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Review: Maxi Cosi’s Pria 70 Air Convertible Car Seat

10/24/2011 at 03:00 PM ET
Courtesy Maxi Cosi

If airlines could take a cue from Maxi Cosi‘s car seat manufacturers, we’d all be a lot more comfortable in the friendly skies.

The company’s new Pria 70 Air Convertible Car Seat ($250) has a space-saving design that gives you and your little one more room to stretch your legs — it’s like first class seating for your vehicle without an outrageous pricetag!

Things We Like:

The Pria 70 Air Convertible Car Seat is the only seat you’ll ever need to buy — it’s designed to safely fit your 4-lb. newborn until he or she reaches 5 years of age.

For the littlest babies, the seat’s TinyFit system is a small insert that cuddles your rear-facing infant until he or she fills out the larger seat at 18 to 22-lbs (the seat faces forward to fit children up to 70-lbs).

And the Air Protect system cushions your child’s head and body, giving your precious cargo extra protection during side impact collisions. Our tester visibly had more room to stretch her legs in the Pria 70 versus other seats we’ve tried. That’s thanks to the seat’s space-saving deep recline design (with three reclining positions) that miraculously also give the person sitting in front of the rear-facing car seat more room to move around.

Complete with a large cupholder and additional comfort pillows, this seat is one luxurious place for your cutie to kick back. If only it offered beverage service…

Car seat installations have been known to cause family feuds — but the Pria 70′s color-coded system is easy enough for even the most brain-dead parents to figure out. Its OneClick LATCH Connectors keep the seat firmly in place, preventing side-to-side movement.

Not only does the soft and squishy car seat covering (padded with polyurethane underneath) keep your little passenger snug, but it is impermeable to projectile vomit, too! Yep, we tested it. The polyester material easily wicks away sticky stuff and is machine washable for those especially messy road trips.

Things We Didn’t Like:

We found the harness sometimes difficult to buckle and unbuckle, but we’re willing to put forth a little extra elbow grease for a car seat that’s this safe.

Moms & Babies Rating:

With special features galore for baby and several brilliant bonuses for parents, the Pria 70 Air Convertible Car Seat makes hitting the road a more enjoyable (and comfortable!) experience.

Amy Jamieson

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Showing 22 comments

Gaby on

id rather get the britax boulvard 70 cs now only $224 on amazon.

Catherine on

Thanks for the review. We love Maxi Cosi for it’s safety and durability and have two Priori’s right now. Definitely getting the Pria when baby #3 makes his/her debut this winter!

kristen on

Is this only rear facing until 22lbs? Seems like it should hold a heavier baby than that before turning the seat around.

Rachel on

This seat rear faces until 40 lbs… 22 lbs is the earliest it can forward face according to the specs.

robinepowell on

It’s not the only carseat you’ll ever need. It’s not a booster seat and some place require kids to be in a booster until 6 1/2, due to a certain height they reach by that age. Check your facts please.

Also check the spelling, there’s no apostraphe after 70s, it goes before or not at all. ;)

Melanie on

You should check YOUR spelling … apostrophe is misspelled in your own post. And if you’re referring to the sentence “the Pria 70′s color-coded system is easy enough…” (the only apostrophe I see that you could possibly be talking about) it IS in the correct place.

Hilarious.

Rachel on

Robin — You are right that this will not be the “only car seat you’ll ever need”, however, children should not be placed in a belted booster UNTIL they are OVER the age of 6. This is why harnessed seats have such high weight and height limits now, so that children can ride in them longer. If you look up the new AAP recommendations for car seats, it states that children should rear face until 2, harness until approx. age 8 and then be in a booster from age 8 until approx. 12 (depending on height/weight).

MiB on

Gaby, the Maxi cosi carseats generally have a smaller imprint than the Britax carseats, making them better for smaller cars. Besides, both companies make good car seats, they just have differences making them better for different vehicles and different purposes.

tara on

Does this car seat work with a snap & go or stroller at all?

MiB on

@Tara, no, there are no convertible car seats that can be placed on a snap and go as far as I know. The only two car seats that can be mounted on wheels, the Orbit toddler seat (which can only be used from 20 lbs or something like that if I remember correctly) and the Combi Coccoro (which rear faces until 33 lbs and forward faces until 40 lbs) need a their own special configuration. Only infant carriers can be placed on snap and go’s. Hope that helped.

Kate on

Don’t car seats “expire” after 5 years so a child starting at 4lbs would need a new one. I think that fact is normally overlooked. I was thinking our car seat would work for our 2nd but found out it is expired…now I not only have to buy one for my second child but another for my firstborn!

Rachel on

Kate — harnessed car seats have an expiration date of 6 years from the manufacturers date and booster seats (without harness) have a 10 year expiration date. The only harnessed seat with a longer than 6 year expiration date is the Graco Smart Seat — and those seats all have 10 year expiration dates. So yep, you’re right, if you begin using the seat with an infant, then you’ll have to ditch it when the child turns 6 (or likely beforehand as man. date will be before birth). I think what the companies bank on is that most people do use infant seats and so you typically get at least a year or a little longer out of newer, higher weight infant seats, so if you begin using a seat like this at approx. 1 1/2 – 2 years then it will get you to around 7-8 and then you can switch to a booster.

robinepowell on

It’s interesting is until recently I never knew car seats could expire. Not until I saw an ad on TV. I wonder, does this apply to booster seats too?

@Rachel, I live in Canada, so the American guidelines are most likely different here, though probably not by much. I live in the province of Quebec and as of right now, their child safety rules say booster car seat until 6 1/2. It may different with each province though. My province also says kids under the age of 12, sit in the back.

I do like the idea that kids stay in the seats longer, though try to get seven and eight year olds to agree is another story.

Steph on

Carseats in Canada expire after 5 years. My 7 year old would never fit in a car seat and hasn’t for at least 2 years. If they start recommending kids rear face up to two years old….my almost 2 year old would have his knees up around his face! These regulations are supposed to be all about safety, but I personally, think it’s a complete money grab. Why expire after only 5 years? That thing is going to sit in a landfill for a bazillion years!

Rachel on

Steph — Rear facing until 2 really isn’t an issue. I know many, many parents who have done this and we did it with my goddaughter. There are rear facing studies that show that a child’s legs and feet are in no extreme danger (and kids truly don’t mind, they sit criss cross and accomodate more easily than imangined) — but there are plenty of children who’ve had multiple injuries (including neck and head injuries) from being forward facing or in a seat belt too early.

Robin — it’s always interesting to hear the different laws in different countries. The thing is, here, kids sit in boosters until they’re 8 or 9 usually, so there’s not really much argument (everyone else does it, so you have to too!).

It’s not a law that children under 12 be in the back seat, but it is a recommendation and car seats cannot be used in a front seat or seat that has airbags.

I know here in Kentucky, if you get pulled over and you have a child under age 7 not in a car seat, they will give you a ticket.

Ceebs on

@robinepowell: We have the terms “booster seat” and “carseat” because they are two different things with two different functions (boosters elevate a child to properly fit a a standard vehicle seat belt). Thus, this could be the only carseat you’ll need, if you use it from birth until your child is ready for a booster seat.

Ceebs on

The rear-facing recommended age increase came out between babies #2 & #3 for me. At the time, I thought “Wow, with my tall kids ?? That will be a nightmare !” But now, at 22 months, my daughter (who is a little taller than average) is still rear facing with no problems or complaints. She is not yet old enough to get the concept of sitting cross-legged, so she sits with her knees bent.

After a bit of thought, I realized that we, as older kids and adults, always sit with our legs bent at 90 degrees at the knees and hips when in the car. And looking at my daughter, that’s the angle her hips and knees are at. We have her in the middle row of a minivan, so most of the time (unless we are full to capacity), there is nobody behind her, and we can recline the vehicle seatback so she gets more leg room (thank goodness for how secure Britax seats install – I can recline a couple of inches on the vehicle seat back with no loss of tension in my daughter’s carseat !). But even with the seat back all the way forward, she is content and appears comfortable.

I do want to add, though, that YOU are the parent. If you rear-face, your child isn’t going to tell you “Mom, this stinks !” And even if, at 24 months, they could say that, you still have the right to say “Too bad, I’m the mom !” I say this, because I have heard so many times other moms saying “Oh, my son would have NEVER put up with that !” as if he were in charge !

Hoopla on

Well, I live in Washington State right now and I think kids have to be in the back until they’re 60 lbs (not entirely sure), but I’m 18 and I stopped using a car seat when I was 6 and never had a booster and the same with my brothers, cousins, and most kids at my school. And I know several 7 and 8 year old kids who would die of embarrassment if they had to ride in car seats/boosters and their friends found out.

Rachel on

Hoopla — better to die of embarrassment than to, well… die. There was a story here a few months back of seven year old triplets who were in a wreck – two of them were killed. None of them were in appropriate booster seats and they were thrown from the car on impact because the seat belts just didn’t hold them in.

These laws aren’t created for no reason, there are many studies that show that a booster seat can save a child’s life when a seat belt can’t. I would never take the risk of my child’s life just because “it might not happen”. You can be the safest driver and you still cannot control everyone else on the road. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.

Sandy on

Is the Pria 70 good for flights? Is it FAA approved?

Gith on

@Steph

Car seats expire because as plastics age, they can become brittle or develop small cracks that reduce the seat’s safety. Exposure to sun or heat, like in a car, can accelerate this. Also, when passing a seat child to child, you miss new improvements. Each model year of seat is safer than the last. It’s not about money, but about your baby’s safety.

As far as rear-facing, we will be rear-facing to the maximum height/weight of our seat. EVERY passenger in a car would be safer rear-facing, but babies have huge heads, weak necks, and are very vulnerable in a crash to brain damage because the brain shifts more in the skull than an adult’s brain (ex, shaken baby syndrome). The most common injury forward-facing babies have is called internal decapitation, where the force rips the skull from the spine inside. That connection doesn’t mature until age 3 or 4!

My child can complain all he wants, but safety isn’t negotiable!

southerngirl on

Can someone who has this seat tell me if the depth of the seat is deep? I have a larger baby who I think when he has jeans on = the seat I have now will not buckle very comfortably. He is tall as well.

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