Until a child can pass the Five Step Test, they need to ride in a booster seat. Often, this is when the child is between 10-12 years old. Finding the booster that fits your child well, fits your vehicle well, and will last can be tough.
Evenflo has finally brought their E3 technology into the booster world and their new booster might be that perfect one for you! Check out the RightFit that Evenflo so generously provided for this review!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- High back booster weight range: 30-100 lbs. (Canadian version is 40-100 lbs.)
- High back booster height range: 38-57″
- Backless booster weight range: 40-110 lbs.
- Backless booster height range: 40-57″
- Highest booster guide position: 18.5″
- Activity light on both sides at shoulder
- 12 height positions for the back
- Expiration: six years
- IIHS Best Bet
Let us start with opening the box. Right away you can see it has some pretty serious head wings on it. The booster comes in three pieces. It can be both a high back booster and no back booster. Unlike some of the other Evenflo boosters, this booster goes together in a snap, literally. The back portion snaps right into the bottom and stays locked in place until you release it.
You can see in this picture how it compares to the Evenflo Big Kid Sport. The E3 foam that is integrated into the head and back rest on the RightFit definitely bulk it up. E3 foam is Evenflo’s specially engineered foam that is layered in their E3 seats and claims to reduce crash forces in side impact crashes by up to 50%. You can see how much more surrounded the head and torso are in this new seat. They did have to narrow the internal seat width some to keep the same overall width on the bottom of the seat. This seat will still work great in a three across because of that (preferably next to a rear facing seat), but it does make it a tighter fit for bigger kids.
While installation of boosters tends to be easier than harnessed seats, the Evenflo RightFit did have some installation issues. When using the booster at its highest setting, it did not fit upright in the outboard positions in the third row of the Town and Country. The wings were so big, they ran into the side of the van and caused a significant tilt. It would work using a lower headrest setting though. It did work well for three across in that row, but only at very low settings. The captain’s chair installation was much more successful. It worked great in the Chevy Cavalier though. The kids could easily use it at the tallest setting without any issue. It was definitely meant for that car!
The belt guides on the RightFit are very narrow. The Evenflo RightFit did have problems in the van with the belt sticking and not retracting back through the belt guides. This of course leads to dangerous belt fit if not corrected. Evenflo made slight changes to the design of the belt guides to try to help facilitate the belt movement. The seat did not have any issues with the belt retracting correctly in the Cavalier though. Here you can see the narrow belt guide as well as the fun activity lights that are on both sides of the seat. They run on AAA batteries and the kids have a blast using them.
For those not familiar with the seat belt retraction issue, what happens is a child leans forward in their booster and when they lean back, the seat belt does not retract. This leaves the belt loose in front the child instead of flat across their chest and shoulder. The child then has to manually retract the belt to be correctly positioned. Here is a picture of Ilana after leaning forward. It could be worse, but you can see there is now a gap at her shoulder instead of the seatbelt being flat against her.
Evenflo is being a leader in the car seat industry and putting a 4 year minimum on this booster instead of 3 like many other companies! Kudos to Evenflo! Not sure when to move to a booster, Making the Switch can help. The 8, 6, and 4-year-old we used (don’t worry, she was just a model since she’s easily the size of a 5-year-old) all had wonderful belt fit in both vehicles they tested the seat in. The lowest belt guide position is 14″ and the highest is approximately 18.5″. The 6-year-old and 8-year-old are using the highest position with a bit of growing room. The 4-year-old was using the highest back rest position and lowest head rest position. With the innovative way this booster adjusts in both the head rest and the back rest, there are twelve different adjustment combinations possible. There are four back rest positions and three for the head rest. You can see here the difference between the traditional adjuster on the Big Kid Sport and the two different adjustment levers on the RightFit. Both of these are at their highest adjustment.
This is Olivia, she is 4.5, 42″ and 42 lbs. This was in a Chevy Cavalier. You can see the lap belt is nice and low on her lap and the shoulder belt crosses nicely on her shoulder. She was very comfortable in the seat and now constantly asks to use it instead of her harnessed seat. Nice try! As Olivia is not yet five and mature enough to use a booster, she will stay harnessed for a while longer.
This is Ilana, she is 6.75, 47.5″ and 62 lbs. in the Cavalier. You can see the lap belt also is nice and low on her lap and the shoulder belt crosses nicely on her shoulder as well. She has a longer torso for her age so doesn’t have much room left to grow.
Here is a side view of her so you can see how well surrounded her head and torso are. She finally was able to fall asleep and not worry about trying to stay upright. There was no way to fall over in this one!
This is Evan, he has been using the RightFit in high back mode but is modeling it backless in the Town and Country. He’ll be 9 in three months, 49″, and 58 lbs. You can see the lap belt is nice and low on his lap as well and the shoulder belt crosses nicely on his shoulder. The seat does come with a belt adjuster for use in backless mode, but he did not need it.
AJ tried it out as well, but found it much too narrow for him even though it is rated to 110 lbs. He’s 10, 55″, and 98 lbs and still rides in a booster because he does not pass the 5 step test. He is taking a break here from his drink (brain freeze!) and utilizing the cup holders that are in each of the armrests. They looked to be in a bit of an awkward spot, but no drinks were spilled in the making of this review so it must not have been too awkward for the kids.
A few months after the initial review we had the chance to pass the RightFit along to another member of the CSFTL team. When her daughter turned six, she was ready to start that transition from harness to booster. There were a few things that were needed from this booster; it needed to fit a petite frame, needed to work in a three across, and needed to not have shoulder belt retraction issues. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! At 6, Addie is 37 lbs., 43.5″, and using the very bottom adjustment of the seat; you can see how well it fits her. She will have years and years of growing room left in this seat. The 2012 Dodge Journey and has zero seatbelt issues like I did above. She is also able to use the RightFit in a three across with a forward facing Diono Radian 100 and a Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40. This seat is working out great for them!
The best thing about this seat is the colors it comes in! Ok, maybe not the best, but it’s great to finally have a good selection of colors for a booster that older children will appreciate. CSFTL reviewed Yoshi (green), but there is also Capri (blue), Citrus (yellow), Holly Hock (purple), and Stop Light (red, of course). The fabric is nice, soft, not scratchy at all and the pads all come off and are machine washable and can be put in the dryer (every mom’s dream feature, no more waiting for the cover to dry or sticking kids in wet seats!). The cover comes off in a unique way though. There are four little knobs that have to be turned to separate the cover and the pad from the booster frame, then retightened to put it all together. It does take some extra time, but it will be great because there is no way for the cover to slip off the booster like almost always happens over time.
Overall, it gets a thumbs up and I think Evenflo definitely moved in the right direction with the RightFit! While it had some installation issues with it in the van, it should work well in most mid-sized sedans. It is hard to find boosters sometimes for a three across, so this is a bonus feature for those who need to transport a car load (or van load) of kiddos. You can buy the RightFit online from Amazon.com or from Babies ‘R Us. The RightFit was awarded a Best Bet rating by the IIHS for 2013 in both high back and backless mode.
Thanks to Evenflo for providing this seat for review. I was not compensated in any way for this review, opinions are all my own.