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The Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size, which launched alongside the slightly cheaper Kore i-Size, is the first i-Size Group 2/3 car seat from the popular and trusted brand. Designed for children between 100cm and 150cm in height (approximately 3.5 to 12 years old), it’s designed to encourage children’s independence and features an innovative ClickAssist light to help kids buckle their seatbelt on their own – even in the dark. However, my son has struggled with this (see more below).
Safety and comfort are key to the Kore Pro i-Size’s design. The solid shell protects the child from lap to head, and boasts Maxi-Cosi’s Side Protection System Plus (SPS Plus) – a combination of shock absorbers and energy-absorbing material.
The bamboo fabrics are said to keep your child cool on warmer days, and the easily adjustable headrest pulls the backrest up and out at the same time, meaning the whole structure of the seat gets taller and wider to grow with your child. The sleek design is available in 5 colourways to reflect modern car interiors, so your child’s seat should blend in well inside your car.
At £199, it’s at the expensive end of the market for a high-backed booster. It’s comparable to the Cybex Solution Z Fix Highback Booster, £190, which is similar but lacks anything like the Kore Pro’s ClickAssist light, and the Britax Römer Kidfix III M Car Seat, £220, which boasts an additional contact point for the seat belt to protect your child’s abdominal area. At the cheaper end of the market, the Britax Römer Kidfix SL Black Series Car Seat, £110, offers many of the same features for almost half the price.
Jo is a mum of two boys aged five and two. She tested the Kore Pro i-Size with her eldest son, Frank, on short trips near their home in London and on a 3-hour trip to the south coast.
First impressions of the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size car seat?
I was impressed with how sleek it looks and liked its fuss-free design. Having been used to heavy infant and toddler car seats, I was also surprised at how lightweight it felt in the box – the whole package weighed 7.4kg. Because the Isofix connectors come straight out of the seat, there’s no cumbersome separate base to deal with.
How is the Kore Pro i-Size different from the Kore i-Size?
Besides being £30 more expensive, according to Maxi-Cosi, the main difference is the Kore Pro’s ClickAssist light. Built into both sides of the seat – although only one will come on at a time – this light is located next to the car seatbelt buckle and turns on automatically when the child sits on the seat. The idea is that it helps your child find the buckle when there’s little or low light, encouraging them to be independent. The Kore Pro also boasts temperature-regulating bamboo fabrics and a bit more detail in the body of the seat. Essentially, the Kore Pro is the deluxe version.
The car seat is suitable for children measuring between 100-150 cm – approximately what ages does this cover?
According to Maxi-Cosi, this translates to between 3.5 to 12 years old. I tested the Kore Pro with my 5-year-old, who’s just over 110cm tall, and I think a smaller or younger child would struggle with this seat. Although it seems comfortable, my son still struggles to plug in the seatbelt buckle by himself.
The light is a great idea, but Frank has to lean over the edge of the seat to even see the buckle, which means he has to loosen the seatbelt so it’s got plenty of slack, and then he has to hold the buckle socket in one hand and plug in the prong with the other – which is all a bit of a juggling act. I’m also missing the 3-point harness of our previous car seats, but I guess kids need to grow up, right?
Does the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size comply with the new i-Size regulations?
Yes, it does. The i-Size regulations were introduced in 2013 and will run alongside previous standards (R44.04) until these are ultimately phased out. The main difference between i-Size and previous safety standards is the additional side-impact testing that the seats are subjected to, meaning they should offer better protection for your child’s head and neck in the event of a collision.
Also, the new regulations mean that car seats must be Isofix-compatible and are now classified by height, rather than weight, as they were previously.
Is the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size easy to install in your car?
Yes, the seat comes fully assembled and it’s quick and easy to install. The instructions are in picture form and really easy to follow. First, you remove the headrest from your back seat; then you need to fully extend the Kore Pro’s Isofix connectors, which I found stiff and difficult at first.
Once the connectors are locked in place, you just need to push the seat back as far as you can against your car’s seatback to ensure a snug fit.
Does it feel secure once in place?
Yes, the Isofix connectors lock it in place so the seat doesn’t budge. It’s worth noting that there will be some forward-and-backward movement of the Kore Pro’s backrest because the seat has been designed with some flexibility to fit in different cars.
However, once your child is sat on the seat and secured with the seatbelt, it won’t move.
Can you use the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size with just a seatbelt?
If your car doesn’t have Isofix fittings, you can still use the seat, as the car’s seatbelt will hold it securely in place – although I can’t imagine that the seat would feel anywhere near as secure without using Isofix. Also, to be totally honest, this seat is expensive because it meets the latest safety standards and if you’re not making full use of them, I’d suggest buying one of the much cheaper booster seats instead.
Can a child strap themselves into the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size?
This is the bit of the Kore Pro that I’m not sure about. I’m trying to let Frank strap himself in – as this is what the seat is designed to encourage – but it can be frustrating and slow as he doesn’t find it very easy. He finds it hard to see the buckle, so has to pull the seatbelt right out so it’s really slack in order to lean over the edge of the seat and plug it in.
By this time, the ClickAssist light has usually turned itself off, so we have to press the textured lightbulb icon next to it to turn it on again. I expect this will get easier with practice, but I do miss the 3-point harness of our previous car seats (the Silver Cross Simplicity and Maxi-Cosi 2wayPearl).
Tell us about the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size’s ClickAssist light, which helps children fasten their seatbelts by themselves.
The light is a great idea but we’ve had some issues with it. Firstly, it turns on automatically three seconds after the child sits on the Kore Pro seat – but we’ve found it turns itself off too quickly. I have a younger child, so when I’m getting the kids in the car, I deal with him first, while Frank climbs into his seat. Sometimes it takes a while to make sure my youngest is secure before turning my attention to Frank. In this time, he typically might have started loosening the belt to create some slack and has maybe attempted to plug the seatbelt in, but won’t have managed it and the light will have switched off.
Does the seat feel sturdy?
Yes, the shell feels solid and protective.
How comfortable is the seat for your child?
Frank seems really comfortable in the Kore Pro – and has told me as much, too. I was worried that it would be too upright, or not supportive enough around his head and neck. However, he has slept well in this when we’ve done long trips and he’s commented on the good view he has out of the window from the car seat.
I would have liked a bit more support around his waist, as he still seems too little to have an adult car seatbelt sitting across his abdomen, but this doesn’t seem to be an issue for him.
How effective is the bamboo temperature-regulating fabric?
I’m not sure I can comment on this, although we have done some drives in 35-plus degrees this summer, and Frank hasn’t seemed obviously sweaty or uncomfortable when we’ve got out of the car.
Are there different seat positions – does it recline?
No, the Kore Pro doesn’t recline. It’s an upright, high-backed booster, something I was a bit nervous about prior to testing it as my son has had a tendency for car sickness when using such upright seats in the past (specifically, the Mamas & Papas Mercury).
However, I think this one is so well designed that he’s more comfortable in it than he has been in others we’ve tried.
Is it easy to adjust the height/size of the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size as your child grows?
It’s very simple. To adjust the height of the headrest, there are two grab-levers on the back – simply squeeze one of them (the one nearest you) and pull it up at the same time. As you pull up the headrest, the backrest extends upwards and widens to accommodate your growing child. Easy.
Is the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size easy to transfer between cars?
Yes, the Kore Pro is a decent size and is very easy to get in and out of the car – you just unhook the seatbelt, move it out of the way and squeeze the Isofix buttons to release the connectors. If you lower the seat’s headrest, it makes the seat more compact and easier to store or transport, too.
Is the Kore Pro i-Size light enough to take on holiday?
It weighs 6.07kg, so it’s lighter than some car seats. It wouldn’t be impossible to take this travelling but, because it’s not an infant car seat, I think there’s less need to take it away with you. We’re at that stage now where my son is old enough to use a regular seatbelt when travelling in taxis and, if we need to travel in a private car (such as when we hire a car on our holiday later this summer), we’ll take the much more portable – although much less substantial – Trunki BoostApak.
How stylish is the design?
I love the sleek, clean design of the Kore Pro. The ‘Authentic Black’ colourway looks really stylish and simple – there’s no awful contrasting stitching or unnecessary patterns. I think Maxi-Cosi have done a great job of paring back the design and keeping the fabrics plain and functional. I’m also impressed with the seat’s ergonomics and love how smoothly the whole thing ‘grows’ – the one-handed action that pulls up the headrest, raises and widens the backrest, too.
Is the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size easy to clean?
I haven’t had to clean it yet (it seems pretty resistant to marks), but the cover is removable and washable.
What feature do you like most in the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size?
The ClickAssist light is a great idea and has really helped us out in low-light situations, such as multi-storey car parks, but my favourite feature of the Kore Pro is actually the smooth motion that raises the headrest and ‘grows’ the rest of the seat at the same time. It’s really clever.
What does the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size cost, and is it worth the money?
The Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size costs £199 and I think that’s a fair price. Its USP is the ClickAssist light which, although it could be improved, is a useful and unique detail. I think you pay for quality with Maxi-Cosi products – this one certainly boasts great safety features and has a comfortable and stylish design – and the Kore Pro has great product longevity, too. In theory, you could get 9 years’ use out of it, which makes it a great investment.
What’s in the box?
- Kore Pro car seat (fully assembled)
- Instruction leaflet
- Guide to the latest i-Size regulations.
Are there any accessories needed or available for the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size?
You don’t need to buy any accessories for the Kore Pro i-Size as it comes complete. However, Maxi-Cosi do sell a cup holder for £15, which the website says is compatible with all their toddler and child seats, and there’s a terry towelling Summer Cover, £36, available, too.
Who is the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size car seat best for?
I’d suggest this car seat is best for slightly older children – probably aged five or over – and for parents who like minimal design. I think it’s also a good buy for smaller cars, as the seat’s not especially bulky. We’ve got a small car (VW Polo) and it looks good in ours. Maxi-Cosi say you can fit three Kore Pros across a car’s backseat, so it might be a good buy if you need to accommodate more children – although you’d really need the middle seat to have Isofix fittings and a 3-point seatbelt (not just the lap belt, which we have in our car) for this to work properly.
What do you wish you had known before you bought the seat?
I didn’t realise that the Kore Pro doesn’t have a built-in harness and only uses your car’s seatbelt, and I think that would have put me off as I still think my son’s too little for grown-up seatbelts. However, it’s working well and Frank’s enjoying the independence that comes with buckling himself in.
Would you recommend the Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size?
Yes, it looks sleek and stylish, feels solid and safe and doesn’t take up too much space in my small car. The fact that it will last us seven years (other families might get nine years’ use) is another bonus. Thinking about child car seats – the changing rules and regulations, plus the expense of upgrading every few years – has taken up enough space in my brain already so it’s a relief not to have to do that any more!
Where can I buy Maxi Cosi Kore Pro i-Size?
It is available from Maxi Cosi, John Lewis & Uber Kids.
The Maxi-Cosi Kore Pro i-Size is a great ‘grown-up’ car seat. It’s sleek and simple, with some brilliant but understated design features. The ClickAssist light is a clever feature, and the easy-to-extend headrest is fantastic. I love how safe and secure it feels, and my son loves that he can buckle himself in and feel like a big kid. At £199, it is expensive but, when you factor in that you’ll get so many years’ use out of it, it seems well worth it.