Evenflo Tribute LX Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Evenflo Company, Inc. is headquartered in Ohio and is a product of a merger in 1995 of Evenflo Juvenile Products and Evenflo Juvenile Furniture Company. However, their roots go back as far as 1920. Evenflo began by producing products for baby feeding. In 1947, they expanded beyond nipples to manufacturing glass baby bottles. In 1960, they created nursing kits and went on to develop products for bottle feeding, breastfeeding, various kinds of car seats, at least one of our favorite strollers, and home goods.
The Evenflo Tribute has some of the most impressive crash test data results for this group. The testing data taken from the sensors placed in the head and chest regions of a crash test dummy in a sled crash test indicate that using this seat results in the second-lowest amount of G-forces on the body than the other product we tested.
While all the products in the review meet or exceed the federal minimum safety guidelines outlined in the FMVSS 213, this seat is a bit of a stand-out for having the best results in the head sensor and better than average results for the chest sensor. This seat's head and chest crash test sensor data is significantly lower than the allowed maximum. We commissioned crash tests with the same specifications as those used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The test data for the Evenflo indicates that it offers an additional margin of safety over most of the competition in this review.
The chart we prepared shows the crash test data from the sensors for the chest in the dummy used in the Evenflo (shown in black). The crash test data for the product with the least amount of G-forces for the chest sensor (Clek Foonf) is green for comparison.
The Evenflo has the second-lowest amount of Gs recorded in the head sensor out of all the products we tested. The Britax Allegiance has the lowest. The chart below shows a comparison of all the HIC sensor results in the group.
The chart below includes the test result data for each seat's chest sensor. You can compare the actual results from one seat to the next for a better idea of crash test performance and how we determined the overall crash test analysis score by reviewing the chart above and below. You can see how the Evenflo has lower results in each test, indicating a potentially better margin of protection overall.
Ease of Install - LATCH
The Evenflo's ease of installation using the LATCH system is not great for a method designed to be easier than using the vehicle seat belt.
The Evenflo seat is about as barebones as a seat can get and still call itself a car seat. The LATCH anchors are simple clip-style anchors that are relatively easy to get on but require some pushing, twisting, and finagling to unhook. However, that is not what hurt this seat in the scoring.
We had to use a towel in the rear-facing configuration to install this seat in a few test cars. The LATCH strap threads through different spots for forward-facing versus rear-facing, and you will need to remove almost the entire seat cover to move the strap. A plastic retainer clip also seems poorly placed and makes it difficult to tighten the belt effectively. Once we got it installed, it didn't feel secure in every vehicle. Rear-facing was somewhat more stable, but forward-facing seemed a little loose. It took two people to get the strap tight enough and two to get it loose as well. The button used to loosen the belt is so stiff it hurt our fingers when we finally managed to press it hard enough to work. On the upside, you hopefully won't be installing this seat very often. However, if you live in a city and take taxis frequently, you might be drawn to this option because it is the lightest; keep in mind that you will need extra time to install it and a towel for rear-facing in most cars. These facts may ruin its potential despite the attractive weight.
The recline adjustment foot (above left) alters the angle of the seat to help find the proper angle for correct installation. The arrow line-level indicator (above right) on the seat is a basic style that works best when the car is level and you observe it from a distance.
Ease of Install - Belt
Using the vehicle belt with the Evenflo is marginally better than the LATCH system.
Given that this is a very basic seat, there isn't much to get in the way or cause issues when installing it with the vehicle belt. You will still need to use a towel when installing the seat rear-facing, and it is still kind of a pain to thread the belt, but it is easier to get the belt tight than using the LATCH strap.
The belt pathway for the rear-facing installation (above left) differs from the forward-facing belt path (above right). While we lifted the cover to reveal the track, you do not need to raise the cover to thread the belt for either method.
All testers felt this seat was easier to install using the vehicle belt, and some remarked that the larger belt pathway holes were more straightforward to use than some of the competition with small pathways. In general, no matter which vehicle we tested it in, the seat belt is easier, and we managed to get the seat installed tighter than we could with the LATCH method. This functionality might make it okay for travel or use in taxis, but don't forget that pesky towel you will need to tote as long as your child is rear-facing.
Ease of Use
Perhaps thanks to its lack of features that can sometimes make a seat difficult to use, the Evenflo managed a respectable score in the ease of use metric compared to the other products.
It is unique that such a budget-friendly seat is also easy to use.
The buckle on the Evenflo is the easiest in the group to push, and it sort of pops open, releasing both sides of the buckle at once, which makes it a genuinely one-handed operation. We liked this buckle so much we wished all the buckles in the group were this easy. The chest clip on this seat is less user-friendly and somewhat difficult to open than the buckle, but it isn't the worst, and the operation is straightforward.
The height adjustment for this harness is the traditional rethread process of detaching the straps from a splitter plate in the back and unthreading them from slots and rethreading at the desired height, and then reattaching them to the splitter plate. This process is not complicated, but it is more involved than the non-rethread style of adjustment, and parents will need to remove the baby from the seat to do it and possibly remove the seat from the car. We worry that parents will inadvertently put off adjusting because they are busy, and it takes time they won't have when they first notice the problem. This design could potentially result in babywearing an improperly fitted harness that could cause crash injuries. Thanks to a lack of padding and material that can make threading hard, the slots are easy to thread through. The shoulder height has four positions, and the crotch strap has two. It is tightened using a strap at the foot of the seat and loosened using a lever button located on top of the fabric at the seat's foot.
The Evenflo has basic LATCH anchor storage with places for the anchors and tether to attach to the back of the seat. It doesn't keep the straps out of the way, so you'll also need to tuck the remaining material under the seat to make them inaccessible to little ones. This seat also has a foldable cup holder that can be kept closed to take up less space or open for use. However, it is kind of a useless holder, and we weren't impressed with it.
While the Evenflo has a cup holder on the side of the shell, it isn't the easiest to use, and it doesn't feel like it will stand the test of time. The photos show the cup holder closed (above left) and opened (above right).
The fabric on this seat is effortless to remove and is held on with simple elastic loops that go around plastic prongs strategically located on the seat shell. The fabric is machine washable in cold water on a gentle cycle, and it is one of the few you can tumble dry (albeit briefly). This fabric is arguably one of the easiest to keep clean.
The Evenflo earned the lowest score in the group for comfort and quality. A large part of this is thanks to its lack of bells, whistles, and nods to added comfort like padding.
The Evenflo fabric feels slick like plastic, and only covers a thin amount of padding. The lack of padding and plastic feel mean the material might not be very breathable, and children might grow sweaty quickly. The lack of padding means it isn't the coziest seat and isn't very cushy.
The bottom and the back of the seat are sturdy plastic that should be easy to clean. Unfortunately, the sides are more scratchy and have a texture to them that will make them more challenging to clean and seem like a poor design choice though they may have reasons we don't understand. The back also has a lot of crevasses, making it even harder to clean. The foam in this seat is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), the standard foam often seen in car seats and bike helmets.
The simplicity of the seat makes it look tidy compared to many of the other options, but other things take away from the overall look. The fabric cover fits the shell frame and is held on by plastic clips. Unlike some of the competition that has the cover wrapped around the seat and frame, this style allows the edges of the plastic frame to remain visible. The only part of the seat bottom that is smooth is the recline adjustment portion of the seat. The other resting points that contact the vehicle seat are narrow edges of plastic that could catch on things or rub on the vehicle seat and potentially cause damage.
This seat came in as the most lightweight seat in the best convertible car seat review at just over 9 lbs. This weight makes it a good candidate for parents who frequent taxis or Uber. Unfortunately, if your child is still sitting rear-facing, it means you will need to use a towel as well, and carrying a towel and car seat around might be a deal-breaker.
It is one of the narrowest seats in the review at 17 inches, the same as the Clek Foonf. So, if you need to place more than two seats across the back seat of your car, or if you want to fit an adult between two car seats, it may be a good option.
Should You Buy the Evenflo Tribute LX ?
Maybe. The Evenflo is not the best seat in the group, but we love that it fills a niche we think many parents might have, and that is why it is one of our favorites. If you have a very limited budget and want a seat with better crash test results, then the Evenflo is one you need on your list. This seat offers impressive crash test results in a group where most seats are far more expensive. We think this lightweight and smaller seat could be a good fit for those with the tightest budget, those who need a second seat, or anyone looking for a travel companion without sacrificing safety.
What Other Convertible Car Seat Should You Consider?
There are several high-ranking seats in our lineup and others with better scores in multiple metrics. As a result, it isn't hard to find a better option depending on your goals and needs. While we still maintain that the Evenflo is a good choice for certain circumstances, we think if your budget allows, there are better options for your primary car seat, even if you just want something with more cushion or it is easier to install. Bumping to the next price range in this lineup, we like the Britax Emblem. This lower-priced Britax option includes a similar crash test result but higher installation scores and points for quality and comfort. Also in this price range is the Graco Extend2Fit, offering one of the highest crash test results in the review. Both seats earned overall scores at least 10 points higher than the Evenflo.
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BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More