Britax Frontier 85 Review: Summary of Changes

BABYGIRLLYNDSEY

New member
For some odd reason I thought I read they were going to have a Sahara cover for the Frontier 85. Maybe I dreamed this up? Do you know Darren?

I like my Sahara cover. Not crazy about mesh at all.

Thanks.
 
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Mommy0608

New member
The seating width is pretty close from old to new. Obviously, a full cupholder might keep kids from hanging their legs over as much. Of course, most cars have cupholders, too, so I don't see that as a big issue for most people.

Thanks! This will likely never be an issue for my super skinny DD. It's almost midnight... can't wait to see the full review and pics! :D

Seriously though Darren, thank you so much for all of your hard work getting these details out to us so promptly. Very, very much appreciated! :thumbsup:
 

skitle1802

New member
No one mentioned the new buckle stops. So there isn't the velcro like the MA but I know it will be so nice to stop digging under my DS2 to get the buckle tongues out from under him. And I'm glad the armrests are fixed, the old ones didn't move much anyway, I didn't see the convienience of the fold up IMO.
 

Gypsy

Senior Community Member
Darren,

When you buckle the old Frontier in booster mode in your van, is it difficult to slide the male end into the female end? If it is, is it any easier with the new Frontier? You mentioned they are about the same width, but the contours are in different areas... I'm hoping it's a bit narrower to ease buckling in booster mode.

Thanks!
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
For some odd reason I thought I read they were going to have a Sahara cover for the Frontier 85. Maybe I dreamed this up? Do you know Darren?

I like my Sahara cover. Not crazy about mesh at all.

Thanks.

Nope, sorry! I asked for clarification and was told that while they are considering new covers for later, nothing is definite for styles at this point. I suspect the best you can do is put in your 2 cents on the Frontier 85 poll thread for cover designs! Ya never know!
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
No one mentioned the new buckle stops. So there isn't the velcro like the MA but I know it will be so nice to stop digging under my DS2 to get the buckle tongues out from under him. And I'm glad the armrests are fixed, the old ones didn't move much anyway, I didn't see the convienience of the fold up IMO.

Doh you're right. I did mention them in the full review coming later today at www.carseatblog.com but forgot to put them in the bullet points! They are very handy!
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
They did "shave" a little off the bottom corners by the belt paths to make them more open. So, it is a little narrower at the seat bight and maybe it would be easier for a parent to find buckle stalk that is in a narrow seating position. But, the overall width up front isn't much different so for a child to buckle themselves it would probably be about the same.
 

Gypsy

Senior Community Member
My 9YO can buckle herself in with no problem (usually), but with the Frontier, she doesn't have enough strength to force the male end past the shell of the Frontier - shaving a little off there would be all she needs.

Thanks!
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
I don't want to sound too optimistic. The open area is closer to the bottom at the sides, not up around the edges closer to the child. It might help, it might not. I'm guessing it may not make all that much of a difference but maybe it's just enough of a change...
 

BellesMom

New member
Nope, sorry! I asked for clarification and was told that while they are considering new covers for later, nothing is definite for styles at this point. I suspect the best you can do is put in your 2 cents on the Frontier 85 poll thread for cover designs! Ya never know!

I was all set last week to buy a Frontier (for $184, too!), but then I started reading about the 85, so I decided to wait. (We don't need a new seat until later this year, but I'm growing impatient!) I was really hoping the mesh on the seat would be gone. I didn't like reading about how, for many people, their kids were wearing through the mesh, or that it looked rough after only a few months.
Even if I were "only" paying $184, I still expect the cover to hold up a few years. The cover on my 4.5-year-old $100 Evenflo Triumph still looks great, even with daily use and multiple washes - I'd like to expect the same from Britax!

Melissa
 

KaysKidz

Senior Community Member
What about the crack issues in the shell that so many people had with the original Frontier? That's one of my big concerns. Britax tried to brush it off saying they were fine, that it was from the mold. I don't know if anything ever came of that issue.

And, can you still do the long belt path install?
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
I'll put some photos in your other thread a little later that may help answer this. You can definitely still use the long belt path on the 85. The manual even clarifies which method might be better to try, depending on your vehicle.
 

Athena

Well-known member
Am I understanding correctly that the shape of the shell is the same? The old Frontier would not install in an 07 (or similar year) Subaru Forester. When I tried it quickly at BRU, it seemed that the strange geometry of it with the recline block forward made the angle so severe that it would not fit into the seat well, but I am not that experienced. Someone more experienced on here (cannot remember who right now) said that even when she really worked at it and managed to get it installed, it was really hard and still was not what she considered to be a good install. I do not recall if she said why, the belt path or if I was right about the shape of it not fitting. So basically, the old Frontier does not work in the mid decade Subaru Foresters (not sure about other years) and where I live, this is a very popular vehicle. Assuming the reason is the shape of it, it sounds like the new one won't change that, right? Although I may have to wait until someone with a Subaru Forester tries it and reports back to know for sure. Last month we bought a GN and we are very happy with it. However, if we were to buy her a second seat, I would like to get the one with the highest harness since she is very tall. Thanks!
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
The new one isn't all that much different in overall shape, the differences in contours are relatively minor. If the install issue had to do with recline, I would not expect there to be much difference. The new design may help with belt path installation issues in some vehicles, though. In general, I would say that there's a good chance the new one will work well anywhere the old one did. It's hard to say in what situations the new one might install well where the old one didn't.
 

Athena

Well-known member
The new one isn't all that much different in overall shape, the differences in contours are relatively minor. If the install issue had to do with recline, I would not expect there to be much difference. The new design may help with belt path installation issues in some vehicles, though. In general, I would say that there's a good chance the new one will work well anywhere the old one did. It's hard to say in what situations the new one might install well where the old one didn't.

That's too bad. One of the best things about their convertibles is how well they fit in many vehicles. Thanks for the info!
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Seats with high weight and height limits all tend to be relatively big and have associated installation issues in some vehicles.
 

horseymom

New member
is the width at the cup holder measure the same on the new one? DD's FR is right at the door installed and I can't move it ove at all. If the new one is any wider I'm not sure that it would fit. thanks in advance!
 

DaniannieB

Ambassador - CPS Technician
For the people wanting new covers for the original Frontier (not different patterns but just less snaggy ones) there are at least two moms on BBC who have received new and improved covers (free - covered under warranty) already. If you're wanting one, call Britax. It sounds like they have Pink Sky, Rushmore, and Red Rock in the "new" version.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
is the width at the cup holder measure the same on the new one? DD's FR is right at the door installed and I can't move it ove at all. If the new one is any wider I'm not sure that it would fit. thanks in advance!

Yes and no. The actual "shell" is a bit wider at the cupholders, around 19.25" to the edge. On the other hand, that's actually narrower if you count the protrusion of the cupholders on the old model, even when they are retracted.

So, if it is the closed cupholders that are hitting the door, the new one might buy you a half inch or more. Otherwise, it might not help.
 

dhardawa

New member
Thanks for the review, it sounds like they have made a lot of good changes.

Do you, by chance, have the box dimensions? The best thing about the old Frontier was that the box was under 108" and I could ship them USPS. I'm hoping this one is small enough too.

I'm very disappointed that they have kept the same ugly, boring covers. Had there been a cute boy cover, I would have bought one immediately. As it is, we'll keep our current seat.
 

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