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Evenflo Sonus Review

My Evenflo Sonus review is the first of its kind since becoming certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) by the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada (CPSAC). It was really fun to tackle this review and test the seat through my newly opened CPST eyes.

Remember, if you are looking for assistance choosing, installing, or using a car seat, I can support you in person (in Calgary) or across the country (via text or video) through Car Seat Cubs!

First of all, let’s talk price. Back in the day, I used to assume that a higher-priced seat meant a safer seat. The Evenflo Sonus is CAN$119.99, even less on sale. There are many car seats on the market with retail prices well north of $300. All car seats sold in Canada undergo the exact same testing as prescribed by Transport Canada. More expensive seats have more ease-of-use features, plusher covers and are constructed with more expensive materials. However, they are not safer. A properly installed and correctly used $129 seat is, in fact, safer than an incorrectly installed $400 seat.

As you will see in my Evenflo Sonus review, this seat, while lacking the fancy bells and whistles, is an easy install, both rear- and forward-facing. Its price point means many parents with pricier seats may like it as a second seat for the grandparents’ car or for travel, but it’s also a seat I am comfortable recommending as an everyday seat in your main vehicle. In fact, dare I admit that I actually like the Sonus better than our $300+ Radian R100? Cub has been riding in the Sonus every day, aside from the two days I let Little Miss Cub try it rear-facing, much to Cub’s very vocal chagrin.

Evenflo Sonus Specs

The Sonus is categorized as a convertible car seat. It can be used rear-facing and forward-facing. No assembly is required, and it is easy to switch between modes.


  • 5 to 40 lbs (2.3 to 18 kg)
  • 19″ to 40″ (48 to 102 cm)
  • Top of head is at least one inch (25 mm) below top of car seat shell


  • 22 to 50 lbs (10 to 22.7 kg)
  • 28″ to 50″ (71 to 127 cm)
  • Tops of the child’s ears are at or below the child restraint seat back.
  • At least two years of age

Rear-Facing Review

There are four harness slots available for rear-facing, with the highest at approximately 12.75 inches (32 cm). The seat is outgrown when the child hits the height or weight maximums or has less than one inch of space between the top of their head and the top of the seat.

It can, in theory, be used right from birth with a minimum weight of 5 lbs (2.3 kg) and the lowest harness slot at 5.5 inches (14 cm). The lowest slot was much higher on the hand-me-down Baby Trend bucket seat I brought Cub home from the hospital in, and I cringe looking back at the straps so high above his shoulders! I have not yet seen a newborn in the Sonus, but it is certainly not an impossible option. The crotch buckle must be routed differently for babies under 10 lbs (4.5 kg), as explained on page 40 of the manual. The harness straps can also be shortened for smaller babies (see page 37).

Little Miss Cub fits nicely in the Sonus on the highest harness height available for rear-facing. She currently weighs 24.4 lbs (11 kg) and is 32″ tall (81 cm). She normally rides in an Evenflo Symphony DLX, which has her a lot higher up in the vehicle than the Sonus, but she didn’t seem to mind riding lower.

One of the primary concerns when choosing a rear-facing seat is whether or not it interferes with the safety and comfort of the passenger in front of it. I have Little Miss Cub’s seat on the passenger side of our 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring because it is safer for me to offload her onto the sidewalk when we park. I am about 5’8″ (173 cm) and with the Sonus installed behind my seat, I am able to sit with about two inches (five cm) of space between my knees and the dashboard. My seat has to be slightly more forward with the Sonus than it does with the Evenflo Symphony, which is normal since the Symphony has an adjustable headrest, so it’s not set at its tallest when used in rear-facing position. In this picture, the Evenflo SureRide is on the passenger’s side for comparison.

I installed the Sonus rear-facing using the UAS (Universal Anchorage System). One of the downsides of the Sonus, though normal for the low price point, is that it comes with non-premium lower anchor connectors. These can be more challenging to clip onto and remove from your vehicle’s lower anchors, especially if they are set deep into the seat bight (the crack where your seat backs meet the seat). Although not available as of right now, it will probably be possible to order quick connectors for the Sonus at some point.

To use the Sonus in rear-facing mode, you click out the rear-facing recline foot and make sure the lower anchor connector strap is routed in the rear-facing belt path. (And you carefully study your manual and your vehicle owner’s manual before getting started.) The Sonus has a fixed recline, meaning that you must install the seat parallel to the ground according to the arrow molded onto the seat base. The arrow is hard to see, so I like to put a piece of coloured tape alongside it so it’s easier to assess the recline  angle. Depending on the shape and slope of your vehicle seats, you may need to place a tightly rolled and taped towel in the seat bight to support the seat at the right angle. I am able to get the right angle without using a rolled towel in our vehicle. I used to think that needing a rolled towel to get a proper install was an indicator of a poor-quality seat and that more expensive seats wouldn’t require such a trick. While having to use a rolled-up towel or a pool noodle to get the right angle with your rear-facing seat is annoying, it is not unique to lower-cost seats.

The Sonus comes with an optional head pillow. I didn’t find it made much of a difference for Little Miss Cub’s comfort, and she didn’t seem to have much “head slump” when sleeping since the seat is quite reclined.

I attempted to install the Sonus in rear-facing mode using our vehicle seat belt as well, just for funsies. Because the seat is so light (it weighs about 15 lbs/6.8 kg), the seat tends to tip when installed with the lap/shoulder belt because the shoulder portion of the belt puts a lot of upward pressure on the seat. Stefanie at The Monarch Mommy successfully used a locking clip to get a non-tipping install, but that’s just too finicky for me. Ideally, your vehicle has a spot with lower anchors where you can install the Sonus. You can use UAS to install the Sonus up to the maximum child weight of 40 lbs (18 kg) since it is such a lightweight seat.

Rear-facing installation video

Forward-Facing Review

Having struggled with installing our (much more expensive) Radian R100 forward-facing for Cub, it was quite delightful to so easily install the Sonus. For one thing, since the seat is so light, I can still use UAS to install it. (Typically, you can do a UAS install up to a combined child and car seat weight of 65 lbs (29.5 kg). Since the Sonus weighs 11.5 lbs (6.8 kg) and it can accommodate a maximum child weight of 50 lbs (22.7 kg), you can use UAS to install it 100% of the time.) With a knee pushing the seat downwards, pull up on the UAS strap to tighten (use the Inside/Outside Trick), attach your tether and you’re done. (Check that the seat doesn’t move more than one inch from side to side when tugging at the belt path with a firm handshake.) The seat belt install for forward-facing is equally easy.

I really love the low-profile of this seat, which allows Cub to easily get into the seat by himself. Cub is adamant that the cup holders are very awesome and otherwise seems to have no opinion on the seat. (No opinion is good, since it means he has no complaints.) Evenflo is known for having harness straps that can dig into the child’s neck because the straps are fairly close together. While the Sonus straps do touch his neck, Cub seems not to care. I usually just pull the fabric from his shirt collar up a bit to protect his neck, but I have also placed an order with Evenflo for harness covers.

At 45″ tall (114 cm) and 43.8 lbs (20 kg), Cub is already on the top harness slot on the Sonus, but he has room to grow. I am not sure in which of the four ways he will max out this seat first. Remember that this seat is outgrown forward-facing when the child is over 50 lbs (22.7 kg), taller than 50″ (127 cm), when the top harness slot is no longer even with the shoulders (it falls behind the shoulders) or when the tops of their ears are above the back of the seat.

It is worthwhile noting that kids with a lot of height in their torso or who are heavier may still need another harnessed seat before they can transition to a booster.

As mentioned earlier, I really like this seat forward-facing. It’s our regular seat right now, and I’m unsure if I’ll bother putting him back into our Radian. We have a road trip to Vancouver (about a 13-hour drive) this summer, and I think he’ll be plenty comfortable in the Sonus for the journey. Plus, if we need to switch into my parents’ vehicle upon arrival, this lightweight seat will be much easier to switch out than the Radian. I do not plan to put Cub into a booster seat until he is at least six years old, and I’m curious to see if he makes it to age six in the Sonus. (If he doesn’t he will go into the Evenflo Sureride, another awesome, very affordable convertible seat.)

General Observations about the Sonus

The chest clip is difficult to move: I love it.

It is very difficult to slide the chest clip up and down along the harness straps. I like this for a couple of reasons:

Continuous harness: You just need to understand how it works.

As with most lower-cost car seats, the Sonus has a continuous harness. This means that the harness is a single piece. You may find one shoulder strap is tight while the other is loose. Don’t panic! This is easy to fix.

Sometimes I find continuous harnesses prone to twisting, and at the most inconvenient times (like, while I am standing in the pouring rain), I have to untwist a strap that is suddenly backwards. After a month of daily use, I have not had this issue with the Sonus.

Hip straps often sit over thighs: Totally safe.

Some parents are confused because the Sonus hip straps don’t come out of the back corners of the seats but from the sides. You’ll see what I mean here:

This means that the straps sit more over the thighs of some kids than over their hips. This is fine.

Shoulder straps can dig into necks: You can purchase harness covers.

As mentioned above, this doesn’t really bother my kids. However, it’s easy to order compatible harness covers from Evenflo if you need them.

The seat pad is easy to remove and clean: Hallelujah!

Thanks to Velcro on either side, near the cup holders, it is very easy to pull up the seat cover to access the belt path. It’s also easy to remove the cover entirely for washing. The cover can be machine-washed in cold water on delicate and air-dried. If you have a puker or a pooper or pee-er, this is perfect. In the worst case, you can even order a replacement cover from Evenflo. The seat cover is also very soft and comfortable: it has a memory-foam feel to it.

Considerations when choosing the Sonus:

  • The weight maximum of 50 lbs (22.7 kg) is not always enough to get a child to the booster stage. If you have a larger-than-average child, consider the Sureride, which goes up to 65 lbs (29.5 kg) and 54″ (137 cm).
  • This seat fits very differently in different vehicles, sometimes seeming very compact and sometimes seeming quite large when rear-facing. Try before you buy!
  • To achieve the correct recline, you made need a tightly rolled towel. Always tape the towel so that it remains rolled once in place.
  • The seat can be prone to tipping when installed rear-facing using a lap/shoulder seat belt. If you don’t have a position with available UAS in your vehicle and you need to use it rear-facing, this might not be the seat for you.
  • The seat base must be fully supported by the vehicle bench in rear-facing mode. (This could be problematic if you have very short vehicle seats.)
  • This seat has an age minimum of two years to be turned forward-facing. (Yay!)


Despite also owning a much more expensive seat, I am in no hurry to uninstall the Sonus forward-facing now that this review is done. I am very happy with it as my son’s everyday car seat. I will be bringing it to install on WestJet in August, and I think its easy install, low profile and light weight will make it the perfect travel car seat. For rear-facing, it can take up a lot of room front-to-back, but this seems very dependent on your vehicle seat geometry. Toys “R” Us should let you install their floor model so you can try it out.

This is one extremely affordable and extremely user-friendly seat that can take your average kid from birth all the way to booster-readiness.

Buy the Evenflo Sonus on Amazon.ca via my affiliate link

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59 responses to “Evenflo Sonus Review”

  1. kathy downey

    Thanks for the detailed review,my daughter will be in the market for a car seat real soon i will be passing this review to her.

  2. Fanja

    Thank you for this very accurate and interesting review! I m currently looking for one and you give me all the aspects I have to compare the products. Excellent !

  3. Carole D

    Thank you for this great review, I’m looking for a car seat for my granddaughters.

  4. Dee

    This is a great review. I am definitely one of those people who think the higher priced seats must be better. So it’s nice to know that this seat is just as safe and reliable.

  5. Melanie Lapierre

    Merci pour les commentaires concernant le Sonus. Je passe le message à Mamie et Papi qui se cherchent un bon siège pour les fois où ils gardent les petits enfants! 🙂

  6. Melissa Bissett

    Très intéressant. Very useful information.
    We are looking for a new car seat and this one seems to be perfect for my family.

  7. Tera Penton

    Thank you for doing this review we currently have the evenflo titan 65 for our main seat but bought the sonus last week on sale for a visiting relative and then it will be my 16 month old daughter back up seat. May even become her main seat depending on if it gives more room for me as the passenger in front of her. I love its 2 year minimum for forward facing because so many argue that 1 year is enough and it isn’t.

  8. kristen visser

    wow what a fabulous seat and such a great review! very detailed and information. the seat looks super comfortable and of great quality. love that the chest clip is difficult to move! i had one with my oldest (till i bought a different one) where the chest clip kept moving! it was so annoying always having to adjust it! this seat seems so perfect and decently priced

  9. Jeannine c

    Thank You for the wonderful review! We’ve been looking for an affordable second seat for my husband’s truck.. we may need to go to toys r us this week!

  10. Ann

    Thanks for this review. We have an Evenflo Symphony Elite (I think that’s the one) already and love it. I was surprised to find that I could fit two Evenflo car seats next to each other in our van. Could you fit 2-3 across of this one?

  11. Monique L.S.

    I’m glad the seat is easy to install, and looks so comfortable. Thank you for the detailed review.

  12. Danielle Petryshyn

    I love how easy this looks to install, and I love the price point!

  13. Wendy

    We are currently looking for a car seat to put in my (Nana) car. This sounds like a fantastic option. Thank you so much for this very detailed review.

  14. Jodi

    Thanks for the detailed review and in particular for mentioning the thigh positioning on the belt. We bought this last week on sale (thanks for the tip) and I was wondering about the positionning over my baby’s thighs. Glad to know that’s fine!

  15. […] Win an Evenflo Sonus Car Seat (July 6, QC ok, Daily) Enter here […]

  16. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I do like this car seat and I especially like the hip belt position, seems to me that the child would be held much more safely in the seat in case of an accident. This was a great and in depth review, thanks for sharing. 🙂

  17. Kristen K.

    We are just starting the process of investigating carseats now, so this review was super helpful. It blows my mind how much carseats cost!

  18. Tannis W

    This sounds like a very affordable seat that also will work well for many children and vehicles. It seems like it would be very versatile.

  19. Janet M

    I like that the seat pad can be removed for easy cleaning. It is always frustrating to clean it well.

  20. Joan

    I love that it seems like it would be easy to install. Perfect for Grandparents car!

  21. Sarah Thurston

    Love the comparison to the sure ride 65
    Looks like a very sleek compact seat.

  22. stephanie

    This is a great review. I’m overdue with my first and we bought one of the $400+ seats. However, my parents are looking for a seat for their car and, because they live a few hours away, they don’t need the seat to be anything other than safe! I’m going to send my mum the review to check this one out. The only thing that I don’t like is that the higher weight limit is about 15 lb less than the seat we bought, so it won’t be usable as long.

  23. nicolthepickle

    It looks like a really good carseat. I especially like that the seat pad is cleanable.

  24. ivy pluchinsky

    This looks like a great car seat! I love the features of this seat!

  25. Gina M

    Thank you for reviewing the Sonus! I bought one and my daycare provider is using it! Got it on sale and with an additional coupon from Toys R Us so super affordable!

  26. Jenny Ragan

    Best detailed review I have read, and perfect timing as I’m in the market for a new car seat for my 9 month old

  27. Elisheva Mayerhoff

    This car seat looks really modern and safe. I would really love to give it a try!

  28. This is likely the best and most thorough carseat review that I have ever read! Well done Lindsay and thank you for the tip about adjusting the slack from one shoulder strap. You have just made my life easier!

  29. Tia

    What a great review! Even though my son is still in a bucket seat it’s good to start looking now 😊

  30. Alexandra elsa

    Most important things is to have every baby safe in A car

  31. Angelehm

    I never really checked out the Evenflo car seat before, it is pretty impressive , how could I have missed this!? I appreciate your hands on tutorial on the proper installation very helpful! Thank you

  32. Betty S

    Thank you for the great reveiw, I will certainly have a better knowledge of what are needs will be

  33. Natalie

    Great review of a budget friendly seat, love seeing more options for lower income families.

  34. Stacey K.

    Love the Sonus! Great price and great limits.

  35. Lisa May

    Great review! Was planning on getting one of these seats!

  36. Kim R

    Would love to give this seat a try! Great review!

  37. Devon Chan

    Thank you for the review! I think this is an amazing new option for parents. I love that it has higher RF slots than the Sureride, that it’s narrow and lower-profile, and that it’s so plush and comfy!

  38. Irene

    Thanks for the chance to win this awesome car seat…

  39. Christine D

    This review is SO informative! The low profil is awesome for smaller cars! Love the design too! Thanks for the great information, it would be a perfect fit For my son.

  40. AnikaNielsen

    Super informative! Thank you!

  41. Jessica N.

    Love reading about more budget friendly car seats. Oh and the clip is hard to move, that’s what we need!

  42. Leana

    I like how affiordable this option is. So much baby gear is overpriced and out of reach on a maternity leave budget.

  43. Diana P

    Thank you for such a great review. This car seat seems safe and easy to use!

  44. Nikki Lambertus

    Fantastic first review of a car seat as a CPST! I love that you mentioned just because a car seat is less expensive does not mean it is less safe! Cheers!

  45. Nicole Penney

    Amazing review! I would love to be able to try this car seat in my car with my kids I nanny! The car seats I have now are so difficult to clean when someone has an accident.

  46. Ariana Gomez

    nice seat and love that keeps rear facing longer for babies

  47. Bailey

    I’ve been thinking we should get a back up seat and this seems like it would be perfect!

  48. Silvia D

    thank you for the great review. Deciding on a car seat is so hard, too many out there! Reallylike thisone!

  49. Theresa Cledomin

    Thanks for this great review
    I am looking at new seats and have been considering this one, definitely on my list after reading this review

  50. Tanya Nix

    Looks like a great budget friendly seat, we’re buying a second vehicle soon and need new seats for my 3 kids under 5.

  51. Jackie M

    Thanks for the awesome review on the car seat. We are expecting August 2017 and haven’t purchased a car seat yet. Love how this carseat grows with the child and can be rear and forward facing. Thanks for the chance!

  52. Katie Lawrence

    Thanks for the review! I have one Eddie Bauer car seat and one Evenflo right now and the Evenflo is the clear winner. Kid #2 is about the outgrow her seat, so I’m definitely in the market for a new one. It’s really nice to see a review from someone that actually knows what they’re talking about!

  53. Nikki A

    This is a great review. We’ll soon be in the market for a convertible car seat for our baby, so we will keep this one in mind.

  54. Cheryl H

    Thanks for the great review on the sonus! I love evenflo products and I have used them will all my kids! Excited to learn about this one

  55. Stephanie

    Good review very detailed

  56. Kate Hearn

    Thanks for the info. I’m due in December and have been trying to figure out stuff (my first born is 6 so I’m a little out of practice with baby stuff).

  57. Amanda Fonstad

    Thank toy for reviewing this car seat! It has really helped me understand the pros and cons of the Evenflo Sonus.

  58. Jen

    Hello! We just bought the Sonus and are finding it a real challenge to get the lower anchor connector strap with a tight enough fit when rear facing. We are used to having connector strap tighteners on either side of the car seat (Britax Pavilion) which seem to tighten it easily. Is there a trick to getting it really tight? Should it be that hard? Thank you!

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Welcome to my Wolf Pack!

My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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