Small but mighty!

The Evenflo NurtureMax rear-facing only (RFO) infant car seat is new to the Evenflo line-up and should not to be confused with a completely different seat, now retired, called the Nurture.

The NurtureMax wins the prize for being the most economical rear-facing only infant seat on the market, an impressive feat considering how many features it has!

Highlights include:

  • Economical price tag of $130 at Walmart, Babies R Us, AmazonBest Buy
  • For children who weigh between 4-22 lb (1.8 – 10 kg) and who are between 17-29″ (43-73 cm) tall
  • Swivel handle only needs one hand to operate
  • Harness adjusts from the front (versus a rear-adjust system on the now-retired Nurture)
  • Anti-rebound bar on the stay-in-car base
  • Fits teeny tiny babies well
  • Lightweight carrier
  • 4 crotch buckle positions 
  • 4 harness height positions (~4.5″, 6.5″, 8.75″, 11.25″)
  • 2 hip width positions
  • Expires 6 years from date of manufacture

Features and how-tos

The NurtureMax carry handle has a unique adjustment mechanism that makes it doable with one hand. Push down and then rotate.

While driving, make sure to have the handle in the up/carry position, or, rotated back to the head of the seat (although this makes it take up more space front-to-back).

The foot end of the NurtureMax carrier nestles under a little notch on the base. When docking the carrier you will need to lead with this edge to tuck it under the notch before locking the rest of the carrier onto the base.

Removal of the carrier from the base is like most other rear-facing only (RFO) car seats. Find the handle on the back/top of the carrier and squeeze. Due to the way the foot end of the carrier docks to the base (see above) a slight tilt up from the head end of the seat is needed to lift the carrier off the base. You will quickly get the hang of the slightly angled movement to dock and release the carrier, but if you are accustomed to the straight up-and-down movement of most other car seats this might feel a bit awkward the first few times.

When properly docked and locked onto the base these light grey side plungers will be visible. In fact, when you squeeze the handle to release the carrier, as above, you’ll see them move. 

In addition to doing a quick lifting up check to make sure the carrier is securely docked to the base, it’s also a good idea to glance at these windows and make sure the plungers are fully engaged. If something gets caught in there (your toddler’s goldfish crackers perhaps?) clean it out and try again.

When doing a baseless install – give it a try, it’s not hard and can be quite convenient at times! – you will need to lift the side of the cover up and out of the way to reveal the belt guides for the seat belt. If you never install the seat this way you’d never know there were belt guides there, but it’s simple to do if needed.

This kind of crotch buckle is called a ‘puzzle buckle’ – overlap the two pieces of crotch buckle tongues before plugging them into the crotch buckle itself.

Child fit

The NurtureMax is highly adjustable and is an ideal choice for preemies, or for caregivers with an unexpectedly small baby who doesn’t yet fit the car seat they purchased. 

With 4 harness height positions and a shell height that is on par with other comparable rear-facing only car seats, it can be expected that the NurtureMax will be outgrown around the weight limit of 22 lb (10 kg) or 29″ (73 cm) – which is around 11-12 months for babies of average height and weight.

The NurtureMax is a super option for preemies – it is inexpensive, and it adjusts down very small for a safe fit for the tiniest riders.

This doll is one of our standard test dolls and is approximately the size of a 7lb newborn. The NurtureMax would easily fit a smaller baby and adjusts at the shoulder, the hips, and the crotch.

The option to shorten the crotch buckle is a really nice feature to have. 

We don’t want to see an awkward gap like on the left in this photo; the harness isn’t adjusted properly like this, and baby could slouch or slump down into that space, potentially causing breathing issues if their airway is compromised.

Clear instructions for crotch buckle adjustment are on pages 39-41 in the NurtureMax manual.

Installation tips and vehicle fit

Unique among rear-facing only car seats at this price point, the NurtureMax base comes with an anti-rebound bar (ARB). That’s the vertical plastic piece that compresses against the vehicle upholstery and prevents excessive rebound towards the rear of the vehicle after a crash. While all rear-facing car seats in Canada must have some mechanism of rebound management (a bar like this one, a structural component like integrated cup holders that serve this purpose, a rear-facing tether, a carry handle on an RFO seat in a forward or up position, something else…) the ARB on this seat is integrated into the base, not removable, and requires no active steps to use correctly, all of which mean it’s properly in position at all times.

Find the UAS hooks stored on the underside of the base.

If you aren’t using them to install make sure to hook them here. This keeps them out of the way, and prevents damage to the hooks or other vehicle occupants.

Watch this short video for tips on how to attach and detach this type of J-hook UAS connector. 

Not just for this seat – here’s a body position we like to teach! Use your in-car knee to push the base BACK while using your hand to also push DOWN. Tighten the UAS strap or seat belt with your other hand.

We also like to get right into the car facing the rear, and use both knees to push back, but that’s not always doable for all people in all vehicles. We like options. 

This is what a lap/shoulder seat belt installation looks like.

Make sure that both pieces of seat belt webbing are tucked under the little plastic notches. They will keep the belt from slipping out of position.

If you find that the base is tilting you may use a locking clip to install the seat (find instructions in the manual or check out this video).

If you are installing the NurtureMax in an outboard position (on one of the sides) make sure to leave 1.5″ of space between the car seat and the vehicle seat in front of it. This will ensure adequate space for the car seat to move as designed in a crash.

If you are installing the car seat in the middle this does not apply unless there is also a vehicle seat there (in a 3-row vehicle, for example).

This is in a 2012 Honda Odyssey captain’s seat – tons of room.

When you install the NurtureMax base, whether it’s with UAS or the seat belt, make sure the recline line is level to the ground. Eyeballing this is sufficient, and it’s best to do when you are parked on flat ground. 

Properly levelling the car seat is important. We didn’t find it necessary in any of our test vehicles, but if necessary add a tightly rolled towel under the foot end of the base to make it more reclined, or push DOWN at that same spot when installing to make it more upright. This post is an oldie but a goodie, and explains all of that in detail.

Final thoughts

The Evenflo NurtureMax is an inexpensive seat that will fit small babies very well. It is straightforward to install, and has a lot of adjustability and features not typically found on less-expensive seats.

It’s not the most compact rear-facing only car seat out there, nor will it last the longest – but it’s not trying to be. It will fit reliably in most vehicles, tends to fit well in the middle of small vehicles, and in especially small cars there is always the option to install baseless. It’s a well-thought out value seat that is easy to use.

It might be the perfect seat for you if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a seat you won’t use for long, or if you unexpectedly have a small baby and need something to safely transport them while they grow into another seat. Despite the low price tag you will be quite pleased with the ease-of-use, light weight, and adjustability of this little gem.

Thank you to Evenflo for providing the seat used in this review – as always, comments are our own.

Updated July 2023 with details about the Evenflo Revolve Extend and Evenflo Revolve Slim; this review originally was focused only on the original Revolve, specifically the GOLD edition.

I had the chance to use the Revolve 360 Rotational All-in-One car seat for a few weeks when I had a friend and her young child visit…and the short version of this review is that I love it.

I started drafting this review in my head before I actually sat down to write it, and distracted myself with witty titles, usually involving songs with ‘spin, revolve, or around’ in them, and of course that sent me down the rabbit hole and I listened to all sorts of songs I didn’t know existed. And do you see that I settled on the really exciting “Evenflo Revolve 360?” Sigh. Anyway…

I also noticed recently that Walmart had the Revolve on sale for $360 and I wondered if that was someone in marketing or sales being really crafty. Good for them (and a smoking deal too). So many interesting ways to put a clever spin on this seat (haha, see what I did there?), but it doesn’t need slick marketing to convince me. It’s well-designed, it’s nice to use, and it offers some super features. Of course it has limitations, as do all seats, but it’s a really interesting choice and a game changer when accessibility is needed.

This review features the Evenflo Revolve 360 GOLD but the standard version has many of the same features and I will point out where the GOLD differs. Updated July 2023: also watch for updates for where the Revolve Extend and Revolve Slim differ.

Who will fit in this seat?

Original RevolveRevolve ExtendRevolve Slim
Weight limits4 - 40 lb rear facing
22 - 65 lb forward facing
40 - 120 lb booster
4 - 50 lb rear facing
22 - 65 lb forward facing
40 - 120 lb booster
4 - 50 lb rear facing
22 - 65 lb forward facing
Height limits17 - 40" rear facing
28 - 49" forward facing
44 - 57" booster
17 - 48" rear facing
28 - 49" forward facing
44 - 57" booster
17 - 48" rear facing
28 - 49" forward facing
Top harness height19"19"19"
Age requirementsage 2 - forward facing
age 4 - booster
age 2 - forward facing
age 4 - booster
age 2 - forward facing

As always we appreciate Evenflo’s minimum age limits and promotion of best practice. Don’t rush through the stages!

Highlights and features:

  • It rotates! That’s the game changer here. A full 360° at times.
  • SensorSafe alert system (GOLD), more on that later
  • Tether is integrated to the base so it’s potentially a one and done installation – or easily swapped between differently-sized users (grandkids, perhaps – or a daycare, or family support agency)
  • Hook-style UAS connectors (standard), premium UAS connectors (GOLD) 
  • Plush, removable, machine-washable padding
  • Harness heights between ~7” and ~19”
  • Booster seat shoulder belt guide max height ~19.5”
  • Width at widest point: Original & Extend 19.8″, Slim 16.7″ 
  • Dual dishwasher-safe cup holders 
  • Range of recline angles (some variations between models, see details below)
  • Easy-to-use LockStrong seat belt tensioner (not a lock-off…more on that later)
  • Multiple crotch buckle positions
  • No-rethread harness
  • Tidy storage for all the things (UAS connectors, tether, harness)
  • 10 year expiry
  • MSRP: $549.99 base price to $749.99 depending on model and trim level
  • Available at major retailers
  • Did we mention it rotates?

Fit to vehicle

Evenflo Revolve 360 installed in a vehicle with the door open, and rotated to load
White hand with red and pink sleeve cuff showing grabs a handle labeled lift to rotate

So the rotational feature first. We know that’s what draws your attention as it certainly did ours. It’s visually interesting and I had several people approach me in parking lots while I was loading or unloading to ask me what it was, and I was happy to share my thoughts. 

The rotation is easy to use. You can rotate a full circle in one of the recline settings, but you don’t need to so don’t worry about the fact that you can’t in all three rear-facing recline settings. You are really only going from side-loading to rear-facing travel, and back again. If you do try to force it all the way around when it is not on the setting where that’s possible you might jam it. Evenflo has instructions for how to unjam it, but best to avoid that situation. You must never, ever drive with the child side-facing, that is not a travel mode and is very unsafe, and if you are driving without a child in the car with you make sure to rotate it into a stable, locked position even when empty.

You might be able to rotate it one-handed, or may need a second hand to guide the turn. It will depend on your dexterity and the weight of your child and how cooperative they are. It’s a smooth motion but toddlers and preschoolers with boots on will need to lift their feet a bit to avoid bumping up against the base. As kids get heavier the rotation will require more effort to manage.

Young white child with brown hair wearing black pyjamas is buckled into a car seat

I drive a Honda Odyssey, which means I have plenty of roof clearance, and a sliding door. This makes for great access to my 2nd row and if you have been resisting a van let me tell you, I’m never going back. Team Loser Cruiser all the way. I really enjoyed the access and ease of loading with the Revolve 360 and my van. I could use the floorboard as a staging area to remove my little buddy’s coat (practice safe winterwear people, even in Winnipeg when it’s -30℃, which was a lot of days last winter), lift him straight up into the seat, get him buckled, remove boots, coat back on like a blanket, and then rotate into the locked travel position. I am over 40 and getting more decrepit by the day, so my out-of-practice toddler-wrangling self appreciated not having to hoist and twist sideways to load a toddler. 

Generally, the Revolve 360 is better-suited to vehicles that have more front-to-back space, but I also tried it with my Honda Civic, and it was highly functional there too with my 5’8” self sitting comfortably in front of it. 

You may find the rotating feature handy if you have children riding in the 3rd row. Larger vehicles may have enough room for kids to walk past a rotated Revolve 360 installed in the second row, to access the 3rd row. 

The Revolve 360 is likely not a good choice in super compact vehicles but it’s worth a try if you really want to make it work. Yes, you could even install it in the middle (where rear-facing seats tend to have more front-to-back space to work with) but by doing so you’d really lose the functionality of the rotation because you’d be leaning into the middle seat to load. 

The Revolve 360 is not going to have room to rotate if installed directly next to another car seat, so if you are looking at a 3-across the Revolve is not a good choice. The possible exception to this is if you go with the Revolve Slim (it is among the very narrowest of seats on the market at only 16.7″ wide at the widest point!), and are rotating it next to an infant base. This is so dependent on the specific vehicle and seat combinations that it’s worth a try if you’re desperate to not replace your car.

Evenflo Revolve installed rear facing in a Civic; head rest is fully extended
Evenflo Revolve installed rear facing in an Acura MDX with black interior


This seat has caught the attention of those who require more accessibility than a traditional car seat tends to offer. If you or another caregiver have any difficulty lifting, the ability to load straight-on will be a great feature for you. 

If you just want the convenience of that – that is also a valid reason to buy one!

Further, if the child you are transporting needs help to get into their seat, and their weight or mobility makes that a challenge for you, consider this seat, especially if you drive a vehicle with lower roof clearance. The rear-facing weight limit of 40 lb on the original Revolve won’t be a long-term solution for kids who need to ride rear facing beyond that time, but it’s something to consider if it makes loading and unloading easier. Note that the Extend’s rear-facing weight limit of 50 lb does, ahem, extend this time frame somewhat, but the shell height and child fit are essentially the same – so this added weight limit is only useful for shorter, heavier kids. Slight variations may occur with different trim levels that have certain padding options.

Rear-facing recline:

The Evenflo Revolve 360 has a weight-based rear-facing recline range, and three mechanical recline positions that you set with a handle. You should have no difficulty attaining the required recline position unless your vehicle seat is extremely sloped or extremely flat. If that describes your vehicle then please please try before you buy, and make sure you can use the seat throughout the entire weight range and not just for the size your child currently is.

Note: the original Revolve and the Revolve Extend require the seat to be more upright at higher weights. The Revolve Slim allows the seat to be more upright, but does not require it. 

Super smart base design:

When you install a lot of car seats like I do you quickly notice if a feature is awesome, or not so much. The base on the Revolve 360 is definitely in camp awesome. This base is not like the base on an infant seat:, although the seating area part of the Revolve does come off (it’s called the shell in the manual) they can’t be used separately. When the shell comes off it looks like a weeble and must be laid gently on its side. I do worry a bit – possibly unfounded – that the rotating mechanism could get gritty or gunked up with sand, food crumbs, etc., so if it were me I’d take dirty boots off, and I’d vacuum regularly (haha, yeah, vacuuming regularly is not a thing I do in my car, to my spouse’s disgust. But you definitely should). 

Evenflo’s designers knocked this one out of the park, and here’s why:

  • It’s easy to install using either the seat belt or UAS (not both).
    • Note: when installing with the seat belt make sure the UAS connectors are stored, and also fully loosened so a snug strap doesn’t interfere with the seat belt and LockStrong mechanism. 
    • Note: seat belt ‘buttons’ or ‘loops’ (features to prevent the latch plate from sliding down to the floor) can be difficult to manoeuvre around. And unfortunately you won’t know it’s a problem until you see exactly where it hits the LockStrong mechanism. Another reason to try before you buy.
  • The storage locations for the UAS connectors are intuitively located and nicely integrated into the base. 
  • The LockStrong belt-tensioning arm makes getting a tight seat belt installation easy by using the mechanical advantage of the lever. It’s not a lock-off though, so don’t forget to switch the seat belt to locking mode or using the locking latch plate on your seat belt.
  • Excellent red/green markings let you know if the arm is locked or not (this theme repeats elsewhere on the seat). 
  • The tether for the seat is part of the base, and is required in both rear- and forward-facing modes
    • That means you must install it only in a seating position in your vehicle where there is a tether anchor, even when rear facing. If you aren’t sure, check your vehicle manual for this information.
    • That means that you can rotate the seat between rear- and forward-facing modes without uninstalling anything. It literally takes 5 seconds to swap between modes, which is an excellent feature for someone who transports kids of different ages and stages, such as daycare providers, grandparents, or family support workers.

Comfort features:

If you are a first-time parent and are reading up on what seat to get your little one…spoiler alert. Kids are messy. Even if they never eat in the car (which I suppose is possible, although I was never successful!) they shed kid detritus constantly. Messy hands, messy footwear, crumbs, sand, you get the idea. Of course you can limit the damage with a brand-approved under-seat mat, or a towel to protect the upholstery, but that’s just harm reduction really. There will still be mess. See my note above about some concern about grit getting into the rotation mechanism.

Like most (all?) Evenflo seats the soft goods (cover, pillows, padding, harness covers, etc) can be removed and machine washed. Always check for specific cleaning instructions in your car seat manual, usually near the end.

Cup holders are dishwasher safe. You will appreciate this fact when you realize the flowers or the really cool dead bug your child found at the park were left in the car, along with a handful of goldfish and the granola bar they took a bite of, didn’t like, and spit out. Yummy.

Harness covers:

Kids who don’t like things at their neck may not like the feel of the harness strap pads of the original Revolve – and they will seem really large on a small baby. The harness covers though are entirely optional and easily removed.

Original: The harness has two separate components at the neck area. The harness strap pads are permanently attached to the car seat and help to position the harness correctly on the child’s body. The harness covers are for comfort, and may be removed. It may take a bit of practice to get used to adjusting and manipulating the two different pieces but it gets easier the more you do it. 

Extend & Slim: No integrated harness strap pads, and the harness pads are optional and removable.

Check out Evenflo on YouTube for videos of the Revolve 360 in action.

Quick Clean cover (on some models):

Some Revolve models (the Extend is shown here) have a Quick Clean cover that makes it easier to remove and wash only the part of the cover that is dirty. Seats with this feature will have this orange tag readily visible on the front top corners of the seat.

Fit to child:

My kids are big now, so thank you to Canadian CPSTs who provided photos of their kids in this seat.

Always make sure a car seat is as reclined as allowed for newborns – this protects their airway. Pay careful attention to instructions for how to position the body pad for a small baby. When fully reclined the Revolve 360 takes up a fair bit of front-to-back space, so make sure your vehicle can accommodate it before intending to use it from birth. 

Some users found it a bit tricky to centre their floppy newborn on the slightly side-angled seat when loading. Older kids experienced this less, but take the time to position your child before buckling.

Rear facing:

The Revolve seats will fit most kids who are between 4-40 lb and 17-40” tall (original), and the additional height and weight of the Extend and Slim (4 – 50 lb and up to 48″ tall) will provide more use for kids who are heavier for their age, or who carry more of their height in their legs. The shell heights are comparable across all versions so all versions of this seat are the shortest lasting for long-torsoed kids, or for those who have big heads and/or long necks. And here’s why (this applies to any rear-facing seat with a no-rethread harness): when rear facing, the harness is positioned at or below the child’s shoulders AND there must be car seat head rest or shell (varies by model) above the head, usually at least 1″. This is to keep the child’s head contained and protected in a crash. With this type of seat, when you raise the head rest to get more coverage, you also raise the harness height…potentially to above the child’s shoulders. If you are not sure how your child is fitting you should absolutely reach out to Evenflo for support.  

The harness has ample length for most kids in that range, and there is lots of legroom. 

Young white child is buckled rear-facing in a car seat; he is wearing a grey toque, black sweater, blue pants, and red boots. He is holding one finger up near his face

Forward facing:

This seat has one recline position when forward facing, and it is fairly upright. The harness height is very tall – among the tallest of available Canadian seats! – but the interior space at the shoulders, and crotch buckle length may get uncomfortable for kids at the higher end of the weight limit.

Booster seat mode:

While the original and Extend versions of this seat do convert to a booster (quite easily, with handy storage for the harness so you don’t lose any parts) in most cases the booster mode will be outgrown shortly after the harness mode is outgrown (by height). It would be a very petite 10yo who fits in the Revolve 360 as a booster seat, and while most kids of that age do still require a booster seat for the adult seat belt to properly (and safely!) fit them, they also tend to have strong opinions about what they ride in and what is cool (or not). Consider this a back-up mode should it ever be needed, but it is rare for families to use it beyond the forward-facing stage. This is true for any 3-in-1/all-in-one seat: nice to have, great if it’s needed, but not a daily rider.

Neither of the experienced booster riders below could buckle themselves due to how high the Revolve 360 sit up off the vehicle seat, however, the belt fit was excellent on both of them. They have nearly outgrown it though, by shoulder height. 


Available on a range of Evenflo seats, SensorSafe is an added safety feature intended to reduce the incidence of hot car deaths (hyperthermia) and other in-vehicle safety concerns. It works with a unique bluetooth-enabled chest clip, a mobile app, and on some products (including this review seat) a piece that Evenlfo calls a dongle that plugs into the OBD port on your vehicle. If you’ve ever had an emissions test or run your own diagnostic test on an error code on your vehicle, that’s what you plugged into. It’s on the underside of your steering wheel area, near the driver’s knees, and requires no special skills to install.

From Evenflo: “SensorSafe…monitors the well-being of your child through a smart chest clip that syncs up with your smartphone via Bluetooth (and on some older versions, a vehicle dongle that plugs into your OBD port). Breathe easier knowing that the SensorSafe mobile app will send you a notification in real-time if:

  • Your child unbuckles the chest clip while the car is in motion
  • The back seat has become too hot or too cold (above 35°C or below 7°C)
  • Your child has been seated for too long (more than 2 hours)
  • You’ve accidentally left your child buckled in the car

Read all of the SensorSafe FAQs here.

SensorSafe is not available on all versions of the Revolve. How do you know? Look for the white chest clip, shown here on the Evenflo Revolve Slim.

I downloaded the app and installed the dongle and got myself set up to use SensorSafe. It was very straightforward, with plenty of help text and how-tos integrated into the setup (see screenshots above). Note: the dongle version has been phased out and all current seats are set up to communicate directly with your smart phone via Bluetooth.

My little buddy (age 2.5) was delighted to discover that the system sings, and the notifications to the app were immediate. I played around with some of the settings, and I liked that I could have multiple car seats loaded into one app. This would be handy if I had multiple kids with seats in multiple vehicles. 

I also really liked the safety aspect of setting up a cascade of emergency notifications to people I pre-selected should it have been necessary. This works a lot like a safe arrival program at school or daycare, where if the first person on the list doesn’t respond the rest get notified in order. And, since you have location services enabled on the app, your contact list will be notified in short order about exactly where you were when it pinged. My physical location is redacted for privacy on the screenshot here but the lat/long it reported was exactly where I was when I captured this, and I didn’t have real family members set up to test, but you get the idea.

So in theory it would go like this. You drove to work, and because it was not your usual routine, you forgot you were on daycare drop-off that day, so your brain took over and did what you usually do: parked the car, grabbed your bag, and walked into your building. As soon as you got out of range of the buckled chest clip the app would notify you on your phone. Let’s say you didn’t respond right away by clearing the notification – it was loud and you didn’t hear it and got distracted by the cute puppies in the lobby of your building…SensorSafe would then contact the people on your emergency list to tell them that there’s a child in the seat and GPS coordinates of where. If your contact tried to call or text you and you didn’t answer they could call 911 or other help and know exactly where you were parked. 

Once I walked away from my van to put my garbage cans back into the garage before driving away, and that was too far for the app’s settings; most people are going to want to choose a bigger buffer before getting notified. I also laughed at the temperature range. It was March in Manitoba but it was still well below freezing. Being constantly reminded that it was cold is a feature that did get a bit annoying. Thanks SensorSafe, I live in Winnipeg, I KNOW. I didn’t use it in hot weather to see how sensitive it was to temperature on the warm end of things. 

Originally designed to alert the user if the chest clip was buckled, and then not unbuckled after a drive (simulating leaving a child in a hot vehicle), SensorSafe has smartly evolved to do more than just note the chest clip situation. It will also:

  • Notify if you walk too far away from the vehicle and it senses there is still a child in the seat (via the buckled chest clip)…this assumes your phone is with you. It’s communicating with the phone of course, not you. But whomst among us doesn’t have a phone glued to their body at all times?
  • Your child unbuckles their chest clip while the car is moving. This can be helpful if your child is an escape artist, but will only notify you, and of course you are driving. Have a plan for how to address this behaviour to make it stop.
  • The back seat is too hot or too cold. 
  • If you’ve been driving for more than 2 hours, as a reminder to take breaks. I didn’t take any trips of this length to test this notification.

Final thoughts:

The Revolve is a very nice option for those with room to rotate, offering smart design and comfort features to make loading an unloading a breeze. Whenever possible, test fit before buying to make sure there is room to rotate, and that you can properly install both rear- and forward-facing in your vehicle. 

Your chance to win one!

Thank you to Evenflo for providing the Revolve 360 GOLD (as well as the Revolve Extend and Revolve Slim) used in this review. All comments are our own.

Also thank you to Evenflo for offering one up to our readers! Enter for your chance to win an Evenflo Revolve 360 in Amherst fashion. Use the widget below to enter.

About the author:

Jen Shapka has been a CPST since 2010. She lives in Winnipeg with her two dogs, husband and kids, and a winter that never ended. It snowed a few days before writing this review. 

Chicco released the MyFit onto the Canadian market in June 2020, and we purchased one so that we could check it out and share our thoughts with you. This was just after much of Canada cautiously emerged from round one of lockdowns and things were starting to open back up. We thought we’d get this review out soon.

Reader…it was not soon.

But here we are, happy to report that the MyFit is a really wonderful option, and is high on our list of recommended seats. Keep reading to see if it might work for you!

The Chicco (pronounced Key-Ko, for real) MyFit is a forward-facing only seat that later converts to a high back booster. It is appropriate for kids who are at least two years old and forward-facing. The specific fit requirements are as follows:

In harness mode:

  • At least 2 years old
  • 25 – 65 lbs (11.4 – 29.5 kgs)
  • 54” (137 cm) tall or less

In booster mode:

  • At least 4 years old
  • 40 – 100 lbs (18 – 45.3 kgs)
  • 38” – 57” (97 – 145 cm) tall
  • Able to sit tall and straight at all times (for most kids this is closer to age 6)

Measurements and features:

  • Torso height in harness mode: ~12.5” – 19.5”
  • Torso height in booster mode: ~13.5” – 20.5”
  • Width at widest point:
    • 17.5” at the shoulders
    • 17” at the base and arm rests
  • Two crotch buckle positions
  • Nine headrest/harness height positions
  • Four recline positions and bubble recline indicators to fit a good range of vehicle seat shapes (not for discretionary recline)
  • Premium, push-on UAS connectors
  • Integrated shoulder belt lock-off for seat belt installation
  • Removable harness pads and crotch pad
  • Flexible and foldable cup holders
  • Built-in storage compartment for harness system while using booster mode
  • Use lower anchors to secure the seat when in booster mode (optional)
  • Expires 8 years from date of purchase (with proof of purchase) or 8 years from date of manufacture
  • MSRP of $400 but often on sale for $330 or so; available at Canadian Tire, sometimes at, often at boutique retailers

Things we love about this seat (spoiler alert – a lot, we 🧡 this seat):

  • It has one of the tallest standing height limits in harness mode of any seat currently available – a super choice for tall or long-torsoed kids, or those who need to be harnessed for longer than average
  • It is narrow – a great option for a 3-across situation
  • It has a lock-off, which makes seat belt installation easier
  • It has very nice finishing details and a polished feel
  • It has a really smooth adjuster mechanism, making it easy to tighten the harness

Things we don’t love (minor things):

  • The manual is bilingual, but all mashed together. Every line alternates between English and French, making it very distracting to read and follow along. Caregivers will miss things, it’s bad. It helped to cover most of the page and read line by line to ensure we didn’t miss important details. Some readers may prefer to acquire a PDF of this manual and do a CTRL+F for keywords. It’s that distracting. #WhyChiccoWhy?
  • Interference with vehicle head restraints in harness and booster modes may be an issue. This is a vehicle issue more than a seat issue, but will make this seat incompatible in many vehicles with forward-leaning or non-removable head restraints, and is a problem common among seats in this category.

Since we are slow getting this review published and the seat has been on the market for some time, we are able to provide feedback from a broad range of CPSTs as well as from a parent struggling to make 3-across work in their vehicle. Yes, we are rationalizing our tardiness, shhhh.


  • Extremely well-liked by CPSTs – we are a tough bunch but this one tops the list of many CPSTs
  • The lock-offs are nice and easy to use – although not obvious if you aren’t familiar with them (hint: always read the manual, even if you think you know what you are doing!)
  • The harness is easy to tighten, and in the words of many techs who’v had their hands on it, the smoothest harness they’ve ever had the pleasure to tighten
  • The harness length is great – it fits bigger, taller kids without running out of harness, so the max height and weight limits aren’t inflated
  • The crotch area and adjustability of the crotch buckle position is roomy enough to accommodate larger kids comfortably
  • Little details make a big impression: the crotch buckle pad doesn’t pull off constantly, the foldable cup holders are genius in tight seating situations, the head rest is easy to adjust up and down while the seat is installed (not always the case with no-rethread harnesses, sadly)
  • Age 2 to forward face and age 4 booster minimum are appreciated; we’d advocate for later on both of those transition points because it’s important not to rush the stages but those are very good minimums on a seat like this.

If you need extra width you can easily squash the cupholders inside themselves to save space – so smart! Chicco is known to refer to them as “cup folders” – I do love a good play on words. The puppy insisted on checking it out.

Parent report:

A family of five was looking for a car seat that would work in a tight 3-across in an 2013 Acura MDX. On the verge of having to consider a new vehicle to accommodate the growing children (and my goodness, have you seen the used vehicle market lately, ouch!), the MyFit saved the day, particularly the lock-off. The MyFit was nestled in between two Clek Foonfs, and feels sturdy even when the littlest kids have to climb over it to access their own seats. 

The six year old who now rides in this seat noticed that it sits a lot lower than the Clek Foonf he was used to, but he finds it comfortable and likes the arm rests and the dual cup holders. Pro tip: even when a child is booster ready it is often easier for everyone to keep them harnessed because boosters take up a lot of space.

This family likes that it looks good with their other seats, and that the polish and finish on it is well done. It feels sturdy and is easy to use for all of the kids. Grandma finds it simple to tighten and loosen – the strategic orange markings are appreciated. They liked their first one so much they bought a second.

Jen’s report:

  • I have always loved the Chicco KeyFit rear-facing only seat and had high hopes for this seat, and it lived up to my high expectations, thank goodness.
  • A much-needed slim but tall seat for our market. Options for a seat to accommodate kids over 49″ tall are hard to come by.
  • It can be a little bit finicky to find the sweet spot for recline and positioning when installing but once you find it, it’s golden. Goes in easily and stays put.
  • Smooth harness adjuster – like butter!
  • If you have protruding, forward-leaning, non-removable, or non-adjustable head restraints in your vehicle then this seat may not be a great option. It will depend on the severity of the lean, so you will want to do your research in advance or try the installed MyFit at *all head rest heights* before you buy to make sure it will work for you throughout the life of the seat. 
  • Booster fit is reliable
  • The process to convert to booster mode is not difficult, but it is made worse by the horribly bilingual manual. I liked how all of the pieces tucked away in the seat. I never liked using a harnessed seat converted to booster mode for my own kids – I always preferred a dedicated booster seat and so did they – but I know not everyone feels the same way. So relatively speaking it’s neat and tidy when converted. However, a tip: if you follow the instructions and put the harness cover pads into the little storage cubby, and then LOSE THEM IN THE DEPTHS OF THE SEAT and start to panic because how on earth will you retrieve them, take a breath. Sit the seat upright and recline it to the most reclined position, and then reach under the seat pan. That should give you enough space to find the missing harness cover. Or better yet, don’t even put them there. Store them in a ziploc with the manual, in your glove box.

Thank you to the parents, kids, and CPSTs who contributed their thoughts and photos to this review! 

As with any seat we really recommend trying before you buy – try a friend’s, test yourself at a store, or go to a store with a CPST on staff (or hire one to go with you!) to help you shop for seat that will be perfect for your child and your car.

Jen Shapka lives in Winnipeg with her kids, husband, and dog, who does not much like to swim. She visits Lake Winnipeg often, and pretends it is the ocean. You can often find her running, teaching CPST courses for CPSAC, and trying to get her kids to clean their rooms. She has been a CPST for 11 years.

Prize grid with day 12 of 12 showing, winner's choice!This event is now over but please scroll down to enjoy our poem!

It’s time to give back to our readers, contributors, fans, families, and caregivers, in thanks for engagement over our many years of providing Canadian child passenger safety information.

COVID Times are a challenge and maybe winning something fun and useful will brighten your day. For sure it will brighten ours – we love giving things away.

Beginning the morning December 13th through to the 24th we’ll post a new giveaway that will be open until midnight Pacific that night; the next morning we’ll draw a winner and post a new giveaway. Twelve days in a row!

Earn entries by sharing, liking, and generally spreading around our car seat and booster seat information. After all, we wrote it for you! Go digging and you might find some content you’ve never seen before.

Check back here each day for a new entry and a new prize, and make sure to follow our posts on Facebook so you don’t miss a single one. Find the follow settings (three little dots near the thumbs up page like button) and check or click on the ‘following’ option so you see our posts higher in your newsfeed and not days later…because by that time the contest will be over!

And now, a poem:

The board was all covered at T-minus-1,
You must wait until Sunday to start up the fun!

Today is the day when the giving begins!
A wee little intro to start off the wins.

Day two is a two pack, hurray, how neat!
To suit a big and a little all snug in their seats.

Day three we hope for you to never need,
If necessary though you’ll have sharpness and speed.

Day four is for cleaning because kids are a mess,
You will be glad of this kit you possess.

Day five is a twofer, a two-pack, a pair,
You can keep two or give one, a spare or to share.

Day six is a newbie, a small little seat,
It’s slim and it’s low and we think it’s quite neat.

Day seven keeps kiddo so warm and so toasty,
But safe and not squished and happy, mostly.

Day eight is compact and lightweight and wee,
Fits well for newborns and at 1, 2, or 3!

Day nine is for those of you growing your crew,
For your first or your fifth we’ve got you, it’s true.

Day ten, day ten! Who is booster-seat ready?
We really just wanted to rhyme with spaghetti.

Day eleven is here with a great little choice,
It’s slim and compact and it’s really quite noice.

Day twelve, we made it, we’re here at the end!
And now it’s your choice, on what will you spend?

13 days in a row we composed stanzas and tweets,
We raffled and posted and it was quite the feat.

The graphics were done, in advance, and with care,
In the hopes that our readership all would click share.

It was super fun for us as the car seat fairy,
To make this time of year more joyous and merry.

We hope that you found some new info to read,
An article or favourite list, something helpful indeed.

We loved all the comments, the likes, and the questions,
So we could share our knowledge with car seat suggestions.

The fun is now over, it’s time to relax.
Enjoy all the prizes, the wins, and the sass.

Congrats to the winners, and thanks for the fun.
We’re going to go rest now…we’re spent, we’re done!

1st Day of Giving:

The winner of the Unbuckleme car seat helper tool is: Stephanie G.! This tool is great for those with reduced hand strength who find pressing the crotch buckle release button to be a challenge.

2nd Day of Giving:

The winner of the Evenflo Generations 2-pack (Sonus 65 + Big Kid Amp) is: Michelle H.!

3rd Day of Giving

The winner of the ResQme pack is Amanda V.! We hope you never need to use this!

4th Day of Giving

The winner of the Clek car seat cleaning kit is Colleen R-C. Don’t wait until spring cleaning to use it!

5th Day of Giving

The winner of two Harmony Youth Boosters is April Z. What colours will you choose?

6th Day of Giving

Erin M. won a Graco RightGuide booster seat. Yay!

7th Day of Giving

Eran J. won a BuckleMe Baby Coat in a colour and size of her choice. Cozy!

8th Day of Giving

Shannon C. is the winner of the Cosco Scenera NEXT.

9th Day of Giving

Anna B. is the lucky winner on day nine, for an Evenflo LiteMax. Woohoo!

10th Day of Giving

Anne L. wins day 11, a Britax SkyLine booster seat.

11th Day of Giving

Katie R. won the Graco Contender! And no one commented on our Brooklyn 99 reference. Oh well.

12th Day of Giving

Kelsey G. is the lucky winner of the twelfth and final prize.

Thanks to everyone who played!

Updated October 2020.


  • Time- and space-saving concerns in dressing rooms with COVID restrictions
  • How a car seat or booster seat works
  • Why hockey gear puts kids at risk in the car
  • Problem-solving ideas to make it all work!

In an effort to save time, change room space, congestion in hallways and lobbies, and improve the flow of kid (and parent) traffic we’ve had many parents ask us if it’s safe to dress their kids in their hockey gear at home, and arrive at the rink ready to play. As minor sports teams work out return-to-play plans while making COVID-19 precautions, we anticipate this issue coming up more and more.

Turns out none of us have hockey-playing children, so we surveyed some other CPSTs who are also hockey parents, and bring you their best advice.

UPDATE: The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) agrees, and has some shareable resources, including:

UPDATE: Child Safety Link also agrees; read their perspective here.

Is it safe to wear hockey gear in the car seat or booster seat?

The short answer: nope. And here’s why.

Gear — pants and shoulder pads — interferes quite a lot with how the seat belt or harness fits on the body.

If the harness or seat belt doesn’t fit it can’t do its job: keeping your child in the car in the event of a crash.

In most places, depending on the exact wording of the relevant province or territory’s Highway Traffic Act or Motor Vehicle Act or associated regulations, that inability to fit properly or be used properly would be illegal.

If a parent called the manufacturer of their seat to ask if wearing gear in the seat was okay we are quite certain the answer would be absolutely not. Manufacturers want their products to keep kids safe, and the bulky and unyielding addition of sports padding and gear makes that impossible to do.

Hockey gear: keeps your child safe on the ice.

Car seats and booster seats: keeps your child safe in the car.

Unfortunately they don’t cooperate and can’t be mixed.

This is the slack left in the belt after buckling with pads on. To do its job the seat belt must be snug to the body, so this isn't safe.

What about helmets and other gear?

We don’t recommend anyone wear a helmet in the car. Helmets add extra weight to the head, which in a crash, puts even more strain on the neck and spine. Wearing a helmet in a 5-point harness is actually not just like a race car driver, where there is a 6th point of attachment for the helmet called a HANS device. Read more about that here, if you’re interested.

Anyway, back to the hockey gear dilemma!

Parents of goalies...we know you have even more gear to contend with!

How much of a difference can wearing gear, or not, really make in a crash?

Why is using a car seat or booster seat properly so important? Because it can reduce the risk of death or injury by up to 71%. Considering that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death of kids due to unintentional injury in Canada, that’s too important to ignore.

The most applicable instructions we have to address harness or seat belt fit are right in the car seat and booster seat manuals themselves. A small sampling is below.


Adjust the belts provided with this child seat so they fit snugly around your child. A snug strap should not allow any slack. It lies in a relatively straight line without sagging. It does not press on the child’s flesh or push the child’s body into an unnatural position.

Adjust the harness to fit the clothes the child is wearing. Remove bulky coats and/or jackets before putting the child in the child seat.


Secure harness snug and flat on your child.
Take care to secure the child properly. Snugly adjust the belts provided with this child restraint around your child.
Avoid bulky or heavy clothing. Doing so will prevent the harness straps from being tightened properly.
The addition or removal of clothing will change the fit of the harness.


WARNING! Do not put snowsuits or bulky garments on your child when placing them in the car seat.

Bulky clothing can prevent the harness straps from being tightened properly.


Child must be dressed in clothing with arms and legs that will not interfere with buckling and snugly adjusting harness.


WARNINGS: Failure to fasten and tighten the harness system correctly may allow the child to be ejected from the child restraint in a crash or sudden stop causing serious injury or death. Do not mistake comfort for safety. Harness system must be snugly adjusted.


Failure to adjust the harness or vehicle seat belts snugly around the child may result in the child striking the vehicle’s interior during a sudden stop or crash. Serious injury or death may occur

In cold weather, DO NOT dress the child in bulky clothing like snowsuits if the child is riding in a child restraint. Bulky coats/snowsuits make it difficult to properly tighten the harness to the child, which may allow the child to be ejected from the restraint during a crash. 


So what can be done to make the transition from car to ice a little easier?

So there is the whole list of what not to do, but that doesn’t help a frazzled parent trying to wrangle a child into their gear, and it doesn’t ease congestion at the rink. What are players to do? Here are some tips for how to keep kids safe in the car, and dressed as quickly and painlessly as possible at the arena.

Wear base layers in the car

Put on the thin, comfortable under-layers before leaving the house, thinking strategically about what can go on in advance without interfering with the harness or seat belt.

Put skates on at home

Some parents we asked said that it does work for them to lace up before getting in the car. This will of course depend on your child’s ability to get in and out of the car with skates on, and how easy it is to get from the car to the arena, and how much you trust them not to slice up your upholstery. One parent recommended good skate guards like these to make this doable, or for even more stability and traction try SkaBoots.

The small town arena from my childhood would have made a good backup for the set of an Ultimate Beastmaster obstacle course, but hopefully yours is less icy with fewer snow banks. Lacing up at home would definitely speed things up. It’s worth talking to arena management about anything they can do to make access easier for players walking in skates: would a change in ploughing make this doable for your players? Would rubber mats help? Be creative and think beyond your own family to make the rink more accessible for everyone.

Be strategic about other gear

Is your player able to ride safely with shin pads in place? Jock?

Some kids are able to drop their pants down to their shins in the car, buckle up, and then pull them back into place at the arena. You might have to do a test run to see what works and what doesn’t for your particular situation.

Is your vehicle a portable dressing room?

Is there enough room in your vehicle to dress a player in the last layers while still in the car? If you drive a 3-row vehicle, do you have enough room to fold down the 3rd row and use the hatch? How about stowing or removing a 2nd row captain’s seat for the worst of the winter?

An organized hockey bag

Knowing exactly where things are located in the gear bag will speed up the process. Avoid having to root around to find things. Involve your child in this process, especially if they will be doing more of the getting dressed independently. Pack and organize it how they find it useful, even if it’s not how you would do it.

One parent’s routine is like this:

Put on base layer, neck guard, elbow pads, bottom gear, and skates with skate guards. When you get to the car, pop the cup out of the jock and drop pants to knees before buckling. At the rink, you put the cup back in, pull up pants, put on shoulder pads, jersey, helmet, gloves.

Practice with your child

Can you teach your child to gear up more independently? They might surprise you with what they can do on their own if you practice. Figure out a routine that makes things easier for them to be be quick and focused. Is there a pneumonic that helps them remember the order? A song? When mine were little this rhyme helped them remember the steps to get ready for bed: toilet, flush, wash hands, brush. Sometimes I notice I am humming it at bedtime…to myself.

It works for this hockey player to have his hockey socks on (yellow) and just needs to pull his pants on at the rink.

Don’t mistake comfort and convenience for safety

Ultimately it all comes down to this, which is also true for child passenger safety every day of the year. 

Is it time consuming and annoying? Yes.

Are these extra steps necessary to keep kids safe in the car – the most dangerous place most of them are every day? Also yes.

Enlist the support of other families, coaches, and league leadership to make sure you are doing what you can to help kids arrive safely to the rink. Team work on this one will make all the difference to managing during this new normal, and keeping everyone safe on and off the ice.

Clek Liing car seat with baby

Clek continues to innovate and combine style with safety, usability, and functionality, and all of those features are seen meshing beautifully in the Clek Liing.

Liing is a rear-facing only (RFO) seat and rounds out Clek’s lineup of seats that now cover all ages and stages. It comes in a few different fashions and fabrics, and is available wherever Clek seats are sold. Liing retails for $479-$579 depending on fabric.

If you are unsure of what type of seat you might want to start with for your newborn, have a read of this article first. It will help to break down the pros and cons of a rear-facing only seat like the Liing, or going straight to convertible such as Clek’s Foonf or Fllo with Infant Thingy and more..

NEW! Coming soon is the Clek Liingo, a carrier-only version of the Clek Liing that has UAS on the carrier…and no base! This is a super option for those of you without cars, or who rarely use a car, but want the flexibility of a quick and easy installation in taxis, while traveling, or using car shares. Read more about Liingo specifically here. Please note though that the Liingo isn’t out yet, and this review addressed the Liing (with base). We’ll update when we know more!

Clek Liing Highlights:

  • Brilliant mechanism for recline adjustment after the base is installed
  • Beautiful fabric and finishing
  • Highly functional newborn support system to ensure comfortable, easy-to-use fit on even the smallest babies
  • Easy to install and highly compatible in a wide range of vehicles

Game-Changer Alert!

Liing is smooth, and easy to use with slick design and style, but the biggest highlight of this seat is an industry-first feature that solves one of the biggest challenges parents have when they install their seat – which simultaneously makes baby safer and parents happier! What is this mysterious innovation? The ability to adjust the recline after the base is installed instead of setting it as you install, which can sometimes be trial and error or difficult to achieve. This is a game-changer, and we can not emphasize enough how great this feature is. We have a video so you can see it in action, read on! If you can’t wait, you can watch it here.

*Animated GIF to show how recline adjusts after installation; used with permission, from Clek’s product page at*

Liing is made to fit children:

Seat specs:

  • Lowest harness height (with newborn support system padding in place): 4.5”
  • Highest harness height (without infant support system): 9.75”
  • Maximum seated height (bum to top of head): 17”-18″ depending on if load leg is stored or in use, see here for more info –> but children will settle into a seat differently, so this is an approximate measurement that might not be terribly useful between children or between seats.
  • Width at widest point: 13.2” (base) and 16.9” (with carrier on base)
  • Size of base/footprint on vehicle seat: 22.6” x 13.2”
  • Crotch buckle positions: 1, but position relative to child is managed with a newborn support system, so measurements aren’t informative regarding fit
  • See some great overall seat measurements here (scroll down for a diagram)
  • Fabric options include jersey knit, premium C-Zero plus, and merino wool. The seat shown in this review is shown in ‘Mammoth’ merino wool, and it is divine.
  • Substantial canopy that pivots smoothly has good coverage, complete with a zippered expansion panel and a sleek, magnetic rear-view window.
  • Load leg required (read more about this later on) after the child weighs 22 lbs (10 kg) but is highly recommended at all times.

Gallery & Features


Clek Liing body padding
Infant support system shown here and includes that squarish under-bum pad. The fabric (Mammoth) is a darker grey than shown here, the lighting makes it look lighter than it is.


Clek Liing recline bubble
Easy-read weight-based recline indicator – adjust AFTER installation, woot!


Base with rigid UAS and load leg.


Clek Liing canopy
Substantial canopy with zippered expansion shown in the open position for maximum coverage.


Accessible rear view window in the canopy.


Carrier release handle is on the base.



Will Liing fit in your car?

Almost certainly yes. It’s narrow, it’s compact front to back, and it’s easily installed with either rigid UAS or seat belt (not both at the same time).

Those of you with under-floor storage – such as the Stow & Go seats – will need to read your manual carefully to see if you may use a load leg in those seating positions. Mostly the answer will be no, which is a shame, because it will limit the use of Liing to a max weight of 22 lbs (10 kg), at which point the load leg is required.

Liing is so easy to install, and works so nicely with either the UAS or seat belt installation — or even baseless! — that it’s not necessary to provide a huge range of fit photos. For one of my photo sessions I needed to quickly change vehicles to better accommodate the light at the time, and baby’s rapidly deteriorating mood, and uninstalled and reinstalled in less than a minute. Clek anticipated many installation challenges and overcame them with design features. It couldn’t be simpler.

Clek Liing in Honda Civic
Clek Liing installed with a seat belt in the middle of a 2012 Honda Civic, leaving ample room for a tall driver.



Installation Gallery and Features

Clek Liing installs easily and quickly in one of three ways. Note that we have shown the load leg in use in all photos but it is possible to install the base without it, but limits the use of the seat to a child weight of 22 lbs (10 kg).

  1. With the base using rigid UAS;
  2. With the base using the seat belt;
  3. Baseless using the seat belt.

Base with rigid UAS plus load leg:

All of the photos here show the base in use with the load leg. If your vehicle permits it, use it. It’s an added safety feature that you should make every effort to take advantage of with this seat. Please note that this isn’t an installation guide; Clek has wonderful support resources on their site, including video manuals, FAQs, and ways of getting one-on-one product support if you have questions.

How long it took me to install the base and adjust the recline, without trying very hard. And it’s not just because I’m good at this! It truly is that straightforward.


Rigid UAS extended, installed, and showing green (for good to go!)


Load leg storage position neatly and easily keeps the load leg ready to use.


Load leg extended, and showing green (for good to go!) Apologies for the state of my floor.


Base with recline sled at most upright position (for older babies).


Base with recline sled at most reclined position (for younger babies).


Base with seat belt plus load leg:

We show the base installed here with a lap/shoulder seat belt. It is also possible to install it with a lap-only belt but as that type of belt is increasingly rare we have not photographed it for this review.

Seat belt routed as directed.


Push down to close the belt tensioner over the seat belt.


Indicator in the belt tensioner is green (for good to go!)


Buckled belt, with a closed and locked belt tensioner.


Baseless with seat belt:

Liing is easy to install without the base for times when you are traveling, hopping in a friend’s car, or need maximum portability with your car seat. Note that the style of installation shown here is known as “Euro routing” where the shoulder portion of the seat belt wraps around the rear edge of the car seat. The carrier is clearly labeled with blue routing tabs on the sides and at the rear of the seat.

Buckle-side view of a baseless installation.


Baby-side view of a baseless installation.


Rear view of a baseless installation.


Side view of a baseless installation.


See Liing in action here in a video tour that shows various methods and features:


Will Liing fit your baby?

The design of Liing is ideal for the smallest babies, and together with the broad range and easy adjustability of the recline, chances are excellent you and your baby will be happy with the fit right from the start — even with a preemie. Thank you to the baby models, and the parents who shared their lovely children and their comments for this review.

Like most seats in the RFO category, the 35 lbs (15.9 kg) weight maximum is an overestimate for most kids, but the height limit (32” / 81.3 cm) and shell depth is right on par with other RFOs we know and love. The seated height limit — corresponding to the shell depth — together with the shape of your baby will influence how long the seat will last for, but many kids will get more than a year out of it. Big babies will get less, and small ones will fit for longer, but that is true of all car seats at all stages! Once your baby outgrows Liing you will have a good idea of your child’s build and growth pattern and can keep that in mind going forward. You can check out size-for-age growth charts here if you are interested.

Clek Liing newborn
Our test doll is approximately the size and shape of a 6 lb baby. Liing tightens and adjusts very well for a model this size.


Clek Liing newborn baby
This 7 lbs, 9 day old newborn fit very well in Liing. This wee one’s parents liked the adjustability and how the padding felt very well-positioned and comfortable.


Clek Liing 4 month old baby
At 4 months, 13 lbs, and 25″, this baby is not using the newborn support system (it comes out at 11 lbs), but fits well with the head support cushion in place and lots of room to grow.


Clek Liing 6 month old
At 6.5 months and 16 lbs, Liing is an excellent fit for this baby. At his size there is plenty of room for the head pad to remain in for extra head protection.


Clek Liing 9 month old
At 9 months, 20 lbs, and 29″, this baby still has room to grow. He was happier without the head padding, and we love his toque!


Clek Liing 11 months
At 11 months, 22 lbs, and 31″, this was the biggest baby we tested and he is nearly at the height limit of 32″. He is VERY tall for his age though, and most babies will last longer than a year.

What do CPSTs think of Liing?

I have been working with seats — writing about them, testing them, teaching parents about them — for almost ten years now. My own children are now well out of harnessed seats, which makes it harder to field test seats for babies and young children. I’ve been fortunate to have a helpful and giving community and means I get to meet new babies when I need models!

In all my years of doing this I have seen manufacturers come out with a lot of great things, and I know a parent-friendly feature when I see one! This CPST loves so much about the Liing. It has everything I’ve come to expect from Clek.

I love it when manufacturers design in a solution to a problem that parents don’t know they have. In this case, that is the post-install recline adjustment. It is BRILLIANT. I can’t emphasize that enough. One of the top reasons caregivers reach out for help with their baby’s seat is they are struggling to understand or to solve the recline issue, and a properly reclined infant is so very important to protect the airway. Recline adjustment after installation takes the guesswork out of it.

I am also a fan of the load leg, which joins a small but growing collection of rear-facing only seats on the Canadian market to include this feature frequently seen in Europe. See the load leg in action here:

It is really important to note that a seat without a load leg in use is absolutely still safe when used correctly. So is the Liing and you’ll see the two installations side by side in that video (two Liings: one with the load leg, and one without). It is always preferable for the car seat to do the work of absorbing the energy of a crash, and that is something the load leg does. It is worth mentioning again that some vehicles forbid the use of a load leg, and that is because the floor design isn’t intended to handle the force of the leg pushing down on it in a crash. If you have under-floor storage or a hollow space where the load leg will rest it’s extra important to consult your vehicle manual for any prohibitions. If you are able to use it though – make every effort to do so.

What do caregivers think of Liing?

When I test-fit the children shown in this review into Liing I also asked the caregivers what they thought of the seat. Conveniently they were all using different brands of seats from each other, and so I collected a number of great comments from real parents. These included:

  • Liking the feel and shape of the handle and how the carrier fit against the body when carrying (taller parents noticed more comfort in particular)
  • All loved the fabric and finish. Unless you have a wool allergy I don’t think the merino cover could possibly disappoint.
  • The ease with which the handle pivots past the canopy was remarkable and everyone noticed this.
  • Some parents found it lighter than their current carrier, and others found it heavier. Without the infant support padding the Liing weighs in at 9 lbs. This is pretty average. Once you add a baby to that and start schlepping it all around you don’t really notice a small difference in carrier weight. Your arms will get pretty buff regardless.
  • Parents commented that their babies seemed comfortable and well-supported in the seat, and they liked the infant support system padding and adjustability.
  • Parents commented that they loved the canopy: how smoothly it moved, and how well it covered the seat and their child, that it expanded with a tidy zipper, and the rear viewing window was smooth and provided nice airflow and visibility.
  • The weight of the base was a bit of a surprise to most, but once installed — which again, is super easy to do — weight isn’t an issue.

Will Liing fit your stroller?

Probably yes, as Liing is compatible with Maxi-Cosi adapters. See Clek’s complete list of stroller compatibility here.

What do YOU think of Liing?

Do you like it or do you love it?

Truly though, it’s a thing of beauty. Are you excited? Tell us about it! And enter for a chance to win one of your own, with thanks from Clek. Clek also provided the seat used in this review, but opinions are our own.

For your entry to be valid you must:

  1. Click on the giveaway graphic below to enter your details on the giveaway widget tool that we are using to collect responses and randomly choose a winner.
  2. If you choose to post a comment (please do, we love hearing from you), it won’t appear immediately because we moderate them. Trust us that it will though, and carry on.


About the author of this review:

Jen Shapka is a CPST and Instructor-Trainer in Winnipeg, and misses working with parents, families, and technicians-in-training. She is hunkering down with her family and waiting for Covid Times to be over with already. It does not help that it’s practically still winter. These days, she can usually be found sewing surgical-style caps for healthcare workers, limiting how many sweet treats her kids want to bake in one day, and racking up the kilometres running around her neighbourhood. Jen can be reached at

A list of things to think about as you prepare to add a new little person to your family.

Read more about:

Infant or convertible seat?

One of the first things you need to decide when buying a seat for a newborn is whether to buy a rear-facing only infant seat, or a larger convertible seat. There is no right or wrong choice here, so long as the seat fits your child and your vehicle appropriately. Used seats come with their own set of challenges; read more about those here.

If you are expecting multiples or a small baby, it is very important to look for a seat that starts at 4 lbs and also has low harness slots. There’s even one that allows use at 3 lbs! A baby’s small torso needs to be taller than the lowest harness slot to fit properly in most cases. Take your tape measure to the store and check out the differences between models. Newborns come in different sizes and shapes of course, but a seat that is highly adjustable is more likely to fit well from birth. Many seats will come with required or optional padding or low birth weight inserts to improve the fit, so check that any floor model you’re looking at has all of the parts present.

If you prefer to use a convertible from birth you still need to consider actual fit – not just the stated minimums on the seat. Many convertibles fit an average-sized newborn from birth and also come with required or optional padding to improve fit. Some now start at 4 lbs, but most at 5 lbs. The lowest harness position is still important, so don’t be shy with the tape measure. To make things more confusing (sorry), some convertibles are available with additional newborn-specific padding or fit rules for wee ones. Please ask us if this is the route you want to take so we can give you the most current information possible.

Vehicle shopping

If your current set of wheels isn’t ideal for transporting kids you may find yourself in the market for a new vehicle. This isn’t as straightforward as you might hope, unfortunately. Read more here about what features are important to consider once you have kids on board.

Recline and breathing

One of the biggest challenges encountered by new parents is properly reclining the car seat. Some car seats naturally position a child more upright than others; some babies are floppier than others. If your child’s head tilts forward then something needs to change immediately, as this is very dangerous for young babies. If they are positioned chin-to-chest the airway can close. Babies don’t have the physical ability to lift or reposition their head, and their brain hasn’t yet developed the reflex to alert them to breathe. Chin-to-chest can result in positional asphyxiation and can be silent and fast.

Regardless of whether you choose a rear-facing only seat or a convertible seat, it is absolutely critical to make sure that car seat is reclined as much as possible within any allowable range provided by the seat. Some seats have a weight-based recline range, some are more flexible, and others just state a single line for all ages. Read more about recline angles and how to use them here.

Avoid unregulated products

Walk on by that wall of cute baby stuff  that claims to be “made for use in the car seat.” Car seat manufacturers rigorously design, engineer, and test their products to work as intended, meaning to keep your little bundle safe in a crash. If you deviate from the instructions you increase the chances of the car seat not doing its job. Are you eying up a fuzzy set of harness pads to be comfy at the neck? Some car seats come with those. Some manufacturers make them available for purchase for specific seats. Don’t buy ones that aren’t made specifically for your seat.

Avoid adding head positioners to car seats. They tend to attach to the harness, and go behind the head. This can change how the harness works or fits your child, and putting something behind the head can push baby’s head forward and is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. See above for chin-to-chest dangers. 

If your car seat came with a head positioner, head pad, body pad or insert, then read your manual carefully to see if there are any requirements for use or removal. 

Bunting bags or sleeping bag inserts also fall into the unregulated category. They tend to add bulk, interfere with how the harness works or fits, may interfere with how the handle moves, or how the carrier snaps onto the base. Shower cap-style covers may be an option, but avoid use in the car so baby doesn’t overheat. Often a blanket draped over the seat is all that is needed to keep the wind out for quick in and out trips between car and house.

Other unregulated products include mats, mirrors, toys that attach to the handle of the seat, aftermarket covers or sew-your-own covers, and anything that didn’t come with the car seat or was not made by the manufacturer of the car seat. Many brands have options in these categories because parents want them, so look there first if you’re feeling a need for these items. And if you received these items as gift or bought them and can’t return them? They may be appropriate for use in the stroller instead.

Hot cars

Every year we hear of tragic hot car deaths and possibly think to ourselves we would never do that, we love our kids too much. If this is you – stop. Stop right now. That thinking is dangerous.

Of course you love your kids. So did the parents who made the horrifying mistake of forgetting their kids in a hot car. We all get distracted. We all go on auto-pilot. And it’s not that those parents forgot about their kids for 8 hours, it’s that their brain told them their kids were safely at daycare or with grandma or wherever they usually go. If you have ever driven a familiar route and then realized you didn’t really remember the last few kilometres of travel then you, like every other tired, distractable human, are at risk of making a tragic mistake. And this risk intensifies when we are tired. Hands up if you are a new parent (or hey, any parent) who isn’t often tired. No? Okay then, read on.

How to minimize the risk? Thankfully there are some simple, low cost things you can do to reduce the risk to your family.

  • Use any systems in place with daycare or school to have them contact you or a series of people if the child doesn’t show up as expected. This might be called a safe arrival program.
  • Make a habit of always opening the rear door after you exit the driver’s seat. Even better, keep something back there that you need such as a phone, wallet, or purse.
  • Communicate with other caregivers when exiting the vehicle and get in the habit of doing a head count once inside.
  • Take advantage of any technological backups provided by your car seat or car, for example:
    • Some Evenflo seats come with SensorSafe, which includes an app connected to the chest clip of your child’s seat together with the ODB port in your vehicle. The app, when set up, will contact a cascading series of people if the system determines that the car was parked but the chest clip is still buckled.
    • GM has a chime reminder if it determines that the rear door was opened within a certain time the car was driven. We expect to see more and more advances in this area of injury prevention as manufacturers get more creative to prevent the rising number of hot car deaths in North America.

For more information on this topic you can read here.  Kids and Cars is the primary source of information on this topic.



Winter wear

Newborns who travel in rear-facing only seats are quite easy to keep warm. Typically the car seat starts out warm because it’s been in the house. Dress baby in thin, warm, well-fitting layers, such as a sleeper layered with a slim-fitting fleece sleeper over top. Add a hat, and then buckle. Tuck a blanket around baby over top of the harness but avoid any fluff near the face. Quick in-and-outs between store and car can be dealt with by draping a blanket over the seat to keep out the wind, but don’t leave it in place for long as it may limit air flow. Avoid using bunting-bag type seat inserts, see above for unregulated products.

Keeping newborns warm and safe in convertibles, as well as a child of any age in a larger seat, requires a bit more planning. Read more here.

Car seats are for cars

Always buckle as if you’re driving. We all know someone (or did it ourselves) who loosened baby’s harness “for comfort” while inside, covered them with a blanket, and then forgot to re-buckle to drive home. Not only does this put them at risk of injury in a crash, but it means baby could slouch and slide down in the seat, changing the position of their head or where the straps are on their body. New parents forget things. They’re tired, distracted, and just trying to function. Avoid this risk by always buckling properly as if for a drive.

Car seats are not safe sleeping spots. Once the car seat comes out of the car, baby should come out of the car seat. You’ll notice that the angle the car seat sits at is different on the floor or stroller compared to when clicked into the base. Please re-read the section above about chin-to-chest and why it’s so dangerous. Consider baby wearing, a stroller with a recline-flat seat or bassinet, or a portable crib for sleeping when not at home. Find more information on safe sleep here.

Click the carrier only onto the base, compatible stroller, or place on a low and flat surface. Rear-facing only car seats aren’t meant to click or dock onto the top of a shopping cart. This could damage the seat’s own locking mechanism, as well as making the whole contraption very top heavy. Avoid the fall hazard and put the carrier down and in the shopping cart if it fits, baby wear, or use a stroller to pull behind you with one hand while you push the cart with the other. Alternately, this may be a good time to take your friends up on offers to help and send them to the store with a list, take advantage of grocery delivery or pre-order and quick pickup options, or something else that suits your life. Further avoid fall risks by not placing the car seat on high or unstable surfaces like a couch or counter.

Stroller compatibility and travel systems

Disclaimer: we do not provide much input on strollers, that’s not our thing. If stroller compatibility is important to you our advice is to consider how you use the stroller separately from what you need and want in a car seat. If you happen to find a travel system that works for you, excellent. Travel systems are car seat-stroller combos that come as a set.

For many people though, what they want in a stroller is different from what comes in a travel system, and they shop for the two separately. Regardless, car seats are not intended to replace a crib for sleep, and chin-to-chest is dangerous. Strollers may not position baby well when they’re little.

Does your lifestyle include any of the following?

  • being car-free
  • taking a lot of public transit
  • walking including to areas with a lot of stairs
  • living in a building that doesn’t have an elevator
  • traveling by plane
  • trail running
  • pushing more than one child (now or in the future)

If yes, then our advice would be to shop for the stroller separately and then look at what car seats are compatible with your stroller of choice. Popular brands make adapter bars for many types of car seats, and often the adapters can be found second hand.

Parents of multiples are advised to consult with other parents of multiples for input on the stroller situation.

Find and read your manuals

Unearth your vehicle manual and flip to the section usually called “child restraints.” Also read your car seat manual cover to cover. Some manuals are organized more clearly than others. Use the customer service options offered by your car seat manufacturer. All are available to provide additional product support; some even go so far as to video chat with you to troubleshoot any questions you may have. These days, virtually all of them are responsive on social media, so pick your preferred communication method and reach out with questions. They want you to use their product safely and properly, so don’t be shy.

Are you dusting off your own seat to use with another child? Reread its manual. It’s amazing the things you forget. Often, a rear-facing only seat has been left set up for the larger, older child who vacated it, so some steps will need to be taken to ensure it’s set up for a wee one. Also double check that all parts are there, there’s no mold or rodent damage from being in storage, and the seat hasn’t expired since you first purchased it. If you’re borrowing from a friend go through this list with them to make sure it’s appropriate to pass along.

Read your car seat manual and your vehicle manual.

Practice with a doll or stuffed animal

This may sound ridiculous but it’s very helpful! Find a baby-sized doll or stuffy – doesn’t need to be perfectly proportioned – and try buckling it up. If you are doing this at the shopping stage some stores may have an appropriately-sized doll to test out, or CPSTs often have one on hand for prenatal education. Get a sense for how the harness adjusts and tightens, how the buckles feel, and where the arms and legs are meant to go. Your baby will be much cuter, but also possibly wiggly and most definitely noisier. Practicing on a doll will up your confidence for when it’s go time.

Poppy, a Build-A-Bear monkey, is a good-sized model to practice on!

Register your seat

Sometimes car seats are recalled and it’s important that the manufacturer knows to reach out to you to inform you of any concerns with their product. If you don’t register your seat they can’t know that you have it!

Registering is easy and can be done online. Your car seat will come with a postcard-type card that contains all of the information needed to register your seat. If you lost it don’t despair; all of the information needed can also be found on your seat. Look for a sticker that indicates date of manufacture and model number. We also recommend taking a picture of this label for easy reference should you ever need the information on it for a warranty question. The registration information should be readily accessible on the manufacturer’s Canadian website.

Registering your seat applies even if you are using it for a second child and forgot to the first time around. It applies if you were given a safe used seat by a trusted friend or family member. Do it now!

Some manufacturers reward owners who register their seat with additional warranty options, so take advantage!

Meet with a CPST for hands-on help

Car seats are life saving devices, and when used properly, are very effective. For some parents, reading the car seat manual and car manual is all that is needed and they feel confident and ready to welcome their newest family member. 

Some parents feel much more prepared if they meet one-on-one with a CPST to learn how to install and use their seat. Rewind a bit – many CPSTs can also help with the choosing of a seat at the buying stage. Do what works for you! Find a CPST near you at

Thank you to our CPST colleagues from across Canada who provided adorable and educational photos for this article. You know who you are!

An unconventional giveaway...

Congrats to the winner of a pair of custom-made baby slippers. Jen will knit them and mail them to you. They’re handmade, cute, and stay on little feet! 

Baby in Evenflo EveryStageThe Evenflo EveryStage is an all-in-one (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster) seat from Evenflo. Sometimes these seats are referred to as multi-mode seats, 3-in-1s, or all-in-ones. You will find the EveryStage in several trim levels: (1) LX, which is much like what is shown here but has premium push-on UAS connectors instead of the EasyClick ones on the (2) DLX  shown throughout this review. There is also a Gold level, which comes with additional features.

Measurements & Seat Specs


  • 4 – 50 lbs (1.8 – 22.6 kg)
  • 17 – 48” (43 – 122 cm)
  • Top of child’s head is at least 1” below the bottom of the headrest adjustment lever


  • 22 – 65 lbs (10 – 29.4 kg)
  • 28 – 49” (71 – 124 cm)
  • Top of child’s ears are at or below the top of the headrest
  • At least two years old


  • 40 – 120 lbs (18 – 54.4 kg)
  • 28 – 49” (71 – 124 cm)
  • Top of child’s ears are at or below the top of the headrest
  • At least four years old


Seat Measurements

  • Lowest harness height (with infant padding in place): 7.5”
  • Highest harness height (without padding): 17.75”
  • Highest shoulder belt guide position for booster use: 18.5”
  • Seated bum to top of head while rear-facing: 26”
  • Width at widest point (cup holders): 19.75”
  • Size of base/footprint on vehicle seat: 11.5” wide x 15.75” deep
  • Crotch buckle positions: 3.25” with infant padding, 4” without padding, and 5.5” without padding


The EveryStage Elevator Pitch:

  • Lots of premium features
  • Easy to use
  • Innovative interior design to protect young baby’s airway
  • Innovative, easy-to-use UAS installation
  • Broad recline range
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Medium in size front-to-back when rear-facing – not a good choice for tiny cars with tall adults
  • Medium torso height for forward-facing harnessed use

The Evenflo EveryStage has a lot going for it, and fits nicely into the all-in-one category…possibly front of the line, depending on your needs, size of vehicle, and what features you consider important. It boasts a long list of premium features, is easy to use, and is a great addition to this category.

Like all multi-mode seats it tends to do some stages better than others, but it is a very functional seat in all modes. Is it the last seat your child will ever need? Not likely, but no seat can really claim this for sure. It’s impossible to know what your 6 month old child’s build will be like as a pre-teen (yes, most kids do still need a booster seat at age 11!).

But, chances are excellent the EveryStage will be usable by most kids from the newborn size through to booster age. The vast majority will require a backless booster to last until seat belt readiness. Also? It’s a rare 8-11 year old who would want to sit in something that is obviously a car seat. By that age, most are ready for a more discreet option. Thankfully Evenflo offers some choice in that department, as do other brands. And if you have younger children to pass this down to you will enjoy the usability and plush features, and with the ten year lifespan you will have ample opportunity to put it through its paces!

Moving on! The EveryStage has a long list of premium features, some of which are shown here in photos for your viewing pleasure:

  • The amazing, aptly named EasyClick UAS adjuster system. It’s a beautiful thing, and available on DLX and GOLD models; on the LX model you will find a premium push-on Quick-Connector. Use this method of installation to a child weight of 40 lbs; after that, install with the seat belt.

Evenflo EveryStage EasyClick UAS

  • Cushy fabrics with optional padding. We like optional, because kids come in different shapes and sizes.

newborn doll in Evenflo EveryStage

  • Anti-rebound bar for use when rear-facing (mandatory – easy to add and remove when needed)

Evenflo EveryStage anti-rebound bar

  • Removable cup holder liners (2) for dishwasher-safe cleaning

Evenflo EveryStage removable cupholders

  • Cleverly designed and easily used UAS storage for when the UAS is not in use.

Evenflo EveryStage UAS storage

  • Tether anchor is red for added visibility and as a reminder to use it forward-facing (always!). We’d like to see this trend across all car seat brands.

Evenflo red tether

  • The manual is clear, the labels are clear, the recline indicator is clear, and Evenflo’s customer service is standing by to answer any questions you might still have. 

Evenflo EveryStage label Evenflo EveryStage recline indicator

Rear-Facing Installation and Fit to Child

This is a substantial seat and is cushy and comfortable as reported by our parent and kid testers (thank you baby and toddler models!). The optional body pad and head pad can be used, or removed, as needed, but are for rear-facing use only. 

Baby in Evenflo EveryStage
16 lbs and 26″
Baby in Evenflo EveryStage
21.5 lbs and 28″
Toddler in Evenflo EveryStage
22 lbs at 19 months – tons of leg room.
Toddler in Evenflo EveryStage
Almost 4 and 33lbs, still tons of room to grow.

One tester immediately noticed she could reach her cup holders, and excitedly told me the treasures she was going to put there.

Evenflo EveryStage
27 lbs and 35″ with lots of room left (and very happy about that cupholder).

The harness covers are also optional and can be used in any direction of installation.

The fabric is machine washable and dryable. This is important if you have places to be, but the cover just came out of the wash. Check the manual for full cleaning instructions. A word of warning though – the harness is not replaceable on this model, so be sure to wipe up any spills as soon as they happen.

When installing the seat rear-facing we found the combination of clear, easy to read rolling ball level and the mechanical recline system easy to work with and manoeuvre. Note: if needed, it is allowable to use a small rolled towel to increase the recline even further. This is likely only in vehicles with very deeply sloped seats combined with young babies who need to be in the max recline position to avoid the dangerous chin-to-chest position.

Evenflo EveryStage recline indicator Evenflo EveryStage recline handle

On that note, the EveryStage is designed with a very ingenious mechanism that positions the baby at a more reclined angle when they are smaller, tilting the seat back to keep that airway open. See that feature in action here!

A common worry we hear from parents is that their infant’s head is tilting forward. The chin-to-chest position is very dangerous for newborns, and potentially uncomfortable for older babies. Often the problem can be fixed by ensuring the car seat is as reclined as allowed, but in some seats the dreaded head slump can’t be avoided even when fussing with positioning options such as adding or removing body padding. Parents of small babies will appreciate this internal recline feature. 


With an ability to hold a child up to 48” or 50 lbs, and plenty of leg room to go with it, the EveryStage should easily fit kids up to at least age 4 in the rear-facing position. 


Rated from 4 lbs and 17” it’s possible this seat will fit even very small babies from birth. Certainly it fit my small tester doll well, and my best guess on her is as an average 6 lb baby. If you’re intending to skip the rear-facing only infant-style seat and go straight to a larger convertible or all-in-one, the EveryStage should be in contention. Double check that you have adequate space to fully recline the seat in your vehicle. I could put it nicely behind the passenger of my 2012 Civic with room to sit in front (at 5’8) but it would be a tight squeeze in smaller cars with taller people.

newborn doll in EveryStage


It installed easily and quickly in a variety of vehicles, using the magnificent EasyClick or the seat belt. If I had access to lower anchors I would choose that with this seat every time. If you didn’t watch the video above, watch it now to appreciate the genius of EasyClick. 

Evenflo EveryStage rear facing
2012 Honda Civic
Evenflo EveryStage rear facing
2012 Honda Odyssey

Forward-Facing Installation and Fit to Child

Installation forward-facing is easy peasy. Remove the ARB if it’s there (simple to do). Recline the whole seat into position #4 or #5 (more upright), and confirm that the recline indicator (also used forward-facing for this seat) is in the correct zone and that the seat bottom is flat on the vehicle seat. The EveryStage headrest slides up and down, so ensure the vehicle head restraint doesn’t interfere or force it forward. 

Evenflo EveryStage ARB Evenflo EveryStage forward facing recline

Evenflo EveryStage label

If the vehicle head restraint interferes, you have a few options: check your vehicle manual to see if you are permitted to remove the head restraint (store it somewhere safe). If it must remain on, see if you are allowed to recline the vehicle seat a wee bit to account for this. Alternately, try making the EveryStage more upright (try recline position #5 if you’d been using #4), or, try a different seating position. Sometimes the geometry of the middle seat is different from the outer seats.

Make sure to use the tether strap always! It’s nicely visible in a red housing, and we commend Evenflo for making this easy change to encourage tether use. It’s a very important step! Check your vehicle manual for designated tether anchor positions.

Kid testers found it comfortable. Shown here are older kids who no longer fit rear-facing. This seat will accommodate average torso heights for most kids through age six. If your child is really tall or really long torsoed, a different seat may be a better option. Remember that a seat can be outgrown by torso height, as well as by standing height, or weight.

Evenflo EveryStage forward facing Evenflo EveryStage forward facing


Booster Mode & Fit to Child

Our booster riders reported that the seat was comfortable, and despite it sitting up higher than a standalone booster seat, it wasn’t too high to prevent the child from buckling themselves. The thighs had good support, the padding was comfy, and the seat belt retracted well through the shoulder belt guide (shown below) in the vehicles that were used. The testers did  not notice the feel of the harness stored behind them (more on that shortly), and attention to padding placement makes us believe they won’t notice long term.

Evenflo EveryStage belt guide Evenflo EveryStage label


Parents reported that the seat was easy to convert between harness and booster mode, which is definitely appealing to those who purchase this seat intending to use it for a range of kids (daycare, grandparents, etc). We like it when, after converting between modes, there isn’t a huge pile of parts to keep track of.

Evenflo EveryStage harness storage

At age eight and on the taller side, this tester has nearly outgrown the seat; however, he found it comfy and easy to buckle and did not protest helping out with this review!


Final Thoughts

We like this seat a lot. It is well-priced, comes with a long list of premium features, and fit well in a range of test vehicles. Thumbs up on this one!

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway is now closed.


Note: comments are moderated – add your reply, and we’ll approve them periodically. Thank you for your patience!
Disclosure: Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. Open to Canadian residents, 19 years of age and older. Confirmed winner(s) will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor(s). For questions or to see your product featured on the Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs blog contact us at

Updated Oct 2019.

Britax Skyline and Britax Highpoint are the current highback boosters from Britax. They both bring the usual plush fabric, attractive styling, premium features, and ease of use we have come to expect from Britax, and are both seats we would recommend to those for whom a seat belt-positioning booster is the right choice. For many kids, booster readiness happens around age 6.

The Skyline is the main product featured in this review. Where applicable we will outline differences found on the Highpoint, which has a few more features and is at a higher price point…oh. See how that works?

Seat Specs

  • For children who are 40-120 lbs, and 38″ – 63″ tall, and we recommend at least five years old but this is not a requirement of Britax’s
  • 10 position adjustable headrest
  • 2 dishwasher-safe removable and optional cup holders
  • Premium UAS connectors on flexible webbing
  • 10 year expiration
  • $149.99 Skyline and $199.99 Highpoint
  • UPDATE: Original version was a high back booster only – does not convert to a backless booster. Britax has updated the seats though and Skyline and Highpoint may be used in high back or backless modes. Check product details carefully before purchasing.

Dimensions (measurements approximate)

  • belt guide at lowest setting: 15″
  • belt guide at highest setting: 22.5″
  • between head wings: 10.5″
  • between shoulder/side wings: 16″
  • between arm rests at tailbone area: 11.5″
  • between arm rests at front edge of arm rests: 13″
  • depth of seat pan: 13.5″
  • external dimensions: 19.75″ at widest point (cup holders – optional), 19.5″ at widest flare of side wings, 35″ tall fully extended, 15″ wide at back/bottom of base, 17″ at widest point of the base. Highpoint slightly wider externally at headwings due to side impact energy-absorbing cushions.
Britax Skyline booster seat pan
Britax Skyline seat pan
Britax Skyline UAS adjuster and cupholder
Britax Skyline UAS adjuster and cupholder
Britax Skyline UAS storage and smooth base
Tidy UAS storage compartments (see it peeking out?) and a nice smooth base.

Child Fit:

As with all booster seats it is so very important to assess seat belt fit in any booster seat a child rides in. We found the belt fit in the Skyline to be quite reliable on the kids who tested it for us. They ranged in age from 5.5 and at the very minimum for weight, all the way up to 11 and close to the top end of the height limit.

Britax Skyline booster seat Britax Skyline booster seatBritax Skyline booster seat Britax Skyline booster seat

Lap belt fit was consistently excellent – great news!

Britax Skyline booster seat lap belt fit

Our kid testers reported the Skyline to be comfortable, with a nicely-padded cover that seems to stay in place well and doesn’t shift around as they move. It is on the narrow side at the hip width measurement, and some kids found it narrower through the shoulders than other booster they were familiar with. The head support was well-liked.

Britax Skyline booster seat

Some found the seat pan to be a little shallower than they’d prefer, but providing something lightweight to rest their feet on tends to resolve this complaint for any boostered or forward-facing child.

Overall it is a comfortable seat with excellent belt fit, and will last the majority of children through to “5-Stepping” with the adult seat belt, or certainly until they have the maturity and size to confidently use a backless booster seat. (Reminder that this seat does not convert to a backless booster – see note below).

It is very tall in the torso, enabling the shoulder belt to be well-positioned at or above the shoulder and crossing the collarbone on even very tall children.

The Highpoint booster (not pictured – see it on Britax’s site here) comes with a SecureGuard clip, formerly known as an SG clip on now-retired Britax products, and may provide improved lap belt fit or security on some children. It is not a crotch buckle, but rather it hooks over the lap belt and is meant to keep the lap belt well-positioned. Highpoint also has external side impact cushions that will increase the upper torso width measurement.

Fit to Vehicle Comments:

  • Position the back of the booster seat flush against the vehicle seat back when adjusted to a comfortably upright position; if your vehicle head restraint is creating a large gap behind the booster seat then the Skyline/Highpoint may not be a good fit for that seating position. Take a picture and contact Britax for advice.
  • The adjuster mechanism for tightening and loosening the lower anchors is located on the child’s left side. Plan ahead if the seating position you want to use means you have limited access to the adjuster.

Britax Skyline booster UAS adjuster strap

  • The booster seat itself adjusts to a very tall height, which is great, but in vehicles with a lower ceiling or very sloped ceiling, you may not be able to fully use that height. Not a bad problem to have though!
  • The bottom of the booster seat is smooth and flat and should cooperate nicely with leather upholstery

Overall Comments:

  • UAS is easy to use and adjusts smoothly. The connectors easily tuck away into the base and securely stay put during transfer between vehicles, or storage.
  • The cover is well-fitted and constructed and stays tightly in place, no shifting around.
  • Cupholders are easy to remove for dishwasher-safe cleaning
  • Head rest easily adjusts into one of ten positions
  • The fabric feels nice and of high quality

It doesn’t become a backless booster…so what?

Don’t let this put you off. Although we are accustomed to seats having more than one mode there’s no rule that says they have to. This is a sturdy (yet not overly heavy) booster seat that is attractive, comfortable, and long lasting. When and if your growing child needs a backless booster – for carpools, for a second vehicle, for travel – there are many on the market that are inexpensive and portable. One of our very favourites is under $20.

Perhaps you have a younger child to pass this one down to, or perhaps it stays in the vehicle you use for longer trips. Although my tall, just-turned 11 year old doesn’t need a booster seat at all in some vehicles (where she 5-Steps and safely fits the adult seat belt), she prefers a high back booster for the cross-country drives we tend to take in the summer. She finds it more comfortable with supportive side wings and a comfy place to rest her head. Thankfully I can fully extend the Skyline booster in the captain’s seats of my van, and provided she still fits in it come July, that’s what she’ll ride in for the trip!

Where to Buy

Find Britax Highpoint and Britax Skyline where Britax products are sold.

Would you like to win one? Enter here!

Britax Skyline

Note: comments are moderated – add your reply, and we’ll approve them periodically. Thank you for your patience!
Disclosure: Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. Open to Canadian residents, 19 years of age and older. Confirmed winner(s) will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor(s). For questions or to see your product featured on the Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs blog contact us at 


World travelers (and also travellers – my Canadian spell check likes two Ls!) – do you wonder about
using your Canadian seat in the US or Europe, and worry about the legality of your seat while in another country? Worry no more! Harmony Juvenile, makers of many other favourites such as the Defender and Youth Booster, brings us the first ever triple-certified booster seat that folds into a portable block for ease of transport and storage.

World Traveler Folding Booster Overview

  • Compliant to Canadian CMVSS, American FMVSS, and European ECE standards and labeled accordingly
  • Suitable for children who weigh between 40-110 lbs (18.1-50 kg) AND who are 34-57″ (86.4-144.8 cm) tall.
  • Suitable for children who are able to sit properly at all times so that the shoulder belt fits across the middle of the collarbone and chest, and lap belt fits low across the hips; we recommend children be at least five years old before using a booster seat.
  • High back booster only; does not convert to a backless booster.
  • Expires six years from date of manufacture.
  • Removable cupholder swivels, can be installed on either side.
  • Lowest shoulder belt guide (position 1): 15″
  • Tallest shoulder belt guide (position 7): 19.5″
  • Dimensions: 17.38″ wide x 20″ deep x 30.75″ tall
  • Folds to a block 17.7″ x 15.9″ x 10.9″
  • Seat weight: 8.5 lbs
  • Available in Silver Tech (black and grey; red fashion shown in some photos is no longer available)
  • Removable, washable fabric cover
  • $99.97 at Walmart – might be on store shelves now, coming soon in Silver Tech for online sales

Rebecka, CPST-I of Safe Travels recently tested the World Traveler Folding Booster out on a trip to the sunny south.


The World Traveler folds easily (although it becomes easier with practice) into a self-contained block, with a strap for carrying. It’s not heavy, but it’s a bit bulky for kids to carry very easily or far on their own.

With a bit of planning though it’s quite portable: combine it with a rolling suitcase, or find a cloth bag with bigger handles to loop over your arm for when you become the pack horse carrying everything, as is inevitable with tired, cranky kids. Side note: that suitcase…!

Although the World Traveler is larger than the typical carry-on size, it does fit well in the overhead storage bin. It did not fit in the smaller centre aisle overhead bin that is present on some planes, nor did it fit under the seat in front. But, we are hopeful that the flight crew would allow it on board even though it can not be used on the plane (no boosters can because they require a lap shoulder belt, and of course aircraft seats have only lap belts). Why not check it as luggage you ask? Because you want to be absolutely certain that your child’s booster winds up in the same location as you do, and arrives undamaged. Having it in the cabin with you is really the only way to be sure of that.

The red suitcase is the absolute biggest that fits in the carry-on sizer. Still lots of space in the overhead bin though.


Too tall to fit under the seat, and too tall to fit in the carry-on sizer.


Keep a copy of the manual on your phone for easy reference – download it from Harmony here (now take a moment and save the file, not just the link. Don’t be stuck without wifi and not have access to your manual!). Of course it comes with a paper manual too, but we like to travel lightly, and also we are known to lose things.

World Traveler begins as a block, held in place by a strap that doubles as a carry handle. Slip it off, and then unfold the hinged back piece, removing the head piece as you go. Use the back rest lever to lock the back into place.


Here you have a headless booster seat – you’re not finished! The World Traveler is NOT a backless booster. Lock the head wings into place, and then insert the head rest into the body. To disassemble do everything in reverse, with the exception of lifting the locking tab (shown below) to release the head rest.



Other Features

The design of the World Traveller is such that there’s a slight angle to the seat pan, with EPE energy absorbing foam, a removable, machine-washable fabric cover, and a cupholder that can be installed on either side, and that swivels for convenience. If you take it with you on your travels make sure to keep track of it during transport.

Belt Fit / Fit to Child

When shopping for a booster seat we say over and over again that it’s all about the belt fit. This is still true, even when travelling. However, we do recognize that travelling families don’t have the option of knowing ahead of time what they’ll be driving, or bringing multiple seats just in case. With this in mind, we found the belt fit on the World Traveller to be fairly reliable. Always use a lap/shoulder belt, and look for it to be centred across the collarbone, and low on the hips.

What was not reliable was how smoothly the shoulder belt retracted through the shoulder belt guide.
Be mindful of it retracting back and forth as your child fidgets or sneezes, and although we want kids to be able to remain properly seated at all times the reality is that we all shift in our seats. If the shoulder belt doesn’t move smoothly at the shoulder then slack will hang there, meaning a loose seat belt. Across a variety of vehicles we found shoulder belt retraction to be hit or miss; it may be improved at different heights for bigger or smaller children. If you encounter this while travelling: try a different seat in the car (if available), and be very mindful of correcting it manually if needed, possibly even teaching your child to do it. This is not a practical fix for daily use, but when you’re away your options may be limited.

The head wings provide a good amount of padding and a place to rest a sleepy head. The World Traveller is quite upright, and not adjustable for recline. It is narrow, so likely to fit in slim seating positions. Aim to minimize gaps behind it, and if a vehicle’s head restraint is getting in the way, check the vehicle manual to see if it’s allowed to be removed to achieve a more flush fit with the vehicle seat. If you are unsure if a gap is acceptable, reach out to Harmony Juvenile for guidance.


Overall Impressions

The World Traveller is well-priced at $99.97, and easy to use. It provides reliable seat belt fit on a child’s body, but may not allow the shoulder belt to retract freely, meaning you must check for this in any new vehicle you’re riding in. It’s on the narrow side, and our kid testers found it comfortable to ride in and easy to buckle themselves. The triple certification is handy for families who cross borders, eliminating the worry about if their own seat is legal to use on a trip. We recommend familiarizing yourself with this seat in advance of any trip, and if it’s in storage for a while, unpack it and make sure your child still fits before using it again. If you use it only for travel then keep the box it comes in – nice and compact and everything will stay in one place!

Would you like to win one? The fabulous folks at Harmony Juvenile will provide one World Traveler Folding Booster in Silver Tech to one lucky winner in Canada.

To be eligible to win:

  1. Comment below, answering this question: where do you want to travel with this booster seat, and why? Comments are moderated, so won’t show up right away. That’s okay – trust us to take care of it.
  2. Use the Rafflecopter widget to claim your entries.
  3. Cross your fingers!

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Rebecka Mayne is a CPST-Instructor and is the owner of Safe Travels Car Seat Services. Rebecka is passionate about child passenger safety and is active on Facebook, and in her community of New Tecumseth as well as other areas of Ontario including Perth County, York Region and Simcoe County. Rebecka has a background in the addictions and adult mental health field and specializes in empathy and a non judgemental approach. Rebecka just got a new washer and dryer so if you need her, she’s in her laundry room watching them do their thing. She reports that “they are magical.”



Do you have a dog? Do you take your dog with you in the car? This post is for you!

If you’ve ever met with a CPST for a car seat check you may remember being told to contain your loose objects because they can move in a crash and injure someone. You know…put the trailer hitch, bricks, and hammer in the trunk or storage compartment please. Really anything loose should be contained, even a phone or a water bottle, because things move so significantly in a crash.

But what about fur babies? Does your pup ride in the back seat in between the kids? How about standing up in the aisle in the van, poking a head through to the front seats? On a lap? Please no. In a crash or hard braking event that unrestrained pet becomes a massive and potentially deadly projectile for the humans in the car, and that’s true even of small dogs. They could also be badly injured even if you aren’t.

So what to do? There are a few options, depending on what you drive, but one easy-to-use device to consider is a pet harness. There are a lot on the market, but there are no federal standards to meet as there are with car seats. The Center for Pet Safety and Subaru tested a range of pet harnesses in 2013 and gave their approval to the SleepyPod Clickit Sport, and now the brand new, more rugged, Sleepypod Clickit Terrain, offering better test results than the Sport and compatible with more Sleepypod accessories! Watch their crash tests with specially built dog test dummies. YouTube is full of dog crash test videos if you want to subject yourself to that.

Thanks to our three testers (and their humans) for helping to review!  The Sleepypod Clickit Terrain will be available soon in Canada but we’re here to tell you all about it and give you a chance to win one for your furry friend’s (and your family’s) safety!

Meet our Testers

Gizmo is a 2.5 year old, 60ish-lbs hound mix who likes eating socks, sitting on people, and short walks around the block. One of his other favourite activities is riding in the car — preferably to the beach, Dairy Queen or the vet. He’s modelling his brand new Sleepypod Clickit Terrain in “Orange Dream” in size large.


Yoshi is a 5 year old, 30lb Labradoodle. He is a great running partner and is tennis ball obsessed. He can often be found lounging by the fireplace watching the rain fall. Here Yoshi is modelling a size small in “Robin Egg Blue.”


Sorcha is a 10.5 year old rescue from Arizona who loves hot, sunny weather and food. When she’s not trying to avoid the rain here on the West Coast, she can be found playing with the cats, sleeping on the softest surface she can find, or hiking on the local trails with her family. Sorcha is wearing a size medium in “Robin Egg Blue.”


Harness Details

The orange/turquoise part of the harness is a heavy duty nylon-ish material, and the inside is a black neoprene. This harness is sturdy, with strong stitching, quality materials, and metal hardware, and is padded for comfort. The harness is attractive and the colours are fabulous. Shown here are Orange Dream and Robin Egg Blue but the Terrain also comes in Jet Black and Strawberry Red.


We also love this part– reflectors! We’re often out in the evening, so this is great for extra safety! Patches on the shoulder can be swapped out for service patches for working dogs. The Terrain is also compatible with pannier-like accessory bags if you want your dog to carry gear.

Watching the instructional video for tips on how to adjust to the dog’s shape and size made fitting it straightforward.

Three flat fingers under the heavy duty metal buckle to gauge a snug but comfortable fit, and the top buckle has two heavy duty D-rings for clipping a leash to it.

One of our favourite things about it is the leash can stay on the rings while in the car, making for easy in and out. We will also be using it for regular walks as Gizmo has a thing against cows and has broken through more then one collar and a handful of harnesses….


It was a bit tough to get buckled up, but we think that’s a Gizmo thing– he’s trained to jump in and lie down– he will have to be trained to sit, buckle and then lie down. Sleepypod offers some tips for getting your pet used to their new harness. No big deal, and worth the time and effort knowing he’s safer in the vehicle and so are the human passengers traveling with him.


Yoshi got the hang of buckling quickly.

Gizmo and Yoshi both seemed perfectly comfortable during the ride. They were able to sit up and lie down although it may take them a bit to get used to the feel of it. A short walk before the car ride to get used to the harness – or even wearing it in the house for a while –  is recommended. So far no chaffing or hot spots after using it.

Despite his ‘poor me’ expression, we think it’s going to work great for us!

Sorcha agrees, although her sad face may tell you otherwise.


The Sleepypod Clickit Terrain is intended for dogs weighing between 18-90 lb – humans with smaller pets might consider a secured carrier instead. Gizmo is sporting the large, because that’s what he sized to on the chart, but because of his body style (slim and trim), he may fit better in the medium. Slim and trim builds seem to fit better in the smaller size (if your dog measures on the edge of a size), whereas barrel-chested dogs may fare better in the larger of two sizes. Yoshi measured on the edge of the small/medium but the small was a much better fit for him. We recommend contacting Sleepypod and asking for sizing advice if your dog measures right in between two sizes.


Final Thoughts


We commend Sleepypod’s commitment to safety in the car — for our furry family members, as well as our children and ourselves. However you travel make sure everyone is properly buckled up. We are extremely impressed by the quality, durability, and comfort of this harness, and look forward to using it in our vehicles.

Enormous thanks to Sleepypod for providing review harnesses – and now a harness for one of you! Win a  Sleepypod Clickit Terrain in the colour and size of your choice (subject to stock availability at time of shipping).

UPDATE: this giveaway is now over, thanks to all who entered!

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



  • 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



  • 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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We’ve written before here and here about flying with harnessed seats, but what to do if your kids are in booster seats?

Jen recently flew with her 6.5yo and 9yo, the first time without any harnessed seats, and here are some words of wisdom from a seasoned traveler.

Decide if a booster seat is a good choice for your child(ren) at your destination. Some factors to consider:

  • Is your child a practiced booster rider? A vacation is probably not the best time to start teaching your mature (usually 5.5-6+) 40+lb child how to sit properly at all times. Not when your not-so-wee one is tired, perhaps in a different time zone, or excited about the trip and unable to sit still. If a booster is on your radar for future travels start teaching your child well in advance so you have plenty of time to assess.
  • Will your destination involve long drives? Is your child likely to fall asleep in the car? If so then a booster might not be a good choice, especially if your child is still new to boosters.
  • How confident and practiced are you at assessing seat belt fit, and/or installing car seats? Is your vehicle at your destination a known entity, or is it a rental car? How flexible will you (and any traveling companions) be if the first rental car you are offered isn’t a good fit with your seats, and you need to unload everyone and start over?

I flew in December and chose to take a harnessed seat on the plane for my 6yo, and a booster for my 9yo. Although the 6yo is in a booster most of the time at home I knew that we’d have some long days of driving at our destination, and combined with the lack of sleep that goes with holiday traveling, she would not do well in a booster. My prediction was proven correct after a wicked meltdown and then a car nap on the first day, both very unlike her. Had she been in a booster seat we wouldn’t have been able to keep driving safely. Everything is hard when you’re tired.

This more recent trip didn’t involve nearly as much driving at our destination, and the flight was shorter and only through one time zone. I decided a high back booster would be suitable, and my partner is very used to me being rather picky with rental cars, so I knew my decision would be supported if I needed to switch to a different car at the airport.

For this trip I chose to bring a Harmony Youth Booster for the 9yo, and a Harmony Dreamtime Elite for the 6yo. These seats are both excellent choices for travel and everyday use because they provide consistently excellent seat belt fit, are lightweight, fit well in most cars, and are easy for my kids to use. Extra bonus, they are inexpensive. The regular price of the backless is about $20, and the high back is $55.

Unlike harnessed seats that can be installed on an aircraft seat, booster seats aren’t used on the aircraft. So bringing them takes a bit of planning.

There are two stages to my planning here:

  1. How will I get the seats to my destination undamaged?
  2. How will I make sure that my seats will wind up at the same place I’m going to?

The back of the Dreamtime Elite detaches from the base and fits easily into a large suitcase. I packed my clothes under, around, and on top of it. I’ll spare you the sight of my knickers and delicates, but you get the idea. It adds very little weight to the suitcase, and I was confident that any damage at our destination would be visible. It is always possible that my suitcase could go missing though, which is why part 2 is important.

Booster seats can’t be used in flight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come into the cabin with us. I popped the boosters into cloth bags with handles that my kids could carry themselves…or let’s be honest, that I could carry after they got tired. Even laden down with other things I could still slide the bag’s handle onto my arm.

Once through security and on board the aircraft they fit easily into the overhead bins. Single seats also fit easily under the seat in front of me. I didn’t put them in the sizer but they aren’t big. Here are two stacked together with room to spare. My kids are big enough to fit comfortably into the airplane seats, and the seat belt can be properly tightened on them, which is also a factor when deciding on harness vs booster.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t want my 6yo in a backless booster. Since it’s impractical to carry the booster back onto the airplane (if it would even be permitted, which I doubt), I was comfortable packing it well into my suitcase and hoping it showed up. I had the booster bottom with me, so if needed, could have used that until the suitcase showed up.

And that’s it! We had a successful trip, and hope your future travels are smooth…bon voyage!

Some folks like to buy seats that are well-suited for travel. If you are considering a travel-specific/back-up seat purchase there are a few great options in all categories. This is not an exhaustive list and chances are good that the seat you own will work with some planning. The ones here are listed because they are narrow, lightweight, and inexpensive.

Rear-facing only (infant) seats – most install fairly easily without the base, and fit well on many airplane seats. Check your manual for instructions about aircraft installation.

Convertible seats – go to options include the Evenflo Titan 65/SureRide or Evenflo Sonus (for use rear facing and forward facing), and the Cosco Scenera NEXT rear facing. Both are lightweight, and compatible with the vast majority of vehicles. The Sonus sits low enough that the tray table can come down and be used by a forward-facing child.

Combination seats – Harmony Defender, Evenflo Maestro, and Graco Tranzitions are great options to start with.

Dedicated booster seats – remember that these can’t be used on the plane! But great options that are easy to swap between vehicles, and are lightweight and easy to transport include the Graco Turbobooster, Graco TakeAlong, Graco RightGuide, Graco Affix, Harmony Dreamtime, Harmony Youth Booster, Evenflo Amp, and Diono backless boosters.

Jen is a mom of two, about to move across the country (again), and a Child Passenger Safety Technician – Instructor Trainer who recently attended a course in Charlotte, NC all about Safe Travel for All Children: Transporting Children with Special Healthcare Needs.


Is your child in that tricky in-between stage of still needing a booster seat, but finding their current one a bit of a squeeze? Or feeling uncool about riding in a booster when friends have been in an adult belt for ages? Safety 1st Incognito to the rescue!

The Incognito is a low profile dense foam booster seat that is meant to blend in to the vehicle seat to be…you guessed it…incognito and discreet! And it delivers on that promise. The Incognito absolutely fills a niche for kids in that transition period (or sooner), is easy to use, lightweight, and comfortable.

Incognito is for people who are:

  • 60-120lbs (27-54kg)
  • 47-60″ tall (119-152cm)
  • at least 6 years old

Incognito specs:

  • 18.5″ deep by 16.25″ wide at front edge, 13″ wide at back edge
  • 2.5″ high
  • Ten year expiry date
  • $44.97 at Walmart
  • weighs only about half a pound
  • read the manual here

What is needed to use the Incognito:

  • a lap/shoulder belt (check the Incognito manual and your vehicle manual for information about seat belt systems);
  • an appropriately sized and aged child who has the maturity and impulse control to sit properly at all times in a booster seat;
  • head support up to at least the child’s ears (either a tall seat back, or a vehicle head restraint adjusted as needed).
  • a vehicle seat deep enough to support the entire booster

When is the Incognito the solution to my problem?

  • if your child is getting too tall for available head support but doesn’t yet fit the adult seat belt –> Incognito sits quite low to eke out a few more inches of head support
  • if your child is sensitive about still using a booster seat and wants theirs to blend into the vehicle upholstery
  • if the adult seat belt doesn’t yet fit properly but other booster seats aren’t providing good belt fit either –> check for adult seat belt fit with a Five Step Test

Seat belt fit was consistently good with our testers. The sloped seat pan of the Incognito will help kids stay inIMG_6933 position and prevent slouching, and the depth of the seat pan means good leg support for bigger kids.

Consider this an ideal option for the 8-12 year old crowd, as it is a better fit for kids with longer legs, and for those who no longer need the side support of a high back booster. The minimum height of 47″ means most six year olds will be too short, and our usual 6yo 48″ tall kid wasn’t heavy enough to try.

To use the Incognito: sit on the seat, scoot the bum back, buckle the seat belt, and then hook the two plastic belt guides onto the lap belt only (never the shoulder belt). Pull the belt snug, and voila! That’s it, easy peasy. For kids who are used to a conventional booster seat with pronounced arm rests this method will take some getting used to, but most age and size appropriate kids will have the dexterity and ability to buckle and route the belt. Our testers ranged in age from 7 to 10, and about 62lbs through 80lbs.

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As there is no shoulder belt guide with this seat it is critical that the belt touches the chest and sits in the middle of the collarbone on its own. If it slips off the shoulder or is too close to the neck (where it’s annoying and kids won’t leave it be) then choose a different seating position or a different booster seat.

The lap belt should be nice and low on the thighs and pelvis, and never on the belly.


That’s really all there is to it – deceptively simple!

Thank you to Safety 1st Canada for providing the seats shown in this review, and for offering up TWO for lucky readers to win! All opinions are our own.

Remember this is for big kids – and to be eligible to win you must comment on this blog post answering the question: What does your big kid think of using this seat (ask them!)? Post the answer, tell the Rafflecopter widget “I commented” and we’ll make your comment visible soon! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unless you’ve been living under a rock it has been hard to avoid the hype and launch of the much-anticipated Mifold Grab-and-Go booster. Introduced in the US and Europe some time ago the Mifold is now here in Canada and we have the low-down for you!

Advertised as ten times smaller than a traditional booster seat, the Mifold is deemed the “most advanced, compact, and portable booster seat ever invented.” Check out a video of it in action here. Is it true? In a lot of ways it is those things, but it’s not nearly as easy to use as we had hoped (it can be quite difficult). It does, however, have a place in the booster seat world if parents, caregivers, and kids are prepared to learn to use it properly.

Mifold Specs and DetailsScreen Shot 2017-02-01 at 11.56.59 AM

For children who are:

  • 40-100lbs (18-45kg)
  • 40-57″ (102-145cm)
  • at least 4 years old**

**Most kids don’t have the impulse control or maturity to properly and safely use a booster seat until 5.5-6 years old. Some might be ready sooner, and others not until later. It’s important not to rush this step.

  • Weight: 1.5lbs
  • Dimensions in storage mode: 9.5″ long x 4.75″ wide x 1.75″ tall
  • Tallest torso size that should fit: ~19.5″ bum to shoulder
  • Dimensions of seating area: 8.25″ wide x 8.5″ deep
  • Internal hip width dimensions: (1) 9.75″, (2) 11.75″, (3) 13.5″
  • Available in six fun colours, although the colour isn’t visible when the seat is occupied
  • Expires seven years from date of manufacture
  • Requires replacement after a crash if seat was occupied, can be re-used if unoccupied and undamaged
  • Available at Canadian Tire, direct from, or boutique retailers for $79.99
  • Find model number, serial number, date of manufacture, and cleaning instructions on labels and adjuster guide. Mifold is small don’t forget!

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The major appeal of the Mifold is the small size. It IS compact. It would fit easily in a glove box, carry on bag, or anywhere else you care to stash small things — it’s about the size of an evening clutch purse.


It’s not nearly as easy to use as it’s made out to be, and fit-to-child is not predictable. Update: families have reported that kids can not stay in position and tend to slide forward, making the belt fit poorly.

How does Mifold work?

Booster seats as we have come to know them literally boost a child up so that the adult seat belt fits their smaller bodies properly. Most kids will need a booster seat of some kind until age 11ish, as that’s when most will be tall enough to fill out a belt and a vehicle seat properly. Most provinces and territories don’t specifically require booster seats to be used for that long, but they DO require the seat belt to fit properly — and that’s just not going to happen until kids are closer in size to adults!

Although it is called a “grab-and-go booster” Mifold is not a booster in the traditional sense. Instead of raising the child up to meet the belt, Mifold pulls the belt down to meet the child. It’s really quite innovative and unique, and we commend the inventor for seeking solutions to the many barriers that prevent kids from being safely seated on every ride. For some very specific situations Mifold will in fact accomplish what it is designed to do – be compact, portable, and provide good belt fit.

We’ll try to clarify how to know if and when it’s a good choice for your family because it’s the ease of use, unpredictable belt fit, and ability of kids to stay in position that are its biggest challenge.

IMG_7096When we talk about “good belt fit” what we’re looking for is a nice low, flat lap belt that isn’t on the belly, and a shoulder belt that is centred on the collarbone and not irritating the neck (kids won’t tolerate that), or slipping off the shoulder (because then the belt can’t hold the child back in a crash).

To help us talk about belt fit we have the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from crashes on the [US] nation’s roads. They’re the go-to folks for booster seat belt fit. The image with yellow shirt is borrowed from them and shows good lap belt fit (the dashed white line shows where a traditional booster seat arm rest would be). The remaining three are our test models, and the fit is quite comparable. The reason we so carefully considered the IIHS’s test protocol and results was that the fit of the Mifold is SO unlike what we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just different, and we need to retrain our brains for what to look for. The images shown though are about as low on the legs as we’d like to see, and if the fit of the Mifold in your car with your child positions the belt overly low down the legs then that’s not a fit we’re comfortable with.

The figure in the yellow shirt above is a special crash test dummy that represents an average 6 year old, and the tests the IIHS does are only about belt fit – there is no actual crashing going on. It’s also important to note that the IIHS has not at this time published an assessment of the Mifold because it doesn’t meet their definition of a booster seat (see above re boosting a child up vs pulling the belt down). Perhaps one day, but not yet – and that’s why we did our own unofficial side by side photo comparison to see for ourselves how the Mifold fit on real kids.

Ease of Use

Mifold needs to be set up to fit the size of the child. This is done by adjusting both the lap belt guides on the seating area, and the shoulder belt guide on the strap of webbing that MUST be used at all times.

Adjust the lap belt guides to the width just larger than your child, but not touching their legs. Internally the three settings are 9.75″, 11.75″, and 13.5″. At the narrowest setting the external width is 11″, and may be useful in narrower seating positions. A little release tab must be pressed to move the lap belt guide both wider and narrower.


The shoulder belt guide is adjustable with an easy to use red clip mechanism, and will accommodate torso heights up to about 19.5″. The red buckle on the guide should sit about 1″ above the shoulder, and although it can be used to affect the positioning of the shoulder belt on the child’s collarbone, it will be easier for everyone to use and more comfortable for the child if the seat belt naturally falls on the collarbone and the red clip is just along for the ride (but still MUST be used).

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Position the seat of the Mifold against the vehicle seat back. For vehicles with a contoured shape at the place where the vehicle seat bottom meets the seat back position the Mifold so it’s on the contour and touching the vehicle seat back. Our testers found it easiest to do a “hover and drop” manoeuvre when placing their bums onto the seat pad, rather than the “scoot and slide” they’re used to with conventional boosters. Do what works for you!

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Route the lap belt through both red lap belt guides, but do not ever put the shoulder belt through the lap guides. Clip the shoulder belt guide onto the belt at the shoulder, and snug everything up. Ensure that the Mifold itself is touching the vehicle seat back, and make sure the child’s bum is scooted all the way back and is making contact with the vehicle seat back – no slouching, and that’s the tough part to maintain!