all 3 the same make things difficult. We may decide otherwise but going to see if the measurements work on this. I was hoping to see a picture of someone who had accomplished this!

    Each seat is independently installed. We check each one separately and my husband gets frustrated b/c I make him re-do each one several times until I am happy with the install. Then I still have the CPS techs check it!They are pressed up together which makes them appear tighter but they are independently tight.

  18. #16
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Quote Originally Posted by Steph230 View Post
    No, I don't know her width but I just called her and she is measuring hers and I am going to measure mine to see. I know I have more leg room than she does in the second row and my second row seems larger than hers. I know - all 3 the same make things difficult. We may decide otherwise but going to see if the measurements work on this. I was hoping to see a picture of someone who had accomplished this!
    Great! Sorry no one could help you yet. I don't know anyone close by me that has a frontiers or I would see what I could do. Our coalition has some, I will try that at our next check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steph230 View Post
    Each seat is independently installed. We check each one separately and my husband gets frustrated b/c I make him re-do each one several times until I am happy with the install. Then I still have the CPS techs check it!They are pressed up together which makes them appear tighter but they are independently tight.
    Wonderful! Good job, We just check because so many people don't.

    Thank you for being a researching and checking for new information parent. Stick around here, that is how I started out
    Jess, CPST and mom to 6 girls
    W(7/28) is rocking an Aton, S(3) rides in a Nextfit or RXT, O(6) has a Frontier 90, the big girls (9, 11) have Monterey Boosters and incognitos, and the oldest is 15, wears a seat belt and is driving!

  19. #17
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    My god that thing IS a beast! Here are the interior measurement specs for the current year Armada:

    Interior (inches)
    Head room (front with moonroof/second/third) 41.0/40.0/35.9
    Leg room (front/second/third) 41.8/41.9/32.2
    Hip room (front/second/third) 61.4/60.8/48.8
    Shoulder room (front/second/third) 65.0/64.7/63.7

    What year is yours? If the specs are the same, it looks like the possibility of getting 3 FRs across is good (assuming they are only 19" across). I believe the widest past of the FR is either at the armrests or at the end of the seat (where the knees bend).

  20. #18
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    Reading some other posts I see you have a 2005. Here are the specs for the 2nd row:

    Second Headroom 40.0 in
    Second Hiproom 60.1 in
    Second Legroom 41.9 in
    Second Shoulderroom 64.5 in

    So it's a shade smaller in the hip (0.7") and shoulder room (0.2") than the current year's model. Whether this minor difference imacts the fit of your desired 3 across is hard to say.

  21. #19
    CPS Technician TXDani's Avatar
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    I *think* they will fit but I haven't tried it. My husband used to have a crew cab Titan which had the same backseat bench that the Armada has and that thing could fit any combo of 3 across.

  22. #20
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    Re: Three Frontier 85s across

    The Armada is a beast. I think its about the same size as an Expedition if not bigger. It also has 3rd row seating so if you cant get all 3 across, you might consider putting one or 2 in the 3rd row.

    I havent tried 3 Frontiers across, but I can get 3 seats across with the Frontier85 in my Nissan Sentra. A friend has an Xterra and got a Radian, Boulevard and Frontier85 3 across with plenty of room.
    It might be tight to do, but I think that you could get 3 Frontier85s across in the Armada.
    ~Lindsey~
    Mommy to K (3/2007) Riding in a Pink Sky Frontier85

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