Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 convertible car seat has been on the market for a little while now and it has become very popular with parents and other caregivers. No doubt pleased with the success of the Pria 85 seat, Maxi-Cosi have now introduced a new Pria 85 Max seat that comes with some extra features and a slightly higher price tag.
At first glance, these premium convertible car seats look very similar and in most respects they are in fact exactly the same seat.
If you look very closely at the images above, however, you will notice a couple of very important differences between these 2 seats. Can you spot them?
Pria 85 vs Pria 85 Max – Similarities
Here are the main shared features that can be found on both the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 and the Pria 85 Max convertible car seats.
#1 Forward-facing Limits
One of the most notable features of the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 and Pria 85 Max seats is that they can both be used in forward-facing mode until your child weighs a massive 85 lbs!
This is the highest maximum child weight limit of any dedicated convertible car seat on the market today.
Although you can use the Pria 85 and Pria 85 Max seats in the forwards-facing position from as low as 22 lbs, it is not advisable to do so if you can avoid it. Rear-Facing is much safer than forwards-facing and so you should aim to keep your child rear-facing until they reach the maximum height or weight limit for that mode of use (see below).
The maximum child height limit of 52 inches on both seats is also very generous.
One of the main differences between these 2 seats is the rear-facing limits, which you can read about below.
#2 The Harness Adjustment System
Both seats enjoy the benefits of a one-handed harness micro adjustment system to ensure that the harness and headrest position is in the correct position at all times as your child grows in height.
Adjustment of the harness height position is accomplished by simply squeezing and pulling the handle at the top of the seat shell upwards until you reach the level that you want.
One of the most annoying things about adjusting harnesses on some cheaper car seats is that you need to unthread the harness and then re-thread it after you have adjusted it. Fortunately, the harness adjustment mechanism on these seats means that there is absolutely no need to unthread and then rethread the harness in order to make these adjustments.
In addition to multiple harness and headrest positions, there are also 3 crotch strap positions to choose from.
#3 The Air Protect Side Impact Technology
If you look carefully at the images of the Pria 85 and Pria 85 Max seats, you can see that the Air Protect area on both sides are marked with “<air>” labels.
These “air cushions” are positioned in such a way as to protect the head, neck and face areas in the event of a collision.
The basic science behind the Air Protect system is that, in the event of a collision, air is released within the cushions and this acts to better distribute the crash forces away from the most vulnerable parts of your child’s body.
#4 FlexTech Energy Management System
You can’t see the FlexTech Energy Management System on any of the photographs of this seat and that is because it is hidden within the structure of the seat itself.
Maxi-Cosi have used the latest computer crash-test modelling systems to devise a structure that is rigid in some parts and flexible in others.
The basic idea (without getting too technical and scientific) is that in a crash situation you don’t necessarily want the seat to be rigid in all areas or flexible in all areas.
By extensively simulating various different common crash scenarios, Maxi-Cosi has developed what it considers to be an optimum combination of rigidity and flexibility within the structure of the seats.
#5 Cleaning the Seat Pads
Cleaning child car seat covers can be a time-consuming pain. You will often have to unthread the harness, clean the covers by hand, air dry them, re-thread the harness straps through tight spaces that are poorly designed for parents with normal-sized hands, and finally put the seat cover back on.
You will also sometimes have to uninstall the seat from your vehicle when removing the covers from the cheaper convertible car seats.
One big practical advantage of both the Pria 85 and Pria 85 Max seats is that their seat pads can be removed very easily via a pair of snap connectors.
These pads can then be machine washed, tumble dried, and finally re-attached without any harness re-threading and without even needing to remove the seat from your vehicle.
#6 Harness Holders for Easy Loading-up
Anything that makes loading your child into his or her car seat is to be welcomed. No-one wants to be fishing around at the bottom of the seat because your child is sitting on the hard buckles and yelping at you at the same time!
Fortunately, both seats come with harness strap holders on each side that are used to hold the straps out of the way when you are placing your child in the seat.
#7 Other Similarities
- One-Click LATCH System
- 3 recline settings
- FAA Approved for use in an aircraft
- Flexible rubber cup holder
- 10-year expiration
- Made in the USA
Pria 85 vs Pria 85 Max – Differences
Aside from the fact that the Pria 85 Max seat is more expensive than the Pria 85, what are the other important differences for you to consider prior to making a purchasing decision?
#1 Rear-Facing Limits
For parents who loved the Maxi-Cosi Pria range of convertible car seats, one of the biggest drawbacks of the Pria 85 is that is can only be used once your baby weighs at least 14 lbs. This made the seat unsuitable for use from birth. Before the release of the Pria 85 Max seat, parents who wanted to use a Maxi-Cosi convertible seat from birth had to buy the Pria 70 with TinyFit instead.
Not any more!
The Pria 85 Max comes with a much lower child weight limit of just 5 lbs, and so it is suitable for use from birth.
In order to be able to use the Pria 85 Max from 5 lbs, Maxi-Cosi have provided 2 removable infant inserts to ensure a snug fit for small babies. Just make sure that you read the User Manual to understand when and how to use these inserts.
The rear-facing maximum weight and height limits for both seats are the same, at 40 lbs or 40 inches, whichever is reached the soonest.
Note: Your child cannot be switched around to face forwards in this seat until they are at least 1 year old.
#2 Magnetic ClipQuick Chest Clip
The Pria 85 uses a standard chest clip mechanism that works perfectly well.
The Pria 85 Max, however, comes with a unique chest clip fastening mechanism called the “ClipQuick”.
Unlike a standard mechanism, the ClipQuik is an auto-magnetic chest clip.
You can see the ClipQuik chest clip in operation in this video …
The ClipQuik is very quick and simple to fasten and unfasten and will be a great option for those who find it challenging to use normal chest clips.
The only safety warning that I would issue is in relation to children that have health problems requiring certain medical aids. If, for example, your child is unfortunate enough to require a pacemaker or similar electronic health device, then this magnetic chest clip might interfere with its operation. If in doubt, consult your medical doctor.
#3 Self-Wicking Seat Fabrics
The Pria 85 Max seat comes with self-wicking fabrics to help keep moisture away from your child’s body when used in warmer conditions.
The standard Pria 85 does not come with self-wicking fabrics.
Pria 85 vs Pria 85 Max – Videos
Pria 85 vs Pria 85 Max – Fabric Options
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 seat comes in a wide variety of fabric color and texture options to suit all tastes.
Pria 85 Max
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 and Pria 85 Max seat comes in different fabric Color Options.
Here are some of my favourite Fabric Options for the Pria 85 Max…
Pria 85 vs Pria 85 Max – My Verdict
These are both excellent premium convertible car seats, but which one should you buy?
If your child is already at least 14 lbs in weight and you are perfectly happy with using a standard chest clip mechanism, then you should just buy the original Pria 85 seat, unless you have fallen in love with one of the Pria 85 Max’s fabric color options.
Conversely, if you want to be able to use a convertible car seat from birth or want the added convenience of the Magnetic chest clip and/or self wicking fabrics, you will need to buy the Pria 85 max instead.
Aside from those factors, these seats are essentially the same and so there isn’t anything else about the Pria 85 Max to justify paying the extra cash for.
After purchasing any child car seat, you should always read the User Manual thoroughly before using it. It is also advisable to visit your local Fire Department or NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Centre to ensure that the seat is definitely suitable for your child’s specific requirements and that you have installed it correctly. These services are usually provided free of charge.
You can find your nearest NHTSA Centre here.
Do You Need More Help?
If you need any further advice or assistance whatsoever, please feel free to contact me and I will do my very best to help.
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