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Review of the Britax Pioneer 70: A Pioneering New Seat?

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 8:54:51 AMThe car seat world has been abuzz over Britax’s trio of new combination seats. CarseatBlog has already reviewed the Frontier 90 and Pinnacle 90, and now it’s time to meet their cousin, the Britax Pioneer 70 Combination Carseat.

First thing’s first:

  • Age minimum, harness: 2 years
  • Harness limits: 25-70 lbs, 30-54″
  • Booster limits: 40-110 lbs, 45-59″
  • Lowest harness height: 12″
  • Highest harness height: 18.5″
  • Highest booster setting: 21″
  • Highest shell height: 29″
  • Crotch strap positions: 6″ and 8″

If you were passing the Pioneer on the street, you could easily mistake it for a Frontier 90 or a Pinnacle, but there are some significant differences. Britax created the Pioneer to be a more affordable option, and that means the seat doesn’t come with all of the features of the more expensive two.

Here’s a chart comparing all three seats:

 

Pioneer 70

Frontier 90

Pinnacle 90

Height range: harness

30-54”

30-58”

30-58”

Height range: booster

45-59”

45-62”

45-62”

Weight range: harness

25-70 lbs

25-90 lbs

25-90 lbs

Weight range: booster

40-110 lbs

40-120 lbs

40-120 lbs

Age minimum

2

2

2

Top harness height

18.5”

20.5”

20.5”

Top booster height

21”

23”

23”

No-rethread harness

YES

YES

YES

Front-adjust recline

YES

YES

YES

Safe Cell base

YES

YES

YES

Steel reinforced shell

YES

YES

YES

ClickTight system

NO

YES

YES

HUGS

NO

YES

YES

Side Impact Cushions

NO

NO

YES

 

So how does the Pioneer differ? First, the maximum harness height is lower on the Pioneer than on the Pinnacle and Frontier 90. The other two top out at a best-in-class 20.5″, while the Pioneer comes in at 18.5″. That’s still a nice, tall seat—just not as tall as the others in Britax’s line.

Chicco NextFit Review Followup

Chicco NextFit -GeminiI’m here to do a follow-up review of the Chicco NextFit Convertible Carseat. If you haven’t already, check out Kecia’s previous review of the Chicco NextFit for measurements, installation, etc!

I purchased this seat about 3 months ago to rear-face Liam in my husband’s 2001 Toyota 4Runner. Liam has an insanely long torso, and has outgrown most seats rear-facing. He just turned 3 years old in July, and is 34lbs and about 39 inches tall (give or take…good luck wrangling him to get a spot on measurement).

My first impression right out of the box was that it was a very nicely built seat. Everything was very well thought out, from storage compartments to placement of the LATCH straps. Installation was a breeze, in both the sloped seat of the 4Runner and the flat seat of my 2005 Honda CR-V. Front to back space is about average; not quite as compact as the Britax seats but definitely not requiring as much space as the Radian.

The cover is very nice and has not snagged or pilled in the 3 months we have had it with almost daily usage. Liam climbs in and out of it himself and puts his shoes all over it (velcro!) without any issues. The chest clip and buckle are very easy to use and the harness adjuster is seamless and easy to tighten and loosen.

Britax Parkway SGL 2013 Booster Review

The Britax Parkway has been an outstanding booster for many years.  The latest versions are the Britax Parkway SGL 2013 and Parkway SG 2013.  The difference between the two being a $30 price increase for the SGL model that includes LATCH attachments for securing the booster to anchors in most newer vehicles.  CarseatBlog is reviewing the SGL model, but most comments apply to the SG model as well.

We previously reviewed the Britax Parkway SGL Booster, introduced three years ago.  The original version is an IIHS Best Bet high back booster.  With mostly minor changes, we expect the new, 2013 version to have similarly great performance.  We are also pleased to see the return of the look of the discontinued Britax Monarch booster, with side torso wings extending much higher for taller kids.

There are various noteworthy changes in this model year refresh:

  1. BritaxParkwayFoamRevised base now has SafeCell technology to reduce head excursion
  2. Overall height and shoulder height roughly one-half inch shorter
  3. Side impact wings extend higher, slightly deeper
  4. Torso wings now have EPS foam lining (photo, right)
  5. Shoulder belt guides revised
  6. Front adjuster easier for small hands
  7. SecureGuard clip is modified; now adjusts from top
  8. Armrest design slightly changed
  9. About 0.4 lbs heavier
  10. $10 MSRP price increase

 

Specifications:

For the most part, the specifications remain largely the same for the Parkway 2013 SGL.

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible – now with rear-facing tether capabilities!

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio convertible - Alcantara fashionWe think very highly of the Peg Perego Viaggio Convertible and that’s why it’s on our list of Recommended Seats. Recently Peg Perego added the option to tether this seat in the rear-facing position. Rear-facing tethering isn’t required but it’s an added bonus if you have a suitable location in your vehicle to use for this purpose.

For those who are unfamiliar with the practice of “Swedish Style” tethering and its benefits – please see Heather’s very informative blog on the subject: How to Use a Rear-Facing Tether

Peg Perego added the rear facing tether strap to the 570 convertible seat in March 2013. All seats manufactured after 3/2013 include the additional RF tether strap. Anyone with a 570 Convertible made prior to March 2013 can obtain the rear-facing tether strap by calling Peg Perego during regular business hours at  (800) 671-1701.

PegViaggioConvertible - RF tether instructions

 

PegViaggioConvertible - RF tether instructions 2

 

The Peg Perego tether connector strap looks like this:

Peg RF tether strap

 

Peg strap compared with the current style Britax tether connector strap (Peg strap on top, Britax strap below). The current Britax “D-Ring” is just a hair longer (maybe .5 cm longer).

Peg vs. Britax RF tether strap

 

Peg Perego Viaggio Convertible installed RF with tether strap accessory:

Peg Viaggio Convertible installed with RF tether

 

For more information on the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 5-70 Convertible see our complete blog review HERE.

 

The Peg Viaggio Convertible is sold directly from Amazon.com for $329.99 with free shipping and free returns.

Graco HeadWise 70 Quick Review

Graco Headwise 70Graco’s Head Wise 70 convertible car seat with Safety Surround is the third in a great trilogy.  We’ve already reviewed the nearly identical Graco Size4Me 70 and it’s twin, the My Size 70.  The Head Wise 70 is very similar, with only minor changes that include the addition of the “Safety Surround” technology for enhanced side-impact protection and some variations in soft goods (covers and infant inserts).  So, this will just be a quick update and video review.  Please see our Size4Me 70 review for measurements and more information.  The Head Wise 70 is currently a Target exclusive, retailing around $199.

 

Video Review:

 

And here is a quick feature summary:

 

Photo Gallery: