AD | Disclaimer – I was gifted the Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size car seat to review, but all opinions and pictures are my own.
If you’ve got young children, finding the right car seat for them can be a massive pain, can’t it?
There are way too many to choose from, all doing slightly different things just to confuse us.
With three boys all in baby car seats at the same time, we’ve had to be savvy in what we choose to fit them across the back seat of the car. And don’t even get me started on what a royal pain in the arse finding a car to do that is! You can read all about my rather bitter car story here.
But let’s just say we have tried out a few. And the one I love the most is the Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size. So thought I’d share my thoughts about it with you in this review.
Here’s what I thought of the Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size
In a nutshell the Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size is a stylish, easy to use car seat which your child can use from the age of 6 months to about 4 years. It can be rearward facing until they are 105cm, has different recline positions and is simple to install. It comes at a fairly high cost but will last you.
GOOD BITS: A car seat that can be used from 6 months to 4 years, can go rearward or forward facing, easy to install and use, uses Isofix base with visual and audible feedback, and comfortable.
NOT SO GOOD BITS: You have to buy the Isofix base separately which makes the whole thing expensive.
Key features of the product
- Age suitability: 6 months to 4 years
- Rear-facing: From 67cm to 105cm (From about 6 months to 4 years)
- Installation: Isofix base which is sold separately
- Weight: 7.6kg
- Dimensions: H47.5 x W61 x D50cm
- Features: Rear-facing up to 105cm, easy switch from rear to forward-facing, full recline options in both positions, choice of colours.
Who are Maxi Cosi?
Maxi Cosi, a brand of Dorel Juvenile is the market leader when it comes to car seats and can be found in over 100 countries worldwide. They create innovative products and services for growing children and aim to be the market benchmark in terms of innovation and safety.
Maxi Cosi has a number of different car seats for all ages, from newborns that fit onto a travel system buggy, to toddler seats that can be rear facing until the age of 4, or seats that grow with the child right up until they are aged 12.
The Pearl Pro i-Size sits sits on the market alongside similar products such as the Maxi Cosi Axiss which swivels 90 degrees for ease of access and is slightly cheaper at £199. But the Axiss is heavier and bulky, so isn’t as easy to move between cars. It is also in the same class as the Britax Eclipse which is much cheaper at £119, especially with no additional base to buy, but the Britax is not an Isofix seat, secured only by the seatbelt.
First impressions of the Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size
When I opened the box I knew I was going to like the Pearl Pro. It’s a well-made, sturdy, quality bit of kit, but not so heavy that you’re going to break your back like some seats I’ve tried. I’ve actually got a slightly older model for one of the boys already, so I was delighted to try it out.
Once I started using it with one of my twins, I realised how easy it is and how comfortable it appears to be for him. I loved it immediately!
How does it compare to other seats you’ve tried in this category?
I currently have a Cybex Sirona for the other twin which swivels. Or should I say it did swivel. I bought it when I only had one toddler. I then stupidly went onto have twins, meaning I had three boys under 2.5 and all plans for nice cars and state-of-the-art car seats went out the window. A change of car to fit all three in, and a focus on what actually works was more important. Unfortunately that means there is now no room for the Cybex to swivel. Slightly annoying!
The Pearl Pro is in the same price bracket as the Sirona and definitely as good a quality. The model of Sirona I have has the pad fastening across the top of the child which is much easier to fasten than a five point harness, but not all children like it. I have one twin that does (luckily) and one twin that doesn’t.
I’ve also used the Apramo All Stage car seat which is a 4 in 1 seat that can be used from birth to the age of 12, but I wasn’t as keen. I found it hard to strap them in – so that one has now been relegated to Grandad’s car!
What age is this car seat suitable for?
The Pearl Pro is designed to be used by children from 67cm to 105cm which is from about six months to about four. It is also designed to be used rear-facing until the age of four. Although my 2.5 year olds are both forward-facing in it.
How does the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size install in the car?
It is SO easy to fit the Pearl Pro. Although having said that I obviously got my husband to do it for me. It is fitted into the car using an i-Size base that you purchase separately. That uses the car’s Isofix points to secure to the seat, which I much prefer, for peace of mind that it’s not going anywhere. Handily the Maxi Cosi 3 way fix base has ‘click and go’ installation with visual and audible confirmation when the connection is secure.
This basically means there are green lights that light up and a beep once you have the base connected to the Isofix points, and the base’s leg pulled down into the right position on the floor. It’s so simple to do but this is a great reassurance that you’ve got it right. You then place the Pearl Pro on top of the base and click it into place – there’s then another beep and green signal to let you know you’ve done it right. If you want to switch from rear to forward facing you simply press in a lever at the front of the seat, lift it out and turn it around. You don’t need to thread a seatbelt through or anything like that. So simple! Downside is, it’s no good if you don’t have Isofix in your car, and the seat can’t be used without that specific base.
Does the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size feel securely installed, once in place?
Yes this thing isn’t going anywhere once it’s in.
How is strapping your child into the seat?
Strapping Twin One in was easy. So long as you have the end of the strap laid flat out the front, you can pull the shoulder straps to loosen them off if you need to. I usually do this just so they can get their arms in more easily, and then tighten it up once they’re in. The buckle is simple to use, unlike some fiddly ones I’ve come across before, so it’s all fairly painfree. Unless obviously your toddler has other ideas and is rigid as a board. That happens quite a lot.
How did you like the harness?
I liked the 5 point harness, it’s simple to use. Although Maxi Cosi say it has a ‘stay open’ harness which I can’t really see. Not that the straps necessarily fall down and make it tricky, but I don’t think they particularly stay open either. I’ve had car seats before where they’ve got magnets on either side to attach the buckle, which is genius.
What do you think of the design?
I really like the design. It’s nice and deep, and the headrest is adjustable so that your child fits in really comfortably and securely. It’s stylish and attractive to look at, and well padded. It also comes in 10 different colours so plenty to choose from.
Does the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size feel sturdy and safe?
Yes. You can tell when you’re installing it, that the Pearl Pro is sturdy and well-made. Once it’s in and you’re using it, it feels really safe.
Are there different seat positions?
The car seat has four recline positions from sitting to sleeping. There is a lever to pull under the front of the seat. It then slides up or down. It can also be used in rear-facing or forward-facing positions.
If you can, how do you adjust the height/size of the seat as your child grows?
The headrest is adjustable and is really easy to move up with a lever behind it.
How comfortable is the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size for your child?
The seat seems really comfortable for the twins. It’s well-padded, the headrest is soft and there is plenty of room in it. The recline feature is also great. They have both fallen asleep in it, so it must be okay!
Let’s talk safety features. Does the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size comply with new i-Size regulations?
The Pearl Pro offers state-of-the-art safety by complying with the latest i-Size (ECE R129) car seat regulation, offering improved safety standards. I-Size is a new European-wide car seat regulation (the first phase of a safety standard called R129) which aims to make car seats safer. It’s designed to keep children rear-facing for longer, provide better side impact protection and make car seats easier to fit correctly.
What do you think of the size and weight of the car seat?
The Pearl Pro is 7.6kg so not the lightest of things to pick up. But not as heavy as other seats we’ve used. The advantage of using this one is that it comes off the base so you can lift the seat and base separately. This makes it much easier to swap between cars. Our Cybex Sirona is attached to the base and I can barely lift it. Which means it tends to stay put in the car once it’s in. The Pearl Pro was simple to lift and move around.
Is the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size easy to clean?
Luckily during the time we were testing it, we didn’t have any vomit situations. So I’ve not had to clean the seat. But the covers all come off seemingly easily and can be washed. Although with all the lovely padding I can’t imagine they would dry that quickly.
What feature do you like most in the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size?
I love that the Pearl Pro can be used for such a long time, meaning you don’t have to keep changing seats. You can use it from six months rear-facing, and have the option to keep them rear-facing up to the age of four which is great. If they will tolerate it. It’s also top notch when it comes to safety and meets all the new European regulations. You can’t really ask for much more.
What’s in the box?
The box contains the seat, and instructions attached to it, and then the base comes separately.
How easy was the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size to assemble?
It was so simple, we didn’t even really need the instructions – although they did look straightforward. Plus we had used one before so knew what we were doing, but for a first-timer, this is a really easy seat to use. You don’t have to ‘assemble’ it as such. You just need to fit the base in, click the seat on the top, check for the lights and beep, and off you go.
Which type of child/family is this car seat best for?
Well considering we have two of these, I guess you could say a family like mine! It’s ideal for any type of family to be honest. If you have just one child, it will last you until they are four easily. If you have an age gap it can be handed down to be used for the next child. And if you’re like us and have to have three children across the back seat (you’ll have probably had to change your car to one of only a handful on the market) but it’s good to know the Pearl Pros fit side by side. Not all seats would do this – believe me, I know!
Would you recommend this car seat?
I would 110% recommend this car seat. It’s stylish, sturdy, safe, comfortable, easy to install, not ridiculously heavy, and above all easy to use. I can even manage to catapult one twin over one Pearl into the other Pearl in the middle with not too much whinging! The only thing I don’t like is that the base doesn’t come with it and is an additional cost. But the 3 way fix base can be used with several different Maxi Cosi seats if you then opt for another one at some point.
If you’re torn between this and the Maxi-Cosi Axiss, which should you choose?
A fair bit to consider if this is your dilemma. The most obvious difference is that the Axiss swivels – and swivels 360 degrees which is pretty impressive. That’s handy for putting your little one in and doing them up. But if you end up needing to put another seat in the middle or want to put an adult in the middle seat, there won’t be room for any swivel action. So if you’re planning on a big family, forget the swivel!
The Axiss can be used from birth to four years, which is an advantage over the Pearl Pro which is only from 6 months. BUT having said that, it can only be used rear-facing until the child is two, as opposed to four with the Pearl Pro, which could put people off.
The Axiss doesn’t have a separate base, it’s built-in – although it’s more expensive in the first place so evens out to around the same cost as the Pearl Pro plus base. This also means it will be very heavy – it weighs around 14kg, so almost double the Pearl Pro. That would make it more of a pain to move between cars regularly.
Are there any accessories needed or available?
You don’t actually need any accessories with the Pearl Pro. Although there are several available to buy if you choose to. These include a back seat car mirror to keep an eye on them when they’re rear-facing, and a sun canopy. There’s also a terry cotton summer cover to keep them cooler in warm weather, a pocket or cup holder, and a back seat protector to protect your car from damage or dirt from their feet.
Is the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size good value?
The £429 price tag on the Pearl Pro i-Size is pretty hefty in my opinion. Although it’s comparable to other similar products on the market. Having said that the base can be used with other Maxi Cosi seats. So if you happen to have another baby once your four year old has finished with the Pearl Pro, you can use it again for a baby seat. I do think, considering what a great car seat it is though, it’s value for money. It will last you at least 3.5 years for every child you have. Unless you have twins like us then have to buy two! For such a high-quality product, I think it’s good.
Where can I buy it?
You can buy the seat (and base separately) from Maxi Cosi itself for £191
Baby Centre for £175
Uber Kids for £229
My verdict on the Maxi-Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size
I would definitely recommend this product. It’s pricey, but with that comes the highest standards of safety, quality, comfort and ease of use. You get what you pay for, and I would (and have) pay for a Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro i-Size. It’s easy to install and it’s simple to strap your children into. You can keep them rear-facing for as long as possible if you choose to, and it will last you for at least 3.5 years per child. What’s not to like!
How did I do?
If you liked this post, how about you read a few of my other reviews. Choose from the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo stroller, the Gummee teething Glove, Messy Me products, or the Baby Dan bed guard. Or find out whether the Land Rover Discovery could be the family car for you. Or head to my Travel Section for some great UK family holiday ideas. And if you just need to let off a bit of steam and fancy a giggle, my Mum Life Section is the place to be!
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