Evenflo Sonus 65 Review – Lightweight Convertible Car Seat with 50″ Harness Limit

Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat

Evenflo Sonus 65

Overall Rating
4.2/5
Face Rear & Front

The Evenflo Sonus 65 is an affordable car seat for travel for families on the go. With its lightweight and compact design, multiple headrest and recline positions, and great weight and limits of 65 lbs/ 50″, the Evenflo Sonus 65 is a good car seat option to grow with your child with protection and comfort.

*Price may change due to e-commerce platform and brand sales promotion.

Evenflo Sonus 65 Review - Lightweight Convertible Car Seat with 50" Harness Limit

1. Who Is It Best For?

Will the Evenflo Sonus 65 Be a Good Fit For Your Child and Family?

The Evenflo Sonus 65 has been designed with newborns and toddlers in mind. Typically, I would say that this is more of an option for families who travel a lot given its design, but after all, that is down to personal preference.

If you want a car seat that you occasionally use for short road trips to the store or air travel, then the Evenflo Sonus 65 is a good option for you. It’s compact and lightweight for easy carry, but lacks premium features for safety, comfort, and installation, making it less appealing for daily pickups or long road trips.

If you are looking for a convertible car seat that you’ll be able to use often, the Sonus 65 is not the one for you. Instead, check out my list of the best convertible car seats.

See also:

2. Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

3. Value for Money

Is the price tag worth it?

Compared to some other convertible car seats on the market, the Sonus 65 is relatively affordable, at a budget price of around $119.99, while still offering many of the features and safety benefits of higher-end models.

If you are looking for a convertible car seat that can be used for several years and offers good value for the price, the Sonus 65 may be a good choice. 

However, if you have specific needs or preferences, such as a car seat that is designed for extended rear-facing or has additional safety features, you may want to consider other options that may be more expensive. The Evenflo Sonus 65 ensures very basic protection as well as limited padding for comfort. 

If you want a lightweight convertible car seat for travel, it’s good to get the Sonus 65 for a try.

However, if you’re planning to use it in mom’s or dad’s cars for daily use, you’ll get disappointed with its poor performance in safety, comfort, ease of use, and installation.

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4. Alternatives

What other convertible car seats should you consider?

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Graco Extend2Fit

Why is it better than the Evenflo Sonus 65?
Why is it worse than the Evenflo Sonus 65?
Safety 1st Jive Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st Jive

Why is it better than the Evenflo Sonus 65?
Why is it worse than the Evenflo Sonus 65?

5. Design

Dimensions and Width

Featuring a compact design, the Evenflo Sonus 65’s dimensions are 18.5″ (W) x 20.5″ (D) x 26.5″ (H).

Compared to some other convertible car seats on the market, the Sonus 65 is relatively compact and lightweight, which can make it a good option for families with small cars or for those who need to frequently transfer the car seat between vehicles.

The 18.5-inch width is as good as that of the Britax Marathon, which has a last position on our best narrow car seats. But if you want to install three car seats in the back seat row, this width would not fit well. If this is your case, picking up a 3 across car seat is a good choice.

On the other hand, most parents would like to get an Evenflo Sonus 65 for a backup and occasionally use it for road trips. The Sonus 65 is mainly designed for air travel. 

Also, the Sonus 65 may still take up more space in your car than a traditional infant car seat, so you should still consider the size of the car seat in relation to the size of your vehicle when making your decision.

Overall, the Sonus 65 can be considered a reasonably narrow and compact car seat, especially compared to some of the larger and bulkier convertible car seats on the market.

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Portability

The Evenflo Sonus 65 weighs 11.5 pounds, which is relatively lightweight compared to most other heavier convertible car seats on the market. Due to this weight, the car seat actually ranks on our list of the best lightweight convertible car seats for travel

Thanks to the lightweight design, the Sonus 65 can make it easier to move between cars or to take with you while traveling.

In addition, the Sonus 65 is a compact car seat that is easy to transport and store when not in use. However, you need to pay attention that the Sonus 65 is still a convertible car seat and may be too large to carry around for extended periods of time, especially if you need to also carry other items such as a diaper bag or stroller.

Overall, the Sonus 65 can be considered a relatively portable car seat, especially compared to some of the larger and bulkier convertible car seats on the market. However, it’s important to consider your individual needs and preferences when deciding whether the Sonus 65 is portable enough for your lifestyle.

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Cup Holder - Two

The Evenflo Sonus 65 comes with two built-in cup holders, which can be attached to either side of the car seat.

Advantages of cup holders:

Convenience: Cup holders can be a convenient feature, especially for parents who frequently take their children on long car rides. With cup holders, your child can easily access their drink without you needing to constantly reach back to hand it to them.

Reduced spills: Cup holders can help prevent spills and messes in the car, as they provide a secure and stable place for your child’s drink.

Additional storage: Cup holders can also provide additional storage space for small toys, snacks, or other items that your child may want to keep within reach.

Disadvantages of cup holders:

Bulk: Cup holders can add bulk to a car seat, which can make the car seat larger and more difficult to fit in smaller cars or in cars with multiple car seats.

Cleaning: Cup holders can be difficult to clean, especially if they become filled with crumbs, spills, or other debris.

Distractions: Cup holders can sometimes be a distraction for young children, especially if they are more interested in playing with their cups or toys than in staying seated and properly restrained in their car seat.

Cup holders can be a useful feature for some families, but they may not be necessary for everyone. If you value the convenience of having a secure and stable place for your child’s drink or snacks while on the road, the cup holders included with the Evenflo Sonus 65 can be a helpful addition to the car seat. However, if you have a smaller car or prefer a more streamlined car seat design, the cup holders may not be necessary and may actually add bulk and clutter to your child’s car seat.

6. Crash Tests and Safety Ratings

Is it safe to use Evenflo Sonus 65 car seat?

As a car seat, the Evenflo Sonus 65 has been designed with safety in mind and is rigorously tested to meet or exceed federal safety standards. The car seat has undergone various crash tests, including:

FMVSS 213 testing: The Sonus 65 has also been tested to meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 213 for child restraint systems.

Side-impact testing: The Sonus 65 has been side-impact tested to ensure that it can protect your child in the event of a side-impact crash.

In addition to these fundamental crash tests, the Evenflo Sonus 65 also features several safety-focused design elements, such as:

Energy-absorbing foam: The car seat has energy-absorbing foam in the headrest and seat back to help protect your child in the event of a crash.

Adjustable headrest: The car seat features an adjustable headrest that can be easily adjusted to fit your growing child, providing them with optimal head and neck support.

Dual-position recline: The Sonus 65 also features a dual-position recline system that can be adjusted to provide optimal comfort for your child while also helping to ensure proper installation of the car seat.

Overall, the Evenflo Sonus 65 is a safe and reliable car seat that has been designed with various safety features to help protect your child in the event of a crash.

7. Performance

Weight and Height Limits

The Evenflo Sonus 65 is a convertible car seat that can be used in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. Here are the height and weight limits for each mode:

Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs/ 40″. That’s very common among convertible car seats. This 40 lb/ 40″ rear-facing size limit is higher than infant car seats. This means that parents can keep their children rear-facing for longer, which is safer because it provides better head and neck support in a crash. If you want to extend the rear-facing for a longer time than that, there are a few rear-facing car seats with 50 lb weight limit.

Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs/ 50″. The 50-inch is a relatively high height limit for forward-facing mode, making the Evenflo Sonus 65 a good car seat to accommodate larger and taller children. This is particularly helpful for parents with tall or heavy children who may outgrow other car seats more quickly. It’s one inch higher than the average 49-inch harness height limit of most car seats with a 5-point harness, but will not prolong as long as the car seats with a 54-inch harness height limit, like the Chicco Fit4 (and its other all-in-one car seats) and MyFit.

The Sonus 65’s weight and height limits provide flexibility for parents, as they can use the car seat for both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. This means that parents can keep their child in the car seat for longer, rather than having to switch to a different car seat as their child grows.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until at least two years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. After that, children continue to ride in a car seat or booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years old.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for properly installing and using the car seat, as well as for adjusting the harness and headrest to fit your child’s size and height. By doing so, you can help ensure that your child is safely and comfortably secured in the car seat at all times.

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Stage / Modes -1st and 2nd

The Evenflo Sonus 65 is a convertible car seat that can be used in two stages: rear-facing and forward-facing. The rear-facing stage is for newborns and smaller toddlers, while the forward-facing stage is for older toddlers and young children. 

Rear-facing stage

The rear-facing stage is intended for newborns and small toddlers who are still under 40 pounds in weight and under 40 inches in height. This stage is the safest position for children to be in while riding in a car, as it helps to protect their head, neck, and spine in a collision.

In this stage, the car seat is installed in the rear-facing position and the child is secured with a five-point harness system.

Forward-facing stage

The forward-facing stage is suitable for older toddlers and young children who have outgrown the rear-facing stage, typically around the age of two. The car seat can be used forward-facing for children weighing between 22 and 65 pounds and measuring between 28 and 50 inches in height.

In this stage, the car seat is installed in the forward-facing position and the child is still secured with a five-point harness system.

You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for properly installing and using the car seat in each stage, as well as for adjusting the harness and headrest to fit your child’s size and height.

For example, the harness straps should be placed at or under the kid’s shoulders in rear-facing mode, then moved at or above the kid’s shoulders after switching to forward-facing.

See also:

Age Range

The age limit for the Evenflo Sonus 65 convertible car seat depends on the stages and size limits, rather than a specific age range. That’s why the manufacturers don’t always give an age limit directly but rather a recommendation.

However, we can estimate the age range based on the weight and height limits for kids at an average growing pace. Here are the general age ranges for each stage based on the size limits:

Rear-facing stage: 40 lbs/40″. This stage can typically be used from birth until around 2 years old, depending on the child’s growth and development.

Forward-facing stage: 65 lbs/ 50″. Depending on the child’s growth and development, this stage can typically be used from around 2 years old until around 5 years old.

These age ranges are approximate and the car seat should be used based on the child’s size and weight limits, rather than their age alone.

See also

Airplane

Is Evenflo Sonus 65 FAA approved for use on a plane?

It’s no doubt that the Evenflo Sonus 65 convertible car seat is FAA certified for use in aircraft in both the rear-facing and forward-facing modes.

It has been tested and certified to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards. The car seat has a compact size and lightweight design that makes it easy to transport and install on an airplane seat. 

However, you should check with your airline before you take the car seat for airplane use to confirm any specific requirements or restrictions they may have for using a car seat on board. Also, the car seat should be installed on the airplane seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and the airplane seat belt should be used to secure the car seat in place.

For families who are on the go, foldable car seats might be a better option if they travel a lot. They can be folded up, making it easier for parents and kids to carry them onboard.

Lifespan

How long is Evenflo Sonus 65 convertible car seat good for

Like all other car seats, the Evenflo Sonus 65 has an expiration date – 8 years starting from the date of manufacture

Car seats expire as the materials and components used in the car seat can degrade over time and affect their safety performance. Using a car seat that has passed its expiration date can potentially put your child at risk in a collision. 

Due to the material used in the Sonus 65 – the frame is not made of steel, the 8-year of lifespan is acceptable.

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8. Evenflo Sonus 65 Installation

Before starting to install the car seat, you may where to put it. The center of the back seat is probably the safest position to install a car seat.

If possible, install the car seat on that spot. If that seat is not applicable for a proper installation, for example lacking a shoulder belt, either seat on the side would be safe. You may choose any of them based on your family’s and kid’s needs.

Evenflo Sonus 65 Rear-facing Installation

Install Evenflo Sonus 65 RF with seat belt

  1. Adjust the child restraint to the recline position with the recline stand. Place the child restraint in your vehicle rear-facing. Adjust the restraint so that the level arrow is level with the ground.
  2. Attach the harness straps to the splitter plate using the infant position on the harness straps. As your child grows, you can attach the harness straps to the splitter plate using the pockets at the end of the straps.
  3. Make sure the harness straps are in one of the four lower harness slots. The harness straps MUST start at shoulder height or lower, using the strap slots closest to your child’s shoulders.
  4. Pull the seat pad off of the front of the child restraint. Route the vehicle seat belt through the rear-facing belt path and continue through the opposite opening of the child restraint. IMPORTANT: Make sure the seat belt is in front of the crotch strap, and it lies flat without twisting, as shown. Fasten the vehicle seat belt, as shown, depending on your type of seat belt. Reconnect the seat pad to the front of the child restraint.
  5. The seat belt must be as tight as possible. Put your full weight onto the child restraint as you tighten the seat belt.
  6. Check your work. Make certain the belts are tight. If you can move the child restraint more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) side to side or front to back at the rear-facing belt path, the vehicle belt is not tight enough. If you have not tightly secured the child restraint, try again, move it to another location, or install it with the lower anchor connector assembly.

Install Using LATCH Connectors

  1. Adjust the child restraint to the recline position. Place the child restraint in your vehicle rear-facing. Adjust the restraint so that the level arrow is level with the ground.
  2. Attach the harness straps to the splitter plate using the infant position on the harness straps. As your child grows, you can attach the harness straps to the splitter plate using the pockets at the end of the straps.
  3. Make sure the harness straps are in one of the four lower harness slots. The harness straps MUST start at shoulder height or lower, using the strap slots closest to your child’s shoulders.
  4. Pull the seat pad off of the front of the child restraint. Route the Lower Anchor Connector strap and hook through the rear-facing belt paths. IMPORTANT: Make sure the Lower Anchor Connector strap is in front of the crotch strap, and it lies flat without twisting, as shown. Reconnect the seat pad to the front of the child restraint.
  5. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to locate the lower anchor bars on your vehicle seat. Attach the right hook, or clip, to the right anchor bar and the left hook, or clip, to the left anchor bar. DOUBLE CHECK that the lower anchor connector hook is fully engaged by pulling hard on the lower anchor connector strap.
  6. Using your full weight, push the child restraint firmly into the vehicle seat while pulling up on the lower anchor connector assembly strap to tighten. The lower anchor connector assembly strap must be as tight as possible. If you can move the child restraint more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) side to side or front to back at the rear-facing belt path, the lower anchor connector assembly strap is not tight enough. You will need to try again, find another location for your child restraint, or install the vehicle seat belt.

Evenflo Tribute Forward-facing installation

Install Evenflo Tribute with Seat Belt

  1. Make sure that the harness straps are in one of the three upper harness slots. The harness straps MUST start at shoulder height or above, using the strap slots closest to your child’s shoulders. The splitter plate is attached to the bottom of the harness strap in the child’s position (at or above the shoulders). This will provide more room for your child to fit comfortably.
  2. Adjust the child restraint to the upright position. Place the child restraint in your vehicle forward-facing. Unhook the tether strap from the rear of the child restraint and place the tether hook with the red adjuster over the back of the vehicle seat.
  3. Thread the vehicle seat belt through the forward-facing belt path behind the seat pad. Note: Lift seat pad away from seat for easier access. Make sure vehicle seat belt lies flat without twisting.
  4. Fasten the vehicle seat belt as shown depending on your type of seat belt. Note: Install locking clip on lap and shoulder belt combinations, if necessary.
  5. The vehicle seat belt must be as tight as possible. Using your full weight, push the child restraint firmly into the vehicle seat as you tighten the vehicle belt. If you can move the child restraint more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) side to side or front to back at the forward-facing belt path, the seat belt is not tight enough, you will need to try again, or install it with the lower anchor connector assembly.
  6. Connect the tether hook to the vehicle tether anchor behind the vehicle seat, as shown. (Please consult your vehicle owner’s manual, as tether anchor locations may vary.) Pull the strap and tighten the tether securely.

Install Evenflo Tribute Using LATCH Connectors

  1. Make sure that the harness straps are in one of the three upper harness slots. The harness straps MUST start at shoulder height or above, using the strap slots closest to your child’s shoulders. The splitter plate is attached to the bottom of the harness strap in the child position. This will provide more room for your child to fit comfortably.
  2. Adjust the child restraint to the upright position (page 44) and place it in your vehicle forward-facing, as shown. Unhook tether strap from the rear of the child restraint and place tether hook with red adjuster over back of vehicle seat. Route the Lower Anchor Connector Assembly through each side of the forward-facing belt path. Note: Lift seat pad away from seat for easier access. Make sure Lower Anchor Connector Assembly strap lies flat without twisting.
  3. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to locate the lower anchor bars on your vehicle seat. Attach the right hook, or clip, to the right anchor bar and the left hook, or clip, to the left anchor bar. DOUBLE CHECK that the lower anchor connector hook is fully engaged by pulling hard on the lower anchor connector strap.
  4. Using your full weight, push the child restraint firmly into the vehicle seat, while pulling up on the lower anchor connector strap to tighten. The lower anchor connector strap must be as tight as possible. If you can move the child restraint more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) side to side or front to back at the belt path, the lower anchor connector strap is not tight enough. You will need to try again, find another location for your child restraint, or install it with the vehicle seat belt.
  5. Connect the tether hook to the vehicle tether anchor behind the vehicle seat, as shown. (Please consult your vehicle owner’s manual, as tether anchor locations may vary.) Pull the strap and tighten the tether securely.

9. Comfort

Headrest - 6 Positions

The Evenflo Sonus 65 convertible car seat has six different headrest positions, which can be easily adjusted to accommodate your growing child’s height and provide optimal protection and comfort.

Adjusting the headrest positions can be easily done with a simple push-button mechanism. The headrest is also contoured and padded for added comfort, and it includes a built-in pillow for extra support for your child’s head and neck.

The six headrest positions can be especially useful for younger infants and toddlers, as they can provide a more secure and comfortable fit, as well as help to reduce head slump and prevent the child’s head from falling forward during sleep. 

As always, we here want to talk about the harness along with the headrest because they are usually adjusted together if the car seat has a no-rethread harness system. 

It’s a pity that the Evenflo Sonus does not have this design, probably because it’s a very old model. The newer models like Evenflo EveryFit and Gold Revolve360 are designed with this feature.

This is one of the down points that lots of parents complain about.

Reclines - 3 Positions

The Evenflo Sonus 65 convertible car seat has two different recline positions in the rear-facing mode, and one recline position in the forward-facing mode.

The recline positions are designed to help ensure that the car seat provides a comfortable and safe fit for your child, as well as to help adjust for different vehicle seat angles and provide a proper installation.

In rear-facing, you can adjust the recline by using a recline foot located at the bottom of the car seat. The forward-facing recline position is achieved by using the vehicle seat belt to adjust the angle of the car seat.

The three recline positions are neither many nor few among the car seats, but relatively less than other more expensive convertible car seats. But for a budget car seat around $119.99, you can’t expect more.

Infant Accessories

Even positioned as a budget model, the Evenflo Sonus 65 features a head pillow and body support cushions that provide extra comfort and support for your child. 

They both perform well to provide additional padding and support for younger infants and ensure a comfortable fit for smaller infants which can be removed as your kid grows bigger.

The head and body support cushions can be especially useful for younger infants and can help to provide a more secure and comfortable fit, as well as help to prevent head slumps and provide extra support for your child’s head and neck during sleep. The support cushions can also help to ensure that the car seat provides a snug and secure fit, which can help to reduce the risk of injury in the event of a collision.

Padding

The Evenflo Sonus 65 features plush padding and high-quality materials that are designed to provide optimal comfort and durability, as well as to ensure that the car seat continues to provide optimal protection and support over time.

The seat and backrest are made with a soft, breathable fabric that is designed to keep your child cool and comfortable, even during long car rides. The seat also features multiple layers of foam padding, which are strategically placed to provide added support and cushioning where your child needs it most.

The car seat also features a sturdy frame and a reinforced seat shell, which are designed to provide added protection in the event of a collision. The materials used in the car seat are also easy to clean and maintain, which can be especially useful for families with young children.

10. Care and Maintenance

Maintaining the Evenlfo car seats is the same. And you can follow the instructions in the Sonus 65 manual for detailed steps. Here are some tips for your reference.

To help protect the vehicle upholstery, place a towel beneath and behind the child restraint.

• DO NOT lubricate or immerse in water the LATCH connectors, the buckle, or any other part of this child restraint, unless rinsing is permitted, as stated on the back of the buckle for your restraint.

• Plastic and metal parts may be wiped clean with mild soap and water and dried with a soft cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners or solvents.

• Take care not to damage any labels.

• Cup holder liners are dishwasher safe (top rack only).

• The harness can be wiped clean with mild soap and water. Allow harness to air dry.

• Machine wash the seat pad separately in cold water, delicate cycle. Tumble dry 10 to 15 minutes on low heat.

• NEVER use child restraint without the seat pad.

• To protect the child restraint from damage caused by weather, rodents, and other elements common to garages, the outdoors, and other storage locations remove the seat pad and thoroughly clean the restraint and pad prior to storage. Take care to clean the areas where crumbs and other debris tend to accumulate.

11. Specifications

Brand 
BrandEvenflo
Type 
Suitable forNewborns, toddlers
PositionsRear-facing and forward-facing
Design 
Portability (1-10)8.5. Compact and lightweight
Weight (pounds)11.5
Weight limits (lb.)5-40 for rear-facing, 22-65 for forward-facing
Height limit (inch)40” for RF; 50″ for FF
Dimension20.5″ x 23 x 23.5″ WDH
Cup holderNone
Performance 
Age RangeBirth-4~5 years old
Stage1st, 2nd
InstallationLATCH and seat belt
Headrest Positions14
Recline positions7
AirplaneYes
Lifespan10 Years
Extra FeaturesClickTight, SafeCell, three layers of SIP

12. Warranty

The Evenflo provides a 90-day limited warranty for the Sonus 65 convertible car seat, starting from the date of original purchase. The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service.

That’s the shortest among the car seats. The majority of the car seat brands, like Britax, Graco, Safety 1st, and Chicco offer a limited one-year warranty for their products. Diono and Doona do even better, both provide an extended 36-month warranty as long as you register the car seat.

13. Manual

You should always read the user manual before starting to install and use it for riding your child. 

The Britax Advocate ClickTight manual is stored in a small storage slot behind the cover of the car seat, but you can always find the online user manual on its official website, or download the PDF here.

14. Evenflo Sonus 65 vs Tribute

Both are lightweight and friendly for families on the go. 

Car Seats Comparison Evenflo Tribute Evenflo Tribute LX
Price $79.99 $119.99
Weight limits (lb) RF:5-40 / FF: 22-40 RF:5-40 / FF: 22-465
Height limits (in) RF: 37"* / FF: 40" RF: 40"* / FF: 50"
Installation LATCH / Seat Belt LATCH / Seat Belt
Side impact protection
Headrest positions 4 6
Recine position 1 3
Width 17" / 18.5" with cup holder on 18.5"
Car Seat Weight 9.3 lb. 11.5 lb.
Machine-washable fabric
Cup Holder One Two

*About the height limit for rear-facing: The top of the head must be 1” (2.5 cm) below the headrest adjustment lever.