Properly introducing the Evenflo SecureKid! It has had a place on our favourites list for some time now, but we haven’t had much chance for hands-on experience. The model we were sent to review is the SecureKid Platinum DLX in Emory, which features Evenflo’s Outlast fabric, buckle pockets, and new SureLatch technology (more on that one later).
The SecureKid is available at Babies R Us and Shop.ca (where it’s also under the Snugli label) with a regular price of $220-$230 depending on trim levels, but the Snugli is on sale for $140 right now (Aug 20 2015) on Shop.ca. It is also at Costco.ca in the ‘LX’ trim for $190, with premium push on connectors and variation in head padding.
In harnessed mode it fits children 22-65 pounds and 28-50 inches and the tops of the ears are below the tops of the child restraint head rest and child is at least one year old and the harness is coming from at or slightly above the child’s shoulders.
In booster mode, it fits children 40-110 pounds and 43.3-57 inches and at least four years old and the tops of the ears are below the tops of the child restraint head rest.
- Outlast fabric, which Evenflo says will regulate the temperature and keep baby comfortable on particularly hot or cold days — We didn’t have any cold days to test it on, but the fabric did stay cool on the really hot days we had while testing the seat
- Buckle pockets to tuck the buckles away when the child is not in the seat
- Dual cup holders
- SureLatch UAS connectors, a neat system to make UAS installation easier in many vehicles
- Easily removable cover that can be machine washed (never machine wash the harness straps!)
- Easily transitions from harness to booster and includes handy storage for the harness straps when in use as a booster so they are not lost
Fit to child:
At 22 months, 35”, and 32 pounds, we would recommend this child still be rear facing, but he fit nicely in the SecureKid. The head protection is nice but does push forward slightly, which may be an issue for children who still sleep in the car especially, though the large head wings make a nice place for a tired child to rest their head.
This child is five and about 43” and 38 pounds. She said the seat was very comfortable and loved the cup holders. She noticed that the hip straps were placed further forward on her legs than on most seats she’s tried, but they didn’t bother her. This could be a good thing in some situations (such as certain surgeries or a child who finds the straps uncomfortable when they are closer to the body).
This seven year old is around 47 pounds and also found the seat comfortable in both harness mode and as a booster. The belt fit is excellent. The lap belt sits nice and low on her thighs and the shoulder belt is centered nicely on her shoulder.
The belt fit on this 50 pound, 50” seven year old was also excellent. She found it was a bit narrow in the shoulders but otherwise was comfortable, and it would make an excellent seat for tall, slim kids. She had some trouble buckling around the large side wings, which may provide additional side impact protection, but thought she’d be able to do it with a bit of practice.
Fit to vehicle:
The seat installed well in harness mode and the shoulder belt retraction was good in booster mode in every vehicle we tried, including one with notoriously long buckle stalks. However, we always recommend trying it in your vehicle before buying as fit can vary widely with different vehicles. We found the top tether to be quite short, which could be an issue in some vehicles (particularly vans with tethers on the floor or further back on a tail gate). Don’t despair though! Evenflo does have a tether extender available if this is an issue in your own vehicle, and you can contact them to have them send you one.
One feature we were keen to try is the SureLatch technology, which are retractable UAS anchors that are supposed to make the seat easier and faster to install. These are not available on all trim levels but we did get a chance to try them out on the review model. We found it lived up to expectations in the vehicles we tried it in, and you can see a video of it in action here. We do know there are some vehicles that, due to the angle of the UAS hooks or the seat bight, the SureLatch is not as easy to use, but overall I could see this being an excellent choice for a grandparent, someone who needs to move the seat around, or anyone with joint pain in their hands who may have trouble pulling a strap tight.
Note that your child must be under the latch weight limit for both the vehicle and the seat. The weight limit for this seat is 50 pounds, but your vehicle may have a lower limit so always double check. If your child is over the weight limit, or your vehicle does not have UAS or does not allow for UAS use in the position you are installing the seat, using the seat belt is just as safe provided you can get an acceptable installation. Overall the seat was easy to install with both seat belt and UAS.
One thing that is different about the SecureKid in booster mode than most other booster seats, is that it has a level to line ground and a towel can be used at the back of the seat if needed to level that line (this doesn’t apply in harness mode though). This is one reason it’s very important to always read your manual, as no rules are universal!
This seat is a nice, lightweight seat that makes both a good harnessed seat as well as a nice-fitting booster seat on the children we tried it on. It has 18” top harness slots, meaning that while it is not the tallest seat on the market, it will get all but the tallest or longest-torsoed children to an appropriate age for a booster seat, and then makes a good high-back booster that will last those children until they are ready for a low-back booster seat. With the SureLatch technology, light weight, and easy conversion from harness to booster, this would be excellent for grandparents, daycares, or anyone else who has to transport more than one child. It would also be great for anyone with hand or joint pain who struggles tightening the straps on most seats.
Thank you to Evenflo for providing the seat in this review. All opinions are our own. They have also generously offered one Secure Kid Platinum DLX in Emory to one of our readers. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below and tell us in a blog comment what feature of the SecureKid would be most useful to you and why.