April 21, 2004

Eurotrash Carseat: Maxi-Cosi Cabrio

Maxi-Cosi Cabrio in Black Canvas, from Pitti-Platsch
Once we decided on a Bugaboo stroller (or, technically, once grandpa said he wanted to buy us a stroller, any stroller), we figured we should get a car seat that would fit on it.

For the US, that meant either of the two models which have Bugaboo adapters: Graco or a Peg Perego. The problem was, all the Graco's we saw were fugly (I've seen some since that are OK), and the Peg Perego came with a base, which was a dealbreaker for NY taxi-riding. So I went online, found the carseats that fit Bugaboos in Europe, and met one of the best-designed carseats ever, the Maxi-Cosi Cabrio.

My main issue with US carseats was the size; they're all so damn big. The plaid and the giant canopies were also annoying.

The Maxi-Cosi Cabrio is sleek and light, and comes in clean, goodlooking colors and fabrics. [Of course, it also comes in lilac with zebra stripes or something, as if to prove that Europeans can have crappy taste, too.] We got Black Canvas, but only because it was supposedly available more quickly than Black Nylon.

When it arrived from Germany, the Cabrio definitely exceeded our expectations: good design and a small footprint; an easy-to-use manual comes in every possible language, easy to install with a shoulderbelt; nicely adjustable straps and buckle; the kid loves it. It even had two unexpected surprises: a secret compartment in the bottom (for the manual, it says) and a tent-like nylon sunshade which pulls out of the outer rim of the seat and loops onto the handle. Every carseat should have this.

Technically, a non-US carseat is illegal to use here, even though it's actually safer; EU carseat safety regs and testing are more extensive than the US, including requiring a side-impact protection system that most US seats don't have. But unless the fire department starts issuing tickets, or you're coming up for senate confirmation hearings soon, I seriously doubt you'll ever get busted.

I shopped long and hard for the Cabrio. UK sites like ICBaby and Teeny Tots have a couple of colors and will ship to the US for cost (around $35-50).

[1/05 update: a lot of EU retailers have started saying they only ship to EU countries, including the two places above. But several people have had excellent getting their Maxi-Cosi Cabrio from babycare.nl, which ships UPS, publishes instant price conversions (the Cabrio's $178.51 at current horrible exchange rates), and is all in English (with Dutch for the adventurous). Personally, if I were buying it all over again, I'd steer clear of the canvas, which seems to age awfully fast.]

You can get The Bugaboo adapters came from Baby Concierge in the UK. German retailers like Playfactory (which I found via Amazon.de Z-shops have many more color options available; at around EU102, the Cabrio's cheaper on the continent.
Ultimately, I bought the Cabrio from Pitti-Platsch (Platypus in German), which seems to have the entire range of Maxi-Cosi for sale. (Look under Kinderschalen.) Depending on trim level, the Cabrio is EU120-130. Another piece of advice: give yourself a couple of months for processing and shipping, just in case. Or just carry one back on the plane.

02/2009 update:In the nearl five years since I originally published this post and these links, I've gotten email and comments from several people who had problems ordering from kiddie24, a German online retailer. And yet other folks have had good experiences in the same period. I can't tell what makes the difference, frankly. And it's hard sometimes to determine if an online store is a "real" company, with real infrastructure and follow-through, or just a web storefront for one guy selling car seats out of his garage. So before you order from random foreign webshops, search around, and contact the store in advance with specific questions about shipping, items in stock, VAT refunds, etc. That should give you at least some sense of what to expect--and it'll provide a paper trail for undoing transactions with your credit card co. if things go awry.

52 Comments

Great site! Great reviews, keep up the good work.

But how in the seven lower hells did you get the idea that Pitti Platsch is Platypus in German?! OK, maybe US humour is far more subtle than all the awful US "comedy" shows they are shown here are leading me to believe, and I'm just not Getting It.

But to set the record straight, Platypus is Schnabeltier in German, and Pitti Platsch is the name of a popular character, if you can call an imp or gremlin that, from a former East German children's TV series. Btw, the shop is now called PittiMax, probably due to a conflict with whoever is holding the rights to that TV character now.

LOL. I looked at that little character and figured it was a platypus, which sounds like Pitti Platsch.

Ask anyone at the store who had to deal with my order--and my Babelfish-translated German email; platypus was the least confusing thing about me.

How is the bug working out for you? I've heard a bunch of people say it is inconvenient for them due to the two-step fold-up. Thoughts?

I bought Cabrio myself and I'm a bit surprised by the fact that is seams to be "unstable". I put it in the car and strapped with the seat belt as instructed in manual. I had some troubles doing that because the belt got locked few times before I finally put it around the seat. The fact is that
the seat moves from side to side with the gentle push. I did not have a child in it and it may have had an effect (no weight) but still I expected
more firm possition of the seat.

What is going on? Do you have the same experience?

Thanks a lot

Artur

PS
Am I going to get a ticket if police stops me since this seat is illegal in
US?

Is the black nylon fabric called the 'Black Racer' or the 'Black Reflections'?

We at Kinderworld have alot of dads and moms asking for advice especially from the US and help on buying products for the little gem to arrive soon. We pride ourselves on giving acurate and concise info on all our products available. We want to help you in every way we can. I always say there is never a stupid question! If we can help you with any of the following Bugaboo,Jane Powertrack 360, Quinny Zapp, Quinny Buzz, Maxi Cosi or any other topic please contact us for more info..

I live in the US... I want to buy the maxi cosi car seat to go with the quinny buzz stroller I also want to purchase. Does the maxi cosi just fasten into the car without a base, just with the seatbelt? So it comes in & out without being factory installed? I hear it's illegal in the states but it's the only car seat I seem to like the look of.

The current cabrio attaches via a seat belt. There is a new version coming out in August I believe that uses the system called iso-fix(equivalent to the US LATCH system. This can be used directly with the seat or with a base

It appears to be available on the following web site (although not sure they ship)

http://www.glasgowpramcentre.co.uk/

Just wanted to reiterate the question above - does the seat belt attachment method work for you? Does it provide the stability you're looking for with an infant? I need a carseat that will work w/taxis and this appears to be my only option...

Have you tried taking the Maxi-Cosi on a plane? I bought one in Germany knowing that it's not FAA approved and hope to get away with it anyhow when flying with my baby.

[we did, all the time, and loved it. -ed.]

Yes, it is illegal to use a European carseat here unless you are European here on a vacation. Yes, EU testing standards are different than US testing standards...who's is better, we really don't know. They test differently than we do. (Believe me I've spent many an hour researching child passenger safety video clips honing my skills as a CPST) However, no, unless you get pulled over by a cop who actually KNOWS about child passenger safety you are not going to get a ticket. If you try to take a carseat on some airlines here in the US they DO check to see if they are FAA approved...I have had them check for the FAA approved sticker on both NWA and on AirTran.

But don't put your child's safety at risk, make sure to purchase a seat that will fit your child AND fit your vehicle properly. American's are all about convienence, which is why we are marketed at with bases for the infant carrier/carseats, it's just easier than either installing/uninstalling or leaving it in the car and taking out a sleeping child. This is also why more American babies are diagnosed with plagiocephaly, because their parents leave them in their carrier/carseats for extended amounts of time.

Does anybody know the weight of the maxi cosi cabrio and /or the dreami?
Thanks, Matha

Hi there - I live in France, and I just looked at the Maxi-Cosi Cabrio today, as I am interested in one of the strollers with which it is compatible, the Quinny Speedi (if I could find a place to see it). From what I can find (undocumented Web sites), it looks like the Cabrio is 3.25 kg (~7.2 lbs) and the Dreami is 4.6 kg (~10.1 lbs). The Cabrio really did not seem overly heavy to me, having also looked at the Chicco and Graco models. The salesperson in the store said that Maxi-Cosi does NOT have an in-car clip-base for the Cabrio, but the company Web site disagrees (www.maxi-cosi.com). If you are looking for a flat-bed carrier, the Dreami is quite dreamy!

Hope this helps!

Hi - I'm another Nicole that lives in France! I actually have a Bugaboo and a Maxi-Cosi Cabrio and can confirm that I use the Maxi-Cosi without a base. Yes, it's a bit of a faff to wind the seat-belt around the unit each time, but it only takes seconds and who's rushing? The Babies R Us catalogue has the Isofix base for the Cabrio, so again, yes, this does now exist, but is optional. I find that the information here in France can be a bit out-of-date; if in doubt, ignore salespeople and research on-line! And just as an aside - I am really happy with my Bugaboo too! (NB The carrycot part of the Bugaboo CANNOT be used in the car like with many other 3-in-1 systems.) I feel so much swisher than my counterparts with their Whinnie the Bloody Pooh everythings! In my opinion, the British shops and websites have a much nicer range of baby goods than the French and the websites are designed so much better too. The French are lagging in this respect. Roll on universal international deliveries so I can stop asking friends to accept delivery and bring stuff over here for me. PS I'm British! Nicole

$173 Euro (that's $218US) for Babycare to SHIP the Maxi-Cosi Cabrio, Easy Base and Bugaboo Adapter to the US? Oy vey. No gracias.

Help! I have just fallen in love with european everything! Ok, so far just the maxi-cosi car seats (tobi and cabrio) and the fabrics offered for the chicco polly high chairs! However to ship anything to the US will double the price!!! Any ideas on how to get these things to the US without the outrageous shipping? Over $200 just for the car seat and over $80 for the high chair! HELP!

Hello all! We live in Italy, so had no problems with our purchase of both the Cabrio and the Quinny. Sorry that I can't help you out on shipping problems to the U.S.! However, we have been using both items for the past 6 months and love them both! The Quinny is a wonderful jogging stroller, but the footprint makes it horrible to travel with - unless you drive a huge car with plenty of trunk space. We're now looking for a smaller stroller to throw in the back of our Panda for outings. I would have opted for the Isofix option, but it wasn't yet available when we purchased.

I am now hooked into Daddytypes thanks to my dear friend Brian-and am obsessed with the Maxi-Cosi-but cannot conclude whether to purchase isofix or easy base??? The concern is purchasing a different car in the future-currently have a vw jetta wagon and a jeep grande cherokee-both with anchors...any ideas? I will bite the bullet for shipping because the weight difference between the Maxi-Cosi and the Graco is 7lbs...I prefer the lighter M-C. Judi

I just purchase the Buzz topline color from sears a couple weeks ago for my new born in November. I am wondering if I'll need any adapter to attach the maxi cosi cabrio car seat onto the stroller or not.

I think the adapters to hook Cabrio car seat into the Buzz come with the Buzz, so you should be fine.

Judi, if you are in the US and would only buy newer rather than older cars, then go with the iso-fix base, as all post 2002 (I think) US cars will have the latch system installed.

We bought the easybase (1 car w/ latch, 1 w/o), and are currently wondering if that was a mistake as the isofix seems like it might be safer. Anyone have experience with the easybase?

I just received my cabrio fix and base topline blossom from Germany www.kiddies24.de great company and received via GLS and fedex in few days. I love it and i have the bugaboo adaptors great product far superior to the seat offered in the U.S. seats. Kiddies offers all the colors and good prices shipping and prices are alot cheaper than babycare.nl

[update 05/07: another DT reader below mentions having a problem with this kiddies24.de refusing to ship after his order is paid. Also, They don't automatically refund the 19% VAT tax which buyers in the US shouldn't have to pay. things to take into consideration. -ed.]

I have the iso-fix base. My baby is due in januaury so I did not install as of yet. I was looking to purchase the easy base because of the price difference but kiddies only had the easy fix base in stock so they gave it to me for the price of the easy base so it was an offer I could'nt refuse. If your in NYC and would like to see the easy fix I can show it to you I work in the lower east side. I think the easy fix is a bit better because you have the option. The base weighs about 30 lbs and is very high quality in comparison to the bases in our market. I have the cabrio fix in Blossom with all the accessories. Call kiddies they may give you the easy fix for the price of the easy base express shipping for everything was 80 euro

Besides the Bugaboo and Quinny options, are there any other strollers out there that can hold the Cabriofix?

Thanks.

hi, long time reader, new poster. expecting our little julia in a few days actually. when we were vacationing in poland this past summer, we saw many new styles (at least to us) of baby strollers/coaches. my wife and i totally liked the quinny speedi sx, the one in red. my friend who lives in germany referred me to this site: http://pingpong-online.com/ she has ordered from this site several times and we figured we'd give it a try. and so we did. we ordered a 2007 model quinny speedi sx in red flame reflextion, along with a dreami and maxi cosi cabrio fix in red flame along with 2 isofix bases for our VWs. all for $950 and that's with shipping etc. it all arrived just around xmas time and we are very happy with the quality of the products as well as the service from ping-pong. we can not wait to take our little julia for walks to the park/mall etc. by the way, the american strollers and car seats are all so bland/boring in color and design.

Hello, I found a great website, http://www.babydealz.com/ that ships Quinny to the U.S. free shipping, no exchange rates. They sell the Quinny BUZZ, Dreami Carry Cot, Maxi Cosi CabrioFix, FootMuff and Shopping Basket. I ordered all of it, no problems, and it arrived within 7 days. I love everything about the entire line. The fold-up does take some practice and getting used to. It's a small compromise for such a great system.

The only thing I am still looking for is the Maxi Cosi Base. If I find another great website that sells it to the U.S. I'll let you all know.

Hi, everyone!
Can someone give me some advice please? I am a British citizen living in the US and just ordered a Maxi Cosi Tobi car seat and Maxi Cosi Rodi booster for my 2 daughters to be delivered to relatives' address in the UK. I'm flying there in March and planned to bring the items back. However, about an hour after placing the online order, I read a forum post (not here, of course) which categorically said it is ILLEGAL to bring car seats back and you face US customs fines of $1000 plus seizure. Any advice?

[what? do you have a link? I've never heard of that happening. -ed.]

Does anyone know the difference between the Cabriofix and Citi? They look nealy identical and seem to offer similar features.

Hi, I just wanna add the post from concerned mom, the mentioned link was found at.. http://www.car-seat.org/archive/index.php?t-9763.html -- posted by momika 01-06-2007, 08:31 PM

Please advise me on the updates, since i will do the exact same thing with the concerned mom...

thank you!

Jennifer: if you are looking for the isofix base try the store in germany we purchased our stuff from. it's www.pingpong-online.com

The Maxi-Cosis all seem to indicate 9 months to 4 years - what do you do for the first 9 months? I live in Austin, so not driving is unfortunately not an option.

[the cabrio and the citi are rated 0+, an EU designation for newborn-15 months/9 kg, I think. The Priori and Tobi are 1, and after that, I forget. -ed.]

Hi
I would like to answer to Shillis question.
The maxi cosi cabrio fix is designed for the age 0+ up to 12 months.
See more at http://www.maxi-cosi.com/

After that you need another seat from maxi cosi.

I bought mine today and they showed me in the shop to fix it with the easy base ( for the belt), with the easy fix ( for IsoFix) and without any base. Even then the seat seemed very stable.

Hi,

Just tried to buy from Kiddies24 and it's a total rip off. They advertise shipping Worldwide so I did order in good faith with Paypal but then they refuse to ship the item and I suffer 30 Euros exchange difference when they refund me. Not mentionning I needed to ask for it before they did refund me.

Very untrustworthy company. Never had that with anyone else.

Philippe.

[you should file a complaint with paypal. I don't know the details of your situation, but it seems like they should cancel the transaction completely, not just refund your money as a separate transaction. -ed]

Hi,

You can now buy the maxi-cosi cabrio at www.babystyle.com or in one of their stores in the US.
It is now LEGAL in the US.

Thanks

Does anyone know if the US Maxi-Cosi fits the Mutsy 4Rider Light stroller? I don't believe it does. The US version of the Maxi-Cosi only fits babies up to 22 pounds, whereas the European version fits babies up to 30 (or something).

Gotta love the US market...grrr.

[i've heard the adapters are identical. as for the weight capacities, it's more a function of the regulatory categories than any major structural differences. The EU 0+ category extends up to 13kg, or 28lb. Most kids outgrow the seat heightwise long before they outgrow it weightwise. -ed.]

Hi...
I had a hard time getting confirmation from DMV, the car insurance or anybody else if European car seats are illegal in the US or not. How would I find out for sure? And what in case of an accident? Would insurance maybe not pay because we used an Euroepan car seat? Also, somebpdy posted here that the Maxi Cosi cabrio is now available in the US but I don't think it's true. It seems to be the Maxi Cosi Mico. Does anybody know the difference? And I want to buy a German stroller (the Future model from Gesslein) and only the Maxi Cosi Cabrio fits in it. Is it safert to have a car seat with a base or without?

Thanks, Karin
(new Mom to be in October)

Does anyone know which adapter I can use for the Maxi Cosi Mico on the Bugaboo? Is it the same adapter that is used on ALL Maxi Cost car seats?

Hi, according to the Maxi Cosi site, Maxi Cosi seats are now being sold in the US!
http://www.maxi-cosi.com/maxicosi/content.aspx?contentcode=etalage&id=377

Hi All,

the German evuivalent to the US 'AAA' driving club is the ADAC. In June, 2007, ADAC released a test of 30 child seats, rating the 'MAXI COSI Cabriofix with Easyfix' the very best. In fact, it was the only seat to receive '++.' All other seats received only a '+' or less. The rating included a '++' for safety as one of the 4 categories. (see www.adac.de then navigate to Test/Kindersicherung)

This car seat is a German model made for babies up to 13 kg (approx 1.5 year).

Now that MAXI-COSI is legally distributing in the US, is this model the equivalent to the MICO being sold in the US? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks,
Erin

[there's some discussion of US-version Maxi-Cosi like the Mico and the Priori here. -ed.]

Hi there!
I'm selling a MAXI COSI Cabriofix on ebay right now! Check it out!

I'm also selling a lot of other Euro stuff!


[$US210 shipped for the Cabrio base?? Dude. -ed.]

I was in a babystore over the weekend and the Maxi-cosy was being sold there (Lullaby Lane in San Bruno CA).

Hello

I want to understand how the Maxi Cosi Infant Car Seat is used with Quinny Buzz Stroller.

Can you explain or email me instructions on how the Maxi Cosi Infant Car Seat is FITTED ON TO THE Quinny Buzz Stroller

Thanks

[uh, no, but if you look at the brackets and the manual and don't figure it out, you can email maxi-cosi. -ed.]

So to answer my own question, I finally found the adapter to the Mico for my Bug! Looks exactly like the EU version.

http://www.realbabyinc.com/product_detail.cfm?CatID=Search&PID=9415

I was lucky enough to score my Mico at www.schneidersbaby.com (not tax free shipping) while everyone else is on back order.I just love the seat. Very easy to install with the LATCH system.

We are thinking of having a maxi cosi cabrio sent sent over from Europe. We have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma truck with access cab. Anyone out there know if the infant seat actually will fit in the back. We don't seem to be able to get any info from Toyota as they don't sell the Tacoma in England and the maxi cosi cabrio is not supported over here..

We are considering purchasing the Maxi Cosi Cabrio but are trying to determine if Bugaboo is coming out with adapters for the Bee that will fit this car seat. Do you know if this is happening and if so, when the car seat adapters will be available for the Cabrio?

Thanks!

I AM SELLING THE CABRIO FIX TOPLINE BLOSSOM, EASYFIX BASE, BLOSSOM FOOTMUFF, SUMMERCOVER, PLAYCHAIN, MOSQUITO NET, RAIN COVER, BUGABOO ADAPTORS ON E-BAY. ALL IN NYC FOR PICK UP EXCELLENT CONDITION. THE US VERSION CANNOT COMPARE THE BASE HAS A SUPPORT LEG UNLIKE US SEAT AND IS LATCH COMPAITABLE. http://cgi.ebay.com/MAXI-COSI-CABRIO-FIX-TOPLINE-BLOSSOM-INFANT-CAR-SEAT_W0QQitemZ140178460525QQihZ004QQcategoryZ66693QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Hi,

I had a maxi cosi car seat for my first - Loved it! Got so much use out of it, it was so comfortable. I had the Jersey (light gray, orange piping) fabric. Expecting g-d willing #2 and really want to use it again. Only sitch, The jersey got some stains I can't get out - doesn't look so good. Wondering if there is a cover I can buy for the seat - even something more girly. Thanks

I am wondering if anybody knows if the Cabrio Fix will fit in a 2008 BMW X5. I really like the look of it over the Mico (love the lack of canopy!) and would love to use it when we have #2. Thanks!

[I would think so; it's about the same dimensions, and Fix=LATCH; if it were something like the 1-series, I'd worry about the back seats, but an X5 should be really big enough. -ed.]

Anyone know if the Cabriofix adaptors sold in the UK for the Bugaboo Bee will work in the US with the Mico?
http://www.johnlewis.com/230439637/Product.aspx
All this regulatory nonsense is driving me crazy. Thanks.

[as far as I can tell, Maxi-Cosi is Maxi-Cosi, and Bugaboo isn't making separate US-only, Mico-specific M-C adapters. -ed.]

I just wanted to let DT users know that I placed an order with www.kiddies24.com for about $1,700 on 02/04/09. Today is 02/23/09 and I still haven't received the items I ordered. Per GLS' website - their PS company - nothing has been shipped out. They don't return emails and don't pick up the phone. Neither does the PS company by the way. THIS SEEMS TO BE A SCAM. Incidentally, Paypal could not care less about the situation. They do not have a feed back system to try and protect users against crooked merchant (something to be said about what they add???). Neither does Amex by the way, but at least they are taking care of the dispute... for now.

I have no beef or personal stake in kiddies24, but I doubt they're a scam. More likely, they're a tiny mom&pop shop which tries to look and act global online, and then can't actually deliver as smoothly as Amazon--or any full-grown company.

No updates or contacts at all is surely frustrating, but 3wks does not sound all that late, unfortunately, for such a situation. We waited 6 wks with no status updates for our Maxi-Cosi to arrive from some random German store which looked big, but turned out to be some lady with a wholesale account, who only placed her mfr orders after receiving a customer order. Then she just dropped the thing off at the post office, no tracking number, nothing. annoying as hell at the time, but the rig showed up eventually, on some mail boat.

If you can't/don't want to wait a bit, or if you really don't get any reply at all from repeated inquiries, inform them that you're canceling the order and pursue dispute resolution with PayPal and AmEx. If it's really "crooked merchants" or a scam, the companies will be/become aware of it. Certainly AmEx will. But if it's just slow shipping of a one-man-operation with backlog or a sick mother, a feedback system logging complaints from disgruntled customers isn't going to be much help [c.f., eBay's feedback system, which is basically useless info]

I bought the Bugaboo Cameleon + Maxi Cosi adapter in the US - I would like to order the Maxi Cosi Cabrio Fix from Germany - will it fit on my US Bugaboo? Thank you!

yeah, it should. the adapter is the same.

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