2022 Cosco Scenera NEXT Review
What’s not to love about the Scenera NEXT? The cute little carseat with over a dozen covers from which to choose that’s lighter than some rear-facing only infant seats, has a mandatory rear-facing to age 2 limit, and is one of the most inexpensive carseats on the market as well at about $50. It’s almost too good to be true, but that’s what Cosco set out to make and they accomplished it and more. It’s also our budget convertible carseat entry for our Recommended Carseats list.
Weight and Height Limits:
- Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs. AND top of child’s head is 1″ below top of seat shell, 19-40″ tall
- Forward-facing: 22-40 lbs. AND child must be at least 1 years old, 29-43″ tall
Scenera NEXT Overview:
- 5 harness slot positions
- 3 crotch strap/buckle positions
- One of the narrowest carseats on the market
- FAA approved for use on aircraft
- 8 yr lifespan before seat expires
- Made in the USA
Scenera NEXT Measurements
Harness slot heights: 5.5”, 7.5”, 9.5”, 11.5”, 13.5”
External widest point: 17 ¼ ”
Shell height: 24”
Crotch strap depth: 2.5”, 4”, 5.5”
Seat depth: 11”
Seat weight: 7 lbs.
There are 4 models of Scenera NEXT:
Scenera NEXT: Basic model. $44.98-49.98 MSRP
Scenera NEXT DLX: Upgraded, padded cover. $59.99 MSRP
Scenera NEXT Deluxe: Upgraded, padded cover with added infant padding and harness covers. $69.99 MSRP
Installation is a dream. The NEXT is designed to install very easily because it’s a seat that will be commonly popped in and out of vehicles. Use either the lower LATCH connectors or the seat belt—it doesn’t matter since they’re both easy. Just don’t use them at the same time! You’ll notice on the bottom of the rails of the seat there are round rubber plugs. These little additions do miraculous grippy things to the installation and make it so the NEXT doesn’t slide when installed.
For a newborn or young baby, make sure the NEXT is reclined to the proper angle as designated on the line on the side of the carseat between the rear-facing and forward-facing belt paths. When your child is older, he can be more upright and the manual even says that.
Forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 40 lbs., which is the maximum weight limit of the harness
Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:
Cosco allows LATCH installation in the center seating position if the vehicle manufacturer allows it and the LATCH anchor bars are spaced at least 11” apart.
Inflatable Seat Belts
Cosco has determined that the Scenera NEXT cannot be installed with inflatable seat belts found in some Ford, Lincoln, and Mercedes vehicles, and in some airplane seat belts.
Fit to Child
The Scenera NEXT is designed to fit children from 5-40 lbs. and the fit on the lower end is fantastic.
Sam is 7 months old and 14 lbs.
The designers of the NEXT designed the carseat to really be a rear-facing seat that can be used forward-facing sometimes. It’s an interesting concept for a convertible carseat. Many kids who fit rear-facing in it won’t fit forward-facing because once it’s turned forward, it sits more upright making the child fit taller in the seat.
Emma is 2 and weighs 26 lbs. She’s 34” tall.
Cover/Maintenance/Ease of Use
The cover is relatively easy to remove. It can be washed in the washing machine and dried in the dryer for a few minutes to start the drying process. To clean the harness, wipe with a sudsy washcloth and wipe off with a wash cloth that has water on it only to remove all the soap.
Dorel, the parent company of Cosco, Safety 1st, and Maxi-Cosi, has really stepped up their instruction manual game. It’s easy to read and follow. I especially like the Quick Navigation guide at the beginning and the QR code for videos.
The NEXT is FAA-approved and will make a great seat for flying because carseats don’t get any lighter than this one for dragging through the airport. It’ll fit great rear-facing on the plane too.
The Scenera NEXT has a lifespan of 8 years and Cosco wants you to replace it after any crash. And, unlike other carseats, the lifespan information is in the manual so if you keep that in a safe place, you’ll always know when your seat expires.
- 5 harness slot positions, 3 crotch strap positions
- Easy-to-use harness
- Compact shell may fit well in smaller vehicles
- FAA-approved—makes a great travel seat
- Weighs just 7 lbs.!
- Easy installation with LATCH or seat belt
- 8 year lifespan
- Made in the USA
- It’s a short seat with top harness slots that are only 13.5″ tall so it will be outgrown quickly by height (usually by age 3)
- Only available at Wal-Mart
Thank you to Cosco for providing the Cosco Scenera NEXT used for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.
CarseatBlog Experts Rating
Editors’ Pick Budget Category: Scenera NEXT