Best Baby Carry Seat 2018
Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus Review
Of all the carry seats we tested, Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus came out top for safety and comfort. Handy extra features on this carry seat make travelling easier than ever.
The Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus is a rear facing car seat specifically designed for newborns. It's a Group 0+ car seat which means it can be used from birth to 13kg or until your child is 75cm in length, whichever comes first. The easy-fitting harness and impact-absorbing side wings on this seat make it supremely comfortable for babies and easy to use for parents – a winning combination in our book.
The seat can be installed using a three-point seatbelt or Isofix points. Unfortunately, the Isofix base is sold separately (£179 from John Lewis), effectively doubling the price of the car seat.
On the plus side, you'll be able to keep using the base if you decide to buy the Maxi-Cosi 2wayPearl (£148 from John Lewis) – a Group 1 car seat you can use from 9 months old until your child is 105cm or weighs 18kg (around 4 years old).
So, if you're happy to make the initial investment, you could use the Isofix base for up to four years.
What's in the box?Car seat, newborn inlay, manual
- Can be safely fitted with Isofix hooks or a three-point seatbelt
- Light and sound confirmation when Isofix is installed correctly
- Easy fitting harness
- Easy to adjust headrest and harness heights
- Isofix base sold separately
- Small integrated sun canopy
- Heavier than some other Group 0+ car seats, especially with a growing baby
What are the specs?
Type: Rear facing only
Car seat group: Group 0+
Suitable from: Birth – 75cm or 13kg whichever comes first (approximately 12 months)
Weight of the Pebble Plus: 4.5kg
2wayFix Base: 8kg
Dimensions: H56 x W44 x D67cm
RRP: £199 for the car seat, £179 for the Isofix base which is sold separately
Available in nine different designs in a range of colours
- Five recline positions
- Side protection, padded head support and impact-absorbing materiel
- Isofix base can be used with the Maxi-Cosi 2wayPearl (Group 1 car seat approx. 9 month – 4 years old)
- Compatible with a wide variety of travel systems
- Integrated sun canopy
How safe is the Pebble Plus?
Maxi-Cosi is a well-known brand in the car seat market and has a good reputation for thoroughly testing its own products. The Pebble Plus carries the orange ECE R44 approved label which means it complies with European safety standards (UN R129), as all car seats should.
This includes standardised crash testing for frontal collisions at 50km/h (30mph). In addition, Maxi-Cosi carry out its own frontal crash safety tests at 70km/h (40mph) and a variety of other side and frontal collision tests.
The three-point harness is sturdy and easy to use. The seat is made with impact-absorbing material designed for added protection in the event of side impact collision.
The Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus picked up an overall safety score of 79% on independent crash tests performed by Which? magazine.
How easy is it to install the Pebble Plus?
One major benefit of the Pebble Plus is how easy it is to install. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow when using a seat belt or the Isofix base.
When using the Isofix base, there is light and sound confirmation when you've installed the seat correctly. Some might find this annoying, but we loved knowing the seat was secure.
The entire installation process is intuitive and straightforward. It takes mere minutes from holding the seat to being ready to go.
How do you adjust the straps on the Pebble Plus?
It's very easy to adjust the strap height of the Pebble Plus. Just squeeze the two buttons concealed at the back of the seat and move the harness height up or down.
Adjusting the strap length is easy too. The straps automatically release when you open the fastening. To tighten them, place your baby into the seat, lock the harness and then pull the bottom strap to tighten. Simple.
Is it compatible with travel systems?
Yes, the Maxi-Cosi is compatible with a wide range of pushchairs including: Quinny, iCandy, Uppababy, and Bugaboo. Unfortunately, you'll have to shell out for the car seat adaptors, which are usually sold separately.
How comfortable is this car seat?
This rear facing only seat is specifically designed for babies 12 months and under. It comes with a newborn insert which can be easily added or removed as needed.
The baby-hug inlay looked and felt supremely comfortable, and the top side wings make a cosy headrest. It's worth knowing that the insert makes the seat very warm, which is something to watch out for on hot summer days. The straps are snug and tighten well; even our tester's mini escapologist couldn't wriggle out!
Are the materials machine washable?
Yes, the seat fabric can be removed and is machine washable.
How easy is the Pebble Plus to use?
The Pebble Plus scored highly for ease of use. It's very easy to get a baby in and out of the seat because the straps are designed to stay open and out of the way once the harness is unlocked. Our tester loved this feature and found putting her child in simple and stress free, even when in a rush. Removing the seat was also smooth, and completely possible without waking the baby.
Unfortunately, removing it from a travel system chassis was another story: the buttons have to be pressed and the seat has to be pulled up at the same time, so you end up simultaneously pushing down and lifting up. To be honest, it's a bit of a faff, and surprising as the rest of the attachments are so smooth and simple.
Despite this minor flaw, we were really impressed with this infant carry seat. It's not the lightest of infant car seats, but perfectly portable and easy to use.
Still not sure about i-Size regulations? Read our car seat regulations guide to find out more
Car seat groups explained
Group 0 = Birth to approx. 6 to 9 months (0–10kg)
Group 0+ = Birth to about 12-15 months (0–13kg)
Group 0+ /1 = Birth to 4 ½ years (0–18kg)
Group 1 = Approx. 9 months to 4 ½ years (9–18kg)
Group 2/3 = Approx. 3 to 12 years (15–36kg)
Group 3 (booster seats) = Approx. 6 years to 12 years (22–36kg)
Group 1/2/3 = Approx. 9 months to 12 years (9–36kg)
i-Size = Birth to 4 years. By height from approx. 40cm–105cm
How we test
After lots of research, we handpicked 14 of the best car seats on the market to put to the test, collating the models most frequently searched for and most highly rated both on Mumsnet and across the web.Read more »