Maxi-Cosi do very well at dominating the car seat world, but we're keen to take a look at their newest pushchair.
A new all-terrain 3-in-1 travel system from the company that brought us the Pebble Plus infant carrier, we're taking a look at the Maxi-Cosi Stella. They've even collaborated with Dutch designer Edward Van Vliet to create a beautiful Limited Edition colourway. Developed from its bigger brother, the Mura, it features puncture-proof tyres and a lay flat seat.
What's in the box?
• Stella Pushchair
• Car seat/carrycot adapters
• Limited edition matching blanket with the Star colourway
The RRP of the Maxi-Cosi Stella is £360
• Weight: 14.4kg
• Folded Size: Chassis (cm): L71.5 x W55 x H39
• Open Size (cm): L93.5 x W55 x H93.5
• Suitability: Birth-15kg
Accessories• Carrycot £170
The Maxi-Cosi Stella is available in Star by Edward Van Vliet, Watercolour Blue, Sparkling Grey, Black Raven and Concrete Grey.
There's only a few things to do before you can get on your way with the Stella. Namely, the wheels need fitting, and the hood and T-bar adding to the seat unit.
The appearance of the Maxi-Cosi Stella is short and stocky over its four wheels. Though on the petite side, it's quite hefty, weighing 13.5kg. It is a slim pushchair though, measuring only 53cm at its widest point.
To suit all heights, the handlebar is adjustable via clips at the side rather than the usual button. Opening each side allows you to move the handle up by a further 12.5cm. It's covered in a soft foam the full length to increase the comfort for mum or dad.
Made from PU rubber, the tyres on the Stella are all-terrain and puncture proof with a foam filling, so can handle walks in the woods as well as a shopping trip. They look great too, with a flash of blue on the inside and the smaller front wheels set wide on the chassis. With good suspension on the rear, they'll give a good smooth ride for the child too. The front wheels can be locked off for the rougher terrain with a grey button at the front of each wheel. Built into the front of the chassis, between the wheels is a plastic footrest for toddler's longer legs.
The brake is located centrally at the back of the chassis and is a simple rock forward for on and back for off. There's a decent sized shopping basket but the top is obstructed by the frame of the pushchair, where the seat attaches. With the seat unit in a parent facing position, you do have plenty of room at the front of the pushchair to access your possessions and with the seat world facing there is room at the front and back to reach in. For additional storage, there is also a stretchy pocket on the back of the seat, which is large enough to keep your essentials.
Maxi-Cosi provide car seat adaptors for you to use your infant carrier or carrycot with the Stella chassis. We love that these come included with the package.
The way that the seat unit attaches to the chassis is different to what we usually see. Rather than clipping in to the sides of the frame, the Stella seat attaches just above the basket on a metal bar. This means that the seat sits quite low down on the frame. The seat can be both parent or world facing and is spun round by sliding a grey button at the bottom rear of the seat and pulling out the bar to release. Parent facing, the seat sits much further back, which brings the child closer to the parent allowing better interaction. Removing the seat can be a little tricky, as there is not really a good place to grab hold of it, and you need to slide the button and pull the bar at the same time with one hand.
We have the beautiful Limited Edition Star colourway by Dutch designer Edward Van Vliet in for review. It's definitely eye-catching with an almost floral geometric design. The seat features a well padded liner that can then be removed as the child gets bigger. Once the liner is removed there is still plenty of padding in the soft seat.
The seat is quite tall at 51cm, but very slim at only 27cm wide. Looking at the seat, the height is quite deceiving and looks smaller than it is, as the top of it is hidden under the hood and above the seat liner. The sides of the seat come up high, which gives a nice cocooned space for small babies, but may not be comfortable for toddlers.
Co-ordinating with the hood and seat material, there are pads that sit on the five point harness shoulder straps and buckle. The shoulder straps can be adjusted with plastic sliders but this does then leave quite long tails of webbing. The two sides clip together and into the buckle and there's a simple round button to release. Although there are three height positions for the harness in the seat, there is only one in the liner, so it may need removing when you are ready for the top hole. At the back of the seat, there are two zips which give easy access to the inside of the seat unit to rethread the straps.
Rather than the usual bumper bar, Maxi-Cosi have incorporated a T-bar into the seat unit. It's definitely something that the kids will love, as they can hold it like the handlebars of a bike. It also makes life easier for parents who can keep their child secure in the seat while fastening the harness. To make placing your child in the seat simpler, the T-bar is attached to the underside of the seat with elastic, meaning that you can drop it down out of the way without actually removing it. We did find that the button to release the bar is quite stiff and the elastic strong to pull down.
With a fully lay flat recline, the seat is suitable from birth. The high sides and large hood will give a small baby plenty of protection from the elements. The recline is done with a lever at the back of the seat and there are three different positions, parent and world facing. Laid flat, the seat also benefits from an adjustable footrest, which can be moved to horizontal with buttons on the outside, and extends the seat length to an amazing 90cm long!
The hood is a really good size, and that's before you even unzip the extended panel. Revealing an extra panel which also has a plastic viewing window, the hood reaches right down to cover the T-bar. On a sunny day, it will only be the child's toes peeking out from underneath.
For rainy days, the Stella raincover completely covers the seat, front and back, and has an extra zipped panel to match the extendable hood. It drops all the way down to the footrest at the front of the chassis and secures with two Velcro straps. It's a generous size and still allows room for little legs.
Included with the Star by Edward Van Vliet colourway is a thick blanket that is in the same colour as the thin mint green stripes on the seat. The blanket is luxuriously soft and stitched with the same pattern in the centre to complement the design.
A compact and solid pushchair, it is easy to manoeuvre and transport up and down kerbs without too much effort. Thanks to the foam filled rubber tyres, the Stella can take you over any terrain and there's also suspension on the back for the child.
The Maxi-Cosi Stella has been designed to help you get around with your child, no matter where you are. The all-terrain puncture proof wheels mean that it can handle a rough terrain, and as it's one of the slimmest pushchairs available, it will still fit through the majority of shop doors.
We really like the long lie-flat seat that will keep newborn to toddlers just as comfortable at nap time, with the padded liner ensuring that they are well supported. It is a slim seat unit though, so it may not be suitable for larger children. We would like to see an easier method to remove the seat as it can be tricky to release. The hood is a great size, offering maximum protection from strong winds or bright sunshine.
The fold is unusual and we think that it will be a great option for parents who may have back problems. The freestanding fold of the Stella is upright from the floor, but still quite heavy at 13.5kg. It's great that you have the option of making the fold smaller when needed by removing the seat from the chassis.
We give the Maxi-Cosi Stella 4 out of 5 stars