As I’m sure you already know Britax has quite the range on car seats on the market from infant seats to booster seats and every convertible and combination seat in between. Previously I have done reviews on the Britax Marathon, Boulevard, Advocate, and the ClickTight update. The ClickTight is the “new” installation system from Britax that is essentially revolutionizing the way we install car seats these days. I really can’t believe how simple installation is using this new system. I can’t stress it enough, I mean, it’s literally so easy that your 1st grader could do it on their own and then climb into the seat after and buckle themselves in! with adult supervision of course =) Last week I reviewed the Britax Frontier which is basically the little brother to the Britax Pinnacle so I thought why not do a bit of comparison on them and point out the differences since they are so similar.
What are the main differences between the Britax Frontier and the Britax Pinnacle?
Britax Frontier vs Pinnacle then. These really are brother/sister seats and are very similar with only a small difference to distinguish. First let’s do the similarities though. They are both Harness-2-Booster seats that take you from forward-facing and fully harnessed to the last booster seat your little one will ever need. They have the same height, weight limits, safety features, and long 9-year lifespan. They also both utilize the ClickTight Installation system for super easy installation using the seatbelt. Now that we can see how similar they really are it begs the question, what’s the difference?
There’s actually only one difference that makes the Pinnacle $40 more expensive. The addition of Britax’s patented Side Impact Cushion Technology. These are cushions that absorb crash impact energy located on the outside of the torso area. The cushions are designed to absorb crash energy before it reaches the child by expelling air though vents placed in the cushions. Britax claims that this feature reduces impact crash energy by 45%. But the real question here is…is it worth $40 more? In the end, that’s a decision for you to make as the parent. The Side Impact Cushion Technology does provide increased side protection in the event of a crash, but it adds extra width to the seat. So, if this is going to be your one and only seat in the back of the car, then maybe it’s worth it. But, if you have two or more seats in the back then it might not even fit. The thing to remember here though, is in the event of a crash the most important thing is to have a car seat that’s properly and securely installed with the harness fitted snugly around your child.
- Item Weight: 30lbs
- Orientation: forward facing, high back booster
- Weight limits: forward facing – 25-90lbs, high back booster – 40-120lbs
- Height limit: forward facing – 30-58in, high back booster – 45-62in
- Harness: 5 point
What are the Pros of the Pinnacle?
- ClickTight – This is the new features from Britax that debuted last year and has everyone talking and it’s what really sets the Pinnacle apart from combination car seats on the market. ClickTight is essentially an automatic seatbelt installation system that takes all that pulling and tugging at the seatbelt work away from you. All you do is lift up the cover to show the ClickTight panel, then pass the seatbelt through the pathway marked in green, buckle it, close the cover, and DONE! It really is that easy, and I can pretty much guarantee that once you install it, your jaw will drop and a look of amazement will sweep across your face…as that’s pretty much what happened to me.
- Energy-Absorbing Foam Liner – Absorbs and helps to evenly distribute crash forces in the event of a crash. The seat is also deep with a nice layer of foam for extra protection that comes around covering the child on the sides.
- Height Settings – In older models you needed to uninstall the seat to adjust the harness for your growing child, now you no longer need to uninstall anything. You also now have 9 different height adjustments that are adjustable from the front without re-installing everything. As a bonus, there’s also two crotch positions that are also adjustable while the seat is installed.
- EZ-Buckle System – I love Britax’s EZ-Buckle system. It keeps the harness and crotch straps nicely out of the way while you put your child in the seat and then makes it simple to find them once you’re ready to buckle them in. I’ve heard some parents call it their extra pair of hands, and I definitely agree.
- Height and Weight Limits – Britax has raised the industry standard with this seat by slightly increasing the height and weight limits which allows with the 5 point harness to be used up to 90lbs. Even the tallest kids are going to have a tough time outgrowing this seat before they’re ready.
And the Cons?
- LATCH – I’m not sure this is really a con, but I’ll put it here anyway. LATCH on this seat is limited to 38lbs (most go to 65lbs), but this seat uses ClickTight so really….what’s the big deal anyway?
- Heavy – Britax is usually one of the heaviest seats on the market and this is no exception. But, most convertible/booster seats are heavy which allows for a higher weight limit.
- Expensive – Also a common theme with Britax is price, and these come in at the top with hardly any discount available.
How do consumers rate it?
The Pinnacle ClickTight gets great reviews at about 4.7 out of 5 stars. Parents love the ClickTight and how easy it makes installation. Another common theme among what parents love about Britax seats are their safety features. Britax really delivers in this aspect, and the Pinnacle has all the bells and whistles.
What’s it going to cost?
The Pinnacle has an MSRP of $369 and I found it difficult to find a discount on the seat. As is typical, certain colors are discounted while others remain at full price. On Amazon the seat comes down to around $330, which is a pretty solid $40 discount. It’s also free shipping and returns from Amazon, and the same warranty as offered by the manufacturer.
The Bottom Line
The Pinnacle is a fantastic seat with tons of great safety elements and a lot of features that make the seat easier for parents to use. For me, the ClickTight absolutely makes this seat. Installation is super easy, and even more than it being easy, it’s a secure installation that makes me feel comfortable to put my child in the seat. The seat is also super plush and soft, which is a real benefit comfort wise on long or short car trips. Hearing complaints about the seat is really the last thing I want to add to my day, am I right? All in all, I highly recommend both the Britax Pinnacle and Britax Frontier ClickTight seats if you’re looking for a Harness-2-Booster seat. You really can’t go wrong with either seat, it’s just up to you whether the added side impact protection is necessary.