Picking out a car seat for your baby doesn’t have to be an ordeal. There are lots of them out there but it’s hard to nail down the right one. In this blog, I’m going to be discussing and comparing the features of two very different carseats. Before I do, however, it’s important to discuss the types of car seats out there and how they differ.
What type of car seat should I buy?
One of the most important things you should account for is how long you want to use the carseat itself. All car seats nowadays have expiration dates (done because manufacturers can only guarantee the safety of their plastic’s composition for that period) but most come with expiration dates long enough to last you from infancy until your child is nearly old enough not to sit in them any longer.
There are a handful of different types of seats as I had mentioned above. One of the most diverse are the All-In-One style carseats. These seats are capable of supporting your child from the day they leave the hospital until the day they’re ready to seat unassisted. They tend to have weight ranges from 5 lb to between 90-110 lb. These seats usually come with a mix of removable padding (which come out in phases as your child grows,) adjustable headrests, sliding bases, removable pieces (for when a seat goes from toddler to booster phases) and more than a half dozen adjustable harness holes.
Be sure that you understand the impact ratings of the car seats you’re purchasing. It’s integral that the seats be capable of taking rear and side impacts. In fact, most seats come with stickers or rub-ons that state that they have been side impact tested and good to go. Finally, all car seats for use in Canada must also come with the CSA Standards sticker and must have been inspected and purchased in this country.
It’s recommended that children sit in their seats until around the age of 9 or until they meet minimum the height requirements (145 cm or around 4’9.)
With this upcoming comparison, we’re going to take a look at two very different seats. They start out very similarly but evolve very differently. Let’s take a look at the Evenflo Symphony LX Convertible 3-in-1 and the Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat. Both seats meet CSA criteria and have passed appropriate the impact testing I make mention of above.
Back to Basics with Cosco
The Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat is a fairly basic one-stage seat. It doesn’t have much in the way of flair, transition stages or extras. The 2 cup holders for a bottle or sippy cup is about as fancy as it gets. The seat has a simple one piece design with a handful of harness adjustment slots. The 5 point harness supports children as small as 5 pounds all the way up to 50 pounds. It’s different for most children but I would probably place that around 6 years old. Most children will likely have outgrown the seat’s height restrictions by that time, however.
It’s a seat that isn’t really built to grow with your child and the entry level price tag reflects that. It’s not very diverse and doesn’t transition into a booster seat once your toddler is ready for it. This is the most basic of car seats nowadays that you can get. However, it does have its strengths.
The Apt 50 is small enough to fit into most vehicles. It also doesn’t require a lot of effort to swap it from a rear face to a front facing seat. With very few bells and whistles, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be pulling the vacuum out to clean up all the little nooks and crannies that can get dirty. Lastly, since the seat cushion is basically one piece, it slips off and pops back on easily for cleaning. Perhaps the most desirable aspect of this seat is that seat cushion. It is machine washable which isn’t very common among a lot of car seats since the fabrics used on many brands (regardless of cost) tend to shrink when put through the laundry.
You can pick up the Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat now online at BestBuy.ca
Evenflo Symphony is all you need for all stages
We move next to a redesigned for 2016 Evenflo Symphony LX Convertible 3-in-1 car seat. This car seat is a design I’m familar with. In fact, both of my parents have the 2015 deluxe models for my daughter and they all love that seat. This is one of those all in one seats I discussed at the beginning of the blog.
This seat has a weight window of 5-110lbs and can support your child from infancy until they’re ready to sit on their own. The bottom base of the seat slides into 3 different positions. With the seat slid all the way up at the 45 degree raise, you can rear face and sit your infant that way. All you have to do until they’re able to forward face is adjust the harness. This seat actually has one of the more unique harness systems I’ve ever seen, using a sliding track system rather than the typical slot system. What this means is that the shoulder harness always matches your child’s height needs rather than approximations while they grow. Once your child has grown to the point where the seat can be adjusted again, you can swap it over to booster mode and they’ll sit comfortably until they’re old enough to forget about car seats until they have kids of their own.
With this year’s model, the seat comes with an easier to adjust head rest that pulls from the top with a release latch. There are also 2 ¾ circle shaped cup rests. There isn’t much more to the seat outside of that.
I’ve actually been testing this car seat with my 2 year old at home. Look forward to a review and a video in the coming days. You can pick up the Evenflo Symphony LX Convertible 3-in-1 now online at BestBuy.ca
Which seat should I buy?
Once you’ve read the synopsis of both of the seats, I’m sure you have an idea of which seat to purchase. Both seats are great for different purposes. The Cosco seat is a really cost effective option that will last you long enough until you have to pick up a stand alone booster seat. However, the Evenflo seat means that you won’t have to buy another one and your child can grow up in its features. It will cost you a fair bit more though so you’ll have to be conscious of what your budget is for a seat like this too. Have a look at both and then decide which one is for you.
Evenflo Symphony LX Convertible 3-in-1
Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat
Buying car seats is just one part of what you need for your baby’s day to day. With that in mind, the Best Buy baby event is on now.Come and see everything you might need at great prices from cribs to carries to strollers.
The CSA is not what certifies child restraints in Canada. Transport Canada puts out the requirements for that. The information you are looking for is the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) sticker (the round maple leaf). This testing is what all Canadian seats need to meet. Also there is nothing within the CMVSS testing requirements for side impact testing, this is all done by individual manufacturers. They set their own standard for that, over and above Transport Canada’s CMVSS requirements
Also please be aware that there are no seats certified for use in Canada that will harness a child past 65 pounds. The 110/120 pound max is for children who can use the seat as a booster seat (which usually start at a minimum weight of 40 pounds).
I strongly recommend that everyone read their car seat owners manual carefully to get the proper weight and height limits for your own seat, and information on how to use and install it properly. If you find you require additional help, Transport Canada does have a list of certified car seat techs or you can go here (https://canadiancarseatnetwork.com/find-a-tech/) to find a local tech.
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