First of all, let’s take a look at some of the similar features. Both the Britax Frontier 85 and the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 convert from a forward-facing harnessed car seat to a belt positioning booster seat. Both combination booster seats also offer a 5-point adjustable child safety harness, one-hand adjust head rests, arm rests, and both have a minimum weight recommendation of 25 pounds and 2 years. Both the Britax Frontier 85 and the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 also offer cushioned seat pads with removable, machine washable covers, and both booster seats offer LATCH and seat belt installations.
First off, the Graco Nautilus is a 3-in-1 car seat/booster seat, offering the forward-facing car seat position, the belt-positioning booster seat, and the backless booster seat.
The Britax Frontier 85 does not offer the backless booster seat option, only the forward-facing harnessed option and the belt-positioning booster seat. However, it can be used as a forward-facing harnessed car seat up to 85 pounds, whereas the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 has a harness with a max weight limit of 65 pounds.
Also, the Britax Frontier 85 goes all the way up to 120 pounds in booster seat mode, whereas the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 only goes up to 100 pounds.
Both booster seats offer cup holders and a snack tray, but the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 only offers one cup holder with two side snack cubbies. The Britax Frontier 85 offers integrated dual cup holders on each side which also double as snack containers.
Now, because the Britax Frontier 85 has a higher weight limit in the harnessed mode it has 10 different harness height adjustments and 3 buckle positions. The Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 does not have quite as many and it only has two buckle positions.
Let’s talk safety. First of all, both booster seats offer EPS, energy-absorbing foam in the car seat, however, the Britax Frontier 85 Booster Seat goes a step further offering an energy-absorbing base, as well as an energy-absorbing versa-tether that anchors to the top of the seat. It also offers True Side Impact Protection, which basically consists of solid head support, a rigid shell, and deep side walls. These features act as a barrier, shielding your child from vehicle intrusion, keeping their little spines aligned properly, and providing protection against impact forces. The Britax Frontier 85 also offers HUGS, Harness Ultra-Guard System, which reduces forward movement of the child in the event of an accident.
The Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 does not come with near as many safety features, but it does offer a steel reinforced frame, and it’s been tested extensively. Testing includes side-impact testing, extreme car interior temperature testing, and it’s been put through the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) Compliance Standard, finishing with a peak crash force approximately twice the car seat standard. The Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 also meets or exceeds all the U.S. Safety Standards.
The Britax Frontier 85 has also been tested extensively. Britax is the BEST when it comes to testing their own car seats, running them through Dynamic Crash Tests (Front-Impact), which are much like the Federal Crash Test Standard, as well as Side Impact Testing, and even Vibration Testing for comfort.
As for reviews and customer satisfaction, the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 had more reviews, but the Britax Frontier 85 had a higher customer satisfaction rating. In other words, 896 out of 1,017 reviewers rated the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 4 to 5 stars, with 5 being the max, giving it a customer satisfaction rating of 88%, which is not bad at all. However, the Britax Frontier 85 booster seat had 304 out of 325 reviewers rate it 4 to 5 stars, that’s a 94% customer satisfaction rating, which is EXCELLENT.
Last but not least, we have the price difference. The Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 is definitely the cheaper of the two, with a listing price of $189.99. The Britax Frontier 85 lists for $299.99.
Britax Frontier 85
The Britax Frontier 85 Combination Booster Seat offers more safety features, a higher weight limit in harnessed mode and booster mode, has a better customer satisfaction rating, and it costs about $60.00 dollars more. You can get the Britax Frontier 85 at Amazon for $209.98, 30% Off.
Graco Nautilus 3-In-1
On the other side of the fence, the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 meets or exceeds all the U.S. Safety Standards, offers a backless booster mode in addition to a belt-positioning booster and harnessed mode, offers a steel-reinforced frame and structure, and costs less. You can get the Graco Nautilus 3-In-1 at Amazon for $129.00, 32% Off.
If you’re still undecided, check out the FULL Reviews listed below for more information including video demonstrations.
Best Booster Seats – The below list includes the best booster seats on the market with the best features, the best customer feedback, and the best prices.
Best Car Seats – Best Selling List – Below I’ve listed some of the best car seats available on the market, including Infant Car Seats, Convertible Car Seats, and Booster Seats.
If you like the article, please pass it on. Like me on facebook or give me a Google +1. - Thanks