Evenflo Big Kid Deluxe - Cactus Booster Car Seat Reviews
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Evenflo Big Kid Deluxe - Cactus Booster Car Seat

14 ratings (14 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Evenflo Big Kid booster - the right choice for my big kid!

Jan 7, 2011 (Updated Jan 8, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Durability:
  • Ease of Use:

Pros:Lightweight and easy to use and adjust.  Comfortable for a growing child.

Cons:Too many steps to assemble. Cup holders are nice, but useless because of design.

The Bottom Line: For a car with seatbelts that come from the seat, this one fits better than most and really nice for under 50 dollars.


My daughter had outgrown her harnessed seat, so I put her in the high back booster that her brother had been using and outgrown.  Unfortunately, she is not built like her brother... her narrow shoulders made it (the Fisher Price Safe Voyage booster) a poor fit with the shoulder belt wanting to slip off her shoulder if she so much as yawned or sighed.

So, since she definitely needed a booster seat that fit her well in her father's car (a 2007 Chevy Cobalt), I switched vehicles with my husband one Saturday and took her shopping.  In the end, after trying both this, and the similar Graco booster, we found that this was the better fit for the car, and she preferred it because it was easier for her to buckle.  Since my husband's car is a 2-door, this is also key.

Features
- for children 30-100 lbs. - Belt-positioning
- Forward Facing
- up to 57" tall
- easy one-hand pull handle adjusts height quickly
- Pivoting arm rests allow for ease of entry and buckling
- Drink, snack and activity area are retractable for quick access to drinks, snacks, and games
- 2 boosters in 1 - removable back for easy conversion to a no-back booster for 40 – 100 lb child
- Deep head supports for napping child6-position height adjustment
- Removable, washable full wrap cloth pad
- Side Impact Tested! Meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards and Evenflo’s side impact standards.
- Designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately 2X the federal crash test standard

Assembly - 
This was pretty simple, but had more steps than other boosters I've tried. 
1.  You need to put the armrests onto the base portion of the booster.  There are two heights for them, so they can grow with your child.
2.  Attach the headrest to the back portion.  This is detailed in the manual and requires some force. Then you have to insert the adjuster for height into the slots on the back of the headrest, so it will be attached and work when you need it.
3.  Put the back's cover on.
4.  Attach the back portion to the base, by inserting it and pushing down until you hear a click. (Removing it is detailed in the manual... there is a lever to pull while you then remove the back.  Because of this, the back is attached nicely and does not fall off when the booster is moved)

Using the booster -This is pretty simple.
You position it in the vehicle seat, use the lever on the back of the headrest to raise the belt guide to at/above your child's shoulder, and thread the shoulder belt through the guide, then keep the lap belt under the armrests, buckle, tighten the seatbelt, and put the shoulder belt under the armrest near the buckle.
The flat belt guides helped it fit well in my husband's car, where the belts come directly from the vehicle seat.  However, in cars where the belt comes off of the vehicle wall or at an angle, it could cause the belt to want to twist in the guide.
The cup holders are large and roomy and I'm sure would work well, but in the 2-door Cobalt, they are pretty much useless.  First, you would have to have the seat empty to pull them out, and second, the vehicle seats are so sculpted, it would badly effect the fit of the booster to the vehicle.  In cars with really flat bench seats, I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem.  We just don't use them, which doesn't matter as this is her spare seat.
The seat is very well padded and my daughter is comfortable in it. 
What I Like
The cover is soft and well padded, the base is roomy, the headrest offers just enough support for my daughter if she dozes off for a short nap, and the price is fantastic for a booster that does not feel flimsy at all.
- When my child is in the booster, it doesn't tip at all, and it is VERY easy for her to buckle herself because of the design of the armrests, even without rotating them upward.  However, I think the option to put them up will help kids who are still new to buckling themselves in a booster.
- The armrests... they ARE armrests.  Most boosters have armrests that are really just made to look like armrests, but are in fact, merely there to help keep the lapbelt in position.  I understand the safety reason, but I also love that Evenflo designed them to actually serve as armrests.  My daughter loves that she can play her video games more comfortably because she can rest her elbows on them.

What I don't like
-
The cupholders, while not essential, don't work at all in our car.  Not a big deal, but if you're going to go to the trouble of putting them there, have them work when the seat is on something more than just a flat bench seat.  Otherwise, they could have just skipped them and made the price a bit cheaper.
- EPS foam - for shock absorbtion in a crash - there is NONE.  If you want EPS foam, you have to spend more and get the DLX model.  I would like to see them offer it on this model, too.
- The headwings - I'd like to see them deeper.  For short naps, they are fine, but for long car trips, there is no way I'd use this booster, as my daughter is a deep sleeper and her head wants to bobble.  However, this is not a big deal for us as this is her spare booster.
- Assembly - it's not easy and has too many steps.  I'd like to see the entire back already assembled.  Yes, it would mean they have to make the box bigger, but it'd be so much easier on the consumer who is trying to put one together while their excited child is bouncing around asking if it's done yet.

Bottom Line
A good booster for under 50 dollars.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 39.99
Age Range of Child: 6 to 8 Years

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