Traveling in the car with kids can be really stressful. However, the makers of the Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat have a few tricks to make your travels less stressful–maybe. It all starts with this car seat, which is designed to serve your child from birth until they are large enough to sit unassisted in your car. Will the Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat reduce your travel-related stress? Here’s what I discovered.
The Only Car Seat You’ll Ever Need
The Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat is the only car seat you will ever need! It fits children from 5 to 110 pounds, can be used rear-facing or forward-facing, has varying recline levels, and can be turned into a booster seat. There are even has newborn inserts so that your infant’s head is properly supported.
Sure LATCH Easy Installation System
Install your car seat in 60 seconds with Evenflo’s exclusive, auto-retracting Sure LATCH system. This is a huge benefit. It used to be that you had to sit on your child’s car seat while pulling the latching strap to ensure that the car seat was safely secured in your car. Thankfully, this technology makes this painful practice obsolete.
5-Point Infinite Slide Harness
Gone are the days of having to re-thread your child’s 5-point harness as he or she grows! Instead, just squeeze the handle at the top, and lift to your desired height. This technology is called the 5-point Infinite Slide Harness, and it adjusts for the most accurate fit each time your child rides in this car seat. As your child grows, you can rest assured that this car seat will be easy to adjust for the safest fit.
Part of the magic of the 5-point Infinite Slide Harness is the adjustable headrest. As your child grows, you will notice that his or her shoulders start to approach the head protection area. Or, perhaps you notice that your child’s head is above the top of the car seat.
To readjust, simply squeeze the handle and lift. This will slide the headrest up a notch. As it moves, the shoulder harness straps lift with it. Slide the headrest up until your child can safely be secured in the seat.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that the Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat comes with an infant insert. This means that there is a removable pad to protect your baby.
Multiple Forward-Facing Recline Options
This is a really exciting feature. I have found that it can be difficult to make the transition to forward facing because of comfort. Your child is used to kicking back and relaxing. Then, although their view is improved, they are asked to sit up straight as a board.
I don’t sit that way in my seat, so it seems silly to ask a toddler to do that. That’s why I love the multiple forward-facing recline options. This allows you and your child to find a better, more comfortable travel position. And, as we all know, if your child is comfortable in the car, you’re more likely to have a more relaxing travel experience.
E3 Side Impact Protection
The E3 side impact protection significantly reduces side impact crash forces up to 50%. This is because of an expanded zone of protection (larger head and torso protection panels) and three layers of superior protection.
This car seat comes with two cup holders. In my experience, you will need two cup holders–one to hold a beverage and the other to hold snacks, rocks, or whatever the most important toy of the day is. I have had car seats with only one cup holder, and it just doesn’t work as well with toddlers and older children.
Soft and Comfortable
It’s important for your car seat to be soft and comfortable for your child. Whether you’re transporting a baby or child, an unhappy traveling companion can make for a long drive.
Having a car seat that is machine washable should be one of your top concerns. True, most car seats are machine washable these days. However, that doesn’t mean that all are. The last thing that you want after your baby has an explosion is to discover that your car seat is not machine washable and that you have to spot clean.
- Rear-facing child weight: 5-40 lbs.
- Forward-facing child weight: 22-65 lbs.
- High back booster child weight: 40-110 lbs.
- Car seat weight: 24 lbs.
- Car seat dimensions: 27.5 x 21 x 20.8 in
As with all good products, there are some possible issues.
The straps can loosen up as you drive.
This is a real problem! Several people have reported that, as they drive, the 5-point harness straps loosen up. One person guessed that this is because of their baby wiggling in the seat. All I have to say is this: If a baby wiggling can loosen the straps that are supposed to save their lives, you have a real engineering problem.
You’re not carrying your newborn in this!
If you’re looking for one of those car seats that you can easily unlatch, grab by the handle, and carry into Target; this isn’t it. Aside from the obvious fact that it has no handle, this car seat isn’t designed for infant transportation. This means,
You’ll have to decide if it’s worth waking your baby.
If you’re about to be a parent, that sentence may look crazy to you. However, there will be a time where you will sit in your car and do nothing for half an hour or more just to guarantee that your child gets that extra sleep.
When you have the car seat that also serves as an infant carrier, it’s easier to grab your car seat and run into the store. Often, your baby won’t even wake up.
However, without that option, you have to get your little one out of the car seat and into a carrier. You can about guarantee that they will wake up during this process, and it could be quite inconvenient or unpleasant for you both.
This is a large car seat.
Although this is great for your child because it means comfort and extra protection, it can really eat up your back seat. If this will be the second car seat in your back seat, take the time to measure your car to ensure that both car seats will safely fit.
The large safety panels make it challenging to secure a baby.
Again, it’s wonderful that this car seat is so safe. However, the extra head support makes it more challenging to secure your rear-facing baby.
To place your baby in the car seat, they have to enter from the side. Because the headrest consumes a portion of that space, it can feel like a real chore to get a floppy baby threaded through a hole, correctly placed in the seat, and safely secured.
The rear-facing position seems awfully upright.
I know that everything about this car seat has been checked for safety, but I feel like I have to mention that the Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat sits the baby in a more upright position than some other car seats.
Installation may not be as easy as it seems.
Some people have complained that installation of the car seat isn’t quite as easy as the video makes it seem. Plus, there is always the possibility that (especially if you drive an older vehicle) you may not have the latches to secure the car seat.
It’s not really clear how long the warranty lasts. Really, it all depends on where you buy your product. The manufacturer offers a 90 day warranty, but some retailers allow you to buy an additional warranty. Still, I’m very surprised that the people who want you to use their product for around seven years will only vouch for it for 90 days.
Best All Around Convertible Car Seats
There are better choices for convertible car seats out there now, even from Evenflo. Check out Experienced Mommy’s comprehensive survey of all the newest convertible car seats < here.
Overall, I think that the Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat is a quality car seat. I wouldn’t buy this for use with my infant because I prefer infant car seats with a carrying handle. To me, that handle is a big deal.
However, I would buy this car seat for use with my forward-facing or booster-needing child. Many people have been extremely satisfied with this car seat and have not reported any lack of tension in the harness straps. Because of this, I would go ahead and get the car seat. But, you can be sure that because of the short warranty period and my utmost concern with the straps keeping tension throughout the drive, I would double and triple check those straps.