Britax, Graco

Britax Pioneer vs Graco Nautilus

If you are confused between Britax Pioneer vs Graco Nautilus, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss the comparison between these two convertible booster seats. They are available in a similar price range. However, they do come with different features. While Britax Pioneer is a good model, Graco Nautilus is generally better.

Continue reading below to learn more about:
– The dimensions of each booster seat here
– The available color choices on each model
– The built-in modes and height/weight limits on each model
– The installation system of each model
– The comparison of their harness adjustment systems
– The safety of Britax Pioneer vs Graco Nautilus
– Which convertible booster seat that is more recommended

Size and Weight
First of all, let’s begin by comparing the dimensions of Britax Pioneer and Graco Nautilus. Most parents prefer a car seat that is compact and lightweight. A compact car seat will allow you to save some leg room. It may also allow you to fit three units across the backseat – an essential feature if you have more than one child.See also: Britax Pioneer vs Pinnacle.

Britax Pioneer is the slightly larger one of the two. This model measures 19 inches x 21 inches x 28 inches. Although it is not overly bulky, it is not slim enough to allow you to fit three units across the same row. So, if you need to use three car seats simultaneously, you need to look elsewhere. However, if you only need to use one or two car seats at once, this model is still a viable option.

The weight is about 26 lbs. Indeed, it is not light. As the effect, it is only suitable for a fixed installation in a single car. It is not really recommended for portable use (i.e. you have two cars and you want to be able to move your car seat between the cars from time to time) because of the bulky and heavy body, even though the installation system is actually very easy and quick, as you’ll see below.

Graco Nautilus is relatively more compact and more lightweight. It measures 18 inches x 20 inches x 28 inches. Compared to most infant car seats and booster seats in the market, this model is quite slimmer. In some cars, it allows three units to fit across the backseat. If you have three children and your car isn’t a particularly narrow one, this model is a good choice.

It is relatively lighter at about 20.5 lbs. There are more lightweight models out there, but at least it is already quite easy to set up. Still, it is more recommended for a fixed installation; it is not really recommended for traveling.

Color Choices
Now, let’s take a look at the available color choices of Britax Pioneer vs Graco Nautilus. In general, they both are good-looking car seats. However, Britax Pioneer offers more color options than Graco Nautilus.

Britax Pioneer has a sporty yet streamlined look. It has a tall back with nice side walls and a pair of armrests with cup holders. There are 8 color options, which include Domino (black with some red parts under the armrests), Ashton (black and dark gray), Summit (medium gray), Beckham (light gray), Silver Cloud (black with a dotted pattern), Static (black with a blurry pattern), Oasis (black and blue), and Confetti (black and purple).

Graco Nautilus also has a sporty look. The design of the pads and side walls somehow make it look beefy, but in a good way. It also has a pair of armrests, but it only has one cup holder and one small storage compartment on the right side.

Unfortunately, Graco Nautilus is a bit short when it comes to color options. There are just 3 color options, which are Sully (black and light blue), Fern (black and green), and Sylvia (black and pink). Nevertheless, these color options can already suit a wide range of styles and preferences.

Usability
One of the biggest differences between Britax Pioneer vs Graco Nautilus is the usability. When choosing between these two models, you should consider how long you are going to use the booster and whether you will need a backless booster or not in the future.

Britax Pioneer is a convertible booster with 2 built-in modes. First, it can serve as a harnessed forward-facing car seat for a toddler. While in this mode, it can accommodate a child with a weight between 25 – 70 lbs and a height between 30 – 58 inches. That should go for a fairly long time. Second, it can serve as a high-back booster seat with a weight range of 40 – 110 lbs and a height range of 45 – 62 inches.

Unfortunately, Britax Pioneer doesn’t convert into a backless booster seat. Although a high-back booster seat is ideal for a small kid and generally provides better side impact protection, you need a backless booster seat in order to fit a taller, bigger kid.

Graco Nautilus is a convertible booster with 3 built-in modes. It is generally more versatile than Britax Pioneer because it is suitable for a wide range of child physicality. It is good for toddlers, small kids, and big kids.

The maximum weight limit is actually lower than Britax Pioneer, so it is less suitable for particularly heavy children. That said, kids usually reach 100 lbs when they are about 9 – 10 years old, so you still can use the car seat for a fairly long time.

In the harnessed forward-facing mode, the weight range is 22 – 65 lbs, and the height range is 27 – 49 inches. In the high-back booster mode, the weight range is 30 – 100 lbs, and the height range is 38 – 57 inches. In the backless booster mode, the weight range is 40 – 100 lbs, and the height range is 40 – 57 inches.

So, with Graco Nautilus, you can use the high-back booster mode once your child has outgrown the harnessed mode. Later, when your child has become quite tall and big, you can convert it into the backless booster mode to provide a better fit.

Installation
Britax Pioneer comes with the Easy-On/Off LATCH Connectors. Actually, the connectors are quite easy to lock. However, just like the case with many other car seats that rely on the LATCH connectors, some users complain that the connectors are difficult to tighten.

Fortunately, Britax Pioneer can also be installed using the seat belt. Although this model lacks the ClickTight installation system (a feature that is available on the higher models), the seat belt installation is still quite easy and straightforward. There is a label that provides clear instructions for the seat belt installation.

Graco Nautilus also comes with the LATCH connectors. Unfortunately, this is not the company’s proprietary InRight LATCH system, which is very easy and convenient to use. They are just standard connectors, which some people find difficult to tighten. However, if you have troubles in using the LATCH connectors, you can still install it using the seat belt.

Harness Adjustment
One of the biggest issues that parents usually face when using car seats is the difficult harness adjustment process. Many models in the market require you to manually re-thread the harness straps. That’s very time-consuming. Britax Pioneer vs Graco Nautilus set themselves apart from the competition by coming with their own proprietary harness adjustment systems – without any manual re-threading.

Britax Pioneer comes with a quick-adjust harness system with 9 selectable positions. You can change the position the height of the harness simply by pressing a button. This is incredibly convenient. The multiple positions also allow you to give the best fit for your child.

Graco Nautilus comes with the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System with 5 selectable headrest positions. It allows you to change the headrest and harness position in one simple motion. You can do this with just a single hand.

Safety
Britax Pioneer has been tested to meet or exceed the government safety standards. So, rest assured, it can provide optimum safety and protection to your child. It has good safety features, such as the SafeCell Impact Absorbing Base and SafeCell Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame. It has two layers of side impact protection. On the front side, there is a V-shaped tether which secures the position and prevents forward movement.

Graco Nautilus also has excellent build quality and safety. This model features a steel-reinforced frame which provides exceptional strength and durability, as well as thick energy-absorbing EPS foam padding for impact management.It has been tested for occupant retention in side impact scenarios, and it has passed the government standards as well. According to the company, it has a peak crash force of about 2X of the government standard, so it should be very durable

Britax Pioneer vs Graco Nautilus

- Toddler to Big Kid: Easily transition from harness to belt-positioning booster as your child grows
- Easy Installation: Use LATCH connectors or the vehicle seat belt to secure the car seat
- No rethreading, ever: Quick-adjust 9-position harness for a comfortable, secure fit
- Surrounded in safety: 2 layers of side impact protection, steel frame, impact absorbing base, and forward-movement reducing v-shaped tether
- Fits: Forward-facing harness mode 25-70 pounds, Booster mode 40-110 pounds; Maximum Dimensions: 19 W x 35 H x 21 D inches
- 3-in-1 harness booster helps protect your child from toddler to youth (No rear facing mode)
- Front facing car seat harness booster (22 - 65 lb.), high back booster (30 - 100 lb.), backless booster (40 - 100 lb.)
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest in one motion, to ensure that your child is always properly secured
- 3-position recline helps keep your growing child comfy
- Side-impact tested for occupant retention with built-in 5-point harness system

Conclusion
In general, between these two models, Graco Nautilus is more recommended. It has three modes and can convert into a backless booster mode, so it is more versatile. It can be used for a longer time, so it will give a better value for the money. The build quality and safety are very good.