One word comes to mind when I think of the Cybex Aton rear facing only car seat: COOL! The Aton is full of innovative features that make the seat easy to use and easy to install.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Weight range: 4-32 lbs
- Height range: up to 30″
- Shell height: 19.5″
- Lowest harness position: 6″ (with newborn inlay)
- Weight (carrier only): 8.8 lbs
- Expiration: 6 years
- Handle position: must be up
- Belt tensioning plate
- Push button lower anchor connectors
- Adjustable recline foot
- Euro belt routing
One of the coolest things about the Aton is the installation of the base. There is a sticker on the front of the base that touts the Aton is the “easiest base to install,” and they mean it! The Aton has a unique belt tensioning system and all you need to do is open the tension plate, route the seat belt through, buckle, and then close the plate. No yanking or tugging or climbing in the seat to get it tight; the base does all the work for you. The seat belt still needs to be locked, however, so once the plate is closed you’ll need to pull the shoulder belt all the way out to lock it, if your seat belts lock at the retractor. If your seat belts do not lock (pre-1997 in most cases) you’ll need to use a locking clip. Lower anchor installation is equally easy, simply attach the connectors, route under the belt tensioning plate, pull taut, and close the belt tensioning plate.
The Aton fits babies from 4-32 lbs, up to 30″. There is a foam newborn inlay that sits under the baby’s bottom to boost a small newborn up to meet the bottom harness slots. Additionally, the Aton has an insert that can be folded at the bottom to further boost baby to ensure even a 4 pound preemie’s shoulders reach the bottom harness position (6″ with inlay and folded insert). Remove the inlay when the child weighs 11 lbs, and remove the insert when the child weighs 22 lbs (or earlier if are getting crowded).
The Aton can be installed without the base, and allows for the seat belt to be routed using the Euro routing method which places the shoulder belt behind the head of the seat. This makes for a very easy and stable baseless installation, which is convenient if you’re riding in someone else’s car and don’t want to move the base.
The Aton is very narrow, and it’s also very compact front to back, making it an excellent choice for 3-across or small vehicles. Cybex requires the carry handle to be locked in the up position when in the vehicle.
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA Approval: The Aton is FAA approved when used without the base. You can find the FAA approval wording on the large sticker on the right side of the seat.
Expiration: The Aton has a 6 year expiration. The date of manufacture sticker can be found on the the car seat on the left side as the picture shows.
- Front adjust harness
- Fits preemies well
- Push button lower anchor connectors
- Seat belt tensioning plate
- Euro seat belt routing for baseless install
- Foot prop (Aton 2)
- Small canopy
- Requires handle in the up position
- Long harness covers
The main downfall that I found to the Aton is the canopy. It’s very short, and also difficult to switch between positions. The plastic is also flimsy and it comes apart easily, many users have had it break off altogether. Additionally, you cannot move the handle back when the canopy is up – which can make for a bit of a dance to get baby under the handle without bonking their head. The harness pads are fairly long, you may remove them, but if you would like to keep them they can interfere with proper chest clip placement on smaller babies. To combat this, you can tuck the extra length underneath the cover behind the child.
This review features the original (U.S. model) Aton. Earlier this year, Cybex introduced the Aton 2, which features a load leg on the base, linear side impact protection, and an improved canopy. The Aton 2 has been followed as well by the Aton Q, which features a no rethread harness, improved linear side impact protection, and a MUCH better canopy. Keep up the great work, Cybex!