When it comes to car seats, safety is the most important factor. As long as you provide your child with a safe, reliable seat, you can breathe easier when you drive. If you need an affordable car seat for your child, consider the Cosco Scenera convertible car seat. This car seat can safely accommodate your child for a long range of weights and heights, so it’s a worthwhile investment. There are many more expensive car seats on the market, but the Cosco Scenera NEXT provides a practical and comfortable choice.
This guide will give you all the information you need about this car seat. You’ll get a comprehensive review of its specifications, professional reviews and customer experiences. Then, we will provide a head-to-head comparison of the Cosco Scenera NEXT and other popular convertible car seats. Give your child a safe and comfortable ride, whether across the street or across the country.
What is a Convertible Car Seat?
During your child’s first few years of life, there are two basic choices for car seats. You can purchase an infant car seat, which is only available in the rear-facing position, or you can buy a convertible car seat. Convertible seats are multi-functioning because they are available for forward-facing and rear-facing positions. Because of this flexibility, they can keep your child safe and comfortable for a longer period of time. Usually, convertible car seats have a heavier weight limit (anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds), and a taller height limit (usually up to 57 inches).
The benefit of infant car seats is that they are designed with smaller babies in mind. They typically have an easy-to-remove car seat that clips onto a base that is installed in your car. Infant seats allow you to easily remove a sleeping baby from your vehicle and easily carry them safely and gently into your home. There are pros and cons to choosing between the car seats, but convertible car seats are far more cost-effective because they will last for much longer.
What is the Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat?
The Cosco Scenera NEXT is a simple car seat with all the safety features you need. It uses a five-point harness and side impact protection to meet or exceed both TSA security and Federal Safety Standards. It’s completely adjustable and has an easy-to-remove padded cover. It’s one of the most affordable car seats on the market. However, this car seat doesn’t come with any additional comfort or convenience features. While your child will be safe, the padding is not as comfortable as other, high-end car seats. Some customers have difficulty easily installing this seat, and you need to remove the seat completely in order to adjust the shoulder straps to a higher position.
It comes with a single, removable cup holder, but doesn’t have any other accessories. Customers love the convenience and safety of this convertible car seat. However, some customers feel the lack of shoulder strap padding makes it less comfortable for the baby. It also doesn’t include some of the more premium additional safety features, like a steel frame or additional layers of side impact protection. This car seat comes in a variety of color and pattern choices, which makes it easy to personalize. It can be used for children up to 40 pounds and 43 inches tall. This is a great bonus if you need more than one car seat, as each child will have a very unique and memorable seat.
Car Seat Safety Basics
Whether this is your first car seat or not, it’s important to review the basic safety features of any car seat. While this list will serve as a good reminder, it’s important to always read your car seat owner’s manual. Each car seat has slightly different features to consider, and laws on car seat safety can change very frequently.
These rules should be seen as a basic guide and reminder of some practical steps to keep your child safe. Any time your child is in the car, they should be in the correct safety restraint, whether a car seat, booster seat or seat belt. Even a short trip in the car can be dangerous for your child if they are not secured.
Secure the Car Seat
Before your child steps foot into the car, it’s important to make sure the seat is secure. Review the height and weight requirements to make sure your child is facing the right direction. Use the strap system, or your car’s seat belt, to ensure a tight fit. Your child will be far safer in rear-facing, so try to keep them in that direction as long as they are safe. Car seats should be placed in the rear seat, without any airbag.
Secure Your Child
Check the straps on the five-point harness to make sure your child will remain secure. Ensure the shoulder straps are set to the correct position and are adjusted properly. When possible, you shouldn’t have any blankets or bulky coats on, under or over your child. Always refer to the owner’s manual to make sure your car seat is properly adjusted and correctly supporting your child.
Car seats, like most items, come with a wide price range. The Cosco Scenera NEXT represents one of the least expensive car seats on the market, at only. On the high end, you can pay as much as $569.99 for a premium car seat with layers of padding and easy installation.
The car seats on this list represent some of the most affordable and practical convertible car seats on the market. They range from $44.98 to $88.79. Consider your budget and determine whether a cost-effective car seat is right for you. While these seats may not offer any extravagant additional features, they provide the most important feature of all, which is excellent protection for your child.
You can purchase the Cosco Scenera NEXT online, directly from Cosco or from a third-party retailer, like Amazon. While it may be tempting to look for used models, it isn’t recommended to buy a used car seat. A car seat’s warranty is voided if the car the seat is installed in experiences an accident. Any damage or impact could compromise the safety of the car seat. Car seat laws are also constantly changing, so most car seats expire after six-to-ten years. Be sure to check the manufacturing date on your car seat and register it to make sure you are up-to-date on any recalls.
How It Compares
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The Contender65 is a step-up in terms of both price and convenience. This car seat has a few additions, like a level to indicate the proper angle of the seat in rear-facing position. It also has additional padding, for added comfort. The extra supportive material can also be removed, giving you different options to make your child feel comfortable. It’s still rated very highly in terms of safety, and the seat uses energy absorbing foam to ensure your child is protected in the event of any impact.As your child grows, the headrest and harness can be adjusted, which is an excellent feature due to the extended weight limit. This durable car seat can support children up to 65 pounds. The built-in cup holder is a convenient feature, and this seat also comes in a few varieties of colors. However, this car seat is twice the price of the Cosco Scenera NEXT, without many additional features. While it has slightly more padding and is great for older toddlers, it doesn’t have any additional convenience features or necessary features.
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For a sturdy car seat that balances affordability and comfort, the Evenflo Tribute Sport is capable of accommodating children up to 40 pounds and 40 inches. It is slightly more adjustable than the Scenera NEXT, as the crotch buckle can be moved into two positions. However, it isn’t able to accommodate a child quite as tall. This car seat is another compact, cost-effective model, so it’s a great choice for traveling, whether in a car or airplane. The Tribute Sport is also designed to exceed safety standards and is rated for twice the energy levels as the federal minimum. It has slightly more padding than the Cosco Scenera NEXT, but no extra convenience features, like easy-to-install latches and straps. It’s another excellent choice, particularly if you want a little more comfort for a slightly higher price.
Pros and Cons of the Cosco Scenera Convertible Car Seat
Every car seat has a range of pros and cons for you to consider. Whether you are buying a secondary car seat or your very first model, be sure to review all the features before choosing the right car seat for your baby. The Cosco Scenera NEXT is a popular choice, but there are reasons to consider other car seats as well.
This car seat is incredibly affordable. You can save hundreds of dollars while still providing a safe ride for your child. It may not come with any of the luxury features, but many high-end car seats come with unnecessary additions. By keeping the design simple, Cosco has made a seat that is affordable, lightweight and a great choice for air travel. It is TSA-approved and is light enough to carry through the airport.
Because it is a convertible model, the Cosco Scenera NEXT can grow with your child and last for several years. It has a cup holder, which can be removed if it becomes a nuisance. The slim design of the Scenera NEXT allows it to fit three seats across in most vehicles. This is a huge benefit if you have several children. If you are considering more than one car seat for your family, this model comes in enough color and pattern variations to please any child. Many customers report this is one of the slimmest designs available, so it fits into very small back seats on most vehicles.
While this car seat is affordable and meets the minimum safety standards, it has little additional protection. Many higher-priced car seats have extra layers of padding and have more than double the minimum safety standards. This car seat also has very thin padding when compared to other seats, so it won’t be comfortable for long trips. While the shoulder straps are adjustable, the crotch strap doesn’t adjust. You will also need to remove the car seat in order to adjust the shoulder strap position or to remove the washable cover.
While in rear-facing position, this car seat doesn’t offer any level to indicate proper placement. It has a latch system, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to adjust as tightly as is recommended. If you are looking for extra layers of protection, extreme comfort or an easy-to-install and easy-to-adjust car seat, this may not be the right seat for you.