Maxi-Cosi, a popular car seat brand in Europe, is well-liked in the states as well — especially in urban areas. Boiling it down, people generally buy the Mico because they want a lightweight seat that’s fashion-forward (I hate that phrase – gag) and is compatible with many luxury strollers.
The Mico 30 (also available at Target — scandalous!!) and Mico Max 30 have a high height (32″) and weight limit (30 lbs), so you’ll be able to use it longer. If you’re looking for something more reminiscent of their older, smaller version, check out the Mico Nxt — $179 (because, let’s face it, many people switch to a convertible seat well before 29″ or 22 lbs), though the reviews for the Nxt are not as stellar; I think it’s rather cheaply made…
The Mico Max 30 has the air protect “AP” side impact protection feature that Dorel offers in most of its brands, while the regular Mico 30 does not. Furthermore, the Max 30 has an anti-rebound bar, while the regular Mico 30 does not. For these two features in the Max, you’ll pay an additional $50 or so.
The premium fabrics on these seats are self-wicking, which is supposed to draw liquids away from the skin to help sweaty (or pee-soaked) babies stay dry, so people in warmer climates tend to like this seat.
You can also remove the seat pad very easily without having to mess with removing the harness and straps, which is usually a huge pain. The seat fabrics are machine washable and dryer safe, so it’s much easier to clean the pad on this seat than on others.
A potential downside: while this seat may seem petite, it’s actually quite long when installed in the back seat, so I don’t recommend it for compact cars, especially for the Max 30 version, which is even longer due to the anti-rebound bar.
Note also that you may have difficulty finding stroller adapters for some of the popular American strollers. For example, you won’t be able to use this car seat with a Graco stroller. If you’re sold on a European stroller, however, you’ll probably be in good shape.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a lightweight seat in the middle price range (with great color selections!) check out the Mico 30 or Mico Max 30 — especially if you live in a warmer climate and are sold on a Euro stroller. While the canopy isn’t the greatest, we love other features of the seat, like the easy to wash cover and the sweet colors. The Max 30 gives you an anti-rebound bar and the AP side impact protection feature, but also adds to the length of the seat.
*All of these seats have an American belt path, so maybe #not-so-urban.