Limits: 9-40 lbs. rear-facing, 22-70 lbs. forward-facing.
NHTSA ease of use rating: Three out of five stars (both rear and forward-facing). This rating is for the previous version which was rated to 65 lbs. front facing. Likely the rating won’t change at the new 70 lb. limit.
Pros: First Maxi-Cosi convertible seat under $200. No rethread harness. Excellent fabric.
Cons: Starting weight is 9 lbs. rear-facing, so this seat isn’t for small newborns. Soft cup holders may get detached, lost.
Comments: The Vello 70 convertible car seat is basically a scaled down Pria. It works to 70 lbs. (versus 85 with the Pria 85) and omits the Air Protect side impact protection (instead the Vello has EPP foam). The seat has soft cup holders that sit on the side of the seat (the Pria has a built-in cup holder).
Like the Pria, the Vello features a no rethread harness that can be adjusted with one hand. FYI: The starting weight for this seat will be 9 lbs., so this isn’t the choice if you have a small newborn.
Oddly, the Vello 70 isn’t sold at that much of a discount to the Pria 70—$250. With the Pria 70 starting at $230, the Vello 70 doesn’t look that compelling. The Pria’s added side impact protection is worth the extra $46 in our opinion.
Reader feedback on the Vello 70 is generally positive, although a few found the no-rethread harness hard to adjust up or down. The government’s ease of use rating for this seat is a middling three out of five stars.
We’ll give the Vello 70 a slightly lower rating than the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70. While it is a good seat, the high starting weight and lack of value make it a less attractive option compared to the Pria.
FYI: Maxi Cosi originally made this seat as the Vello 65 ($150-180). While you may still see it for sale online, Maxi Cosi appears to be discontinuing the model. Other than the weight limit change (and the price), there doesn’t appear to be much difference between the 65 and the 70.