Maxi-Cosi RodiSport Booster Review: Stylish, Versatile, Comfy

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2022 Maxi-Cosi RodiSport Belt-Positioning Booster Review

RodiSport Polished PebbleMaxi-Cosi has a booster guaranteed to make both kids and parents happy. The RodiSport is on the narrower side (though I wouldn’t classify it as a skinny booster), which parents will like for smaller spaces and it has armrests, which kids will like. The cover is Maxi-Cosi comfortable: well-padded, and soft to the touch because of the premium fabrics. The RodiSport has push-on rigid LATCH connectors so it’s a push and go installation; there’s no worry about having to buckle it in when a child isn’t riding in it to keep it from becoming a projectile in a crash.

WEIGHT AND HEIGHT LIMITS

Highback: 40-100 lbs.; 43-57”

Backless: 40-110 lbs.; 43-57”

RODISPORT OVERVIEW
  • 7-position headrest
  • Can be installed with rigid lower LATCH connectors
  • Converts to backless booster
  • Lined with EPP foam
  • Recline option for better vehicle fit
  • One removable, dishwasher-safe cup holder
  • Premium fabrics are machine wash/dry
  • Made in China
  • MSRP $179.99
MEASUREMENTS

Belt guide heights: 14 ½”-21 ½”
Inside shoulder width: 12 ¾”
Inside hip width: 11 ¾”
Seat depth: 14 ½” highback, 15 ½” backless
External widest point: 18 ¾”
Seat weight: 13 lbs.

There are 3 fashions generally available: Essential Blue, Polished Pebble, and Midnight Black.

RodiSport Essential Blue RodiSport Polished Pebble RodiSport Midnight Black

The booster comes out of the box in two pieces and it can be used without the back unlike its sister seat the Maxi-Cosi RodiFix which is highback-only. To attach the back of the RodiSport to the booster bottom – line the hooks on the back portion to the slots on the back of the seat bottom and tilt it up. It will make a couple of very loud clicks as you push up and might sound like you’re breaking it, but you’re not. The nice thing is that once it’s up, it’s up and you can carry it like this without worrying about the seat bottom falling off. If you want to convert it to backless mode, push the highback portion down toward the ground and ignore the awful sounds that make you feel like you’re breaking it. You’re not breaking it. Trust me.

FIT TO CHILD

Shoulder belt fit is adjusted by squeezing a handle on the back of the headrest and lifting up or pushing down. Be sure to adjust the headrest so that the shoulder belt guides are above your child’s shoulders and their ears are inside the headrest. Maxi-Cosi specifies that your child’s head should also not be above the top of the vehicle seat’s head restraint.

One interesting tidbit that we don’t see often (and shows us that we must always read the instruction manual): use the shoulder belt guide only if it helps with positioning the shoulder belt optimally. What is optimal shoulder belt placement? You want the shoulder belt to lay flat across the collarbone, touching at the top center (closer toward the neck rather than toward the outside shoulder). If you use the shoulder belt guides, adjust the headrest up or down to find the best placement. In our pics, we show the use of the shoulder belt guide for educational purposes.

Our sweet model is 56 lbs. and 52″ tall.

When used as a backless booster, shoulder belt fit can be improved with the shoulder belt positioner add-on strap. We didn’t need it in my car because shoulder belt fit was perfect on her.

Both the lap AND shoulder belts are threaded under the armrest nearest the buckle.

FIT TO VEHICLE

Check your vehicle owner’s manual to see if you can install the booster using the rigid lower LATCH connectors. This is an optional feature that keeps the booster in place when the child is not in the seat; otherwise, the child should buckle the booster in when getting out of it so it doesn’t become a projectile in a crash.

The booster reclines one position back (“click”) to match the natural recline of the vehicle seat back. Don’t recline the vehicle seat if yours has that feature. It leads to submarining, or sliding, under the lap portion of the seat belt. And of course, booster seats can only be used with lap/shoulder belts. Shoulder belts provide upper body restraint.

I haven’t found a highback booster seat yet that doesn’t leave a gap behind it in my Tesla Model X, so the first thing I always do is email our contact at the manufacturer to ask if this is allowed since the manual expressly prohibits this gap. It’s not just an issue in my vehicle; most new vehicles now have protruding head restraints that cause some kind of gap behind child restraints and prohibition causes a real problem with highback boosters. Our contact told me, after reviewing my picture, that as long as the booster makes contact at the base and at the top, it’s fine.

There are some specific LATCH installation warnings and rather than list them here, I will post a pic of the manual page for easy reading.

Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:

Permitted only in designated LATCH positions

Inflatable Seat Belts:

Not allowed

COVER/MAINTENANCE/EASE OF USE

Maxi-Cosi suggests throwing the cover in the washing machine in a delicate cycle using cold water, but doesn’t specify the type of detergent. I wouldn’t hesitate to use regular laundry detergent without any special additives such as bleach or oxi-whatevers. You can then throw the cover in the dryer on low for 10-12 minutes to start the drying process. Hang it out to finish up any leftover drying.

I consider the instruction manual to be ease-of-use. For the most part, Maxi-Cosi manuals are very easy to read and understand with nice illustrations. I read through it and initially thought it was great . . . until we used it during skills testing at my last cps technician certification course. A student was using the RodiSport during skills testing and kept routing the seat belt incorrectly. When I asked him to show me his thought process (because *nobody* should fail a booster seat install), he showed me the manual and there it was…

The shoulder belt in the diagram is routed under the armrest on the side opposite of the buckle; which is 100% incorrect. On that side (door side/retractor side), the shoulder belt should be no where near the armrest.

Correct Belt Routing

There’s another incorrect diagram in the backless booster section as well.

I understand that we should follow the steps the words want us to take, but how many times do our brains not process the words so we follow what the picture shows? How many non-English or limited-English speakers will look through the manual and follow the pictures instead of the words? To say I was shocked that this blatant of an error made it through the editing process is an understatement, and I’ve seen many hundreds of instruction manuals.

FAA/LIFESPAN/CRASH

Because belt-positioning booster seats require the use of lap/shoulder belts, the RodiSport is not FAA approved and cannot be used on an airplane.

The RodiSport has a lifespan of 10 years. Maxi-Cosi follows NHTSA crash guidelines for replacement after a crash.

ADVANTAGES
  • Tall highback booster
  • 7 position headrest
  • Can be installed with lower rigid LATCH connectors
  • Converts to backless booster
  • Lined with EPP foam
  • External side impact cushions
  • One removable, dishwasher-safe cup holder
  • Machine-washable and dryable cover
DISADVANTAGES
  • Illustrations in instruction manual show improper routing of the seatbelt. Maxi-Cosi has been alerted to this issue and hopefully this error will be corrected in future updated versions of the user guide.

 

Thank you to Maxi-Cosi, who provided the RodiSport sample used in this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

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4 Comments

  1. Ellie Corbin May 31, 2022
    • Elaine F June 16, 2022
      • SafeDad June 30, 2022
  2. Stephanie Edwards May 24, 2022

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