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I am a childminder and have many car seats, one of my favourites (only beaten by the Britax dual fix) is this one!
I really wanted to take advantage of the children being as safe as possible, I know how important and precious children are and wanted the parents to be safe in the knowledge that their children were as safe as possible
The maxi cosi car seat has isofix- my car is a 2001 peugeot 206 but I discovered even that old a car has isofix (it may be worth checking your car even if it's old as then you can use this car seat)
Because of the isofix the car seat is extremely heavy- it isn't something you want to be changing between cars often, however actually fitting the car seat is simple, you simply line up the isofix claws with the metal bars in the car click them into place, there are green indicators when this has been done correctly and then adjust the height of the support leg (again this has a fool proof red or green light) and then strap in with the seat belt as an additional safety feature.
Once in the car the seat is very secure, that's what I love about it simple to use, you can't get it wrong! And the seat feels secure
The colour is great for mess as it is dark and easy clean-I regularly machine wash and line dry them and it's been fine.
The car seat cover comes off easily, the only fiddly bit with this car seat is removing the straps to either remove/install the cover or change the height of the straps as the child grows.
The car seat has clips on both sides to slip the straps into so they are out of the way when you put the child in the seat- I love this feature as you're not digging around under the child for the straps
The seat reclines for when the child sleeps, it doesn't recline very far, but no less than the other car seats! Which helps if they fall asleep.
The car seat has a narrow base which has been a godsend as I have room for the other car seats then.
Now the down points of which there are few, the straps keep sticking This has caused me a few problems several times as it keeps not pulling tight enough, I re loosen the strap with the quick release button and try again to no avail, then I have to undo the entire strap section, redo it and it is fine for a few occasions then it stops going tight again!! I am yet to work out how to stop this but it's probably user error
The second thing is more of a want really which us the option for rear facing and to be able to use without isofix in addition to with isofix
And finally just an observation which is the door at the back of the car seat which covers the seat belt parts makes it very fiddly and hard to reach when needed to remove covers/ install covers and change belt height
All in all a FANTASTIC car seat
I was unlucky enough to be involved in a car crash recently (a minor one, thank goodness) but taking no chances, decided it was essential to replace my daughter's car seat.
I take car seats and safety VERY seriously, her last one was a Britax which was one of the safest money can buy. My daughter is in the car a lot, but even if she wasn't, to me it is still important to buy the best, safest seat you can buy, because you can crash at any time, whether it is to the shops down the road or a long journey.
After much research and consulting Which?, I decided on the Maxi Cosi Priorifix. Which? rated this very highly (a best buy) and gave it amazing safety results in their inspection and crash test. It is a group 1 car seat, suitable from age 9 months to approximately 4 years, which is 20lb-40lb or 9-18kg.
The Maxi Cosi Priorifix retails at approximately £250, though we bought it on offer from Mothercare at £210. You can buy it from most baby stores and places like Halfords. It comes in black, blue or red. You can buy 'summer covers' (keeps the seat cool in heat) in the same colours or white, and you can buy replacement black covers for anything from £25-50. They used to do a pink version but this was discontinued. As my daughter is pink mad, I actually bought a pink seat second hand and swapped the covers!
The seat is Isofix which means it is exceptionally safe. It is recognised that Isofix is the safest way to install a car seat as it becomes part of the car and does not move or rotate in the event of an accident. All cars made after 2005 have Isofix as standard, and many cars made before then do too (my old 1999 Golf has it). To check if your car has it, simply slide your hand between the seat cushion and back cushion on either the passenger or driver's side of the back seat. If you can feel 2 metal hoops, then you have Isofix. Some cars even have 'Isofix' labels on the seat or gaps in the fabric to indicate where the hoops are. Once the seat is attached to these hoops, it becomes part of the car's chassis.
Some Isofix car seats have a leg prop and the Priorifix is one of these. It is an additional safety feature that makes the seat even safer. The seat itself looks like any other group 1 car seat except for this leg and 2 metal prongs that stick out of the back of the seat. It can be installed with the seatbelt instead of Isofix if necessary, but some research points out that this affects the overall safety of the seat.
The seat is heavy to lift, but presumably you wouldn't be changing it often or carrying it about. It is well padded and cushioned, with harness pads and padded wings that offer side impact protection. There are 4 recline positions easily adjusted from the front without moving the seat. The harness has one-pull adjustment and is height adjustable. There is a clip either side to hold the harness out of the way whilst moving your child in or out of the seat (very handy!) and the cover is machine washable and easy to remove.
Installing the seat I actually found very hard. My husband managed it in a couple of minutes but I struggled. To fit the seat you press the button on the leg prop (it will be red to indicate the seat is incorrectly fitted). You will then see the 2 metal prongs at the back of the seat - each of these prongs clicks onto an Isofix hoop in the car. You hear an audible click for each prong. You then hold in the button on the leg and push the seat back until it rests against the car seat. You then pull out a clip on the leg (this can be stiff) whilst at the same time firmly pushing the leg all the way out and down until it meets the floor of the car. Once this is done correctly, the light on the button will turn green, indicating a correct fit. It is this part that I struggled with - I spent forever trying to get this stupid leg to be flush against the car floor and turn green. However my husband fit the seat perfectly within a couple of minutes, so maybe it's just me! To remove the seat, you press the button on the leg, open the clip and pull the leg up (it will turn red). You then simply pull the car seat away from the seat and take it out.
The harness is easily adjustable for height, and very comfortable. The recline has 4 positions and I really like this mechanism because on previous seats when they were installed they either had to recline or not, you couldn't change it without removing the seat. The Priorifix however, has a lever at the front of the seat underneath it, you pull it and it will click with every position. It doesn't recline flat but it does go most of the way there, it is so easy to do you can do it one handed and it is very handy for long journeys.
This seat is supposed to last until age 4. My daughter is 4, 94cm and 30lb but I cannot see her outgrowing this anytime soon. Apparently kids stay in the seat until they reach the maximum weight (40lb) and/or are way too tall (if their ears are level with the top of the seat, that is the maximum height they can be for that seat apparently). My daughter tells me that this is a very comfy seat and she loves going in it.
The only flaw is that the seat is quite high up, which is great because kids get a view out of the window, but can make getting them in the seat quite tricky, particularly if you have a hatchback like we do. It's not really easy for them to get in it themselves so I have to almost fold my daughter in lol.
All in all, you can't put a price on safety!
When the time came for me to buy a group 1 car seat I was sure that a car seat that secured using isofix was the right choice for my baby. The group 0 seat I had chosen was the maxi cosi cabriofix and I has the isofix base for that too and in my opinion that car seats just seem to fit so much more securely than if using a seatbelt.
I therefore decided to go for the priori fix.
I now have one of these for each of my children - one in black reflection and one in a brown and cream colour (not my ideal choices of colour but they were both on special offer at the time £160 each)
The isofix part of the car seat is really easy to fix into the car, the only problem being if you do move it between cars the weight of the seat plus the base on the bottom makes it really, really heavy to transfer. But once it's in the car actually slotting it into the isofix is easy. It is also easy to make sure it's fitted properly as a button on the isofix leg changes green when it has been fitted properly.
The seat looks really comfy with plenty of padding and it also reclines too, which is useful for long journeys.
The covers actually come off the car seat which is great for cleaning, although if in total disaster you can also buy new covers.
I genuinely have no issues with this car seat. My almost 4 year old is still in the car seat (she isn't very tall for her age) and I can't see her coming out of it any time soon as there is still plenty of room.
In summary, it's safe, easy to fit and comfortable. It also looks nice and sturdy compared to other car seats I have seen that look a little flimsy.
When I changed my car recently I made an active choice to get a car that had the ISOFIX system. Child car seat safety is really important to me and although I feel that I have made good choices on car seats over the past few years, I still always would have preferred the children to be in ISOFIX car seats as these are the safest on the market. I have had the Priori for years, and being really happy with it (you can see my other review on it too if you want to compare and contrast the two seats) I knew that when I got the chance to go for ISOFIX, it would be the Priori version I would go for.
This is called the Priorifix and is made by Maxi-Cosi.
If you are not familiar with Isofix, It basically means that the car seat will hook straight into your car without the need to be restrained by seat belts. This is a standardised system, so an Isofix car seat should fit into most cars without the "Will my car be appropriate for the seat I want?" question. Problems such as short seatbelts or buckle crunch are eradicated as the seat will be installed without the need for the seat belt. It also means that the car seat will not rotate in result of an accident.
If you would like to check whether your car has isofix, it is simply a matter of running your hand underneath the backseat. If you slide your hand in between the seat part and the back part and you can feel a little metal hook on either side then you probably have Isofix. Some cars actually say Isofix on the seat while others have gaps that mean you can see the Isofix points and so you wouldn't even have to run your hand underneath.
It is these hooks that make the Priorifix different from the standard Priori. The Priorifix looks just like a standard 2nd stage car seat although it has a support leg and two long prongs coming out the back of it. To install the seat you press the button on the middle of the support leg, and this releases the prongs at the back, you then slide them in under your seat and when they meet with the Isofix points they will lock in place. You will hear an audible CLICK! There should be two clicks, one for either side. And when both sides are clicked in properly the button on the front of the support leg will go green meaning you are ready to rock. It is very simple to install, however be warned, this is a very heavy car seat.
I think the recline on the Priorifix is adequate. While my son never had an issue of his head rolling forward in the standard Priori, we occasionally do have this issue with our daughter. She is quite a nosey rascal though, so I think this may be due to the fact that she will crook her neck until the last possible minute before she sleeps, rather than this being a design flaw. We did buy the support pillow, but it didn't make much difference. We rarely would use the middle recline setting, it's either all or nothing in our car.
To change the strap height to the next level is simple enough. I am already used to the system having had the other version before, but really it is just a matter of sliding the belt up the next level. My daughter is 18 months however she is petite and so is only edging towards the second height level. I am so pernickety about car seats it is unbelievable. If I had the money to import a rear facer, I would have her rear facing until she was 15! This was my next best option. I can't believe people would put their children into Group 1 Car Seats from 6 months onwards.
The fabric we have is Tango Red, which is Grey down the sides with a Red middle part. It's pretty attractive. My husband wouldn't go for the pink version! To wash the fabrics is a bit of a fiddle, an hour or two work to get them off, clean and back on again.
This seat also has the routing to be used in a car that doesn't have Isofix if needs be, however I am not happy with that as there is no Tensioner on it, which the standard Priori has. I don't think I will ever use it in a car without Isofix unless there is a real emergency.
All in all I am really happy with the Priorifix. I do have a soft spot for Maxi-Cosi so I knew I would be happy with it before I even purchased it. I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a Group 1 (Second Stage) car seat if they are after peace of mind. The RRP is £250 which is steep but it should do up until 3.5 years at least so you will get plenty of use from it. It does say it is suitable from 9 months but in reality, the longer you can keep your baby in a rear facing car seat the better. I wouldnt have moved my daughter in to it until she was over a year old.
I bought this seat because it rated number 1 in the Which car seat safety test for it's age group. The deciding factor when making a purchase of this kind. The seat is available in various colours and patterns, the black version which I have is neutral and very practical. Suitable from 9months (or 9kg) to 4years the seat retails for between £190 and £220 depending on where it is purchased and the colour.
The seat is quite heavy; I think this is in-part due to the fact that it is isofix but it does make it feel very safe and secure. At can also be fitted using a three pint belt if you want to put it in a car which odes not have isofix anchor points.
The seat is very simple to fit, the instructions are clear and there is an online video demonstration to watch. There are two indicators on the seat which are red if it is fitted incorrectly and green when fitted correctly.
The seat appears to be very comfortable; my son falls asleep as soon as he goes in it. One of the best features is the various stage recline so that you can put it all the way back when they are sleep and their heads don't fall forwards like in some seats. Also very handy are the strap holders, it makes it much easy when putting the chills in the seat as you don't have to struggle to pull them out from under the child.
The Maxi-Cosi PrioriFix is a semi-universal IsoFix child car seat. The use of the support leg ensures optimum safety and is the reason that the PrioriFix is designated as 'semi-universal'. It is therefore suitable for installation in certain types of cars.