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 for 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. For more of our favorite car seats, read our review that spans all car seat categories.Editor's Note: This gear review was updated on December 20, 2021. It now includes more detailed information on testing done within the top-weighted metrics.
Baby Trend EZ Flex-Loc Review
Pros: Inexpensive, good HIC score, easy to install with 2 methods
Cons: Less padding, lower quality, harder to install with belt
Manufacturer: Baby Trend
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|Pros||Inexpensive, good HIC score, easy to install with 2 methods||Better crash test results, anti-rebound bar, easy install||Reasonable price, better crash test results, super easy LATCH install||Easy LATCH installation, better crash test results, price||Lightweight, easy to carry, easy install without the base|
|Cons||Less padding, lower quality, harder to install with belt||Heavier, harder to install LATCH system, few strollers are compatible||Heavier, canopy/handle rubbing||Coarse fabric, heavier, hard to install without the base||Lower crash analysis results, harder to use, not as comfy|
|Bottom Line||A budget-friendly seat with better head sensor crash results and easy LATCH installation||A great all-around seat with good crash test results, but limited stroller options||A really nice seat with better crash tests analysis and a reasonable price tag, but it could be too heavy for some users||Crash test results and ease of install with a nice price make it a good choice for most families||Below average results in most metrics despite a promising weight|
|Rating Categories||Baby Trend EZ Flex-Loc||Peg Perego Primo Vi...||Chicco KeyFit 35||Chicco KeyFit 30||Graco SnugRide 35 L...|
|Crash Test (20%)|
|Ease Of Install LATCH (20%)|
|Ease Of Install Belt (10%)|
|Ease Of Install W O Base (5%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Comfort Quality (15%)|
|Weight Size (15%)|
|Specs||Baby Trend EZ Flex-Loc||Peg Perego Primo Vi...||Chicco KeyFit 35||Chicco KeyFit 30||Graco SnugRide 35 L...|
|Crash Test HIC Score||617||491||342||330||693|
|Crash Test Chest G Clip||51||46||51||50.5||53|
|Minimum Passenger Weight||4 lbs||4 lbs||4 lbs||4 lbs||4 lbs|
|Max Passenger Weight||30 lbs||35 lbs||35 lbs||30 lbs||35 lbs|
|Max Passenger Height||30"||32"||32"||30"||32"|
|Belt Routing Style||European||European||European||American||American|
|Seat Weight||8.6 lbs||9.6 lbs||10.9 lbs||10.1 lbs||7.4 lbs|
|Shoulder Harness Positions||3||6||5||3||4|
|Crotch Strap Positions||1||1||1||1||2|
|Built in Lock Off||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Anti-rebound Device||No||Yes||Yes Built in||High Back Base||High Back Base|
|Locking Handle Positions||3||5||4||3||4|
|Allowed Handle Positions For Auto Travel||Not Listed||1 for Base Install (even with the top of the seat),
1 for Seat Only Install (all the way forward)
|No Rethread Harness||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Onboard Manual Storage||On the back of the seat towards the bottom.||Stores in a hard flip down pocket on the back of the seat.||Storage Compartment on front of the base.||Storage Compartment on the front of the base.||Clips under the base.|
|Level Indicator On Base||None||Bubble Vial||Bubble Indicator||Bubble Vial||Weighted Wheel/Dial|
|Level Indicator On Seat||Hanging Indicator||Line On Decal||Line on Decal||Line On Decal||Line On Decal|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Baby Trend company has been in the juvenile products business for over 26 years. They design many types 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.
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, the highest result for the group (lower is better here, and the maximum allowed is 1000). The chart below shows all of the seat test results in this review.
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 chart below shows all of the chest sensor test results for easy comparison.
Combining the two results hurt the Baby Trend's overall score as neither result was a standout.
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 useful level on the carrier's side (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.
This seat has unique LATCH connectors that are easier to get on and off 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.
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.
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.
Ease of Install - Without the Base
INstalling the EX without the base is pretty straightforward and an installation method it performed well during testing.
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 carrier's foot. 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 use on public transportation by urbanites.
Ease of Use
The EZ is average for ease of use with fewer features and less fancy additions than the more expensive competition.
The buckle is somewhat stiff, but the chest clip 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.
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 EZ has a uniquely shaped handle with a triangle-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.
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 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 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 use 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 helpful to consider if you travel frequently or what a travel seat.
The EZ is not compatible with many strollers outside 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.
Should You Buy the Baby Trend?
If your budget is very tight and you can't make it stretch or are looking for a second seat, the Baby trend is one for your short list of considerations. This seat has a low, low price, and (for the price) it offers better crash test and installation scores than some. While its overall score is lower than we'd like, we think it is the one to buy if you don't have the money for more.
What Other Infant Car Seat Should You Consider?
If you can find the funds or have help from friends or family, we prefer the Chicco Keyfit 30. This seat is budget-friendly (albeit more expensive than the Trend) and offers better crash test results, including one of the best HIC test results in the group.
— Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
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