In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Evenflo Spectrum Review

Inexpensive, easy to use booster that is comfy, light, and great for most families
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $60 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, comfortable, easy to use, light
Cons:  Wider, doesn't LATCH
Manufacturer:   Evenflo
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Oct 18, 2017
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Crash Test - 35% 6
  • Ease Of Use - 30% 8
  • Weight/Size - 15% 5
  • Comfort - 10% 9
  • Quality - 10% 7

The Skinny

The Enflo Spectrum is an impressive booster that is straightforward and super easy to use. It earned the top 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 seat/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.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Riders feel the Evenflo Spectrum is very comfortable and good for napping.
Riders feel the Evenflo Spectrum is very comfortable and good for napping.

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.

Performance Comparison


This comparison chart includes the overall scores for each booster seat we purchased and tested for this review including the Evenflo (blue).


The sections below detail the Evenflo's performance during testing compared to the competition in each metric. The overall scores were calculated using the individual metric scores with an emphasis on crash test results and ease of use.

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.
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.

Crash Test


The Evenflo earned a 6 of 10 for 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 in the group.

The Spectrum has the most impressive crash test results for the head sensor with a result of 456.
The Spectrum has the most impressive crash test results for the head sensor with a result of 456.

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.

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.
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.

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 Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 with a 39.

Buckling in is no problem for little ones in the Spectrum.
Buckling in is no problem for little ones in the Spectrum.

Ease of Use


The Evenflo earned an 8 of 10 for ease of 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.
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 is easier to move from car to car.
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) 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.

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  but it is also one of the widest options in the group.

Weight and Size


The Evenflo earned a 5 of 10 for weight and size.


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 pounds 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.

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.
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.

Comfort


The Evenflo earned a 9 of 10 for comfort.


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 earned an impressive score for quality given that it has the lowest price in the group.
The Evenflo earned an impressive score for quality given that it has the lowest price in the group.

Quality


The Evenflo earned a 7 of 10 for quality.


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 looks thoughtful yet simple.

Manufacturer Video




Other Versions


Evenflo offers several different booster options and it is hard to tell what the differences are or why one option is more expensive than another, but we think options with 5-point harness and LATCH attachments are nice upgrades over the Spectrum.
  • Evolve 3-in-1 Combination Seat — This booster combines what we like about the Spectrum and adds to it with a 5-point harness, additional headrest padding, and LATCH anchors. This booster works for children up to 120 lbs and it has passed Evenflo's rollover crash test process, which while difficult to say what that entails we do like additional crash test efforts. You can also use it as a backless booster for added versatility.
  • SecureKid Booster Car Seat — This Evenflo option has a 5-point harness and LATCH anchors. It offers has dual cup holders, front tightening LATCH, and an adjustable headrest that can be adjusted from the front with your child in the seat.


Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz