Web: babytrend.com Infant Car Seat review: Baby Trend Flex-Loc

PriceEZ Flex-Loc is $95.

Type: Infant seat, five-point harness.

Limits: 5 to 30 lbs. and 30”. EZ-Flex Loc 32 works to 32 lbs.

NHTSA ease of use rating: Four out of Five stars.

Pros: Top rated seat in crash test—back in 2007.

Cons: Mostly sold as part of a travel system with an inferior stroller. 2017 CR tests placed this seat dead last.

Comments: Baby Trend advertises the Flex-Loc infant car seat as a “top rated” seat—we assume they are referring to a 2007 report from Consumer Reports that named the seat a “Best Buy.” But that was 2007 . . . in CR’s 2017 report, the Flex Loc ranked DEAD LAST. 32 out of 32 seats. Baby Trend is like the New York Jets of car seats.

And our reader feedback on Baby Trend’s infant car seats is similarly downbeat. Yes, these infant car seats features a four-position height adjustable base and EPS foam for head protection. Some models come with a boot for extra warmth.

But this seat hasn’t been updated in years. It appears to exist so Baby Trend can pair it with its poorly-rated (in our opinion) strollers for cheap travel systems.

Confusingly, Baby Trend marketed two versions of this seat: Flex-Loc and the EZ Flex-Loc. The only difference: the Flex-Loc has a height adjustable seat back with no rethread harness. The EZ version does not. (On some websites, the Flex Loc is referred to as the Flex Loc Adjustable Back).

Parent reviews for this seat are, at best, mixed. Fans like the narrow width of the base and the seat’s overall value—and if you have a Baby Trend stroller, it is compatible. Unfortunately for everyone else who doesn’t have a Baby Trend stroller, this infant car seat is a bust. Few stroller makers make adapters for this seat.

And more than one parent complained their infant quickly outgrew this seat, despite the stated 30 lb. limit (some Flex Locs have 32 lb. weight limits). More criticism: the handle release button can be hard to reach and stiff to release. And the strange triangle handle takes a bit of getting used to.

Finally, we should note that Baby Trend’s customer service, or lack thereof, is also disappointing. Unanswered emails, un-returned phone calls and a general “we don’t care” attitude mar Baby Trend’s brand.

(FYI: Consumer Reports doesn’t even rate the Flex-Loc in its most recent report.) Yes, Baby Trend’s Flex-Loc seats are cheap, but you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for an affordable but high quality seat, check out our review of the Graco Snugride SnugLock.

Rating: D