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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    13

    Default Britax Pinnacle Issues

    My 5 year old twins are in Boulevard 70CS seats. I need to move them to boosters and I want them in 5 point harnesses. Britax calls them Harness-2-Booster Seats. I chose the Britax Pinnacle because of the high weight limit for the harness and because of the Britax brand. I didn't do much research into other brands, so I don't have a backup seat in mind. I don't know if I need to move on from the Pinnacle and choose a different brand. I could use some advice.

    We have tried 3 Pinnacles so far. The Pinnacle has the ClickTight feature to install it and you squeeze two buttons together to release it. On the first booster (Booster 1), the right button was stuck and we couldn't release / open the seat to thread the seat belt. It was basically defective, so we sent it back and ordered a replacement. Booster 1 was never installed in the car. The ClickTight worked fine on the second booster (Booster 2), so we installed it into our 2011 Honda Odyssey. We found it extremely, extremely difficult to tighten the harness the recommended amount. It was so difficult that I did not want to keep the seat, so we removed Booster 2 from the van. When we returned Booster 1 we ordered a replacement (Booster 3). The ClickTight feature on Booster 3 works perfectly. Booster 3 is currently installed and it is difficult to tighten the harness. If Booster 2 was a difficulty 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, Booster 3 is a difficulty of 6.5. I think for a $300 car seat it should not be difficult to tighten, but perhaps I'm wrong. When I tighten it the front of the seat lifts off of the seat of the van.

    Due to these problems, I don't know if we should stick with the Pinnacle. I've found a lot of reviews on Amazon saying it's very hard to tighten the Pinnacle harness and other reviews saying the Frontier has the same problem. I've been looking at other seats and I'm not sure what to do. Live with having a harness that's difficult to tighten? Find a new seat? There aren't a lot of Harness-2-Booster seats to choose from and I'm not wild about the Cons of some of the seats. The 65 pound weight limit isn't ideal. My children are 5 and big for their age (I need to put them on a scale tomorrow because I don't know how much they weigh, but I'm sure it's over 50 pounds). The lack of seat belt lock-off isn't ideal because I would worry terribly that I didn't do it correctly or that it would fail.

    I am open to advice and suggestions.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    744

    Default

    We have the frontier clicktight, and the harness is really hard to tighten. I find it really frustrating, because I love everything else about the seat. There is often extra slack in the harness, and it will. Not. Tighten. I usually have to spend an extra couple minutes getting it safe. I agree, that for such an expensive seat, it should really not he so hard to tighten.

  3. #3
    trcy is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    4,687

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    Quote Originally Posted by amom526 View Post
    We have the frontier clicktight, and the harness is really hard to tighten. I find it really frustrating, because I love everything else about the seat. There is often extra slack in the harness, and it will. Not. Tighten. I usually have to spend an extra couple minutes getting it safe. I agree, that for such an expensive seat, it should really not he so hard to tighten.
    I have the same issue with the frontier
    DD 12/10
    DS 10/15

  4. #4
    Smillow's Avatar
    Smillow is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Nov 2009
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    VA
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    We have had the Pinnacle for at least a year and yes, the harness is difficult to tighten. I will be switching it to booster mode next month.
    DS 2/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    4,951

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    I have the pioneer and have not had that issue though I have it on the perfect tightness and don't loosen the straps for DD1 to get out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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    20,018

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philly Mom View Post
    I have the pioneer and have not had that issue though I have it on the perfect tightness and don't loosen the straps for DD1 to get out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I hate to say that might be the best answer, but it might be the best answer. Or, if it's a lot easier to tighten with no child in the seat, then let them loosen to get out, but tug it back in before they buckle so there's only one or two tugs needed to get it back to tight.

    Is it like the old Marathons and Radians that were a tug-release-tug motion? We used to spend hours describing how to tighten harnesses to people that way, but since I haven't seen discussion about Frontiers in the same way, I guess it's not....? Would it help to hold the harness release flap open when tugging?

    Wombatgirl...the only other option that might suit you is the Nautilus 80, it's got a really nice shoulder belt lockoff, and all Nautis have further out third crotch slots for bigger kids, but I think you need pliers to get the buckle retainer into them, I've tried with bare hands a few times and no luck, I can only get the buckle into the second-slot out.
    Julie
    Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST)

    DS age 18--Driving--(booster till 11 and almost 5ft tall)
    DD1 age 16--Learner's Permit!(booster till 11 and almost 5 ft tall)
    DD2 age 9-Safety 1st Incognito
    http://picasaweb.google.com/joolstag/LeahInCarseats#

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    13

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. It's nice to know I'm not the only one with these issues. I'm so disappointed in Britax right now!

    Julie, I don't know what the old Marathons and Radians were like, so I can't answer your question about tug-release-tug. I can say I've tried holding the harness release flap open and it doesn't help.

    The Graco Nautilus 80 looks interesting. Amazon doesn't seem to have it and that is such a bummer! Given the issues I'm having, the free returns Amazon has on car seats is something I would really like to have.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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    Yeah, boy, I'd hate to even have to ship a seat. Do you have BRU local to you? You can try it in the car at least (or buy from BRU online if it's a reasonable price and return to any TRU, even, if that's closer to you and something is super awful with it... usually they take anything back, just tell them the harness sucks and they won't question you, lol). It's literally the same as every other Nautilus, but it has the belt lockoff and lots of padding on the armrests.
    Julie
    Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST)

    DS age 18--Driving--(booster till 11 and almost 5ft tall)
    DD1 age 16--Learner's Permit!(booster till 11 and almost 5 ft tall)
    DD2 age 9-Safety 1st Incognito
    http://picasaweb.google.com/joolstag/LeahInCarseats#

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I do have a BRU local, but it appears the Nautilus 80 isn't sold in the store. I can get one online from BRU or Target. If I have to return it, Target is closer, so I might get it from there.

    The thing is, while reading the Nautilus 80 manual, I found the information about tightening the harness and determining if the harness is tight enough. This is what it says: Tighten the Harness by Pulling the Harness Adjustment Strap A snug harness should not allow any slack. It lies in a relatively straight line without sagging. It does not press on the child’s flesh or push the child’s body into an unnatural position. When you are not able to pinch any of the harness webbing at your child’s shoulder, the harness is tight enough.

    That took me to the Pinnacle manual, which says this: Pull the harness adjuster strap to tighten the harness. * The harness should have a snug fit around the child. A snug strap should not allow any slack. It lies in a relatively straight line without sagging. It does not press on the child’s flesh or push the child’s body into an unnatural position. You should not be able to pinch excess webbing.

    I've been trying to tighten to the 2 finger rule where I can't fit 2 fingers under the chest clip and there's way more room than that between their chest and the chest clip. For my daughter, I have had times I cannot get it tight enough to be under 2 fingers - it just seems too loose. But, I don't think there's any slack in the straps (I'll have to check that tomorrow). Did I make up the 2 finger rule in my head? My brain did break when I had twins and it never recovered. Can you explain how to know if the harness is tight enough?
    Last edited by wombatgirl; 01-14-2016 at 11:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA.
    Posts
    20,018

    Default

    No, you didn't make it up, that was the old rule...2 fingers (but I never even saw a picture of what that means! Parallel or Perpendicular to the shoulder? They never said! Except I think it was supposed to be on the shoulder, not the chest clip...see what a bad rule it was?).

    What we use now is 'the pinch test', you try to pinch fabric vertically on the shoulder, and if your fingers just slide together, it's tight enough. (Scroll down to the picture of baby Romeo to see what that looks like... http://carseatblog.com/33533/are-you...seat-mistakes/)

    Britaxes tend to be loose over the chest, even when the shoulder is tight enough, so maybe you've just been trying too hard?
    Julie
    Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST)

    DS age 18--Driving--(booster till 11 and almost 5ft tall)
    DD1 age 16--Learner's Permit!(booster till 11 and almost 5 ft tall)
    DD2 age 9-Safety 1st Incognito
    http://picasaweb.google.com/joolstag/LeahInCarseats#

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