Type: Convertible seat.
Limits: 4 to 40 lbs. rear facing , 22 to 65 lbs. forward facing.
NHTSA ease of use rating: Not yet
Pros: Infant insert good for preemies (starting at 4 lbs.). Side impact protection. Small footprint means seat will fit into smaller vehicles. Removable washable/dryable seat pad.
Cons: Can only use tether in forward-facing position. Infant insert can make install rear-facing somewhat challenging.
Comments: Baby gear behemoth Dorel is best known here in the states for its Safety 1st and Cosco car seat brands, but the company has a world-wide footprint. Dorel’s European subsidiary, Maxi-Cosi is imported into North America to serve as Dorel’s more premium offering in car seats.
Maxi Cosi’s main offering in this category is the Pria, which was refreshed in 2019 with two versions: The Pria 3 in 1 and Pria Max 3 in 1. These replace the previous version of the Pria, known as the Pria 70, Pria 85 and Pria 85 Max.
As you might note from the naming change, Maxi-Cosi is now positioning the Pria as an all-in-one car seat—that is a convertible that converts into a belt-positioning booster for use from 40 to 100 lbs.
Maxi Cosi has also quietly dropped the top weight limit for the convertible car seat mode to just 65 lbs, down from 70 and 85 previously. That’s because government safety testing is cracking down on seats that claim high weight limits without corresponding crash results to back that up. Now the the government has developed a crash test dummies at higher weights, seats claiming use up to 85 lbs will most likely NOT pass the tests. That’s why Dorel scaled back the claims on the Pria.
Meanwhile, there were a few other tweaks to the Pria for 2019—the side impact protection is now G-Cell instead of the previous Air Protect. We’ll have to see crash tests results on the new seat to see if this makes a difference.
Also new: a five-position headrest, two cup holders (instead of one) and three body comfort pillows to fit smaller infant (head, body and seat wedge). Previous version of the Pria had either no body pillows or just body and seat pillows.
For the top of the line Pria Max 3 in 1, Maxi Cosi adds a magnetic chest clip and “EZ out” spring assisted harnesses—the latter makes removing baby simpler. While these are nice, we’re sure this worth the $50 upgrade.
Fans of Maxi Cosi generally laud the overall quality and durability of these seats. We don’t see any reason why the new Pria’s will perform differently than the older versions, so we’ll give this seat a rating of B+. We will await the crash test ratings to assign a permanent rating.