As an update on the ever popular and original Maxi-Cosi Pebble, we're taking a look at the Pebble Plus with the 2wayFix Base.
Part of the i-Size 2wayFamily, the Pebble Plus is an infant carrier designed to be used with the 2wayFix Base and then followed by the 2wayPearl car seat to offer rearward-facing travel right up to four years old. A trusted name in the car seat world, we're taking a closer look at Maxi-Cosi's most popular infant carrier.
What's in the box?
• Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus infant carrier
• Instruction manual
• Car seat group: Group 0+
• Child length/weight: i-Size 0-75cm in length or birth to approximately 12kg
• Child's age: 0-12 months approx.
• Weight: Pebble Plus: 4.5kg
2wayFix Base: 8kg
• 2wayFix Base £190
• Pebble Plus Footmuff £50
• Pebble Plus Raincover £15
• Pebble Plus Summer Cover £30
The Pebble Plus comes in lots of different colours that change regularly. The current range is Black Raven, Concrete Grey, Robin Red, Triangle Flow, Watercolour Blue, Sparkling Grey and Star.
The Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus can be fitted into the car with the car's own three point seat belt or with the 2wayFix Base. The Base itself is very easy to fit in the car and can be done quickly and efficiently thanks to the display panel at the front which gives installation feedback both audibly and visually. Even when you upgrade to the next stage car seat (the 2wayPearl), the Base can be left fitted in the car.
In order to fit the base it has to be sat on the car seat and you need to extend the ISOfix arms using the grey slider buttons at either side. You can then push it into the back of the seat and connect to the ISOfix anchors. As soon as the arms connect, the first green light on the display panel will light up along with a loud beep. Pulling the front of the base from the left to the right ensures that it is tight up to the seat. Next is the support leg - press the button on the back of the leg to allow it to extend to the correct height for your car's footwell. The next green indicator will light up with a beep to let you know that it is correctly adjusted. Those two stages are all that is required to fit the base. The final green light is reserved for when the Pebble Plus is placed correctly onto the base.
When the base is fitted, it's just a case of sitting the car seat on top until it clicks into place and you hear a beep. If everything is done correctly, there will now be three lights lit up on the display panel of the base. To remove the seat from the car, there is a button on the base, at the back of the seat. It's possible to squeeze this while lifting with the Pebble Plus handle to remove it in one movement. Once removed, there is another beep to make you aware.
Depending on the height of the driver and the size of your car, it may be best to install the base and car seat behind the passenger's seat. The passenger's seat will also need to be pushed forward a couple of notches, to allow extra room. This is due to the space that the base and support leg take up, and is common amongst i-Size car seats that support extended rear facing.
As part of the i-Size regulations, it is highly recommended to use the infant carrier with the 2wayFix Base. It can also be installed safely into the car with the standard seat belt. This is handy if you are using the car seat in a grandparent's car or a taxi. Simply place the lap part of the belt over the top of the Pebble Plus, under the blue belt guides and plug in. Then pull the shoulder part around the back of the seat, sliding it under the blue belt guide. You will need to pull tightly on the seat belt to remove any slack and so that the car seat has a snug fit against the seat of the car. The handle needs to be in the topmost position when travelling. Once you've tightened the belt and made sure that there are no twists or slack, the Pebble Plus is fitted securely.
Compliant with the new i-Size regulations, Maxi-Cosi's Pebble Plus and 2wayFix Base enables extended rear facing up to four years old, when combined with the 2wayPearl car seat. All i-Size car seats offer better head and neck protection for young children, with a required rear facing position of 15 months, rather than the current nine months. Coming into force in 2013, the i-Size regulation doesn't actually replace the original car seat regulations, but runs alongside to give you the option of better in car safety. i-Size car seats are all fitted with ISOfix and suggest that they will fit nearly all cars with ISOfix points. This reduces the risk of an incorrectly fitted car seat with the car's own seat belt.
Probably the biggest difference in the regulations, is that i-Size car seats are chosen on your child's length rather than their weight. This reduces the risk of putting children into the next stage car seat before they are ready. The Pebble Plus can be used until your child is 75cm long, which will be approximately 12kg.
Featuring a three-point harness, some people may argue that a five-point harness would be safer in the Pebble Plus. As most impacts on the road are front impact, if the child is rear facing then the force is spread down the back of the child seat to hold the child in place and support the head, neck and spine. An integral harness is still needed, but it does not take the main weight load, as with a forward facing seat using a five-point harness, which is designed to distribute the force at the strongest structural areas, i.e. shoulders, hip/pelvis and the crotch. Maxi-Cosi have found through various tests that there is no added benefit of a five-point harness in a rearward facing car seat. They also found that a five-point harness was more difficult to adjust correctly for the child, so therefore more susceptible to an incorrect fit.
The Pebble Plus now comes with the baby-hugg inlay. Ideal for those first few months, the inlay creates the perfect position and support for a newborn, with a flatter lying position for them. Soft and padded, it will keep them safe and comfortable. It's suitable for using in the seat until you need to move the harness height up for the first time.
For better protection in the event of a side impact collision, the side wings of the Pebble Plus have an impact-absorbing material inside. Just looking at the various safety testings that the Pebble Plus has passed gives you peace of mind that you have one of the safest infant carriers around. These include a 5-star ‘very good' rating in the "safety" category of the independent testers ADAC/TCS/ÖAMTC in October 2015.
The Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus isn't the most lightweight of infant carriers available, weighing in at 4.5kg. Transporting the seat is fine on its own, but once you add a larger baby, we wouldn't want to be carrying it for too long. The handle has three different positions and is rotated with two buttons at the side.
The three-point harness of the Pebble Plus makes getting your child in and out of the seat really easy. As the straps just pass over the child's shoulders, fit together and then clip into the buckle, there's no messing, even with a fussy or wriggly child. Thanks to the shoulder pads, the straps also stay open to make it even easier to place your child in the seat.
In order to create the perfect fit for your baby, the harness can be adjusted in length and height. Though sometimes an arduous task of rethreading the straps, the harness height on the Pebble Plus couldn't be easier to adjust. Simple pull down the back panel of the seat and reach inside to squeeze together the two buttons. This then allows you to move the harness up or down. There's no button to lengthen the straps, instead they are automatically released when the harness is unfastened and the buckle forwards. Great if you are trying to do with one hand! It also prevents the straps from being loosened when the child is already fastened in the seat. To tighten again, just pull the end of the strap.
Hidden under the rubber flap that covers the top half of the car seat, is a pull out sun canopy. This is great for helping to keep your little one protected from the sun and rain when using the Pebble Plus out of the car - either when carried or sat on your pushchair chassis. The sun canopy tucks neatly away when not in use and attaches to the handlebar of the seat, thanks to two little hooks on the handlebar, to keep it in place. As it's a stretchy Lycra like material, it can't become bent out of shape.
As the majority of pushchair companies provide adaptors for use with Maxi-Cosi infant carriers, you're sure to be able to use the Pebble Plus with your pushchair. When you're ready to remove the car seat from your adaptors on the pushchair, there are two grey buttons at either side of the seat, just to the side of the handle. They are memory buttons so it can be done one handed to press each button and then lift with the handle.
Available in lots of different colours, which are added to regularly to coincide with current trends, you're sure to find a design to suit your lifestyle. We have been testing the Triangle Flow design, which is a bright and vibrant blue. Covered in tiny triangles that give a pixelated effect, the baby-hugg inlay coordinates perfectly in a light blue, with reversible lime green on the back. All of the seat material is removable, should you need to wash it.
There's a reason that the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus is one of the most popular infant carriers available. Not only does it comply with one of the safest regulations available in the form of i-Size, but it looks good and is so simple to use. It's also offers great comfort for the child with soft, padded sides.
It's a high quality car seat that feels built to last until the full 75cm and is perfect right from a tiny newborn with the baby-hugg inlay, to an older baby. We love that the harness is so easy to adjust as your child grows and the stay open straps help when getting your child in the seat.
The higher price tag when you are purchasing the Pebble Plus with the 2wayFix Base may put some people off, but you can then use the same base with the 2wayPearl car seat, enabling you to rear face right up to four years old.
Using the Pebble Plus with the 2wayFix Base makes fitting a breeze, and the display panel and sounds really do reassure you that everything is safely in place. It also makes it much easier to get the infant carrier out of the car when using it with a travel system or when your baby is asleep, with the ‘click-and-go' feature.
If you want a car seat that is i-Size ready to carry your child from a tiny newborn, while offering the utmost in safety features, check out the Pebble Plus.
We give the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus 5 out of 5 stars
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