01 of 05
Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat Review
No one imagines they'll be the one who leaves a baby in a hot car. Yet, each year, tragedy strikes families when a caregiver does exactly that. The new SensorSafe technology from Evenflo is designed to help prevent hypothermia deaths by alerting parents that the baby is still in the car. The company debuted the SensorSafe technology on the Embrace DLX infant car seat, and they were kind enough to send me a seat to review.
The SensorSafe piece of the seat is incredibly easy to use. There's a... small receiver that plugs into the OBD port in your car, which is usually found near the steering wheel. As long as your car is 2008 or newer and is a gas or diesel engine, the receiver should be compatible. If you have a hybrid, you may need to call the company to get a different receiver. Plug in the receiver, and when you turn the car on for the first time, you'll hear a tone that tells you the receiver is working. It will not make that sound every time you turn the car on, only the first time after the receiver is plugged in.
The transmitter is in the car seat chest clip. When you secure your baby in the infant seat, the SensorSafe system will be working once you buckle the chest clip and begin driving. You have to drive for at least 30 seconds for the tones to sound, though. If the chest clip is unbuckled once you begin driving, the tones will sound. Then, when you stop the car and turn off the engine, a series of tones sound to remind you that your baby is in the car. The sound is not loud or scary, but it is different from other car noises, so you're not likely to tune it out. It's a really clever and simple way to give a reminder to check the back seat.
Car Seat Features Review
- 4 to 35 pounds
- Infant head cushions, buckle cover, sun shade, and cold-weather boot included
- 6 years to expiration
- Harness slots at 4.75", 7", and 9.5"
- Front adjust harness
- Center (crotch) buckle slots at 4.75", 5.75", and 7"
- Buckle storage pockets at the sides
- 10" hip width
- 19" back shell
- Base has 3 angle adjustment positions
- Dial level indicator on base
- Premium LATCH connectors with pull release
When it comes to installation, the Embrace with SensorSafe is fairly easy to manage. When installing with LATCH, there are premium connectors with a pull-release instead of a push-button. The connectors are very easy to click into place, and if you have trouble, you can use the plastic guides that come with the seat. Releasing the connectors takes a pretty good tug. You won't have to worry about a small child accidentally releasing them, which is good, but you may need to use all of your power to yank them out.
The belt path is wide and fairly smooth, so it's easy to work with. There are no built-in-lock-offs, but I didn't have any trouble installing this base tightly in any of the three vehicles I tested it in. The angle adjusting foot has three positions, which was enough to achieve the correct angle in all three vehicles.
The combination of harness slot heights and buckle positions provide a great fit for my average size newborn doll. The harness has an extra set of loops on the ends, so when your baby gets bigger, you can switch to the outermost loops and have a bit more adjustment room in the harness. There's also a unique setting for the crotch strap, where you can feed the webbing through more than one slot to create a shorter length buckle for a newborn. If you want to use that setting, you should carefully read the instructions and follow the manufacturer's weight guidelines for that unique arrangement.
On the other end of the baby spectrum, the 19" shell height and 35 pound weight limit mean that your baby should be able to use this car seat for 18 months to 2 years, and possibly beyond. Remember that your child must have an inch of shell above his or her head in order to be safe in the rear-facing car seat.
Overall, the Evenflo Advance Sensorsafe Embrace DLX infant car seat is a nice option that is easy to install and use correctly every time. The Sensorsafe feature is not obnoxious and doesn't require a lot of extra steps to work properly. If you're worried about the possibility of leaving your baby in the car, this technology may provide some peace of mind.
Heather Corley is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
SensorSafe Receiver Plugged Into OBD Port In Car
The SensorSafe receiver is plugged in near the foot pedals in this 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The receiver is the black rounded piece at the center, to the left of the light.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
SensorSafe Transmitter In Chest Clip
The SensorSafe transmitter is inside the chest clip of the car seat. When you buckle the chest clip, the transmitter tells the receiver that a child is in the car. If the clip is unbuckled while the car is moving, the tones will sound. When you turn the car off, the tones will sound if a child is in the car seat.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
SensorSafe Embrace DLX Base
The stay-in-car base has a three-position angle adjuster foot. The premium LATCH connectors have a pull release instead of a button (the red loops on the right). The car seat has a front-adjust harness and includes a winter boot.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Ebrace DLX Infant Car Seat with SensorSafe - Harness and Buckles
The Evenflo Advance SensorSafe Embrace DLX infant car seat has a nice, padded cover for the buckle stalk, plus three positions for that buckle. There are buckle pockets on the sides so that you can store the metal pieces out of the sun in the summer so they don't get so hot, and so that you can easily get your child into the car seat without fishing around for the pieces you need to clip in.