Introduction

The Maxi-Cosi Elea is one of the newer prams to hit the Australian market and while the sleek moden design may not appeal to all potential buyers it certainly hits the mark in terms of functionality. The Elea has a unique 2 mode fold and is travel system compatible making it perfect for jet setting parents, parents with small boots or those that just like a compact package.

Model Reviewed:Elea 2012
Overall Rating:
(4.0 out of 5)
Edited By:Sally Marshall
Reviewed By:Tara

View Technical Data for this Pram

Seat design and function

The seat unit on the Elea consists of an extra padded seat front that is made from a spongey, yet firm wipeable material, that is contained within a blow moulded, rigid plastic shell backing.

It is a reversible seat unit that has 3 recline postions in either direction, and features an automatic glide flat seat - when you recline the seat back the leg rest adjusts automatically and in the final position you end up with a flat sleep surface. The seat unit also features a head barrier and a removable swingaway front bar.

The seat can be removed from the chassis with the click of 2 buttons on either side of the seat units. They are memory buttons so you simply push one and then the other and then pull the seat unit off the chassis - this can all be done with one hand if need be. The recline is a one hand lever system on the upper rear of the seat unit.

Seat dimensions
Seat Back:           50cm
Clearance to Hood:         54cm
Seat Width:        32cm
Seat Depth:        19cm    
Seat Weight Limits:         20kgs (Australia)/15kgs (EU/US)

Child safety harness

The Elea has a padded 5pt adjustable harness that has ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­3 shoulder height positions. The buckle mechanism is a 3 piece locking set that requires the two insert pieces to be slotted together before inserting them into the buckle. To release, the 2 buttons on the sides  of  the buckle need to be pressed simultaneously, which is easy to do one handed. It also has push button adjustable waist straps that work similar to the strap adjustment mechanism you would see on a carseat.

The optional bassinet features a crotch harness as pictured above.

Hood or Canopy

The hood is attached to the back of the seat unit. It has three positions with the third requiring you to unzip the middle section of the hood to allow for the further expansion. When zipped up the hood looks neat and tidy as the extra fabric is contained and doesn't bunch up.

Handle design and function

The Elea features a single bar 4 position adjustable handle. The handle is easily adjusted using buttons on either side of the frame. The handle automatically locks into position once it is adjusted, and a position can be skipped by holding in the button while adjusting. The outer edges of the handle are smooth rubber that  provide an easy, comfortable grip. The centre is plastic which allows for the handle to fold in on hinges to complete the compact fold mode. A tether strap is permently looped around the handle.

Storage

The basket on the Elea is easily accessable when the seat is facing either direction. The basket is constructed of a strong mesh like material. While not an overly deep basket, the clearance height between it and the seat allows for storage of larger bags and parcels. I was able to fit a box of Huggies nappies in the space with no issues. The Elea also features inbuilt bag hooks, these are located on the inner side of the handle adjustment mechanism.

Wheels

The front swivel wheels are 7 inch solid wheels that can be locked straight. The buttons to do this are located halfway up the chassis near the seat attachment mechanism which means no bending over to lock wheels. Simply press to lock and press again to unlock - each side locks independently.

The rear wheels are 10in solid tyres that feature adjustable suspension and have a rear wheel width base measurement of 62cm. The suspension has  2 settings, soft for infants and harder for older toddlers, it is adjusted by levers located on the inner frame at wheel level under the brake pedals.

Brakes

The brake is a one touch pedal linked brake located in the traditional position near the rear wheels. The red pedal on the right side engages the brake and the blue button on the left disengages the brake.

Fold mechanism

The Elea has a unique folding feature which means it can be folded in two different modes; Everyday and Compact.

The everyday fold is completed in one piece. To fold in one piece press and hold the safety button located on the right hand side of the chassis bar and then press the 2 buttons on the upper surface of the chassis supports. All three buttons required to fold are located just under the handlebar adjustment mechanism. Once all three buttons are pressed the pram slides down on itself with ease. This mode requires the seat unit to be forward facing.

The Compact fold is a two piece fold. Remove the seat unit by pressing the grey memory buttons on either side of the chassis and lift it off the chassis. Follow the above steps to fold the chassis then pull the black carry handle that is located just above the basket. This will pull the pram into itself and reduce the width of the folded chassis.

The pram chassis features an automatic lock to keep it closed and is self standing in either fold mode. To open the chassis press the red unlock button located on the right hand side and pull upwards, there is a grey foot pedal located on the rear centre of the basket that you can use to push outwards in order to create tension so that it locks in securely, however I found I didn't really need to use this to get the pram to lock in. When folded, the chassis has a carry handle which can be used in either every day or compact mode.

Manoeuvrability

The Elea is an absolute pleasure to push with both lighter and heavier children. I  was able to push and steer it one handed with my 16kg, 3yr old in the seat unit. It turns easily and is easy to navigate through most obstacles (ie crowded shops). It glides along footpaths and smooth surfaces with ease, however the lockable swivel front wheels enable it to handle some rougher terrains such as grass and playground mulch with no problems.

Size

The Elea is a roomy pram that will last your child from birth right through their pram riding days. It's a full size pram with the manoeuvrability of a stroller, however potential buyers should remeber it has a full size pram footprint. I had no issues with accessing places, however parents wanting to visit quaint little cafes may come up against some issues size wise.

Dimensions of product assembled:
80W x 51D x 105H cm

Dimensions of product folded:
88.5W x 60.5D x 39.5H cm

Weight of product: 13 kg

Accessories

The Elea includes a raincover and adapters for the Elea carrycot/Maxi-Cosi Capsule with your initial purchase. There is also range of optional accessories available for purchase seperately, these include

- Carrycot

- Safety First OneSafe capsule.

Travel System

The Maxi-Cosi Elea is can be used with both the Maxi-Cosi Infant Carrier and the Safety First One Safe Capsule.

Conclusion

I have really enjoyed reviewing the Elea. The first time I looked at it I wasn't overly impressed but I have to say after using it I am in love with the functionality of the pram iteself and can get past the looks. The smoothness of the push and the ease of steering combined with the fact that it is travel system ready would definately have me putting it at the top of my want list if I was requiring a new pram. I love the lie flat seat, the push button harness and the easy accessible basket - this is one pram I will definately be recommending.

The Pros

  • Sleek modern design
  • Reversible seat unit
  • Adjustable handle
  • Easily accessible basket
  • One touch brake
  • Glide Flat seat unit
  • Expandable hood
  • Easily adaptable travel system

The Cons

  • Shallow basket depth
  • Sleek moden look may not appeal to all
  • Everyday Fold is quite large.

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