When you have a baby, there are truly only a few things you really NEED to buy when it comes to baby gear. One of those will be a car seat. I really enjoy reviewing things for you that I know you NEED, so when I was offered the opportunity to review the Maxi Cosi Pria 70 convertible car seat (at no cost, to facilitate this review), of course I said yes!
Maxi-Cosi is one of the leading brands for the best car seats in Europe. They are known for their innovative technology and superior comfort. At Maxi-Cosi, you’ll find a selection of strollers, car seats, and accessories for those products. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a piece of Maxi-Cosi gear ever since I saw some of their items at my local Toys”R”Us.
The Pria 70 convertible car seat is available in 6 colors of fabric, plus 3 additional shades in leather. I was sent this seat in “Mineral Grey,” and I’m loving the color! It incorporates a very subtle shade of green, which is my favorite color. It’s also a gender neutral color, so we can easily use it with either of our children.
Because it is the first thing I noticed about this car seat when I pulled it out of the box, it’s the first thing I want to talk to you about: COMFORT! This seat looks and feels so soft and luxurious. I’m honestly no good with fabrics, so I have no idea what the fabric on this car seat is made from, but I can tell you that of all the car seats I have tried, this fabric is the best I’ve ever touched! It is cushiony and even my husband commented that it was “ubber plush” when he installed it in our minivan.
We had the car seat sitting in our living room for a few days while it awaited installation (and I took some pictures), and my son Jacob (18 months) loved to go over and just sit down in it. We are a family that likes to get out and do stuff, so at times my kids might be in their car seat for 2 hours or more. It gives me great peace of mind knowing that my son found this seat so comfortable, he wanted to sit in it. The Pria 70 also comes with a body pillow insert, to provide extra comfort for wee little ones, however my youngest (18 months) is too big to need that. It was very easy to remove.
The Pria 70 is designed to fit infants as small as 9 pounds (for many infants, this is birth weight) all the way up to toddlers of 40 pounds, rear facing. (If you have a preemie or plan to use this seat from birth and tend to have smaller babies, I’d suggest checking out the Pria 70 with Tiny Fit insert, which you can use for babies as small as 4 pounds.) When your child is old enough and big enough, you can use this seat forward facing up to 70 pounds. I plan to rear face my children in our vehicles as long as possible (experts agree that rear facing is the safest way for children to travel) so I love the fact that my son will probably be able to rear face in this seat until he is 4 years old, maybe longer.
This car seat features a 5-point harness (with ultra soft harness covers) that can be easily adjusted by pushing in on the harness release lever, located under the flap at the front of the car seat. Making sure that a child has straps that are tightened properly is so important, and the Pria 70 makes it very quick and easy to do just that. If you seem to have any issues adjusting the harness on this car seat (tightening or loosening), we found that sometimes adjusting the straps at the back of the seat, while pushing the harness release lever, helps.
One of the features I love about the restraint system is that the bottom buckle has a nicely padded buckle cover. I imagine that the cover makes riding much more comfortable for children, especially once they are older and out of diapers.
The best car seat is only good if you have the correction installation. That’s why I love the fact that Maxi-Cosi puts the installation instructions on stickers which are then placed on BOTH sides of your seat. They also put a hidden pocket on the left side of the car seat where you can store your written instructional booklet and locking clip.
Before installing this seat in the car, I let my daughter try it out so you could see her fit in the seat. She will be 4 years old in March and is still small enough to rear face in this car seat. As you probably know, it is important for the straps to fall at or below the shoulders when you are rear facing (if you are using a car seat forward facing, the straps should fall at or above the shoulders), and this seat makes adjusting the straps super easy.
To adjust the straps, you do NOT have to do any re-threading. Simply squeeze the headrest adjustment lever and more headrest up or down to the proper height and lock into place. This means that both of my children can use this seat in our minivan, with just a quick, simple adjustment to the strap height.
The Pria 70 gives you 3 different angle options for your child, and adjusting that angle is super easy. You’ll find a red handle at the back of your seat. Just pull the handle until you hear a click, and then adjust the recline. Here are the 3 positions you can use:
- 1: Should be used with a child who is over 40 pounds and/or 43 inches or taller. Angle #1 can only be used when a child is forward facing.
- 2: Can be used forward facing for a child who is 22-40 pounds and/or 34-43 inches. Per the instruction manual, angle position #2 can also be used for a rear facing child, as long as he/she is under 40 pounds and under 40 inches, however we found that in order to have this seat properly level, we had to use angle position #3.
- 3: Should be used only for a rear-facing child who is between the weight of 9-40 lbs. and no taller than 40 inches.
When it comes time to install a car seat, generally this is a job I give mostly to my husband. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength, and we find that he is usually able to get our car seats installed tighter. We used the LATCH system to install this car seat, but you can also install it using your car’s seat belts.
The LATCH connectors included in this car seat are easy to attach and detach. While this seat was not the easiest my husband has ever installed, it was also not the hardest. The instructions for using LATCH are clear and easy to follow. At first we had trouble really getting the seat in tightly until we learned this little trick: recline the vehicle seat as far as it will go while you tighten the LATCH. Once we have the LATCH as tight as it will go, then we release the seat to return to the upright position. That really locks the seat into place tightly.
We installed this car seat as a team, and I put my weight onto the seat while my husband tightened it. After a little bit of work, we achieved a great fit with this seat that I’m very pleased with.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes our travels have us in the car for a little bit of time. I was so excited to see that the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 car seat has a built in cup holder that is very easy to wipe clean. Maxi-Cosi truly thought of everything to make travel comfortable for little ones!
I think the best way to conclude this review is to tell you that Jacob was sitting in another well-known name convertible car seat before we got the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70. Now that we’ve tried this seat, his old seat has been sent to the grandparents’ house for use in their car. He seems far more comfortable in this seat and my husband complains less about the straps getting twisted when he’s trying to get him into the seat.
We love our Pria 70, and I’m happy to recommend it!
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat is priced at $249.99. You can find it online at retailers like Diapers.com, Babies”R”Us, and Amazon.com. If you’d like to see it in person, look for it at your local Babies”R”Us or specialty children’s store.
Disclosure: I was provide this seat at no cost to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours and/or Maxi-Cosi’s. Amazon links are affiliate links.