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Now, when it came to buying a Stage 1 car seat for my young toddler, I couldn't believe that amount of seats that were available. It felt a bit daunting to me as to which one to choose, and where to go for information, and who were the best seats. When I eventually settled on this one, I was really pleased with it, and 10 months after buying it, I have finally decided to write a little review on it!
Ok, well first things first. This seat is made by a famous Children's car-seat manufacturers called Maxi-Cosi. I had always known that Maxi-Cosi were amongst the best car seats you could buy for children, which is why I somewhat leaned towards this brand when searching for a new seat. Maxi-Cosi is part of the Dorel Netherlands group, who also own the Quinny brand, which produces high-end strollers for children. So when you talk about Maxi-Cosi you know they know their stuff when it comes to car seats, and this is an important factor for any parent when the time to purchase a new car seat comes along.
I actually went along with my partner, our son and my brother to Halfords one December weekend to get a good look at all the car seats they had to offer. We sat poor Harry in about 10 different seats, which all looked different, all were for different ages and sizes, and all different brands. This was the first seat which my son seemed really comfortable in, it looked nice and comfortable, safe and very sturdy. Another bonus of course was the name Maxi-Cosi which came attached to the seat.
I found out that this was a Priori XP car seat which is suitable from 9 months old until your child reaches 4 years old. In weight terms, this is roughly from around 9kg through to around 18kg. It is within the label of a Group/Stage 1 car seat, which caters for the age group I have mentioned above. This seat is compatible with a 3 point seat belt harness, which is the standard seat belt fitted in all cars. It is also a forward-facing car seat, so before buying a stage 1 seat, make sure your child is comfortable sitting up straight and they will be ok with a forward facing seat.
Now to the seat itself. There were many features which came with this seat which made it stand out from the many others that were available to us. Firstly as mentioned was how comfortable Harry seemed. It was thoroughly padded in the seat, and at the back also, so on longer journeys, Harry would be happy sitting in it. Also, there are nice high sides both alongside the seat and along the tall back of the seat, giving a lot of extra protection in case you are involved in a collision, something of great importance to any parent. It features a 5 point harness which basically means it has 2 shoulder straps, 2 straps from the side along your child's waist and the clip between your child's legs. This is the msot safe harness you can buy for your child, and I recommend keeping your child in a 5 point harness as long as possible.
The seat comes with nice padded straps as well at the shoulders, which means they won't dig into your child's shoulders, and leaves them sitting nice and comfortably. One fab thing I love about this seat, even 10 months on, is the special clips on the side. On the picture you can see 2 small grey posts on the sides of the seat. These are posts which can hold back the shoulder straps when you are sitting your child onto the seat, so they can't sit on them or they won't get in the way. Simply pull the straps back and shove them in the gap between the post and the side of the seat, and all strap problems are solved! So simple, but so great for any parent with a fidgety child and who wants an easy life!
Another thing which is good is the fact this seat has a 4 position recline. Using a small handle located at the front of the seat just underneath the lip of the sit, pull the seat until it reclines. There are 4 positions: Seated upright, quarter recline, half recline and full recline. This is handy for long journeys if your child falls asleep as the recline can make them more comfortable and will stop their neck aching. It is also easy to recline one handed too, making it nice and easy for us parents.
Changing the level of the seat belts is easy peasy compared to other seats I have seen on the market for this age group. The back portion of the seat which covers the seatbelt areas is actually onto velcro, so simply lift this up, manoevre the seatbelt out of its slot, and slide it down or up into the next position. This is easy to do, and I found it no problem, even though I am not a pratical person! Also, adjusting the length of the straps is easy. To tighten, simply pull the long strap located at the front of the seat, between your childs legs tight until the straps are tight across the shoulders. To loosen, press the button which is in the hole where the long length of strap protudes, and pull the straps from the shoulders. Again, so easy to do, making this seat just fantastic!!
Now installing this seat is easy-peasy. But before attempting to take this seat out and put it in your car, make sure you are totally familiar with the process of putting it in so it is safe. It is in the instruction manual you are given, and you can also find it on the website with an animated instruction, which is handy to watch! Anyway, back to my point. The seat comes on a chunky plastic base which sits directly onto your normal back seat of your car. You have to slide along the lever at the front of the seat (the grey thing on the bottom right of the seat in the above pic) which releases a mechanism at the back of the seat. Completely recline the seat as far as it will go using the lever underneath the front of the seat, and then thread through the seatbelt. You have to place the seatbelt through the posts at the back (better explained in the manual!) and lock everything into place, making sure you pull the belt nice and tight. Recline the seat to a sitting position again, move the lever back to its original position, and that's it, easy peasy! You should be shown how to do this by the fitter where you buy the seat.
This seat can set you back around £140 which yes, is quite a lot of money but when you look at the quality of car seat you are getting here, as well as the sleek design, parent-friendly features, and comfort for your child it is a great price. Also, if the seat lasts you 4 years,that is only £35 a year, which is great! The seat comes in 8 colours (Black, Penguin, Harry, Indian Spice, Skydiver, Deep Red, Happy Flower and Ocean Blue) so there is something to suit everyone, which is handy! Halfords are currently selling this for only £119.99 so shopping around can get you a few pounds off! The side-impact protection is a real bonus for me, knowing Harry's head is so supported and protected in the event of a crash is great.
It is also possible to buy a few handy accesories for this seat on the Maxi-Cosi website. After a bit of searching, these are available on different websites so have a shop around for the best prices. You can buy a support pillow, useful for younger children's heads for longer trips, a cup holder (I am so buying one of these!!), a summer cover and a play tray which sits across your child's legs, handy for keeping them entertained! Ooh and another feature is the fact that the covers are fully removable so you can give them a good old wash, handy for those of us with very messy toddlers!
Technical information: Size of the product: Max seat width: 300 mm Seat depth: 310 mm Heigh of seat 580 mm External width of seat: 440 mm External depth of seat: 520 mm External height of seat: 690 mm Weight: 9,2 kg
Group 1 For children from 9-18 kg Age: 9 months - 4 years
I would thoroughy recommend this seat. Harry has had it for 10 months now, and has been on many a journey in it, and it is such a comfy seat, he never moans about going into it. The covers have washed up like new, and the seat itself looks as good as the day I bought it home. It is easy to install, has fab features which makes it use even easier and is a thoroughly safe car seat, the most important factor of all. The seat belt in the car itself doesn't move an inch thanks to the tensioner behind the seat, so you know your child is lovely and safe. Well worth the money, you won't regret this purchase!
Thank you very much for reading all of this!
Oh, and as always, make sure you get the shop to fit it into your car before you purchase it to make it fits ok, and that they show you how to install it correctly.
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