In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Baby Trend EZ Flex-Loc Review

A budget-friendly seat with better head sensor crash results and easy LATCH installation
Best Value Award
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Price:   $100 List | $72 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, good HIC score, easy to install with 2 methods
Cons:  Less padding, lower quality, harder to install with belt
Manufacturer:   Baby Trend
By Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team  ⋅  Jul 29, 2020
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Crash Test - 20% 6
  • Ease of Install - LATCH - 20% 7
  • Ease of Install - Belt - 10% 6
  • Ease of Install - w/o Base - 5% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5
  • Comfort / Quality - 15% 5
  • Weight / Size - 15% 7

The Skinny

The Baby Trend EZ Flex-Loc is an inexpensive, easy to install infant seat with average crash-test results. This budget-friendly seat is a good choice for families on a tight budget or those looking for a second seat for a caregiver or less often used car. While it may be lacking in some of the nicer comfort-based features like thick padding and softer fabric, the Baby Trend gets the job done and is easy to install. The EZ isn't the best quality and it has some less than useful features like a frumpy canopy and harder to use chest clip. However, if the price is an issue and you need a seat you can depend on, then the EX might just fit the bill.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Baby Trend company has been in juvenile products business for over 26 years. They design a multitude of baby-centric gear from diaper pails to car seats. The company offers affordable baby products with a lineup that includes innovative products like the first sit and stand stroller.

Performance Comparison



The EZ has fairly typical impact foam located in the headrest area of the car carrier.
The EZ has fairly typical impact foam located in the headrest area of the car carrier.

Crash Test


The EZ scores about average for crash test analysis. This seat complies with federal guidelines outlined in FMVSS 213, and is, therefore, considered safe with results below the maximum allowed benchmarks for the head and chest sensors.


The charts below show comparisons between the Baby Trend seat and the best scores in this review. The head sensor (HIC) best result goes to the Chicco Keyfit 30, with a result of 330. The Baby Trend result is 617, which is the highest result for the group (lower is better here and the maximum allowed is 1000).

The EZ has one of the highest HIC results in the review of 617. This graph shows a comparison of the EZ with the best in the group of 330 earned by the Chicco Keyfit 30.
The EZ has one of the highest HIC results in the review of 617. This graph shows a comparison of the EZ with the best in the group of 330 earned by the Chicco Keyfit 30.

The Cybex Aton 2 has the lowest force exerted on the chest (in black) with a score of 44 where the maximum allowed is 60. The EZ has a score of 51, which is almost average in the review. The chart below shows a comparison of the two results.

The EZ g clip result is about average for the group with a 51  where 60 is the max allowable and the best in the group was a 44 (lower numbers are better) earned by the Cybex Aton 2.
The EZ g clip result is about average for the group with a 51, where 60 is the max allowable and the best in the group was a 44 (lower numbers are better) earned by the Cybex Aton 2.

The combination of the two results hurt the Baby Trend's overall score as neither result were standouts.

LATCH installation for the EZ is one of the easiest installation methods in our tests.
LATCH installation for the EZ is one of the easiest installation methods in our tests.

Ease of Install - LATCH


The EZ earned a higher than average result for installation using LATCH compared to the rest of the competition.


The EZ has a side located seat angle indicator to help parents determine if the seat is installed at the correct angle. It is easy to read and a helpful feature for parents.
The base angle of the EZ can be altered using a push button.

The EZ has a useful level on the side of the carrier (above left) and the recline can be adjusted using the button on the bottom of the base (above right) which is nicely placed and easy to use.

The LATCH connectors on the EZ have a push operated release to loosen the strap when you're ready to uninstall the car seat.
The EZ has a LATCH connector unlike any we've seen. It works well and is easy to operate.

This seat has truly unique LATCH connectors that are easier to get on and off of the anchors. We really liked the different design that is very user friendly for those with weak fingers or smaller hands requiring less pressure than other styles of LATCH.

Installation of the EZ base using the vehicle belt is not as simple as LATCH or installation without the base in our tests.
Installation of the EZ base using the vehicle belt is not as simple as LATCH or installation without the base in our tests.

Ease of Install - Belt


Installing the EZ with a vehicle belt isn't the best and is harder than much of the competition.


While it can be done and wasn't the worst of the group, it wouldn't be our top choice of installation method for this seat.

The EZ has an internal lock-off for installation using the vehicle belt  but while easy to operate  it isn't the best in the group and some shifting still occurs.
The EZ has an internal lock-off for installation using the vehicle belt, but while easy to operate, it isn't the best in the group and some shifting still occurs.

This seat has a belt lock-off built into the base and it isn't hard to use but it doesn't seem to lock the seat to the belt and we experienced some shifting along the belt which made it feel less stable. It also felt more stable when using the lap-only belt as you might find in a center seat location, as opposed to the lap/shoulder combo commonly found on the side positions.

Installing the Baby Trend without the base utilizes the American belt path method across the midway/foot of the carrier.
Installing the Baby Trend without the base utilizes the American belt path method across the midway/foot of the carrier.

Ease of Install - Without the Base


INstalling the EX without the base is fairly straightforward and an installation method it performed well in during testing.


The American belt path of the EZ is straightforward and easy to utilize.
The American belt path of the EZ is straightforward and easy to utilize.

While it didn't earn top marks it is better than average, and not challenging and uses the more straightforward American path with the seatbelt across the foot of the carrier. The process is quick and user-friendly. It feels relatively stable once installed. All of this makes the EZ a potential contender for a travel car seat or for use on public transportation by urbanites.

The canopy on the EZ is somewhat frumpy and t didn't stay fully open no matter how hard we tried.
The canopy on the EZ is somewhat frumpy and t didn't stay fully open no matter how hard we tried.

Ease of Use


The EZ is only average for ease of use with fewer features and less fancy additions than the more expensive competition.


The chest clip on the EZ is harder to operate than much of the competition. it isn't one of our favorites and we think it could be improved.
The chest clip on the EZ is harder to operate than much of the competition. it isn't one of our favorites and we think it could be improved.

Harness


The buckle is somewhat stiff but its the chest clip that is the real problem. The design isn't hand-friendly and wasn't as simple as much of the competition. The buckle is the nesting style that can take more effort to assemble.

The Flex-Loc has a harness tightening strap that isn't as smooth pulling like some of the competition.
The Flex-Loc has a harness tightening strap that isn't as smooth pulling like some of the competition.

Tightening the harness isn't as smooth as it could be but the release button is large and easy to push.

Adjusting the harness shoulder height is a rethread operation where you pull the straps of a back splitter and rethread them through different slots o the seatback before putting them back on the splitter. This process isn't hard but it is more time consuming than the non-rethread style and it typically requires removing the baby from the carrier.

The handle on the EZ moves smoothly when depressing the two sides simultaneously.
The handle on the EZ moves smoothly when depressing the two sides simultaneously.

Handle


The EZ has a uniquely shaped handle with a tringle shaped padded grip in the middle. We appreciate the effort to increase the hold possibilities for comfort. The handle moves smoothly in three positions and doesn't rub the canopy in the upright position.

Carrier and Base Connection


Connecting the carrier to the base isn't hard but it doesn't just fall into place like some of the competition. You have to use some force and apply pressure down to get the audible click.

The EZ user manual stows on the bottom of the carrier which is nice if you travel without the base  but it doesn't seem very secure and we worry it could fall out or become damaged easily.
The EZ user manual stows on the bottom of the carrier which is nice if you travel without the base, but it doesn't seem very secure and we worry it could fall out or become damaged easily.

LATCH Anchor and Manual Storage


The EZ has user manual storage on the bottom of the carrier. It's nice to have the manual on the carrier if you are using it sans base, but it isn't really secure in its design and we worry it will fall out or get damaged thanks to lack of protection.

The quality and comfort of the EZ are somewhat sub-par but for the price  it can get the job done without trouble.
The quality and comfort of the EZ are somewhat sub-par but for the price, it can get the job done without trouble.

Comfort/Quality


The Baby Trend isn't the best for comfort or quality with less padding and rougher fabric than most of the competition. However, given the lower price, the materials are better than you might accept.


The canopy on the EZ is somewhat frumpy looking, which would be okay if it stayed open when you moved it but it doesn't. While minor, this is an attention to detail example that is true of most things on this seat. In general, this seat has some nice features like the padded triangle grip on the handle, but it may not be one you can pass down to multiple children.

The carrier of the EZ is one of the lightest in the group making it a potential contender for travel or commuting.
The carrier of the EZ is one of the lightest in the group making it a potential contender for travel or commuting.

Weight


The EZ is one of the lighter carriers in the group with a weight of 8.63 lbs. This weight makes it a potential candidate for travel or using without a base in an urban environment where carrying a base would be inconvenient.


While not the number one factor when choosing a seat, it can be useful to consider if you travel frequently or what a travel seat.

Stroller Compatibility


The EZ is not compatible with many strollers outside of the Baby Trend world. It will work with the Baby Trend Sit N' Stand Double, Baby Trend Navigator, and the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal a frame stroller. None of these strollers performed well in our tests and we are not big fans of the net and strap-in configuration of the Universal frame stroller.

Manufacter Video



Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team