In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Evenflo Spectrum Review

Inexpensive, easy to use booster that is comfy, light, and great for most families
Evenflo Spectrum
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Best Value Award
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Price:   $60 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, comfortable, easy to use, light
Cons:  Wider, doesn't LATCH
Manufacturer:   Evenflo
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Dec 21, 2021
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The Skinny

The Evenflo Spectrum is an impressive booster that is straightforward and super easy to use. It earned one of the best results for the head sensor in our crash testing. It has soft fabric, a deep headrest, and riders say it is the coziest in the group. The Spectrum is one of the lightest high-backed options, and it can convert to a backless booster. This may not be the best option if you want a LATCH connection or you need to fit more than two car seats/boosters in your back seat as it is one of the widest we tested. But, if those aren't issues for you, we think most families will love this inexpensive booster and think you get more than you pay for with better performance and quality than much of the competition.

Editor's Note: We updated the Spectrum review on December 21, 2021, to include more details on the sub-testing that is part of the overall metric scores.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Evenflo Spectrum
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Evenflo Spectrum
Awards Best Value Award  Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Top Pick Award 
Price $60 List$160 List
$148.81 at Amazon
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$179.99 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Inexpensive, comfortable, easy to use, lightBetter crash test results, price, lighterReasonable price, better crash test analysis, super comfy, high-qualityEasiest to use, better crash test results, priceLightweight and portable, budget-friendly
Cons Wider, doesn't LATCHLess padding, qualityHeavier, can't go backlessAverage quality, widest seat bottomHarder to use, lower quality
Bottom Line Inexpensive, easy to use booster that is comfy, light, and great for most familiesBudget-friendly choice with better crash test resultsThis high-quality booster is super comfortable, with better crash test analysis and a reasonable priceNicely priced, easy to use option with better crash test resultsAcceptable performance for a travel friendly, inexpensive choice
Rating Categories Evenflo Spectrum Diono Monterey XT UPPAbaby Alta Chicco KidFit BubbleBum
Crash Test (35%)
0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
0
7.0
7.4
7.8
4.4
Weight/Size (15%)
0
5.4
5.0
5.0
8.8
Comfort (10%)
0
7.2
8.0
5.9
5.1
Quality (10%)
0
6.2
8.6
6.0
3.4
Specs Evenflo Spectrum Diono Monterey XT UPPAbaby Alta Chicco KidFit BubbleBum
Crash Test HIC Score 556 390 557 603
Crash Test Chest G Clip 42 53 46 45
Modes High Back Booster,
Backless Booster
High Back Booster High Back Booster,
Backless Booster
Backless Booster
High Back Booster Weight Range 40 - 120 lbs 40 - 100 lbs 30 - 100 lbs n/a
High Back Booster Height Range 38" - 63" 38" - 57" 38" - 57" n/a
Width 18.4" 18.5" 20" 14"
Weight 14.2 lbs 16.1 lbs 10.4 lbs 1 lbs
Backless Booster Weight Range 40 - 120 lbs n/a 40 - 110 lbs 40 - 100 lbs
Backless Booster Height Range 38" - 63" n/a 38" - 57" 40" - 57"
5 pt Harness Weight Range n/a n/a n/a n/a
5 pt Harness Height Range n/a n/a n/a n/a
LATCH Equipped Yes Yes Yes No
Can you use LATCH in booster mode? Yes Yes Yes n/a
Recline Positions 0 0 2 0
Foam Type EPS EPP EPS None
Seat Lifespan 6 yrs 10 yrs 8 yrs Not Listed

Our Analysis and Test Results

In 1920, Evenflo began creating products related to baby feeding. Feeding nipples were the main product until 1935, when they started marketing nurser equipment featuring the first nipple that stayed on the bottle with a cap. In 1947, Evenflo expanded to glass baby bottles, and in 1960, Evenflo began marketing 12 nursing kits, with an assortment of sterilizers, bottles, nipples, and other accessories. In 1995, Evenflo as we know it was created from a merger of Evenflo Juvenile Products and Evenflo Juvenile Furniture Company. Evenflo creates bottles, car seats, strollers, homes goods, and more. The Evenflo Company is still headquartered in Ohio and is a Goodbaby International Holdings Limited subsidiary.

Performance Comparison



Evenflo Spectrum booster seat - the spectrum has a unique headrest with an outside crumple air zone...
The Spectrum has a unique headrest with an outside crumple air zone to add protection in the event of a side-impact collision. While difficult to say how effective this feature is, we do appreciate any feature designed for safety.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Crash Test


The Evenflo has better than average crash-test results. All of the boosters in this review meet or exceed federal minimum safety standards and are, therefore, considered safe. However, some performed better than others, indicating an additional margin of potential safety.


The Evenflo is a mixed bag when it comes to crash-test results. The data for the head (HIC) sensor is one of the best in the group, while the data for the chest (g) sensor is one of the worst.

Evenflo Spectrum booster seat - the spectrum has one of the most impressive crash test results for...
The Spectrum has one of the most impressive crash test results for the head sensor with a result of 456, but it doesn't compare to the UPPAbaby Alta with a 390. This graph shows a comparison of the two.
Credit: MGA, BabyGearLab Staff

The Spectrum earned an impressive result for the HIC sensor with a result of only 456. The maximum allowed is 1000, and lower numbers indicate better results. The best for this group was a 390 for the UPPAbaby Alta. Several of the competition had data over 600. The chart below shows the HIC sensor results for the boosters in this review.


Evenflo Spectrum booster seat - this graph shows a comparison of the hic crash data for the evenflo...
This graph shows a comparison of the HIC crash data for the Evenflo and the Peg Perego Viaggio Flex which had the best results in the group.
Credit: BabyGearLab, MGA Research

The Spectrum earned the worst chest results in our tests with a 48 where the maximum allowed is 60, and lower numbers are better. While significantly below the max, it isn't as good as the best result of 39. However, it is still well below the maximum allowed, which you should keep in mind. The chart below shows a comparison of the chest clip sensor results for this group.


Evenflo Spectrum booster seat - buckling in is no problem for little ones in the spectrum.
Buckling in is no problem for little ones in the Spectrum.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The Evenflo is one of the easiest options to use.


The Evenflo is a simple, no-nonsense booster which makes it very easy to use. Children had no problem buckling themselves in without assistance.

The headrest on the Spectrum is easy to adjust from the front or back.
The headrest on the Spectrum is easy to adjust from the front or back.
A storage tray pulls out from the side of the Spectrum seat bottom...
A storage tray pulls out from the side of the Spectrum seat bottom and it may hold smaller bottles of cups.

The headrest adjusts with the pull of the handle on the back (above left) and moves the belt strap retainer with it. This can be done from the front and with a child in the seat if necessary. There is a pull-out cup holder/tray on the side of the seat bottom (above right).

The Spectrum may be good for carpooling with the back removed, so it...
The Spectrum may be good for carpooling with the back removed, so it is easier to move from car to car.
The belt retainer on the Spectrum may require some adult assistance...
The belt retainer on the Spectrum may require some adult assistance to position correctly but little ones should be able to manage it with practice.

The Evenflo can be used as a backless booster (above left) that utilizes the belt position retainer (above right) that attaches with a strap to the booster's bottom. The retainer is easy to use, but little ones may need help threading it when you set it up.

The Spectrum can be used without the back and will weigh even less...
The Spectrum can be used without the back and will weigh even less than the already impressive low weight for the backed version.
The Spectrum is the second lightest high backed booster we tested...
The Spectrum is the second lightest high backed booster we tested, but it is also one of the widest options in the group.

Weight and Size


The Evenflo is one of the lightest products in the group, but it is relatively wide.


The Evenflo is the second lightest high back option in the review, with a weight of 11.6 lbs. Given that most of the seats weigh over 14 lbs and some over 20, it is easy to see how this booster will be easier to carry. Unfortunately, the wider seat bottom prevents it from earning top marks in this metric. With a width of 19.8 inches, it is the second widest we tested. This makes it harder to move from car to car and near impossible to fit three car seats across in the back seat. This booster can also be used backless, making it suitable for travel, storing, or moving, but the width will still be an issue if you have more than two children in car seats.

Evenflo Spectrum booster seat - it is easy to see that the depth and width of the spectrum headrest...
It is easy to see that the depth and width of the Spectrum headrest would be supportive for napping and help avoid the dreaded floppy head.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort


The Evenflo was ranked one of the most comfortable options by our tot testers.


Little testers liked the roominess of this seat, remarking on both the softness of the fabric and the cushiness of the seat. They felt it would be one of the best for napping, and our impression agrees with their assessment. The padding is thick but not firm, and the fabric is smooth and very skin-friendly. The headrest is nice and deep, and the shape supports little heads and necks while sleeping.

Evenflo Spectrum booster seat - the evenflo earned an impressive score for quality given that it has...
The Evenflo earned an impressive score for quality given that it has the lowest price in the group.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Quality


The Evenflo offers better than average quality in this competition.


This score is impressive for the low price, and we thought the booster did an excellent job keeping up with the more expensive competition. The padding is only average, but the fabric is soft, easy to clean, and tight-fitting to the frame. The shell is flimsy feeling, which we have seen in all Evenflo car seats, but it does feel like it will last over time when used as intended. The overall fit and finish are thoughtful yet simple.

Should You Buy the Spectrum?


What more is there to say about the Evenflo than it is economical and high-scoring? We think this lightweight option is a good choice for most families regardless of their budget, and it was a tester favorite. This seat is budget-friendly, can go backless for travel, and offers more for comfort than much of the competition. With better crash test results and impressive quality for the price, the Spectrum is a booster we'd recommend to a friend.

What Other Booster Seat Should You Consider?


There is much to love about the Spectrum, but it doesn't have the absolute best crash test results. For that, you'll need to look at the high-quality Clek Oobr. The Clek has impressive crash test results and a steel frame for car-like protection. If you need an easy-to-transport option for travel or carpooling, the BubbleBum is one to compare to the backless Spectrum. The Bubblebum inflates and fits in almost any backpack. Kids can use it without help, and we've used it on travel ourselves.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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