The world of moms is abuzz with the new Maxi-Cosi Prezi car seat—and for good reason. Maxi-Cosi’s latest and greatest product hit the market last fall, and you know it’s in vogue when stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are carrying it. But the reasons the Maxi-Cosi stood out to me were the new safety features and the peace of mind that my little peanut would be extraordinarily safe in this rear-facing infant carrier.
The Prezi features new energy-absorbing foam that surrounds the entire upper half of the seat, and it’s soft and cozy. The head is supported by large Air Protect side impact shell that is seen on other products made by the parent company Dorel. And the base has a very sturdy anti-rebound bar that would keep the car seat from flipping into the backseat in the case of a collision—one of its best features. When it comes to safety, Maxi-Cosi has included it all.
When opening the box, my first thought was the dreaded question: “How much will I need to assemble this thing?” To my extreme joy, there wasn’t any required. I simply pulled the handle on the back of the seat and it easily popped out of the base. At 11 pounds when empty, it is not the lightest seat, but I am more than willing to sacrifice that for the added safety features. And I find the adjustable handle comfortable to hold or hook on my arm.
The seat is more compact than most seats on the market, due in large part to the sleek European design, but it’s still deep and long, giving the baby legroom to grow. With the included infant insert, this seat can take a baby as small as 4 pounds (wonderful news for those with preemies). After 11 pounds, the insert needs to be removed to accommodate babies up to 30 lbs or 29 inches. The crotch strap is very easily adjustable with a button on the bottom of the seat, and the shoulder harness is even easier to adjust with a no-re-thread latch on the back of the seat for five positions. The “easy-out harness” stands in such a way that you don’t have to fight with getting the harness out of the way each time you take the baby in or out.
The negative, and my only real negative about the aesthetics and make-up of the seat, is that with the sleek European design, you lose the canopy with which we are all familiar. The sun canopy on the Prezi is a thin, small piece of stretchy fabric that actually was tucked into the exterior shell of the seat, so you cannot even see it, but can hook onto the handle when it’s standing upright. On sunny days, I definitely need an extra blanket to shield the sun, as the canopy doesn’t serve much of a function. And similar to the canopy is the included foot muff, which is made of the same lightweight material and doesn’t appear it will help much in colder months other than protecting a little wind from finding its way into the seat. An additional, cozier, and more functional foot muff can be purchased and used with any Maxi-Cosi seat and comes in a selection of colors. The included manual wasn’t really needed, but was very standard with good drawings and info on installation and care.
Installation of the base was quite simple with the LATCH system in my car. While the seat itself seems so small and compact in my house or attached on my Maxi-Cosi stroller, I realized how long it is when I went to install it in my SUV (about two inches longer than most standard seats, but still narrower). Once secured, there are two recline levels: one for babies 4 to 11 pounds and one for 11 to 30 pounds. The base itself has five easily adjustable positions, and the seat installs when placed over two metal bars and dropped in until you hear the loud click. The car seat can also be used easily without the base simply by threading the seatbelt if you need to move it to a friend’s car or travel with it. Stores carry the separate base, as well, for you two-car families (or in-laws and babysitters).
As mentioned, the Prezi is compatible with other Maxi-Cosi strollers, as well as Quinny, but I have had trouble finding a wide selection of strollers that will convert into a travel system with the Prezi. Car seat adapters are not as available as they are for other models, and the Prezi unfortunately does not fit with the widely accepted Maxi-Cosi Mico car seat adapters. I’m hopeful that this is a result of the newness of the seat and will soon be more available with more stroller brands.
If you are looking for the safest and sleekest infant car seat and carrier on the market, the Prezi is for you. In nine combinations of colors (even a choice of black or white exterior shell and matching base), it’s hard to not find the Prezi one of the best looking pieces of baby gear available. But upon further consideration, the safety features are what should really convince parents to purchase this seat. And the seat is made in Indiana, which, as some research found, makes it the only high-end infant seat made in America. Available accessories include the already mentioned separate base and foot muff, as well as a weather shield and bug net. The seat is certainly not on the list of most inexpensive, but it wasn’t a hard decision with their advances on features such as the anti-rebound bar and the new G Cell foam and Air Protect technology.
To buy: nordstrom.com