Boosters

Britax Pioneer 70 Review – Best Harnessed Booster Seat?

Britax Pioneer 70 Harnessed Booster SeatOnce your child has outgrown their rear-facing seat, it’s time to ask whether you want to buy a convertible seat or a harness-to-booster. Both are great, but if you want a one-stop-shop, we suggest harness-to-boosters, especially the Britax Pioneer 70.

We like this seat a lot because it can accommodate your child up to 110 pounds. This means your child will be secured until they don’t need an extra boost anymore. It can be used in forward-facing harness mode up to 70 pounds, which is nice because it’s been proven that five-point harnesses are the safest way for young kids to travel.

It also comes equipped with Britax’s revolutionary safety technology. SafeCell impact protection provides an impact-absorbing base that uses compression to reduce force during a crash. It does this by directing the energy impact away from your child.

Price Comparison

Maximize Stability

To maximize stability, the seat is made with a steel frame at the connection where the seat meets your vehicle. It also comes equipped with Britax’s patented v-shaped tether to evenly distribute force during a crash. This special tether helps keep the seat in place much more effectively than regular tethers.

If you don’t want the hassle of annoying installation, this seat is a good contender for you. It uses simple push button LATCH connectors that lock into place when installing via LATCH. The seat also has three different recline positions and nine different headrest adjustments.

Keep in mind, though, the recline positions can only be used while in forward-facing harness mode. Boosters are meant to sit upright just like a typical back seat.

All Britax products are made in the USA and this one, in particular, comes with handy storage compartments for the harness and tethers when using the booster mode. To top it off, the seat also comes with two integrated cupholders with separate snack compartments as well. The Britax Pioneer comes with a one-year limited warranty and can be used up to nine years after the date of manufacture.

Key Features

  • Patented v-shaped tether
  • Snack and drink compartments
  • Lasts up to 110 pounds
  • Push button LATCH connectors
  • SafeCell impact protection
  • Long-lasting harness mode

Customer Reviews

Of all the positive things about this seat, it seems the thing parents love most is the fact that it’s so long-lasting. Not to mention that the harness can be used for such a long time. Britax seems to pride themselves on the safety of their seats and it seems many parents agree that the Pioneer lives up to that promise.

However, parents have had issues with the seat squeaking as well as difficulty installing via belt path. If you’re planning on getting this one, be sure to measure the dimensions of your back seat. This is important as it may not fit properly in some vehicles.

Here are the biggest pros and cons of the Britax Pioneer.

Pros

  • Harness mode up to 70 pounds – Five-point harnesses are considered safer than seatbelts because they distribute force evenly throughout the body. This prevents your child from feeling too much pressure in one area in the event of an accident.
  • Snack compartments in cupholders – Any parent who has been on a long trip with their kids knows how important snacks are for everyone’s sanity. These compartments make snacking in the car easier and less messy.
  • V-shaped tether – The v-shaped tether evenly distributes the force from impact during a collision. It also helps keep the car seat steady in general.
  • Easy to install via LATCH – The click/lock technology Britax uses on this seat makes it super easy to install the Pioneer to the hooks in your back seat.
  • Harness/tether storage – Storing the harness and tether can be a hassle when switching to booster mode. Luckily, this one comes with special compartments to keep everything tucked away neatly.

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit every vehicle – Some parents have complained that this seat doesn’t fit properly in their vehicle. To avoid this, make sure you’re aware of the dimensions of your back seat.
  • Difficult to install via belt path – Parents have also expressed concern over installation via belt path. Because your child can’t use the LATCH method after 40 pounds, it’s necessary to reinstall. However, it seems parents have difficulty feeding the belt through.
  • Seat may squeak – Another popular, though minor, complaint is that the seat and its headrest squeak with any movement.

Unique Features

  • Integrated snack/cup holders
  • Five-point harness that can accommodate up to 70 pounds
  • Patented v-shaped tether
  • Push button LATCH connectors
  • SafeCell impact protection
  • Nine-position headrest
  • No-rethread harness
  • Compatible with SecureGuard anti-submarining clip

Specifications

  • Forward-facing harness weight limit: 25-70 lbs. (child must be at least two years old)
  • Booster weight limit: 40-110 lbs.
  • Forward-facing harness height limit: 30-58 in.
  • Booster height limit: 45-62 in.
  • Product weight: 21 lbs.

Expiration and Warranty Information

The Britax Pioneer G1.1 comes with a one-year limited warranty. This means if anything happens to your seat or it arrives damaged, Britax will replace it at no cost to you. It has an expiration date of 9 years after the date of manufacture. To find this information, look in the Britax Pioneer manual or on the side or bottom of the seat itself.

Britax Pioneer Recalls

As of Sept. 17, 2019, there are no current recalls on the Britax Pioneer. However, it’s worth noting that this seat was tested by Consumer Reports and was found to break during crash testing. However, CR crash tests are much more rigorous than typical testing and parents still rave about the safety features of this seat.

Britax Pioneer Q & A

Q: What is the difference between the Britax Pioneer and the Britax Frontier?

A: While both seats are considered combination seats, the two differ by their look and maximum weight limit. The Pioneer accommodates up to 110 pounds and the Frontier accommodates up to 120 pounds.

Q: How do you turn the Britax Pioneer from harness mode to booster mode?

A: To convert from harness to booster, unbuckle and loosen the harness straps completely and wrap the straps around each arm rest. Pull the seat’s cover and seat pan forward, then unhook the harness straps from their anchors.

Remove the harness pads and then raise the headrest as high as it will go. Once you do this, tuck the harness straps under each side wing cover. Put the seat cover back down and remove the belly pad.

Then, unhook the seat cover clips and tuck the buckle into the provided compartment. Put everything back into place and then your seat is ready for booster mode.

Q: How do you recline the Britax Pioneer?

A: The Britax Pioneer has a recline lever located at the front of the seat. Simply pull forward until you get the recline position desired. Be sure to adjust the recline position before installing the seat in your car to ensure a secure fit.

Q: How wide is the Britax Pioneer?

A: At its widest point (the shoulder area), the seat measures at 19 inches. The actual seating area measures in at roughly 12 inches.

Q: How long is the Britax Pioneer good for?

A: The Britax Pioneer can be used up to nine years after the date of manufacture.

Britax Pioneer Vs. Britax Frontier

Both the Pioneer and Frontier are great combination seats that ensure the safety of your little one. However, there are a few key differences that contribute to why we think the Pioneer may be a better fit for you.

For starters, the Pioneer is much lighter than the Frontier. The Pioneer weighs approximately 21 pounds while the latter weighs in at 25 pounds. The Pioneer is also the more budget-friendly choice of the two.

However, the main difference between the two is that the Pioneer can be used up until your child reaches 110 pounds, while the Frontier accommodates up to 120 pounds. This difference also reflects the price of each as the Pioneer costs almost $100 less than its opponent.

All in all, the Pioneer is the better option if you want to be more budget-friendly. Considering that it includes basically the same important features the Frontier has, you aren’t missing out on much besides that extra 10 pounds. Your child may not even need a booster seat up to that point anyways, so why not save the money?

Similarities

  • Both have an expiration date of nine years
  • Both have the same safety technology
  • Both are chair-style seats

Differences

  • Frontier has a larger weight limit for harness and booster modes
  • Pioneer is less expensive
  • Pioneer weighs less than the Frontier

Britax Pioneer Vs. Graco Nautilus

Both the Britax Pioneer and the Graco Nautilus are popular choices amongst parents. The key difference between the two is that the Nautilus is a convertible seat while the Pioneer is a combination seat. This means the Nautilus may be used rear-facing while the other cannot.

This may make the Nautilus seem like the clear winner of the two. However, if you don’t need rear-facing mode anymore, it seems almost pointless to buy a convertible even if it’s seemingly less expensive.

Not to mention the Pioneer also accommodates your child up to 10 pounds heavier than the Nautilus. The Pioneer also comes in more color options than the Nautilus as well. 

Similarities

  • Both are harness-to-booster seats
  • Both are LATCH compatible
  • Both have a non-rethread harness

Differences

  • Nautilus has a longer expiration date
  • Pioneer accommodates longer in harness and booster modes
  • Nautilus can be used as a backless booster

Britax Pioneer Vs. Chicco MyFit

Between these two, we like the Pioneer more for a few reasons. For starters, the Chicco MyFit is more expensive than the Pioneer despite having a very similar design and accommodating up to 10 pounds less than the Pioneer. 

The Pioneer also has a longer expiration date and can be used in forward-facing harness mode until 70 pounds while the MyFit caps out at 65 pounds. All in all, the Pioneer is a more budget-friendly option that also accommodates your child for longer.

The Pioneer has an expiration date of nine years after the date of manufacture while the MyFit caps out at eight years.

Similarities

  • Both are harness-to-booster seats
  • Chair-style seats
  • Both are LATCH compatible

Differences

  • Pioneer doesn’t have belt lock-offs
  • Pioneer lasts longer than the MyFit
  • Pioneer will hold 110 pounds, MyFit will hold 100 pounds

Solid Option 

All in all, the Britax Pioneer is a solid option if you don’t want to worry about purchasing another seat for booster mode. It lasts well after your child won’t need a booster anymore and encourages extended harness use with its 70 pound harness maximum.

We like this seat because it offers superior safety and is still relatively affordable when compared to other similar seats. If you hate shopping and safety is a big deal for you, the Britax Pioneer is the perfect choice for your family.

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

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