A second baby means a second set of almost everything.
A second bedroom, a second cot, a second high chair and a second car seat.
While we don’t own a car we do occasionally borrow cars from friends and family, which means that we still own car seats. With Baby 2.0’s arrival we were in the market for an infant rear-facing seat which could transition to a toddler front-facing car seat. That way we wouldn’t have to keep buying new seats and by the time Baby 2.0 outgrew his car seat he might be able to sit in his older sister’s booster seat.
The folks from IGC Dorel, who distribute many major car seat brands, got in touch with us to review one of their Air Protect car seats and out of the selection of convertible seats we selected the Maxi Cosi Hera ($449). That’s because we already owned a Maxi Cosi capsule for our Taga pram bike and we knew that their seats were high quality and very popular in Europe and the UK.
The Maxi Cosi Hera can be used from infancy to approximately age 4 or when the child’s shoulders reach the height marker that’s stitched into the cushion. It’s a luxuriously padded seat which features the Air Protect™ Revolutionary Side Impact Technology. In English that translates to ‘lots of padding and a release of air on the sides of the seat to protect your baby’s head’.
I found the car seat a cinch to install with an easy-to-read instruction manual – a must when you’re attaching and removing car seats from hire cars all the time. There are 3 adjustable base positions and the instructions are clear as to which one is required when. For rear-facing the seat is in the highest position so that the angle of the seat is tipped more backwards. You then thread the seat belt through the labelled position and attach the tether strap to the anchor point in the car.
The Maxi Cosi Hera also includes a 6-point safety harness and tether strap. As with most car seats the inserts and covers are all able to be removed and washed in a machine – particularly useful as Baby 2.0 is a bit of a vomiter!
If you need to protect your car seats it comes with a high back protective mat with insulated drink pocket – great if you want to put sippy cups somewhere out of reach and off the car floor but not very practical when your toddler is yelling that they want a drink but can’t reach the drink pocket themselves.
The one downside is that we’ve found the retractable and removeable UV protected sun canopy not particularly useful. When the seat is rear facing it doesn’t pull down far enough to protect the baby’s face from sunlight streaming in from the back window. It’s also doesn’t stay fixed in position properly once it is pulled down – I have to keep flipping the top down with one hand at the traffic lights which isn’t ideal. I’m inclined just to remove the canopy all together and to drape a muslin cloth over the top.
Other than that I recommend the Maxi Cosi Hera if you’re looking for a well-made, luxuriously comfortable car seat which will last you for many years and through hopefully multiple children.