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Evenflo Serenade Infant Car Seat Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Evenflo Serenade Infant Car Seat

The Evenflo Serenade infant car seat features Sure-Latch connectors and a no-rethread harness.

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The Bottom Line

The Evenflo Serenade is a fairly standard infant car seat with a few stand-out features. The Sure-Latch connectors are amazing, and should make this car seat a breeze to install for anyone using LATCH. The no-rethread harness is also very easy to manage without ever having to fumble around in the back of the car seat. For seatbelt-only installers, though, I'd bump the Evenflo Serenade down to 3 stars because it lacks a seatbelt lock-off. Evenflo hasn't had an infant seat that impressed me for a while now, but they've certainly changed my mind with the Serenade. It's fairly lightweight, comes in attractive patterns, and is easier to use than their previous models.
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Pros

  • Sure-Latch connectors make installation with lower anchors very simple.
  • Harness can be easily adjusted from the front with no rethreading.
  • Handle is comfy for parents and the seat is fairly lightweight to carry.
  • Base angle indicators are easy to read.

Cons

  • No seatbelt lock-off on base.
  • Foot on base is awkward to adjust.

Description

  • Infant car seat for babies 5-35 lbs.
  • Includes stay-in-car base, sunshade and infant head padding.
  • Average price is $150.

Guide Review - Evenflo Serenade Infant Car Seat Review

First, if you haven't tried out Evenflo's fantastic Sure-Latch connectors, you're missing out on a lot of awesome. Instead of just a clip to hook onto your car's lower anchors, Sure-Latch connectors have a plastic housing that holds a little belt retractor in each side. The plastic housings seem huge at first, and they can be a little awkward if you have deeply recessed lower anchors or you have a tight fit for a car seat. If you can get past those things, though, the ease of use for Sure-Latch is phenomenal. You click each side into place. You push down on the car seat. In most vehicles I've tested in, that's it. The car seat will be tight. In some vehicles you may need to do a second round of pressing, maybe do a little wiggle side to side to get the extra slack out, but it's seriously easy. The retractors do most of the work for you. Sure-Latch is by far the best feature of the Evenflo Serenade car seat.

The car seat base is also fairly easy to install properly when using the vehicle seat belt. The belt path is wide and easy to route the belt through. You may have some trouble with the base tilting if you're tightening too much on the shoulder belt, but that issue is not unique to the Evenflo Serenade. A built-in seatbelt lock-off would likely help that situation, but that's one thing the Evenflo Serenade lacks. If you'll be installing the car seat with a seat belt all the time, though, consider that you're paying a substantial amount for the Sure-Latch connectors, and the extra dollars might be better spent on a car seat with lock-offs on the base.

I'm a big fan of harnesses that can be adjusted without rethreading through the back, so the Serenade car seat gets a thumbs up on harnessing. It's incredibly easy to slide the harnesses to the proper spot at or below your baby's shoulders. You tighten or loosen the harness with a standard lever by baby's feet. The weight limit on this car seat is 35 lbs. The harness may be a little short if you have a really chunky baby, but for most babies, you should have no problem getting well past a year in this car seat. There are two positions for the buckle between baby's legs, so that gives bigger babies a little more room, too. The car seat shell should easily accommodate even tall babies for the first year and beyond. (Remember, you're looking at whether they have an inch or more of shell over their head, NOT whether their legs are hanging over the bottom edge.)

One awkward thing I noticed about the Evenflo Serenade infant car seat is that it takes two hands to adjust the foot on the base. I'm used to a knob or small button to push to make the foot pop down. The Evenflo logo on the front of the base is the foot adjustment button, and I needed both hands to push the button hard enough to get that foot to pop down. Not a huge issue, but a little annoying.

I like the squishy grips on the handle that allow you to more comfortably carry this infant seat in the crook of your arm. However, I don't like that the handle must be in the down position whenever you're in the car. That's easy for parents to forget, and sometimes the lack of space between the car seat and the vehicle seat makes it tough to get that handle in the correct position.

The included infant head padding is a nice touch. It's shaped nicely and should help tiny babies stay in position better.

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