Maxi-Cosi is an international brand of carseats and strollers gaining more of a presence in North America in recent years. It is owned by Dorel Juvenile Products Group, makers of brands like Cosco, Safety 1st and Quinny. Today I am reviewing the Maxi Cosi Rodi XR Booster.  The Rodi is a high back booster that converts to a backles booster.  It is suggested for kids 30-100 pounds (40-100 in backless mode) and 34-57 inches tall (43-57 inches for backless mode).

Key features include deep side head wings lined with energy absorbing EPP foam and width-adjustable side torso wings, also lined with energy absorbing foam.  The bottom platform under the base can lowered and shifted back to adjust it from upright to reclined mode.  A basic cup holder attaches to either side of the base.  A standard lever at the top of the head rest allows for 8 height adjustments for the back.  The Rodi XR was recently rated a “Best Bet” as a high back booster in IIHS testing.

So how is the Rodi XR? It’s a very nice high back booster.  It’s well padded and comfortable.  The basic width and height adjustments work well and you can see the seated height measurements below.  The recline feature is fairly unique and can be handy.

Perhaps most importantly, it fits well.  As you can see in some photos below, it positions the shoulder belt nicely across the center of the chest and shoulder.  It also correctly keeps the lap belt very high on the upper thighs for both my 4 year old son (almost 45 inches tall, nearly 45 pounds) and 9 year old daughter (54 inches tall, about 76 pounds).

It’s fairly easy to use, also.  We had no issues with the guide for the lap belt.  The shoulder belt guide is a little narrow.  I found no problems using it in our 2010 Toyota Prius with seat mounted shoulder belts.  I did note that it would sometimes fold over in the guide when using it in our 2006 Honda Odyssey.  This would make it a little more difficult to extend and retract the shoulder belt.  This can be an issue with various boosters and it is usually specific to certain vehicles.  Depending on the angle and height of the shoulder belt guide in relation to where the vehicle shoulder belt retractor is located, you may find that some boosters tend to work better in some vehicles and not so well in others.  As this seemed to be the case in our Odyssey with high mounted shoulder belts coming from the pillar, it is worth checking in other vehicles with similar shoulder belt location.  Overall, this is not a safety issue as long as you make sure it doesn’t stay folded over such that it will not freely move in and out of the shoulder belt retractor in your vehicle.  I tell my kids to make sure to tighten their lap belt and push all the slack into the shoulder belt and that usually works pretty well with any booster.

Beyond that, it was quite simple to use and to adjust.  I heard no complaints regarding comfort at all.  While the cover is not plush, it is a more durable synthetic fabric that should hold up well over time.  The cupholder is functional, but it does protrude quite a bit from the side.  Though it worked fine in our minivan captains chair, it might not fit against a door or next to an adjacent seat in a smaller sedan like our Prius.  In that case, it is very easy to remove.

As for measurements, the base is about 18 inches wide on the outside of the arms.  You can see in the photos below the seated width and depth measurements.  I have not yet tried it as a backless booster.  As a high back, it was top rated by the IIHS for fit, plus you gain the benefit of some side impact protection, a shoulder belt guide and properly adjusted head support in the event of a rear impact!

The manual is relatively short and concise.  I do take exception with the “Over 1 Year Old” specified minimum age limit.  Combined with the 30 pound minimum for high back mode, this could lead to some use that would not be considered safest practice.  The manual also indicates that the top of the child’s ears must not be above the top of the vehicle seatback or head restraint (if present).  This is true for both backless and high back use.  This is a drawback compared to many other boosters if you need to use it in a vehicle seating position that lacks a head restraint, especially if you have a tall child or a low seat back.  In fairness, there is no standard for measuring the strength of a high back booster’s head restraint section.  While a few models have obvious metal or major plastic reinforcements for the head restraint, I suspect there are others that are no stronger than the one on the Rodi XR.

As for price, the MSRP is a little steep at $159, but I’ve seen it recently for as low as $119 online with free shipping.  That’s still on the high end for a high back booster, but the Rodi XR seems to be a solid product with a few extra features compared to basic models. The Rodi XR appears to be made in the USA, though it wasn’t completely clear.  The cover is made in China.  There is also a Maxi Cosi Rodi that is similar to the XR model, but lacks the adjustable torso wings, adjustable recline and a cupholder.

Thank you to Dorel and 360 Marketing for providing the review sample to CarseatBlog along with another Rodi XR to the winner of one of our holiday booster giveaways!  You can find the official web page for the Maxi Cosi Rodi XR here.