I have a love-hate relationship with car seats. I love them because they keep my kids safe, but I hate that most car seats aren’t user-friendly.
Over the years, we’ve had quite the collection of car seats for our kids, and some have been better than others. When we were offered the chance to try out the Evenflo Symphony LX All-In-One Car Seat, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We pulled it out of the box and my two-year-old proudly claimed it as his own. After I managed to pry him off the car seat to look at it, several things stood out for me.
It seems like Evenflo ran a survey of parents everywhere and took their feedback to heart before designing the Symphony. Here are some of the really awesome things about it:
1. The shoulder straps are on sliders
What?! That’s amazing! The shoulder straps have always been one of our biggest sources of frustration. I mean, really, they shouldn’t be so complicated that you have to take the seat out of the car, flip it upside down and struggle for a good 30 minutes before you can finally set the straps where they’re supposed to be. Not so with the Evenflo. I can adjust the straps while my child is in the seat to ensure a perfect fit instead of using the pre-assigned slots and having to do gymnastics to get them set right. Plus, I can change the seat between kids easily and safely—for me, that’s a serious bonus.
2. The fabric adapts This seat has something called Outlast Performance Fabric, which keeps my son cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Since kids spend a lot of time in their car seats in a variety of weather and shouldn’t have winter coats on when they’re in their car seats, it’s amazing to hear about this feature. No more sweaty backs!
3. The cover is removable Given that my two-year-old has motion sickness any time our trip is longer than an hour (let’s not talk about it!), being able to easily remove the cover and wash it is an über-lifesaver.
4. It converts easily from reclining rear-facing to upright front-facing It’s all built in: You just pull a lever under the front and it changes angles. It took a bit of fiddling to get it right, but it was easy once I figured it out. There are three incline options, so you can use whichever one is best for your child’s stage. Honestly, I wish this had been the seat we used for our newest little one. I think the reverse recline is much nicer than any other all-in-one seat.
5. It has buckle pockets Oh, man! I love that you can just stick the buckles into these little pockets to keep them from getting really hot in the sun and also out of the way when you’re getting your kid into the seat so you don’t have to dig them out from under your kidlet to strap him in. My only complaint is that I wish they were lower down on the seat, as they’re a little hard to tuck in.
6. There are built-in cup holders When we go on road trips, all the older kids are able to use the cupholders that are beside them in the van, but Jr. has nowhere to keep his cup of water. I usually end up with it in the middle of the driver’s console and have to pass it back to him whenever he is thirsty. But this car seat has cupholders built right in (boy, does that make him feel special!). There are two of them, which means one can hold a drink and the other one can hold snacks—as long as it's a short car ride and there's no risk of motion sickness.
In addition to all of these features, you can adjust the headrest as your child grows. Since the seat is good for children from five to 110 pounds, that’s a pretty great feature. With extra side-impact reinforcement and a sturdy structure, the seat is heavy-duty, too. The week or so before we put the seat in the car, my two-year-old took it for a test drive, using it as a climber, a stepstool and a TV chair. Trust me, it will last a long time.
I’m thrilled with this car seat. It’s a safe and comfortable chair for my son, and he loves it, too.
Lisa Marie is a busy, homeschooling mom to four boys and a baby girl. When not teaching or chasing a child, she’s usually at her computer, where she spends her time helping other homeschooling families across Canada through her website—The Canadian Homeschooler.
Multi-Testing Mommy is a place for Canadian families to stay up to date on everything related to kids and the family. Amanda, the founder, lives in the GTA with her two children and husband. She features many of her favourite baking recipes and loves to help Moms and Dads navigate through the challenging and rewarding job of parenting by sharing many tips, tricks, fun family ideas and loads of information. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for daily tips.
This seat combines Evenflo’s top safety ratings with plenty of smart features that make your life easier (like pockets for keeping sun-warmed metal buckles from touching baby’s skin—genius!) This model also features their new OUTLAST Performance Fabric, which helps balance your babe’s temperature. Evenflo’s e3 Side Impact Protection reduces force from side crashes by up to 50 percent, so you can feel safe knowing that your kid is protected. Oh, and did we mention it’s easy to install? SureLATCH Technology means this seat can be ready to roll in just 60 seconds. Road trip?
Where to buy: $270, evenflo.com>
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