Question WWYD? Re: Britax Pioneer or booster

laurengt

Active member
Here's the situation: My son is 6 years old, 55 pounds, and about 48-49 inches tall. He currently rides harnessed in Britax Pioneers (one has a DOM in late 2012 and one in early 2013). He has about 1 to 1 1/2" to go before his shoulders are too high for the harness. I was planning to start booster training this spring and plan to buy a Cybex M Fix.

Recently, the recline feature on the 2013 Pioneer broke and when I talked to Britax about this their solution was to send me a new seat. It just arrived and has a 3/2016 manufacture date.

So, the 2016 Pioneers have a higher harness height now than the older models, so I could use it much longer than I was expecting to. Still, I will probably booster train him this year at some point since he is a sturdy kid and boostering him will make it easier for him to ride with friends or other family members.

So, I'm wondering if I should even bother putting the new seat into rotation? Should I use the new one for a year or two and put off the booster? Should I give it away to someone else who would need it? Somethin else I haven't mentioned yet?

I feel like it would be a waste to open it myself because we already have 2 Pioneers in use and we honestly barely use one of them as it is. But then part of me is like "if you can harness him longer, you should do it." I'm really torn.

What would you do in my situation?
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AllieK

New member
I would get rid of the Pioneer with the broken recline & use the new Pioneer to harness then as a booster when you're ready.

My understanding is, as long as he is able to stay in the proper position 100% of the time a booster seat is a perfectly safe option. There is no research/evidence to show harnessing a child that age and size is any safer.
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rin2809

Active member
Did Britax give the OK to continue to use the Pioneer with the broken recline angle? If they did, my personal choice would be to use the new one for yourself in the primary vehicle (if you have one), keep one for the secondary vehicle, and give away the extra (either the one with the broken recline, or the functioning one depending on whether that feature is important to you).

As far as booster training goes, I would personally start him on it occasionally over the summer in the secondary vehicle, especially to make rides with friends and family easier, and eventually replace the harness there when he outgrows it. I'd keep the new seat harnessed as long as he fits in the primary vehicle or for longer/higher speed drives.
 

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
Who would you give it to? If it's a friend or family member (as opposed to an organization), it doesn't have to be new and in the original packaging -- just not damaged or crashed. I would use the new one for sure -- give away the old one, booster train whenever the shorter pioneer in the secondary vehicle is looking too short and then when you are certain you don't need the higher harness height anymore, give away the newer one at that point.


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laurengt

Active member
Did Britax give the OK to continue to use the Pioneer with the broken recline angle?

That is going to be a whole other customer service call. My understanding is that as long as I don't use the recline option it's fine. What broke is that the bar holding the recline got bent somehow so it will not lock into a reclined position on one side. The person I talked to didn't sound very knowledgable though because she said that if I don't want to use it anymore, I could "recycle it or give it away, or maybe give it to a fire station to use for people." I figured I'd wait until the seat arrived and then call back customer service (which I'll be doing tomorrow since today was hectic).
 

Athena

New member
How much do you like the pioneer? How sure are you he's mature enough to booster? At 6yo, I moved my DD from the Frontier 90 to a Parkway SGL. I'd been an extended harnesser, but she did great from her first drive and we loved having the lighter, smaller booster seat she could easily buckle herself. (Often that's not the case, but that booster works great in my car and is easy for her to buckle.) We've been very happy with the change. However, there will be a downside when she outgrows the Parkway (it's a tall booster, but she's very tall and already on the last click at 7yo) because we'll have to either go backless or return to a frontier in booster mode at that point. Most people would probably just go backless and it wouldn't be a problem, but she really prefers the comfort of a HBB, so we'll see.

Whether it will matter if it's new also depends on your plans for the seat, as another mentioned. if you're giving it to a friend, then just use it for a while and don't worry about that.

HTH.
 

laurengt

Active member
"How much do I like the pioneer?"
LOL, once it's installed we're cool but during install... Let's just say I wouldn't probably buy another one. :)
 

Athena

New member
"How much do I like the pioneer?"
LOL, once it's installed we're cool but during install... Let's just say I wouldn't probably buy another one. :)

Then you might be happier with a booster. I have to admit I do love not having to install a harnessed seat ever again. :D
 

laurengt

Active member
Well, I installed the new Pioneer tonight. My son was super jazzed to ha e the new seat and said he wants to stay in the "cozy harness" longer anyway.

I'm still going to do some booster training this spring or summer with him and will buy the M-Fix at that point.

I haven't had a 2nd discussion with Britax about the usability of the seat with the broken recline bar, so for now it's sitting on the sidelines. I figure I might as well give the covers a good washing too since I won't use them for a while.

Thanks for your input everyone. :)
 

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