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Amy, a journalist and teacher, lives in Hertfordshire. She tested the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size Car Seat with her eight-week-old daughter, on short drives into town and to medical appointments, as well as on a longer journey to visit friends in South Wales.
What were your first impressions of the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size Car Seat?
Upon opening the box, it isn’t immediately apparent why Maxi-Cosi is so focussed on marketing the ‘Eco’ aspect of this car seat, as the majority of the unit is clearly made of plastic. Having said that, perhaps Maxi-Cosi ought to be praised for at least taking a step in the right direction in striving to create a product that leaves behind a smaller carbon footprint on the world.
How easy is the car seat to install?
The Mica Pro Eco i-Size was both easy and quick to install. With mostly pictures to guide you, the instruction manual is straightforward and clearly laid out. It took around five minutes to digest the instructions, and a further five minutes to fix the seat into the car. Overall, it was a stress-free process.
How do you install the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size Car Seat?
The car seat and base come pre-assembled, which saves busy parents having to worry about whether you’ve mounted the seat correctly. This does, however, result in a bulky and heavy unit to install, as it weighs in at nearly 15kg. To fix the Pro Eco into your car:
- Rotate the seat into the forward-facing position
- Fully extend the ISOFIX bars and pull out the support arm until you hear it click into place
I must admit, I got my other half to install it due to the sheer weight of the pre-assembled seat.
Does this car seat need a seatbelt to fix it into place?
No, which further reduces the set-up time. The adjustor button on the support leg also enables you to quickly and simply fix the seat into position, with a small indicator panel signalling that it’s secure.
Can you remove the car seat to carry around or use as part of a travel system?
No – it has been designed to generally stay in your car once fitted in place.
What do you think of the size of the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size when fitted in your car?
Out of the box, this seat and base combo is quite sizeable; however, the design is really clever in that it’s very compact once fitted, measuring only 44cm across in width. For those who drive mid-sized vehicles, the middle seat on the second row would still be a viable option for younger children.
How much does the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size weigh?
It was the weight that surprised me the most. At nearly 15kg, the pre-assembled car seat and ISOFIX base provide you with a decent workout! It’s a good job that you only need to carry it once when fixing it into position in your car.
How does this compare to previous versions of the same car seat?
The Mica Pro Eco i-Size is a modest upgrade on the original Mica model, both in terms of its 100% recycled fabric design, and cost – it’s £60 more expensive. Maxi-Cosi describe the latest incarnation as offering improved recline angles, larger ClimaFlow panels and extra padding. Reviews of the previous model on the company’s website do cite issues with the recline feature, with some users describing instances of their child’s head flopping forward. I certainly didn’t experience anything like this when using the seat, and felt the maximum recline position, coupled with the extensive padding, provided excellent support for my newborn.
What are the key safety features of the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size?
I felt nothing less than 100% reassured by the safety features of this model. As is to be expected from most car seats these days, the Mica Pro Eco i-Size comes with an integrated ISOFIX base with a support leg. The design also meets the latest and highest i-Size safety standards. Maxi-Cosi’s G-CELL 2.0 Side Impact Protection offered me a great deal of comfort, as did the five-point safety harness, which felt far more secure than any three-point system I’ve used in the past.
Does this car seat have the option to rotate?
Yes – this is one of the main selling points of the Mica Pro Eco i-Size, as it rotates a full 360 degrees in both directions. Maxi-Cosi market it as ‘the smart built-in FlexiSpin rotation’, and describe how it can be operated using only one hand. I must admit that for the whole time I tested the seat that I mostly cheated and used two hands! Perhaps there are some nimble-fingered folk in existence who are able to operate it as intended under pressure, but when in a rush, it was just easier to press the lever with one hand and swivel it with the other. However, this didn’t detract from the fact that it was incredibly easy to use, and such a lifesaver for my ailing back.
How long should you keep the car seat rear-facing for?
With the help of the recline feature, this car seat can be used in the rear-facing position from birth all the way up until approximately four years old (or 105cm). Having said that, I can imagine little legs might get slightly squished when the seat is used with children at the top end of the height limit.
Does the car seat recline?
Yes. This seat offers five settings that take the seat from near horizontal for your newborn, to a virtually upright position for a child over 75cm. When using the Mica Pro Eco i-Size in the rearward-facing position, it must be set to the maximum recline position for a child up to 75cm.
How do you rate the quality of the car seat?
I was really impressed with both the quality and feel of the seat. What’s more, the level of padding appeared more than adequate for both comfort and safety, which was reassuring.
How comfortable did your child appear in the car seat?
My partner joked that this seat was more like a throne than a car seat! Similar to several other models in the Maxi-Cosi range (such as the Pearl 360), it has extensive padding which, if my daughter’s frequent sleeps in this seat are anything to go by, she seemed to enjoy. Even when the newborn inlay is removed (when your child is over 60cm), the Mica Pro Eco i-Size still offers a decent layer of padding.
How do you rate the straps of the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size?
The previous model came with hooks on either side of the seat to keep the harness open while placing your child in the seat. The Mica Pro Eco i-Size, however, boasts an ‘Easy-In’ five-point system, designed to make getting your youngster in and out of the car as easy as child’s play. For the most part, it really is this simple, with the shoulder and lap pads providing the rigidity needed for the straps to sit away from the seating area.
However, this stiffness does make the straps a little fiddly to position correctly – at least that was my experience with my little one, who is long and lean with very narrow shoulders. The straps are fixed to the headrest, meaning they can only be raised or lowered together, but the newborn inlay prevents the headrest from being raised very much at all. This is a minor issue, though, which is unlikely to impact many babies.
How do you rate the shoulder pads of this Maxi-Cosi car seat?
I found that the design of the shoulder pads resulted in them sitting a little proud, rather than tightly hugging the contours of my daughter’s upper body. However, having looked at the manual again, I felt reassured by the pictures that showed this to be correct.
Did you find the harness of the car seat easy to use?
Yes – the harness is easy to tighten and loosen using the strap and button located at the front of the seat. Additionally, with the five-point system, the harness also secures your child’s legs as well as their body. This feels like a huge upgrade in terms of safety compared to a three-point design.
How robust does the car seat feel?
This is a solid piece of kit. All elements of the seat and base feel strong and sturdy, except perhaps for the handle that you use to rotate the seat. There is a small amount of free play present, that feels unnecessary and out of kilter with the overall sturdiness of the seat.
How good is the headrest of this car seat?
The headrest is sturdy and substantial, providing both comfort and safety from birth, with the addition of the newborn inlay which ensures a secure, snug fit. It does extend, albeit only to a small extent, when the newborn inlay is fitted.
How easy is the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size to clean?
The outer casing of the seat and the base are made of plastic, which are easily cleaned with a damp cloth. The cover, headrest cover, shoulder pads and newborn inlay can, however, be removed for cleaning. Helpfully, these items are machine washable at 30 degrees which should rid the seat of any sticky, grimy marks. The various elements are quick and easy to remove and reattach, and the fabric feels substantial enough to maintain its quality for at least several washes.
Would you consider the car seat to be big enough for a growing child?
Yes. This car seat is designed for long term use – from birth up to approximately four years old – or 40cm to 105cm. Cleverly designed to adapt to your child’s needs, it means you won’t be looking to purchase the next size up for a long time. The recline feature is in part what ensures its longevity.
Are there any unique selling points to this car seat?
As the name suggests, the Mica Pro Eco i-Size has been designed in part to appeal to the eco-conscious among us. Its green credentials are evidenced by the fact that it’s made using 100% recycled fabrics. I’m not convinced that this feature would encourage me to buy this particular model though, especially as this seat is still largely made of plastic.
Are there any additional features for the Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size Car Seat?
A key selling point of this, and other Maxi-Cosi models, are the ClimaFlow panels and breathable fabrics, designed, as the brand states, ‘to maximise air circulation… your child will always stay at a comfortable temperature’. I have to say that my daughter appeared nothing other than relaxed and content when sat in this car seat.
What’s in the box?
- Mica Pro Eco i-Size Car Seat and ISOFIX base (pre-assembled)
- Instruction manual
- Warranty booklet
Are there any additional accessories you can buy for the Mica Pro Eco i-Size?
No additional accessories are available with this car seat, other than general items that can be used across the entire Maxi-Cosi range, such as a back seat car mirror.
Now that you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing this car seat?
This is a well-built, high-quality car seat and, as a result, it is rather heavy. Therefore, fitting the seat takes either two people or someone with a lot of strength, and so is a less than ideal option for families wishing to use the seat across multiple cars.
Who would this car seat be the most useful for?
The Mica Pro Eco i-Size is the perfect investment for those looking for a traditional fixed car seat offering high safety standards, with the added benefit of the back-saving 360 degree feature. Grandparents and carers regularly tasked with looking after your precious cargo would be hard pushed to find a seat offering the same level of comfort, safety and longevity, while parents might prefer a seat that is compatible with their system.
Would you say this car seat is good value for money?
Yes. If you don’t require the flexibility of being able to remove the car seat from the base, or use it with a travel system, then you would be hard pressed to find a sturdier, more stylish seat for much less.
How does it compare to similar car seats?
|Product name||Age suitability||Rotating||RRP (£)|
|Maxi-Cosi Mica Pro Eco i-Size||Birth to 4 years||Yes||£319.99|
|Silver Cross Motion All Size 360||Birth to 12 years||Yes||£375|
|Cosatto All in All Rotate i-Size||Birth to 12 years||Yes||£329.95|
|Nuna Tres LX i-Size||Birth to 12 years||No||£340|
A pricey purchase for those expecting the versatility of your average car seat – but this is not your average car seat. Its recline function and 360 degree rotation capability make this an ideal option for those wanting a car seat that offers ultimate ease of use. A nod to nature won’t sell the Mica Pro Eco i-Size, but its sleek looks, longevity of its design and superior safety features certainly will.
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|Model||Mica Pro Eco|
Dimensions & Weight
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Child weight||Up to 18kg|
|Child Height||40cm to 105cm|
|Car seat installation||Isofix base|
|Travel system compatible||No|
|Removeable cover for washing||Yes|
|Side crash protection||Yes|
|Height adjustible headrest||Yes|