Firstly let’s begin by touching base on a few things you may need to know.
This is the 4th generation of Maxi Rider car seat, the newest is very different from previous models.
*images of past models and differences.
Secondly this seat uses the “height marker” system used now on car seats in Australia, this system is unique to Australia and no longer bases it on the child’s weight. Although logically I would expect there to be some form of maximum tolerable weight limit that the seat can be physically capable of carrying. We’re yet to get a solid answer on this.
For more information on Height Markers, view this page.
The Maxi Rider Easy Adjust [MXEA] we have reviewed from is dated November 2012. Purchased from Baby City on January 18th 2013 for $499 (on sale, exclusive to Baby City). All boxes were dated the same.
The new features include:
+ No re-thread harness – as the name suggests, “easy adjust”
+ Adjustable headrest from the front of the seat (no need to uninstall).
+ 45 cm wide (was 50 cm)
+ Taller seat back/headrest
+ A stray away from the grey and black covers normally seen (though not entirely!)
Standard Features include:
- Cup holders
- Rotating armrests
- Recline foot
- 6-point harness
-Comes with tether bolt
- Safe-Guard clip for use in booster mode
So let’s talk about first impressions.
The cost is up there, the seat cannot be used rear facing, so is only for use forward facing in the harness, and then as a booster seat. The seat states from “6 months approx.”, yet personally I would not recommend using it before the age of 2 years. Many children under this would require the extra padding that comes with the seat, while this is not an issue, we’d prefer to see children remain in their rear facing seat until at least 2 years of age (longer where possible/where your seat allows it).
The box then speculates that you can use the seat until 6-8 years of age, and then need a full backed booster from 8-10 years. New Zealand’s law is expected to change to include children up to 7 years of age be in a booster seat. The great news is that the MXEA will allow your child to fit from 2-7 years of age easily.
The colour choices are limited blacks, grey’s, beige and vibrant red. I got the red and really like it teamed up with the black. The bottom padding is removable, and reversible (without un-threading the harness) which allows more red to be seen with older children.
The harness pads are not attached, so they move about when on the child, unlike American seats there is no chest clip to help keep them in place, nor is there any form of anti-slip material on the back to prevent movement (commonly found on UK seats), they end up becoming belly pads.
The seat sports a cover in behind the buckle that helps it to keep forward when the child is not in the seat, so no more fishing out the buckle from under your child’s bottom when trying to buckle them up.
Inside the box comes a messy mat for placement on the vehicle seat, under the car seat, which covers the bottom and back of the seat. There is also an instruction manual (keep an eye out for this one falling out as it is not attached, and just rests inside a pocket on the side of the car seat), a tether bolt comes attached to the tether strap. A complimentary Baby on Board sign comes tucked into the harness.
The side of the seat sports a mesh pocket, inside this it seems is an audio cable to which you can attach your toddlers IPod (sorry guys the pocket is too small for juniors Ipad). It seems SNS include this in their top level seats; later models will be released without a speaker, at a fraction of the price.
So the thing people want to know about, the height of the shoulder markers. As previously mentioned there are 9 slots, only 8 of these are usable for the internal harness as the top most maker lines up with the “booster line” at which point once your child passes this line they’re considered too tall for their seat, even though the booster guide goes another 7.5 cm (3 inches) past the top marker.
Measurements were taken without compression and with the reversible toddler padding removed.
#1 – 26 cm
#2 – 28 cm
#3 – 31 cm
#4 – 33 cm
#5 – 36cm
#6 – 38.5 cm
#7 – 40 cm
#8 – 43.5 cm
Booster slot #9 – 46cm
Bum to top #1 61 cm – #9 78 cm (Internal Shell height)
Legs width – 29 cm
Leg depth – 29 cm
Shoulder width – 37 cm
External seat width – 44 cm
External shell height (minimum) 70 cm (maximum) 89 cm
For a comparison to the Diono RXT view this page *Coming soon.
+ Quick, easy adjust harness with no need to remove the seat from the car to adjust
+ Light weight
+ Top tether strap
+ Easy to install, pull down cover for easy access
+ Passes no head-slump sleep test
+ Markers do not allow full use of the harness
+ Markers do not allow full use of the booster (a loss of up to 3 inches/7.5 cm).
+ Does not allow rear facing, yet costs as much as seats that also offer this feature.
+ Difficult to adjust harness, you need to pull and tug and only a small bit tightens (we’re awaiting a reply from SNS about this).
It’s light weight and easy to swap between cars and the belt path covers make it easy to tighten the seat belt. It would be great if it had a locking clip, or built in lock offs as getting a tight fit in other cars can be fiddly.
Overall thoughts from our mini technician, 3.5 years old,
He really likes his “red” seat, because the armrests rotate, it has a cup holder and he can sleep comfortably in it. The seat allowed for 3 children (aged 2, 9 and 3) across the back seat. With the armrests rotating this allows us easy access to getting him into and out of the seat. He can move them himself once he is in the seat.