With the multitude of stroller and car seat options out there, it can be challenging for any parent to find the best option for their family. I’ve been fortunate to be able to review lots of different models and because of this, I’ve really learned a lot about what to look for. This time around, I had a lot to consider now that we have a family of four! The features that are most important to me include safety, ease of use, functionality, style and space. The Maxi-Cosi Zelia Max 5-in-1 Modular Travel System easily checked everything on my wish list. The travel system includes the Zelia Stroller, a bassinet and the Mico 30 Infant Car Seat.
Lightweight and compact
Many strollers and infant carriers can be quite heavy so this is the first thing I look for: weight and ease of carrying it. I don’t always have two hands free to pull the stroller out of the car so with two kids, it’s essential that the stroller be lightweight and easy to open and close (especially during the post-partum period when you can’t lift anything heavy). The Maxi-Cosi Zelia Max is lightweight and easy to manage, especially compared to the stroller we used for our first child. I couldn’t believe the difference. It makes outings much more manageable. In addition, the Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat doesn’t add a lot of bulk and it is easy to snap onto the stroller base; not all car seats are so easily attached and removed from the stroller base. The car seat is pretty lightweight too (9 pounds without the base). Our newborn looks quite snug and comfy in there!
The stroller base folds down easily to be pretty compact. It doesn’t take up as much room in the trunk as the one I had for my son, which I like. This means that there’s actually room for the stroller and the groceries! The stroller I used for my son was much bigger and bulkier so I like that this one is streamlined.
Safety and configuration
The car seat was fairly easy to install in our car. It can be used for babies as small as 4 lbs, which is good since our little one was pretty tiny when we brought her home from the hospital. (The maximum weight is 30 lbs although I can’t see any 30-pound child fitting in it.) The handle is contoured, which makes it easy to carry, whether in your hand or on your arm and the infant insert ensures that baby is safely and securely positioned in the car seat. I also really like the look of it. Obviously, this isn’t nearly as important as its safety features but it doesn’t hurt.
The stroller, which has a maximum weight of 50 lbs, can be configured five different ways, so you can choose the seating and view that’s best for your baby at any given time; carriage mode is for babies and easily converts into a toddler seat as your child grows. Both configurations can be either parent-facing or world-facing.
The stroller is easy to maneuver and is a pretty smooth ride on pavement. The wheels are made of plastic, so use extra caution if using it on rough terrain. I also like that the stroller handle is adjustable, so my husband and I can both set it to our own individual heights.
Stylish and spacious
I always need a place to stash stuff (diapers and wipes and snacks and extra clothes and toys … ) so the bottom basket in the stroller is really useful. Some strollers just don’t have enough space and it can be frustrating. The storage basket on this stroller is a decent size and I haven’t found the size to be much of an issue.
Since our baby is still a newborn, I mostly use the stroller configured with the car seat. As I mentioned above, the car seat attaches easily to the stroller base but I wish that the canopy extended further. I’m extremely careful with the baby and sun exposure on her delicate skin and the canopy doesn’t shade her completely. To be extra safe, I use a Milk Snob car seat cover, which doubles as a handy coverup for breastfeeding.
Overall, I really like the Maxi-Cosi Zelia Max 5-in-1 Modular Travel System. It offers a lot of features that are important to me. It’s a great stroller-car seat combo that works hard and looks good.