There are car seats for every stage of your child’s life. Some seats are convertible, or switch from rear to forward facing. Others, often called all-in-1s, switch to a booster seat as well. It’s hard to know exactly what you need and often harder to stay within budget. The Evenflo SureRide DLX car seat is an affordable convertible seat but it may not have all the features you want.
Height and weight limitations
The Evenflo SureRide DLX has the following limitations for rear facing and forward facing positions:
- Rear facing 5-40 lbs | 19-40 inches
- Forward facing 22-65 lbs | 28-54 inches
The SureRide has 6 harness positions, allowing for a broader range of heights than many convertible seats on the market. This may allow you to keep your child in the convertible seat longer than others, which is recommended. The longer you can keep your child in a harness, the better. Harness seats provide more protection than booster seats.
The SureRide is lightweight, making it great for traveling. It is approved for air travel, but because of its bulkiness, you may have trouble installing it rear facing on a plane. We had this issue with our infant car seat – it didn’t allow for the person sitting in front of the car seat to recline, but they were very understanding about it.
The SureRide DLX meets or exceeds all safety standards and has two times the federal standard for side impact protection. This Evenflo seat features energy absorbing padding to not only provide comfort for your little one, but also absorbs forces in the event of an accident.
Machine washable seat cover
Not every car seat cover is approved for machine washing. The Evenflo SureRide DLX cover is. This is so important to me – I like to be able to put things in the wash rather than hand wash. Not only is it easier, I feel like it gets cleaner!
Hard to install
With car seat installation, some are easier than others to install. If you have had a car seat that is easy to install, you may find this one difficult because you are used to an easy installation. It’s not impossible to do, but until you get the hang of it, the SureRide can be difficult.
If you are planning on moving the seat between cars frequently, I would recommend getting a seat that is easier to install – maybe one with a base that you can click into, or with some sort of easy-to-install mechanism (like Britax’s Clicktight).
If you have installed car seats with LATCH in the past, you may have experience trying to get the straps tight enough so that the seat doesn’t move at all. This can be really hard to do with certain car seats, and the SureRide is one of them. Because the car seat doesn’t have a base, it makes it even harder to tighten the straps. You have to awkwardly reach over the car seat and try to pull as hard as you can. It’s doable, but it’s difficult.
Not enough seat padding
Some of the more high-end car seats feature extra cushioning for your little one. The SureRide has padding, but not enough in my opinion. I want my son to always be comfortable in his seat because sometimes we spend quite a bit of time in the car. I want him to enjoy sitting in his car seat rather than have it upset him.
The Evenflo SureRide DLX might take up more space than you want it to in your car, especially if you have more than one car seat in the back seat. It is 20 inches wide, so it will make your back seat tight if you have a compact car.
If you are installing the SureRide rear facing, it takes up a lot of front to back room. You may have to move your front seat forward more than you want to in order for the car seat to be at the correct recline setting. This may also be an issue if you take it on a plane. Planes are pretty tight to begin with, but the SureRide is bulky enough to be a hassle when air traveling. I would recommend a slimmer car seat if you travel a lot – it’s just going to make your travel easier in the long run.
Doesn’t come with strap pads
I really think all car seats should come equipped with strap pads. The SureRide does not include pads, although you can buy them separately. My son’s first seat didn’t have strap pads and I honestly didn’t know how important they were for his comfort. The straps were always digging into his neck but I thought this was just a necessary evil.
Once I graduated him to his next car seat, which came with strap pads, I realized he didn’t need to be uncomfortable that whole time!
No bubble level
As with all car seats, you need to make sure you install the SureRide car seat at the correct recline position. Many car seats help guide you to do this correctly by having a bubble level, which indicates when the seat is safely leveled. The SureRide DLX has a level arrow indicator. You need to judge yourself whether or not it is actually level with the ground, which in my opinion isn’t accurate enough.
Seat is high at the thigh
The side of the SureRide is high around the area where your child’s thigh would be, making it hard to put a child into the seat. I had this issue with my son’s convertible seat, and it can be a nuisance, especially if he doesn’t want to get in his car seat to begin with. You kind of get used to it after a while, although it isn’t the easiest of seats to place a child into.
Large jump from third to fourth shoulder harness position
The SureRide has 6 harness positions to allow you to adjust to fit your growing child. The harness position is always supposed to be at or below your child’s shoulders when they are sitting in the seat. The SureRide’s harness positions are a bit awkward – there are three close together, and then there is a big jump before the next three. This means your child may have a long period of time where the straps go in well below their shoulders. This isn’t a safety concern or anything, but it may be a little uncomfortable for your child and is worth noting.
No handle to carry infant around in
The SureRide is lightweight, but it is a convertible seat, meaning it does not have a handle to easily carry like a bucket-style infant seat would have. I know my son would fall asleep during almost every car ride when he was a newborn, and I loved that my infant bucket seat could be easily disconnected from it’s base, leaving him content and undisturbed.
Because it is a convertible seat, it also isn’t compatible with any stroller. This was another feature I loved about my infant seat – it could connect to a stroller, making for easy travel and because many strollers don’t have head support, I didn’t have to worry about that since the car seat fit my son’s infant needs.
The price for the SureRide is very reasonable. I think the price matches the features it has and it is priced accordingly.
Another Color Option
- Huge height range – 6 harness positions
- Machine-washable cover
- Hard to install
- Uncomfortable – insufficient padding
- No bubble level
- No handle to carry around
- 4 out of 5 stars, 139 Reviews, Target.com
- 4.2 out of 5 stars, 40 Reviews, Babies âRâ Us
- 4.3 out of 5 stars, 45 Reviews, Walmart.com
Ease of Use Ratings
Although safety should always be a leading concern when it comes to our children, you shouldn’t obsess about the safety differences between car seat brands. They are required to pass strict federal safety tests before being sold in the US market.
However, getting the installation or usage of a car seat wrong can introduce safety issues. That is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues ease of use ratings (see below) for each car seat. The easier to use and the clearer the instructions, the more likely your child is to be buckled up properly every time.
The Evenflo SureRide DLX in forward and rear-facing mode received 2 stars. Not a good rating.
The SureRide isn’t the most convenient of car seats – it’s harder to install than most, it isn’t super comfortable, and it is bulky. It will still do what it needs to do – it exceeds crash test ratings, and it is lightweight, so it’s easy to transport. While I wouldn’t use this as my main car seat, I would use it as a secondary seat. That being said, the Evenflo SureRide DLX is a quality seat and if it fits in your budget, I would recommend it. I wouldn’t use it as an infant seat, because I want to be able to remove an infant seat when needed and not have to worry about a hard reinstall. I prefer to have a seat with a base so that you can easily take the car seat out and quickly click it back in when needed.
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