The Evenflo Triumph convertible car seat isn’t a new name in the Evenflo family of car seats — it was discontinued for a time and is now back on the market. The Triumph has a couple of unusual features that many families were quite fond of — the knob harness tension adjuster and the Infinite Slide harness. This updated version adds cupholders and some bright colors to our old friend. Come with us as we greet that old friend in a new way!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 5-40 pounds
- Rear facing height range: 19-37 inches and the top of the child’s head is at least 1 inch below the top of the child restraint’s seat back
- Forward facing weight range: 22-65 pounds
- Forward facing age minimum: 2 years old CSFTL advocates that children ride rear facing as long as possible
- Forward facing height range: 28-50 inches and the tops of the child’s ears are below the top of the child restraint seat back
- Highest harness slot: 16 inches
- Lowest harness slot: 7.5 inches with the rear facing infant insert, 8 inches without the insert
- Expiration: 6 years from date of manufacture
- Lower anchor weight limit: 50 pounds
- Seat weight: 10.8 pounds
- Width at widest point: 20.25 inches
- Seat pan depth: 12 inches
- Crotch buckle: 2 slots; 7 inches and 8.5 inches
- Shell height: 21.5 inches
- Plush cover
- Infinite Slide harness
- Quick Connector lower anchor connectors
- Tension Right knob harness tightening system
- Red tether anchor cover for visibility
- Lower anchor connector guides
- Elastic dual cup holders
Side Impact and Rollover Testing
Evenflo boasts both rollover and side impact testing. This is super interesting — we love it when manufacturers do testing above what is required! However, as of right now there are no federal standards for rollover or side impact testing so there’s not a standard way to evaluate how effective this testing is. All manufacturers test their car seats to meet or exceed the federal standards set in FMVSS213.
The Evenflo Triumph has a bottom pad for rear facing mode and a top pad that is inserted above kiddo’s head, around the cover. The pad can be added or removed at any child height or weight, but it’s only for rear facing use. We found that our tiny infant doll had a better fit with the padding in.
The cupholders are two half-cup shaped cutouts on either side of the seat, with a strap of elastic to keep in whatever is put there. I can confirm that they do hold in assorted cups and also act as safety belts for tiny bears if your toddlers so choose. Both jobs are equally important — cups and teddy bears alike!
The fact that the cup holders are slim is a space saving design. They do not jut out and make the seat’s footprint larger.
Infinite Slide Harness
This harness works differently than almost every other harness adjuster on the market. It slides on a track inside the seat and slides up and down. That’s very handy for parents or caregivers who have to transport multiple kiddos or just those who want keep up with their growing little ones.
Though it appears at first glance that the harness slides all the way to the top of the slits in the harness cover, it doesn’t actually go all the way up.
Instead, the Infinite Slide stops about half an inch from the top of the slit in the fabric. Loosen the harness by pushing down on the grey lever, and then pull slack out from the hips. Then, use the red tabs at the top of the harness to slide it up or down, and it will generally rest at the child’s shoulders with ease. Buckle the kiddo in, and turn the knob counter-clockwise. That’s it!
To remove excess slack from the harness, start at the top, removing the slack first from the child’s torso, then work your way down to the child’s hips rather than working up from the child’s hips like you would on pretty much every other car seat on the market.
Buckle Tongue Storage
The buckle tongues store in handy pockets on the side of the seat, which can keep them out of the way when buckling a kiddo into the seat. This feature can also keep the metal parts cool and covered during hot times of the year.
The harness adjuster is another thing that makes the Triumph a bit unique. The harness tightens via a knob on the side of the car seat’s shell, at the hips. This unconventional placement means that it’s pretty darn difficult for a kiddo to undo their harness when they aren’t supposed to. It also means that adjusting the harness only requires one hand and relies more on gross motor skills than fine motor skills, so caregivers with mobility issues in their hands may find the Triumph a terrific option.
Locking Clip Storage
Like many other seats currently on the market, the Evenflo Triumph does not come with a locking clip, but does have a spot where one can be stored on the seat itself. Locking clips are used to lock a lap/shoulder vehicle belt in case the belt does not lock for car seat installation, and in some cases to prevent a tip caused by the seat belt. Caregivers who need a locking clip can contact Evenflo directly to have one sent.
Crotch Buckle Positions
The Triumph has two crotch buckle positions. According to the manual, the crotch buckle must be in the position that is closest to but not under the child.
The crotch buckle does not come out of the seat. Instead, it slides along a track that’s between the crotch buckle slots that are in the seat pan.
To move the crotch buckle, simply twist the buckle’s webbing, then slide it along the plastic track, either forward or backward to the desired position.
Lower Anchor Connector Guides
The lower anchor connector guides can be very handy in vehicles where the lower anchors are buried within the seat bight. They come in a plastic bag in the box with the Evenflo Triumph.
Installation: Rear Facing with Vehicle Seat Belt
The Evenflo Triumph has one recline setting for rear facing mode, so it ends up being fairly reclined when it’s installed in the vehicle. In some vehicles, especially vehicles with a really deep seat bight, we found that the recline adjustment wasn’t quite enough to install the Triumph at the correct rear facing recline angle. In those cases, a tightly rolled towel or a pool noodle helped me install the Triumph at the correct angle.
Note: the Triumph ships in a forward facing recline position out of the box, so it must be adjusted for rear facing use.
To install the Triumph rear facing, thread the vehicle seat belt through the rear facing belt path, buckle it in, then remove the slack from the belt. Once the slack is removed, lock the vehicle seat belt and feed the slack back into the retractor. Check your work by giving the car seat a firm handshake at the belt path, the seat should move less than an inch at the belt path.
The Triumph’s recline angle adjusts by squeezing a handle at the front of the seat while pushing the shell backward to a more reclined position.
I encountered some difficulty with adjusting the recline, even when following the instructions in the manual. The manual indicates that the Triumph must be placed so that the recline indicator on the side of the seat is parallel with the ground, and then the seat should be tipped slightly as you pull up on the handle at the back of the seat. Then you can pull the recline mechanism lever and it will release the seat to shift into a different recline.
After using and having hands on the seat for a couple of weeks, I was left with a bit of a “tilt, lift, shimmy” sort of movement which could reliably allow me to adjust the seat most of the time. Perhaps my problem was my shorter wingspan — since I am a smaller adult — but the other adults who I engaged to try the seat also felt that it seemed a bit complicated. I believe that it would get easier to use over time but I also realize that moving the car seat between recline positions isn’t something caregivers tend to do very often so this probably isn’t an issue for most families. In most cases, this adjustment happens just once for rear facing and then again for forward facing, though there are two forward facing recline positions. We’ll get into that later, when we talk about forward facing installs.
While the lower anchor connector guides included with the Triumph are a really nifty option, I did not need them in my 2014 Durango. In other vehicles, where the lower anchors are hidden or deeper within a seat bight, using the guides might be just the ticket for caregivers who find installing with the lower anchors more arduous.
Installation: Rear Facing with Lower Anchors
The Evenflo Triumph ships with the seat set up for forward facing use, in a forward facing recline and with the lower anchors threaded through the forward facing belt path and attached to their storage spots. While this is a convenient way to show parents where to store the lower anchors when not in use, it produces an additional step when setting up the seat for rear facing mode.
The lower anchor connectors on our Triumph are the push-on Quick Connect connectors, with a red pull strap to help with removal. Some models of the Triumph come with standard j-hook style lower anchor connectors. The lower anchor connector webbing is attached to the shell via a white plastic cord. Caregivers simply swivel the lower anchor webbing into the correct belt path when switching the lower anchors between rear and forward facing modes.
To install the Triumph rear facing with the lower anchor connectors, thread the lower anchor connector webbing through the rear facing belt path, then connect the lower anchors to the vehicle. Remove the slack from the lower anchor webbing by pulling straight up while pushing down on the inside of the seat. Check your work by giving the car seat a firm handshake at the belt path, the seat should move less than an inch at the belt path.
Fit to Child: Rear Facing
Our Huggable Images newborn doll weighs 7 pounds and is 19 inches tall. She sits with her shoulders just under the bottom harness position. There was also a sizable gap between our newborn doll’s crotch and the inner setting of the buckle.
For a newborn to fit properly, I suspect that we’d need a rolled washcloth between baby and the buckle strap to fill in the gap. Our newborn doll is not a real baby, so it is hard to tell exactly how the seat will fit real newborns, but it’s possible that some average and most smaller babies might not fit properly in this seat from birth since the harness would need to be at their shoulders and not above. Without the rolled washcloth between her and the buckle, our baby could slide down, moving the harness above her shoulders.
When I used a rolled washcloth between baby and the crotch buckle, and made sure baby’s bottom was all the way against the back of the seat, there was a much smaller gap between the doll and the crotch buckle. A real baby would have a real bottom and a diaper and would fill out this space better, providing a better fit. As always, we suggest testing the fit on your real live baby before heading out for a drive.
2 Years Old
Our 2 year old model was a healthy 33 inches tall and weighed 31 pounds at the time these photos were taken. He rides rear facing most of the time, and happily modelled the Triumph for me in my car. In his regular car seat, he sits more upright so he seemed to want to sit up a bit more. Despite that change in venue for him, he did not seem uncomfortable in the Triumph. I kept the crotch buckle in the inner slot, because it was not under him, but I did remove the head and bottom padding because the harness fit him better without them.
Because of the required deep recline angle, he had a good amount of room for his legs to kick and play and he happily did so for most of the photo taking session. The happy pink color of this Triumph must have been a hit with this little guy! Our model could easily continue to rear face in this seat for several more inches, providing optimal safety.
Installation: Forward Facing with Lower Anchors
The Evenflo Triumph’s lower anchor weight limits are a high 50 pounds — the lower anchors can be used rear facing until the maximum rear facing weight of 40 pounds is reached, and forward facing they can be used until the child reaches 50 pounds. This high lower anchor weight limit means that many children might end up getting to use the lower anchors for quite some time while forward facing. Perhaps even through the duration of their forward facing usage of the seat.
To install the Triumph forward facing with the lower anchor connectors, thread the lower anchor connector webbing through the forward facing belt path, then connect the lower anchors connectors to the lower anchors in the vehicle. Remove the slack from the lower anchor webbing by pulling straight up while pushing the inside of the car seat back toward the vehicle seat back. Check your work by giving the car seat a firm handshake at the belt path, the seat should move less than an inch at the belt path.
The Triumph has the new and improved red tether anchor casing from Evenflo, which improves visibility of this vital part of your child’s car seat. Anything that helps caregivers use a seat more easily and keep their children safer is a big plus!
Installation: Forward Facing with Vehicle Seat Belt
Forward facing installation with the vehicle seat belt is straightforward as well. The Triumph has two recline settings for forward facing: the more upright setting, position three, is for children who weigh between 22-65 pounds and the more reclined forward facing setting, position two, is for children who weigh 22-50 pounds.
To install the Triumph forward facing with the vehicle seat belt, first attach the top tether loosely, then thread the belt through the forward facing belt path, buckle it in, then remove the slack from the lap portion of the belt by pressing the seat’s shell back toward the vehicle seat belt. Once the slack is removed, lock the vehicle seat belt and feed the slack back into the retractor. Check your work by giving the car seat a firm handshake at the belt path, the seat should move less than an inch at the belt path. Cinch up the top tether anchor webbing as a final step.
The Triumph’s harness adjustment system is incredibly easy! It adjusts by sliding the red tabs at the child’s shoulders up and down an internal track. For forward facing, it’ll always be at kiddo’s shoulders.
Fit to Child: Forward Facing
Evenflo echoes the current standard of recommending rear facing until at least age 2. We definitely agree! We were able to try this seat with a tall 4 year old who declined to share her photos for the review. She loved sitting up very high, and being able to see things out of the windows that she could not see in other seats that sit lower. She did have some trouble with buckling her own crotch buckle and we noticed that this particular style of chest clip tends to be harder for little ones to open, which is great for little escape artists. This model was really attracted to the pretty pink color with heart detail on the cover of the Triumph — it quickly made this seat a fan favorite!
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA Approval: The Triumph is approved for use on airplanes. The approval label is located on the left side of the base, with the approval notice boldly listed in red lettering.
Date of Manufacture: The date of manufacture label is on the back of the seat. As per the manual, the expiry range is 6 years from the date of manufacture. It is right above the manual storage spot at the back of the seat.
Manual Storage: The manual stores in a slot on the back of the seat shell. If the manual has absconded with the many socks lost in the dryer each week, do not panic! Evenflo has stamped their company contact information into the seat three times, with the recommendation to get a new manual directly from them if the one that came with the seat has been lost.
The way the recline function worked was oddly challenging, but perhaps I would have gotten better at it over time. It’s possible my overall size as a smaller adult worked against me in this case, but I feel as if the recline could function much more smoothly in a perfect world. That said, all car seats have their quirks! The relatively low rear facing height and weight limits make the seat somewhat short-lived, but for a shorter seat the 37 inch rear facing height limit is fairly realistic. The real-life fit for older kiddos is a bit disappointing, but caregivers can still see many years of use out of this seat when they purchase it for their rear facing infants and toddlers.
All in all, I really like the unique features like the Infinite Slide harness and Tension Right knob tightening system. The Infinite Slide Harness could be just the ticket for some special needs situations, for example kiddos who must sit unevenly in a car seat, and perhaps in other situations. The Tension Right system makes adjusting the harness quite simple. The unique features and bells and whistles definitely make the Triumph stand out in the field of lower cost car seat options.
Orginally written by Laurel, edits maintained by CSFTL.