The Maxi-Cosi Pebble Car Seat has been one of the most popular infant carriers on the market for some time, yet since the arrival of the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus Car Seat some parents are not sure which one to choose. Whilst the Pebble and Pebble Plus may look very similar on first appearances, there are some notable differences which is why we have tried to compare the two, side by side, to figure out the ‘plus’ in the Pebble Plus. If you want us to cut to the chase….. and just want “the best“, the Pebble Plus is the one for you.
In terms of statistics both car seats are Group 0+ meaning they are suitable from birth and will take your child through to approximately 12 months; up to 13kg for the Pebble and up to 75cm for the Pebble Plus. The reason for the slight difference in measurements is simply due to the fact that the i-Size regulations for the Pebble Plus now work on length of baby rather than weight.
We love that straight out of the box both are ready to go, meaning no hassle – perfect for busy parents. In addition, the Pebble and Pebble Plus offer the ultimate in convenience when travelling with baby – both are TÜV approved for use on aircraft and they fit all Maxi-Cosi and Quinny pushchairs (and will work with many other brands of pushchairs with the right adaptors).
On first glance you can see that in concept the seat design of the Pebble Plus is similar to the original Pebble. Simultaneous adjustment of the harness and headrest to accommodate your growing baby is a classic Maxi-Cosi feature which appears on both seats. Both also feature a 3-point safety harness with ‘stay open’ functionality to help get your little one in and out easily. This feature is fantastic and means there is no tugging and moving of straps whilst trying to manoeuvre a sleeping newborn into the car seat.
As with so many Maxi-Cosi car seats the covers are removable, washable and replaceable (without having to dismantle the harness) making life that little bit easier. Cleaning up spillages, changing colours and swapping covers for different seasons is super simple.
The carrying handle is a vital component of any infant carrier as part of the safety concept of Maxi-Cosi infant car seats is based around the positioning of this handle when driving – it must always be upright to provide the best protection for baby. It is therefore unsurprising that this element of the Pebble and Pebble Plus is very similar. We love the soft grip material of the handle and that it can be moved into multiple positions, allowing you to easily swap between feeding position (bar out of the way) rocking position (allow baby to keep sleeping) and driving position (upright handle).
Integrated sun canopies are a built in accessory with both models – the sun canopies can be hidden when not in use and can be taken out to attach via hooks to the handle on those sunny days. We know that convenience is key with young babies and this integrated canopy is another simple yet practical feature. This means you’re never caught out without the canopy to protect baby from the sun.
Both the Pebble and Pebble Plus can be secured with the traditional three point car seat belt or with ISOfix when using an appropriate base and ISOfix anchor points. We love the ISOfix method as this makes the correct installation easy – the seat base will secure into the ISOfix anchor points in your car in a simple ‘click and place’ fitting procedure (no seat belts required!) – safer for baby and simpler for you!
The recommended base for each seat is the Maxi-Cosi FamilyFix Base for the Pebble and the Maxi-Cosi 2WayFix Base for the Pebble Plus – both of these provide interactive installation feedback with light and sound confirmation which makes the process ultra easy and provides extra peace of mind for parents to know that baby is safely secured.
When it comes to turning your stroller and car seat into a travel system to deal with any situation (and any weather conditions!) there are lots of fantastic products within the Maxi-Cosi range. Due to the similarities between the Pebble & Pebble Plus most of the accessories are shared – for blustery and chilly winter weather we love using the Maxi-Cosi Pebble & Pebble Plus Raincover (from £13.45) and the Maxi-Cosi Pebble & Pebble Plus Footmuff (from £43.99).
In terms of look and feel the Pebble and Pebble Plus are like two peas in a pod and offer similar features and functionalities. The Pebble is still a popular car seat and with good reason but there are a number of differences which make the newer Pebble Plus model a better option.
When you get it out of the box, you can’t miss the new labels on the Pebble Plus which indicate that it’s an i-Size compliant seat. The Pebble Plus was the first i-Size infant carrier on the market and is part of Maxi-Cosi’s new 2Way Family which is made up of the Pebble Plus (for newborns) 2WayPearl (for toddlers) and the 2WayFix base, all of which meet with the latest European i-Size regulations.
The Pebble is of course still perfectly safe within car seat laws and complies with the older ECE R44/04 legislation which will be in effect for the foreseeable future. i-Size is however the new and recommended regulation for car travel and we think it’s worth investing in an i-Size seat if you’re looking for a new car seat. If you’re at all confused about the legislation and the principle of i-Size in general you can read more in our ‘What is i-Size?’ article.
The Pebble Plus has been redesigned with iSize in mind and now features advanced side impact material on the top side wings. Whilst in initial appearance you may not notice the difference, this new high tech impact-absorbing material in the top side wings provides better comfort and more importantly improved safety performance in the event of a side-on collision.
There are some noticeable changes in the makeup of the seat which improve the safety, comfort and ease of use. The Pebble Plus features a new baby hugg inlay which ensures a better fit and positioning for newborns whilst also providing extra safety and comfort. We love that this new baby hugg inlay is well cushioned to ensure a comfy ride for our little one and is also reversible so that you can swap it over for that extra splash of colour!
The Pebble Plus has been revamped and with it i-Size compliance and baby hugg inlay we think it strikes the perfect balance between state of the art safety and a stylish and comfortable look and feel.
This doesn’t mean it’s the choice for everyone, the Pebble still offers fantastic features at a lower price point with the same period of use and core features as the Pebble Plus. We think that the unique benefits of the Pebble Plus make it the better choice but hopefully this comparison will help you make the right choice for you and your little one.
Maxi-Cosi Pebble Car Seat RRP: £165
John Lewis £165
Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus Car Seat RRP: £190
John Lewis £190
Prices found as of March 2016.