The cheapest good-looking car seat to make the list, the Evenflo LiteMax 35 is also the seat with the fewest bells and whistles, fewest safety features, and most limited stroller compatibility.
Things We Love
- Nice Design, Limited Nice Colors: For such an inexpensive car seat, the design is pretty nice. We like it in Moon Shadow, Raven Jet, and Portland Tweed best.
- Taxi and Rideshare-Friendly (American Belt Path): The Evenflo LiteMax 35 has an American-style belt path, meaning the seat belt only attaches at two points and does not wrap around the back of the car seat. Although the American-style belt path isn’t quite as secure as the European-style belt path, it does still allow for a safe, quick, easy baseless install using a car’s locking seat belt. This is great news for city dwellers or frequent travelers who hail lots of taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts. (Note: Some car seat safety techs recommend using a rolled up towel or pool noodle when installing the car seat using the seat belt, especially on slopey seats. Always check for no more than one inch of movement side-to-side and front-to-back when installing your car seat without a base.)
- Inexpensive: At $90 – $150 (depending on color), this is the least expensive car seat to make our list.
Things We Don't Love As Much
- Basic Safety Standards, Nothing More: There is no special side impact protection, though this seat has been side impact tested and roll over tested. The base does not have an anti-rebound bar or a load leg.
- Rethread Harness: The harness must be rethreaded as your baby grows. This is kind of a pain, but thankfully, not something you have to do very often. (And honestly, not a feature you'd expect on such an inexpensive car seat.)
- Fine Canopy: The canopy is fine but nothing great. It doesn’t extend very far down to protect baby from sun and wind.
- Very Minimal Stroller Compatibility: Evenflo car seats are compatible with Evenflo strollers, which are decidedly not very good. They will also work with the Mountain Buggy Nano, and other strollers that secure the car seat with bands or ties rather than adapters and clips. In general, expect this car seat to work with no strollers worth buying.