Type: Convertible to belt-positioning booster
Limits: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 22-65 lbs. front-facing, 65-120 lbs. as a booster.
NHTSA ease of use rating: Not Available.
Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Review: New from Maxi Cosi for 2018 is their first all-in-one car seat for infants through kiddos 10 years of age. The Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat offers a unique feature: adjustable torso side impact protection. Most other all-in-ones have height adjustable headrests with side impact protection (and the Magellan has 14 height positions), but few allow the seat to adjust through the torso (see video below for a demo).
Additional features include a one-hand, seven-position recline and no-rethread harness. Maxi Cosi’s Air Protect system is built into the headrest too. We like that the fabric and padding is machine washable.
In case you’re new to the all-in-one car seat world, the seat works rear facing (5-40 lbs.), forward facing (22-65 lbs.) and high back belt positioning booster (65-120 lbs.). One caveat: the Magellan does not convert to a backless booster like their competitors’ seats. Here’s a chart that shows the different modes:
Maxi Cosi has a good track record for quality in this category—however, their crash test scores sometimes are below competing seats that are lower in price, interestingly. (Example: in Consumer Reports latest crash tests the Maxi Cosi convertible seat (Pria 70 and 85) scored below the Chicco NextFit in terms of protection. Those are both convertible seats, not all-in-ones.)
FYI: There are two versions of the Magellan: the Magellan and the Magellan Max. The latter is an upgraded version with a “Clip Quick Magnet” chest clip as a EZ In-and-Out Harness system—the latter keeps the harness out of the way for easier buckling of the seat (instead of getting stuck behind a child). The Magellan Max runs $50 more than base model Magellan.
As of this writing (fall 2018), the Magellan was still rather new and had limited real world feedback. There are no crash tests yet, for example. However, given initial parent and reader feedback, we will give this seat an A for ease of use and overall features. Yes, it is pricey, but Maxi Cosi has done an excellent job with this seat’s design and features.