So, you want a safe convertible carseat that’s nice-looking, will allow your child to rear-face to at least age 3 and forward-face in a harness to at least kindergarten? AND you don’t want to bust the budget to get all that? What to do? You check out the Evenflo SureRide DLX convertible carseat! For less than $100, you get a carseat that fits newborns to grade schoolers, and it’s often on sale. If you don’t want to buy another carseat until your child is ready for a booster seat (generally somewhere between 5 – 6 years old), the SureRide is a great choice. The SureRide has made our Recommended Carseats List as well as our Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel.
The SureRide DLX also has sibling carseats: the Titan 65 (Canada) and the Titan 65 with SureSafe Installation System (Walmart exclusive). They have the same plastic shell and differ only in fabrics and lower LATCH connector styles.
Weight and Height Limits:
- Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs. AND 19-40” or child’s head is 1” from top of seat shell
- Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs.
- 6 harness slot positions (4 for rear-facing, 3 for forward-facing—opposite for Canadians)
- 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
- Easy installation
- FAA approved for use on aircraft
- 6 yr lifespan before seat expires
- Made in the USA!
Harness slot heights: 6.5”, 8.5”, 10.5”, 14.5”, 17”, 19.25”
External widest point: 19 ”
Shell height: 26.5”
Crotch strap depth: 4.5”, 6.5”
Seat depth: 12.5”
Seat weight: 9.7 lbs.
For rear-facing, the plastic recline foot (aka the pitchfork) must be engaged to create a suitable recline angle. If you have steeply sloped vehicle seats and you need more recline you can use a rolled up towel or baby blanket underneath the recline foot. A pool noodle won’t work in this situation. SureRide must be installed so that the recline line stamped into the side of the seat is level with the ground. Because it’s a tall seat, this causes the SureRide to take up a fair amount of space front-to-back.
LATCH installation is generally easy, but moving the LATCH strap from the forward-facing belt path to the rear-facing belt path is a complete pain. And the seat comes out of the box with the LATCH strap routed through the forward-facing beltpath so you will most likely need to move it before doing anything else. The cover must be lifted from the seat and the LATCH strap threaded under the harness lap straps; you must be careful not to intertwine the straps. The white plastic strap holding the LATCH strap to the carseat grips the LATCH strap too tightly, making it tempting to just cut it off to free the LATCH strap from its imprisonment.
Most SureRide models come with basic hook-style lower LATCH connectors but the Titan 65 with “SureSafe Installation”, available exclusively at Walmart, has nicer push-on LATCH connectors.
Using the Tether
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.
Forward-facing LATCH weight limit: 50 lbs.
Center LATCH installations with Non-Standard Spacing:
Evenflo allows LATCH installation in the center seating position if the vehicle manufacturer allows it and the LATCH anchor bars are spaced at least 11” apart.
Inflatable Seat Belts
Evenflo has determined that the SureRide cannot be installed with inflatable seat belts found in some Ford, Lincoln, and Mercedes vehicles, and in some airplane seat belts.
Seatbelt installation is generally quick and easy too 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. Once your child reaches 5o lbs. you must discontinue using the lower LATCH connectors and switch to a seatbelt installation (plus tether) instead. 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.
Fit to Child
The SureRide is designed to fit children from 5-65 lbs. and the fit on the lower end is fantastic. Because it has such a large size range of kid to fit, the long harness has 2 sets of loops on the ends so it can be shortened for newborns and smaller babies. For newborns up to 10 lbs., the buckle can be shortened by threading it from the rear slot to the front slot.
There is a sizable distance between the 3rd and 4th set of harness slots that may cause an awkward harness fit on a rear-facing child. There’s nothing you can do about this other than turn the child forward, which we don’t recommend unless the harness simply won’t stay on your child’s shoulders.
Cover/Maintenance/Ease of Use
The cover is relatively easy to remove. It can be washed in the washing machine and dried in the dryer. To clean the harness, wipe with a sudsy washcloth and wipe off with a wash cloth that has water on it only to remove all the soap.
The SureRide is FAA-approved and because it’s so light, it’ll be easy to get through the airport. It definitely won’t fit to full recline rear-facing on the plane and that’s OK, unless you’re dealing with a newborn who needs it. One traveler has reported back to us that the SureRide didn’t fit through the security line x-ray machine, so be aware that you may need to factor in more time for the seat to be inspected.
The SureRide has a lifespan of 6 years and Evenflo wants you to replace it after any crash.
- 6 harness slot positions
- Easy-to-use harness
- 2 crotch strap positions
- FAA-approved—makes a great travel seat
- Weighs just 9.7 lbs.!
- Easy installation with LATCH or seat belt
- Made in the USA
- Pain to move lower LATCH connectors between RF and FF belt paths
- Large gap between 3rd and 4th harness slots can be awkward when your child is in between them
- Tall seat that must be put at full recline when rear-facing
Thank you to Evenflo for providing the SureRide DLX used for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.