Evenflo Spectrum Review
Pros: Inexpensive, comfortable, easy to use, light
Cons: Wider, doesn't LATCH
Compare to Similar Products
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 subsidiary of Goodbaby International Holdings Limited.
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 which indicates 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 the best in the group, while the data for the chest (g) sensor is one of the worst.
The Spectrum earned the top score for the HIC sensor with a result of only 456. The maximum allowed is 1000 and lower numbers indicate better results. Several of the competition had data over 600.
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 is what you should keep in mind.
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 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 Evenflo can be used as a backless booster (above left) which utilizes the belt position retainer (above right) that attaches with a strap to the bottom of the booster. The retainer is easy to use, but little ones may need help threading it when you set it up.
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 3 car seats across in the back seat. This booster can also be used backless which will be good for travel, storing, or moving, but the width will still be an issue if you have more than two children in car seats.
The Evenflo was ranked one of the most comfortable options from 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.
The Evenflo offers better than average quality in this competition.
This score is impressive for the low price and we thought the booster did a good 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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz