Evenflo is a long-standing manufacturer of a variety of children’s products. Among those products is our favorite: car seats! When Evenflo offered CSFTL the chance to review multiple incarnations of their popular SecureKid combination seat, naturally we said yes!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Forward facing weight range: 22-65 lbs.
- Forward facing height range: 28-50″
- High back booster weight range: 40-110 lbs.
- High back booster height range: 43.3-57″
- Highest harness position: 18″
- Highest belt guide position: 20″
- Expiration: 6 years
- Lower anchor weight limit: 48 lbs.
- 2 crotch buckle positions
- Adjustable headrest
- Can use lower anchors to secure in booster mode
- IIHS Best Bet in booster mode
Evenflo has several versions of the SecureKid. All feature the same weight and height limits, but have varying levels of comfort and ease of use features. This review will cover the institutional model, the SecureKid LX (formerly known as the SecureKid 300), the SecureKid DLX (formerly known as the SecureKid 400) and the SecureKid Platinum DLX. The SecureKid is a forward facing only seat, making it appropriate for kids who have outgrown their rear facing convertible seat and are a minimum of 2 years old. To learn why rear facing is the safest for kids through 3-4 years old, check out Why Rear Facing: the Science Junkie’s Guide.
The first we received was a two pack of SecureKids from their institutional line. Institutional seats are sold at a bulk discount to hospitals, fire departments, police stations, Safe Kids coalitions, etc. Those organizations then hand the seats over to families in need who may not otherwise be able to properly restrain their children.
While typically lacking the premium features retail seats have, the institutional versions are just as safe. They are very bare bones — they don’t have premium padding or cup holders and they sport standard clip-style lower anchor connectors, but these seats still have the same height and weight limits as the others. This makes these seats a fantastic option for CPSTs as they can provide families in need with a seat that will harness most kindergarteners and last them well into booster age. The Institutional seats we received will be distributed to families through a local CPST.
Formerly known as the SecureKid 300, the LX model has the QuickConnector lower anchor connectors, dual cup holders, and E3 Side Impact Protection, which means there is energy absorbing foam in the headrest. Sam is 5.5 years old, 43″ and 41 lbs. He is on the second to the top harness position, which means he will easily be able to use this seat for another 1-2 years in harness mode. A great plus, since we know a lot of kids aren’t ready for a booster until past 6 years old.
The width of the harness straps is narrow and Evenflo does not include strap covers with this model, nor can they be added. Sam complained about the straps irritating his neck, which could be a comfort concern for this seat long-term.
The high back booster did an excellent job of positioning the seat belt, placing the shoulder belt even across his torso and lap belt low on his hips and touching his thighs.
The SecureKid DLX (formerly known as the SecureKid 400) has all the features of the SecureKid LX, but adds on the SureLATCH lower anchor connectors. These handy contraptions make a LATCH install a breeze — just click them in and push the SecureKid back into the car’s seat until it’s tight.
SecureKid Platinum DLX
The SecureKid Platinum DLX is a new, top-of-the-line seat featuring some serious padding designed to keep kids comfortable in the most extreme conditions. It also includes clever little pockets in the cover for the buckles so they don’t heat up when the seat isn’t occupied, as well as SureLATCH and the E3 Side Impact Protection in the head and torso.
I have owned a few different models of Evenflo seats and I have always admired how comfortable they try to make them for children. This definitely holds true for the Platinum version of the SecureKid. According to the manufacturer, the fabric “balances your child’s body temperature for a safer, more peaceful ride. OUTLAST® Performance Fabric absorbs hot and cold temperature, releasing as needed.” For kiddos who struggle to stay cool in the car seat, this material could make car rides a lot easier on the family.
Fit to Child
We used the SecureKid Platinum DLX in harness mode as well as high back booster mode. 3-year-old Rhiannon tested out the harness mode: the seat was easy to install, and she was very fond of the fabric. The main complaint was the same as with the SecureKid LX: the lack of harness strap covers was very irritating to her neck.
Living in Southern California, both kids appreciated that the Outlast fabric helped them stay cool!
Brennon is 8 years old and using the tallest high back booster headrest setting and will outgrow the SecureKid within the next year or so. He will still need a booster until he is 57″ and 10-12 years old. The SecureKid does not convert to a backless booster, so he will need another seat to get him through the next few years before he fits correctly in a seat belt alone.
In booster mode, the seat provided an excellent seat belt fit, however the pointed shoulder belt guide was difficult for him to thread and the shoulder belt frequently became caught in it, making it a challenge for him to buckle himself.
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA Approval The SecureKid is FAA approved in harness mode only. The sticker is on the outside of the shell near the child’s left thigh. It states that the seat is both approved for use in harness mode and not approved in booster mode.
Expiration The SecureKid has a 6 year expiration. The sticker with manufacture date, model name and number, and expiration is found on the back of the seat next to the grey support pieces on the back.
- Easy to install
- DLX model has self tightening SureLATCH
- Can use LATCH in booster mood
- Narrow set harness straps do not have strap covers and can dig into the child’s neck uncomfortably
- Does not convert to backless booster
From the bare bones Institutional model up through the fancy Platinum model: the Evenflo SecureKid is a solid choice for big kids that have outgrown their rear facing convertible seat. With various options and feature levels to fit any price point, the SecureKid might be right for your Little! You can find it on Amazon.com.
Learn more about the buckle recall affecting certain models of this seat
venflo has generously sponsored a giveaway: use the Rafflecopter widget below and one reader will win an Evenflo SecureKid Platinum DLX of their own! US Residents only, ages 18 & up.
Giveaway is now closed, congrats to Misty M., the winner!
Evenflo provided the Institutional and Platinum models used in this review, but we were not otherwise compensated. Opinions, as always, are all our own!