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5 Point Harness Booster Seat - Britax Frontier or Sunshine Kids Radian 80? - Santa Rosa,CA

Our almost 4 year old is going to need a 5 point harness booster seat. Our little guy is tall (long legs )and slim. I have been reading reviews for the Britax Frontier and the Sunshine Kids Radian 80. I would like to hear your recommendations.

We currently have a Britax car seat that we have been happy with. He is just getting too tall for it. The new car seat would be for a mini van - Mazda MPV.

Thanks in advance!

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I have the Sunshine and I love it. It fits wonderfully in every car and my daughter enjoys being in it.I found that the Britax was just to bluckly and we couldnt fit anyone in the back seat with her. I also liked that you could take the Sunshine on planes as it fits in the airplane seat. I always recommend the Sunshine to all my friends and family and everyone that has gotten one loves it.

Best of luck

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Another fan of the Graco Nautilus! Much less bulky, easier to use, more comfortable, not as upright, comparably safe as the Britax and at a better price! When it came to buying new car seats for our long lean 3 and 5 year old, safety was the priority. The Graco fits so well into our Honda minivan and the kids love the compartments and cup holders! I highly recommend taking a look at this car seat.

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For an almost-4YO, you'd get the most for your $ from the Britax Frontier because it converts to a high-back booster seat after the child outgrows the 5-pt harness by height or weight (most kids will outgrow it by height before weight, esp. if they're on the slender side).
The Radian 80 is a *Convertible* seat (5-pt harness seat that can be used rear-facing or forward facing) and does NOT convert to a booster so you'd have to buy a belt-positioning booster after he outgrows the harness by height or weight. So it's great if you've got a younger child who's still rear-facing or are planning to have other children in the near future that you could hand it down to when your child outgrows it, but in your case I'm guessing that the Frontier would be your best bet b/c chances are good that your little guy will be able to use it all the way up until he's ready to use the seat belt without a booster. Also the fact that it *looks* more like a booster will be a plus as he gets to kindergarten and sees classmates in boosters.
Also if I remember correctly, the harness height for the Frontier is a bit taller than the Radian, so you'd get a bit more time in the 5-pt harness than you would from a Radian.

1 mom found this helpful

I have the Sunshine and I love it. It fits wonderfully in every car and my daughter enjoys being in it.I found that the Britax was just to bluckly and we couldnt fit anyone in the back seat with her. I also liked that you could take the Sunshine on planes as it fits in the airplane seat. I always recommend the Sunshine to all my friends and family and everyone that has gotten one loves it.

Best of luck

1 mom found this helpful

We love our Graco Nautilus. We have a tall, skinny one too. He's almost six and the Graco is still big enough for him. Every other car seat we've had was a Britax, but his time we went with the Graco. Not for the price difference- this one just felt like a better fit for him.

Good luck shopping!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know anythinga bout the Frontier, but I do like our Sunshine Kids Radian! It is supposed to be good for tall kids, though I can't remember the specs. It's nice and slim in the car. It IS heavy though - it's a pain for me to lift and move it around, so it stays put in our car. They say it folds up for travel but I would never bring it on an airplane as it is way too heavy. Also, compared to the Britax Roundabout we used to have, the cover shows dirt and fades - I guess the material isn't as good in that respect. However, it is comfy and my son likes riding in it.

My son is 4.5 and also very tall and slim for his age. We have the Graco Nautilus and he loves it.

A.

How funny! We have a Mazda MPV, too, and we are using 2 Britax Frontiers in the back seat for our 7 year old and 5 1/2 year old, and one of their old Britax Marathons in the middle row for our 4 year old (too bad the Frontiers weren't out yet when we were buying our Marathons!). We're very happy with them. Although, I must admit, the seats are a bit tall to see over out the back window, but I imagine it's that way with most high-back boosters. We are big fans of Britax, and while we don't splurge on much in this world, safe carseats are something we're willing to pay for, particularly with the 5-point harness. Thankfully, our older kids don't complain about that at all...it's all they've ever known. Happy shopping! Hope this helps!

I can only speak about the frontier. I love it and my son who is 2 loves it. We had outgrown our britax roundabout and had to move. I like the seat but there are a couple negatives. It is heavy if you plan on moving it a lot. The buckles also slide down to the seat when unfastened. Not a problem but can be anoying. I love the head rest and that the crotch strap can be moved. I love that you do not have to rethread the harness everytine they grow. My son calls it his big boy seat and likes to use it more than the roundabout.

I just moved my VERY tall 3 year old to the Graco Nautilus. He loves it. It looks less like the baby seat more like a "big kid" booster plus harness. It harnesses to 65 lbs then converts to high back belt positioning booster and finally a backless booster (although he'd have to be really tall to be too tall for the highback and at that point, who needs a booster?).

Just thought I'd throw it out there. It's less expensive than some of the other high weight harness seats but has a very good safety rating.

Hope this helps,
T.

We went from the Marathon to the SafeGuardGo and couldn't be happier. It's LATCH even in booster-only mode and keeps them in a 5pt harness for a good long time. We've traveled with ours twice now and love the lightweight fold-up design!

J.,
We just bought the "Safeguard Go" and love it. It is very portable and even folds up and can go in the portable bag provided. It will probably be good for our son until he is around 7 or 8 years old. I bought it online but I'm sure you can find it in many stores that carry car seats.
Good luck.

Hi J.,

I purchased the Britax Frontier, I am a huge fan of the Britax car seats. I had some trouble with the Frontier, the straps kept getting twisted and the seat doesn't recline at all so when my 4 year old daughter fell asleep, her head would fall forward. Britax was great about replacing the car seat with the bigger Britax Regent. I love this car seat and so does my daughter. It is a big car seat, but she has so much room. I am so much happier with the Regent. I also looked at the Sunshine Kids but I wanted to stick with Britax due to their safety record.

Good luck,
G. (mother of 3 - all under 5)

We recently moved my almost 3-year old son to the Frontier. He loves it. It's a great seat minus the installation difficulties. If you go with this seat, make sure you print out alternative installation instructions from Britax's website. Otherwise, I hightly recommend it.

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