Getting caught up in a traffic accident may seem like an unlikely event, and we hope it never happens to any one, but if it does, you want to make sure that your baby is protected. Is Cosco Scenera Next the right choice?
When purchasing a car restraint system for your little one, safety is undoubtly of the utmost importance. While you might not want to splash out on one of those expensive car seats on the market, you need to make sure that the product you choose will actually do the job you want it to.
Read on to find out the pros and cons of this car seat model to see if it’s up to scratch.[toc]
Cosco Scenera Next – Overview
We’ll be taking an in depth look at this baby car seat, and analysing whether this is the right CRS for your little one. But first, please allow me to present a product overview for those who have little to no idea about the seat.
There are many considerations you’ll need to take into account as well as the safety rating of the seat, so let’s take a look at the good points of the Cosco Scenera Next.
- Side Impact Protection
This feature is fairly standard on CRS devices of this sort, and offers extra protect should your car be impacted from the side, rather than a head-on collision. The side impact protection has been tested by Crash Net 1, which we’ll discuss later, with links to videos you can watch of the tests.
- Five Point Harness
This feature is supposed to make it easy to do up, and with 5 harness heights and 3 buckle locations. As such, the car sear is adaptable to suit the size of your child.
- Airline Approved
If you want to travel my airplane with your little one, the safest place for them to be is in a seat of their own, and restrained within an appropriate child seat. The Cosco Scenera Next has been approved for airline use.
Want to read more about how to choose a child seat for flying with young children? Check out our dedicated article on the subject.
At only 10 pounds, this is a super light model making it easy to transport between vehicles. This is also particularly handy if you need to carry the seat through an airport for use on a plane.
- Easy to Clean
The removable cup holder can go in the dishwasher, and the removable seat pad is machine washable and can go in the tumble drier, too. Kids are messy, and so having easy to clean features make it a good option for any busy parent.
- Weight Restriction
While similar CRS devices are able to accommodate larger children, this model can only be used for children who weigh 40 pounds or under. This means that your child will outgrow the Cosco Scenera Next quicker than they will be outgrow a more flexible model.
- Not Easy to Tighten
Some users have said that while the car seat comes with several harness and buckle positions, that is isn’t easy to utilize this feature. Being able to adjust the harness and straps quickly is vital, especially if you’re trying to contain a wriggling child. Having a seat that is difficult to tighten could quickly become a nuisance.
- Not as comfortable
The cheap price of this car seat indicates that the quality of the materials aren’t as good as you would find in a more expensive model. This point is agreed on by customers who find that the seat comes with less padding.
While there are third party cushions or inserts out there, and it’s at your discretion to use one or not, we don’t suggest any of those as they may compromise car seat performance.
Is Cosco Scenera Next a Safe Option?
While the product claims to meet or exceed Federal and ASTM Safety Standards, that doesn’t guarantee that your child will be kept from harm in the event of an accident.
From the two videos below, you can watch the Cosco Scenera being tested for a side impact collision. In both the forward facing and backward facing installations, the car seat survives the impact without being damaged.
However, if you watch the child dummy in the seat, it shows that the baby would still be at risk of injury.
In the video, the mannequin remains in the seat during the crash but still experiences movement in the crash. If this is how the seat would respond in a real accident, the child could be at risk of injury.
They could easily hit their head on the window or experience a neck injury. This seems particularly true for older children. A seat with more padding would better cradle the baby and hold it safe in an emergency situation.
Also, a seat with higher sides could offer better protection.
Is Cosco Scenera Next a Comfortable Option?
As mentioned above, this might not be the most comfortable option for your child. The Cosco Scenera Next is reported to have an insufficient amount of padding, and that means your child is likely to feel the hard interior of the seat itself.
Some reported that their children have complained about the feel of the seat, and even experienced red marks after having sat in the seat for a journey.
If you’re looking for a car seat where your child will be comfortable as well as safe, the Cosco Scenera Next probably won’t be the best option. As a cheaper model, you get what you pay for.
However, if the seat is only going to be used for short journeys, the child wouldn’t feel as uncomfortable as they would on a longer trip.
Is Cosco Scenera Next a Good Choice for Travel?
While there are some downsides to this car seat for children, it has benefits when it comes to travel.
The compact size and light weight of the seat means that it’s easy to move between vehicles. If you are driving a short distance with your child before the seat is moved into another car – perhaps when the child is being picked up by their grandparents – this model would be fine to use.
The short journey would mean that your little one won’t get too uncomfortable on the journey, and the light weight makes it easy to move around.
The model is also a useful choice if you’re taking multiple types of transportation. Moving the seat between your car and an aircraft is easy to do.
More expensive models of child seat are often heavy and bulky, making them difficult and annoying to carry through an airport. If you want a car seat that’s convenient for short journeys, the Cosco Scenera Next is an ideal choice. It’s also FAA approved and so certified for use on airplanes.
Ideal for Backup
Having seen poor reviews and perhaps having concerns over the safety of this product might put you off. Some customers decide to choose a more expensive model for their everyday use, and then reserve the Cosco Scenera Next for their backup car seat. This would be a good idea in several situations.
For example, grandparents who take care of their young grandchild on an irregular basis would benefit from this model. It’s inexpensive and, being lightweight and compact, would suit their needs.
If you need a second car seat for an occasional visitor, this would also be a good choice because the Cosco Scenera Next is small, and can easily fit alongside another car seat or two in the back of a car.
If you’d like to compare this product to similar models, keep reading for alternative recommendations.
Other Options You Might Be Interested in
If you want to compare the Cosco Scenera Next car seat, take a look at these listings of similar products you might consider. Some of them are a few bucks more expensive than the Cosco brand, but each offers something extra, too.
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat
This model is 3 pounds heavier than the Cosco Scenera Next car seat, so if you’re hoping to use it on airline travel or for moving between cars, it might not be the best option. Though saying that, 13 pounds is still fairly light. If you do decide to go for it, just bear in mind the weight of the product.
With the higher price tag you can also see the difference in the quality. It has a high level of padding and means that your little one will be comfortable, even on a longer journey.
Even with extra padding, this CRS is still a compact size. You can fit three of these across the back seats of a medium sized car.
The high back will add neck support and help to keep your child safe in the event of an emergency.
The weight limit of this seat is also pretty good. You can use it in the backward facing position for younger children, and then convert it into a forward facing seat for when the child is big enough. As such, this is a car seat that can be adapted as your child grows.
Safety 1st Guide 65
This is another model that you’ll find is a little different to the Cosco Scenera Next. The Safety 1st Guide 65 model is much more expensive – nearly twice the price of the Cosco brand. It’s also 5 pounds heavier, so think carefully about this choice if you’re going to be taking it in and out of the car frequently.
Like the Evenflo brand, the compact design of this model means that three of them could easily fit alongside each other in the back of most cars. It’s suitable for airplane use, too. If you are going to be traveling by plane with your little one, the Safety First model is a good backup choice.
This model comes with all the usual safety features that you would expect, such as the five-point harness and built-in Side Impact Protection. It’s a safe choice for your precious little bundle. Like the Cosco option there’s a drink holder included, and this model also comes with a removable insert cushion.
Chicco KidFit Booster Car Seat
This model is a bit different because it can’t be used for babies or small children. The earlier that this model can be used is when your child weighs 30 pounds. As such, it’s unsuitable if you’re looking to get something for a very small child. This is a model that will be appropriate when your child is a little older, and will hopefully last them a long while!
The product rating is really high, with customers being nearly 100% satisfied with this product. Parents love how easy to install and assemble this product is. Despite the price being lower than comparable booster seats, this model is sturdy and comfortable. Many people who have purchased it say it’s the best booster seat they’ve ever owned. The price is low and yet it can last your child for years, and the breathable fabric means that it’s easy to keep clean, too.
This is one of the highest rated car seats on the market, and you just have to read the reviews to see that people really think a lot of it. While it won’t be suitable if you’re purchasing a safety seat for a baby, it’s probably the best choice you could make for an older child.
Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat
This Evenflo model is the heaviest of all mentioned here, and weighs more than 2 of the Cosco models combined! If you want to use this car seat for air travel, it will not be that easy to move around because of the weight.
This is a child safety restraint seat that looks sturdy and useable. The double headrest and support at the top gives you peace of mind that your child will be well supported in the event of an accident.
The product specification states that the design significantly reduces impact on the side from crashes, with a reduction of up to 50% of the force absorbed through three layers of expanded zone protection.
Like the other models, it has several easy-to-wash features making it easy to care for. The award-winning seat is easy to install and comes with handy features, such as the buckle pockets, to tuck buckles away out of sight. As well as making the buckles easier to find, this also means that there is no risk of your child being hurt by buckles.
When choosing which child restraint to use, it’s important to think about your priorities. Of course, all parents would say that the safety of their child is the number one priority.
However, you also need to think about things like where you will use the car seat, how often and for how long. If you’re only using the seat in your car, you don’t need to worry about finding the FAA approved sticker on it. That said, if you plan to use the seat for air travel, it must be FAA approved for certified use on an airplane.
Also, think about the length of the journeys you’ll be taking. If you travel long distances with your child, you’ll need a seat that’s comfortable for them to sit in for longer periods of time. If, however, you know that you’ll only be doing shorter trips, it isn’t so important that you get a comfortable, well-padded seat.
As with most things in life, you’ll probably find that the more you spend, the better quality the item you’ll find. As such, try to purchase something at the top of your budget with good, reliable ratings.