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In a perfect world, all car seats would have the ability to accommodate all ages and sizes of children for the duration of their need for a car seat in general. But in the real world, it just doesn’t work that way.
Luckily, there are still car seats like the Cosco APT 50, which acts as both a rear and forward-facing car seat for your little one. While this may not be the only car seat they need, it will certainly provide care and comfort while it is in use.
As a rear-facing car seat, it can be used for babies from 5-40 pounds, and in forward-facing, your baby or toddler should be 22-50 pounds, meaning that you can definitely transition from infant to toddler with the Cosco APT 50. The 50-pound weight limit means you will have to eventually graduate to another car seat with booster capabilities, which is common for baby and toddler car seats.
But while some car seats are rear-facing for a much shorter period of time, the Cosco APT 50 allows your baby to stay rear-facing for longer, up to 40 pounds, for your baby’s safety and comfort.
It also keeps your child in a forward-facing harness for longer than is typical, which again is best for their safety, as it’s always a good idea to keep them in a safe five-point harness for as long as possible.
In order to get the very best fit for your baby or toddler, there are six different harness heights and three buckle locations, so the car seat can really grow with them. When you need to travel, the Cosco APT 50 has also been cleared for use on planes to give your baby the most comfort and safety and a feeling of familiarity during flights.
- The seat pad can be easily removed for easy washing and drying in machines.
- For your child’s convenience, two built-in cup holders can also hold snacks if need be.
- It has an extended rear-facing capability as well as more extended forward-facing harness-wearing ability.
- The car seat itself is just 11 pounds, which makes it easy to carry and move from car to car or even take on trips.
- It’s also designed with side impact protection in mind to keep your baby or toddler safe in the event of a car crash.
- Your baby can use the car seat from infancy all the way up to 50 pounds, which means being able to use it into toddlerhood.
- Your baby will get plenty of use out of the car seat and for a price substantially less than some other forward and rear-facing car seats.
- Since it’s approved for aircraft usage, the car seat is also plenty comfortable and lightweight enough to carry through an airport.
- It’s perfect for larger babies who may not fit properly or are comfortable in infant car seats for very long.
- There’s enough padding to keep your baby comfortable, but not too much so that he or she will get overheated or feel like they have less room because of it.
- Without the LATCH system, it can be difficult for some parents or caregivers to install the Cosco APT 50 properly.
- In some cars, it may seem almost too wide or big, even if it’s meant to be more substantial to accommodate your growing child.
- Tightening the safety straps can be difficult and frustrating for some.
How Others Compare
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat
The Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat is fairly similar to the Cosco APT 50 in a number of obvious ways. From its general design and size to the fact that both are well under $100, which is a bargain for any convertible car seat.
Where they start to differ a little, however, is how long you’ll be able to use them for your child. While the Cosco APT 50 has an overall weight limit of 50, the Evenflo has a smaller limit.
When rear-facing, your child should be 5-40 pounds, and in the forward-facing position, your little one needs to be 22-40 pounds. It does have a five-point harness system and four different strap positions, though, to allow your child to remain rear-facing longer and to accommodate your forward-facing child as they grow. Plus, the harness adjustment is in the front for easy access.
- It’s just nine pounds, so it may be even easier to cart through an airport than the Cosco APT 50.
- The entire fabric cover can be tossed in the washing machine for comfortable washes.
- It’s also relatively slim on each side to allow for more than one car seat in your backseat and even room for another child in the backseat period.
- With the LATCH system, the Evenflo is easy to install for most parents and caregivers.
- While in the rear-facing position, the car seat can take up a bit of room in your car.
- Once your child reaches the 40-pound limit, which can come sooner rather than later for some, they’ll need to switch to a new car seat.
- The cup holder, though convenient on paper, doesn’t seem to stay in place when in use or even when the car seat is installed.
Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat
Just like the Cosco APT 50, the weight limit for the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat is in its name, as your toddler can use the car seat until they hit 65 pounds.
As a rear-facing, it can be used from 5-40 pounds, and as a forward-facing car seat, you can use it from 20-65 pounds. Its Simply Safe Adjust Harness System can be used with just one hand, while the one-hand adjustable headrest can be moved to eight different positions for your growing toddler.
If that isn’t enough, there are even two different buckle positions so you won’t have to worry about a buckle that rests too low on your toddler, even if it was comfortable in that first position for your baby.
As a safe Graco car seat, it’s Safe Seat Engineered, which means that it has side impact testing as well as EPS foam for your child’s protection.
- It’s roomy enough to keep your toddler comfortable, but also narrow enough to fit more than one across your back seat if you need to.
- Installation is simple, and a wedge in the back can be flipped out to position it in either rear or forward-facing properly.
- The safety weight is higher than that of the Cosco, which means your child can use the Graco Contender 65 for longer.
- It’s also relatively lightweight for easy traveling.
- With this car seat, it can be difficult to use the LATCH system properly.
- The front-facing position doesn’t recline very much, which can be uncomfortable for your child if they fall asleep and their head rolled to the side.
- It can be difficult to tighten into place without any wobbling afterward.
Safety 1st Continuum 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat
Compared to the Cosco APT 50, the Safety 1st Continuum 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is undoubtedly a bit pricier, but that’s because in addition to being a forward and rear-facing car seat.
It also offers the ability to be used as a forward-facing car seat with seatbelt strap once your child is ready for that stage. In that respect, it differs considerably from the Cosco APT 50, but it’s still a rear to the forward-facing car seat that is never taken apart to be used as a booster and doesn’t require any kind of infant inserts.
In fact, as a rear-facing car seat, it can be used for babies from 5-40 pounds, while forward-facing is for children from 22-50 pounds, and the belt-positioning is to be used with little ones from 40-80 pounds.
Until your baby is ready for the belt-positioning option, though, there are harness holders on either side of the seat to hold the buckles out of the way as you load your baby in and out of the car seat, which is a unique and convenient feature.
- After your baby has grown out of the forward-facing weight limit, he or she can then use the car seat with your car’ actual seatbelt until they hit the 80-pound limit.
- There are three different recline positions available, which can make it easier to fit the car seat in your car.
- Since it takes up less space in the backseat, you’ll be left with more room in the front for yourself.
- You can adjust the height of the harness and headrest with one smooth move.
- It can be frustrating to install it over, and over each time you need to take it out of your car.
- While the cover can be removed for cleaning in a washer, it’s not all that easy to remove it so that it can be a hassle.
- Even with the multiple recline positions, it may not be enough to keep your baby in an upright or relaxed position if they fall asleep in the car seat.
Diono Radian 3RXT All-in-One
The entire frame of this car seat is made from steel, so if you’re very worried about safety, this is a strong car seat! While this car seat comes in a lot of cool colors, it’s even cooler that more than one million parents have trusted this car seat. The rear-facing car seat can protect babies from 5 to 50 pounds; there’s a newborn travel high wedge that comes with the purchase of this case seat too.
Plus, there’s 12 different headrest positions for your child in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. The steel reinforced frame has a reinforced steel core, but it isn’t bulky. It’s very slim and will provide plenty of room for anyone else who is also sitting in the back seat!
- All three types of seats are very comfortable
- The cover is easy to take off and wash
- Plenty of leg room for your child and space in the backseat for other people to sit
- Not easy to install and may take a decent chunk of time to get this car seat installed properly
- The cup holder is very easy to take off, so your child may end up taking it off andp laying with it in the back seta
Cosco APT 50 Review: Final Thoughts
There are plenty of car seats that do well compared to a lot of the stronger qualities of the Cosco APT 50, which should tell you that it’s probably a good idea to invest in a convertible car seat rather than an infant one. Then another for your toddler, and a booster down the line. In some cases, you’ll get all three in one, but with the Cosco APT 50, you get just the first two, which is still a bargain at $60.
Being able to go from rear to forward-facing as your baby grows without needing to immediately buy a new car seat is a beautiful thing and thanks to the ease of use and safety of Cosco’s car seat, you can do just that with it.