The Evenflo Momentum convertible is back on the market after taking a break to get a fashion makeover. I’m pleased that this seat is available once again because I was always a fan of its features. Now, thanks to a team of talented Evenflo fashionistas, the Momentum looks as good as it performs! This seat offers the perfect blend of features from the popular Evenflo Symphony 3-in-1 and Evenflo Triumph convertible. It’s also one of the easiest carseats to use properly for younger kids of different ages and sizes which makes it a great choice for grandparents, babysitters and anyone else who needs one carseat that can be easily adjusted to fit babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Momentum Specs & Features:
- Rear-Facing 5-40 lbs.; 19- 37” tall and top of head is at least 1″ below top of carseat
- Forward-Facing 22-65 lbs.; 28-50” tall and at least 1 year old (AAP recommends rear-facing until at least age 2)
- “Infinite Slide” harness system easily adjusts to the perfect height for your child
- SureLATCH Connectors
- 3 recline positions (1 position for RF, 2 for FF)
- “e3″ Side-Impact Protection – thick, energy-absorbing EPP foam lines the deep headwings
- 2-piece infant insert
- Buckle pockets
- FAA approved for use on airplane
- Made in USA!
- Lowest harness height: (with insert) 7″
- Highest harness height: 16″
- Single crotch strap/buckle position: 6.5″
- Overall internal height: 25″
- External width at widest point: 20.5″
- Width of base: 11.5″ across the back
- Weight: 19.4 lbs. (according to my digital bathroom scale)
Both rear-facing and forward-facing, installation with the self-ratcheting SureLATCH connectors was quick and easy in the several vehicles I tried. However, I know from prior experience with these connectors that this isn’t always the case. Evenflo provides a nice tip in the instruction manual if you’re having trouble getting the LATCH belt to tighten sufficiently (below). If you still can’t get the seat tight enough (less than 1″ of movement from side-to-side and front-to-back when tugging at the beltpath), no matter what you try – switch to a seatbelt installation instead.
Switching the SureLATCH connectors from Rear-Facing to Forward-Facing: The Momentum shares the same unique method of switching the LATCH strap from the rear-facing beltpath to the forward-facing beltpath as the Evenflo Symphony. You will need to unhook the bottom of the cover and lift it up to see what you’re doing (otherwise you’re going to tangle the straps) but it’s pretty straightforward.
LATCH Weight Limit – LATCH can be used to install the Evenflo Momentum until the child weighs 50 lbs. Once your child exceeds 50 lbs. you need to discontinue using the lower LATCH anchors and install the seat using seatbelt plus the tether strap. Always use the tether strap when the seat is installed forward-facing with LATCH.
LATCH with Non-Standard Spacing – Evenflo allows all of their seats to be installed in the center seating position with LATCH if the spacing between the lower anchors is 11″ or wider AND if the vehicle manufacturer specifically permits using LATCH to install a carseat in the center. Just make sure you’re not blocking access to an outboard seatbelt buckle if you decide to use LATCH in the center seating position. You don’t want to create an unsafe situation for another backseat occupant just to use LATCH in the center.
Remember, once your child reaches 50 lbs. you must discontinue using the lower LATCH connectors and switch to a seatbelt installation (plus tether) instead. *Note: When installing with seatbelt you must move the LATCH straps into the other beltpath first and secure the SureLATCH connectors to the plastic clips on the cover.
Seatbelt installation is generally quick and easy but this seat does NOT have a built-in lockoff device for installations with seatbelt so it’s very important to understand how your seatbelt locks if you’re going to install with seatbelt and not with LATCH connectors. All vehicles made after 1996 have seatbelts that can lock in some way to hold a carseat tightly in place during routine driving. Most vehicles have switchable retractors but some vehicles or specific seating positions have locking latchplates instead. 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.
Do not use the tether strap for rear-facing but always use the tether strap when forward-facing if a tether anchor is available for the seating position being used in the vehicle. Tether usage is always recommended but not required.
Momentum has 3 recline positions on the base. Recline position #1 (fully reclined) MUST be used when installing the seat rear-facing. When forward-facing for a child weighing less than 40 lbs. you may install the seat using either the semi-reclined (#2) position OR the fully upright (#3) position. For a child weighing over 40 lbs. you MUST use the fully upright (#3) position.
There is a level line (recline angle indicator) arrow at the bottom of the sticker. The arrow should be level to the ground (make sure you’re parked on level ground) when the seat is installed rear-facing. If an appropriate recline angle cannot be achieved using recline position #1 then you can increase the recline angle by adding a rolled up towel or foam pool noodle under the base.
The Momentum is wide but it doesn’t take up a lot of space front-to-back when installed rear-facing. It has a “B+” rating for space in our Rear-Facing Convertible Space Comparison. This is good news for parents who need more leg room up front or for vehicles with smaller backseats. When the seat is forward-facing there are few compatibility issues – it tends to fit nicely in most vehicles as long as you don’t need it to fit next to another carseat.
Newborns – The Momentum comes with a 2-piece insert that supports an infant’s head and body. With the insert, average-sized newborns should fit well in this seat from birth. I measured the lowest harness height setting at approximately 7″ with the lower body insert. The inserts are optional and are only to be used in the rear-facing position. Remove them when your baby no longer needs them.
Older kids – Toddlers will fit very comfortably rear-facing until they reach the maximum weight or height limit (40 lbs., or 37” – whichever comes first). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ride rear-facing until at least age 2. The 37″ stated rear-facing height limit is very restrictive in this case because the Momentum has a tall shell and many kids could fit rear-facing longer if Evenflo increased the height limit. I measured 25″ to the top of the shell. For comparison, it’s the same internal height as the Diono Radian!
Pictured is a 41″ tall, 4-year-old who weighs 35 lbs. She is 4 inches over the rear-facing height limit but look how much growing room she still has! She would still fit with room to grow if Evenflo allowed rear-facing until there was only 1″ of shell above the child’s head. This seat offers good leg room for older kids with long legs and it’s wide enough to allow flexibility in how they position them.
Forward-facing the Momentum is wide and roomy and will accommodate kids comfortably until they reach the height limit (50″ tall or shoulders above maximum harness height). Almost all kids will outgrow the seat by height before reaching the 65 lbs. weight limit.
Ease of Use:
Because this seat has the “Infinite Slide” harness adjuster system, the harness straps tighten and loosen at the hips rather than at the shoulders. The adjuster is smooth and easy. The chest clip and buckle are also easy to use. Overall, the Momentum is one of the easiest carseats to use correctly.
Comfort & Convenience:
The Momentum cover is well padded and the seat itself is roomy in all the right places.
The buckle pockets are convenient as they hold the harness out of the way while you are loading and unloading your child. If you’ve ever had to fish buckle tongues out from under your child every time you put him or her in the seat – you know that gets old quickly. The buckle pockets are also helpful in shielding the buckle tongues from direct sunlight in hot weather. If you’ve ever touched anything metal that has been sitting in direct sunlight inside a broiling hot car you understand how helpful this added benefit can be.
The Momentum cover is *SUPER EASY* to remove and replace which is excellent news if you’ve ever struggled to remove, wash and replace a carseat cover. The cover is machine washable too! Machine wash separately – delicate cycle – cold water – mild detergent – tumble dry on low heat for 10-15 minutes and remove immediately.
FAA-Approval/Lifespan/Crash Guidelines/Inflatable Belts:
- FAA certified for use on airplanes
- 6 year lifespan before expiration
- Must be replaced after any crash
- Installation with inflatable seat belts is NOT allowed
Evenflo Momentum Advantages:
- Moving the harness height as your child grows is a cinch with the infinite slide harness
- Easy to tighten and loosen harness straps
- Relatively easy to install properly in most vehicles
- Doesn’t take up a lot of room front-to-back when installed rear-facing
- Good leg room when rear-facing
- Can use LATCH up to 50 lbs.
- Plenty of thick EPP foam
- Fits most averaged-sized full term newborns well
- Generous crotch strap/buckle position
- Buckle pockets hold harness out of the way while loading and unloading child
- Cover is super easy to remove and machine washable
- FAA approved for use in aircraft
- Excellent value for the price
- Made in the USA!
Disadvantages (In fairness, these aren’t necessarily problems but I list them here to inform potential consumers of specific Momentum issues):
- No built-in lockoff device to help with seatbelt installation
- SureLATCH isn’t a sure thing in all vehicles
- 37″ rear-facing height limit is lower than most other convertibles on the market
- Harness is not removable or replaceable
- Seat is wide (may be an issue if you’re trying to fit it next to another carseat)
The Evenflo Momentum is a great seat for families looking for a safe, comfortable and easy-to-use convertible seat that won’t force you to take out a second mortgage. The Momentum is sturdy and well-made and the fact that it’s made in the USA is a nice bonus. Overall, it’s a great seat with unique and innovative features. This seat is extremely easy to use correctly. The harness straps tighten and loosen easily with a central front adjuster mechanism. The only difference is that the straps tighten and loosen at the hips rather than at the shoulders. The infinite slide harness adjustment system allows you to easily set the correct harness height and quickly adjust it whenever the child has a growth spurt. There is nothing difficult or awkward about the buckle or the chest clip. Really, when it comes to ease of use – it doesn’t get much easier than this!
Thank you Evenflo for supplying the Momentum used in this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions expressed in this review are those of CarseatBlog.