Maxi Cosi Magellan Convertible Car Seat Review – a 5 in 1 solution!

by Donna Fogarty |

The Magellan Convertible Car seat is the first car seat in Maxi Cosi’s lineup to be the only car seat for your child – a 5 in 1 solution, accommodating children from 5 lbs all the way to 120 lbs, or birth to approximately 10 years old.

 

Why it’s a great addition to the Maxi Cosi lineup

More and more, the market demand has been rising for an all in one solution in car seats.  No more buying an infant seat, then a toddler seat, and then a backed booster followed by a backless booster.  An all in one solution in an enticing option for many parents financially long term.  And let’s face it, no one loves going car seat shopping over and over again as your baby grows up.  Well, there are a few of us who love it, but most people don’t.

This seat is a leap forward from the Pria 85 which already was the highest in its class for forward facing in the harness (85 pound limit).  Now the Magellan will be the one and done solution all the way up to 120 pounds or well into the school age.

The Maxi Cosi Magellan has a few competitors in the all in one category – the Diono Radian RXT, which also is rated from 5 to 120 lbs;  and the Graco 4Ever which is 4 to 120 lbs.

Weight range

  • Accommodates in rear-facing mode – 5 to 40 lbs
  • Accommodates in forward-facing mode – 22 to 65 lbs
  • As a booster – 40-120 lbs

Side Impact Protection

The Maxi Cosi Magellan features the AirProtect Side Impact protection system for your child.  And because one in four car accidents are side-impact collisions, this is a great feature to have in a car seat.

Part of the car seat’s job is to keep your child as safe as possible in any type of collision.  Per Maxi Cosi, when a side-impact collision occurs, it leaves your child’s head and chest “extremely vulnerable to injury. In a side-impact collision, the shoulders take the impact, jolting the chest and head.”

To help remedy this, Maxi Cosi’s AirProtect technology instantly protects that which matters most – the child’s neck and head.  The air filled headrest absorbs the impact forces of a collision and helps slow down the child’s body as it travels as a result of these forces.

7 position radial recline

Finally Maxi Cosi has added more recline options which makes me very happy.  One of my biggest complaints for using a Maxi Cosi convertible seat for smaller babies was the limited (3 or 4) recline positions.

When factoring in different car seat angles and baby recline positions, 3 or 4 recline positions sometimes just wouldn’t be enough to make a good fit.  One position would be too reclined and another would be too upright.

Thankfully, this is now remedied with 7 radial recline positions, allowing for a fully customized, safe and comfortable ride experience for even a 5 pound baby.  As baby grows and can be more upright, the recline is easily changed with one hand.

14 position headrest adjustment

The Maxi Cosi Magellan also features a 14 position headrest adjustment for easily accommodating growing kids.   Along with the headrest is the built-in “no re-thread harness feature”.  This refers to the old method of having to unthread the straps from the back of the seat, adjust the seat according to your child’s current size and then re-thread the straps. On the Maxi Cosi Magellan (or Magellan Max) headrest adjustments are a one-handed affair.

On the Magellan, the harness shoulder height begins at 5″ and goes all the way to 18″.

Accommodates very small babies

As it’s rated for babies 5 pounds and up, it would be a good choice for premature babies and very small infants.  Previously the best choice in convertible car seats for premature babies would have been a Maxi Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Seat with Tiny Fit which would accommodate from 4 pounds up.  However, the Magellan beginning at 5 pounds is a very close second.

Accommodates extended rear facing

The Maxi Cosi Magellan can be used in rear-facing mode until 40 pounds, which makes it a good choice for extended rear facing.  All children should rear face until at least 2 years old per the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Seats with higher rear facing weight limits, such as the Maxi Cosi Magellan, allow parents to keep a child rear facing much longer, as most kids reach 40 pounds at around 4 years old.

Removable cover

The premium fabric cover is removable, machine washable and dryer safe.  This is definitely a huge plus in any parent’s book.

Comfortable

Maxi Cosi convertible car seats sure live up to their name – they are cozy as can be.   When I tried out the Maxi Cosi Vello 65, I loved it mostly because of how luxurious and comfortable it was.  And my baby loved it as well.

Seeing how the Magellan will easily last you a decade, comfort is a very good thing. That’s also not something that is found in some of “all in one” competitors, such as the Graco 4Ever car seat.  Users of the Graco 4Ever have reported it as not the most comfortable of seats.

Removable cup holders

 

The Maxi Cosi Magellan features two removable cup holders which are also dishwasher safe.

Not too heavy

The Maxi Cosi Magellan weighs in at 20 pounds which is not bad considering everything it has in tow.  This might not matter if you are installing it once and leaving it in the same car.  However, if youre buying the seat for carpool or plan on moving it between cars, take note.  It’s 15% lighter than the Graco 4Ever all in one, which weighs in at 23 pounds.  And if you’re routinely going to be lugging the seat to and fro, trust me – every pound counts.

Reliable Brand

Maxi Cosi is a reliable European brand that invests heavily into making parents’ lives easier.  They continue to innovate top rated car seats with convenient features while not compromising on safety.  They also have a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects, assuming you are the original purchaser/gift recipient.

Maxi Cosi Magellan Max – with even more features

The Magellan and Magellan Max are identical, but the Magellan Max has three features not available on the original Magellan.

Magnetic Chest Clip

maxi cosi clipquik.jpg

The Magellan Max version of this car seat has the addition of the ClipQuik Magnetic Chest clip which buckles automatically using magnets.  To unbuckle, you simply slide the buckle up.  By design, this is easy for a parent to do but not so easy for a small child (so as to unbuckle themselves).

EZ In and Out

The Magellan Max has spring assisted shoulder harnesses to aid with getting the child in and out as easily as possible.  This would come in especially handy when they are asleep and the parent is trying to get them in and out as undisturbed as possible.  This is a popular feature and more manufacturers are coming out with it included in their car seats, such as the Chicco NextFit.

Spring Forward Buckle

Along the same lines, the buckle is spring loaded to point forward, instead of getting stuck under the baby.  What a convenient feature! I feel like I’m always fishing for the buckle underneath my baby while buckling.

Potential Downsides of an All in One Car seat

No infant Car seat convenience

Depending on your lifestyle and routine, you may find an infant car seat to be very convenient, as many parents do.  The ease of being able to transport the baby in the bucket seat with you wherever you go is appealing.  I see moms with infant car seats while shopping, using them in a stroller system, or simply walking around (albeit hunched over to the side due to the weight).

Another instance when it’s very useful is when the baby falls asleep.  The infant car seat negates the need to wake baby up to transport them from the car to the house or trying to transfer baby out of carseat without waking them up.

See our convertible car seat roundup for many other options.

Large long term footprint in the car

With a convertible car seat that fits to 120 pounds, you are committing to a certain footprint in the vehicle for that length of time.  Many parents like to switch to more streamlined and narrow boosters to accommodate growing families and as a result, fuller backseats.

If you buy a seat to go through 120 pounds, you might as well use it to its’ fullest capacity but that might also mean not as much room in the backseat for other seats.

The Maxi Cosi Magellan and Magellan Max are 19.25″ wide, 24.25″ deep and 24″ high.

Too long of a lifespan?

One of the downsides of having the same car seat for about a decade can be the wear and tear.  Will the fabric still be cozy and luxurious after 10 years of baby/toddler/child in it?  Even with frequent washing, 10 years is a long time to last for something that is used every day.  How will the Maxi Cosi Magellan hold up?  Time will tell!

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.

Comments 1

  1. I currently have the Pria 85 which my daughter has been using since she turned one, I turned her front facing a little after her 3rd birthday and am finding the harness is extremely difficult to tighten in the forward facing position. A quick search online reveled it’s a common complaint with the Pria 85, Pria 70 and the Vello. I saw the Magellan Max while shopping today and I’m wondering if this harness is difficult to tighten as well?

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