Between its comfortable design and its convertible five-point harness to a booster, the lightweight and sturdy Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat, or its generic brand name, Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat Thunder, has quickly become a staple in American and Canadian car and airplane travel.
Parents can rest assured knowing that in addition to these features, Evenflo safety standards exceed federal requirements two times over. With its glowing performance reviews and low price point, it’s no wonder this seat is beloved by so many busy, on-the-go families.
Evenflo’s Commitment to Safety
When Evenflo, then known as the Pyramid Rubber Company first began its operations in the 1920s they created baby feeding products.
According to their website, “from 1935 through World War II, the Pyramid Rubber Company was the only manufacturer marketing standard nurser equipment featuring the first nipple that didn’t have to be pulled over the mouth of the bottle, but could be held in place on the bottle with a cap.” Here are some of their published successes and customer promises:
- The company boasts the ability to continue to innovate in ways that support families and find innovative solutions for their lives.
- The Maestro is no different in that goal to innovate for the betterment of parents and families
- The convertible five-point booster offers options for growing children to use the same seat for many years.
It is a forward-facing seat that can only be used as a highback and is not appropriate for children younger than two years old.
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Evenflo Maestro Safety Ratings
The ratings are in and parents can be confident in the safety of this seat.
- According to Evenflo, the seat has sides impact tested as well as strict company safety requirements. The seat meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards. The seat has been designed two times the federal crash test standard. Evenflo tests its seats at high and low temperatures.
- The seat meets FMVSS 213 and 302, plus Canada’s CMVSS 302 and 313.
- The LATCH feature on this booster, unlike others of its kind, can be used for a child up to 50 pounds.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), “all car seats must meet Federal Safety Standards and strict performance standards.” NHTSA does rate car seats on how easy it is to use the seat safely. The Evenflo Maestro scores 3 stars, which means the seat is average for ease of use compared to other seats of its kind.
Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat: The Basic Specifications
The Evenflo Maestro Booster is a two-mode forward-facing, highback seat ideal for toddlers ready to face forward.
The Evenflo Maestro Booster Seat Manual outlines the most important specifications for families to consider. This seat is meant to be used in the forward-facing mode only.
Specifications and Features:
- Weight: 9.6 pounds.
- Width: 19 inches.
- FAA approved in harness mode.
- Red tether to remind parents to utilize the tether feature in the installation.
- Machine Washable cover.
- Versatile and grow with children. The seat can be used either as a five-point harness or a traditional seat booster.
- Lightweight and compact. The seat weighs just 9.6 pounds and measures 19 inches wide.
- Perfect for air travel. The seat is FAA approved (when used with the 5-point harness) with a certification on the side of the seat.
- Excellent return policy. Evenflo promises a 30-day return policy regardless of the retailer and a 90-day warranty.
- Easy Cleaning. The seat fabric cover can be machine washed.
- Evenflo tests their seats to withstand two times more than the national safety standard. The red tether also reminds parents to utilize this feature during installation.
- LATCH System. The LATCH can be used up to 50 pounds.
- Cupholders. The cups are half plastic cups, half elastic, which doesn’t always hold the child’s drink in place.
- Difficult to adjust strap fit. A good number of parents report having difficulty adjusting the straps. Some parents report difficulty buckling and unbuckling the clips, too.
- Highback Booster only. This seat can only be used as a highback booster. The top does not detach from the bottom booster portion.
Evenflo Maestro Booster Expiration Information
Each Evenflo seat has the expiration date clearly attached to the car seat. The Maestro Booster expires six years after its manufacture date.
Parents should be sure to always check their car seat’s expiration date that is physically attached to the seat. Each seat comes with different specifications, so families should be sure about the expiration dates of their seats.
Installing the Evenflo Maestro Booster Seat with LATCH System
The LATCH is a system of lower anchors and tethers for children’s seats. Vehicles manufactured after September 1st, 2002, are required to include LATCH capabilities to make car seat installations easier and safer.
Using the LATCH system allows parents to forgo the seatbelt run through the back opening of the seat.
The LATCH system on Maestro Booster can be used until a child is 50 pounds, which means it can be used in the belt-positioning booster mode. This is somewhat rare.
You can find a step-by-step guide on how to install the seat using the LATCH system in your manual. Essentially, you’ll want to attach the seat to the lower anchor bars and secure the tether.
Installing the Evenflo Maestro Booster Seat with a Seat Belt
If your vehicle does not have a LATCH system, or you want a tighter seat fit, you can achieve a more secure install using the seat belt method, install using the seat belt installation steps outlined in your manual.
It’s important to understand your vehicle’s type of seat belt and be sure that it’s securely installed into the booster seat.
Don’t forget to always tether the seat, even when using the seat belt installation method and tighten the seat by putting all your weight on the booster and pulling the seat belt.
Fitting Your Child in the Maestro Booster
One of the most recurring pieces of feedback from customers about the Evenflo Maestro Booster is about tightening the seat straps properly.
Good Egg Car Safety says straps should be “snug to your child’s body – the straps should be tight enough that you can just slip two fingers flat between your child’s body and their collar bones.”
Oftentimes, parents do not tighten when putting their child in the seat each time. It’s recommended that every time a child is buckled in that the straps are properly fitted to the child.
Since some customers report that the Evenflo Maestro’s five-point harness straps can be difficult to tighten and adjust, so be sure to carefully review the manual.
Evenflo Maestro Recall and Solution
The following models used a harness crotch buckle which became difficult to unbuckle over time due to sticky substances (food and drinks). This made it more difficult for families to unbuckle and remove children from the vehicle. If the buckle is functioning normally, there is no risk.
- The United States 310 manufactured 8/22/2011-10/17/2013
- Canada 310 manufactured 10/3/2011-10/17/2013
Solution: Evenflo provided consumers seats with a free kit to replace buckles. Parents and families can order a replacement kit by calling 1-800-490-7591.
Cleaning the Evenflo Maestro Booster Seat
The Maestro seat covers are machine washable and can be easily cared for with a regular laundry routine. Please follow these steps:
- Wipe down permanent fixtures. all plastic and metal parts clean with mild soap and water and dry with a cloth.
- Clean the harness and buckles. Use the same method you cleaned the plastic and metal parts to clean the harness and buckles. Do not submerge the harness and buckles in water. Allow the straps to air dry.
- Washing the cover. You can wash the fabric seat pad on the delicate cycle on your machine.
- Drying Instructions. Tumble dry on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Here’s a quick highlight of some of the positive customer feedback of the Evenflo Maestro, which is generally very positive.
- It’s lightweight and versatile. Parents return to this seat again and again for its lightweight versatility.
- Children can grow with the seat. Many families keep this seat for years and use it for children as they grow-up.
- Keeps children safe in accidents. One mother reported this seat didn’t budget in a rollover accident.
- Great for flying with toddlers. Toddlers will fly safely in this seat and parents won’t lose an arm schlepping this lightweight seat through the airport.
- Difficult strap adjustment. Customers also report clips can seem buckled, but sometimes are not buckled.
- Low-quality fabric. Upon further research, it sounds like the blue fabric option for the Maestro might be the root of the fabric issues reported in negative reviews. One customer recommended purchasing a color other than blue.
Evenflo Maestro Vs. Evenflo Maestro Sport
According to Car Seats Comparison, the Maestro Sport offers a bit more comfort for varying child heights.
- Features slightly higher top harness slots than the original Maestro or Maestro Thunder. The slightly higher harness slots offer children a safer and more comfortable fit.
- Improved cup holder design. New cupholders now accommodate most styles of sippies and other to-go children’s cups.
- Easier to adjust the straps for a better fit around the child. The first model parents reported a bit of difficulty in adjusting the straps for an optimal, secure fit.
- More room to put the seat belt through the seat! Parents now report an easier time with the Sport maneuvering the seat belt into position on the seat.
- A slightly higher price point. The Maestro Sport is a higher price point than the Maestro or Maestro Thunder.
- Lower height and weight limits. The weight and height limits for the seat are a little lower than some of the more popular five-point harness convertible seats on the market.
There are a few specific Evenflo accessories, but most are more generally applicable accessories that can be used with most infant and booster seats.
This seat protector works with the LATCH system and prevents slipping of the seat from its position. It also helps protect the surface of your vehicle seats.
- Non skid textured surface helps prevent hazardous slipping
- LATCH lower anchors
- Stabilizing Wedge keeps Auto Seat Protector securely in place
Unbuckle the seat with ease using this release tool. It helps parents and caregivers more easily unbuckle children by attaching to the buckles of the booster.
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The Evenflo Car Seat Travel bag features a middle zipper down the length of the bag and around the bottom of the seat. It also has a shoulder strap for parents and caregivers to use while toting.
- Protects your car seat: from dirt, stains and damage while on-the-go
- Airline approved: protecting your car seat through your travels.
- Multiple carrying options: hands-free, adjustable shoulder strap or padded carry handle
These bags from a variety of manufacturers print “gate check” on the sides of the bag to easily communicate to airline workers that the seat will be checked at the gate and brought back up to the arrival gate at the end of the flight.
- Protects your child's car seat from dirt, germs and damage when gate checked
- Premium heavy-duty, water-resistant fabric; large ID box for your name
- Lockable drawstring closure, attached zippered stuff pouch, reinforced seams
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Evenflo Maestro recline?
No. The Evenflo Maestro does not recline. It is not considered safe to recline a forward-facing seat.
Does Evenflo Maestro have LATCH?
Yes. You can review how to install in the sections above. Evenflo designed a red tether to remind parents to utilize the tether feature in the installation.
How do I loosen my Evenflo car seat?
To loosen the car seat, parents should press the “lift to release” on the latch.
How wide is the Evenflo Maestro?
How much does the Evenflo Maestro weight?
How do I convert my Evenflo Symphony car seat to booster?
According to the manual (hyperlinked above), families can easily follow the instructions in the Evenflo user manual listed below. Please check the manual for pictures corresponding with each step:
- Remove the seat pad. This will allow you to access the harness more easily.
- Loosen the harness. By loosening the harness, you’ll allow the chest clip and buckle to go through the forward-facing belt path. Buckle child into seat.
- Tighten the straps. You should be able to barely fold the strap between two fingers.
- Insert lower anchor connectors.
How long are Evenflo car seats good for?
6 years after the manufacturer date.
The Mastero Keeps Kids Safe
As your child grows and reaches new milestones, the Evenflo Booster grows with your child.
Evenflo prides itself on rigorous safety testing and the highest production standards, all while creating a product that’s affordable for most families.
Despite its few negatively reviewed features (cupholders, strap adjustments, and lower weight maximum), the Evenflo Maestro Booster is an excellent choice for on-the-go families. Parents can rest assured that children will be safe and comfortable in this seat for many years.
Last update on 2020-07-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API