Britax Frontier 85 in a Buick Enclave?

Alabamamom

New member
I am considering purchasing a Britax Frontier 85 and have several questions:
1) My daughter is about 48 pounds and the primary vehicle this seat will be used in is a 2011 Buick Enclave. My understanding is that the Latch limit on the Buick is 48 pounds so I will have to install the seat using a lap belt. Does anyone know the weight limit for the tether? Can I install using the lap belt and use the tether?
2) I understand when using the harness when she reaches 65 pounds you must use the tether. What if my car has a weight limit on the tether of 48 pounds? At this weight she will most likely WANT to convert the seat to a booster but I assume I will HAVE to convert at this point if I can't use the tether.
3) I chose the Frontier 85 over the SICT as my vehicle has side passenger airbags in the rear seat and opted to go with the less bulky version however I do see that the SICT does not require tethering. Is this a reason to go with the SICT? Wouldn't it always be better to tether??? but not if my car doesn't allow??
4) Anyone have experience installing either seat in a Buick Enclave?
We currently have a Boulevard and have been very happy with it! My daughter wants a "big girl seat" but I want to keep her in a 5 point harness a little longer so I thought this seat was a good compromise! I never thought it would be so difficult to figure! Help!
 

EmmaCPST

CPST Instructor
The consensus among technicians is that the benefits of using a tether above the lower anchor weight limits (which you are correct, are 48 pounds in your vehicle) far, FAR exceeds any potential risk if the tether were to fail. And even if the tether anchor didn't hold properly, it would still substantially limit head excursion.

Correct that the SICT doesn't require the tether over 65 pounds like the regular Frontier does, but by 65 pounds most kids are WELL, well mature enough for booster riding (a 50th percentile 10 year old weighs 65 pounds) so it's not something that I would stress too much about. And especially in a newer vehicle, I probably wouldn't spend the extra cash on the SICT.

I haven't done a Frontier in your exact vehicle, but in general the Frontier long belt path is a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it it's pretty easy. The short belt path is pretty simple but in a lot of cases you need to use LBP to get a secure install.
 

EmmaCPST

CPST Instructor
Also, if your daughter is 48 pounds now you need to be using the seat belt installation with your Boulevard too, if you're not already. :) And are her shoulders still below the top harness slot?
 

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