Evenflo Sonus

Evenflo continues to bring new products to the market to meet the needs of parents, coming in at impressive price points and ease of use features that make it easier for parents to keep their kids safe in the car.

Read on to learn about the Evenflo Sonus to see if it’s a good option for your family!

 

Sonus Specs:

Rear facing: 5-40 lbs, 19-40″

Forward facing: 22-50 lbs, 28-50″, at least two years old

Lowest harness height: 5.5″ (this will fit a newborn)

Highest harness height: 18.25″ (this will fit most kids to booster readiness)

Crotch buckle positions: Two, at 4″ and 5.75″, with an option to shorten the crotch buckle with special routing instructions for use with newborns under 10 lbs (see page 40 of the manual)

Seat weight: 11lbs

Width at widest point: 18.75″ (at cup holders and at shoulders)

Width of base at back bottom edge: 9″

Harness positions: Six: four for rear facing and three for forward facing. Rear facing positions are at approximately 5.5″, 7.5″, 10″ and 12.75″. Forward facing positions are at approximately 12.75″, 15.5″, 18.25″.

Use UAS until a child weight of: 50lbs (the max weight limit of the seat)

Expiry: 6 years from date of manufacture

 

Highlights:

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent price point at $119.99 (available at Babies R Us) in Lava Red and Boomerang Green
  • Low profile sides
  • Lots of leg room
  • Buckle storage pockets for easier loading of kids (no digging around underneath your child to find the buckles)
  • Harness is not twisty
  • Chest clip does not slide easily along the harness — this is a highlight if you have a child that likes to slide it down.
  • Narrow shape at the back/bottom means it will tend to work well in narrow seating positions, and around plastic hinges in seats with fold-down benches
  • Harness pads will be available soon for purchase, directly from Evenflo
  • Realistic height and weight limits in both modes
  • DUAL CERTIFICATION! For these seats purchased in Canada they are also certified for use in the US. Cool eh? Does not apply to seats purchased in the US. This is an excellent choice for those who travel a lot, no need to worry at all about if a seat in a US rental car is strictly legal for use by visitors.
  • Side venting in the seat shell to improve air flow
  • Like all of Evenflo’s line-up of seats the Sonus is rollover tested

 

Lowlights:

  • Recline angle rear-facing is a fixed line, so no adjustability for a more upright installation for older kids
  • Chest clip does not slide easily along the harness — this is a lowlight if you struggle to adjust it
  • The harness is more narrowly set at the neck than some (harness covers will soon be available for purchase from Evenflo)
  • Tether hook adjuster is larger than average, and in vehicles where the anchor is set very close to the back of the seat, it could be difficult to remove enough slack for a proper installation (such as the parcel shelf of a sedan)

 

Fit to Vehicle

When we first received this seat and tested it quickly in a 2012 Honda Civic for a comparison shot side-by-side another Evenflo tried and true favourite, the SureRide, we were amazed and impressed at how nicely it fit in the vehicle. Here the passenger seat is only a click from all the way back.

Upon testing it in a wide variety of other vehicles we quickly discovered that the Sonus is something of an enigma when predicting whether it will be compact or not when installed rear facing. In some vehicles it surely was, such as in the Civic as shown, and in others it seemed overly large. Extra strange was that even between leather and cloth upholstery of the same make and model (for example the current generation of Honda Odyssey) the Sonus was more compact than the SureRide…or it was bigger. Weird eh? We are really perplexed by this phenomenon and overall have found it to be really excellent where it fits, and not at all a good choice where, by some magical twist of the universe, it just takes up far more room than expected.

Very important to know that there can not be ANY overhang with this seat when it is installed rear facing, so if you have a shallow back seat it may not fit properly.

Also make sure you are using the velcro strap on the flip foot when installing rear facing (see page 38 in your manual).

 

Current generation (in red) and previous (boxier style) Ford Escape – it fit nicely in both.

 

 

A 3-across possibility in some situations – and a great fit in a 2013 Mitsubishi RVR.

 

2017 Ford Explorer was a good fit as well, and if you happen to have inflatable seat belts in your Explorer then the Sonus (or SureRide) are both great options because you can use UAS for a long time.

 

Current generation Honda Odyssey with cloth seats allowed for a good fit on the captain’s seats, and even in the 3rd row middle there was ample space. If you have an Odyssey with the 2nd row middle “8th” seat then good news! Sonus has been approved for use both rear- and forward-facing in that spot where not everything fits due to the narrow size and plastic hinges, provided a tight and correct installation is achieved. Remember there can not be any overhang in rear-facing mode.

2015 Honda CR-V left a medium amount of leg room up front.

And who can resist magnificent colour coordination? One could park a yacht in a 2016 Ford Super Crew but would it be this fashionable?

 

When installing rear facing, the recline level line can be hard to see, and therefore, align correctly. Make sure it is parallel to the groundTech tip: put a sticky note along that edge while you’re installing so it’s easier to eyeball. You CAN use a rolled up towel under the front edge to maintain the needed recline, but you don’t have to if your vehicle seats are perfectly sloped, or you are able to wedge the seat into the vehicle enough to hold the angle needed.

Forward-facing installation is generally straightforward. The nice high belt path means those with long seat belt buckle stalks will be happy, and the seat meshed quite well in most places. In vehicles with the tether anchor on the parcel shelf (the back sill of a sedan) it can be tricky to tighten the tether properly after installing; try pre-tightening, without going overboard and causing the seat to lift up before installation.

Forward-facing in a 2012 Honda Odyssey. Nice low profile makes for easy loading.

The narrow base and high belt path makes it a tidy fit in a lot of places.

Sonus is approved forward facing on the Odyssey 8th seat as well.

This side angle in a 2015 Honda CR-V really illustrates how nice and low it is. Those low sides makes it really easy for kids to get in and out themselves.

Forward facing installations often result in a gap between the back of the car seat and the vehicle seat. This is normal, and per Evenflo’s FAQs, is fine provided you have followed the instructions and have achieved a tight installation.

Fit to Child

Newborns fit nicely in Sonus as both the harness AND crotch buckle can be shortened to provide a proper fit on small babies. Our stand-in for a 6-ish lb baby fits really well.

Sonus’s major claim to fame is tremendous leg room. So much leg room! This 3.75 year old at 35lbs and 39.5″ tall is almost at the rear-facing max height but isn’t squished in the slightest; 11mo, 18lb child’s feet aren’t even touching the vehicle seat yet. Babe at 4.5 months and 16lbs has ages to go before she’d need to cross her legs.

   

The sleepy kiddo in the glasses is old enough to request the head pad for his comfort, but it’s optional – if you find it’s pushing your child’s head forward then remove it, as may be the case with very young babies. With the head pad removed the seat itself is very flat, and so there is no head slump at all.

 

Make sure you check your manual when re-threading the harness straps. There are rules about which can be used rear-facing vs forward.

Sonus fits for a long time forward facing too. At almost 4, 40″ tall, and 33lbs the Sonus is an excellent choice for a child of this build. His parents can be sure that it will last him to booster readiness, which for most kids is 5.5-6 at the earliest. Kids who are heavier for their age would probably be better off in something with a higher weight limit.

Do your kids like to match? These sisters sure do! Tons of room for both the 7yo and her 4yo sister. Ample shoulder width, and good thigh support as kids get taller.

This big-for-her-age 6.5 year old is right at the height AND weight limit AND harness height limit for this seat – too close for comfort to actually drive this way. But, the fact that she just squeaks in is an excellent indication that the 50lb weight limit + 50″ height limit + 18.25″ top harness slot is going to get the vast majority of kids to booster readiness. A child’s ears also need to be contained within the seat of the shell and hers are. Sonus is well-designed and realistic with its limits.

Final Thoughts

We like Sonus a lot. It’s inexpensive, readily available, has oodles of leg room, and is lightweight. The rear-facing and forward-facing limits are very realistic and will fit a wide range of kids. The 50lb harness weight limit will get most kids to booster age, but for those who are heavier for their age it might be better to choose a seat with a 65lb weight limit just in case it is needed.

The low profile of the sides make for really easy loading and unloading. Older kids have commented that it feels more grown up and they like that. Younger kids can be hoisted more easily than in seats with higher sides because there is less of a lip to clear.

The heavier weight harness webbing is nice because it isn’t twisty, but it does make the chest clip harder to slide. This is good news for those of you with kids who mess with their chest clip or try to slide it down. It will be frustrating for those who find they need to adjust the chest clip frequently as it is stiff.

The fabric and finishing is really nice, the light weight makes it ideal for travel and frequent moving between vehicles, and kids have found it comfortable in both directions.

The most perplexing part about this seat is the unexplainable and unpredictable fit rear facing. In some vehicles it’s super compact, and in others it seems enormous. For that reason we strongly recommend trying before you buy.

Huge thanks to the fabulous CPSTs and parents who provided photos for this review, and to Evenflo for providing samples to test with.

Evenflo wants you to enjoy a Sonus as well! Enter for a chance to win one – start by commenting on the blog with an answer to this question: What’s the most interesting or appealing feature of the Sonus convertible seat?

Thanks to all who entered and congrats to the lucky winner!

 


 

Jen Shapka is a mom of two, avid runner, CPST instructor, and likes to get a puppy fix without having to actually own a pet.

 

 

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91 comments to Evenflo Sonus

  • Michelle

    Do you need to remove the seat to adjust strap height, or can it be easily adjusted for different size kids like the Graco Dimensions? Also, does the seat have to be removed in order to remove the cover for washing? Thanks!

    • Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs

      Hi Michelle, it is not a no-rethread harness like the Dimensions so the seat would need to be removed. It may be possible rear facing if you want to reach under the seat. You could probably remove the cover without uninstalling the seat when it’s rf, but not ff.

  • Cheland lee

    I can’t seem to find this seat on babiesrus.com

  • Theresa Cledomin

    I love that all 4 of my kids could use this (some RF some FF) and the price is also appealing. The colour choices are great as well. We need atleast one new seat before baby arrives this fall and I would love to win this for our 4th seat.

  • Tiffnee

    I like the price point and that it’s compact.

  • Elise B

    I really like the low profile and higher harness. And that it’s perfect for travelling!

  • Danica

    I like the price point and the highe weight limit forward facing

  • Sandy L

    I find the low profile sides the most appealing about the sonus!

  • Suzanne

    I love that this seat goes to 50″ FF so it really could last the full 6 years for some kids, and for an excellent price so it is a viable option for more families.

  • Kristy

    I love how long lasting this seat is, super appealing for the price point.

  • I like how compact it is!

  • Christine A

    I like the legroom and the price! I’m looking for extra seats for grandparents and already have amthe Evenflo Surerides but this looks like an easier version to get in/out of of.

  • Kate

    Thanks! It seems like a great upgrade on the sureride without much of a price jump

  • Tannis W

    I like that it has the low profile sides for easy loading and unloading. I have a car and when we install a seat rear facing, there is not a lot of room to get the kid in!

  • Betty Spry

    I love that this car seat will last us a long time. It seems to work great for children that are tall, as we are sure ours will be. It fits a child up to 50 lbs

  • nicky

    I love all that leg room! So handy for tall kids.

  • Kathleen

    This looks great. The extra leg room would be great for my son’s long legs!

  • Cup holders and a comfy looking shape for car sleepers! All the things my 4 year old currently wants and needs!

  • Derek Spry

    I love that it is safe and we only need to buy one carseat from the time our little one is infant to child

  • Geneva

    I like the leg room!

  • Sunshine H

    I like the look of all the leg room.

  • Stacey

    I like that it works with the Odyssey 8th seat. But, I didn’t realize that all car seats don’t work with it? Do you know if the Brutax are ok FF in that seat?

  • Lucy

    I love the Fit to Child feature!

  • I was just looking at this seat at Babies r’us!

    Would you suggest this seat for an airplane trip for a 9 month old?

    • jshapka

      We don’t have any feedback about how it fits on a plane yet! We expect it would width-wise, but aren’t sure what kind of recline you’d be able to get.

  • Joanne Rife

    I like the spots to keep the buckles.no more digging under LO’s bum.

  • love the different slots for crotch strap allowing the best fit possible no matter what the child’s size is.

  • Kim

    Love the price and higher harness slots.

  • Susie Robinson

    I love the venting for air flow, my son gets very hot in his seat during the summer

  • Bailey

    The low sides and (sometimes) small size are great. Car seats need to fit in my car and every other feature is a bonus.

  • Taylor

    I’m excited about the price point!

  • Janice

    The low sides will be a great feature for many people. Great fit from newborn to booster ready size is also a huge selling feature!

  • Liz Judd

    I like that the sides are lower for easier clearance, as my aching back needs a break 🙂

  • Katie

    I like the low profile sides – makes it easier for kids to climb in.

  • Nikki

    I like the sleekness of the seat especially when I know we will have 3 in car seats soon

  • Elodie C

    All that leg room looks great

  • Tristan Harrington

    I love the low sides! So much easier for getting kids in and out!

  • Sarah C

    I love that essentially you can keep this on the uas and not worry about switching to a seatbelt instal.

  • Amy foley

    Like the price point and that it’s lightweight

  • K. Stewart

    The leg room is most appealing. My kids are all tall from birth and I feel bad when they look squished

  • The price point sells me!

  • Crysta

    I find the buckle holders the most interesting feature.

  • Teresa Harper

    I love the easy care and simple installation and especially the ventilation integrated in the seat! Will definitely come in handy on hot days!

  • Katie Charette

    Another great seat from Evenflo! Thanks for the review VICST!

  • Irene

    At that price point & functionality, I need this seat! It would be an amazing extra to have for auntie and grandparents card!

  • Clair

    I love that it is affordable, lightweight and compact. It’s a great choice especially if you need multiple ones.

  • Heather

    I love that it is nice and compact! This would,be a great seat for my two youngest in my hubby’s CR-V.

  • Lindsay

    I love the amount of leg room that it has! This will definitely be on our list to look at when we need a second seat!!

  • Melissa

    The most interesting thing about the Sonus, for me, is the flexibility to fit multiple different vehicles. I would be using this seat in three different vehicles.

  • Sacha Bustin

    Price point and long lasting!!

  • Jenny Wilson

    I find the dual certification pretty interesting! As someone who plans on travelling to the states and bring a car seat along, I find this feature to be reassuring. Also love how compact it is! We have the Clek Foonf in my hubby’s car which is truly a beast! I’m still need of a more compact travel friendly carseat for my vehicle. Thanks for the detailed review!

  • Lindsay

    I drive an 08′ Mazda 3…so squishy with a rear facing car seat
    Wonder if this would fit better??

  • Kristin

    I like the longer leg room than most ant the low profile sides which would let my “I do it myself!!!” Toddler climb in on his own a little easier and maybe a little faster. Ugh. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Shanae

    The low profile nd narrow base! Currently using the triumph but the sides are quite high, and wrangling a toddler in can be hard.

  • Amanda Loraso

    I like that it is lightweight for travel and offers so much leg room. I also love that it is affordable because I have twins.

  • Krystal

    Would love to win!

  • Steph W

    I have a Civic so I’m excited to see how much space it’ll give us!

  • Sara D

    Fits a newborn properly!

  • Amy Ouellette

    I like that it can be used in 8th seat of an odyssey! And tge colors of course!

  • Rachelle N

    I like that I would be able to use just this one seat until booster readiness.

  • Wow what isn’t appealing with this seat?! The legroom and height limit are sooo much better than what I currently have and with a kiddo in the top percentile that’s something I worry about! Thank you for all of the reviews you do, I wish I had known before my first was born but going forward I am able to make much better choices!

  • Siulin Stoney

    I love the price and how compact it is!

  • Alicia

    I like the low side profile and narrowness

  • Pavlina Cannon

    I definitelly like the price point and how much leg room the car seat offers. The dual certification is pretty cool too as we ´d like to start travelling soon and this would save us a lot of hassle! It looks like a perfect car seat for us!

  • Jocelyn Bieniewski

    I like the price and the low sides. That would make it a bit easier to load kiddo up into the van.

  • Juliana

    I need this seat for my daughter.

  • Samantha

    The fit of the carseat looks perfect. Love how it can grow with my child.

  • Lindsay Haynes

    The ability to use UAS until the max weight limit on the seat!

  • Amanda Trerise

    Chest clip does not slide easily along harness 🙂

  • The interesting thing for me is the low profile sides. This is great for getting in and out!

  • Monique Stevenson

    Dual certification! Also rollover tested.

  • Nicole sedman

    I love the narrow base. I have three seats across in my SUV and it is a very tight fit with my current seats

  • Jennifer Sandmaier Dias

    I love that it can fit 3 across!

  • Mackenzie R

    Looks like a great seat! I love their price point and how lightweight their seats are for travel.

  • Jennifer P.

    For me, the most interesting / appealing feature of the Sonus convertible seat is the dual certification. We travel a lot to the USA, and with that travel we do a lot of driving (e.g. at least 3000 km per year in the US) so it would be reassuring to have a car seat that is certified in both countries.

  • Jessica Bradey

    I love how it’s light like the sureride! Also love how it will fit into smaller vehicles when RF.

  • Rebecca Garland

    I like the price point and that it is lightweight!

  • Liz

    I love the pricepoint and that it is a compact seat!

  • I like that the chest clip doesn’t slide down. That’ll help with when baby starts to figure out the pieces of the carseat.

  • This is a perfect car seat for my inlaws who are looking for 2 seats!!

  • Monica

    I love the low sides!

  • Chelci chalmers

    It’s price point is very intriguing !!

  • Cheryl Chevalier

    We love our surprise, but this one looks like a great upgrade!

  • Bonnie

    Lightweight and dual certified for traveling to the US. I’m drawn to the low sides for easy in and out. Would be great for our secondary vehicle.

  • Kimber

    I like the price of this carseat!

  • Nice colour choice and good leg room, rear facing!

  • Gina McDonald

    I like the low profile of the seat!

  • Tasha Hodsdon

    Most appealing features are the cup holders, low sides, and leg room!

  • Sarah White

    I like that it has such a low profile. We just bought a Subaru Crosstrek, and it’s hard to get the kids in their seats because I’m so short! The low profile would really help.