Britax Pioneer vs Frontier – Which One is the Best in 2024?

britax pioneer vs frontier comparsion

The impact came from the rear… the two girls were sitting in the back… the car was heading uncontrollably towards an SUV…

Getting into an accident is scary. Having kids with you who you can’t protect it’s terrifying.

There’s no way to predict when an accident will occur. The only thing you can do is be prepared by having the best car seat. Plus, that has to be installed correctly.

I came across a troubling survey that showed that 75% of car seats in the US are not installed properly. If the car seat isn’t tight enough, then it won’t be able to protect your little one.

This is why it’s so important to get the right car seat. That’s why I’ve created the Britax Pioneer vs Frontier comparison article. By reading it to the end, you will know exactly which car seat best fits you.

Stick with me for a bit, and you’ll find out the whole story from the crash above.


Here’s the bird’s eye view of the Britax Pioneer. It’s a great car seat for the long run. This will be the last one you will buy. It grows with your child from toddler to young adult.

Here’s the bird’s eye view of the Britax Frontier. It’s a safe car seat, and your kiddos are protected until they don’t need it. A 5-point harness will keep them safe.

Direct Comparison Britax Pioneer vs Frontier

  Britax Pioneer Britax Frontier
Safety Impact Absorbing Base

Steel Frame

2 Layer Protection

5-point harness

Impact Absorbing Base

Steel Frame

2 Layer Protection

5-point harness

Size Limits Harness 25-70

Booster: 40-110


Harness Mode: 25-90

Booster Mode: 40-120


Installation Latch and Seat belt ClickTight
Fabric/Material Manual Washable Machine Washable
Bonuses and Features    
Cup Holder 2 Built In 2 Built In
Recline Position 1 2
Headrest Position 9 9
Rethread Harness No No
Extended Use Yes Yes

Breaking it down

I’m reviewing a lot of car seats. To be as efficient as possible, I’ve created a cheat sheet. The table above is mine if you like it you can copy it and use it.

The first item on the list is safety. You want the best possible safety for your little one. In this section, I will tell you about a dirty secret that some car seat makers don’t want you to know.

Next up is the size limits. This is important since the car seats are expensive, and switching them frequently will burn a hole in your pocket.

The following list item is the installation. There are some easy and some nightmare installation car seats. If it’s hard to install, people either leave it as it is, thus not giving maximum protection.

The last important part is the fabric. Since we’re talking about kids, they will spill something I can guarantee that. So it’s good to know upfront how easily can you use the cover.

The final item on my list is the secondary features list. Now sometimes, these comparisons are a tie. So I dig deeper to find the differences.

Let’s get this Britax Pioneer vs Frontier comparison started. Just one more thing…

I have something special for you in the end. I have compiled a quick pros/cons list. The things I’ve found are quite interesting, to say the least.


child car seat safety 8The Britax brand is one of the safest car seats on the market. They have gotten high scores on Consumer Reports. They put a lot of emphasis on keeping your little ones safe. I promised you the dirty secret. Here it is.

There are some car seat makers who just barely pass the government standards. Now which sounds better for you? Should you let that type of brand protect your child or the one that went the extra mile?

Britax Frontier

This incident happened with a friend of mine.

They were getting home from ballet practice. The two girls were in the back. This was like any other Tuesday until their whole world changed.

Their SUV stopped at a red light when all of a sudden, another SUV smashed into the rear of the car.

The impact was loud. The glass blasted into a million pieces. Metal shrieked as it got twisted.

And it wasn’t over yet.

The SUV was traveling 50 mph, so it started pushing my friend’s car forward. My friend was helpless; she couldn’t do anything. The rear SUV pushed the other one into a parking SUV.

Airbags exploded to protect the passengers. When my friend came through, the first thing she checked was the girls. She turned back and saw the girls.

They were all fine. The SUV got totaled, and the 5 and 7-year-olds walked away shaken and unharmed.

Britax Frontier saved two lives that day.

This car seat has a steel frame that can handle a crash. The base has energy absorption, so the impact doesn’t reach your child. It comes with two layers of side impact protection. The industry standard 5-point harness keeps the kids in place no matter what.

Britax Pioneer

The Britax Pioneer looks a lot like the Frontier. The specs are the same. The car seat is built on a steel frame. So no matter the impact, your kids are safe in the seat.

Thanks to the energy absorption material, the impact force doesn’t reach your little one’s body to do damage.

It has been tested for side impacts, and it offers two layers of protection. And finally, the 5-point harness, which is becoming popular, keeps them safe.


There’s no contest that the Britax Frontier wins this round by saving two lives, even though they are similar.

Size Limits

As I have mentioned before, these car seats are expensive. And I’ve found a great way to save money. Instead of changing those with each milestone, choose a 2 in 1 or a 3 in 1. This will save you money in the long run.

Britax Frontier

The Britax Frontier caters to toddlers and upward. From 25 pounds up to 120, this will serve you for future years. Matter of fact this could be the last car seat that you will ever buy.

The Frontier has two functions. It can be used in harness mode and booster mode.

The booster mode has the top weight limit of 120 pounds or 62”. This car seat isn’t light; it weighs 25 pounds.

Britax Pioneer

It seems that the Britax Pioneer is like the little brother of the Frontier. From what I could gather, the Pioneer is the earlier version.

This too caters to 2-year-olds and above. It has two functions the harness and booster mode. The upper limits are lower than the Britax Frontier.

For example, the highest weight level is set to 100 pounds or 62”.

It seems that the frame is the same since it weighs 25 pounds.


The Britax Frontier won this because it provides more mileage.


child car seat installation 9This is where the rubber meets the road. Some brands are notoriously difficult to install. Let’s see how the Britax faces the challenge.

Britax Frontier

The Britax Frontier uses the Clicktight system. It’s one of the easiest to install. Once you get used to it, you can’t look back.

The first step is to remove the seat cover and pop oven the ClickTight pad. Inside you will find the latch system, or you can install it with the seat belt. They work the same way. All you have to do is feed the belt through the hole and squeeze it tight.

Once that’s done, you press the pad back into place and add the seat cover. You’re done. It’s super simple and easy to install.

Britax Pioneer

The Britax Pioneer works almost the same way. You have to remove the seat cover and open the seat pad.

The main difference between the Pioneer and the Frontier is that the ClickTight system is a bit modified. With the Pioneer, you can use the latch and the seat belt as well.

Maybe you need a bit of force to push the seat down while you’re tightening things up.


This is a tie.


Kids are prone to accidents. Since both car seats cater to toddlers, occasional diaper blowouts and throwing-up accidents may occur. This is why it’s a good idea to know beforehand how to remove the cover and how you can wash it.

With the installation adjustments, you will be trained to remove the cover. This goes for both car seats. Now the difference is that the Britax Pioneer can only be hand-washed, and the Britax Frontier allows machine washing as well.

There’s nothing wrong with handwashing until the mess is simple. When it comes to partially digested food, then I would rather let the machine take care of it.

Keep in mind that when you’re using the washing machine, cold water is advised with a gentle program.

As for drying, the best way to do it is to let it air dry.

Related: Do car seats have to be replaced after an accident?


The point goes to Britax Frontier.

Bonuses and Features

It’s not the case, but there are occasions when I need to resolve the tie. Either way, let’s see what kind of secondary features do these car seats have.

Since they cater to toddlers and upwards, the cup holders are great. Better yet, there are two of them. This is perfect for keeping drinks and toys separate.

The Britax Frontier has two recline options while the Britax Pioneer has only one. The Frontier tends to be more comfortable.

The headrest is the same. Both of them can be adjusted, choosing one of the 9 positions.

Here’s the last important thing. There’s no such thing as manual rethreading the harness. I hate that with a passion. Luckily the harness is adjusted automatically as you adjust the headrest.


It’s a tie again.

Britax Pioneer Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Britax Pioneer Combination Harness-2-Booster Car SeatPros:

After 7 years of use, it still looks like brand new

This car seat will give your kiddo the “big kid feel”

Great design because kids can easily climb in


It’s heavy and sturdy, so it’s not airplane-friendly

It’s wide, so 3 across won’t be possible

Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat Pros:

It keeps your kids safe even in a horrible accident

Thanks to the ClickTight tech it will be the easiest car seat to install

It grows with your kiddo up to 120 pounds


It’s a pricey car seat you will need a budget

Cleaning is not that easy you need to completely disassemble the car seat

Final Recount

Britax Frontier won by three points (3/5)

Britax Pioneer lost (0/5)

The other categories were a draw.

Britax Pioneer vs Frontier Verdict

The Britax Frontier is the clear winner here. The Britax Pioneer looks like the first generation car seat while the Britax Frontier is the upgraded version.

They both offer the same protection, and I picked the Frontier as the winner because it saved two lives. In the size limits section, the Britax Frontier won because it gave more mileage.

Also, when I compared the materials, the Britax Frontier won because that allows machine washing while the Britax Pioneer only allows hand washing. In the other categories, these two car seats were tied.

The winner is the Britax Frontier.

We have reached the end of the Britax Pioneer vs Frontier comparison. I hope you have learned a lot from this article. By now, you should know which the right fit is.

It’s your turn. Get the car seat that fits you the best soon because stocks are running low. Plus, it seems that Britax is slowly phasing out this seat to the new Britax Grow with You car seat.

If you want to share your experience or have feedback, please drop a comment below.

Catch you next time!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is the difference between Britax Pioneer and Frontier?

The difference between Britax Pioneer and Frontier is that you get more usage out of the Frontier. The weight limits are higher. Plus the Britax Frontier comes with the ClickTight installation which makes it a breeze.

What is the difference between the Britax Pinnacle and Frontier?

The only difference between the Britax Pinnacle and the Frontier is that the Pinnacle has 3 layers of side impact protection while the Frontier only has 2.

How long is the Britax Pioneer good for?

The Britax Pioneer is good for 10 years after the manufacturing date.

What would be an alternative Britax car seat?

The pinnacle clicktight pops into mind. Although they might be phasing out the frontier clicktight.

What’s this combination seat’s product weight?

The weight is the same 25 pounds.

Pioneer vs Frontier which is the best forward-facing harness car seat?

When you’re looking at these two forward-facing harness seats you can’t tell. They are all the same. These two seats can be used as belt-positioning boosters, booster seats, back boosters, harness booster

Britax Pioneer Clicktight vs Frontier who has the highest safety features?

When it comes to safety features they both have high safety standards. First of all the car seats are equipped with safe cell impact protection which means that during impact the energy is absorbed. Plus the safe cell impact protection has a honeycomb shape for extra support. With child safety, you can’t skimp on. More safety measures are coming up. There’s a foam shell around the infant car seat for extra protection. The 5-point harness system keeps your little one in the infant seat safe.  We all know that the human body is not equipped with side energy absorption that’s why these car seats have side impact protection.

What are the height limits for the child’s car seat?

It’s the same for both and it’s 62″.

Britax Pioneer vs Frontier Clicktight which one is easy to use?

Before we get to the easy installation you have to decide how you will mount the car seat. You can do it in rear-facing and forward-facing mode. With either mode, there’s the belt and the clicktight installation system. By far the clicktight installation system is the easiest even in front-facing mode. With the ClickTight you will get easy installation.

What other features do they have?

They have two built-in cup holders. The latch connectors make the installation easy. These are all second-generation latch connectors. The car seat cover can be easily removed and washed. There are multiple harness positions to choose from for comfort.

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!