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The Evenflo SureRide is a budget-friendly convertible car seat. With generous height and weight ranges for both rear- and forward-facing use, it’s built to grow with your child from his or her very first ride well into elementary school. Use this guide to help you decide if it’s the right car seat for your child.
Evenflo SureRide DLX: Slight on Features, Big on Safety
Unless you plan to ferry your son or daughter around town on your Marty McFly-style hoverboard or travel exclusively by foot, his or her car seat is one of the most important pieces of baby gear you’ll buy — and you’re going to have to buy a lot of baby gear.
The Evenflo SureRide DLX is one of many convertible car seats on the market. It’s built to withstand almost anything the road—and your kid—throws its way, but how does it stack up against the competition? Use this guide to the Evenflo SureRide DLX to decide if it’s the right convertible car seat for your aspiring backseat driver.
What’s a Convertible Car Seat?
Convertible car seats are designed to grow with your child—and he or she is going to grow quickly. Today, you’re trying to decide what car seat to buy. Tomorrow, you’ll be shopping for a practical used sedan for your eager, road-obsessed teen.Purchasing a convertible car seat saves you time and money. Instead of spending hours doing online research and splashing down the cash for a new car seat every time your little one hits a new growth and development milestone, the Evenflo SureRide DLX transforms into the type of car seat you need, precisely when you need it. Install it first as a rear-facing seat that snugly fits a newborn, and you can later convert it into a safe, forward-facing ride for your preschooler.Now’s probably a good time to remind you that you should never buy a used car seat. Just like your son or daughter’s formula, car seats have expiration dates. If you buy a used seat with a mystery history or an old seat that’s past its prime and nearing its expiration date, you’re compromising your child’s safety. Plastic cracks. Metal rusts. Styrofoam turns brittle, and tiny parts disappear. When it comes to car seats, a new car seat is the only safe option. Fortunately, the Evenflo SureRide DLX is one of many moderately priced convertible car seats that are a one-time expense built to last for years and years.
Evenflo SureRide DLX Specs
Room To Grow
The Evenflo SureRide DLX is designed to keep the apple of your eye safe during his or her first ride, all the way into elementary school. Its initial setup as a rear-facing car seat can accommodate your child until he or she hits 40 pounds or 40 inches, whichever comes first. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all kids ride in rear-facing car seats until at least the age of 2, but, for most kids, that 40-pound weight limit means they’ll be able to ride facing the rear until the age of 4.
When it’s time for your child to face forward and see what all of those road signs look like from the front, the SureRide DLX can be installed as a forward-facing car seat suitable for riders up to 65 pounds or 54 inches. That’s roughly the weight and height of the average nine-year-old, which means your son or daughter has plenty of room to grow. Almost all car seats will hit their expiration date before nine years have passed.
Six Harness Positions
In addition to allowing your son or daughter to ride in the rear-facing position for as long as possible, the Evenflo SureRide DLX’s six harness positions mean your child will be able to reap the benefits of a safety harness for a very long time, too. These threaded slots start at a height of 6.5 inches and shift all the way up to a height of 19.25 inches.
It’s not often that you’ll have to lug your car seat from one place to another, but when you do find yourself needing to move it, one of the SureRide DLX’s best features is that it’s lightweight. This makes it easy to transfer between your car and your partner’s or another caregiver’s. It also makes hauling the FAA-approved SureRide DLX through the airport a breeze. Given the amount of gear you’ll need to take on any trip with your little one, that seemingly slight detail is nothing to sneeze at.
LATCH System Installation
Like all car seats manufactured since 2002, the Evenflo SureRide DLX installs using the LATCH system. LATCH, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, is designed to take the frustration out of installing a car seat in your vehicle. The LATCH system replaces the adult seat belt in whichever position the car seat is installed; hooks and straps built into your car seat join with anchors and tethers in your car, or truck to hold the seat in place safely and securely. If your car was manufactured in 2002 or later, it has LATCH connections already built in, as required by law.
Low Price Point
Perhaps the Evenflo SureRide DLX’s best feature is its price tag. You have a lot of options when it comes to car seats, and they cover a wide range of prices. The SureRide DLX may not be the Rolls Royce of convertible car seats, but it meets all federal safety standards and comes in under $100, making it an attractive, safe option that’s relatively easy on your bank account. It’s low price point also makes it an attractive second seat, one that can be installed in your partner’s car, a babysitter’s car, or a grandparent’s rad, wood-paneled station wagon.
Evenflo SureRide DLX Specifications
- Rear-facing weight range: 5 – 40 pounds
- Rear-facing height range: 19 – 40 inches
- Forward-facing weight range: 22 – 65 pounds
- Forward-facing height range: 28 – 54 inches
- Adjustable, six-point threaded harness
- Harness thread heights: 6.5 inches, 8.5 inches, 10.5 inches, 14.5 inches, 17 inches, 19.25 inches
- LATCH system installation
- Infant insert for additional head support
- Machine washable seat cover
- Removable, fold-down cup holder
- Overall unit dimensions: 28 (height) × 19 (width) inches
- Overall unit weight: 10 pounds
- Engineered and crash-tested to meet or exceed U.S. safety standards FMVSS 213 and FMVSS 302
- FAA-approved for aircraft use
- Evenflo temperature-tested
- Product lifespan: six years
- Limited 1-year warranty
- Made in the U.S.A.
The Evenflo SureRide has a manufacturer’s standard retail price of $120, but you can find it online for around $80 to $100. It’s carried by a variety of retailers, including:
- Buybuy BABY
- Bed Bath and Beyond
It’s also worth noting that the Evenflo SureRide is the same car seat as the Evenflo Titan 65; the only differences between the two are the available color options and which retailers carry which model. All Evenflo car seats come with a scant 90-day manufacturer’s warranty.
How It Compares
The Evenflo SureRide DLX’s lack of bells and whistles is in keeping with other similarly-priced convertible car seat models, such as the Eddie Bauer XRS 65, the Safety 1st Guide 65, and the Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX. They all have very similar height and weight ranges for both rear- and forward-facing operation. All use a five-point, threaded safety harness; none feature multiple reclining positions for your little one. Each uses the LATCH system for installation.
Compared to the Eddie Bauer XRS 65, however, the Evenflo SureRide DLX is significantly easier to install; many users have expressed frustration with trying to properly—and safely—install the Bauer car seat in their vehicles. Both the Evenflo SureRide DLX and the Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX have straps that are frequently frustrating, with a tendency to become uneven and require frequent adjustments. While the Safety 1st Guide 65 doesn’t feature a machine-washable seat cover like the Evenflo SureRide DLX, it does have a higher comfort factor, with a multi-position head rest and lumbar pillows to cushion your child’s ride. Overall, the Evenflo SureRide DLX is as safe and occasionally frustrating as its affordably-priced peers. It’s a bit easier to install, but it provides a less comfortable ride for your pint-sized traveler.
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Pros and Cons
Given its generous forward-facing height and weight range, combined with six harness positions that top out at 19.25 inches, it’s likely your Evenflo SureRide DLX will reach its expiration date before your son or daughter is too large to safely ride in it. Its lightweight frame takes much of the torture out of traveling with a car seat in tow, and the machine-washable cover makes cleaning up spills a cinch. Best of all, the SureRide DLX is a safe, affordable car seat that won’t drain your bank account and might make getting a dedicated car seat for each parent’s vehicle a reality.
Simply put, the EvenfloSureRide DLX isn’t very comfortable for your kiddo. Both the seat itself and the straps would benefit greatly from more padding. The seat isn’t very cushioned, and without any sort of padding, the straps can dig into a kid’s neck and shoulders. If you have a road trip on the horizon, don’t bank on your toddler comfortably crashing and staying asleep for very long.The SureRide DLX isn’t the easiest car seat to get your kid into and out of, either. High sides, particularly in the leg area, impede loading and unloading — especially for squirmy toddlers who would rather do just about anything than get back into their car seat.The straps can present a challenge, too. They’re prone to becoming uneven, and the only way to shore them up is by toggling them like you would the drawstring on a hoodie or pair of lounge pants. Since you won’t know that the straps are out of whack until you buckle your son or daughter in, having to loosen the restraints, unbuckle them, and readjust is frustrating.While the SureRide DLX is light, that fact is hampered somewhat by how bulky the unit is overall. It’s easy to carry through the airport, for example, but it’s a challenge to fit it into a seat on the plane. In your car or truck, it takes up a lot of room in the backseat, both across it and in the way it encroaches on the front seat. Because it’s tall, the seat in front of the SureRide DLX may not be able to be reclined or moved at all.Finally, the lack of a bubble level is a bummer. This feature is included on many car seats, allowing you to easily ascertain whether or not your kid’s seat is nice and level. With the SureRide DLX, you either have to eyeball it or, better, use a separate level.
- Large height range thanks to six harness positions
- Cover is machine-washable
- Inexpensive for a convertible car seat
- Could use more padding
- No bubble level
- Temperamental straps
- High sides present a challenge for loading and unloading
The Final Verdict
The Evenflo SureRide DLX may not be perfect, but it’s a safe, affordable car seat with a generous height and weight range that virtually guarantees your child will be able to use it for years to come. It lacks some of the features of more expensive convertible models, but that’s the price you pay—or don’t pay—for a less expensive car seat. Safety is your top priority as a parent, and on that note, the SureRide DLX delivers. Still, it would be good if it was a little easier to get your son and daughter in and out of the seat, and it would be great if he or she was more comfortable on the go.