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Maxi-Cosi is a trusted go-to brand for infant car seats, having helped parents transport over 50 million babies home from hospital, including my own two babies. It’s exciting news that they’ve expanded their range with the Mica, their first 360° spin car seat, which can be used from birth to 4 years old.
Rotation is becoming a sought-after function in car seats for many parents as it the stresses and strains out of lifting babies and children into the car. This feature is especially handy for mums recovering from birth or parents or caregivers suffering with back or joint issues.
Given that research shows it’s safer for children to be rearward facing up until at least two years of age, the fact the Mica can be used rearward facing up until 4 years is a big selling point.
Our in-depth reviews puts this swivel car seat with top safety features to the test, to see how it fares in everyday family life.
- For more reviews on the Maxi-Cosi Mica, check out our product test where MFM users put the seat to the test with their children
Katy Moon is mum to Hector (2 years, 7 months) and Margot (7 months). She tested the Maxi-Cosi Mica car seat on short journeys to the shops and a National Trust park while travel is restricted due to the pandemic.
What were your first impressions?
The box is bulky, the product looks big and weighs 14.9kg. It would be heavy and awkward to lift if you were pregnant and you’d want to avoid picking it up if you’d recently had a c-section.
I have the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix (£94.99 on Amazon), which I’ve used for both my little ones and love, and couldn’t help comparing it to this. However it’s worth remembering that the Mica does come with the base included, like most rotating car seats, so this adds significant bulk.
What age is the Mica suitable for?
The Mica is designed for use from birth up to 4 years (105cm). But while the Mica can be used from birth, I would want something I could use as a travel system and carry around. This is a seat designed for staying installed in your car, as opposed to using with a pushchair.
However, I can see the appeal of using this seat for a toddler, it feels and looks robust and comfortable – the memory foam headrest and infant insert feel plush.
How easy is it to install the Maxi-Cosi Mica?
The instructions were challenging to follow as there were lots of pictures, and the wording could have been clearer. However, the labelling on the car seat is clear in terms of height and weight limits. Some MFM users also found the picture instructions weren’t the easiest to follow.
This is the first time we’ve installed an Isofix base and we found it pretty straight forward (this seat cannot be used with a seat belt alone.). My fiancé did it in 10 minutes, but it would have been much better with clearer instructions. We got it down to a couple of minutes with practice.
We did have an issue with the load leg positioning and our model of car (Citron C3 Picasso), which caused our then 5-month-old baby to slump forward while asleep in the seat.
How do you install the Maxi-Cosi Mica?
- First you place the seat with Isofix base on your car seat, pulling out the loading leg
- You then extend the Isofix arms and connect them to your car’s Isofix connectors.
- Then you attach push the seat back towards the car’s seat back until the green tabs show green, telling you the Isofix arms are secure
- Finally, you extend the loading leg as far as it goes until the safety sound indicator stops beeping, which tells you it’s installed properly
- Now you can rotate the seat towards the passenger door to place your child
The seat takes up a fair amount of room. With two child car seats in the back, you couldn’t fit someone in the middle. However, there’s still room under the seat to store items. You can also still recline the car seat in front to the max with the Mica in situ, though this does mean the driver’s seat will be pushed forward when the car seat is rear-facing as one MFM user found.
She said, “There wasn’t enough space behind the driver’s side despite our car being a big car (Hyundai Tucson). My husband was driving, for reference he’s 6’1″, he is tall but not unreasonably so. I’d make sure to test it out if you have a small-medium size car.”
How does the Mica compare to other models in the category?
The Mica is a brand new model and Maxi-Cosi’s first 360 spin seat. With an RRP of £299 it sits firmly in the mid-range of car seats of this category.
There are some cheaper options, such as the Joie i-Spin 360 (£200), which is a comparable model from a rival brand. It shares many of the same features, the key ones being the rotation, recline positions and that it can be used rear facing from birth to 4 years, with the option of forward facing from 15 months.
What are the key safety features of the car seat?
The Mica has G-Cell technology, this means there’s a hexagonal shaped cell structure to provide protection and reduce the risk of impact in a harmful side impact crash. This structure is visible on both sides of the car seat, as a design feature, and seeing this is reassuring. The i-Size (R129) safety complies with the latest standard of safety for car seats.
Being rear-facing up to 105cm (4 years) also provides enhanced protection of a child’s head and neck. I’m on enough mum WhatsApp groups to know many parents would choose a car seat because of this feature alone.
The headrest is made of memory foam for added safety and it certainly looks secure. One MFM user also found this to be the case, “The headrest is really plush and this can be easily adjusted to suit the size of your baby.”
How effective is the harness?
While it’s impossible to test all of these safety features for this review, I am happy with the safety harness. The seat strap adjuster is positioned in the crotch area of the seat and after a few uses, my toddler started to fiddle with it – although thankfully wasn’t able to release it. Perhaps this adjuster should have been placed in a less accessible place for tiny hands.
How do you rate the straps?
The straps are fixed with a 3-point safety harness and are easy to adjust, you simply place the child in the seat, pull the straps over the arms, click the harness into place and tighten by pressing the adjuster at the front of the seat.
There are hooks to hold the straps up, while putting your child in the seat, this helps prevent the straps getting twisted, and works well. The three-point safety harness feels secure and I found my toddler escape artist wasn’t tempted to try and unclip the sturdy release button.
Do you think rear-facing function could be used to the top of the age range?
While the Mica is rear-facing until a child reaches 105cm (4 years), my toddler who is 95cm, weighs 13.4kg, and has long legs, was scrunched up in this position. It wasn’t clear if we could adjust the seat to allow more room from the instructions we found online. I can’t see how the rear facing position could be comfortably used at the top of the age range for this seat.
However, rear-facing experts do point out that older, taller kids can always cross their legs – a small price to pay for additional safety.
One MFM user tested the seat with her daughter, who was 3 years and 10 months at the time, and said, “She fit perfectly!! Both rearward and forward facing she was happy and comfy.”
Does the 360° rotation work effectively?
The 360° rotation works with one simple click and it can be used in any of the reclining positions on the seat. Before testing this seat, I wouldn’t have considered buying a 360-spin seat, but I can now see the appeal.
It definitely makes life easier as it takes the stress out of getting safely and comfortably into and out of the car for both parent and child. If you’d recently had a c-section or had back problems the 360-rotation seat would be a wise purchase.
One MFM user added, “The swivel is smooth and the handle to do this is in a convenient position.”
Does the Maxi-Cosi Mica have any other stand-out features?
The load leg sets off a beeping sound if the seat isn’t positioned correctly, this was a new experience for me! It is very reassuring to have this alarm system so that you know you’re installing it correctly. However, I can imagine some people being annoyed by the beeping sound.
There’s also built in ‘ClimaFlow’ back ventilation on the seat to prevent babies and children overheating in warmer weather. As we tested the seat in the winter, we can’t comment on how effective this feature is. But given the sweltering summers we’ve been having, this is a welcome design addition.
How comfortable is the car seat?
I tested my baby in the car seat when she was 5 months and unable to sit unassisted. To begin with she looked comfortable and fell asleep almost instantly. However, when I checked on her, she was slumped over and I was worried about her airways being restricted.
We stopped the car and did some troubleshooting. We repositioned Margot, did the pinch test on the straps to make sure they weren’t loose and made sure the seat was installed correctly. It seems that the issue was that in our Citron C3 Picasso, the seat is too upright. In our MFM product test some parents also found the seat to be quite upright including one mum who said, “I didn’t feel he was able to lay back far enough even when the car seat was as it’s furthest tilt.” It’s definitely worth checking the fit in your car, if you want to use it for newborns.
A couple of months later, when Margot was 7 months old and sitting up well, I tried her in the car seat again. It was a different story, she was upright, comfortable and no slumping when she fell asleep.
My toddler was a big fan of this seat. ‘It’s comfy, I love it!’ he told me. He looked and felt safe and secure in the seat. The headrest provides good support – and looks much more comfortable than our Joie Stages car seat. My boy, who never naps, fell asleep within 10 minutes of being in the Mica – a small miracle.
We usually use the Joie Stages for Hector, but from now on we will use the Mica as his main seat. On longer journeys Hector often gets car sick and I wasn’t convinced the car seat we were using was the most comfortable for him. The Mica does seem to be on another level in terms of comfort, as it’s nicely padded and firm.
How well did it work with different age children? Would you recommend it from birth?
Although this car seat can be used from birth, given the issues we had with my baby slumping in it due to the car seat being too upright, I wouldn’t use the seat until the child is much older – around 6 months minimum.
As a toddler seat it’s fab and feels safe and comfortable. I don’t feel this is the most practical first car seat as it’s easier to have an infant-only carrier like the Cabriofix. It doesn’t require a base and can be easily used if you need to get a taxi or clip it on to a travel system – especially in those early days of coming home from hospital and follow up medical checks.
Is the car seat big enough for a growing child?
Yes, I can see my toddler being comfortable in this seat until the top of the age range, but only in the forward-facing position. Hector is average height for his age, but tall children may need to upgrade car seats sooner.
How easy is it to recline?
The seat reclines in 5 positions which can be used either rearward or forward facing. To recline the seat there’s a handle at the bottom of the unit which you need to squeeze and the seat reclines, the action is smooth and easy to operate.
It is difficult to feel the ‘bite’ of each of the 5 recline positions and I found it naturally fell into the most upright, most recline and middle position.
There isn’t an issue with operation of the recline, but for babies under 6 months I feel there should be an additional level of reclining to prevent them flopping forward when they fall asleep.
How comfortable and supportive is the headrest?
I was impressed with the headrest. It is made of memory foam, has a plush feel and gives lots of support. My toddler really loved this feature and said it was comfortable – the fact he had a nap in the seat says it all. I’d love to see an adult version of this headrest!
How easy is it to clean?
It’s essential to have a car seat with covers that are easy to wash as babies and children are messy creatures – at least mine are. The covers can be taken off and washed in the machine on a 30° cycle or wiped with a damp cloth. I always find car seat covers easier to take off than put back on but it’s the nature of the beast.
There was no shrinkage, and the seat covers looked good as new after a machine wash. The fabric seems durable.
How do you find the car seat to carry around?
The car seat is heavy and bulky to carry around, weighing 14.9kg. But given that it is fixed with an Isofix base, this shouldn’t be a problem as there’s no need to remove it. It is not a great option, if you need to transfer it between different cars a lot, or you’re planning on taking it abroad.
Does it have a sun hood?
There isn’t a sun hood included with the car seat, which is disappointing, especially given the £299 price tag. I’d expect any car seat that is suitable for use with a newborn to come with a sun hood, but many of these multi-stage car seats don’t. At least you can purchase one for £25.
What’s in the box?
- Isofix base and car seat
- Newborn insert (can be used up until baby is 60cm long)
What are the additional accessories you can buy?
What would you want to know before using this car seat?
I would want to be aware that if you have a car with a very upright seat it could affect the positioning of the Mica and mean that a very young baby may slump forward. It would also put me off that there isn’t a sun canopy included with the seat.
Does the seat offer good value for money?
The seat is on the pricier side at around £300. However, given the rotation feature, the safety features, quality of the fabric and the years you can use it for, if you use the car a lot, it makes for a good investment.
Where can I buy the Maxi-Cosi Mica?
The Maxi-Cosi Mica makes car journeys more comfortable for kids and less stressful for parents with its 360 rotation, recline positions and memory foam headrest. Although the car seat is suitable from birth, I’d recommend it for an older baby or toddler, as I felt it was positioned quite upright in its furthest recline. With this in mind, it’s worth checking the installation fit to make sure you feel it’s comfortable for your newborn.
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Dimensions & Weight
|Child age (approx)||Birth (with insert) to 4 years|
|Child Height||40cm to 105cm|
|Car seat installation||Isofix connectors|
|Removeable cover for washing||Yes|
|Side crash protection||Yes|
|Height adjustible headrest||Yes|