We had the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 car seat for my little guy Jacob. I love this seat (still have it, he uses it in his grandma’s car) so I was really excited to hear that they released an updated version of the seat, the Pria 85, and was delighted when I was sent a seat for review.
Maxi-Cosi is one of the leading car seat brands in Europe, where they are known for their innovative technology and superior comfort. At Maxi-Cosi, you’ll find a selection of baby gear, from strollers to car seats, and accessories for those products.
The Pria 85 convertible car seat is currently available in 3 colors: Brilliant Blue, Devoted Black and Passionate Pink. Since this car seat was going to be for our baby girl, I went with Passionate Pink.
Just like the Maxi Cosi Pria 70, the first thing you’ll probably notice about this seat is that it’s made for comfort. This seat looks and feels so soft and luxurious with its CosiCushion premium fabrics and padding. Of all the car seats I’ve reviewed, the Maxi Cosi Pria ones look and feel the most comfortable to me. My daughter also seems extremely comfortable while riding in this seat.
One of the biggest difference between the Pria 70 and the Pria 85 is that, while the 70 is designed to fit infants as small as 9 pounds (for many infants, this is birth weight), you can not begin using the Pria 85 until your child is at least 14 pounds. For someone like me who likes to use an infant seat with base for the first 9 months or so, this is the perfect step up. The Pria 85 can be used rear facing through 40 pounds (and 40 inches or less) and forward facing until your child is 85 pounds (or until the midpoint of their head goes above the top of the headrest — no more than 52 inches).
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 85 makes it very quick and easy to do just that. While occasionally we’d have issues adjusting the straps on our Pria 70, I haven’t found any problems with the Pria 85. The straps always adjust with ease. 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.
Maxi Cosi added a few extra special touches to this seat, that really set it above the competition. First, it has a built in cup holder that is very easy to wipe clean. We actually use the cup holder to store spare pacifiers for Zellene. She loves to swap them out while we drive. Speaking of cleaning, it also has a seat pad and harness covers that are removable (and come in 2 sizes), and there’s never a need to uninstall the seat or rethread the harness to get the pad on and off. The Pria 85 seat pad and harness covers are both machine washable and dryer safe, making clean up a breeze! Another new feature are the harness holders, which keep harness straps out of the way for easy boarding. Maxi-Cosi truly thought of everything to make travel comfortable for little ones!
The best car seats are 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 side of the car seat where you can store your written instructional booklet and locking clip. I can not emphasize enough how important it is to read the installation instructions on your car seat. Each seat has different requirements and rules, so please PLEASE make sure you read them before installation!
Before installing this seat in the car, I let all three of my children try this seat, so you can see how they look. My oldest is 5 years old and now too big to rear face in this seat (she’s too tall but not too heavy), but can easily forward face for a while longer. My son is 3 years old and still fits to rear face. The baby, who just turned 1, also fits perfectly to rear face in this 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 located at the top of the seat and move headrest up or down to the proper height and release to lock into place. This will adjust the headwings/headrest and harness height at the same time. Because making the adjustment is so easy, it means that both of my younger children can use this seat in our minivan installed rear facing, with just a quick, simple adjustment to the strap height.
The Pria 85 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:
- Forward Facing only for children 40-85 pounds & 43 inches – 52 inches tall.
- Forward Facing 22-40 pounds and 29-43 inches tall.
- Rear Facing only for children 14-40 pounds who are 40 inches or less.
Car seat safety is, of course, very important to me with a seat. The Pria 85 features safer side impact protection thanks to the Air Protect®: Advanced air cushion system, it protects your child’s head where it’s needed most in a side impact crash. I also find that those head wings are great pillows for my kids when they fall asleep in the car. This seat also features the FlexTech™ system for multi-directional energy management.
When it comes time to install a car seat, generally this is a job I give 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. I decided to give this one a try though and was amazed at how easy it was to install. I used the LATCH system to install this car seat, but you can also install it using your car’s seat belt. The LATCH connectors included in this car seat are easy to attach and detach. The instructions for using LATCH are clear and easy to follow. I learned a little trick a few months ago that really helps me get a great, tight install with my car seats. First I recline the vehicle seat as far as it will go while I tighten the LATCH. Once I have the LATCH as tight as it will go, then I release the seat to return to the upright position. That really locks the seat into place tightly.
My two youngest kids have both used this seat in the van. My son first complained because it was pink (and his sister’s) but in minutes he was talking about how much he liked his baby sister’s car seat. I couldn’t be happier with the Pria 85 and have no complaints about it. We’ll be using this seat for quite a while with our youngest daughter.
We love our Pria 85, and I’m happy to recommend it!
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Convertible Car Seat is priced at $299.99. 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.