Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review of the Evenflo Titan Sport Car Seat

I don't think I've ever reviewed a commercial product on my blog before, so you can be assured that I have strong feelings about this one: I do NOT like the Evenflo Titan Sport!

We bought a pair of these seats last year to use as our second set in my car. At that point, Paul was usually dropping the kids off and picking them up at his mom's house every day, so we didn't think we would use them very often. The reviews I read online seemed adequate - a few referred to difficulty adjusting straps, but most users seemed to be pleased. We've had a very good experience with the Evenflo Triumph Advance seats that we've had in Paul's car ever since Atticus and Norah came home, so I figured that the Titan model would give us the same easy-to-use quality in a safe seat while being significantly cheaper (the cost really adds up when you're buying two seats at a time!).

WRONG! I hate the Evenflo Titan. The past 17 months have been full of car seat loathing. Shortly after we bought the "extra" seats, Paul's schedule changed and I started picking the kids up every day, which means that I have to deal with the dreaded Titans each afternoon. These seats are so ridiculously difficult to adjust, and never seemed to fit either of the kids just right. Despite many, many attempts, they never seemed to be completely secure and would rock back and forth more than they're supposed to. To clean the covers, you have to un-install the entire seat and undo the buckles where they're held on in back. After I washed the covers once, following the instructions, they looked terrible and had gathered a lot of fuzz. They've faded more than I would consider to be normal in a year and a half. The buckles twist pretty much every single time I put the kids in their seats and then the straps are difficult to untwist. Driving with twisted straps is a safety hazard, and I'm betting a fair number of parents end up doing it because it's so time consuming to fix them every time you have to go somewhere.

The kids are now big enough for booster seats and I bought a set of Graco TurboBoosters today. They've been using a set in my dad's car after preschool each day and it's worked out well (aside from Norah moving around too much before we got her the high-backed version instead of the backless booster). I was loathe to spend the money replacing the Titans that were supposed to last for another couple of years, but I really do hate them that much and have some doubts about how safe they are if they're so difficult to properly adjust. The kiddos were delighted to have their seats indoors and spent most of the evening playing with them and requesting to be strapped in.

Come to think of it, if the Titans provide us with a place indoors that the kids are happy to be confined, they might have been worth the money after all...

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