Maxi-Cosi is not new to the world of booster seats as they are a very popular brand in Europe. Their previous boosters available in the U.S. include the Rodi (pronounced Rho-dee) and Rodi XR, but they’re better known here for their infant and convertible seats. The brand new Maxi-Cosi RodiFix booster, which entered the market just a few months ago, introduces several new features including a unique shoulder belt guide and side wings that widen as the headrest is raised. It’s also the first armless dedicated high-back booster available since Britax’s original-style Parkway went off the market several years ago.

Specifications

  • The RodiFix is for children 30-120 lbs., 34-57” tall, and over three years old.
  • The seated shoulder height was not mentioned in the manual, but I measured it to be about 21” in the tallest height setting. The height adjustment is easy and one-handed.
  • The torso wings extend about 2” above where the shoulder belt guides are in the lowest position. The wings also adjust in and out about 2.5” as the headrest is moved up and down. 
  • Booster seat base is only 12” wide; combined with the lack of armrests may improve ease of buckling.
  • The seat weighs 14.5 lbs. which is significantly lighter than other boosters with rigid LATCH.
  • The torso wings are made entirely of energy-absorbing EPS foam. This foam is not supported by plastic shell. The torso wings felt fragile and I made a point of being very careful with them as I was installing the seat in tight situations because I was nervous about the possibility of cracking the foam.
  • The headrest is fully lined with thick EPS foam and features Dorel’s Air Protect® Technology for enhanced side impact protection, which they claim reduces the risk of head injury by 20%.

    

    

Fit to Vehicle

We used the RodiFix for my 8-year-old daughter, Allie. It fits beautifully in a captain’s chair in a 2005 Honda Odyssey, with the back of the booster seat flat against the vehicle seat back. It was easy to buckle compared to other boosters that might be wide enough to cover the buckle if not placed just so.

In the third row of my Odyssey, the RodiFix side wings and the seat cushion proved to be a challenge. I was unable to install it in the center of the third row next to an older Radian – rear-facing or forward-facing. However, it did work reasonably well in a RodiFix/rear-facing Coccoro/forward-facing Radian combination, and Allie was able to buckle with a bit of practice. The 3rd row in my van is extra challenging because it has floppy buckle stalks, which means booster riders may need to use both hands to buckle.

I had better luck in my 2003 Ford Focus wagon, which has short, fixed buckle stalks. I was able to get a successful install (i.e. Allie was able to buckle with a bit of practice) with the RodiFix next to a forward-facing Classic Marathon, a rear-facing Radian, or a forward-facing Radian.

The RodiFix is not going to be the answer to every 3-across or tight buckling situation, but it is definitely worth a try if you are having difficulty with other boosters!

Unlike all other booster seats from Dorel, the RodiFix does NOT require head support from the vehicle up to the middle of the child’s head! We confirmed this with our contacts at Dorel. This is great news for parents who wish to use this booster in vehicles or seating positions that do not have a head restraint (like our Focus)!  That’s also good news in vehicles with head restraints that interfere with proper positioning of the booster and need to be removed for a better fit.

Fit to Child

In both vehicles, the RodiFix belt guide positioned the shoulder belt nicely between Allie’s neck and the edge of her shoulder, and it was snug against her torso. Although the lap belt was not perfectly flat across her thighs, it was touching the tops of her thighs, positioned over her strong hip bones and not up in her vulnerable abdominal area. The seat also provided decent leg support for her. Since belt fit can vary from child to child and from vehicle to vehicle, please make sure to assess for proper belt fit in every vehicle your child rides in. Allie commented that she wished she had somewhere to put her arms but she is used to sitting in a booster with armrests, so I wasn’t surprised by that comment.

This seat should fit a wide range of kids nicely, with size limits of 30-120 lbs. and 34-57”. Allie is in the middle of the size range, at 50” and about 52 lbs. Our four-year-old is closer to the lower end of the range, at 39” and 33 lbs. The side wings of the seat expand as the headrest is raised or lowered, so it fit the little one snugly as well. (Unfortunately, when I tried to get a picture of her in the seat, she quickly demonstrated why she is clearly not ready for a booster by squirming around and trying to put the shoulder belt behind her, so no picture.) Though the side wings are wide, the back of the seat is on the narrow side, so this booster may not be the best choice for stockier children.

    

With a measurement of 21” to the belt guide, the RodiFix is competitive in the current highback booster market. Allie is 8 years old and 50″ tall and as you can see she has a ton of growing room left in the RodiFix.

  

Cover

The cover is very slightly plush, comfortable, and soft to the touch. The seat we have is the “Sweet Cerise” pink fashion, an attractive two-tone cover with a star design embroidered onto it. The other three fashions are standard varieties of black (Total Black), gray (Steel Grey), and tan (Walnut Brown).

    Maxi-Cosi RodiFix - Sweet Cerise  

Following the instructions in the manual, the cover was relatively easy to remove and replace. To clean the cover, use warm sudsy water (no bleach or other harsh cleaners), rinse, and air dry.

LATCH

The RodiFix includes retractable rigid lower LATCH connectors. When securing the booster to the vehicle with LATCH, simply extend the connectors and push the seat onto the lower anchor bars in the vehicle. The connectors do not pivot. Removing the seat when installed with LATCH is much easier than I’ve found it to be with other rigid LATCH seats. Other boosters with rigid LATCH can feel misaligned if you’re unable to detach both sides at once (I nearly always have trouble reaching around to do that) but with the RodiFix you can uninstall each LATCH connector separately.

When not using the LATCH attachments, the connectors stay nicely tucked away in the back of the seat. Using the LATCH attachments isn’t required but it’s a great feature because it adds stability during loading and unloading, may improve protection in certain types of crashes, and prevents the booster from becoming becoming a projectile in a crash if the seat is unoccupied.

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix Rigid Latch Attachments

Kid’s Point of View

Allie says the headwings and sidewings don’t block her view, and she has lots of support for her legs. She was disappointed by the lack of armrests and cup holders (features she has become accustomed to on her other booster) but overall she found the seat comfortable and easy to buckle.

Advantages

  • Good weight/height range to accommodate many children
  • Fits children on the lower end of the size range very well
  • Easy-to-use LATCH attachments, especially when uninstalling
  • Air Protect Technology for enhanced side-impact protection
  • Well-padded and comfortable
  • Two recline positions, for comfort and for better vehicle fit
  • Armless, which may be an advantage for “puzzling” or in tight buckling situations
  • Unique shoulder belt guide makes it easy to insert and remove seatbelt; difficult for seatbelt to slip out of guide accidentally
  • Relatively lightweight for a seat with rigid LATCH attachments
  • Doesn’t need to be buckled in when unoccupied if attached to the vehicle’s lower anchors
  • Doesn’t require head support from the vehicle seat
  • Made in Europe (Portugal)

Disadvantages

(In fairness, these issues may not affect you or your child at all, but I list them here to inform buyers how the RodiFix varies from other typical boosters)

  • Highback only – cannot be used without the back
  • Side wings are just EPS foam and are not supported by plastic shell making them potentially fragile
  • It’s a narrow seat and better suited to slim or average-sized kids. If your child is stocky – this probably won’t be the best choice for longevity
  • No cup holders (what can we say – it’s a European design and they don’t share our American passion for cup holders)

Conclusion

The Maxi-Cosi RodiFix is a unique, high-end booster with innovative features that make it easy to install and easy for kids to buckle themselves. Deep head and torso wings plus the Air Protect cushions offer enhanced protection in side-impact crashes and make the RodiFix comfortable and supportive for sleeping. The rigid LATCH attachments are a huge bonus if you don’t want to deal with remembering to buckle the booster when your child isn’t riding in it. Plus, securing the booster to the vehicle via the rigid lower anchor connectors adds stability during loading and unloading and may provide additional benefits during certain types of crashes. The RodiFix will probably work well for most slim or average-sized kids in the 4-10 age range but probably won’t fit kids on the higher end of the weight range comfortably. The maximum height setting (21″ to shoulder belt guide) should be sufficient to get most kids to the point where they can pass the 5-Step Test. Last but not least, the narrow base combined with its “no armrests” design may make it a good seat for “puzzling” next to other carseats or other tight situations.

For more information please see the Maxi-Cosi RodiFix webpage here:  http://www.maxi-cosi.com/us-en/products/car-seats/booster/rodifix.aspx

Thank you to Maxi-Cosi for providing the RodiFix booster used for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.