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  1. #1
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    Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    Hi! I'm in a dilemma and I need your help figuring it out, please!
    I have a 4.5yo presently in a Britax Marathon (we really have to get her out of this seat!) and a 7.75yo in a Britax Frontier.
    I was just about to buy a second Britax Frontier for my youngest daughter, thinking that I need my oldest one to stay in her own seat. I like that she's safe, still using the harness. I wasn't sure at what age we would switch from the harness to the car seat belt, but I thought it wasn't the time now.
    However, I've been reading a bit here on the forums and saw that many of you put their children as young as 5 or 6yo in a booster seat. So now, I'm wondering... Should I put my daughter in booster, or high back booster, using the car seat belt, and use the Frontier for my youngest one? I would save $400 on a new Frontier, and a booster is so much cheaper to buy.
    However, I think about how my daughter is able to attach her harness herself, and how it will be more difficult for her to attach the car seat belt; and how we'll be going on 2-hour, 5-hour, 7-hour drives this Summer to go camping, and both my daughters will surely fall asleep and slouch in their seat...
    So... what would you suggest?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    I maybe should have mentioned that my 4.5yo is 3'5", 38lbs; and my 7.75yo is 4'2", 64lbs.

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member melniemi's Avatar
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    I would get a high back booster for your oldest and pass down the frontier. My favorite is the Recaro Performance Booster but there are many good ones out there.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    At almost 8 and 60+ pounds I agree, I'd get her a booster. Since she's not too tall for a high back booster and she's likely to fall asleep, I'd definitely get a high back booster.

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  8. #5
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
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    Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid ...

    Buckling a seatbelt is not necessarily harder than buckling a harness. My first daughter had no problem right away in her Monterey at 6 years old. My second daughter is now in a Parkway (at 6) and can also buckle fairly easily. With her Frontier she needed help if she was wearing extra layers for cold weather. Now when she rides in the Harmony Dreamtime in DH's car she needs more help as the armrests are so long and low that it is more difficult to thread the belt.

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

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  10. #6
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    Most of my kids moved into boosters at age 7. Unless the child had behavioral or medical issues that made it difficult for him to sit in a booster properly, I wouldn't buy a new seat just to keep him harnessed, though if he still fit the seat and didn't need it for another child, I wouldn't stop using it, either. Neither decision is "wrong."

    He should definitely remain in a booster until he fits in the seatbelt without one. That's usually around age 11-12 or 4'11".
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  12. #7
    Carseat Crazy seb3244's Avatar
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    My niece will be 8 in September and she is close to your daughters size. She rides in a Graco turbo high back booster when my sister and nieces are riding in my vehicle. Her mom watches her like a hawk to stay seated properly. We don't have any more top tethers in my 2003 suburban or she would still be in a 5 point harness in my vehicle. In her moms car she is still harnessed in a Graco nautilus. This way her mom doesn't have to be on her constantly.

    I say if she still fits let her stay in the harness. But that's just me. Boostering is still very safe
    Blessed Mama to
    DD1 T 29 months RF - Britax Advocate
    DD2 J 6 months RF - Britax B Safe

  13. #8
    Senior Community Member happiness-and-balance's Avatar
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    If you want to buy another Frontier, by all means. But your daughter is totally safe in a booster seat as well. She will eventually have to ride in one anyway so unless there was behavioral/neurological reasons to keep her harnessed, I'd focus on getting her a well-fitting booster seat and pass the Frontier down. You're not doing her any disservice by putting her in a booster, don't worry
    -Angela

  14. #9
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    Recaro Performance, Britax Parkway? Which would you recommend?

  15. #10
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    Well, the Recaro doesn't seem to be available anywhere in Quebec, so I'll stick with the Parkway.

  16. #11
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    My 8 YO was in a Frontier but was not good about getting it tight enough...and the button to push was so far back I'd help but still it was not easy.

    Now in a booster, the belt is a good fit each time, and I feel he's better off.
    Seatbelt and 59" (9 YO)
    Harmony Youth (8 YO)/Clek Olli (6YO)
    Harmony Dreamtime (5 YO)
    Clek Fllo (3 YO, RF)/Graco 40 (15 months)
    + 2 Recaro Performance boosters in spare car

  17. #12
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    I would buy a low back.

  18. #13
    Senior Community Member thepote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigi View Post
    I would buy a low back.
    There's sort of a learning curve to boosters, especially with sleeping, though, so while a no back booster is a fine choice for 8yo's who are used to boosters, I'm getting the sense that in this particular case both mom and kiddo would be more comfortable with a hbb first.

  19. #14
    Senior Community Member aeormsby's Avatar
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    We have both the Recaro & Britax boosters. If the Recaro isn't available that makes the decision easier. With an 8yo I would also probably lean toward the Britax because it converts to a NBB and the Recaro doesn't. I can't imagine an 8yo staying in the highback for more than a year or so (full time).

    Both of my kids moved to boosters full time at age 6. Both have had no problem sleeping in their HBB's (we take long road trips also). My 9yo has a HBB still in our truck because of the lack headrests in the vehicle. I also asked her if we should put the back on her Parkway for our trip in a couple of weeks and she said yes, that makes it easier for her to relax and sleep.
    Ann

    DD - 1/06 - 5-stepping
    DS - 12/07 - Incognito, Recaro Performance Booster & Harmony Literiders
    And a Bubble Bum for backup/travel

  20. #15
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    Definitely a dedicated high back booster, with a long 6-9 yea warranty so it can eventually be passed on to the younger child in the far future. A high back booster like the Britax Parkway SGL with the SecureClip (crotch strap that clips onto the lap belt to prevent slouching) is best, plus it converts into a backless booster that continues to use LATCH. Or if you don't have LATCH you could get the Parkway SG. If your child is shorter in the torso a Graco Affix or Graco Turbo HBB is also a great choice, the Affix is a turbo with LATCH, and becomes a backless with LATCH. Those would be my two choices, Parkway or Turbo, with or without LATCH.

  21. #16
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    The problems with a high back are that they are often too short for an 8 year old and they are complicated to work with certain vehicles (sometimes they have a gap with vehicle seat, sometimes the shoulder belt gets stuck on it, sometimes they are wide and the door shoves it over when closed, sometimes you can't put up the booster headrest any more because it bumps the vehicle ceiling). If you get one, look at the Parkway SGL, it is very tall and fits my 8 year old fine. However, it is incompatible with one of my vehicles and cannot be raised any more in the other because it is hitting the ceiling (hoping my son fits the shoulder belt in this vehicle before he outgrows the Parkway at the current setting - he has long outgrown the HBTB and many other high backs on the market).

    There is no consensus of evidence that high backs are safer, some evidence has shown they are less safe, especially for bigger kids. So my advice is to get a booster that fits well with your vehicle and your kid can use properly every time.

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  23. #17
    Senior Community Member thepote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigi View Post
    There is no consensus of evidence that high backs are safer, some evidence has shown they are less safe, especially for bigger kids. So my advice is to get a booster that fits well with your vehicle and your kid can use properly every time.
    Thanks for typing all that out. I understand where you're coming from better now.

    I haven't heard that older kids are less safe in a hbb. Can you point me to a link or some discussion on it?

  24. #18
    CPS Fanatic Kel's Avatar
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    My DD is 8. She has the previous generation parkway. She uses it with the back on for longer trips, and back off on regular days. She prefers the PW in low back over her turbo in low back. It's mor cushie. I also find the back easy to take on and off. So I think it's worth it to get a high back that easily turns into a low back. Just food for thought..
    Kelley- mom of seven!

  25. #19
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    Re: Should I stop using the Britax Frontier harness for my almost 8 yo and avoid buying a second Frontier?

    Quote Originally Posted by thepote View Post
    Thanks for typing all that out. I understand where you're coming from better now.

    I haven't heard that older kids are less safe in a hbb. Can you point me to a link or some discussion on it?
    http://carseatblog.com/8243/to-backl...-the-question/

    Here is a breakdown on the overall safety of both (both very safe for this size kid). I am sure I read of a study, maybe European, that discussed backless being safer for big kids. Maybe I am wrong, I don't claim to be an authority on the subject. I am not getting into a debate, as I really don't care, but wanted to clarify for the OP that a high back isn't necessarily safer at this age and size and that if the high back doesn't fit the car properly (flush against vehicle seat, vehicle belt moves and retracts smoothly through guide, head rest too low because it hits the vehicle ceiling) it can be less safe.

    Also, I personally feel my kid is safer sitting back against the vehicle seat that artificially pushed forward by a booster back (head impacts).

    Booster fit is much more complicated IMO that 5 point fit.

  26. #20
    Senior Community Member thepote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigi View Post
    http://carseatblog.com/8243/to-backl...-the-question/ Here is a breakdown on the overall safety of both (both very safe for this size kid). I am sure I read of a study, maybe European, that discussed backless being safer for big kids. Maybe I am wrong, I don't claim to be an authority on the subject. I am not getting into a debate, as I really don't care, but wanted to clarify for the OP that a high back isn't necessarily safer at this age and size and that if the high back doesn't fit the car properly (flush against vehicle seat, vehicle belt moves and retracts smoothly through guide, head rest too low because it hits the vehicle ceiling) it can be less safe. Also, I personally feel my kid is safer sitting back against the vehicle seat that artificially pushed forward by a booster back (head impacts). Booster fit is much more complicated IMO that 5 point fit.
    Ok, thanks. I agree with you... my bigger kids (9 and 11) fit much better in a nbb, plus I've never been keen on having all that weight behind them.

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