Maxi-Cosi Priori XP
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One of the easiest to use Group 1 car seats on the market, the Maxi-Cosi Priori XP offers a range of clever features to make car travel simple. With its simple strap adjustment system, it’s perfect for wriggly, car-seat-hating toddlers.
The Maxi-Cosi Priori XP is a Group 1 car seat (suitable from around 9 months to 4 years) for those of us who don’t have ISOFIX in our cars. With a unique belt tensioning lever, the car seat is amazingly sturdy and rigid once you’ve threaded your seat belt through its crevices.
The side protection system is second to none in offering your child a safe ride (obviously the most important consideration when buying a car seat). And you can recline to four different positions – so no head bobbing when my son Finn falls asleep. Indeed, the Priori XP was the first car seat made with a recline facility, 12 years ago.
What we love
The simplicity of the recline mechanism is brilliant. If, like my son Finn, your toddler refuses to be reclined prior to falling asleep, the fact that you can lean over and gently pull the seat into full recline with one hand is a godsend.
It’s also simple to adjust the shoulder straps to fit your child snugly as he grows and the nifty belt hooks mean you can pull back the harness, stick your child in even if he’s throwing a tantrum, and do up the straps with a minimum of fuss.
It’s very simple to extend the safety straps (just remember to pull the strap, not the padding) to fit round bulky coats, and to zip it all tight again. And I’ve been amazed when car sharing to swimming classes, how easy it is to swap the seat between cars.
It’s a pretty good ride for your toddler too – Finn loves being high enough to look out of the window and see the buses. So car journeys can be more entertaining and therefore less stressful.
What to watch out for
You have to purchase a neck support separately so if your 9 month old isn’t very solid he might find the transition from snug rear-facing seat to big boy’s foward-facing option a bit uncomfortable. I found the recline facility meant this wasn’t a problem but lots of mums online feel the neck support should come as standard.
At around £150 it’s not a budget option. Other manufacturers do similar looking reclining side impact car seats if your heart’s not set on a particular colour or the handy belt hooks. That said, there are certainly many car seats selling for more than this.
For me the main downside is the cover. You have to handwash it, which is a pain (and if you’re lazy, like me, and stick it in the machine, the cover gets a frayed round the edges!).
Who is the Maxi-Cosi Priori XP best for?
Mums and dads willing to pay for a top-quality car seat that’s hot on safety and easy of use.
A well thought out, easily used and safe, solid car seat. It’s not cheap but if you use the car often it’s worth it for peace of mind and making your life easy as possible.
First reviewed 03/06/2009. Updated 24/02/2012.