Mellow Mummy: The Sunday Review – Maxi Cosi Axiss Group 1 Car Seat : Taking life as it comes...

Saturday 20 February 2010

The Sunday Review – Maxi Cosi Axiss Group 1 Car Seat

The time has come to move Lara out of her Group 0 infant carrier into a “real” forward facing car seat. Lara is tall (like her Mummy) and heavy for her age so by about 6 months her feet and head were beginning to poke out of each end of her infant carrier. Lara has been using a Maxi Cosi Axiss Group 1 forward-facing car seat for about a month now and she has lots of little friends who are on the lookout for their next car seat so I thought I would share my thoughts so far on the seat that we bought her.

We bought a Maxi Cosi car seat because we had no complaints about our Maxi Cosi Cabrio infant carrier. It is high-quality, has a great safety record, is easy to use, easy to clean and looks great. There was no reason for us NOT to buy a Maxi Cosi replacement.

We chose to buy a Group 1 car seat. Maxi Cosi don't seem to make many car seats that span safety Groups. We did have the option to buy a Group 1, 2, 3 car seat from a different brand that would last Lara right up until she was 11 years old but we figured that by the time that Lara is old enough for the next size of seat, there is likely to be another monkey waiting in the sidelines who will be able to use the Group 1 seat. We also felt that until Lara is old enough to get in and out of the seat herself, that it would be easier to put her in and out of a raised seat specifically designed for smaller children.

The Maxi Cosi Axiss appealed to us due to its unique design feature. The whole seat swivels to face towards you making it easier to place your child in the seat and giving you more space and freedom of movement to fasten the belts securely. I'm a tall Mummy and I had been finding it hard on my back to bend down and into the car to fix the infant carrier in place so I was totally won over by the swivel function of the Axiss and hoped that it wasn't just a gimmick. The seat has about 9 different levels of recline for children of all ages.

For the luxury of a swivelly seat, you can expect to pay around 15% more than for the other Group 1 seats (Tobi and Priori XP) in the range. So is it worth it? Well, I certainly feel that it as made the process of getting Lara in and out of the car almost stress free and my back hasn't suffered at all. The seat is the great quality that you would expect from Maxi Cosi and the belts are very easy and intuitive to fit and tighten with great comfy shoulder pads to keep your little one comfy. I love the car seat but I still can't help worrying that we paid an awful lot of money for a product that Lara will grow out of in about 3 years time.

The car seat looks complex to install but, as with all Maxi Cosi products, it actually is a breeze because their special red/green indicators tell you once the seat is correctly fitted and fastened. It is fitted using your standard 3-point seatbelt and is very sturdy and secure once installed. For safety reasons (and because it rattles), the seat must always be facing forwards when the car is in motion, even if there is no-one sitting in it. Due to the bulk of the thing and partly due to the nature of the fastening, this car seat doesn't seem like the kind that you would want to take in and out of the car frequently.

My only complaint about the Maxi Cosi Axiss is a small, yet significant design flaw. The convenience of the swivel seat is almost totally negated in certain circumstances. The catches that you have to release in order to swivel the unit are on both sides of the seat, this means that if the seat is in the forward-facing position (which it is when we pick her up from the childminder in the evening), and you approach the car on your own, with a heavy baby in your arms, you don't have enough free hands to be able to release both catches. I find myself having to either place Lara on the front seat while I swivel hers around, or else placing her into her car seat without bothering to swivel it – in which case I might as well have bought one of the cheaper Maxi Cosi products. It's annoying, but I've learned to prepare the seat in advance (where I can) ensuring that I swivel the seat around before I fetch Lara in from the childminder.

You can read an alternative review of the Maxi Cosi Axiss at the Baby Genie blog.

I have ordered a second car seat for use when Lara is staying with relatives. Quite tellingly, I've chosen a much cheaper product that looks as if it will be easier to take in and out of the car. I've also plumped for a group 1, 2, 3 combination seat because I felt that for a 'spare' car seat, it would be better value for money if I didn't have to keep changing it every few years. I shall let you know how I get on with the alternative seat, and whether it can compete in quality, if not value, with the Maxi Cosi Axiss.

The Maxi Cosi Axiss is available in a subset of their standard colour range (red, blue, brown, pink white and black I believe) and can be found online from £185 (or less on a good day - ours was a bargain).

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