Maxi-Cosi has unveiled its newest forward-facing car seat, the AxissFix Air i-Size, the world’s first to include airbags. Maxi-Cosi claims this technology will ‘reduce up to 55% of the forces acting on the neck vertebrae and the head’ in the event of an accident.
Maxi-Cosi’s new ‘Air Safety technology’, included in the AxissFix Air i-Size car seat, is a miniature airbag system designed to activate on impact to protect your child from neck and head damage.
The AxissFix Air’s bags are stored within padded straps that rest underneath your child’s neck, hooking over their shoulders and attached to the car seat harness. They’re held together by a chest clip, something which wasn’t allowed in old car seat regulations.
The Air Safety system is activated by sensors in the Isofix, which deploy the airbags 0.015 seconds after impact. Maxi-Cosi claims the airbags, inflated with cooled CO2, fill within 0.05 seconds before starting to deflate one second after impact. The bags should only go off if the impact is severe enough though, so they shouldn’t inflate if you have a minor crash or brake abruptly. You can watch the video below to see it in action.
We’ve found a shocking number of child car seats that have failed our tough tests, despite meeting UK standards. See our child car seat Best Buys to find highest-scoring models.
Is the Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air i-Size worth buying?
The Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air is an i-Size car seat, the latest standard of European safety regulation. If you set it rear-facing, it’s suitable from when your child is 61cm to 86cm tall (about 2 years old). When it faces forward, it’s suitable from 15 months, up to 105cm in height terms (which equates to around four years old). The airbags are designed to work when the seat is facing in either direction, but mainly for a frontal impact collision.
In addition to the eye-catching main feature, the AxissFix Air also has a 360-degree swivelling seat, making it easy to switch between facing forwards and rearwards.
It also features an indicator to make sure you’ve correctly tightened the top tether and has a seven-position adjustable headrest, which automatically adjusts the harness height, and, crucially, also moves the airbag height to match. It can also be reclined to four different positions for added comfort.
The AxissFix Air is available now from Mothercare , John Lewis and selected independent retailers, and costs £550. As impressive as this model is, we’d suggest waiting until we have put this seat through our comprehensive tests before deciding whether to buy it.
Lisa Galliers, Which? car seat expert, says: ‘It’s great to finally see the Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air for sale. It’s expensive, but the airbag technology is really impressive. We’d expect it to perform better than a conventional forward-facing car seat, but we’ll be putting it through our more demanding crash tests as soon as we can, to see how well it protects.”
Why Which? child car seat testing matters
Which? child car seat tests go further than the standard, uncovering unsafe Don’t Buy child car seats that have passed EU standards. In 2017 alone, we’ve found 10 Don’t Buy child car seats. We’ve been testing child car seats for 50 years, so you know that when we recommend one you can rest assured it will offer your child the greatest protection possible.
Watch our video below to see what difference a Best Buy car seat can make compared to a Don’t Buy model. This video includes crash test footage of dummies, so some may find it distressing.
It’s not just safety tests we perform. We also conduct real-world fitting and usage tests – 500 every year, in fact. We get actual parents to have a go at fitting each seat in three different cars to see how easy the process is and whether it’s easy to get wrong.
We then get real children of different ages and sizes try out each seat to see how comfortable they are, and potentially highlight any safety issues that just using a test-dummy might miss.
We’ll have a review of the Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air online in 2018, but in the meantime, you can see how 21 other Maxi-Cosi car seats have done in our tests.