Evenflo Symphony Elite Review

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
March 14, 2020

husband with pregnant wife their son sitting car
Image source: freepik

Baby car seats should have standard safety features, such as extra side padding to reduce impact in case of an accident. The FAA-approved Evenflo Symphony Elite baby car seat provides E3 side impact protection, absorbing foam, and other safety features. We cover those features in our Evenflo Symphony Elite Review.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), your baby’s risk of dying in a car accident is reduced by 71 percent if he or she is strapped into a car seat. Evenflo’s Symphony Elite is one of the best-rated car seats on the market for child safety.  

The Symphony Elite runs larger than many other car seats, but it has lots of features and a sturdy build. You’ll need to install the seat in your vehicle and leave it there. There’s no infant carrier option available with this convertible car seat.  

This Evenflo Symphony Elite review features details about the car seat's features, pricing, and information about how to use it. The latest Evenflo Symphony Elite model is the DLX All-In-One car seat, which is available in several colors/designs.

Comparison Table

What is The Product?

The Symphony Elite Convertible Car Seat offers three seating modes, and it's safety-tested and designed for use by kids weighing up to 110 pounds. The Symphony Elite infant car seat is manufactured in the USA.  Evenflo has been making car seats and other products for close to a century.    

The Symphony Elite will last from the time your baby’s a newborn until he outgrows car seats. The Elite debuted in 2008, and several versions have been sold since then. (The latest Elite car seat is called the Elite DLX.) 

You may find additional names such as Pinnacle or Ocala, attached to the Elite Symphony booster seats. The additional names describe the car seat color and design.  

You install the seat in your vehicle as a car seat. You can't remove it and use it as a portable carrier. You can use the Symphony Elite in three different ways.

  • A rear-facing baby seat
  • A forward-facing seat
  • High-back booster seat

The back and front-facing seats have a five-point harness.

Some Evenflo Symphony car seats received the Best Bet designation by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

You won’t be able to use the seat in a rear-facing position as often as Pacifica or Filo brands. You’ll be able to use this car seat in a rear-facing position until your child is three years old, which gives you plenty of wear.

Parents can install the Symphony Elite without struggling. Adjusting the harness and straps are easy, too.

Slid the red harness tabs downward until the straps are at the child’s shoulders. Insert the tongues into the buckles. Pull the harness straps up to ensure that the tongues are securely fastened. Smooth any slack in the harness. Fasten the chest clip, and then snap the halves of the clip til they meet. Slide the chest clip to the child’s armpit. 

Check to make sure the harness straps fit securely against your child. The harness strap should be straight, without any bunching. It shouldn’t dig into the child’s skin or turn their body into an uncomfortable position. 

The FAA-certified car Evenflo Symphony Elite lasts eight years, so you can use it for big brother and little sister or give it to a friend or relative once your child has grown. 

The material covering the seat is soft, and not sticky or harsh like faux leather in hot weather. The covering is comfortable and won't harm a baby's delicate skin.

The Porter and Ocala models lack the buckle pockets that enclose the metal pieces.  Unprotected metal pieces may cause burns during hot summer weather.

Product Specifications

The product is available in six colors: Concord (black and silver), Paramount (black and gray), Modesto (blue), Ocala (red), Raspberry Sorbet (black and pink) and Porter (green).     

The Five-Point Infinite Harness Slide adjusts to fit your child. You won't have any problems moving your baby in and out of the car seat as the infant grows. E3 side impact materials protect your child from injury in case of an accident. 

You can adjust the five-position headrest as needed. The car seat features sure-latch connectors to keep the belt and your baby securely fastened in less than a minute. 

The Symphony Elite measures 19.5 inches high by 21.5 inches wide by 28 inches long. 

The crotch buckle depth measures six inches. The lowest position for the harness measures six inches with insert, and the highest position is 16 inches. Use the booster belt for a high position of 19 inches. The narrowest point at the top of the seat is 15.5 inches, and the cup holders provide the widest point at 21 inches. 

The steel-reinforced Symphony Elite frame helps support children who weigh five to 110 pounds. 

The seat holds a forward-facing infant weighing 22 to 40 pounds with a height of 28 to 50 inches. This Elite car seat holds a rear-facing infant weighing from five to 40 pounds with a height of 19 to 40 inches. Use the seat in its booster position for toddlers weighing between 40 and 100 pounds, with a height of 44 to 57 inches. 

This seat has two elastic cup holders for large cups. Choose buckle pockets i8n four color options. 

The baby car seat prevents side impact force for up to half with its three layers of E3 protection. There's a three-position recline up-front to keep your baby safe while he's awake or asleep.

There’s an Infinite Slide harness that doesn’t require rethreading, and a lower anchor that you can use for the booster seat.  

You can choose a car seat with a deluxe car backseat organizer. The organizer has a clear pocket with viewer window, two insulated cup holders, a pocket for tissues r wipes with a Velcro closure, and two pockets for small toys or other items.

The infinite slide, or no-rethread harness, lets you adjust harness height when your child grows. Use the front adjuster to tighten or loosen the straps. The straps loosen or tighten at the hips. (Most infant car seats contain straps that tighten/loosen at the shoulders.) 

Access three recline positions from the Symphony base. The first, full recline position is used for a rear-facing seat. A level arrow on the side of the Symphony indicates the level position. Use a towel or inflatable pool noodle to get the recline angle you want, if needed. 

Put the noodle or towel beneath the base back, close to the LATCH or seat belt, to get the desired angle. Use the second, semi-reclined position if your child weighs between 22 and 40 pounds. The fully-reclined third position is perfect for kids 40 pounds or over, but it can also be used for children who weigh between 22 and 40 pounds. 

You should also switch to the seat belt and a top tether once your child reaches 40 pounds. Switch to the third, fully-reclining position when you use the booster seat.  The LATCH anchors should be attached to the seat when you leave your vehicle since you'll need to use the seat belt to secure your child to the Symphony Elite for your next trip.   

The Symphony Elite fits large or average newborns, but you might need to use a rolled-up towel for the space between your baby and the crotch strap. You can choose only one buckle slot position for your child. 

The booster seat fits most children well, although it does have limitations when it comes to rear-facing usage. The height limit doesn't allow you to accommodate many larger elementary school-age children. Radian RXT, NextFit, and other brands can fit larger children. 

How It Compares

Father in Son
Image source: freepik

This Evenflo Symphony Elite review has provided an overview of opinions from parents and experts to tell you what it’s like to use the car seat with your child’s comfort and safety in mind. The review also compares the Symphony Elite to other car sets for babies so you can make an informed buying decision.  

Evenflo Symphony Elite

The Porter and Ocala models don’t have buckle pockets. The bottom headrest positions only work with the rear-facing placement. You can use two recline positions in the forward-facing mode and only one in the rear-facing mode. 

The seat is somewhat short, so you’ll need to use the booster mode or invest in a backless booster seat. Some consumers write that you can’t adjust the crotch buckle, so it might not be tight enough. Kids may move around so much shoulder straps on the seat become loose.     

The top of your child’s heads should be an inch below the headrest in the three lowest headrest positions.

The Evenflo Symphony Elite fits children who weigh up to 110 pounds; the Graco and Britax seats only work for children up to 65 pounds.

Britax Convertible Car Seat

Britax bills itself as a leader in safety technology. This car seat has several layers of protection on the sides of the seat, three layers of protection against impact, and an Anti-Rebound bar.

The ClickTight hi-tech system lets you install the car seat quickly. The Britax Convertible Car Seat has a 14-point harness to adjust as your child grows. (The Evenflo Symphony Elite only offers a five-point harness.) The forward-facing position holds children up to 65 pounds, and the rear-facing position holds children weighing up to 40 pounds. Parents like the Britax for its impact protection, appearance, and ease of use.

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Seat

A best-seller on Amazon.com, this car seat adheres to US FMVSS 213 standard and has been crash-tested to assure safety for your child. This Graco baby seat features the InRight LATCH installment system and an adjustable harness system that lets you adjust the harness and headrest height in one motion. 

Use as a front or rear-facing seat. This Graco car seat has more leg room for babies and toddlers, a ten-position headrest, and six-position recline. The Graco car seat, like the Britax, offers more positioning features than the Symphony Elite.   

There’s a four-position panel that gives your child up to five inches of extra leg room for safer rear-facing riding. Children weighing up to 50 pounds can ride in the seat in the rear-facing position.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Lasts for eight years with regular maintenance 
  • Demonstrated safety record during actual crashes
  • Made in the United States 
  • Booster mode fits kids up to 110 pounds 
  • Has FAA approval
  • Offers a no-rethread harness
  • You can machine wash and dry seat covers
  • Use the LATCH system in booster mode
  • Adjustable headrest

CONS

  • You can’t immerse any part of this seat in water unless you can rinse it.
  • Cup holders only hold large or sippy cups 
  • Five-point harness; other car seats have up to 14

Conclusion

Child safety seat in the back of the car
Image source: freepik

The Evenflo Symphony Elite gets 4.5 stars for its list of safety features, including impact-absorbing foam liners, latch connector and E3 side impact protection. 

This car seat has a sturdy build, attractive, high-quality fabrics and an optional organizer to store toys and wipes. Installation takes 60 seconds, so you can have the Symphony Elite car seat ready to go in no time. 

The Symphony Elite has many safety features, and it's FAA-approved and independently tested for its ability to protect your baby in case of an accident. 

You should always consider your baby’s age, height, weight, and how often you’ll travel with the baby before buying a car seat. You should choose a car seat with more safety and seating adjustment features if you plan to go on long trips with your child. 

Our Purpose

Simple: To write awesome guides. Kids don’t come with instructions. We are not afraid to dive right in and get messy. The result? The most detailed guides on the internet; from gear guides to parenting advice.
Copyright © 2022 parent.guide All Rights Reserved