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Those of you who are shopping for a car seat for your toddler, run, don’t walk, as far away as possible from the Evenflo Triumph DLX.

Oh, sure, we were like many of those others who gave the thing 5 Stars. It’s sturdy, roomy, and apparently has the structural strength of an F-18’s ejection seat. When Lucas first outgrew his combo carrier/carseat, we went with the Evenflo, as it was a relatively new product that was highly rated by many pubs (typically coming in second behind the Britax). And for a time it was great.

But that was then, “then” being when Lucas was several inches shorter and several pounds lighter.

A few weeks ago, we found that the straps were a bit tight. So we adjusted – rather, tried to adjust the size. First, we removed the Removable Pillow System (System? It’s ONE FUCKING PILLOW. Note to self: never again will I buy a product that claims to have a System. Nor will I buy a product that claims to be “Extreme”.); this gave him a little more room. Then we adjusted the straps’ height up a notch. This resulted in the straps becoming tighter.

Evenflo, of course, claims that “the non-twisting 5-point harness is easy for parents to fasten”. Horseshit. The “non-twisting straps” were, in fact, as twisted as a David Lynch movie, and the Tension Knob (possibly as a result of the twisted straps) was useless (although you have to hand it to the Evenflo people – they have a fantastic grasp on irony, naming the Tension Knob as they did. There was tension, all right; the last time I ground my teeth that hard was ten years ago, at a Halloween Rave). What’s interesting is that reading the reviews, most of the folks that seem to love it are people that have recently purchased it; those that are having problems with it have kids roghly Lucas’ age and size.

The nice thing about the seat is that it’s relatively lightweight and easy to install, so I should have no problems removing it, walking it across the street, and flinging it off the seacliffs.