Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail
2017 Cosco Finale 2-in-1 Forward Facing Harness/Booster Review

 

The Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat is a Stage 3 carseat that is most appropriate for preschool and school-aged children. It is safe, lightweight, extremely budget-friendly and stylish. It is a new model for 2017, so you won’t yet find it on our Recommended Seats. It’s not too complicated to install, and is relatively easy to use properly. Its height capacity isn’t the highest on the market, but it’s reasonably tall for its price point.  Combined with the 65 lbs. weight limit, it should fit most average-height kids (even heavier ones) in the 5-point harness until they are the age and size to safely transition to booster mode. The 2017 Cosco Finale is a forward-facing only carseat. Cosco’s instructions indicate it is for kids at least 1 year old, although we would generally recommend at least age two because it does not rear-face. It can also be used as a highback booster for kids who weigh more than 40 lbs.

 

Cosco Finale Specs:

With 5-point harness:

  • Weight: 30 – 65 lbs.
  • Height: 32 – 49″
  • Age: At least one year old
  • Fit: Child’s shoulders are at, or below, the top harness slots

As a highback booster:

  • Weight: 40 – 100 lbs.
  • Height:  43″ – 52″
  • Age: None stated, but we recommend waiting until at least age 4 as a bare minimum
  • Fit: Tops of child’s ears are at, or below, the top of the child restraint headrest

Finale Features:

  • 3 sets of harness slots
  • Single crotch strap/buckle position
  • May be installed with LATCH up to 50 lbs. child weight
  • Converts to highback booster
  • Can NOT use LATCH in booster mode
  • Cover is machine washable
  • Removable cup holder can be placed on either side.
  • 10 year lifespan before expiration
  • DX Fashions feature premium fabric

Measurements:

  • 3 Harness slot heights: 13″, 15″, 17″
  • 1 Crotch strap/buckle position: 7″
  • Weight: approximately 9 lbs.
  • Total Width: 17″

For more measurements, please see our Comparison database.

Cosco Finale Fashions:

Fit-to-Child Comments:

  • Forward-Facing with harness: The minimum size requirement is a whopping 30 lbs. and 32″ tall. My small-ish 2.5 year old measured about 26 lbs and 34 inches in the photo below – she was tall enough but not heavy enough to use the seat. The minimum height requirement is realistic; I would not expect to be able to comfortably and safely secure a child under 32″ in height in this seat; at 34″ my daughter has room to grow before she maxes out the bottom harness position. Reasonably tall top harness slots should allow most children to be harnessed until age 5-6 forward facing, until around 50lbs, maybe heavier for some kids. Some children will outgrow it by height sooner. The low profile seat allows child to get themselves into the seat with minimal help from parent/caregiver.
  • Highback Booster: The belt guide is problematic in some cars, not allowing it to retract properly, but the belt guide is only to be used if necessary to achieve proper belt fit and can be skipped for many kids. The head rest is non-adjustable. The 52″ height limit for booster mode is a fairly good estimate for the size of child who will actually fit in the seat. You will need another booster seat after the Finale is outgrown at approximately age 6-7 based on your child’s height.

Cosco Finale Advantages:

  • Budget-friendly, around $40 for base models and up to $60 for DX models
  • Lightweight
  • Narrow
  • Reasonably easy to use
  • Decent booster fit within its limited size range
  • Realistic listed height minimums and maximums
  • Machine-washable, easy to remove cover
  • Dishwasher-safe cup holder
  • Can use LATCH up to 50 lbs.
  • FAA-approved for aircraft use
  • Made in USA!

Disadvantages:

  • 30 lbs. minimum weight requirement may make it not a top choice for older, lightweight children
  • May take extra effort to get a tight install in some vehicles
  • Cannot use LATCH in booster mode
  • Cannot use with Inflatable Seatbelts (only an issue for heavier kids over 50 lbs who cannot use LATCH, or booster kids)
  • Booster belt guide may cause retraction issues in some vehicles
  • Not very tall in booster mode – your child will need another booster seat after this one is outgrown
  • Weight limits for both harness and booster mode are unrealistic for typically built children

Conclusion:

The Cosco Finale 2-in-1 Highback Booster Car Seat is a nice, lightweight, forward-facing carseat that is also budget-friendly.  The reasonably-sized 17″ top harness slots combined with the 65 lbs. weight limit on the harness is enough to get many kids to the size/age/maturity to safely transition to a booster. Just don’t expect them to use this seat very long in booster mode; you will definitely still need another booster after this seat is outgrown. You can install the Finale with LATCH up to a child weight limit of 50 lbs. If installing with LATCH isn’t an option, then you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install this carseat with seatbelt. The Cosco Finale is FAA-approved for aircraft use.  Given its light weight and low cost, it will definitely be considered for our list of recommended seats for airplane travel.