If you want to keep your child safe while you’re driving around in the car, there’s only so much you can do. You might have a car with the latest safety features, and you might be a super careful driver. But you can’t control other drivers, and sometimes accidents just happen.
What you can do is keep your child in a car seat that will protect him as much as possible.
Are you looking for a car seat for a child who’s ready to move from rear-facing to front-facing? Don’t have a lot of money to spend?
You’ve come to the right place!
In this review, we’re going to tell you all about the Evenflo Maestro combination car seat. It’s affordable and it’ll do the job of protecting your little one. We’ll talk about the features, ease of use, and price to help you decide if this is the best fit for you.
You can click on a topic in the table of contents below, or just keep scrolling to read the rest.
Overall Ease of Use - 9/10
Crash Protection (harness) - 10/10
Fit-to-vehicle LATCH - 9/10
Crash Protection (booster) - 7/10
Weight and Height Limits
When you have the seat installed in the forward-facing car seat mode, there’s a weight limit of 22 – 50 pounds. It’s possible, though, that a child could still be under the weight limit but outgrow the seat by height.
The tallest a child can be to use this seat is 50 inches. You’ll be able to move the harness shoulder height up to 18 inches to accommodate your child.
When your little one is sitting on the seat, the tops of his ears must be below the top of the headrest. Once he’s taller than that, it’s time to move into a backless booster seat.
Children should also be at least one year old to use this seat. But they’re better off staying in a rear-facing car seat at that age.
Safety experts agree that children should sit in the rear-facing position until they’re at least two years old. The longer they can stay rear-facing, the better.
After that, they should stay buckled up in forward-facing car seats or boosters until they’re big enough to use a regular seat belt.
The booster mode has a higher weight limit. Your child can safely use the booster if she weighs 40 – 110 pounds.
There’s a height range of 43 – 57 inches in booster mode. And just like in the car seat mode, the tops of the ears must be below the top of the headrest.
Remember, it’s important for your child to stay in a booster seat until she can use a regular car seat belt.
A proper seat belt fit means two things:
- The shoulder belt is able to rest on the shoulder – never on the neck or arm.
- The lap belt can lie low and flat across the tops of the thighs – not riding up on the belly.
If both of those criteria don’t apply to your child, keep her in a booster seat.
The seat is 19” W x 20.5” D x 27” H. Because it’s only 19 inches wide, you can fit three of them across the back seat of a mid-sized vehicle.
It only weighs 11 pounds, so it’s easy to pick up and go with it.
Installing the Evenflo Maestro
It’s not hard to install the Evenflo Maestro using a LATCH system. Some people have a little trouble tightening it, though.
Here’s some advice:
Put your knee in the seat and let all your weight rest on it while you’re pulling the LATCH. That’s the best way to get it it good and tight.
Just like most things, this car seat has a few annoying imperfections.
One is that the shoulder belt can’t go beyond 19 inches in booster mode. That’s only one inch more than the height for the harness mode. So there’s not a lot of room for growth after your child is out of the harness.
Another is that the LATCH clips are hard to use. We hope that Graco will update them to the new click release buttons.
The Evenflo Maestro can also work as a high back booster, which provides a proper seat belt fit. It positions the shoulder belt across the torso and keeps the lap belt low on the hips.
The main disadvantage of other older versions of the seat is the lack of a height adjustable shoulder belt guide for the booster mode. The good news is that Evenflo now has the option to run the seat belt over the back of the seat instead of through the seat belt guide.
You can use the LATCH system to anchor the seat when it’s in booster mode. It’s a good idea to do this so that the seat doesn’t become a projectile when it’s not being used. You don’t want it flying up and hitting someone in the head if you’re in an accident!
For their safety, children should be in booster seats until they’re about 10-12 years old. You won’t be able to use the Maestro that long. So, after your child outgrows the Maestro in booster mode, you’ll need to buy a backless booster.
Evenflo Maestro Style Options
The Maestro comes in several nice color combinations:
“Thunder” Style “Wesley” Style “Easley” Style “Taylor” Style
Should I Buy an Evenflo Maestro?
Two things you should consider when you’re buying a car seat are the features of the seat itself and your budget.
The good thing is that the Evenflo Maestro rates well in both areas. It’s budget friendly, and it provides a high level of safety for your child. It may not be as fancy as some of the more expensive models, but it will protect your little one just as well.
You can check the current price of the Maestro at Amazon by clicking here.
Life can get pretty hectic when you have small children. It’s easy to forget the important things. But you don’t want to pass over the issue of your child’s safety in the car.
It’s really a no brainer – your kid needs to be in a car seat or booster until he’s big enough for the seat belt.
The Evenflo Maestro makes it simple for you to ensure that he’s protected. And it’s not going to cost you very much at all.
Remember, as when your child outgrows the car seat, you can convert it to a booster and keep using it for a while. Most kids will be able to stay in the booster until they’re 8 years old.
After that, you can find another seat to suit you. We recommend the Pinnacle 90 or Britax Frontier combination seats. Or you might go with booster seats like the Britax Parkway SGL or Clek Oobr.
To sum it up, if you just need an affordable seat to keep your young elementary age child harnessed, the Evenflo Maestro is a sure bet.
- Easy to install
- Budget friendly
- Can install using LATCH in booster mode
- 90-day warranty
- Low height limit
- Narrow harness straps can irritate child’s neck
We think that the Evenflo Maestro is one of the best budget-friendly car seats for kids over age 3 or 4. It’s not going to be the last seat your child will need, but if there’s a younger brother or sister in the family, you’ll be able to get some more use out of it.
This car seat is available at several online retail stores, including Amazon. If you’re going to buy online, it’s best to choose a trusted and reliable retailer. That’s why we recommend Amazon. They have secure ordering, a great return policy, and they almost always have the lowest prices around. Most of the time you get free shipping, too.
If this sounds like the best car seat for your family, you can go to Amazon today and get one at a great price by clicking below.