I’ve had to hold it all in for some time now.  It was almost unbearable when it arrived.  It’s nice to hear about cool stuff sometimes before it hits the shelves, but it’s no fun if  you can’t tell anyone!  Some information has been leaking out about the new Frontier 85 for a while, but as of today, all the details are officially released and so I can discuss them too!  By my calculation, it’s past midnight just about everywhere in North America, so…

…enough of my complaining and onto the good stuff.  First, the obligatory unboxing video!

Next, a few of the improvements.  Some readers probably already know about the big ones, but there might be a few you don’t know about yet! 

  • Harness weight limit increased from 80 to 85 pounds
  • Top harness setting increased almost 2″, from 18.25″ to about 20″ seated height.
  • Standing harness height limit increased from 53″ to 57″ (Britax numbers)
  • Standing booster height limit increased from 60″ to 65″ (Britax numbers)
  • Seated booster shoulder height limit increased from 21.5″ to 24.5″ (Britax numbers)
  • Booster weight limit is now 120 pounds (was not listed for the original model)
  • Lap belt guides updated and now seamlessly join the armrest section with no gap in between
  • Armrests have a sturdier, shorter, fixed design
  • Cupholders are now integrated into the front of the base, rather than extending from the side
  • Harness height adjuster is revised and significantly reinforced compared to the previous one
  • There are now 10 harness height positions, up from 8 in the original
  • Harness strap material is a little less flexible and may help resist folding
  • Harness splitter plate is now a single slot design
  • Chest clip now has a graphic showing correct position instead of a Britax logo

For all the rest of the changes, you’ll have to wait for my full review later this week!  I’ll also have photos, including comparisons with the original Frontier at maximum height for both harness and booster use!  Britax has increased the key weight and height limits and also addressed almost every quibble with the original Frontier.  That’s something, because the original Frontier was a pretty nice combination seat.  The new Frontier 85 is not just the old model with inflated limits.  It really has been revamped and improved.  Overall, I’m not sure for what else you could reasonably ask!  Obviously, some things haven’t changed from the original design.  It’s somewhat pricey.  It’s relatively big and heavy.  It may be incompatible with some vehicles and the long/reverse belt path has a longer learning curve than normal.   Beyond that, it really is great.  If you liked the Frontier, you will love the Frontier 85.  It’s the last child seat you will ever need once your baby is beyond 2 years old and 25 pounds!  Heck, if kids run small in your family, you can keep them in the Frontier 85 as a booster (or maybe even the harness!) until they start driving on their own!