Evenflo recently released a brand new booster seat to the Canadian market. After Evenflo announced the retirement of the much loved Big Kid AMP Booster last year, we have been eager to try its replacement, the GoTime Sport! So far, the kids we’ve had ride in this booster have given it two big thumbs up!

GoTime Sport Limits:

  • 40 – 120 lb (18 – 54.4 kg) in high back booster mode and backless booster mode
  • 44 – 57” (112 – 145 cm) in high back booster mode and backless booster mode
  • At least four years old**

**It is worth noting that only the tallest of four year olds will meet the height minimum of 44?, as 50th percentile kids don’t reach that height until age 5.5 — an excellent age to start thinking about boostering. 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.

GoTime Sport Important Info:

  • Expires six years from date of manufacture
  • Does not require a vehicle head restraint behind it
  • Highest belt guide position is 19”
  • Shoulder belt clip for use in backless booster mode
  • Machine washable and dry-able
  • MSRP $79.99

GoTime Sport Measurements:

  • Tallest shoulder belt guide position: 19”
  • Lowest shoulder belt guide position: 14”
  • Widest point (at cupholders and side wings): 19.25”
  • Width at the back (arm rest to arm rest): 14”
  • Internal width at shoulders: 12.5”
  • Internal width at hips: 11”
  • Depth of seat pan as high back booster: 13.75”
  • Depth of seat pan as backless booster: 15”


The Evenflo GoTime Sport ships in a relatively small box for a high back booster seat, much to my surprise! This is because the GoTime arrives disassembled. Assembly instructions can be found in the manual and additional assembly instructions are included on the “Troubleshooting Your GoTime Booster Assembly” supplement found in the box with the booster. Assembly is an 8 step process for the Canadian version of the GoTime Sport. Set aside a few minutes to read over the instructions in the manual and the additional assembly supplement carefully before getting started.

Especially important is not to miss the step for installing the booster inserts on the back of the GoTime. The booster inserts are mandatory and must be installed before using the GoTime booster in high back booster mode. It may be easy for parents and caregivers to miss this step as it comes after the last step of checking your work in the manual. Do continue reading on to the next page where the instructions for installing the booster inserts are outlined.

Booster inserts – cheekily nicknamed “bat wings” amongst techs getting to know this seat – line up roughly with a child’s shoulder blades, but are attached on the outside back of the seat.

Using the GoTime Sport

When used in high back booster mode, the head rest of the GoTime is easily adjusted. Simply squeeze the grey handle at the top of the head rest and pull up or push down until the shoulder belt guides are at or just above the child’s shoulders. With the GoTime, there’s no need to reach in behind the seat as the adjustment handle is accessible from the front of the head rest. The GoTime has seven headrest positions and the highest shoulder belt guide position is approximately 19”.

When your child has outgrown the shoulder belt guide height in high back booster mode, you can remove the back of the GoTime and continue using it as a backless booster. In backless booster mode, the GoTime has the same height and weight limits as it does in high back booster mode (44 to 57” or 40 to 120 lb). The GoTime comes with a shoulder belt clip for use in backless booster mode. This clip will help position the shoulder portion of the seatbelt properly over the child’s shoulder. It should be used if the shoulder belt fit is not optimal without it.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cup holders on the GoTime. I know for some kids, cup holders can be the deciding factor in choosing their favourite seat. The GoTime has two cup holders that are part of the seat shell. That means they are not removable for washing. They are smooth on the inside though which makes wiping them out easy enough.

Fit to Vehicle

We tried the Evenflo GoTime Sport in a 2017 Nissan Versa Note, 2019 BMW X4, 2016 BMW X5, 2014 Honda Odyssey, 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan with Stow & Go, 2014 Honda CRV, 2015 Toyota Sienna, and 2022 Tesla Model 3.

As the Evenflo GoTime Sport is quite a bit wider than its predecessor, it’s unlikely to be a top pick for tight seating situations (like fitting two seats side by side or fitting three across). That being said, it is narrower in the back than at the front which may allow it to fit well in sport-style vehicle seats that might have more pronounced side bolsters in the outboard seats.

The Booster Inserts (aka bat wings) on the GoTime will keep this booster sitting more upright in some vehicles. In vehicles with seats that are naturally more reclined, the GoTime only seemed a little more upright than other boosters we’ve tried. In vehicles with relatively upright vehicle seats, it was definitely noticeable that the booster was sitting quite upright. An added bonus of these booster inserts is that in vehicles with fixed or forward leaning head restraints, it’s unlikely those vehicle head restraints will make contact with the GoTime or push it forward at all. That’s great news for those with forward leaning head restraints that must remain in place.

If you have a middle vehicle seat with an arm rest or cup holder that pulls down from the seat back, you may find that the booster inserts of the GoTime sink into the seams/edges of that stored arm rest/cup holder assembly in the vehicle seat back. I found this to be the case in a 2017 Nissan Versa Note where the width of the booster inserts just happened to perfectly match the width of the arm rest/cup holder pull down when it was stored in the seat back. The GoTime booster inserts did sink into the seat back in this vehicle, but after sending photos to Evenflo, this was given the okay. This was a non-issue in the other vehicles I tried the GoTime in as the booster inserts didn’t line up perfectly with those middle seat arm rests/cup holders in the other vehicles.

We were pleased to see that the GoTime Sport fit so nicely in the 2022 Tesla Model 3. It has been challenging to find booster seats that work well in this vehicle as it has fixed forward leaning head rests, pronounced side bolsters, and recessed fixed buckle stalks. The narrow back of the GoTime Sport base meant it did not sit on top of the buckle and it left lots of room for easy buckling. The Booster Inserts (aka bat wings) kept the GoTime well in front of the vehicle head rest so there was no interference.

The only difficulty we experienced with the GoTime in any of these vehicles was in the third row outboard seats of the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan – known for its notoriously challenging seat belt geometry. In the outboard positions (driver side and passenger side), belt retraction was poor. That means that when the child leans forward slowly (nose to knees) and then sits back upright quickly, the shoulder portion of the seatbelt lagged behind the child and remained loose. Good belt retraction is a key component of proper booster fit, and we want to see that shoulder belt stay with the child’s torso and remain snug against their body when they sit back upright. For this reason, we would not recommend using the Evenflo GoTime Sport in the 3rd row outboard seats of this generation Dodge Grand Caravan, or in any other vehicle seating position where retraction is poor.

As with any new car seat or booster seat you intend to purchase for your children and your vehicle, we recommend trying it out before buying.

GoTime Sport High Back Booster

We recommend that children remain in their high back booster until they outgrow it. Belt fit in a booster, whether that’s a high back or a backless, is key to booster fit. In our experience, belt fit is best in a high back booster. Regardless of whether your child is riding in a high back booster or a backless booster, proper belt fit is the same: the lap belt should be low across the thighs and hips, and the shoulder belt needs to make contact with the chest, cross the collarbone, and sit centred on the shoulder.

The advantage to a high back booster seat, especially for new booster riders, is that the back of the booster provides a physical reminder to the child to sit upright for the whole ride, every ride. The headwings also help prevent a child who has fallen asleep from slumping or leaning out of position. If you have a child who still sleeps in the car, teach them to look up at the ceiling of the vehicle when they feel sleepy. This will help ensure they remain upright in their high back booster seat even if they fall asleep. The headwings and sidewings of the GoTime Sport Booster are nice and deep, providing great support to keep a child properly positioned and minimizing the likelihood a child can lean side to side out of position.

Our GoTime Sport testers are 6 years old, 46lb, and 48″; 7 years old, 47lb, and 47″; 8 years old, 52lb, and 50″; and 10 years old, 62lb, and 53″. (Special thanks to Lindsay of Car Seat Cubs for sharing her 6 year old GoTime tester with us.) All four of our testers can still use the GoTime Sport in high back booster mode. The 10 year old needs the headrest in the highest of the 7 positions, but the 6 and 7 year olds have lots of room to grow.

Despite their depth, none of our testers found the headwings to feel confining. They found the cover to be comfortable, even for longer drives, and I’d have to agree. The padding does feel soft and squishy and I can’t press down and easily feel the hard shell of the seat through the seat pad.

Buckling up the GoTime is really simple. The armrests are surprisingly short making the routing for the seatbelt quite open. This made it easier for our 7 year old tester to buckle himself into the seat (something he still needs help with in other boosters). There’s an indentation under the armrests that the seatbelt nestles into, ensuring it’s not going anywhere during the drive.

The GoTime Sport’s seat pan in high back booster mode has a nice depth. It’s not so deep that the 7 year old’s knees can’t bend nicely over the edge of the booster, but it’s not so shallow that the 10 year old’s thighs feel unsupported. It’s a great balance.

Belt fit at the shoulder was excellent for our testers. Our 7 year old tester has narrower shoulders, and finding a booster that positions the shoulder belt centred on his shoulder has been a bit of a challenge. No problems here with the GoTime. Belt retraction is also excellent in high back booster mode for both children in the majority of the vehicles we tried (see my note above regarding the 3rd row outboard seats of the Dodge Grand Caravan).

Although the GoTime Sport does look to be more upright in high back booster mode than other boosters, none of our testers complained about this. The overall comfort of the seat certainly seemed to outweigh the more upright seating position.

GoTime Sport Backless Booster

I quite like the Evenflo GoTime Sport in backless booster mode, and our 10 year old tester does too. As a backless booster, the GoTime is comfortable and supportive. The seat pan is fairly deep at 15”, offering plenty of support for a child’s thighs.

Our 10 year old tester still has 4” to grow before he’s outgrown the height limit of the GoTime in backless booster mode. With a maximum height limit of 57” (or 4’9”) the GoTime should get many kids to the height where they can ride safely using the adult seat belt without a booster. In general, kids need a booster seat until they are at least 4’9” and they pass the 5-step test for seat belt readiness. You should expect your child to need a booster of some kind until they are between 10 and 12 years old. At 53” tall, our 10 year old tester has some time before he’ll be ready to ride without a booster seat. Some kids will need a booster seat beyond 57” before they can safely 5-step in their vehicle, so it would be nice if the GoTime had a higher standing height limit than 57”. That being said, boosters with a higher standing height limit are few and far between.

Our 10 year old tester does not need to use the shoulder belt clip with the GoTime in backless booster mode. Belt fit across the shoulder is good without that clip. Our 7 year old tester, on the other hand, does need that shoulder belt clip. Our 7 year old tester is a couple years away from riding in a backless booster on a regular basis, but for testing purposes we tried him in the GoTime in backless mode. Belt fit is great with the shoulder belt clip for him, and he found the seat comfortable.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Evenflo GoTime Sport is a great replacement for the Evenflo Big Kid AMP. Its open belt path makes routing and buckling the seatbelt a breeze, even for new booster riders. The cover feels plush and comfy and even long drives garnered no complaints about comfort from our testers. The seven head rest positions provide a fit that grows with your child, allowing the seat to be used in high back booster mode for a good long time. Though we would prefer to see a top height for the shoulder belt guide that’s higher than 19” for this high back booster, it was more than sufficient for our testers. Our own 10 year old tester has not yet outgrown the back of the GoTime Sport, though he has long legs and a slightly shorter than average torso. The cup holders and sidewings of the GoTime Sport are fairly wide at 19.25” making this a booster that’s less likely to fit side by side with another seat or three across. With that limitation in mind, we still think the GoTime Sport booster is a great choice. The Evenflo GoTime Sport retails for $79.99 which makes it a nice price point for a long lasting booster that fits well in most vehicles.

Also available is the Evenflo GoTime LX. The difference between the Sport and the LX, according to Evenflo is minimal. “The use, child fit and key features are consistent between the two. The big differences are primarily aesthetics of hard goods and soft goods (which is easier to see when the product is side-by-side.”

Your chance to win one!

Thank you to Evenflo for providing the GoTime Sport 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 GoTime LX in Chardon Black fashion. Use the widget below to enter.


About the author:

Originally from Vancouver, Stefanie spent twelve years in Calgary and moved back to BC with her family in 2018. A CPST since 2017, she now lives in Victoria with her cat, husband, and two boys (aged 10 and 7). Stefanie is available for in-person car seat checks in Victoria. You can book with her right here.

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 Amazon.ca, 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.

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 www.clekinc.ca*

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: https://youtu.be/TlReOm8gsYI

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 greybird.cpst@gmail.com.

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 info@vicarseattechs.com

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 info@vicarseattechs.com. 


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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

IMG_6972 IMG_6761

IMG_7210 IMG_6468

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

Guest review from April Ische, a fellow CPST, and mom to four. Huge thanks to April for putting together such a comprehensive and useful review. We’re pleased to add the Goodbaby Abri 35 car seat to our favourites list based on her thumbs up.

Eilee Main

When I was contacted in early December and asked if I wanted to do a guest review of the Goodbaby Evoq Travel System I jumped at the chance! I had been eyeing up the system in the flyers and online and was actually planning on making the trip to my closest Babies R Us to check it out and satisfy my curiosity. I was intrigued to see what Goodbaby was about, and it has been a bit since a snazzy new travel system hit the Canadian market. The Evoq arrived at my door just a few days before Christmas and it quickly became my favourite new Christmas toy – Merry Christmas to me indeed! Let me tell you, this system does not disappoint!

The Evoq travel system retails for $599.99 exclusively at Babies R Us. The system includes a matching rear-facing only car seat, the gb Abri 35, and both are in a fashionable silver and black design called Sterling. The Abri 35 is also available as a standalone seat, retailing for $249.99.

EVOQ & Abri Features:

  • Abri 35 rear-facing only (infant) seat for babies 4lbs-35lbs (1.8kg-16kg) and 17in.-32in. (43cm – 81.3cm)
  • Fit-Loc seat belt lock-off system
  • Evoq stroller to accommodate infants who can sit unassisted, up to 50lbs
  • Adjustable canopy with expandable air-flow option
  • Height adjustable handle for parent comfort
  • Reversible tilt stroller seat with full recline for older baby and toddler; option to face the parent, or face out, with either the stroller seat OR the car seat
  • Glide-on board for older children to stand and catch a ride, can be used with either stroller seat OR car seat in use
  • Stroller seat and car seat made from premium materials
  • Ability to fold the stroller base with the tilt seat still attached
  • Large cargo area for extras
  • Scroll on down for more specifics related to the car seat and the stroller separately

PartsI was impressed as soon as I opened the box. The system came in a large (34 x 20 x 22) box which was packed well! I was pleased (and relieved!) at how few separate parts there were. I am not handy at all and this didn’t look too daunting even for me!

Like most CPSTs I’m sure, I set the stroller aside and went right for the Abri 35 Infant Car Seat. This is a rear-facing only seat with a stay in car base and removable carrier. The car seat connects directly to the wheel frame of the Evoq stroller for a quick and easy way to transport baby.

Abri 35 First Impressions:

Firstly, this was a sleek seat. The materials used in the cover, canopy and infant inserts seemed well made and of high quality, and the seat seemed soft and comfortable. All of the infant inserts, manual, and the registration card in clear view and easily accessible. It was very well padded and the material seemed breathable – nice for those hot days! The harness adjustment was smooth.

It is always recommended that you read and understand the manual for your car seat before using it. As a CPST it’s particularly important to carefully read manuals cover to cover, and not assume anything about a new product on the market.The manual for the Abri 35 is very impressive. It was thorough, well laid out and easy to read and understand. Especially impressive is the level of detail with the warnings, including general vehicle safety that new (and experienced!) parents may not have thought of in the haze of fatigue that comes with a new little person. The manual was also full of helpful tips and tricks which make using the car seat easier, and explains things well. I recommend settling in with a beverage of choice and reading it cover to cover. First step: register your seat with Goodbaby, online right here.

Abri Specs and Photo Gallery:

  • Width of carrier at widest point: 17.5in.
  • Width of base at widest point: 15″
  • Weight of carrier: 8.2lbs, but feels lighter than most, with other carriers weighing in at up to 2lbs heavier.
  • Weight of base: 5.4lbs
  • Length of carrier/base together: 29″
  • Length of base only: 23″
  • 4 sets of harness slots, 3 sets of waist slots, and 3 crotch buckle strap positions:
    • Crotch buckle slots: 3″, 4.5″, 6″
    • Crotch buckle length: Preemie = 2.5″ (only buckle, no strap length), or 4″
    • Width of seating areas at waist: 3″, 6″, 9″
    • Harness height: 4.5″, 7″, 9″, 11″

The Abri 35 is fairly unique in that it can be adjusted to fit such a range of kids. The manual provides preferred harness positions, but any position can be used as long as the fit is correct for the child: waist straps closest to (but not underneath child), crotch buckle strap position closest to (but not under child), and harness straps at or just below child’s shoulders.

The three sets of waist strap positions are something not seen on many seats and they may seem daunting at first, but are actually an amazing option for fitting various children! Adjustment is clearly laid out in the manual, although should be done with the manual in hand as doing so is not intuitive and should not be guessed at. Luckily the middle width setting will fit most infants at birth and through to the upper limits of the seat, so this adjustment won’t be needed except for very tiny newborns, or larger, older babies. Take care to route the harness properly, being careful not to damage the energy absorbing foam while doing so.

The seat shipped with the harness on the 3rd highest strap position, middle waist position, and largest crotch buckle position. This setup will be too large for a newborn, and so take care to adjust properly. I found it easy to mismatch the slots in the fabric cover with the slots in the shell, and it’s important that everything lines up.

  • Front adjust harness that was easy to both loosen and tighten.
  • Infant head and body support (optional for comfort and fit).
  • Harness strap covers (optional for comfort and fit). The straps covers, while being nice and soft, are quite large and bulky and had the potential to interfere with tightening the straps on the child’s shoulders. On the preemie doll, newborn doll and a 3 month old tester, there wasn’t enough room for the harness covers as the babies were just too small. On the older children the harness pads fit, , but they still made making sure the straps were placed properly on the child’s shoulders a bit tricky. Thankfully they are optional, and can be removed as desired.
  • Clearly labelled stickers and warnings.foam
  • Canopy that reaches to handle and allows comfortable carrying room. While the canopy extends right to the handle to provide great sun and wind coverage, moving it back and forth takes two hands, and must be carefully snapped into place to stay fully extended.
  • Energy absorbing foam that completely surrounds child’s head, neck and torso
  • Fit-Loc seat belt lock-off on the base. Achieving a secure installation with this technology was extremely easy and it is one of the best features of this seat! Simply lift the lock-off, choose your Lock Offmethod of installation (seat belt or UAS, not both), remove slack, then simply close the lock-off for a quick, easy and solid installation. Before releasing the lock-off unbuckle the seat belt or release the UAS, and then push firmly down on the lock-off and press back on the release tab. Be careful not to catch your fingernails on the lock-off as it releases as it pops up quickly once released!
  • Premium lower anchor connectors with release button for simple and straight forward connecting and releasing on the vehicle anchor bars
  • Recline adjustment foot with four recline positions. The Abri 35 has two weight-based
    recline requirements. One for 4-20lbs (blue) and one for 20-35lbs (green). This foot allows for a full range of reclines and it was not necessary to use a rolled towel under the base in any of the vehicles tested. With the great design of the recline foot both weight-based reclines were able to be easily achieved with either method of installation. Vehicles with very flat vehicle seats may not allow for installation at the more upright recline required for older, heavier babies.

recline indicator  recline foot

  • Colour coded recline indicator: while the indicator is simple, straightforward and clearly labelled, the blue and green on the indicator can be a bit difficult to tell apart in low light and shadows. The flashlight on your cell phone will come in handy in the dark
  • Expires six years from date of manufacture
  • Retails for $599.99 as a travel system, or coming spring 2017 will be a standalone seat for $249.99, exclusively at Babies R Us

Abri 35 Fit to Child:

A wide range of sized and shaped infants and even a few toddlers were tested in the Abri 35 for this review and with the exception of the child who was right at the standing height limit, all fit well and seemed happy and comfortable. Most kids will reach the standing height limit of 32″, or their heads will be to within 1″ of the top of the shell, well before they hit the weight limit. This is common across most seats.

Preemie Doll17″ long, preemie clothing size. Abri 35 fits incredibly small babies beautifully, with room to spare!

It is incredible how small this seat adjusts down to, while providing a snug and cozy fit with the optional infant insert.

Our preemie doll measured just 17″, the height minimum for the Abri 35, and fit amazingly well, a real strength for this seat! Straps were on the lowest setting, waist straps in the inner positions and the crotch buckle in the preemie setting. The straps were well below the doll’s shoulders. 

IMG_7158 IMG_7159 IMG_7160

IMG_7162When routing the crotch buckle strap on the preemie setting be aware of the seam on the harness, ensuring it is pulled back through to the inside of the plastic shell to remove slack that can be hidden on the outside of the shell. This can make taking the seat out of preemie setting a bit difficult as there is very little slack left in the strap to turn and push the retainer clip back through again. Parents will need to push the seam back through the shell slot in order to release the retainer clip from the preemie setting. This seat can absolutely be recommended for very small babies with confidence that they will fit appropriately.



Newborn Doll: 19.5″ long, newborn clothing size.

Representing an average-sized newborn, this doll also fit well in the seat and needed the harness height adjusted to the second-lowest setting, and the middle settings for crotch buckle and waist straps, a good bet for those expecting average-sized babies. The manual recommends the rear buckle position for a newborn, however with this position, the buckle was coming from underneath the doll, thus it was moved into the middle position. Cloth vs disposable diapers could very well affect this fit too, so read up on how to adjust and what to look for on your own little person.

Newborn Doll

Eilee: 3 months old, 10lbs, 4oz, 22″ long, 0-3m clothing size

At this size Eilee was still on the same setting as a newborn (middle buckle, middle waist and 2nd harness slot). Eilee was our main tester and used this seat for about a month in various vehicles. She always seemed comfortable and never fussed in the seat. She never became sweaty in the seat which is a testament to the breathability of the materials used. Both infant inserts were still used for Eilee and she fit well with them. The head support pad fit well, giving comfortable side support without pushing her head forward into a dangerous position.

The straps were fairly easy to adjust on a baby of this size with the exception of the chest clip being a bit tough to slide along the straps. We found the harness covers to be a bit bulky on her at her size, and removed them. We will likely put them back on once it is summertime and her neck is more exposed. We plan to use this seat until she outgrows it as we have found it very user friendly!


Sophia: 5 months old, 16.5lbs, 27.5″ long, 12m clothing size

Sophia was just at the 3rd harness slot, middle buckle slot and middle waist straps. The fact that Sophia is much larger than Eilee, yet still on the middle waist and buckle straps, shows the range of kids the seat can fit properly without too many adjustments needed. This is good because, as mentioned earlier, the waist straps can be tricky to change so it is nice that parents shouldn’t have to do it often. Sophia still had room width wise in the seat and didn’t seem confined at all. We did, however, remove the infant insert cushions at this point as they made her a little squished. Her mom commented how she liked that the seat cradled Sophia better than some others they had used.


Adelyn: 8 months old, 18lbs, 26″ long, 6-9m clothing size

Addy was at the 3rd harness slot, middle waist setting and front buckle setting. It is interesting to see how she and Sophia are very close in size but fit into the seat differently, and still the Abri 35 still fit both girls wonderfully. Thumbs up for versatility for fitting children of different shapes and proportions. Addy’s feet hung well over the foot end of the seat (which is not a safety or fit concern), but she still had lots of shell above her head and didn’t seem uncomfortable or squished at all. We also removed the infant inserts for her.



Alice: 20 months old, 19lbs, 29″ tall, 18-24m shirts, 12-18m pants

While Alice still has a ways to go until the weight limit of 35lbs on the Abri 35, she will likely reach the 1″ of head space fit rule fairly soon and didn’t have a lot of harness length left on the seat. Alice was on the 4th harness slot, middle waist setting, and front crotch buckle. The buckle was against her and appeared to almost be under her while she was wearing a cloth diaper. Limited use for a child of this size could be something to consider for parents who use cloth diapers. The manual states that the buckle slot cannot be under the child, and at 19lbs and in a cloth diaper, Alice is nearing several of the limits of this seat.



Colton: 2 years old, 25lbs, 32″ tall, 2T clothing

While most parents have moved onto a convertible style seat by this point — and if we were consulting with Colton’s parents we’d be encouraging them to shop for a new seat immediately — we decided to see if the Abri 35 would fit as long as stated. At the 32″ standing height limit Colton still had just an inch of shell above his head, which was pretty impressive, as it means the seat’s shell is decently long/deep for long term use. He was on the 4th harness slot, outer waist setting and front buckle. With a disposable diaper on, Colton still fit relative to the buckle slot. The issue here was that the Abri 35 ran out of harness length for a child of this size. We managed to secure him in the seat in just a thin shirt, but there was no room left at all. Even a fleece sweater would not have fit under the harness anymore. The seat was no longer user friendly at this point, nor comfortable for him. Like most seats, the 35lb weight limit is overstated, but the height limits (both standing height and fit requirement of 1″ of shell above the head) seem very reliable.


Fit to Vehicle

A few general comments about installing the Abri 35:

Overall the Abri 35 base and carrier install was simple and straightforward in most of the vehicles tested. It is always recommended to try a seat in your vehicle before purchasing if possible. The Abri 35 was put to the test in a variety of types and ages of vehicles. It was installed in the vehicles in as many different ways and positions as possible, and overall performed really well!

While already praised in this review, the Fit-Loc seat belt lock-off tightening system on the Abri 35 really does make getting a secure install with this seat very easy! Why would you install with the seat belt instead of UAS, you might ask Many parents prefer to install a seat in the middle of the vehicle, and in the vast majority of vehicles, you can not use UAS there. There was absolutely no issue getting the base to less than one inch of movement in any of the vehicles or positions tested and no issues at all with tilting. In some vehicles it took a bit of force to close the lock-off, but never beyond what would be considered reasonable. At times the convenience seam/fold found on some seat belts fells inside the Fit-Loc lock-off on the base, but did not prevent the lock-off from closing properly.

The range of the recline foot was invaluable and made it possible to easily achieve the proper recline in most of the test vehicles. The more upright recline required for 20-35lbs children could not be achieved in two vehicles with flat seats however, which is unfortunate as not much can be done to remedy this problem. Abri 35 is not alone with this issue, and vehicles with very flat seats tend to be difficult to work in as a general rule.

Baseless installation was straightforward in many vehicles, but was prone to tipping or other challenges on firm, non-compressible leather upholstery, as is common with many other car seats.

Front-to-back space allowed for a 5’6″ passenger to sit in front of the installed Abri 35 in all of the vehicles tested, but a very tall person sitting in the front seat may experience leg room issues.

The base did tend to overhang the vehicle seat in many vehicles, but by an allowable amount (up to 20% is permitted). Vehicles with very short back seat depth may prove incompatible.

Vehicle Test Gallery:

2016 Honda Civic, 4 Door, Cloth Interior

Abri 35 installed well in the middle and outboard. The centre hump in this car made a baseless install tricky there. UAS install and seat belt install at a variety of reclines was straightforward.

Civic Center


2005 Mazda 6 GT Fastback, 4 door, Leather Interior

Abri 35 installed well in all positions in this car. The slippery leather and firm upholstery made a baseless installation tricky. Front-to-back the seat fit nicely in this car.

Mazda 6 outboard Mazda 6 leg room

2009 Jeep Patriot, 4 Door, Leather Interior

The Jeep Patriot didn’t get along as well with the Abri 35 as the other vehicles, and illustrates vehicle features that are challenging for many car seat installations. While the more reclined 4-20lbs recline was achieved with both the seat belt install and UAS install, the more upright 20-35lbs range was not possible as the flat vehicle seat meant that the Abri 35 could not be made upright enough. The seats in this vehicle were fairly slippery leather and very firm and unforgiving so even using pressure upon tightening the belts to attempt the higher weight recline was unsuccessful.

Patriot outboad


2014 Dodge Durango, 4 door, Leather Interior

This was the main vehicle the Abri 35 was tested in and it installed well in all positions and install methods tried. The Durango was a really excellent test vehicle due to its variation in seat belt features seen in many vehicles. The Abri 35 installed perfectly at both weight reclines with seat belt installs, UAS installs, and baseless in outboard positions. Like many SUVs, it could not accommodate this seat in the 3rd row as there wasn’t enough front-to-back space.

The Abri 35 was installed in the centre beside a rear-facing Clek Foonf on the 60 portion of the second row in the Durango and still allowed for the 40 portion of the seat to tumble forward beside it for third row access WITH the carrier on the base. Abri 35 is the only rear-facing only carrier/base type seat that has allowed this (others tried include the original Britax B-Safe 22, Britax B-Safe 35, Chicco KeyFit 30, Graco Click Connect 35, and Peg Perego 4-35). All other seats have required the carrier portion to be removed before tumbling the outer portion of the seat. This is excellent news for parents with tight three-across needs, or those with 3-row SUVs requiring a seat to tumble to gain access to the 3rd row. Rejoice! 

Durango Outboard IMG_7177 IMG_7176

EVOQ Stroller

If you are considering the Abri 35 as part of a travel system it is the Evoq stroller that forms the other half, and here’s the lowdown on it! The Evoq stroller is a wheel frame that can accommodate either the Abri 35 car seat, or the reversible tilt stroller seat with a toddler up to 50lbs and 45in. The Evoq is a single stroller with the additional glide-on (standing) board for older kids.

The reversible tilt seat is meant for children who can sit unassisted, and is not meant for newborns or younger babies as the stroller’s harness system does not safely adjust to their smaller size.


  • Cup holder
  • Lightweight at 35lbsStroller cargo area 1
  • Cargo basket with 10lb weight capacity: the Evoq features a large cargo basket. As with many strollers, there is a frame bar through the basket which does limit fitting something like a large diaper bag in it, but it is more than sufficient for a smaller bag, toys, snacks, etc.
  • Adjustable handle for comfortable pushing. Both my 6’1″ husband and myself at 5’6″ could comfortably push the stroller as the handle adjusted to our different heights
  • Adjustable canopy which features an additional zip out to further extend
  • Reversible Tilt Toddler Seat. The seat on the Evoq is a sharp looking seat, made of premium materials. The seat features an adjustable foot rest and fully reclines for sleeping. As mentionedGlide on 1 earlier, but worth repeating, the stroller is only for children who are sitting unassisted, and not for newborns or younger, smaller babies. The harness system does not adjust small enough for newborns or small babies, or maintain a safe and comfortable position.
  • Foot brake that was easy to engage and disengage and held firm
  • Glide-on board for older kids. This is a great feature! Sabelle (size of an average 3 year old) was able to comfortably use the board and see over the seat of the stroller. The older kids tested loved the option and had fun getting to ride too. There was plenty of space and it was easy for them to hold onto the sides of the stroller frame. The stroller was still easily pushed with a child on the board. This is a wonderful feature for use in busy parking lots or crowded spaces because it kept my older kids in one place while still allowing me to easily push the stroller.


Best Uses:

Evoq is ideal for walking, travel, shopping, or city. At 35lbs this is a fairly light weight stroller, and while very well built, is not one that is meant for off-roading or rough terrain. The solid rubber tires did perform well on the hard packed snowy sidewalks, but wasn’t tested in deep snow. It was fantastic in stores, including those with tight aisles as the wheel base isn’t too wide. The Evoq turns on a dime and pushes easily with one hand, even with a child on the glide-on board. Once you have weight in the stroller (i.e. a 30lb two year old, vs a 10lb 3 month old), there is a noticeable difference, but it is still very doable. The stroller was easy to pop up onto sidewalks and over curbs if needed (Note: this is not safe with a child standing on the glide-on board).

The Evoq stroller seems to worked best for older babies, toddlers and young preschoolers which is exactly who it is geared towards.

Out of the box the stroller only took about five minutes to fully set up. It was so easy and the directions were straightforward and easy to follow. The stroller can be folded with the seat still attached, although it makes for a long fold with the seat on which didn’t allow for it to fit nicely in tight trunks/cargo areas. It isn’t hard or time consuming at all to simply take the seat off and fit it in differently though, so the large fold does not need to be a deterrent. The frame alone is very lightweight, easy to fold and unfold and fit well into the vehicle trunks/cargo areas we tested.

Fold with seat folded wheel frame

The stroller fit in the trunk of the 2016 Civic, the smallest vehicle tested with the seat attached. It was a bit tricky to get in and out and took up the entire trunk, but it was doable. Without the seat attached, the Evoq frame took up only half the trunk.

Civic Seat on frame fold Civic wheel base only
Another test was the 2014 Durango cargo area with the third row up. The Evoq did not fit with the seat attached to the folded frame, but it did fit easily with the seat taken off and placed beside the frame. The system is so easy to fold and remove the seat that this wasn’t an issue at all.

Durango Cargo Area


Kid Fit in EVOQ:

6 Month Doll: Our 6 month tester doll fit the Evoq well. She was on the lowest strap setting, but the straps tightened down to secure her no problem. Important to note again that smaller babies should not be buckled into the stroller seat because they can’t be properly positioned if they are too small to properly adjust the harness.

6 month doll


Sabelle: 2.5 years old, 38″ tall, 30lbs, size 2/3 clothing.

Sabelle still fits in the stroller comfortably and she was happy to ride along each time we used it. The stroller was usable for a child of this size in both the parent-facing and outward-facing orientations, although Sabelle greatly preferred the outward option. She was able to climb in and out on her own and the stroller was still easily pushed. Sabelle was also large enough to use the glide-on board and hold onto the sides of the stroller frame.

Sabelle outface Sabelle parent face


Harper: almost 6, 43″, 40″, size 4/5 clothing

We pushed the Evoq near its limits with Harper. He feels much too big for this stroller even though he is still 10lbs from the weight limit and 2in under the height limit. His head was above the back of the stroller seat and his legs were either very bent up on the foot rest or dangling uncomfortably. He said he wasn’t comfortable in it and the harness system was difficult to close around him. While most parents would not be using a stroller anymore for a 6 year old, Harper is about the size of an average 4 year old, an age in which many parents are still using a stroller periodically.


In Conclusion

The Evoq Travel System as a whole is a wonderful new addition to the Canadian market! The system is great quality and stylish while still hitting an affordable mid-range price.

The Abri 35 rear-facing only car seat in the system should accommodate most babies until parents are ready to switch to a convertible car seat for continued rear facing, with very realistic height and fit limits. It is lightweight, and features technology that is sure to aid parents when using it, most notably the recline foot and the amazing lock-off. Caution when choosing this car seat only if you have very flat or very shallow vehicle seats, otherwise consider it an excellent narrow, lightweight, and long-lasting option, and the newest addition to our favourite rear-facing only car seat list! We look forward to it being available as a standalone seat as well.

The Evoq stroller is easily transported, versatile and comfortable for older babies and toddlers to use for many years.

Overall, I would highly recommend this travel system to parents looking for something quick, light and easy to use within a city setting.

Thank you to all of the moms and babies who helped with this review! Beth and Sophia, Lindsay and Adelyn, Brandi and Alice, Carly and Colton and my own little kiddies Eilee, Sabelle and Harper. Also, thanks to my fellow CPSTs Brandi, Carly and Regan who helped test this system, and offered up some great viewpoints!

We would like to thank Goodbaby for supplying the travel system used and tested in this review, and also for the one they are providing to one lucky winner – see below to enter! All opinions are our own.


April-headshotApril Ische is the frazzled mother of four. She has been a CPSAC technician since spring 2015 and works part time at a local baby store (usually with kiddos in tow). With kids at every stage of car seats, there is plenty of opportunity to play! When not working or car seating, she can be found with her kids at the step dance studio or the hockey rink.



This contest is closed – thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to the winner!

To be eligible to win first post a comment on this blog that answers this question: What’s your favourite feature of the car seat, and your favourite feature of the stroller Then tell the Rafflecopter “I commented!” and trust us to add your comment as soon as we can.

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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 mifold.ca, 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!

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And here is where the Mifold differs most from traditional boosters in terms of fit and comfort. In a traditional booster seat the seat pan is shorter, built for a child’s shorter leg length and allowing the knees to bend comfortably at the edge of the booster seat. With Mifold being flat to the vehicle seat, or nearly so at only 3/4″ thick, there’s no leg support or natural bend for the knees. In the image with the red and green lines: the green line represents a child or adult with long enough legs to bend naturally at the edge of the vehicle seat. The red line shows how this child’s legs are sitting when the Mifold is in use. This was not comfortable for her and she had difficulty maintaining this position without slouching. Slouching means she’ll slide her bum forward, and it will no longer be in contact with the vehicle seat back. This will in turn affect the seat belt fit, and result in misuse of the Mifold.

Differently sized children on smaller or larger vehicle seats will experience different results. Really big kids on a small vehicle seat will probably not slouch; small kids on big vehicle seats will be able to stick their legs straight out. Unless a child falls into one of those ends of the fit spectrum though, we worry greatly that the seating position won’t be able to be maintained for more than a few minutes. Our testers found it took a lot of effort to sit properly, and stay there.

IMG_6925 IMG_7079

Overall we found seat belt fit to be fair-to-good in a range of vehicles and test models from the low end straight through to the high end of the size range, although as previously mentioned, quite a lot lower on the thighs than we’re used to seeing. Aim for the top edge of the lap belt to be near the pelvis.

Our testers were not able to buckle themselves, or unbuckle themselves. Perhaps with practice this would be doable, but it’s not intuitive.

IMG_7078 IMG_7080

IMG_6801 IMG_6757

One CPST mom took the Mifold with her when she traveled overseas recently, and used it with her 6.5 year old 44lb 47″ tall daughter. She reported that she found it a little tricky to route the first time she used it in a taxi at 4am. She loved that it was so compact and easy to bring with her and allowed her daughter to ride safely even on vacation. She considers it ideal for use in situations that are short term and have practiced adult helpers around to help buckle and assess fit. Other ideal situations include those who don’t own cars, or for those who want to stash a compact emergency spare in the glove box of their car for unexpected carpoolers.

Our assessment is similar. The Mifold does have a place in the booster world, but it’s challenging to use correctly and we would highly recommend familiarizing yourself with its use, and what good belt fit looks like, before setting off on an adventure with it. Kid users also need to be mature enough to hold their seating position, which for some of our testers was quite difficult. If your child is fidgety, wiggly, or easily annoyed by being uncomfortable we strongly advise testing the Mifold in a controlled environment before sending it in a backpack for use without you. In most cases you or another practiced adult will need to help with buckling and unbuckling.

Thank you to Mifold for providing us with the seat shown in this review, and another one to one of you readers! All opinions, however, are our own.

Would you like to try Mifold? Enter here for a chance to win one in the colour of your choice! To be eligible to win you MUST comment here and answer this question: How will Mifold come in handy for you?

And then tell the Rafflecopter widget below “I commented!” even though your comment won’t appear immediately. Trust us to take care of the rest, and good luck!



Jen Shapka is a runner, sewer, knitter, baker, recent convert to the Instant Pot craze, and on the hunt for her next piece of furniture to refinish and repurpose. Currently living in Barrie, ON, she’s due for a move this summer with her military family and is finding the limbo of waiting to find out where rather difficult.


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Evenflo is breaking the mould of what a booster seat should look like with the introduction of the brand new Spectrum. The styling is cool, the colours are amazing (we want them ALL!), and our kid testers have good things to say.

Looking a little like what has been described as “futuristic,” “like the captain’s chair from Star Trek,” and also “E.T.” it dazzles with fabulous eye-catching design and styling in a spectrum of colour gradients — a sample below. This review features “Foggy”, the black-to-grey fashion on the right.

Spectrum Bubbly Blue Spectrum Seascape Spectrum Foggy


Spectrum is appropriate for kids who are:

  • 40-110lbs (18-49.8kg)
  • 44-57″ (112-145cm)
  • At least four years old**

**It is worth noting that only the tallest of four year olds will meet the height minimum of 44″, as 50th percentile kids don’t reach that height until age 5.5 — an excellent age to start thinking about boostering. 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.

Spectrum Measurements & Details:IMG_6914

  • Tallest shoulder belt guide position: 22″
  • Lowest shoulder belt guide position: 14.5″
  • Widest point (at head wing area): 20″
  • Internal width at shoulders: 14″
  • Internal width at thigh: 13″
  • Expires six years from date of manufacture
  • Machine washable and dry-able seat pad (kids are messy)
  • Does not require a vehicle head restraint behind it – this means it CAN be used in places where you get a better fit without the vehicle head restraint (if the vehicle permits removal) or in seating positions without head restraints
  • Rollover tested, unique to Evenflo, and simulates roof to ground contact as one would find in a rollover. We’re a fan of any additional testing a manufacturer wants to do, although this type of testing is not a federal requirement and so should be considered a bonus
  • User manual available here
  • Available mid-February at Babies R Us for $99.99 (more retailers soon)



In a nutshell here’s what we like about Spectrum:

  • Sophisticated and eye-catching styling with modern colours and fabrics
  • Ergonomic arm rests
  • Sleek snack trays
  • Really thick and comfortable padding in the bum area
  • Smooth height adjust mechanism with nine positions for customizable fit
  • Open path for routing seat belt makes it really simple for kids to buckle
  • Innovative side impact protection technology called LYF+GUARD
  • Design of seat back to seat bottom is genius: it doesn’t flop apart when carrying it between vehicles, and when the back is removed for use as a backless booster there’s no gap or open bracket at the tail bone area to cause discomfort



  • Belt retraction at the shoulder belt guide is a little hit or miss, and less predictable in vehicles than we’d like. Seat belts situated really far forward of the passenger, or really low relative to the shoulder belt guide, may be an issue and not retract easily. Wherever possible, try before you buy. This goes for ALL car seats and booster seats actually!

Photo Gallery and Feature Reel

As with all of our reviews we make every effort to test a product in a wide range of vehicles with a wide range of kids. Spectrum is best suited for the 5-10 year old crowd. The 57″ height maximum equates to 4’9″, which is one indicator that a child may be ready to move out of  booster seat and into an adult seat belt (regardless of age).

We tried this booster seat in a 2012 Honda Odyssey, 2012 Ford Focus sedan, 2008 Mazda 5, 2012 Honda Civic, and 2012 Ford F-150 with generally good results.

High Back Mode

We recommend kids stay in a high back booster as long as they fit. While it is true that booster use, whether it’s a high back or backless, is all about belt fit, we find that seat belt fit tends to be better in a high back. Regardless of the seat or style, aim for the lap belt to be low across the thighs and hips, and the shoulder belt to make contact with the chest and cross the collarbone.

High back boosters feel more like a car seat, and for beginners that’s a good thing. The side support will encourage them to stay in position, and the head wings provide a comfy resting spot for a tired head. The shoulder belt guide will also properly position the belt at the collarbone and reduce the chances of the child leaning side to side and out of the belt – potentially catastrophic if that’s the moment of a crash. Consider putting the back on for long drives even if your child is usually fine in a backless. The below testers (from youngest to oldest) are 6-8.5, between 45″ and 53″, and 44-60lbs. In the outboard (outside) seating positions in most vehicles there won’t be enough ceiling height near the window to fully extend the head rest. Still ample room to accommodate the height of the average 7+ year old though.

Overall our testers – some new to boosters, and others old hats – reported that the headwings were comfortable without being confining, they thought the seat looked cool, the fabric felt nice, and the padding was excellent. No one had any problem buckling, although the open belt path design did throw the experienced ones for a loop as they were momentarily stumped by the lack of arm rests to route under and around. The confusion was brief however (and also amusing as they all did it!) and they quickly picked it up. New booster riders with nothing to compare it to will not have any issue.

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Backless Mode

We really like this seat as a backless booster, wishing only that it had a higher standing height limit than the 57″ listed. Many kids will still need a booster seat for proper belt fit at that height — my tall nine year old sure does — and there aren’t many boosters that exceed 57″ unfortunately.

The seat pan is a great depth offering lots of thigh support, and there’s a nice slope to it to help kids maintain a safe posture for optimum belt fit. The ergonomic design of the arm rests mean they are well-situated and were comfortable arm supports for our testers, shown below ranging in age from 8-9, 49-56″ tall, and 55-75lbs. While this seat does come with a shoulder belt adjuster strap for use when backless, it is my habit to avoid using such a device on boosters, short of an emergency. They’re finicky, they’re not always easy to use, and typically if one is needed then it’s a good indication that a high back booster or a different booster seat would provide better belt fit.

IMG_6794 IMG_6788

IMG_6944 IMG_6966



  • LYF+GUARD side impact protection. These mysterious protrusions on the outside of the headwings contain energy management crush zones that are designed to deform upon impact to help absorb crash force energy, taking the force off of your child’s head — similar in concept to how the hood of a car crumples in a frontal crash. This does add width to the head area of the seat though.

IMG_6911 IMG_6923


  • Nifty cup/snack trays. A little stiff to slide in and out but we expect that will get easier with use. And while yes, we should pack away our projectiles and not store hard or heavy things in the open trays, we can assure you that a soft plastic bicycling water bottle fits, as does a juice box, and small stuffies.


  • Excellent leg support yet not so deep it overhangs vehicle seats – as demonstrated in a 2012 F-150 extended cab with a shallow back seat.


  • Easy belt routing – make sure to hook the lap belt under these little notches on both sides, and also the shoulder belt on the buckle side.


  • Consistently great lap belt fit in both high back and backless modes – with all of the kids and in all of the vehicles we tried, the lap belt fit was super, nice and low across the thighs and hip bones.


  • Attractive fabric – we know, it’s cool.


  • Contoured shape – the slightly tapered shape of the base meant it was no trouble to buckle this recessed buckle stalk (2012 Ford Focus) that can be a challenge with other boosters.



Final thoughts:

Spectrum looks cool, and doesn’t disappoint with its features. It’s comfortable, long lasting, well-priced, and easy to use. The open belt path design will reduce belt-routing errors because it’s easy for kids to buckle. It’s comfortable so there won’t be any squirming around, which can lead to poor belt fit. It’s wide internally but not wide externally. Not sure how Evenflo managed that (maybe magic lessons from Hermione?). The look is stylish and mature which should make it easier for big kids to stay in boosters longer. Shoulder belt retraction – how easily or smoothly the shoulder belt moves in and out of the belt guide – is a bit less reliable than we’d like, but overall we had good luck with the majority of seat belts we tried. See it on our favourites list here!

Enormous thanks to Evenflo for getting us this seat to test, and big thanks to them for giving one to you too! As always though, all opinions are our own.

To be eligible to enter post a blog post comment below answering this question: what feature of Spectrum caught your eye first? Post your comment (which won’t show up right away, be patient), and then use the Rafflecopter widget to tell it “I entered!” and unlock more chances to win.



Jen Shapka is a mom of two, and always wears her safety equipment — even when tobogganing. Currently awaiting news of where her military family will be posted to next, she spends her spare time purging and cleaning her house getting ready to move.



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babyparkatoddler3In our never ending quest to give parents and caregivers options when it comes to keeping their children safe AND warm in the car (and beyond!) we are pleased to bring you some hands on experience and comments about two products from Baby Parka, a Canadian company with design and manufacturing in Canada.

Here we review two products: the rear-facing only (infant) car seat cover, and the toddler coat.

Infant Car Seat Cover

Sheila, a West Coast technician with a baby (always a handy feature when testing infant products!) had a go with the car seat cover intended for use with rear-facing only seats, also known as infant seats or bucket seats. Here is her take:

babyparkarfo3“I got to try out the Baby Parka this fall and winter, and I’d say it’s a winner. I used it for my niece, who I call my ‘plus one’ baby because she tags along with my crew a lot. It kept her cozy, and made quick outings much easier since I didn’t have to worry about what she was wearing. I tried it on both a Peg Perego 30/30 and the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35. It worked fine for both, but fit the Graco really nicely without slipping around.

I like that it opens right up, so when the car warms up you can unzip to keep them cool. I found it kept her well covered and out of the weather, while still letting me see her face. The reflective strip is a nice touch for our dark winter mornings and evenings. The only thing I might change would be to make it slightly adjustable for smaller or larger carseats.”

The cover did not interfere with a baseless installation of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35, although a bit of fiddling was required to get everything properly adjusted. Whether it works with a baseless install for your particular seat or not without getting in the way is going to depend entirely on your seat and vehicle combination, and how the seat belt routes. With the more common use with stay-in-car base there is no interference at all.

babyparkarfo1The Infant Car Seat Cover comes with reflective stripes, and a “buckle me” tag. Important note though – any time a child is in a car seat they should be properly buckled. Sadly children have slipped out of position or been tangled in straps that were loosened to make them more comfortable while not in the car. If your child isn’t in the car the safest option is to remove them from the car seat straightaway as car seats aren’t intended as safe sleep places.

Our tester was really impressed with the quality of the fabric and how it held up after repeated washings. The Infant Car Seat Cover is available in black, red, blue, stone (tan), and light pink. It retails for $70 online here. Light pink was shown in this review.

Toddler Coat

Ontario Instructor Alainna tested the Toddler Coat with her two kids and here are her thoughts:babyparkatoddler7

When the Baby Parka toddler coat/poncho arrived I was quite pleased to note that the fabric felt very warm and luxurious, and the construction appeared to be very high quality. The stitching was straight and strong, the zippers were good quality and easy to zip, and it had a nice warm ‘heft’ to it. The reflective tape was a nice addition for added safety.

My kids are used to wearing packable down jackets in the car, and were both a bit reluctant to try something new, but both of them ended up liking the poncho after a day of use.

My oldest is 5 (about 56lbs and 46″, so the size of a 7 year old), and the poncho is just a little bit short on her wrists, although still wearable with longer mittens. My youngest is almost 3 (about 35lbs and 36″), and it fits him very well. I would guess that it would start fitting kids well around 18 months or so, when they can walk in it without tripping.

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In the car seat it covered both kids quite well, and kept them very cozy. In fact, both kids asked to take it off after the vehicle got warm on long drives, which was super easy to do (much easier than when they want their jacket or sweater off!). The poncho works in the car seat as a blanket with a head hole, enabling proper harness positioning and buckling against the child’s body.

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babyparkatoddler8I do wish that the hood was removable, as it was a bit bulky behind the head, especially