There are whole worlds that you don’t even know exist until you become a parent. One of these is the realm of infant car seats.
The choice is bewildering, but what does it matter? They’re all safe, right?
Hahahahaha, come, little one, enter my dungeon of sorcery and I will tell you about extended rear-facing, Isofix, tether points, non-rethread harnesses, and much, much more.
(I’m pretty sure some wise parents manage to avoid all this claptrap, but I’m not wise so I got sucked in)
Cosco Scenera Next Infant Car Seat
Value for money
The Cosco Scenera Next is an inexpensive, light, and compact infant car seat usable from birth to around 3 years of age. It's not the easiest to use but it's so inexpensive it's a great option for those on a tight budget, or as a spare seat for grandparents or other carers.
I’ve already reviewed our two everyday seats (the Evenflo Symphony and the Diono Ranier, both of which we love) but we also have a Cosco Scenera Next, as a spare that lives in Christchurch for when we’re visiting family.
The Cosco is a basic seat that suits kids up to 18kg and 101cm (rear-facing) or 110cm (forward-facing). This will likely get you to somewhere around age 3, which is a pretty decent stint for rear-facing.
It’s super light, so great for toting about, and fairly compact too, so will fit rear-facing in most cars (we most often use it in a Mazda Demio). It’s not too tricky to install (with either Isofix or seatbelt) but you really need two people to get it nice and tight. We’ve found it stiff to adjust the straps, too.
The best bit, though, is the price. It retails for $249 at Farmers, and we all know that paying retail at Farmers is doing it wrong. If you can, wait for the 50% Nursery sales they have a couple of times a year (which you won’t be able to miss if you hang out in any NZ online parenting communities). And if you can’t wait months, even a couple of weeks will probably be enough to net you a 30% “saving” — right now they have a “buy two, get 30% off” gig, which means that if you add a $13 toy to your order you’ll save a bit over $65 (and get a bonus toy). So you should easily be able to get it for well under $200.
And that’s about it. It’s a simple, great value seat, and I think especially well suited to being a spare. It’s pretty bare bones but meets safety standards (as all seats must to be sold here), has pretty good rear-facing height/weight limits and is super cheap (watch out for the Farmer’s nursery sale, don’t pay full price).