“This is the car seat I wish we’d had all along.”
That’s the first thing my husband said to me after installing the Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster car seat into our 2005 Ford Escape. The reason? One word (or maybe two): ClickTight.
Did you know that around 75% of car seats are incorrectly installed? That’s a chilling statistic. Car crashes are the leading cause of injury or death for children under six, and we depend on car seats to keep our children safe in the event of an accident. But if it’s installed or used incorrectly, it may not do its job. The easier a seat is to install, the more likely it is to be used correctly and perform its intended job.
I’m really impressed with Britax’ ClickTight installation system for that very reason. The Frontier comes standard with the Lower Universal Anchorage System (LUAS) tethers of course, but as Tee is now 6 years old and 45 pounds, she is over the maximum weight limit for the lower anchors in our car which means we must use the seat belt to secure the seat. That will be the case for most kids in the Frontier, as the seat accommodates children up to 65 pounds in the harness mode.
All I have to do is squeeze the ClickTight release levers accessible through two slits in the car seat cover.
The whole seat flips up which makes it easy to see the belt path and so simple to pull the seat belt across, even for big Daddy hands. Fasten the seat belt, pull the slack tight (but no need to yank or overtighten), then close the seat until it clicks shut. Attach the top tether (required for all forward facing seats), and that’s it. Installation in a minute!
This is truly a game changer for me. No more pulling off the cover and padding to access the belt path underneath. No more threading the belt through frustratingly narrow slots. No more jamming myself into the back seat and kneeling on the car seat trying to get the seat belt tight. No more wrestling with the lock-off arm to secure the belt and then putting the seat back together.
Compared to other car seats I’ve used with my kids, the Frontier ClickTight is hands down the easiest to install when using the seat belt. The ClickTight installation system makes it a breeze to get a solid install every time, with well under the recommended less than one inch of movement at the belt path. I bet this seat would be especially helpful for grandparents or other caregivers who might be unfamiliar with the complicated installation procedures and requirements of other car seats.
The harness mode is for use with children who weigh 25-65 pounds, between 30-58 inches tall, and at least 2 years of age. We know that it’s safest to keep children rear facing until they outgrow the height or weight limit of their car seat, but since Tee has outgrown the height limit on her rear facing car seat, the Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster combination car seat is the next step for keeping her safe in the car.
Children are safest in a five-point harness, and as Tee falls well within the weight limit (65 pounds in Canada), that’s where she will stay for a long time.
But for the purposes of this review, we went ahead and converted the seat from harness to booster mode to try it out. I wanted to know how it would work once Tee’s bigger and ready to transition to a high back booster seat. After reading through the manual, I found it fairly straight forward the first time. You can completely remove the straps when your child outgrows the harness, but I like that there’s also the option to simply tuck away the straps for easy conversion between harness and booster mode, and back again. If more than one child is using the seat, that makes a lot of sense! Here’s how the Frontier booster adjusts the seat belt so it fits my 6-year-old properly: across the collarbone and chest, low and flat on the lap.
Standing height is only part of the picture though. Kids’ torsos differ in length, so it’s also important to consider the shoulder height while sitting. The Frontier ClickTight offers one of the tallest shoulder height limits available in harness mode, up to 20.5 inches. The high weight, height, and shoulder height limits mean that I can keep Tee harnessed for a long time to come. In booster seat mode, the shoulder height adjusts from 15-23 inches.
Beyond the ClickTight system, the Frontier ClickTight has a lot of other premium features that make this a great car seat in my books:
- Britax’ Quick-Adjust No-Rethread Harness lets me adjust the harness shoulder height (remember, it must be above the shoulder when forward-facing) as Tee grows with one button. I really appreciate that I can adjust the height on the go, without taking the seat out.
- The EZ-Buckle System holds the harness buckle and belly pad in a forward position so Tee doesn’t sit on the buckle when she gets in. It’s so nice not to have to search for the buckle underneath her, and it makes it a lot easier for her to do up her own buckle.
- Comes with cup holders and storage areas on both sides. This is the first car seat that Tee’s ever sat in with cup holders, and she loves them!
At 25 pounds this is a hefty seat! This wouldn’t be my first choice for a seat that will be moved frequently from vehicle to vehicle or for travel, but the integrated steel bars, true side impact protection with EPP foam, and impact-absorbing base make me feel really confident about having this in my car and keeping my child safe.
The Frontier ClickTight retails for $419.99 CAD which is on the upper end of the cost spectrum. However, with a booster mode weight limit of 120 pounds, height limit of 62 inches (that’s 5 feet, 2 inches!) and a lifespan of nine years, this is likely to be the last seat your child will need until they’re ready for an adult seat belt. I think it’s worth it.
If you were wondering about the print on this car seat, it’s the limited edition Dylan print, available only at Brixy independent baby stores. The stylish gray and black color combination is gender neutral and doesn’t show dirt, a must with kids! Find a retailer in Canada.
Britax manufactures and markets a full line of premium car seats, strollers, baby carriers and accessories. Since its founding in Britain in 1939, the company has established itself as a trusted juvenile products brand, known for a commitment to thoughtful, innovative engineering of safe, top-quality and intuitively designed products. Britax USA is located in Fort Mill, SC, and employs more than 200 people. For more information, visit www.britax.com.
Disclosure: I was provided with a sample item to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.