Product Type: Maxi Cosi child car seats
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Maxi-Cosi Maxi Cosi Priori XP
Member Name: azana
Maxi-Cosi Maxi Cosi Priori XP
Date: 15/02/10, updated on 15/02/10 (237 review reads)
I bought this seat primarily as it seemed to be consistently highly rated in terms of safety in all the reports I read from "Which" and the like, it gets these high ratings presumably because it has side impact protection and performed well in safety tests. This seat was £80 at time of purchase but now seems to range from £130-150, which to me is quite a major outlay. As I have used this seat nearly every day for nigh on 6 years through two children, many a supermarket run, day trip, and holiday, I hope that I can provide some insight into whether it is the right buy for you.
Fitting this seat is, on the scale of things, fairly straightforward. You need to thread the seatbelt through the back with the seat in recline position through a couple of clips - it isn't intuitive the first time you do it, but good instructions and also handy sticker reminders on the seat itself make this soon second nature. There is a tightener lever and the front too for adding tension to the belt. Though this seat isn't ISOFIX, it does fit firmly and securely and I never felt that it was less than solidly fitted into my car. If you are thinking of buying one of these I would always recommend getting the fit checked (for free) at Halfords or Mothercare.
The harness is height adjustable and should fit just above the child's shoulders - over time it is worth bearing this in mind and regularly checking as children seem to work their way through the three height positions amazingly quickly! Talking of the harness, it has nice padded protection on it for comfort for the child. I like the fact too that to adjust how tight it is you pull at the bottom of the seat, just out of child reach. This can be very handy to secure a wriggling child who doesn't want to go home! The two raised clips on the side of the seat can be used to hold back the harness whilst you put your child in the seat. From my experience there is not much chance of a smaller child pressing the fast release on the harness.
When the seat is in use another excellent feature is the recline - the position the seat can easily be changed by pressing a catch under the seat to tip the seat back - this is much better designed than the Brittax renaissance which we also used extensively. You will find you use this feature a lot if your child is prone to napping in the car. The range of recline positions is really good, in the most reclined position I always found that my children slept well, the seat goes back to just over a 45 degree angle.
I've never sat in the seat, for obvious reasons, but it does always look comfortable for both smaller and larger children, and the upholstery is well padded. We have removed the cover for cleaning, and this is fairly easy to do. The manufacturer's description does say hand wash only, but we have washed it before on the delicate cycle (sometimes the nature of children means that hand washing is just not really a possibility
) with no ill effects. I would say that the black on this seat has faded a fair bit over time, but the material is still looking good after considerable use, so overall I feel it is good quality. You can buy "Summer covers" for £19.99 to go over the seat to avoid this problem, I didn't invest in one of these but they may be a good idea.
One criticism I have of this seat in terms of the upholstery, is the way that the fabric around on the back has been fastened together. Most of the seat is stitched, however the bits on the back where the belt is height adjusted seem to be glued together rather than sewn. This means that over time they do fray a bit and come apart, this happened before we washed it, probably due to the fact that it is in direct contact with the child's back. I would have thought that they could have been made a bit more secure, bearing in mind that a new cover costs about £40-50. The rest of the seat is of an excellent build quality, and even after years of use my seat is still in absolutely perfect condition everywhere else.
This seat is fairly heavy at 9kg, if you are going to be transferring between cars. This does reflect the solid construction of the seat however, and the base which is rather heavy does mean that the child is quite raised in the car compared to some seats, and able to see that bit more out of the window.
I do think that overall this is a quality item,and for us it has been excellent. It is worthwhile shopping around to find a best price on this car seat as you will find prices really fluctuate. Safety is obviously paramount when transporting your most precious possession, and I always felt very confident using this seat which was a popular choice amongst my "baby friends" too. As I said at the start I have had several years daily and safe use of this seat and it is still going strong, or would be if my child wasn't looking a bit too big for it, even though it is an expensive item I do believe that it is worth it in the long run. Recommended.
The seat says from 9 months - 4years, I would say 3 and a half is probably more realistic. There are a number of accessories available for this seat from trays to cup holders, more details at maxicosi.com
Summary: 6 years' service from our trusty car seat
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