Just a small update on the Britax Pioneer 70 Harness-2-Booster combination carseat. As you may know, new 2014 federal standards are much more strict in regard to carseats with a 5-point harness that are rated for children who weigh above 65 lbs. In fact, many competitive products that previously were rated above 65 pounds are now being sold with 65 lb. limits. The Britax Frontier 90 and Britax Pinnacle 90 are the only current combination models rated well above 65 pounds, primarily due to their industry-leading maximum seated torso harness height of 20.5″ tall.
As we noted in our Britax Pioneer review, it had a shorter maximum harness height of about 18.5″. In January, Britax made a running change to production that increased this harness height to 19.5″! This allowed the Pioneer 70 to continue with a 70 lb. child weight limit. That change also makes it an even better value for parents, as some kids will reach an 18″ or 18.5″ seated torso height limit before they are even 65 lbs, meaning they will outgrow some competitor’s 5-point harness systems by height before they reach the weight limit. Below you can see the difference between an original and newer production Pioneer model. An added benefit is that maximum booster mode height is also increased slightly.
In other news, we previously mentioned that Britax harness-2-booster models, the Pinnacle 90, Frontier 90 and Pioneer 70, were approved for airline use. In addition, they have also been approved for use with inflatable seatbelt systems found in some Ford and Lincoln vehicles. These changes are retroactive for these particular models, but the official labeling for production models was made on or around February 3rd, 2014. For more information, please see the Britax FAQ for Harness-2-Booster seats. Britax is also working on a running change to improve the lap belt fit of these combination carseats when used in booster mode. We will update on this change as soon as possible, as we were told more information would be available in the second quarter of 2014, which could be soon. In the mean time, owners of these products who have children already transitioning into booster mode can call Britax for a SecureGuard accessory clip if one is needed for marginal lap belt fit. The patented SecureGuard accessory also improves lap belt fit and provides a 4th point of restraint as well. Some kids, especially older, taller children, do not have an issue with lap belt fit and owners would not need to take any action for their child when using the booster mode.
Stay tuned to CarseatBlog for more product news and a great giveaway coming soon!