[This review was collected as part of a promotion.] I was lucky enough to be a part of a Stellar Product testing panel in order to receive and review this car seat.
Upon opening the box my first impression was that it was a very sturdy car seat that felt like it was built with safety and comfort in mind, but not portability or a compact size.
The padding was very nice, although the head rests have very stiff pieces under the padding that feel a little uncomfortable to me, but my child didn't seem to mind.
I like how the reclining adjustment is easy to get to, its a little hard to move at times (putting in the car and adjusting was a little tricky for rear facing) but I like the idea.
I also like the fact that adjusting the height of the shoulder straps is done by pulling up on the handle as opposed to having to take off the cover and pull the straps though like other car seats.
It is heavy and bulky so it isn't the kind of car seat you want to have to move between vehicles. It also might not work well if you have a small car-especially for rear facing as it may hit the back of the seat in front of it. I have an SUV and it is full of kids in car seats, boosters, and without anything, so this was not the easiest fit as it is a bit wide.
Over all I feel like it is made well and has nice safely features- I also like how the straps are covered with a thin rubber piece instead of those thick fabric things.
It was a little tough to get it into my car, especially the center seat. When I moved it to a window seat, it was a little easier. The latch system is really nice so I didn't bother trying to install it using the seat belt method. As mentioned before, it is a little on the heavy and bulky size, so I felt like I kind of had to really struggle with that in the install versus a lighter smaller seat.
My fave feature by far is how easy it is to adjust the height of the shoulder straps. It is so frustrating to put you child in a seat only to realize after they are buckled that the straps are too low- in other seats I have had, You have to take the child out, pull the straps off and it can be another 10-15 minutes before it is all put back together to install! The Emblem just has a handle and within seconds, the straps are adjusted comfortably.