Convertible Car Seat review: Evenflo TriumphPrice: $105 to $150.

Type: Convertible seat.

Limits: 5 to 40 lbs. rear facing, 20 to 65 lbs. forward facing.

NHTSA ease of use rating: Rear facing: three out of five stars. Forward facing: three out of five stars.

Pros: Special harness “remembers” last setting, EPP foam, up-front five-position recline and harness adjustment (no re-threading). Half the price of similar Britax seats.

Cons: Tension knob is hard to adjust when seat is in rear facing mode. Wide base may not fit in smaller cars. Can only use the top harness slot when forward facing, making the seat difficult to use for larger (but young) infants. Deep recline only works when rear-facing.

Comments: The Triumph used to be Evenflo’s flagship convertible car seat offering, but has since been eclipsed by all-in-one seats like the Symphony and the newer SafeMax. The Triumph soldiers on Evenflo’s top-priced convertible ($105 to $150) with an impressive list of features. Of course, $150 being Evenflo’s top line is still affordable, since $150 is the entry-level price for brands like Britax.

As always, Evenflo makes the Triumph in a series of versions, four at last count. Hence, you’ll see a basic, stripped-down Triumph on Amazon for $105 . . . and then the top-of-the-line version in Babies R Us for $150.

The Triumph’s key feature are the TensionRight knobs on either side of the seat that tighten the harness from the side of the seat and the infinite slide harness adjustment system (no rethreading). All the knobs on the Evenflo seat have both fans and detractors—give it a try in the store to see if you find it easy to adjust.

Another stand-out: a no rethread harness. Yes, even on the $130 version sold at Walmart, which is probably the lowest price convertible on the market with this handy feature.

The cheapest Triumph has clip-on cup holders, basic fabric and basic LATCH connectors. Step up to the Triumph with SureSafe and you get premium LATCH connectors (SureSafe). The ProComfort Triumph LX adds “gel matrix” seat padding and integrated cup holders. The most expensive Triumph (Platinum Triumph) has “OutLast” fabrics that absorb heat and cold temps—this is a Babies R Us exclusive for $160.

So, should you buy one? Looking at parent feedback, we see quite a split opinion on this seat. Take ease of use, for example. The  current Triumph scores just three out of five stars for ease of use in the NHTSA’s evaluation. Consumer Reports echoed that view, with average ease of use ratings weighing down the seat’s overall score (21st out of 32 seats ranked). That’s probably due to the difficulty in adjusting the TensionRight knob when the seat is rear facing. Another negative: the wide seat width (19.5”) means this seat will eat up much of your backseat, a problem if you drive a small to mid-size vehicle.

On the plus side, the Evenflo Triumph scored a “best” rating in Consumer Reports latest crash tests, which is the top rating.

Fans say this seat is easy to install and the no-reathread harness is a big plus, especially at this price. Critics point out the Triumph has frustrating limitations. The Triumph has two recline position, but the deepest recline feature on the Triumph only works when the seat is rear-facing. And you can’t switch between the semi-reclined and upright position without uninstalling and reinstalling the seat . . . . which is crazy.

The new “Outlast” fabrics on the Platinum Triumph don’t wash well, reports more than one parent dismayed at frayed fabric. Some even said the Outlast fabric frays without washing. You’d think Evenflo would have done more testing on this special expensive fabric before touting it as a premium feature. And the integrated cup holders sound great in theory—but in the real world, they don’t even hold a sippy cup. The Triumph lacks harness covers or belt lock-offs, that latter of which ease belt installations.

Bottom line: the Triumph is an affordable seat whose ace in the hole is its no-reathread (“infinite slide”) harness. But various glitches mar this seat and prevent us from recommending it. Rating: C