Disclaimer: I am not paid by Maxi Cosi or Chicco, nor did I receive a free carseat from either.
As a parent, I’m always looking for the BEST item for my kids. Whether this means easiest to use or safest or most comfortable or all of the above.
If I’m going to fork over my hard earned money for something, I want to make sure I’m buying the BEST version of that thing.
So recently I’ve been looking for a convertible car seat for my 6 month old who is rapidly approaching the height limit on his Chicco KeyFit 30.
I’ve been reading reviews like a mad woman and ultimately narrowed it down to Maxi Cosi and Chicco. Chicco because I’ve had really good experiences with the brand and Maxi Cosi because someone recommended it to me and because apparently it has magic sleep dust sprinkled all over it, which I totally need with our daily commute.
So when Black Friday came around, and Albee Baby (My FAVORITE online baby retailer) had their crazy good sales, I decided to go for it and order the Maxi Cosi Vello 65. It was only $149.99, which is way less than a Chicco and I really really loved the look of it.
Doesn’t it look so cozy and velvety? I wanted to climb into it myself.
Well, let me tell you, as far as comfort goes, it is just as comfy as it looks. And gorgeous.
Here is my lovely boy checking it out. He looks very cozy, doesn’t he? For reference, he is about 18 lbs and 27″.
And since I also have a 6 year old who is 50 lbs and 49″ (which is the cutoff for height), here he is also trying it out. He loved it, by the way, and wanted to keep it for himself.
This was the first bummer was that the seat is HUGE. Like beyond huge. Gigantic. Probably because it can accomodate a 6 year old comfortably.
BUT. I have a car pool gang to squeeze in my car and it was OK, but a bit tight of a fit. And these boys are not going to get any smaller. So.
The next bummer was the buckle. You can’t tell much about the buckle from the picture, but it happens to be the design of buckle that I despise.
Strong words, I know, but that is literally how strongly I feel about it. The armpit buckle seems too long and cheaply made for as luxurious as the seat is, and the bottom buckle takes literally all my strength to push to unbuckle.
I mean, I know I have weak wrists but seriously, on the Chicco Keyfit 30, I have NEVER had a thought about buckling difficulties. Not once. Oh KeyFit, how I took you for granted.
But man, I wanted to love this seat SOOOO BAD. I wrestled with whether to return it or keep it for days.
The final nail in the coffin was the installation of the seat. It was a major PITA (pain in the you-know-what). On the second recline setting, the angle was too high, on the third, it was too low. Finally with a towel stuffed underneath the base, we achieved the magical line alignment. But there is no level bubble on the side, so it’s not an exact science.
However, even so, using the latch installation was very difficult to get a tight fit. We were on top of the car seat, pushing on it and pulling the strap and literally working up a sweat. Yikes.
Ultimately, I decided to return it because even though I could get past the installation difficulties (once it’s in, it’s in!), I was not looking forward to buckling and unbuckling that awful buckle literally thousands of times over the life of the seat.
I was super bummed this seat did not work out for me, because like I said, I LOVED so many things about it. But the negatives just outweighed it for me.
That said, it’s a highly rated seat and a lot of people love it a lot, they just must not have buckle issues like I do 🙂
Anyway, I had trouble finding reviews about this particular seat, so hopefully this will be helpful to you if you’re in the market for it.