evenflo_car_seat_bby_fullWhen I found out I was going to be a mom, a big ball of fear set in. There is so much to get organized and a tone of research to before the arrival of the baby. One of these major things is finding not only a car seat, but the right car seat, suitable to your needs. I found out very quickly that car seats are a hot topic for a lot of first time parents and they should be because they are one of the most important aspects of keeping our children safe while driving. Recently, Best Buy Canada sent over an Evenflo Stratos Boulder Convertible 2-in-1 Car Seat for my review (Best Buy carries many styles of Evenflo baby seats)and I’m happy to share my thoughts, especially coming from a first time mom’s point of view.

evevnflo_car_seat_bby_carLet me first say, I know there are many car seat models out there to choose from and finding the right one can be a very daunting experience. It’s reassuring to know that the Evenflo brand is a fairly common and trusted one when it comes to the car seat arena. Safety is first and foremost for me when looking for a suitable car seat and second is the ease of installation. I’ve been trying out the car seat for the past week and I’ve been fairly pleased with it. My son, who is 10 months old, though not able to speak, seemed very happy, comfortable and safe in the seat. Happy baby equals happy mommy.

Convertible or not to convertible?

So what exactly does it mean when a car seat is convertible? Convertible car seats can be used either rear-facing or forward-facing and is considered a “Stage 2” car seat. It’s simply an infant seat in addition to an early toddler seat combined into one. Many parents choose to skip out on the “Stage 1” infant car seat and go directly to a convertible seat. But, if your infant appears to be on the lighter side in terms of weight (under 5 pounds), the convertible is not recommended.

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Remember, if a convertible car seat is what you are thinking about buying, it is more of a permanent solution in the vehicle. You lose the convenient features of an infant seat, one that you are able to remove from the car as needed and add to your current stroller with an adapter. I know that for us, being able to remove the car seat was a big help, especially when the baby was asleep. However, now that he’s getting bigger, we have to go through the hassle of finding an alternative seat to replace the current set up.

Evenflo Stratos Boulder 2 in 1 Key safety features

The Evenflo Stratos Boulder 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat expires 6 years after the date of manufacture. The rear-facing weight capacity range is between 5 lbs to 39 lbs, which is approximately newborn to age 2 years. The front-facing weight capacity range is 22 lbs to 64 lbs and should be fitting for your toddler from ages 2 to 6 years old. Keep in mind these are all very approximate ranges (you notice the overlap in the weight ranges from rear to front-facing) because every baby and child is different. Even though it’s suggested you keep your child in the rear-facing position until they are 2 years of age, if your child is taller than the average, you may need to switch them before they hit their second birthday.

Without getting overly complicated with the technical jargon, at first glance you can see that the car seat has sufficient padding all around, which offers advanced side impact protection that’s designed to compress on impact and help reduce the risk of injury, in case of a car accident. For added protection and safety, it has also been rollover tested in the event of a rollover accident to ensure the seat is structurally safe from every angle. There are 6 shoulder harness strap heights and it also has an easy to adjust 5 position head rest to accommodate your child’s growth.

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The car seat design is convenient and smart

Full disclosure right now, I am not a handy person. The idea of installing a car seat scared me. I’d have to say, the Evenflo Stratos Boulder 2-in-1 Convertible car seat was fairly easy to install in my VW Tiguan SUV. The car seat takes just a few minutes to install thanks to the ‘Quick Connector’ technology and LATCH guides. The connectors click into place in the car tether with ease although when trying to tighten, I found you really needed to give it a good tug. If you are ever concerned with your install, you can call the local police or fire department non-emergency line and they can direct you to a person certified to help and check your install.

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Digging around for belt buckle straps is extremely annoying and frustrating especially when dealing with a baby in a bad mood. One really cool feature are the protective buckle pockets located on the sides of the car seat. With these buckle pockets, you can slip your straps and buckles in snug to the sides for easy access to them later! The car seat conveniently has a couple of dishwasher safe and removal cups, both great for storing toys, snacks or bottles. The seat pad can be easily removed so you can wash it, which is gravely important.

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A great car seat at a great value

With the Evenflo Stratos Boulder Convertible 2-in-1 Car Seat, you get a safe, smartly designed product without having to break the bank. For a product that will last you a good 6 years, I’d say it’s a smart buy. If looking for a more stationary solution in a car seat, going 2-in-1 convertible may be the better fit.

Keep your eyes out for the Evenflo Stratos Boulder Convertible 2-in-1 Car Seat, coming soon to BestBuy.ca.