In a Nutshell
This car seat is suitable from birth until the age of four. Your
child can remain in the safer rear-facing position until he reaches 13kg (15mths), after which it swivels to point forwards.
The Opal is surprisingly compact given the age range it spans.
The seatbelt-only fitting process isn’t too hellish and the cover handily comes off without having to remove the seat’s harness.
Maxi-Cosi has a solid reputation for comfy seats, and this model
is certainly no exception. That said, many parents will probably prefer a dedicated seat for their newborns, that clicks into place in the car with less fuss.
Twist a prominent knob and the seat widens like a clam to help a growing child fit. You won’t be spinning an Opal back and forth to show off, though, as this can’t be done while in a car.
It won’t fit on a travel system – ironic given this is the USP of most Maxi-Cosi seats – and a child can only face rearwards in it for up to 15mths. Its plastic harness-clips seem fragile, too.
Britax First Class plus, britax.co.uk
This model can also seat a baby rear-facing until 13kg and then face forwards. It’s lighter, yet trickier to install, and can’t be used in a travel system either.
BEST FOR... LONG-TERM VALUE
Weight range 0–18kg (Groups 0+ and 1)