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Buying guide for best cosco convertible car seats

In the rear-facing position, Cosco convertible car seats will protect infants during their first years of life. And even after your child grows enough to necessitate switching to a forward-facing position, you might still get two more years out of the product. Since a Cosco convertible car seat could be the only car seat your child ever has, it’s important to get the best one.

You want a Cosco convertible car seat that is easy to install, durable, and comfortable for your child. You need one that fits properly in the rear seat of your vehicle, includes the features you desire, and has a pleasing color and design.

If this is your first Cosco convertible car seat, read through this article for more in-depth information about the features to look for. We've also offered some safety tips and provided answers to frequently asked questions. If you're ready to buy, consider one of the highly rated models we've listed elsewhere in this article.

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Convertible car seats are not universal-fit items. It is possible that the design of your car and the design of the Cosco convertible car seat are incompatible.

Key considerations

How does a Cosco convertible car seat work?

A Cosco convertible car seat is two car seats in one. It has a specially designed base that provides a secure installation in either a rear-facing or forward-facing position using your car's seat belts or, if your car is properly equipped, a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system. The five-point harness system and buckle are adjustable, allowing your convertible car seat to grow with your child from infant to toddler, meaning, if you’re accident-free and take care of the equipment, you will only need to purchase one car seat for your child.

A note about Cosco

Cosco began as the Columbus Specialty Company in Columbus, Indiana, and has been making high chairs, car seats, play yards, and other items for over 70 years. The company's focus is on creating products that are safe and fun and help simplify your life when you have children.

A note about safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a federal agency that regulates the safety of motor vehicles and related equipment. All car seats sold in the US are required to meet these federal safety standards. Because of this, you don't have to worry as much about safety concerns and can focus on the features that make a car seat the best choice for your family's individual needs.

Cosco convertible car seat features

Cosco convertible car seats are designed to simplify your life, providing a single solution that can cover your child's rear-facing and forward-facing car seat needs. Following are the important features and options offered by Cosco.

Size and weight limitations

Each Cosco convertible car seat has slightly different size and weight limitations. For instance, some are good for a maximum of 40 pounds, while others are rated up to 80 pounds. Be sure to check the specs before purchasing to make sure you’re getting the right car seat for your needs.

Three-in-one design

Cosco's three-in-one design extends the car seat's use beyond a rear-facing seat and a forward-facing car seat to a booster seat, too. Remember, most car seats are only usable for six years, so even if you get a Cosco three-in-one convertible car seat, you might need to purchase a second one several years down the road to provide the required protection for your child.


  • Side-impact protection: Cosco convertible car seats are designed to not only help protect your child from front and rear collisions but also from side impacts.

  • Five-point harness: Cosco's five-point safety harness secures your child at five connection points. The harnesses are adjustable, featuring a variety of height settings, and the buckles typically have three locations so the car seat can grow with your child. All adjustments can be made from the front of your convertible car seat.

  • LATCH: Cosco convertible car seats have LATCH connections so you can take advantage of this feature if your vehicle has it.

  • Airplane ready: Not all car seats are certified for use on an airplane. If you plan on traveling by air, you’ll need a Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-friendly Cosco convertible car seat that is certified safe for aircraft travel.


  • Reclining: Some Cosco convertible car seats have a reclining option for better fit and comfort. If this is important to you, choose a model with this feature.

  • Padding: Some Cosco convertible car seats have a body pillow that is designed to keep your infant snug. Alternatively, other models have extra padding for comfort.


  • Width: If you anticipate transporting more than two children at once, you’ll need a Cosco convertible car seat that is narrow, so you can fit three units across the back seat.

  • Washable: Look for a Cosco convertible car seat with removable fabric that is machine washable and dryer safe so it can be easily cleaned.

  • Cupholder: Some Cosco convertible car seats have removable or built-in cupholders. If this is a feature you’ll use, look for a model with one or two cupholders.

  • Instructions: Not only does Cosco strive to provide easy-to-follow instructions but the company also includes diagrams on the convertible car seat to help ensure proper installation. Additionally, some models also feature a bonus personal note from Cosco employees' children to you.

Cosco convertible car seat prices

Inexpensive: At the lower end, from $40 to $60, Cosco offers a basic convertible car seat with cupholders and five or six height settings for the five-point harness that are good for up to 40 or 50 pounds.

Mid-range: From $60 to $80, the car seats have additional cushioning for comfort and are good for 50 to 65 pounds.

Expensive: In the $100 range, Cosco offers the three-in-one convertible car seats that have body pillows for infants and booster belt positioning for older children. The convertible car seats in this price range are suitable for children that weigh from 5 to 80 pounds.

Safety tips

The car is a dangerous place. Every time you travel, you and your family are at risk. Following are a few tips to help keep your child as safe as possible in a Cosco convertible car seat.

  • Always check the car seat for maximum weight and size limitations because these vary from model to model.

  • All car seats have an expiration date; don’t use a car seat after that date. Car seats that have been in a moderate to severe accident must be replaced. The best way to dispose of an old car seat is to take it to a recycling center.

  • According to NHTSA, children under one year old must ride in a rear-facing car seat. Depending on a child's size and weight, a child might need to remain in a rear-facing car seat until age three. Depending on a child's size and weight, a child may need to remain in a forward-facing car seat until age seven.

  • It is not advisable to insert blankets or pillows into your car seat because these additional items can compromise the safety that the car seat provides.

  • Because of their unique base, Cosco convertible car seats cannot be attached to strollers.

  • All car seats that are sold in the US are required to meet federal safety standards. The safest car seats are the ones that are installed and used properly. There are organizations and local services that will inspect your car seat to be sure it is properly installed.

  • Car seat recall information can be found on the NHTSA website.
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The safest position for your infant is in a rear-facing car seat.


Q. Why is it called a “convertible” car seat?
Cosco's convertible car seats begin as rear-facing car seats that help protect your infant. As your baby grows into a toddler and surpasses the weight limit for a rear-facing car seat, Cosco's seats can be flipped around to the forward-facing position necessary for toddlers. Higher-end Cosco convertible car seat also feature a removable harness, which allows the car seat to be used as a booster seat for older children.

Q. Do I need to replace my Cosco convertible car seat after an accident?
According to NHTSA, you do in most cases. The exception is a minor accident in which no one was injured, the airbags didn’t deploy, the door nearest the car seat was undamaged, there is no evidence of damage on the car seat, and your vehicle can be driven away. If all of these conditions are met, it might be safe to continue using your Cosco convertible car seat.

Q. At what age can I move my child from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing one?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat until the age of two. Additionally, all Cosco convertible car seats have clearly stated weight and height limitations. It isn’t safe to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat once they’ve outgrown it.

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