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We recently bought this car seat for our daughter after every car journey in her rear facing car seat had become something to dread - for all involved! We spent a LONG time researching and looking at car seats in shops - I must say that Mothercare were fantastic, we went to two separate shops and they were so helpful and informative.
Anyway, when we started looking we were set on getting an isofix car seat as that's what we'd had for her Stage 0 seat. However the selection of isofix seats is fairly limited and you pay a lot more for the luxury. We had a long debate over this particular aspect as we were adamant that we wanted to seat to be secure in the car and I was under the impression that only isofix could do this - we had previously taken the Stage 0 car seat out on a couple of journeys secured with just the seat belt and it rocked all over the place. Now, as stubborn as I am, I'm not ashamed to admit that I was wrong! This care seat is so secure in the car that it may as well be part of it. The seatbelt loops around the base at the front and tucks down between the seat and the facade on the back and then there's a lever to pull it even tighter once secure in. If you're still not convinced, ask for a demonstration in the shop and you'll see how secure it is.
The other thing I love is that the seat is much higher than on other car seats which means your child can see out of the window and you can see them much easier from the front passenger seat. It also has 5 recline positions which you can adjust with the child in the seat, so if they fall asleep you you lean them back.
My only real negative is that the straps require manual adjustment each time by pulling the loops which comes out of the front of the seat. While is theory this is fine, I told my husband off the other day for not pulling it tight only for him to remind me that I had put her in - oops! While I had pulled it tighter when I put her in, doing it from outside the car at an odd angle means you can't always pull it as tight as it needs to go. Just something to be aware to double check. The head rest is a bit difficult to adjust the height of but I suppose you don't want it to be too easy because if not your child would do it themselves!
All-in-all I think it's a fantastic care seat but the real verdict comes from my daughter who could not be happier to get in the car now and will quite happily sleep in it!
Once your child is ready to move up from their baby car seat the Maxi Cosi Tobi is an excellent choice. I originally was looking for a seat with an isofix as they always seem more secure, however the Tobi has a mechanism on the seatbelt which provides extra tension and the car seat fits in really tight. So save your pounds and precious space in your car and don't worry about the isofix. My child likes the Tobi because it is nice and high so he can see out the window and wave to sheep and point at various things that are apparently very interesting when you are only 1! The harness is really easy to alter and tighten and a little green tab feature tells you when you've tightened the straps adequately. This is a great added bonus as I'm always surprised by how tight the straps need to be and this makes sure I get it safe but not rib squashing. The other thing I love about the Tobi is the recline feature. It doesn't look much without a baby in the seat but rest assured once baby is in, the recline is more than enough to help them sleep and not have lolipping head syndrome.
When Lauren was approaching 8 months old, it was becoming clear that she was becoming to big for in travel system car seat and we needed to purchase a new one.
Again, not having any idea of what we needed, off we went to Toys R Us. When we arrived we stood there for about 15minutes just looking at all the different seats and different prices (the prices ranged from £60 to nearly £200!)
After seeking some advice, we decided to get the Maxi Cosi Tobi.
Installation was really easy (after the shop assistant had shown us, before that we would not have had a clue, you simply feed the seat belt around a channel (this is marked in red plastic so you have no doubt where to feed it) at the rear of the seat and the other underneath. The channels also had clamps on so you could be sure the seat could not come loose.
One of the things that first attracted me to it was that it has quite a big base meaning that it sits about 3 inches higher than the others. Lauren had a tendency to get quite bored on long journeys so I though this was ideal as she would be able to see more.
Once she was in it, it was clear to see I had made a good choice; she had a really good view out of the windows and actually fell asleep on the way back from purchasing it (which was very rare for Lauren!) Another good feature is that you can recline it pulling the positioning handle which is based under the seat. I found that as a passenger, in the front it was really easy to put my arm back and do this and the handle is quite big so easy to find.
Another unique safety feature that I found was that I knew Lauren was strapped in tight enough as on the seatbelt anchor, there was a green dot, if this was visible, the belt was tight enough. I have read some reviews where people have said the belts kept coming use, I did not experience this and this was used as our main car seat and Lauren went in it daily. It must be common though as there is a section in the instruction manual explaining how to rectify if you did experience this.
As with most car seat of this range, the seat and pads on the seat belts are removable so that they can be washed (we had all sorts in ours when we took it off!)
There are a few accessories available (I have not seen these in store but I did see them online at places like Amazon) such as play tray, sunshade, different coloured covers and drinks holders). I did not purchase any as they can be quite expensive (as you are paying for the Maxi Cosi name).
The seat is suitable from around 9months to 3.5years, I found that it lasted Lauren until she was nearly 4, although she is quite tall for her age, she is quite slim (if that's the right thing to say about a child?!), we took her back to Toys R Us when she reached 3 and a half and they said she was fine.
The RRP of the product is around £150, I believe we paid about £110 as I had a discount voucher and it was also on special offer. If you are thinking of buying from Toys R Us, make sure you are signed up for a Gold Card and to the Baby Club as we got loads of money of vouchers by doing this.
I would recommend and a great car seat.
Maxi-Cosi Tobi in Total Black has a high position in the car that allows your child to see out the window. The car seat will recline in 5 positions and adjustable headrest and harness will grow and adjust with your child as they grow. The innovative harness system makes it easier and quicker to fasten your child into the seat without the harness and belt buckle getting in the way. Coloured indicators will show that your child is correctly secured. The seat is installed with a 3 point seat belt and a belt tensioner ensures extreme security.