This stroller is a standard stroller that gives you everything you expect a traditional umbrella stroller to have; easy folding, comfy seat, little bit of storage, and a sun shade. Unfortunately, it just didn't execute any of it well enough to convince us it is worth the price. The folded size was big and heavy, the storage was difficult to access, and the sunshade was smaller than most. So while the product rated higher than 2/3 of the products we tested, it did not score as well as cheaper products and award winners. Several other strollers offered more bang for the buck, and additional conveniences, which made the Cosi seem not very cozy after all.
Maxi-Cosi Kaia Review
Pros: Fabric, easy to fold
Cons: Heavy, storage access
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Maxi-Cosi Kaia is an umbrella stroller made by Dorel juvenile. This stroller has a reclining back, adjustable leg rest, and sun shade that can detach from the seat back for added air flow. It features a cup holder, below seat storage, and it can convert to a travel system with an additional purchase. This stroller also has auto-lock and self-stand mechanisms when folded. It comes in 3 different colors.
Ease of Use
This product offers no other accessory options for parent or child. This means there is a lack of places to stash things you may need quickly like phone, keys, sippy cups, and pacifiers. Not necessarily a deal breaker in an umbrella stroller that is supposed to be somewhat no-frills.The Maxi has two features that keep kids riding in comfort and increase the overall convenience of use for this product. The Back of the seat reclines to help encourage or facilitate napping, and the leg rest is adjustable for stretching out or offering back of the knee support. The leg rest has 4 positions that range from folded at a 90 degree angle to perfectly straight out. They are adjusted using easy release buttons located at the hinge points on either side of the seat bottom.
The back of the Cosi has a one handed recline, utilized by squeezing the cinch strap latch to release and recline. It did take two hands to move from the reclined to an upright position, and it has a middle of the road recline angle for the products we tested. The seat can go back far enough to improve comfort, should a child fall asleep in the stroller, but it didn't fold back enough to really encourage sleep, or be cozy for a nap of any duration.
Safety is always important to us at BabyGearLab, so we reviewed a variety of safety concerns that included brakes, harnesses, and tip over tests. Safety was a metric the Maxi did well in tying for second place in this metric with the Joovy Groove.Brakes
This product had brakes that were easy to set, easy to release, and sandal foot friendly. The brake pedals were sort of stiff, but this prevented accidental engagement when bumped or rubbed on edges. The brake pedals are color coded to assist tired and befuddled parents who may forget which pedal applies the brake and which releases it. The pedals were well located, did not engage when caught inadvertently on curbs, and had only a little bit of wiggle in them when engaged. The stroller did start to slide after a minimum amount of pressure was applied, about 6 pounds forwards and 7 pounds back, but this was on par with most of the other products we tested. The only exception to this was the Quinny Yezz, which required an impressive 19 pounds of pressure to budge backwards and 15 forwards.Harness
The side tip angle fort his product was almost dead on average, like many of its attributes. It tipped sideways at around 26 degrees. The best in this metric was the Quinny Yezz and the Joovy Groove, both of which tipped at 30 degrees. The worst was the Mountain Buggy Mini which required on 20 degrees before succumbing to gravity.
The back tip weight for this product was pretty impressive requiring in excess of 40 pounds of pressure on the back of the stroller before it fell. This weight was significantly more than many of the strollers and landed it a spot in the top third of the products for sure. However, the Chicco Capri C6 Lightweight blew away the competition with an impressive 75 pounds of pressure needed before tipping.
The wheels on this stroller are hard plastic covered in a layer of rubber. The single front wheel is nice, but there is a little flex to the double back wheels which was a little concerning. The wheels are on the smaller side and there was a small indent on the far left rear when that we could feel when pushing. The wheels did not feel as durable as some of the others we reviewed, but they weren't the worst either.
Weight and Folded Size
The Cosi was the heaviest product we tested, coming in at 18 pounds 10 ounces. The average product in our tests was about 14 pounds, making the Maxi more than 4 pounds heavier than the average stroller in our review. While this is still lighter than a standard stroller, it does mean it will be more difficult to carry long distances and parents considering using this product in a way that would necessitate extensive carrying, would do well to test their ability to carry that much weight before buying. The lightest stroller was Jeep Wrangler All-Weather, which was almost 9 pounds.Folded Size
The stroller was also bigger than average for folded size coming in at 15x37x15. It did have a unique way of folding, which made it a little smaller in girth once folded, but it still takes up a significant amount of space at 8, 325 cubic inches. The smallest product in our tests was First Years Jet. The Jet folded up as you would expect an umbrella stroller to, and its smaller size made it great for hand carrying.
This product required two hands to fold, but the folding itself was easy to operate and accomplished in just three steps. The steps were intuitive, sandal friendly, and the stroller auto-locks in the folded position. This product also self-stands when folded to help parents with full hands or limited space manage the stroller and other items.
Most of the products we tested folded in on themselves in a tradition umbrella stroller fashion. A couple of the products folded in half more like a traditional stroller. This product did more of a telescoping action pushing in on itself as it collapsed. This means that you have to push down somewhat as you fold to get it to close properly. This is not difficult, just noteworthy since it was an anomaly in this group of products, and knowing this information can make folding intuitively easier.Commuting
Its larger size and heavier weight mean it is harder to get into and out of trunk, more difficult to get on and off public transportation, and it takes up more space in public places. But if you do manage to take it out and about, it does have a nice seat height for visiting cafes and other sights, by placing the child higher up than much of the competition.
Ease of Setup
The Maxi was one of the easiest strollers in our review to set up. It took just over 6 minutes from opening the box to using the product. The instructions had written text as well as pictures to walk through he process of setup. While the text took longer to read than the products whose instructions included only pictures, the added information means the time to set up is significantly quicker. We had no complications or difficulty setting up this product.
This product came in 6th place in our tests, with most of its points coming from safety and setup. While we like a product to be safe, it seemed to be fairly lackluster in other metrics. There may not be a best application for this stroller. It doesn't have enough storage to consider it as a primary stroller, and it was almost too heavy to be a great umbrella stroller.
This product was more expensive than many of the others we tested, including 3 that rated higher. Its price was above average, but more than that it was a price that just didn't offer as much bang for the buck as some of the other strollers in our review. For instance, the UPPAbaby G-Luxe scored a full five points higher, and was about $15 cheaper on average. It also has more features and a better user-friendly feel than the Cosi.
Overall we didn't hate the Cosi, it just didn't really do anything for us either. It managed to get the job of stroller done better than 10 other products, but it just didn't wow us for the price. In our tests there were 3 other strollers that were cheaper and scored better, including the Chicco Liteway, which was a full $100 less on average and earned a Best Value award. All of this made the Cosi a stroller we wouldn't necessarily recommend. There was nothing so terrible that we would say don't buy it, but there was nothing so great to merit an endorsement either.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz