Cosco Car Seat vs. Britax Car Seats: Choose The Best Car Seat


If you currently have a small child, or if you are expecting a new baby, you will need a car seat to safely transport your child. Car seats, or infant safety seats, have been required for all children riding in motor vehicles since the early 1980s. Car seats have come a long way in the last 40 years. What started as simple, metal seats held in place by a seat belt have become complex safety restraints designs to keep children safe in the worst of car accidents. Two of the best choices on the market are the Cosco car seat and the Britax car seat.  

There are many other models available, but Cosco and Britax are two of the best car seat brands available. Cosco is a company that’s been around for more than 70 years. They’ve specialized in quality products for children and remain very popular. Britax is a British company, established in 1939. They first began producing car seats for the US in 1996. Both companies produce quality child safety seats that meet rigorous safety standards. However, which one is right for you?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the Cosco car seat and the Britax car seat, including a few models of each, and determine which one is the best choice for your child. Choosing a car seat is a personal decision, and every child has different needs. Every family has a different car. These are just a couple of factors that go into this important decision. Let’s take a look at both Cosco and Britax and see how they stack up

How to Choose the Best Car Seat

Choosing a car seat for your child can feel like an overwhelming task. A car seat or “child restraint system,” is designed to keep a child alive and without major injury in the event of a car accident. This is a tall order, as children are especially vulnerable during a collision. There are many types and brands of car seats.

When rating car seats, the number one factor to consider is ease of installation. Most problems with car seats are due to incorrect installation rather than a failure of the seat. The most perfectly designed car seat cannot protect your child if it’s installed incorrectly. Because of this, the number one factor in rating a car seat is how easy it is to install correctly.

As you begin your search for the right car seat for you, you’ll want to read as much as you can about the different brands and models. For this article, we’re going to look specifically at the Cosco car seat and the Britax car seat. These are two leading brands that have excellent safety and satisfaction records.

In making your decision, you should read as much as possible about the seats you are considering, then visit a store to see the seats yourself. Finally, if you have never installed a car seat before, make sure to have someone show you how to install it correctly. This is especially true if you order a seat from a website.

Factors to Consider

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a new car seat. Those include:

  • Ease of Installation
  • Safety Rating
  • Convertibility
  • Rear-facing weight limit
  • Front-facing weight limit
  • Price
  • Reviews

For both the Cosco car seat and the Britax car seat, we’re going to consider each of these factors. We will apply them across 2 models for each brand so that we can determine which brand is better. For the purposes of this article, “better” will mean a safer, simpler seat to use.

Cosco Car Seat vs. Britax Car Seats - Which Is Better

Both Cosco and Britax make several models of car seats. We’ve selected 2 models from each brand to compare. These seats have been chosen for their superior ratings and ease for parents to use. The models selected are: 

  • Britax Marathon
  • Britax Advocate
  • Cosco Scenera
  • Cosco Mighty Fit
Sale
Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Ollie
  • Easy installation: Patented ClickTight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: 14-position harness, 2-position buckle for a comfortable fit as your child grows
  • Relax & Recline: 7 recline positions ensure comfort and the best vehicle installation angle

The Britax Marathon is a convertible car seat that can be used rear-facing or forward-facing. This seat features a patented ClickTight system that keeps installation simple to guarantee the seat is in right every time. It has a 14-position harness that requires no re-threading, a 2-position buckle, and 7 recline positions. It includes a special layer of side-impact protection, a steel frame, and an impact-absorbing base. The Britax Marathon convertible car seat was selected as both the safest and easiest to install out of 6 seats from 6 different brands by TheWirecutter.com. After 20 hours of safety testing and inspection, this seat proved to be superior in the most important categories of Crash Test Data and Ease of Installation. It’s an overall excellent product.

Ease of Installation

This seat, with the ClickTight system, is very easy to install.

Safety Rating

The Britax Marathon received 4 stars on Safercar.gov and a score of 69 from Consumer Reports. This seat was also number one on TheWireCutter.com’s list of safest car seats. These are excellent ratings.

Convertibility

This seat does not convert to a booster, so when your child outgrows the 5-point harness, this seat will not allow them to convert to using a standard seatbelt.

Rear-Facing Weight Limit

The Britax Marathon has a rear-facing limit of 5-40 lbs.

Forward-Facing Weight Limit

This seat has a forward-facing weight limit of 20-65 lbs.

Price

Where to Buy

Rating

$$

Amazon

Sale
Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Kate
  • Easy installation: Patented ClickTight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: Quick-adjust 14-position harness with Click & Safe Snug Indicator gives a click sound when the...
  • Adjust accurately: Harness indicator gives an audible click when you've pulled to the proper tightness

The Britax Advocate also features the patented ClickTight installation system, making installing this seat as simple as fastening your seat belt. This seat has 14 harness positions and a Click & Safe Snug Indicator so you know the harness is tight. The Advocate also has 3 layers of side-impact protection, head protection, a steel frame, and impact-absorbing base. This seat holds 5-40 lbs rear-facing and 20-65 lbs forward-facing.

Ease of Installation

This seat also has ClickTight, so it is very easy to install.

Safety Rating

The Advocate was given 4 stars by parents on Safercar.gov and a score of 71 from Consumer Reports, which is a Very Good rating.

Convertibility

This seat is not convertible to a booster seat, meaning you cannot use the standard seat belt with this seat if your child outgrows the 5-point harness.

Rear-Facing Weight Limit

The Advocate has a rear-facing weight limit of 5-40 lbs.

Front-Facing Weight Limit

This seat has a front-facing weight limit of 20-65 lbs. 

Price

Where to Buy

Rating

$

Amazon

The Cosco Scenera is a less expensive option if you are looking for a car seat. This Cosco car seat weights just 6.8 lbs. It has 5 harness heights and 3 buckle placements to fit a growing child. The seat pad is machine washable, and it can hold a child from 5 to 40 lbs. This lightweight seat scored well in the crash test when it came to preventing head injuries in the rear-facing position. However, testers and parents found it to be hard to install. This seat also maxes out at 40 lbs, which means your child will outgrow it before they can legally ride without a car seat.

Ease of Installation

This seat is not rated as easy to install.

Safety Rating

This seat received a rating of 4 stars on Safercar.gov and a Very Good rating from Consumer Reports.

Convertibility

This seat cannot convert to a toddler booster seat for use with the regular seat belt.

Rear-Facing Weight Limit

This Cosco car seat has a rear-facing weight limit of 5-40 lbs.

Forward-Facing Weight Limit

This Cosco car seat has a forward-facing weight limit of 22-40 lbs.

Price

Where to Buy

Rating

$$$

Amazon

Sale
Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat (Heather Onyx Gray)
  • With two modes of use, this extra-comfortable LATCH-equipped Cosco car seat accommodates infants from 5 pounds up to...
  • The five-point harness adjusts easily from the front of the seat and features five heights and three buckle locations.
  • Built-in side-impact protection keeps your little one extra secure. Designed to be just the right size, the seat takes...

The Mighty Fit model Cosco car seat is a LATCH-equipped seat designed to hold a child up to 65 lbs. The harness has 5 heights and 3 buckle placements. It has side impact protection and extra padding for supreme comfort. This model can fit in the back of a car, making this great for big families. The pad is machine washable for easy cleaning. This Cosco car seat meets federal, ASTM, and JPMA safety standards and his a one-year warranty.

Ease of Installation

This seat only received 2 stars in the "ease of use" category.

Safety Rating

This Cosco car seat received 5 stars for its labels and instructions, but only an average of 2 stars for its LATCH system and ease of use.

Convertibility

This Cosco car seat does not convert to a booster seat for an older child.

Rear-Facing Weight Limit

The rear-facing weight limit on this seat is 5 - 40 lbs.

Forward-Facing Weight Limit

The forward-facing weight limit for this Cosco car seat is 65 lbs.

Price

Where to Buy

Rating

$$$

Amazon

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a car seat, both Cosco and Britax and good choices. The brands have been around for some time and they make quality products. However, in a comparison between a Cosco car seat and a Britax car seat, the Britax brand seats are the better choice. Britax offers more features and has a better overall safety rating. Their seats are also much easier to install. However, the Cosco car seat is offered at a much lower price point. If you are unable to pay the average price of $270 for the Britax model, the Cosco car seat is still a good, and affordable, choice at about $65.