Who’s the Shining Star? Graco vs Maxi Cosi: the Best 2022 Comparison

Choosing the best car seats for your children can be challenging, especially if you're a newbie. So that's where I jump in to help you!

For the beginning, you can inspect our best Graco vs Maxi Cosi debate and see what car seat you should pick as the best one.

These are two leaders in the market, providing all car seats possible for all parents. So, you can find the best solution for your need.

Ready to discover the winner? Let's begin!


Graco vs. Maxi Cosi: The Ultimate Battle of the Leading Brands

As we have tested and reviewed multiple car seats, we will present them further in the article to narrow your search & help you pick the best seat quicker. Shall we?

1. Design and Specifications

graco vs maxi cosi car seat

Source: Amazon

Both car seat brands offer multiple car seats for all ages and stages. So, you can choose according to your kid's needs and make the best use of the car seats.

Thus, you will notice the following modes:

- rear-facing infant car seats

- convertible car seats

- booster seat modes

Growing your children, you will find multiple two-in-one or all-in-one car seats, so you don't need a new car seat for every stage.

So, you can compare the following models:

- Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat and Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat

- Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat and Maxi Cosi Pria 85 MAX

- Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat and Maxi-Cosi Magellan Xp Max All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

So, you can pick your favorite model based on your child's needs, the primary purpose, and safety standards.

For example, when comparing two rear-facing infant car seats, the Graco car seat weighs way less than the Maxi Cosi rear-facing car seat.

The Graco rear-facing infant seat also has a higher weight limit of 35 pounds, whereas the Maxi Cosi includes only 30 pounds of maximum weight limit.

However, both infant seats have the same height limit of 32 pounds. So, the Graco model seems more advanced in the rear-facing position.

In addition, when we compare the two convertible car seats, the Graco Extend2Fit again weighs more, 19 pounds, while the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max weighs 16 pounds.

The Graco model is also narrower than the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max, which is 20.8 inches wide, while the Graco model is 19.2 inches wide.

However, the Graco Extend2Fit has an extended rear-facing position for up to 50 pounds, while the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max supports only children up to 40 pounds.

And both convertible car seats support children 22-65 pounds in the forward-facing car seat. So, the winner is once again our Graco convertible car seat.

Finally, the situation is pretty much the same when comparing the boosters (all-in-one car seats).

However, the Graco 4Ever car seat also uses the backless booster mode for kids 40-120 pounds. The Magellan doesn't have that option, only the belt-positioning booster.

So, the Graco booster is more advanced for literally all children.

The Graco model comes narrower and lighter in seat weight and height than the Maxi Cosi convertible car seat, so you might install and move it quicker than the opponent.

Maxi Cosi might not fit all vehicles, so remember when choosing the best solution. But, other benefits are similar so that you can select the correct car seat based on your needs.

2. Safety Features

Regarding the safety standards, all these seats include all the safety features good car seats should have.

All models meet and exceed all NHTSA Federal Safety Standards and undergo rigorous crash tests to prove their credibility, security, and trustworthiness.

The seats include all the features necessary for safe rides and maximum use.

Thus, when speaking of the rear-facing infant seats, the Graco SnugRide SnugLock offers the advanced TrueShiled Technology with improved side-impact protection.

It keeps your child's head, neck, spine, and torso intact, supported in the rear-facing position, and protects them from the rear, frontal, and side crashes.

On the other hand, the Maxi Cosi Mic also uses improved side-impact protection but in the form of plush cushioning for extra support.

So, without the complete technology, I vote for Graco.

Of course, both seats include the five-point harness system for extra stability.

Thanks to the Graco ProtectPlus engineered safety standards.

The convertible car seat provides additional layers of side-impact protection and energy-absorbing foam to keep your little one safe and sound.

The steel-reinforced frame only contributes to maximum safety benefits, and your baby won't get hurt in a rear-facing or forward-facing position.

However, the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max uses the Air Protect side-impact protection in both the rear-facing and the forward-facing position.

The Air Protect technology utilizes cushioning padding around your baby's head for increased stability and security.

The Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max also features a steel frame, fixing the convertible car seat in rear-facing and forward-facing modes.

However, Maxi Cosi has withdrawn the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max from Amazon and similar car seat markets, so we had to look for alternative ways to compare.

So, our winner is undoubtedly the Graco convertible car seat due to its narrower design, extended rear-facing position, and less pricing.

The Graco all-one car seat also features the ProtectPlus side-impact protection with EPS energy-absorbing foam, a reinforced steel frame, and increased stability.

On the other hand, the Maxi Cosi model uses the same Air Protect system, the EPS energy-absorbing foam, but it uses the Polymer Truss System instead of the steel frame.

And, of course, the two-car seats have 5-point harness systems for additional security. But, again, I prefer Graco over Maxi Cosi due to its better safety benefits.

3. Installation Process

maxi cosi pria vs graco 4ever dlx

Source: Amazon

To install the car seat correctly, you should place it in the back seat, in the central/middle position.

However, you can place it behind the passenger seat if you don't have suitable conditions.

Of course, ensure the proper recline positions to keep your little ones optimal and eliminate potential high risks and injuries.

Never install rear-facing seats (or any other) in the front seat! If you must, then turn off the airbag system!

It will cause severe injuries and literally smash your child's body due to pressure, impacts, and forces in an accident.

If you must install the rear-facing or forward-facing seats in the front, ensure the maximum distance between the seat and the airbag system if it must be on.

You use either the vehicle seat belt installation or the LATCH system to install the rear-facing child restraint systems.

Both Graco and Maxi Cosi's rear-facing car seats offer two types in the rear-facing mode.

However, the Graco offers the InRight LATCH installation with the LATCH connectors and car seat attachments.

In addition, the infant seat features the SnugLock system that only clicks, enabling you to install rear-facing methods in seconds and effortlessly.

The same system attaches the car seat to the base and keeps it fixed and tight for long-distance trips.

However, seatbelt installation is also possible. Just thread the belts through the belt paths, and tighten the seat to keep it stable.

The Maxi Cosi seat also includes LATCH connectors for quick setup or seat belt installation. So, you can check both of them and pick the better option.

On the other hand, the Graco convertible car seat offers only the InRight LATCH system for both the rear-facing position and the forward-facing mode.

The LATCH anchors keep the car seat stable and fixed without moving. And it would help if you tightened the straps to keep it immovable.

But, the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max offers the seat belt installation and the simple LATCH system with no advanced benefits.

Although the installation is quite effortless, I would still go for Graco as the only car seat with an extended load leg, increased minimum weight limit, and the tightest installation.

It will save space and make more room in the back seat of the vehicle.

Finally, regarding our booster seats, the Graco 4-in-1 also, like the previous two models, uses the InRight LATCH installation.

At the same time, the opponent offers the simple LATCH and seat belt system in the forward-facing and the rear-facing mode.

However, when in the belt-positioning booster, both seats use the vehicle's seat belt to ensure the best setup and keep your child safe.

Generally, Graco car seats have an advanced rear and forward-facing installation, so I prefer it better than Maxi Cosi. They are more advanced, even with seat belts.

4. Comfort Benefits

Regarding this factor, the Graco infant models use the adjustable handle, the built-in newborn padding, and four adjusting base options with a level indicator for the best reclining options in the vehicle.

However, the Mico also contains all these features, but it beats Graco due to its breathable materials. The Graco model lacks it. So, the Mico wins this round.

Both seats are stroller compatible with the correct adapters. And, they have sun shade canopies for extra protection.

The next-stage seats are different.

For example, the Extended2Fit convertible car seat has six recline positions, while the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max features only three recline positions.

Both seats offer extended use and the no-rethread harness so that you can adjust the headrest positions, harness straps, and recline adjustment for the maximum limit of the seat support.

And they both have breathable materials.

Finally, the 4-in-1 and the Magellan models have the same design and structure, but the Graco uses six recline positions, while Maxi Cosi features seven. So, it's more advanced.

In addition, the Graco 4Ever has ten headrest positions, while the Magellan uses 14 positions. So, once again, it beats Graco models.

To find the proper recline position and correct angle, you will have to follow the level indicators to ensure the best recline position and avoid complications and incorrect positions.

But, in general, any Maxi Cosi model is a huge car seat, so it cant fit all vehicles like the Graco models. So, remember that when installing your seats. Graco models will be more convenient.

5. Extra Features and Convenience

graco vs maxi cosi travel system

Source: Amazon

Our infant models don't include cup holders, but the other two car seat stages do.

Thus, the Extend2Fit has two built-in cup holders, while the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 MAX features two removable cup holders.

These are effortless to clean and maintain for subsequent use, and your kids can place their food and drink inside.

In addition, the Graco 4Ever and the Magellan also feature two cup holders that you can easily clean and maintain if your kids get dirty.

Nowadays, we cannot imagine a car seat without at least one cup holder.

The cup holder is a must-have for all hungry kids on the road (like mine), so you must keep them occupied to focus on the road better.

So, always look for a seat with at least one cup holder.

In addition, numerous models - Extend2Fit, Graco 4Ever, Magellan, and similar units have specific pockets and harness holders.

These are ideal storage spaces for the harness system, keeping it close and easily accessible when you and your kids need it.

6. Cleaning and Maintenance

Concerning this factor, all our models include:

- The removable car seat cover.

- Seat pad.

- Content suitable for the machine wash and dry process.

So, they will save your time and energy, and you can use the seats subsequently.

7. Price Tags

When comparing infant seats, the price is the same. You can find both models on Amazon at a price tag of around $219.

Things change when speaking of convertible car seats. Namely, the Extended2Fit has a price of approximately $240, while you cannot find Maxi Cosi Pria 85 MAX on Amazon.

The company withdrew it so that you can find alternatives for the $500 price. So, it's way more expensive than the Extend2Fit.

Finally, both boosters are available on Amazon - the Graco 4Ever costs around $330, while the Magellan model costs around $400.

Generally, advanced categories have a higher price tag, so that you can expect more money for more functions.

However, the Graco models cost less and are budget-friendly for the advanced quality and performance.

Maxi Cosi is good but not as advanced as Graco for higher prices. So, if you want to combine well, you should definitely pick the Graco models as your ultimate choice!

8. Travel-Friendly Seats

If you're planning multiple travel types, you need advanced seats to meet and fulfill all traveling conditions.

Graco seats are travel-friendly, fitting numerous motor vehicles. In addition, thanks to their narrow design and lighter construction, you can check them quickly.

However, they might still be bulky for some parents and tricky to move between the vehicles. But, overall, they are suitable for traveling.

On the other hand, Maxi Cosi is even broader and bulkier, so you must check if they fit multiple vehicles or only specific models.

You do want a bulkier seat in a car accident, but it means you cannot adjust it quickly due to the more considerable height and weight limit.

As a result, you cannot move it around quickly. Pay attention to this.

Regarding the aircraft, you must find the label at the bottom or back of the seat stating that you can use the seat for motor vehicles and airplanes.

Luckily, all of the car seats in our comparison are FAA-approved models. So you can use them on the planes.

However, the convertible seats can be used only in the harness mode! You won't be allowed to use them in the booster modes.

In addition, the SnugRide infant model has a base that is not FAA-approved. As a result, it's allowed only in the carrier portion. So, ensure you install it correctly when on the plane.

Even with a higher weight limit, Maxi Cosi's seats are FAA-approved.

Maxi Cosi: Pros and Cons


- high-quality materials

- all car seats

- comfortable

- safe

- quick installation using both systems

- FAA-approved


- bulkier than Graco

- more expensive than Graco

- challenging to fit in vehicles

Graco: Pros and Cons


- safer than competitors

- comfier than the opponent

- less expensive than counterparts

- comfortable

- quick setup with advanced technology points

- travel-friendly

- fitting most vehicles

- FAA-approved seats


- infant base NOT FAA-approved

- some models may have less reclining options

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Maxi Cosi safer than Graco?

Not really.

For instance, Maxi Cosi Pria 85 MAX offers similar features to some Graco models, but Graco models lead due to premium-quality SIP and more layers of protection.

In addition, the Magellan model doesn't really have the steel frame as the Graco 4Ever model, so it cannot surpass its safety standards.

So, Maxi Cosi is safe, but Graco is even safer.

Is Maxi Cosi better than Graco?

maxi cosi zelia vs graco modes nest

Source: Amazon

Well, the two brands are pretty similar in multiple factors.

However, Graco offers more advanced safety standards, lower price tags, and better overall design and specifications than Maxi Cosi.

These seats are narrower and lighter, so they will match almost all vehicles, and you can easily install and use them.

However, Maxi Cosi is also FAA-approved but bulkier than Graco, so it might be challenging to fit all seats properly.

Their safety standard is advanced, but Graco still leads. So, we prefer Graco - you get premium quality for less money.

Graco vs. Maxi Cosi: Which has a better infant car seat?

Ugh, this is a tricky question. Both brands offer pretty much the same infant benefits.

However, the Graco model has an enormous weight and limit, supporting kids up to 40 pounds, whereas the Mico seat supports kids up to 35 pounds.

Moreover, the SnugRide uses better SIP and TrueShield Technology for safety, while the Mico has regular safety features.

Finally, the SnugRide uses the improved LATCH and seat belt installation systems, unlike the Mico.

But, the Mico has the advanced breathable materials that Graco doesn't so it will be more suitable for pressure-free rides.

Is the Maxi Cosi convertible car seat more comfortable than the Graco?

Yes and no. Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max supports more significant weight and height limits in the forward-facing method.

Yet, it doesn't offer as many recline, harness, and headrest positions for your kids as they grow, and it provides more comfort and a cozier atmosphere without additional pressure and pain.

Graco vs. Maxi Cosi: Which has a better booster seat?

Graco has a better booster, supporting up to 120 pounds, thanks to its backless booster mode. Unfortunately, the Maxi Cosi Magellan doesn't have that option, so it's somewhat limited.

Still, the Graco 4Ever uses more minor recline positions and fewer harness adjustments than the Magellan, so you also want to consider that factor.

But, the installation and safety standards are better in Graco due to the steel frame Maxi Cosi doesn't have.

Is Maxi Cosi a high-end brand?

Yes, it is. Maybe not in all seats, but some specific models have high-end prices. So, it's a higher-end brand than Graco, Britax, or similar car seat brands.

What age is Maxi Cosi suitable for?

As the seats provide suitable accommodation for all ages and stages, the seat will be ideal from their infancy - zero years to school years - 12 years.

Graco vs. Maxi Cosi: Which has a longer expiration time?

They offer ten years of lifespan from the date of manufacture, so both brands have the same expiration time.

The Graco Extend2Fit or Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max?

Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max was withdrawn by the manufacturer, so we picked the Extend2Fit.

It provides better safety standards, effortless installation, and more comfort benefits due to more recline positions.

Finally, Graco features an extended rear-facing mode that the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max doesn't.

Maxi Cosi Pria vs. Graco 4ever: Which is better?

We vote for the Graco 4Ever.

The rear/forward-facing model includes all features necessary for all children, even the backless booster. In addition, it supports a more significant weight limit than the Pria.

In addition, the seat has effortless installation and better safety benefits than the Pria model. It also offers more recline positions than the Pria for more comfort.

And, it's narrower and lighter than Pria, fitting different motor vehicles.

What is the difference between Maxi Cosi Pria vs Max?

The two differences between the two consider the harness on the seat. The Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max has more intelligent tackles.

It makes the parents' job way more accessible since it includes a flip-away buckle.

It gets out of the way when putting kiddo in the seat, and a magnetic chest clip makes buckling in quicker and more straightforward.

Thus, the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max is more advanced than the regular Pria model.

Graco Vs. Maxi Cosi: Who's the Ultimate Winner?

Drums, please! Are you ready to find the best brand? Here we go!

It's our Graco brand! We've chosen it over Maxi Cosi regarding safety, performance, comfort, travel options, and price points.

Let us know if you agree or disagree! Let's share our stories!

Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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