maxi cosi axissfix car seat with air bags

Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air Convertible Car Seat Review: With Built-In Airbags!

by Donna Fogarty |

Maxi Coss has some awesome car seats like the Magellan. But they just changed the car seat game, big time

Why, you ask?

Because the Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air is apparently …..drum roll, please!

The World’s first car seat with built-in Airbags!

Maxi Cosi Axissfix Car Seat

That’s right, Maxi Cosi is out of the gate, leading the pack with a revolutionary change to car seats!

And now that they have introduced this innovation, no doubt other manufacturers will be following suit.  This means that your child’s safety will no longer be mostly dependent on the safety of your vehicle.  The car seat is taking on an even bigger safety role than it already has.

Why it’s necessary

When a child is rear facing, as is recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics until 2 years of age, they are kept safe by the seat absorbing the impact of the crash. Per the AAP, “a rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body”.

This changes when the child turns forward facing, hopefully no earlier than at around 2 years of age.  In a front-on collision, a forward facing child is thrown forward with great force, which almost always results in some sort of injury.

Enter the AxissFix Air, which has airbags built into the shoulder pads.  These airbags inflate immediately at the first sign of a front-on collision and stabilize the head and neck of the child as it’s being thrown forward.  This literally takes places instantaneously as the crash is happening.

What size child is it for?

  • Suitable for a body height from 61 cm (24″) up to 87 cm (34″) in rear facing mode (from 4 months up to approx. 2 years)
  • Suitable for a body height from 76 cm (30″) to 105 cm (41″) in forward facing mode (from 15 months up to approx. 4 years)

How does it work?

Per the video on Maxi Cosi’s website, this is the play by play of the process:

  • The car seat detects a collision within 15 milliseconds through sensors at the LATCH point
  • A signal is sent to the airbag system
  • The airbags immediately inflate with cold air from around the chest area of the child, by 50 milliseconds (that’s a half a second, by the way)
  • The Airbags stop the child’s head from being thrown forward by the forces of the collision by 80 milliseconds after the collision
  • The airbags deflate immediately after the impact, approximately 1 second after the collision

Wow, all of that takes place in ONE SECOND.  And it makes the Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air 55% safer than a typical forward facing seat.

See it for yourself in action:

Other positive features

The Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air follows in the footsteps of prior AxissFix models, so it keeps most of the same features with the exception of the addition of Air Bag safety technology.

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360 degree swivel

The Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air is equipped with a 360 degree swivel.  This promises to be very helpful with getting the child in and out of the car seat as you can swivel it towards you, put the child in and then swivel it back to its normal position with baby in tow.

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This also would be very helpful when the child has fallen asleep and you are attempting to transfer them out of the carseat without waking.  It would be much easier to transfer a sleeping baby out of the carseat when it’s facing you.   As opposed to having to contort your body into the car to get them in/out, which we all have done.

Choose rear facing or forward facing with the touch of a button

Another nifty feature of the 360 degree turn of the AxissFix series is that you can choose which direction you want the seat to face with the touch of a button.  No more uninstalling and reinstalling seats to choose direction.  Simply slide the button towards rear facing or forward facing and the seat will lock in that position.

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Lifetime warranty

Maxi Cosi guarantees its’ products for life!  On top of the usual 2 year guarantee on every product, Maxi Cosi offers a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects on their car seats, bases and strollers.  (You do have to be the original purchaser of the product and have proof of your purchase.)

Easy-in belt hooks

The Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air has these handy clips which I call the “easy-in” belt hooks. There is one on each side of the seat and they are used to secure each strap so it should be very easy to put the child into the car seat.  Check out these handy hooks in action in the below video. (Note: The below video shows the installation of an AxissFix without Airbags but it should be a very similar experience for the AxissFix Air)

Washable cover

An easily removable and washable cover is always a plus as the baby and toddler days are a messy endeavor.

No re-thread harness

When your child has grown and it’s time to raise the headrest, doing so will also adjust the straps. This is a convenient feature of most car seats on the market today, although some seats still require the straps to be re-threaded with the adjustment. The adjustment on the Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air can be done easily with one hand when needed.

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Mark for turning forward facing

On the AxissFix series, there is a mark on the seat which indicates clearly the height level at which it is safe to turn the child forward facing (87 cm). Or rather when it would be unsafe to turn the child forward facing. The logic being that many parents turn the child too early just for convenience or preference, or to celebrate the 1st birthday.

The line is present to hopefully deter this from happening and increase parent awareness about exactly how far away (or near) the child is from this milestone in real time.

Compact

Because Maxi Cosi is based in Europe, they are very mindful of small spaces. European roads and European cars are often smaller than the US equivalent, hence the car seat must be as compact as possible without sacrificing safety.

The dimensions of the Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air are as follows:

  • Width of seat is approximately 17.5″
  • Length of seat from back of base to back of seat in rear facing position is approximately 28″ (see picture below, measurements are in mm)

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  • Height of seat is approximately 25.5″

Potential downsides

Not for infants

This carrier is for babies from approximately 4 months up, so you will need an infant car seat to cover the gap.  This may be a disadvantage for families as it’s often more cost effective to only buy one seat.  Many brands offer seats that accommodate from 7 to 65 lbs, or more so it’s tempting to have a “one and done” solution.

Not for extended rear facing

Children should be rear facing at least until 2 years of age, but that is the bare minimum.  Many parents take full advantage of manufacturers’ extended height and weight limits for rear facing to keep their children in that position much longer, until 4 years or more.

This seat does not accommodate extended rear facing and instead the cap for rear facing is when the child is 87 cm or about 34 inches tall.

Potentially hard to install

Maxi Cosi seats are not always the easiest to install.  I speak from experience with my own Maxi Cosi Vello 65 that I wanted to badly to love but ultimately just couldn’t. In the past, Maxi Cosi’s installation was not as user friendly as some other brands such as Chicco or Britax.  Has this been remedied with the new AxissFix Air?  Time will tell.

Only 4 reclining positions

This seat offers 4 reclining positions, which may not be the best fit for smaller babies.  The seat is usable from 4 months up.  But even at that age, a proper recline is very important to keep the baby safe.  I personally found when trying out the Vello 65 (which had 3 reclining positions), that the 3 reclining positions did not offer me the best fit.

It was almost a Goldilocks scenario – one was too high, one was too low, and there was nothing in the middle.  Just in case you’re wondering, position #3 was for front facing only.

Because of this, it most likely would be a great fit for much older babies.  Once a child is old enough to sit more upright, it most likely would not be a hindrance to only have 4 reclining positions.

Still, I myself prefer more options, so I tend to lean towards seats with more adjustability.

Expensive

Built-in airbags do not come cheap apparently, which is understandable.  But the high price tag of the Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air (over 500 Euros) might be out of reach for many, especially considering that its necessary to buy an infant car seat prior to using this one.

Not available in the US…yet

Currently, the Maxi Cosi AxissFix Air is only available overseas and has not yet come to the US market.  I have no doubt that a US version is coming down the pike as I’m sure millions of American parents would love the included airbag safety feature.

See our many other car seat reviews.

Donna Fogarty
I'm a mom of three boys and enjoy researching just about everything, especially when it comes to picking the best anything to buy for my babies.

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