Of all the baby products that you have to buy, car seats are arguably the most important. They’re tasked with keeping your little one safe while driving, one of the most dangerous activities you’ll do with your baby. They’re also an item that most mamas use again and again, so you want to have one that’s simple and straightforward, while keeping your little one as safe as possible.
Enter the Maxi Cosi Magellan, a car seat that is designed to last you a decade. This car seat can be used for kids who weigh 5 to 120 pounds, thanks to five different positions to see kids through the rear-facing infant seat stage all the way to the forward-facing high-back booster stage. In essence, the Maxi-Cosi Magellan XP All-in-One Convertible Car Seat is meant to be the only car seat you’ll need from baby’s first year until your child is ready to sit unassisted. Here’s everything you should know about this seat.
Pros & Cons
Extended use through the stages that your child will need a car seat or booster
Highly adjustable and simple to use
Easy to wash
Not portable, which can be frustrating during the infant stage
May be difficult to install, both with latch and seatbelt options
Heavy and wide seat may feel too large for some vehicles
Maxi Cosi Magellan: A Convertible Car Seat from Birth to 10 Years
The Maxi Cosi Magellan is a good seat for parents who are willing to spend a bit more upfront on a product that will last for years. Although the Magellan is more expensive than other seats, it is cheaper than buying separate seats for each stage (a newborn seat, a convertible seat, and a booster). The Magellan is also eco-friendly, since you’re buying one long-lasting product.
So, how does it work? The seat has five positions:
- Rear-facing infant: meant for infants between 5-22 pounds
- Toddler rear-facing: meant for toddlers between 22-40 pounds
- Toddler forward-facing: meant for toddlers between 22-65 pounds (remember, there is no official age you have to turn toddlers forward-facing and the longer they can stay rear-facing, the safer they are!)
- Child forward-facing: for children 40-65 pounds
- High-back booster: for children 40-120 pounds who also meet the height requirements for a booster
The seat has 14 different height positions, perfect for keeping up with growing kids. It also has the all-important no-rethread harness, which makes it super simple to adjust the seat without rethreading the car seat harness. I quickly realized this feature was a non-negotiable on car seats for me — there’s little more frustrating than uninstalling a car seat every few months to adjust the harness.
Let’s talk about some more features to appreciate about this seat.
Car seats can get incredibly dirty incredibly quickly. (Or maybe that’s just my child?) Either way, the Magellan is designed to help ease the burden of cleaning on parents. It comes with removable, dishwasher-safe cup holders and an easy zip-off seat pad that you can just toss straight in the washer to clean and dryer to dry. Done and done.
Comfort and Safety
As you might be able to tell from the picture, the Magellan XP is designed to be an incredibly comfortable car seat. It has an infant pillow system to keep little ones cozy, and air-wicking fabric to keep moisture away, especially in the warmer months.
But all that cushioning isn’t just for comfort alone–the car seat is also packed with tons of safety features, like patented Air Protect, which is built directly into the headrest to cushion impacts, along with providing a soft place for babies and toddlers to rest their heads. It also exceeds all federal safety standards, including FMVSS 213, and is backed by 30 years of European engineering.
The seat comes with detailed instructions about how to use it through each stage of your child’s growth, but essentially, with each stage that your child goes through–from infant to toddler to preschooler to big kid–you will adjust the car seat accordingly.
After the infant stage, for instance, you will remove the infant insert and adjust the recline so the seat is more upright. For each stage, you will extend the height of the seat and adjust the recline and harness straps accordingly.
“My fave feature? Removable, dishwasher-safe cup holders and an easy zip-off seat pad that you can just toss straight in the washer to clean and dryer to dry. Done and done."
More to Love
- Use from birth through age 10
- Can fit children 5-120 pounds
- Five-point harness fits children through 49 inches tall; booster fits children through 57 inches tall.
- Weighs 26.8 pounds
- Measures 24.5″ D x 19.5″ W x 24″ H
- Covers are easy to remove, machine washable and dryer safe
- Cup holders can be removed and washed in the dishwasher
- TSA-approved for use on airplanes
- Will save you money in the long term compared to buying 3-5 different seats as your child grows.
While there is a lot to love about this seat, if you’re considering the Magellan beginning at the infant stage, it is important to recognize that this is not a portable seat. You’ll have to take your infant out of the seat every time you leave the car.
Living in a cold climate where I wanted my infants to stay bundled up (and maybe even sleep!), the draw of a portable seat that I could pop in a stroller or carry into a store was huge.
What to Consider Before Buying
The Maxi Cosi Magellan is a great choice if you want to select a car seat and be done with it. It’s great to know that you have a seat that will fit your child for years. The fact that it’s easy to adjust and washable is a bonus. This seat is perfect for your primary car seat: the one you can leave installed in your vehicle for daily use.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks. My biggest concern would be that the seat isn’t portable or easy to install. Although I love the idea of one car seat, I’ve never been able to pass up the convenience of transporting infants in a portable infant seat, which keeps them protected from the cold, dirty spaces and over-curious people who want to get too close. Even after the infant stage, I always found myself moving car seats between vehicles enough that the Magellan’s weight and difficulty of installation would give me pause.
That said, the Magellan is great for minimizing the environmental and financial impact of cycling through multiple car seats. I love the idea of using the Magellan as a primary seat, and purchasing a temporary infant seat during the first few months of your baby’s life for easy in-and-out trips from the car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is safer, Maxi Cosi or Britax?
All car seats that are sold in the U.S. meet the same federal safety standards. That means that when they are installed properly, all car seats are safe. Britax seats, particularly with the Clicksafe features, are known for being easier to install. Whatever seat you chose, it’s a great idea to have a certified child passenger safety technician check the seat before you begin using it.
Is Maxi Cosi high end?
The Maxi Cosi Magellan is considered a high-end seat. It’s more expensive than many other car seats. However, if you compare the cost over ten years, and the three or so seats that you would have to buy to meet all the different stages your child will pass through, the Maxi Cosi Magellan is a good buy.
Which Maxi Cosi car seat is the best?
Maxi Cosi produces many different car seats, including two convertible car seats, the Magellan and the Pria. The Magellan is the only convertible seat that is suitable for infants: the Pria cannot be used until a baby weighs 14 pounds. However, the Pria can be used with the five-point harness for longer, until a child weighs 85 pounds versus 65 pounds for the Magellan. The Pria also tends to be much less expensive than the Magellan.
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Reviewed by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN…