The Evenflo Platinum SecureKid DLX is an upgraded version of the Evenflo SecureKid that we reviewed thoroughly here. This SecureKid model has many innovative safety, comfort and convenience features which make this seat an excellent choice for families looking for a lightweight, comfortable, forward-facing only seat that will grow with their older child.

The SecureKid is a forward-facing “combination” seat (Evenflo refers to it as a “Harnessed Booster”) that can be used with the 5-point harness until the harness is outgrown by weight or height and then the seat can be used as a belt-positioning booster using the vehicle’s lap/shoulder seatbelt. I like to think of combination seats as “Stage 3″ seats that are most appropriate for preschool and school-age children.

 

Platinum SecureKid DLX Specs:

  • 5-point harness: Forward-facing only for kids 22-65 lbs, at least 1 year old, height 28- 50″ tall (shoulders must be at or below top harness slots).
  • Booster with vehicle lap/shoulder belt: 40-110 lbs, at least 4 years old, height 43 – 57″ (top of ears must be below the top of CR headrest).

 

Platinum SecureKid DLX Features:

  • 4 sets of harness slots
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • SureLATCH self-ratcheting lower anchor connectors
  • Energy-absorbing “e3″ foam lines the back and sides of the headwings for enhanced protection in side-impact crashes
  • Height-adjustable head support
  • LATCH attachments can be used in booster mode
  • Buckle Pockets hold buckle tongues out of the way when loading child into seat
  • OUTLAST performance fabric
  • Dual integrated cup holders
  • FAA approved for use in aircraft (with 5-pt harness)
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration

OUTLAST® Performance Fabrics absorb hot and cold temperature, releasing as needed. Outlast® technology, originally developed for NASA, utilizes phase change materials (PCM) that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort.

This technology has the ability to:

  • Actively absorb and store excess heat, helping to reduce overheating
  • Allow the child to stay at a balanced temperature and prevent chilling during the cooler months; if the child’s skin temperature drops, the stored heat is released
  • Reduce perspiration so the child stays drier and more comfortable

The thermal image below shows the difference in body temperature after 30 minutes of sitting in the same style carseat – one with OUTLAST®  fabric and one with regular fabric. If you live in a warm climate or just have a kid who is a sweatbox – this technology will help keep your kiddo feeling comfortable all year round.

Evenflo OUTLAST thermal-image

 

Buckle Pockets have been added to this “Platinum” SecureKid model and that’s a major bonus if you’re like me and you hate having to fish the buckle tongues out from underneath your child every time you put them in the seat. They also keep the metal buckle tongues out of direct sunlight when your car is parked which helps to prevent them from heating up to the point where they might actually burn your child as you’re buckling him/her up.

    

 

Platinum SecureKid Measurements:

  • Harness slots: 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″
  • Crotch strap/buckle positions: 5 1/2″, 7 1/2″
  • Booster height:  19 1/2″ to bottom of headwings with headrest in tallest height position
  • Weight:  14 lbs (according to my digital bathroom scale)

 

Installation Comments:

With LATCH:

The self-ratcheting SureLATCH connectors make installation using your vehicle’s lower LATCH anchors quick and easy. Once you attach the SureLATCH connectors to the lower anchors in your vehicle, the flat edges on the sides of the beltpath are designed to push the SureLATCH connectors up and in at the perfect angle which makes the retractor inside the connector work perfectly to take up the slack and give you a tight installation. A proper installation means that the seat is tight and doesn’t move more than 1″ from side-to-side or from front-to-back when you tug on the seat near the beltpath. Honestly, the entire LATCH installation process, including attaching the tether strap to the tether anchor in your vehicle takes only two minutes – tops. It’s easy enough for grandparents, babysitters and even ex-spouses to use properly. ;)

Evenflo SK SureLATCH connector   Evenflo SK Plat - LATCH install closeup

Evenflo SK Plat - LATCH install   Evenflo SecureKid - tether

LATCH Weight Limits: LATCH can be used to install this seat until the child weighs 48 lbs. Once your child exceeds 48 lbs. you need to discontinue using the SureLATCH connectors and re-install the seat using the seatbelt plus the tether strap.

Non-Standard LATCH Spacing: Evenflo allows installation of the SecureKid in the center seating position with LATCH if the lower anchors bars are spaced 11 inches or wider AND if vehicle manufacturer permits a LATCH installation in that seating position.

With Seatbelt:

Seatbelt installation with top tether is generally quick and easy too but this seat lacks a built-in lockoff device so it’s important for the user to understand how the seatbelt in their vehicle locks. All vehicles made after 1996 have to have seatbelts that can lock to hold a carseat tightly in place during daily routine driving. Most vehicles use switchable retractors but some vehicles or specific seating positions have locking latchplates instead and it’s important to know what your vehicle has and to understand how these features work before you install this carseat with a seatbelt. See your vehicle’s owners manual for specific information on how to install a carseat in your vehicle using the seatbelt. If you have questions, please visit our car-seat.org forum and we’ll be happy to help answer them.

Always remember to attach the top tether strap to the tether anchor in your vehicle even if you’re installing a forward-facing carseat with the seatbelt!

 

Fit to Child Comments:

With 5-point Harness

This seat is appropriate for children who have outgrown their rear-facing convertible seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ride rear-facing until at least age 2. For this reason, we do not recommend this seat for children less than 2 years old even though Evenflo states that the minimum age requirement to use this seat is 1 year old (and at least 22 lbs.).

The high weight limit on the 5-point harness combined with tall top harness slots gives this seat good longevity. Most kids won’t outgrow the 5-point harness until age 6-7 and by that time they should be mature enough to safely transition to using the seat in booster mode.

The child pictured is 7.5 years old, 52 lbs and 46″ tall. As you can see in the photos below, not only does she still fit in the 5-point harness but she still has growing room! Since she is over the weight limit for the lower LATCH anchors (48 lbs.), the seat is installed with seatbelt and tether and the SureLATCH connectors are stored on the sides of the seat – clipped onto the little rings that are attached to the cover.

Evenflo SK Plat - Roselyn harness  Evenflo SK Plat - Roselyn harness close-up

As a Belt-Positioning Booster

The Evenflo SecureKid will provide optimal belt fit for most kids in the recommended age/size range and it has a “Best Bet” booster fit rating from the IIHS.

This child also fits well in this seat in booster mode and has room to grow. Although the LATCH connectors are stored in these pictures – Evenflo allows you to secure the seat using the SureLATCH connectors and tether strap in booster mode while using the seatbelt to secure your child. There are no LATCH weight limits when using the seat as a booster because in this case the LATCH connectors are just securing the weight of the carseat while the seatbelt does the real work, restraining the child in a crash.

Evenflo SK Plat - Roselyn booster  Evenflo SK Plat - Roselyn BPB belt fit

Truthfully, there is no way this seat will fit a child weighing 100 lbs. or more in booster mode. Realistically kids should fit comfortably until about 80 lbs. unless they outgrow the seat by height first.

 

SecureKid Platinum Advantages:

  • Lightweight
  • Generous height & weight limits
  • Easy to install properly with LATCH or seatbelt
  • Easy to tighten/loosen harness straps
  • Harness straps are thick and not likely to twist
  • Buckle pockets hold harness out of the way while loading and unloading child (major bonus!)
  • Deep headwings are good for sleeping and for enhanced side-impact protection
  • OUTLAST fabric reduces sweating in warm weather and helps to keep your child warm in cold weather
  • Can use LATCH in booster mode
  • FAA approved for use in aircraft (with 5-pt harness)
  • Good belt fit when used in booster mode
  • Cover is relatively easy to remove for washing
  • Harness and crotch strap are replaceable if necessary
  • Made in the USA!

 

SecureKid Platinum Disadvantages: (In fairness, these may not be a problem for everyone but I list some potential disadvantages that may be an issue for some parents.)

  • Harness might not be long enough to accommodate kids who at the top of the weight and height range
  • Lacks harness strap covers
  • No recline setting
  • No lock-off device to help with seatbelt installation
  • Seat needs to be uninstalled to move harness straps to a different height
  • In booster mode the shoulder belt guide is easy to miss and will be impossible for most kids to navigate on their own
  • In booster mode the lap belt guide requires some maneuvering to get the belt tucked under the “lip” of the guide

 

The Bottom Line:

The Evenflo SecureKid is a popular forward-facing carseat with excellent features. That’s why it’s been on our list of Recommended Seats for a couple of years already. It’s lightweight, easy to install and easy to use properly. The 5-point harness should accommodate most kids until age 6-7 and they can continue to use the seat as a booster after the harness is outgrown. In booster mode it probably isn’t tall enough to be the last seat your kid will ever need, however, by the time your child is too tall to use the SecureKid in booster mode they will probably be big enough and mature enough to just use an inexpensive backless booster until they can pass The 5-Step Test.

The addition of buckle pockets and OUTLAST temperature-regulating fabrics on the “Platinum” model just add to the list of things we love about the SecureKid. The fact that it’s made in the USA is icing on the cake.

The Evenflo “Platinum” SecureKid DLX is available exclusively at Babies R Us for $159.99

The non-platinum SecureKid DLX model is available at Amazon - it offers almost all of the same features but doesn’t have the OUTLAST fabrics or the buckle pockets.

Thank you Evenflo for supplying the Platinum SecureKid DLX in this review. No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed are entirely those of CarseatBlog.