Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Maxi-Cosi Vello 70
This is a side-by-side comparison review of the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 and the Maxi-Cosi Vello 70 convertible car seats.
These 2 seats are at the opposite ends of the current range of Maxi-Cosi convertible car seats in terms of features and price points. The Vello 70 seat is currently the entry-point seat, but now comes with a 5 lb higher maximum child weight limit than the older Vello 65 seat.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 is the top of the range seat that has extra safety and convenience features and boasts the highest overall child weight limits of any convertible car seat on the US market.
So, what exactly are the main similarities and differences between the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 and Vello 70 convertible car seats?
Is the Pria 85 seat worth the extra money?
For those parents that are looking for a Maxi-Cosi convertible car seat for less than $200, there is the Maxi-Cosi Vello 65 to consider.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 & Vello 70 Comparison Table
|Feature||Pria 85||Vello 70|
|Rear-Facing Weight||14 - 40 lbs||4 - 40 lbs (with insert)|
|Rear-Facing Height||40" (see below)||40" (see below)|
|Forwards-Facing Weight||22 - 85 lbs||22 - 70 lbs|
|Forwards-Facing Height||29 - 52" (see below)||up to 52" (see below)|
|Belt Installation System||Standard||Standard|
|Side Impact Protection||Air Protect SIP||Standard SIP|
|Washer / Dryer Safe Seat Pad||Yes||Yes|
|Cup / Snack Holders||1||2|
|Seat Expiration||10 years||10 Years|
|FAA Approved for Flights||Yes||Yes|
|Price||Check Latest Price||Check Latest Price|
Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 vs Vello 70 – The Main Similarities
So, what are the main features that are shared by both the Pria 85 and the Vello 70 seats?
1. Seat Installation Methods
Both seats come fitted with a simple “one-click” LATCH installation system that makes it easier to fit the seat properly within your vehicle.
This is the best way to install these seats at the start, but there will come a time when you need to reinstall the seats using the vehicle seatbelt.
This is not something that is unique to these Maxi-Cosi seats, but is due to the fact that all convertible car seats have maximum child weight limits for installing them using LATCH connectors. You will need to check the User Manual to find out the maximum LATCH weight limits for these seats prior to use, but it is currently 40 lbs for the Pria 85.
Once you have reached the LATCH limit for the seat, you will need to learn how to fit the seat using your vehicle’s seatbelt. There are instructions within the User Manual and a brief reference to it in the video below.
If you find that you are unable to achieve a good installation (no more than 1″ movement in any direction when you tug at the seat), I recommend that you pop down to your local Fire Station or NHTSA Center, where you should be able to find someone to help and advise.
The video below shows how to install the Pria 70 using the one-click LATCH connectors, but the process is exactly the same for the Pri 85 and Vello 70 seats.
2. FlexTech System for Crash Energy Management
The FlexTech Energy Management System is not something that you can actually see by looking at photographs of the seats and that is because it is hidden away within the structure of the seats themselves.
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.
3. Harness Adjustment & Seat Cleaning
Both seats have 9 adjustable harness positions to help achieve a good fit.
In order to adjust the harness height position, you simply squeeze and pull the handle at the top of the seat shell upwards until you reach the desired level.
There is a demonstration of just how easy this is in one of the videos below.
Cleaning child car seat covers can be a real chore. It often involves unfastening and later re-threading harnesses through spaces that are poorly designed for parents with normal-sized hands. You will also usually have to uninstall the seat from your vehicle.
One big practical advantage of both seats is that their seat pads can be removed very easily via a pair of snap connectors. The pads can then be washed, dried, and re-installed without any harness re-threading and without needing to remove the seat from your vehicle.
As an added bonus, they are washer and dryer safe too.
4. Deep Rear-Facing Adjustment
Maxi-Cosi boasts that these seats have been developed to make it easier to fit into small spaces whilst rear-facing.
If you have a small vehicle or need the front seat pushed back further because you have long legs, for example, the ability to fit these seats into smaller spaces will be invaluable.
Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 vs Vello 70 – The Main Differences
1. Child Height & Weight Limits
These seats have similar child height and weight restrictions, but there are some subtle differences to take into account.
Rear-Facing: 4 – 40 lbs (with insert) / 40″
Forwards-Facing: 22 – 70 lbs / 29 – 52″ (must be aged 2 years+)
Rear-Facing: 14 – 40 lbs (with insert) / 40″
Forwards-Facing (reclined): 22 – 40 lbs / 29 – 43″ (must be aged 1 years+)
Forwards-Facing (upright): 40 – 85 lbs / 43 – 52″ (must be aged 1 years+)
The Vello 70 seat comes with an infant insert to make it easier to get a snug fit for small babies and to make it suitable for use from birth.
The Pria 85 does not come with an infant insert and is not suitable for use from birth. So, if you need a seat from birth, the Pria 85 is not for you. The upside is that, if your child is already at 14 lbs or more this seat will last you all the way to 85 lbs, which makes it the convertible car seat with the highest maximum weight limit.
Just be aware that the maximum height limit on the Pria 85 is the same as that on the Vello 70. So, if your child is likely to grow to be exceptionally tall and thin, you might not get to use the full 85 lbs as they will probably exceed the maximum height limit beforehand.
You will also note that the Pria 85 seat has different forwards-facing limits depending upon which recline position is being used, whereas the Vello 70 does not.
The Pria 85 can, however, be used forwards-facing from a younger age than the Vello 70 (1 years plus).
Having said that, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain rear-facing until at least 2 years of age and so just because you are permitted to switch your child around to face forwards at 22 lbs and 1 years of age, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Both of these seats will allow you to comfortably rear-face for at least 2 years, and much more.
2. Air Protect Side Impact Protection
The Pria 85 comes fitted with Maxi-Cosi’s enhanced Air Protect Side Impact Protect System.
The Vello 70 just comes with Maxi-Cosi’s standard Side Impact Protection.
The Air Protect “air cushion” technology is positioned in the side walls of the seat and is designed to protect the head, neck and face areas of your child 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.
3. Seat Fabrics
There are 2 big differences between the seat fabrics used on the Pria 85 and Vello 70 seats.
Firstly, the Pria 85 comes with some “Cosi Cushion” luxurious fabric options for added child comfort.
Secondly, the Pria 85 is also available in a lot more fabric color options that the Vello 70. There are many different options for the Pria 85 (including some limited edition versions), but just 4 options for the Vello 70.
Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 – Video Review
Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 vs Vello 70 – My Verdict
If you need a convertible seat for use from birth, then the choice is a simple one. The Vello 70 is the only option as the lower weight limit on the Pria 85 is 14 lbs.
If, however, your child is already at least 14 lbs in weight (perhaps because they are transitioning from an infant seat) then you will need to assess whether or not the added safety features and increased weight limits on the Pria 85 are worth paying the extra cash for.
This decision will depend largely upon the likely physical development of your child and whether or not they will outgrow the seat by height first such that they won’t be able to take advantage of the full weight limit anyway.
Finally, for some people the fantastic wide range of funky and luxurious fabric options on the Pria 85 will justify the extra money.
If you want some the extra safety features found on the Pria 85, but need to use it from birth, you should check out the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 with TinyFit instead.
There is also a Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max seat that has all of the features of the basic Pria 85, but also comes with their new “ClipQuik” automatic magnetic chest clip.
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.
Get in Touch
If you have any comments to share or questions to ask about my Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 vs Vello 70 comparison review, please leave a comment in the box below or send me an email.