User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:up-front adjustment, canopy works well.
Cons:handle is difficult to adjust. Probably a bit easier for a taller person.
The Bottom Line: Whatever car seat you buy, make sure it has the up-front adjustment strap for the harness like this one has.
We didn't do our research with baby #1 - I was just too excited about buying baby stuff that I grabbed whatever stroller/carseat combo I thought was attractive, and easy to steer & fold. I had no idea that some carseats have an up-front adjustment strap and others didn't. It was the 2nd most expensive travel system in the store, so I assumed it was one of the best.
Recommend this product?
When baby #2 was born, we loaded her into the carseat to take her home, and on our way home we stopped at the store to buy a new one because we just couldn't deal with not having an upfront adjustment strap. Having to fiddle with the straps at the back of the seat because baby is wearing a tshirt today rather than a sweater, or had one of many growth spurts is crazy.
(plus our last seat was recalled 2 weeks after baby was born)
So because of the latest consumer reports stuff, we decided on this seat. (my plastic is grey though, not beige like the photo). Also, we purchased a graco double stroller and needed a graco seat to snap in it. I really recommend getting a Graco carseat not because they're better than others, but simply because they're compatible with so many strollers.
This seat has a 5 point harness, and is good for 29 inches tall and 22 lbs. But really, if your child is 22lbs you won't be carrying them in something like this anymore!! 15lbs is about all a person's arm can handle.
The harness is very easy to buckle up. And the upfront adjustment strap makes it so easy to get baby in and out without disturbing them too much. Very convenient if you want your infant in a stroller without the carseat, or to use a sling/baby bjorn type product.
What I did notice on my seat (compared to my recalled evenflo seat) is that the crotch buckle only has the one spot, and the harnesses only have 2 height adjustments. My old seat had one more in both places.
Evenflo seats have the Z shaped handle. Well let me tell you that the graco seat is much easier to carry than the Z shaped evenflo ones. They are NOT more ergonomic. It seems like a good idea, but when you're shopping for these things you don't have a 15lb baby to test out in it.
The head rest is kind of pathetic. Much too wide to offer any support. I like that it has snaps to take it on and off, and you don't have to re-thread any straps to get it on. That way you can use it in strollers easily too.
The canopy on this seat is much more functional than the evenflo seat. Offers good coverage, and it stays where you put it. It doesn't flop around all over the place. It does get in the way of the handle though when you raise/lower the handle.
I was concerned that the black fabric may get too hot. So far I think it's ok. It's quite shiny, so maybe it reflects heat away from it???
The 2 buttons/levers to press so you are able to lower and raise the main handle are hard to use. Difficult to press in, the far one is hard for me to reach even. And the handle locks into place in so many different spots it's awkward!!! You have to have it lowered all the way for in the car, and raised all the way to carry it, but there's probably 3 other spots in between that it locks into place. So I have to press the buttons in again a couple times to get it where it needs to go. My evenflo seat was much easier this way. I swear this is the reason my wrists have been so sore lately.
The seat locks into the base nicely, and is easy to take out. The seat itself is a teeny bit heavier than my old seat, but it's narrower. I can have my marathon on one side, this graco on the other, and I can still sit in the middle seat of the suv between the 2 seats. If you're looking for narrow seats, I think combi makes one that is specially designed for those trying to fit 3 seats across.
This seat is latch equipped as well. I think all infant seats these days have to be.
This seat has the notches on the sides so you can use it without the base. So you don't really need to buy a 2nd base if it will be used just occasionally in a 2nd car.
The little boot on the front is kind of handy. It doesn't come up high enough to offer much warmth - it just covers up to their knees. But it's nice to be able to tuck a blanket under there and ensure no draft is getting up under the blanket.
Amount Paid (US$): 170
Age Range of Child: 0 to 12 Months