Maxi-Cosi’s Pria convertible car seat is available in a few flavors, among them are the Pria 85 Max, the Pria 65 for Canadian families, and the base model Pria 70. We’ll take a closer look at the Pria 70 with the TinyFit insert for the tiniest of passengers. Note: this particular variety of the Pria 70 is discontinued but the Pria 70 is still sold without the TinyFit.
Updated Versions of this Seat
Since we received this seat to review Maxi-Cosi has released a newer version of the Pria 70 with a few updates. These updates include a more breathable fabric cover, easily removable and washable cover (similar to the Pria 85 and Vello 65 covers), new color patterns, and slimmer Air Protect SIP (also similar to but not the same as the Pria 85). These are some nice additions!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: TinyFit 4-22 pounds, without TinyFit 9-40 pounds
- Rear facing height range: under 40 inches tall
- Forward facing weight range: 22-70 pounds
- Forward facing height range: 29-52 inches tall
- Lowest harness position: with TinyFit 5 inches, without TinyFit 10 inches
- Highest harness position: 17.5 inches
- Expiration: 10 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 40 pounds
- Three crotch buckle positions: 5, 6, and 7 inches from the back of the seat pan
- Premium lower anchor connectors
- No rethread harness
- TinyFit infant insert
- TinyFit body pillow
- Two sets of harness comfort pads
- Head pillow
- Two sizes of chest clips
- Shell height: 26.5 inches with the head support fully extended
Three crotch buckle positions At 5, 6, and 7 inches from the back of the seat pan, these positions allow a wide variety of children to fit the Pria without being uncomfortable. It must be in the smallest and middle position when rear facing without the TinyFit. When using the TinyFit insert, the buckle must be in the furthest out position. Forward facing, the buckle can be in any position.
Three adjustable recline settings give you the flexibility to adjust the seat to the correct recline depending on the vehicle seat’s slope and child’s weight.
- Rear facing: the recline adjuster must be in position 2 or 3, depending on which position helps the Pria install at the correct angle according to the level line on the side of the seat.
- Forward facing, the recline adjuster must be in position 2 for children who weigh between 22-40 pounds
- Forward facing, the recline adjuster must be at position 1 for children who weigh between 40-70 pounds
Push button lower anchor connectors help with those deeply buried vehicle lower anchors and make for an easier install and uninstall.
The no re-thread harness is adjusted by the squeeze of a button at the top of the head support.
TinyFit infant insert This insert is like a seat within a seat. It’s only used in rear facing mode for infants who weigh between 4-22 pounds. It does take some extra effort to install into the seat. The TinyFit must be used until the infant’s shoulders reach the bottom harness position without the insert (10 inches).
TinyFit body pillow is a welcome addition for those little infants that need a bit of extra side to side support when using the TinyFit infant insert.
The Head pillow can be used to help support a newborn’s head.
The Pria comes with two sets of harness covers, one for comfort, and a second that is a requirement if the child is over 65 pounds and there is not a tether anchor available. The second, larger pair look the same upon initial inspection, but have a thick, grippy material on the back. They are stored in a storage pocket on the outside of the cover, where the manual may also be stored.
The Pria 70 includes two sizes of chest clips. The manual states that the smaller of the two must be used with the TinyFit insert and can be used for smaller newborns who aren’t using the TinyFit insert. The large chest clip can never be used with the TinyFit insert and is intended for larger babies and toddlers. The manual doesn’t list a specific weight, age, or height guideline for when the larger chest clip can be used.
TinyFit Insert Installation
The TinyFit Insert is a seat within a seat. It is a plastic insert that is actually installed into the seat for small infants. This takes the hassle out of using a rear facing only seat for a newborn and allows a caregiver to use the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 from birth.
The installation can be a bit time consuming so here’s a quick rundown of how it works.
Note: the TinyFit insert requires the smaller chest clip. This is mentioned at the front of the manual, on the part identification page.
1. Make sure the crotch buckle is in the furthest position from the back of the seat pan.
2. Unthread the harness from the back of the car seat and pull everything except the buckles off. The smaller chest clip must be used with TinyFit.
3. Set the insert on the seat and thread the harness and buckles through the holes at the bottom of the insert. Thread the chest clip, harness comfort pads, and head pillow onto the harness, then thread the harness through the appropriate harness slot in the insert.
4. Pull the harness all the way through the insert and into lower set of harness slots on the seat shell.
5. Attach the harness to both sides of the splitter plate.
6. Move the head support down so it secures the insert into the seat.
Note About Adjusting the Harness
Our Pria 70 with TinyFit was manufactured in 2014. We understand that later models don’t have the same challenges around adjusting the harness that our model does. In case you find yourself with an older Pria like ours, here are some tips:
The harness tightens easily without a child in the seat. We found that when the harness was extended for our largest model, it was easier to tighten, possibly because the splitter plate higher up makes the angle better match the harness in the front. Pulling the harness straight up to the ceiling is a bit easier, but the straps twist quite a bit. It may just be a geometry issue, we didn’t find a consistent scenario that caused trouble or a consistent fix.
Our Recommendation: always pull the harness from the back in rear facing mode to tighten. Avoid using this seat forward facing until the child is near the height and weight limits of the seat.
- Expiration: 10 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 40 pounds
Rear Facing Installation
When installing the Pria 70 with the TinyFit insert, the crotch buckle must be in the furthest position from the back of the seat pan. The lower anchor webbing or vehicle seat belt must be routed behind the crotch buckle. Fully extending the head support makes it easier to route the lower anchor webbing or vehicle seat belt.
When installing without the TinyFit the crotch buckle needs to be in either the smallest or middle crotch buckle position then the lower anchor strap or seat belt is threaded in front of the buckle.
Like other Maxi-Cosi convertible car seats, the Pria 70 also incorporates a belt positioning guide on either side of the rear facing belt path. The lower anchor webbing or lap portion of the vehicle seat belt needs to be threaded through this positioning guide before tightening.
Recline Positions and Level Line
The Pria 70 has a single recline level line for rear facing installations. This line is a raised portion of plastic at the top of the seat right above a green label. The Pria has 2 rear facing recline positions — the more reclined is for children who weigh between 4-22 pounds, the more upright is for children who weigh between 9-40 lbs and who are 40
inches tall or less. However, despite these very specific restrictions, the Pria only has the one level line. This means that regardless of which recline position is used when installing the seat, it’s still fairly large front to back. A pool noodle or rolled towel may be necessary to acheive the correct recline angle when the seat is in the more upright position.
Forward Facing Installation
To install the Pria 70 forward facing, the lower anchor webbing or vehicle seat belt must be threaded through the forward facing belt path, then tightened until there’s less than an inch of movement at the belt path.
The Pria 70 has some rules around recline positions for forward facing installations:
- Children who weigh between 22-40 pounds and who are between 29-43 inches tall must use recline position 2 for forward facing installations
- Children who weigh between 40-70 pounds and who are between 43-52 inches tall must use recline position 1 for forward facing installations
There will most likely be a decent gap between the vehicle seat bight and car seat. This gap has been okayed by the manufacturer as long as you still have a tight (1″ or less of movement at the belt path) installation.
The larger harness pads need to be used for children who weigh over 65 pounds if the seating position is without a vehicle tether anchor.
Fit to Child
Rear Facing with TinyFit insert
- Rear facing weight range: TinyFit 4-22 pounds
- Rear facing height range: 40″ or less
- Lowest harness position: TinyFit 5″
Preemie Huggable Images doll, 4 pounds, 17 inches long
The TinyFit insert was a perfect fit for her! I used the head pillow, body support, and small chest clip. All helped with fit tremendously. The TinyFit adjusts the lowest harness height down to 5 inches, one of the shortest harness positions on the market. Her shoulders were actually quite a bit above the lowest harness position, almost up to the 2nd harness position, which is very rare for our doll. The biggest downfall I had with using the TinyFit with her was tightening the harness straps. The extra harness routing through both the TinyFit insert and seat shell adds quite a bit of friction that made the harness difficult to tighten. It’s necessary to tighten from the back of the seat typically by pulling the harness straps from the back of the seat, then pulling on the tightening strap tail by the child’s feet. The manual explains this method as well.
The harness tightens easily when there isn’t a child in the seat. That’s not particularly useful since children need to ride in the seat.
The harness does not loosen easily when the harness is tight and the splitter plate is low. The harness loosens easier — without having to pull from the back — once the splitter plate is up high enough that the angle of the straps from the splitter is similar to the angle in the front.
Newborn Huggable Images doll, 7 pounds, 17 inches long
Our newborn doll had an amazing fit as well. I kept all the inserts and smaller chest clip on for her and she had a very similar fit to our preemie doll. Since the newborn doll is just a tad taller in the torso than our preemie doll, she was a bit closer to the 2nd harness slot, but still not quite there. I also had the same harness tightening issues as I did with the preemie doll.
4 Months Old
This little cutie is 4 months old. She weighs 14 pounds and is 26 inches tall. She’s at the top end of the height range for the TinyFit. She’d probably fit well in the Pria without the TinyFit at this point. Our model of this car seat doesn’t include infant padding and she’s well below the 10 inch lowest harness slot so we’re unable to see how that would fit her.
8 Months, 20 pounds, 26 inches tall
He fits, but was extremely uncomfortable and had very little excess harness length. At his size and fit, I wouldn’t use the TinyFit insert for him normally since his shoulders come right above the bottom harness position without the TinyFit insert. Even though the insert is approved for use up to 22 pounds, we’d assert that 15 pounds might be a more realistic maximum weight for the TinyFit.
Rear facing without TinyFit insert
- Rear facing weight range: without TinyFit 9-40 pounds
- Rear facing height range: 40 inches or less or top of the head at the top of the fully extended head support
- Lowest harness position: without TinyFit 10 inches
12 months, 23 pounds, 29 inches tall
Our 12 month old model fits perfectly without the TinyFit insert now. His shoulders are still just barely below the 2nd harness position, so he is still in the first. Even without the TinyFit insert, the harness is still pretty difficult to tighten, so we continue to pull the harness from the back of the car seat while pulling on the adjuster from the front.
3 years old, 25 pounds, 33 inches tall
Our 3 year old model also fits perfectly in this seat with quite a bit of growing room. Like her 1 year old brother above, she loves how upright she sits in it. Because the Pria 70’s sides are fairly low, I don’t have to hoist her too much over the sides. The seat’s base is rather high, so it sits quite a ways above the vehicle seat despite these low sides.
3 Years Old
This 3 year old happily modeled this seat for us. She weighs 27 pounds and is 37 inches tall. She’s got plenty of room to grow in this seat and she finds it quite comfortable.
- Forward facing weight range: 22-70 pounds
- Forward facing height range: 29-43 inches tall
- Shell height: 26.5 inches tall (top of fully extended head support)
3 years old, 25 pounds, 33 inches tall
Our 3 year old model rides rear facing but she’s within the height and weight limits of the Pria 70 for forward facing. We recommend rear facing until as close to 4 as possible.
Since she weighs between 22-40 pounds, the Pria 70 is on recline position 2. This recline serves her very well and makes the Pria 70 a nice forward facing option for a smaller child. However, it was nearly impossible to tighten the harness forward facing. We found that moving the headrest up a click or two in some cases made tightening the harness slightly easier but it never became something that was easy.
5 Years Old
This model is 5 years old. He weighs 43 pounds and is 46 inches tall. To fit him properly, we moved the headrest to the highest position. Even on that setting, he’s right at the edge of outgrowing this seat. He does find it quite comfortable but we found it pretty challenging to tighten the harness with him in the seat.
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA approval label can be found on page 46 of the instruction manual and on a label on the side of the seat.
Date of manufacture is on side of the seat along with the model number.
Expiration date is stamped into the plastic on the bottom of the seat.
Manual storage the manual stores on the left side of the cover along with the smaller chest clip if that’s not in use. There’s a handy tab on the cover indicating the manual storage.
Maxi-Cosi Convertible Comparison
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The Pria 70 with TinyFit is a plush convertible car seat that does something rare — fit newborns well, thanks to the TinyFit insert. It offered all of our models a consistent fit and has a fair bit of growing room for most young passengers. We struggled with tightening the harness and wonder about the weight limits for the seat alone and the seat with the TinyFit insert installed. The headrest is quite plush and doesn’t push the child’s head forwward so the Pria is a nice option for some children with special needs.
While Maxi-Cosi provided this seat to the author, Maxi-Cosi did not pay for or influence this review. All opinions expressed, as always, are entirely our own. Originally written by Angela Tastad. Edits maintained by CSFTL.