Best Versatile Baby Car Seat 2020 - Birth to 12 Months
Maxi-Cosi Rock Review
The Maxi-Cosi Rock is a great option if you’re switching between cars a lot. You can have the ISOFIX base in the car you use most often but have the freedom to safely and securely use the seat in a car that doesn’t have ISOFIX, without having to buy a second seat. It can even be used in taxis and on aeroplanes.
At a glance
- Age range: Birth to 12 months or 45-75cm
- Safety credentials: i-Size (R129); ADAC 1.7; impact absorbing materials; side impact protection
- Fixing system: ISOFIX or seatbelt
- Dimensions: 44 × 67 × 56cm with handle up; 44 × 71.5 × 37.5cm with handle down
- Weight: 3.9kg
- RRP: £169 (ISOFIX base is extra)
- Versatile – can be used with ISOFIX or with a seatbelt
- Compatible with a travel system – can be clipped straight onto the pushchair frame
- Comfortable baby-hugg inlay for a better fit
- Reclined position for a newborn
- Lots of accessories to buy online from summer covers to mosquito nets
- Ergonomically-designed carry handle
- Pricey if using simply with seatbelt fixings
- ISOFIX base needs to be bought separately
- Six colours but all a bit bland
- Can only be used up to 12 months
- TUV-approved for use in an aeroplane
- Can be installed with a three-point seatbelt
- Quick and easy installation with ISOFIX base unit
- Cover can be removed without dismantling the harness
- Baby-hugg inlay adds safety and comfort for a newborn
- Integrated sun canopy
- Safety impact absorbing material in top side wings for extra side impact protection
How safe is the Maxi-Cosi Rock?
Maxi-Cosi are a well-known and trusted brand – this is really important when you’re buying a car seat for your newborn.
This seat provides a huge amount of flexibility. Install the ISOFIX base into your car and simply click the seat into place or use the seatbelt fittings in a car without ISOFIX fittings. You can also use it If you are travelling in someone else’s car or in a taxi (only if it fits, of course), and it’s even approved for use in an aeroplane!
If that wasn't enough, it's compatible with a range of Maxi-Cosi pushchairs, making it simple to transfer your baby from car to pram.
The seat is really well padded and comfortable, creating a cosy and safe space for your baby when travelling.
The Rock provides maximum protection with side impact protection and improved impact-absorbing materials added to the top side wings.
There’s nothing that could come loose and cause a hazard and nowhere for tiny fingers to get trapped. The material doesn’t cause any irritation and our tester, Sam, felt confident that her baby was safe and secure.
Overall, the Maxi-Cosi Rock is a solid, reliable and safe infant car seat.
How does it look?
This is a classic-looking seat, but why change something that works so well? It’s simplicity means the Rock is easy to use, which could be reassuring for first-time parents.
The padding around the head is lovely and generous without squeezing your baby’s head and the fabric is no-frills, but durable – it's on the functional side, which is not a bad thing for a baby car seat.
The carrying handle is ergonomically designed for thinness so it doesn't stick out too much, and the hood folds neatly away.
The seat has the standard Maxi-Cosi clips that hold the hood into place on the handle – you can put one side of the sunshade up but also see your baby in the rear-view mirror – which you don’t get on lots of similar seats like the Mothercare Ziba or the Hauck Comfort Fix.
The seat comes in six colours but all but two of these are variations of grey or black. Our tester’s seat was in the nomad black.
The instructions come complete with little diagrams and speech bubbles. In fact, there are next to no words in the instruction manual, only pictures. And, in this case, a picture does speak a thousand words.
All parts are already attached to the seat when you open the box, including the sun canopy and the baby-hugg inlay.
Sam found the seatbelt routing method really simple and quick, and felt that it would be difficult to get it wrong. The seat felt very secure once fitted and it was one of the easiest seats to install out of all those we tested.
While we didn't test the ISOFIX installation method, it is important to note that ISOFIX does reduce margin for error. Once the ISOFIX base is fitted into the car, the Rock simply clicks into place. The base also has light and sound indicators to confirm correct installation.
The website offers a comprehensive rundown of pretty much everything there is to know about this car seat and there is an online video that focuses on the ISOFIX base – so plenty of help and information to make fitting this seat easy and simple.
If you need to get in touch with Maxi-Cosi, there’s a contact form on the website as well as a telephone number and a link to their Facebook page. There’s also a page with information about repairs, deliveries and payments.
What's it like to use day-to-day?
The Maxi-Cosi Rock is lightweight and its carry handle strong and stable. It’s not as light as similar seats on the market, like the Mothercare Ziba, but that’s probably down to the extra padding.
It gives plenty of support but is also malleable, meaning it instantly fits beautifully. Sam particularly liked the baby-hugg inlay and she reported that the head cushion felt like memory foam.
The recline, almost lie-flat position is great too – her baby seemed very content inside the seat and Sam was happy in the knowledge that her child was safe and sound, and really comfortable. This applied to everyday short trips and longer journeys where she fell asleep happily.
The chest pads are thin and lightweight, and the buckle is easy to use with a big red button that ensures you can get your baby in and out of the seat quickly and easily – no fiddly straps to contend with here.
Overall, the seat didn’t obstruct the driver’s view in any way. If you are using the seatbelt option, you could fit two of these seats side-by-side, but it would be a squeeze.
The Maxi-Cosi Rock is so simple and easy to use on a day-to-day basis, especially when it comes to the school run, nursery trips and when nipping to the shops. And, in bad weather, you can pop your baby into the seat indoors and then take the seat in and out of the car as you go, with your baby still inside.
Once home, Sam found it simple to take both baby and seat out of the car and transport them into the house using the comfy carrying handle.
How easy is it to clean?
The cover can be removed from the car seat without dismantling everything, which Sam felt was a definite relief.
You can just whip it off and put it straight in the washing machine – there are washing and care instructions in the instruction booklet if you need any guidance.
The robust fabric means the seat is easy to wipe clean too. For the majority of stains, including juice and milk spills, soapy water and a damp cloth does the job, leaving the seat stain-free at all times.
What about value for money?
The Maxi-Cosi Rock is reliable and easy to use with a style that's been a familiar among parents for many years.
It retails at £169 direct from Maxi-Cosi, which may be a little steep if you’re only going to use it with the three-point seatbelt fitting. But, as an ISOFIX seat, it’s a reasonable price, even taking into account the extra £199.99 for the FamilyFix One i-Size base.
You can use the base when you move your baby up to the next seat in the Max-Cosi series, the 2wayPearl – a rearward-facing toddler seat suitable up to age four. So while there’s an initial outlay, you should get a lot of use out of the base.
The seat does come with a sun canopy as standard too.
Versatile and safe, the Maxi-Cosi Rock is a sensible buy if you want the freedom to switch between vehicles easily.
Perfect for travelling, easy to clean, and light but robust, this is a great first car seat for any newborn.
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For more information about what to look for when buying a baby car seat, check out our buyer's guide.
All prices correct at time of publication
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 »
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