The Britax Frontier vs. Graco Nautilus Car Seats
We review so many car seats on MyBaby.org that we’ve become pretty familiar with all of them. The moms on our Mom’s Panel have been very generous in sharing their experiences and we’ve done our own testing and evaluations as well before coming up with our Top Ten lists.
However, there are some brands that have more than one model on our list of favorites or sometimes we have two brands that seem to be tied in the eyes of our moms. In those cases, it can be hard for moms to decide between the two. So, we’ve decided to offer a few side-by-side comparisons of these popular car seats, to make it easier for you to make an informed buying decision.
Here, we’re comparing the Britax Frontier vs. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1. They’re both extremely popular car seats, both with the general public and our Mom’s Panel.
For the most part, we’ll be comparing the two models on these points:
- Safety ratings and safety features
- Ease of use
When there are other features that really go into our decision of one car seat over the other, we’ll let you know about those, too. Sometimes it’s little extras that really make a difference between one car seat and another.
• Both car seats are highly rated for safety, but the Britax Frontier has several patented safety features that the Graco Nautilus does not. The first is the Versa-Tether system, which anchors the top of the seat at two points to minimize forward motion. The Britax Frontier also has the Harness Ultra-Guard System, which reduces forward head movement and the optional SecureGuard attachment to prevent your child from slipping under the lap belt when you’re using the frontier as a booster.
• That being said, the Graco Nautilus has been crash-tested very extensively and gets consistently high safety ratings.
• The Graco Nautilus is similar to the Britax Frontier in offering an excellent five point harness as well as extra protection materials in the event of a side impact.
• The Graco Nautilus is rated up to 100 pounds, but the Britax Frontier is rated up to 125 pounds, which means your child can be safely secured in a car seat for quite a bit longer than with the Graco Nautilus.
Ease of Use
• Both car seats have some excellent design features that make them very user friendly.
• The Britax Frontier has ten harness height positions and three buckle positions. The Graco Nautilus only has two buckle positions and three harness height positions. This may make a serious difference for your toddler and small child, although it won’t be an issue when used as a backless booster.
• Both seats allow you to adjust the shoulder straps without rethreading, but our Moms report that the Britax makes it a lot easier.
• The Britax Frontier is narrower than the Graco Nautilus, which may make it easier to use for those of you with limited space.
• There is quite a price difference between the Britax Frontier vs. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1. The Britax usually runs about $215-220, while the Graco can be found for around $135-145. One thought about the price difference, though, is that the Britax could last you quite a bit longer, since it’s rated up to 125 pounds.
Our Final Conclusion
Both of these car seats are excellent products for safety and value. If you’re on a very tight budget, you certainly won’t go wrong by purchasing the Graco Nautilus. However, when comparing Britax Frontier vs. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1, we have to go with the Britax Frontier because of all of the extra safety features and the 125 pound rating.
The best prices we’ve seen for the Britax Frontier are on Amazon, where you can often find it as low as $213, including free shipping. That’s a much better deal than you’ll get from the superstores or the baby department stores.