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  1. #1
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    extended harness for older kids. shoulder width question & pioneer 70 question

    I'm shopping for a new seat for my oldest before our 3rd child is born. I was attracted to the britax pioneer 70 because of the low price & long expiration. I took my very petite newly 5 year old to sit in it last night & it looked Luke the shoulders were very narrow. Am I missing something? It seems Luke there's no way a kid could fit their shoulders into this seat at 70 lbs, let alone 110!
    Which harnesses actually accommodate an older kid's shoulders?

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  3. #2
    Car-Seat.Org Ambassador bree's Avatar
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    Re: extended harness for older kids. shoulder width question & pioneer 70 question

    Hello and welcome! Most kids outgrow forward-facing harnessed seats when their shoulders go over the top harness slot position and that is typically well before the weight limit for seats with higher weight limits. So most kids will outgrow the Pioneer in harnessed mode by shoulder height before they are 70 pounds.

    I'm not sure how exactly the Pioneer compares to the Frontier 90 (which is the seat it is based on), but in my experience, the older model Frontiers fit a wide variety of sizes of kids. I hope someone with more info will have some answers for you, soon.
    DD (9 years old) & DS (6.5 years old)

  4. #3
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    Re: extended harness for older kids. shoulder width question & pioneer 70 question

    The weight limits are very misleading. It is GREAT to know a seat will stand up to X amount of force in a crash, but realistically most kids are never going to hit the weight limits of a forward facing seat. My oldest is hovering at maybe 78 pounds and I can't even fathom stuffing him in my girls' Frontier 85s. I tried him in it for fit maybe a year ago and he looked miserable. He's tall and thin so not overweight in any way.

    I haven't really played much with the pioneer 70 but IME kids do start to get a little squished in their seats as they get taller. They have to make the narrow enough that the smallest kids aren't swimming and also so it's not taking up so much room in your car.

    I'm not really up on which combination seats are the best for big kid shoulders but just wanted to say not to have too much faith in actually harnessing a kid to the limits of the seat. I suspect a kid short enough to fit but heavy enough to approach the weight limits would be super squished.

    FWIW my girls still fit nicely in their 85s, I will probably move them to boosters in about 6 months when they are 6.

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Ninetales's Avatar
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    My kids are built like linebackers. My 47 lb, 42 inch 3 year old is probably the size of an average five year old. She fits comfortably in her Frontier.

  6. #5
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    Re: extended harness for older kids. shoulder width question & pioneer 70 question

    So if he's 5 years 34 lb, 41 inches tall is it probably more economic/ realistic to just start looking at high back boosters or a less expensive one like the evenflo secure kid? I'm not sure when it's best to start using a high back booster... he'll be 5years 4 months when he gets his new seat. He does have a 2 year 8 month old sister who will be nearly 3 when her triumph expires so I can possibly pass the seat down her except she is nearly as big as him so it's possible she'd outgrow it before he would.

  7. #6
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    We have a Frontier. My 6 yr old (45" and 43 lbs) uses it. It is very large, sturdy and seems like it should fit her a while longer. Will you be needing to fit 3 kids across in the back seat? If so, I highly recommend getting your son a harnessed seat - it's so difficult to buckle in a booster that's right next to a car seat! Your son is so light, I wouldn't like the idea of him being in a booster full-time until he reaches 40 lbs. so, I'd be looking first for a harnessed seat for him. I'm not sure if a Frontier is the best choice for 3 across, though (I'm going to have to cross that bridge soon as well, as we're expecting a third in April) - it's really pretty wide. I do love it as a harnessed, seat though!

    My 6 yr old does use a Graco Turbobooster w/ Safety surround in our second vehicle. It's narrow, so I would also be surprised if larger kids would feel comfortable in it. It does seem nice and cozy for a smaller kid, though. I think Target has them on sale for $59 this week.

    I've gotten slightly lost here. What kind of seat is your son in now? Is his seat expiring, is he outgrowing it, or do you just want to pass it on to the new baby (or to your 2 year old)? And your 2 year old daughter's seat is expiring before the end of the year as well?

  8. #7
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    Re: extended harness for older kids. shoulder width question & pioneer 70 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    So if he's 5 years 34 lb, 41 inches tall is it probably more economic/ realistic to just start looking at high back boosters or a less expensive one like the evenflo secure kid? I'm not sure when it's best to start using a high back booster... he'll be 5years 4 months when he gets his new seat. He does have a 2 year 8 month old sister who will be nearly 3 when her triumph expires so I can possibly pass the seat down her except she is nearly as big as him so it's possible she'd outgrow it before he would.

    Actually I think your plan is great. Pioneer or frontier for your oldest for now, and re-evaluate things once your middle's Triumph expires.

    Go see how much seated room your oldest has in a Pioneer (ie: how much space he has between his shoulders and the harness slots when the harness is raised as high as it will go) and make your decision based on that. Taller top slots = longer harnessing potential.

  9. #8
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    Re: extended harness for older kids. shoulder width question & pioneer 70 question

    My son is in a britax advocate 70cs right now. I'm going to get the infant insert & pass the advocate to the baby. My daughter is rfing in an evenflo triumph which will expire Dec 2014.
    I have an '03 sienna so space isn't much of an issue. It's best to put baby in the very back center seat right? & the older 2 in captains chairs?
    So I'm thinking get a pioneer or frontier before baby is born. Pass frontier or pioneer to my daughter who will be nearly 4 when her triumph expires and get a securekid or similar seat for my son who will be 6.

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