I had the chance to use the Revolve 360 Rotational All-in-One car seat for a few weeks when I had a friend and her young child visit…and the short version of this review is that I love it.
I started drafting this review in my head before I actually sat down to write it, and distracted myself with witty titles, usually involving songs with ‘spin, revolve, or around’ in them, and of course that sent me down the rabbit hole and I listened to all sorts of songs I didn’t know existed. And do you see that I settled on the really exciting “Evenflo Revolve 360?” Sigh. Anyway…
I also noticed recently that Walmart had the Revolve on sale for $360 and I wondered if that was someone in marketing or sales being really crafty. Good for them (and a smoking deal too).
So many interesting ways to put a clever spin on this seat (haha, see what I did there?), but it doesn’t need slick marketing to convince me. It’s well-designed, it’s nice to use, and it offers some super features. Of course it has limitations, as do all seats, but it’s a really interesting choice and a game changer when accessibility is needed.
This review features the Evenflo Revolve 360° GOLD but the standard version has many of the same features and I will point out where the GOLD differs.
Who will fit in this seat?
Rear-facing mode is for a child who:
- Is between 4 – 40 lbs and 17 – 40” tall, and,
- Has at least 1” of car seat above their head, and,
- Is riding in a location where there is a tether anchor.
Forward-facing mode is for a child who:
- Is between 22 – 65 lbs and 28 – 49” tall, and,
- Is at least 2 years old, and,
- Is riding in a location where there is a tether anchor
Booster seat mode is for a child who:
- Is between 40 – 120 lbs and 44 – 57” tall, and,
- Is at least 4 years old.
As always we appreciate Evenflo’s minimum age limits and promotion of best practice. Don’t rush through the stages!
Highlights and features:
- It rotates! That’s the game changer here. A full 360° at times.
- SensorSafe alert system (GOLD), more on that later
- Tether is integrated to the base so it’s potentially a one and done installation – or easily swapped between differently-sized users (grandkids, perhaps)
- Hook-style UAS connectors (standard), premium UAS connectors (GOLD)
- Plush, removable, machine-washable padding
- Harness heights between ~7” and ~19”
- Booster seat shoulder belt guide max height ~19.5”
- Dual dishwasher-safe cup holders
- Range of recline angles (4 – 20 lbs, 20 – 40 lbs)
- Easy-to-use LockStrong seat belt tensioner (not a lock-off…more on that later)
- Multiple crotch buckle positions
- No-rethread harness
- Tidy storage for all the things (UAS connectors, tether, harness)
- 10 year expiry
- MSRP: $549.99 base price, $649.99 (GOLD)
- Available at major retailers
- Did we mention it rotates?
Fit to vehicle
So the rotational feature first. We know that’s what draws your attention as it certainly did ours. It’s visually interesting and I had several people approach me in parking lots while I was loading or unloading to ask me what it was, and I was happy to share my thoughts.
The rotation is easy to use. You can rotate a full circle in one of the recline settings, but you don’t need to so don’t worry about the fact that you can’t in all three rear-facing recline settings. You are really only going from side-loading to rear-facing travel, and back again. If you do try to force it all the way around when it is not on the setting where that’s possible you might jam it. Evenflo has instructions for how to unjam it, but best to avoid that situation. You must never, ever drive with the child side-facing, that is not a travel mode and is very unsafe.
You might be able to rotate it one-handed, or may need a second hand to guide the turn. It will depend on your dexterity and the weight of your child and how cooperative they are. It’s a smooth motion but toddlers and preschoolers with boots on will need to lift their feet a bit to avoid bumping up against the base. As kids get heavier the rotation will require more effort to manage.
I drive a Honda Odyssey, which means I have plenty of roof clearance, and a sliding door. This makes for great access to my 2nd row and if you have been resisting a van let me tell you, I’m never going back. Team Loser Cruiser all the way. I really enjoyed the access and ease of loading with the Revolve 360 and my van. I could use the floorboard as a staging area to remove my little buddy’s coat (practice safe winterwear people, even in Winnipeg when it’s -30°, which was a lot of days last winter), lift him straight up into the seat, get him buckled, remove boots, coat back on like a blanket, and then rotate into the locked travel position. I am over 40 and getting more decrepit by the day, so my out-of-practice toddler-wrangling self appreciated not having to hoist and twist sideways to load a toddler.
Generally, the Revolve 360 is better-suited to vehicles that have more front-to-back space, but I also tried it with my Honda Civic, and it was highly functional there too with my 5’8” self sitting comfortably in front of it.
You may find the rotating feature handy if you have children riding in the 3rd row. Larger vehicles may have enough room for kids to walk past a rotated Revolve 360 installed in the second row, to access the 3rd row.
The Revolve 360 is likely not a good choice in super compact vehicles but it’s worth a try if you really want to make it work. Yes, you could even install it in the middle (where rear-facing seats tend to have more front-to-back space to work with) but by doing so you’d really lose the functionality of the rotation because you’d be leaning into the middle seat to load.
The Revolve 360 is not going to have room to rotate if installed directly next to another car seat, so if you are looking at a 3-across the Revolve is not a good choice.
This seat has caught the attention of those who require more accessibility than a traditional car seat tends to offer. If you or another caregiver have any difficulty lifting, the ability to load straight-on will be a great feature for you. Further, if the child you are transporting needs help to get into their seat, and their weight or mobility makes that a challenge for you, consider this seat, especially if you drive a vehicle with lower roof clearance. The rear-facing weight limit of 40lbs won’t be a long-term solution for kids who need to ride rear facing beyond that time, but it’s something to consider if it makes loading and unloading easier.
The Evenflo Revolve 360 has a weight-based rear-facing recline range, and three mechanical recline positions that you set with a handle. You should have no difficulty attaining the required recline position unless your vehicle seat is extremely sloped or extremely flat. If that describes your vehicle then please please try before you buy, and make sure you can use the seat throughout the entire weight range and not just for the size your child currently is.
Super smart base design:
When you install a lot of car seats like I do you quickly notice if a feature is awesome, or not so much. The base on the Revolve 360 is definitely in camp awesome. This base is not like the base on an infant seat:, although the seating area part of the Revolve does come off (it’s called the shell in the manual) they can’t be used separately. When the shell comes off it looks like a weeble and must be laid gently on its side. If the rotating mechanism gets gritty or gunked up with sand, food crumbs, etc., make it a habit to remove dirty boots, and vacuum regularly (haha, yeah, vacuuming regularly is not a thing I do in my car, to my spouse’s disgust, but you definitely should).
Evenflo’s designers knocked this one out of the park, and here’s why:
- It’s easy to install using either the seat belt or UAS (not both).
- Note: when installing with the seat belt make sure the UAS connectors are stored, and also fully loosened so a snug strap doesn’t interfere with the seat belt and LockStrong mechanism.
- Note: seat belt ‘buttons’ or ‘loops’ (features to prevent the latch plate from sliding down to the floor) can be difficult to manoeuvre around. And unfortunately you won’t know it’s a problem until you see exactly where it hits the LockStrong mechanism. Another reason to try before you buy.
- The storage locations for the UAS connectors are intuitively located and nicely integrated into the base.
- The LockStrong belt-tensioning arm makes getting a tight seat belt installation easy by using the mechanical advantage of the lever. It’s not a lock-off though, so don’t forget to switch the seat belt to locking mode or using the locking latch plate on your seat belt.
- Excellent red/green markings let you know if the arm is locked or not (this theme repeats elsewhere on the seat).
- The tether for the seat is part of the base, and is required in both rear- and forward-facing modes.
- That means you must install it only in a seating position in your vehicle where there is a tether anchor, even when rear facing. If you aren’t sure, check your vehicle manual for this information.
- That means that you can rotate the seat between rear- and forward-facing modes without uninstalling anything. It literally takes 5 seconds to swap between modes, which is an excellent feature for someone who transports kids of different ages and stages, such as daycare providers, grandparents, or family support workers.
If you are a first-time parent and are reading up on what seat to get your little one…spoiler alert. Kids are messy. Even if they never eat in the car (which I suppose is possible, although I was never successful!) they shed kid detritus constantly. Messy hands, messy footwear, crumbs, sand, you get the idea. Of course you can limit the damage with a brand-approved under-seat mat, or a towel to protect the upholstery, but that’s just harm reduction really. There will still be mess.
As with all Evenflo seats the soft goods (cover, pillows, padding, harness covers, etc) can be removed and machine washed. Always check for specific cleaning instructions in your car seat manual, usually near the end.
Cup holders are dishwasher safe. You will appreciate this fact when you realize the flowers or the really cool dead bug your child found at the park were left in the car, along with a handful of goldfish and the granola bar they took a bite of, didn’t like, and spit out. Yummy.
The harness has two separate components at the neck area. The harness strap pads are permanently attached to the car seat and help to position the harness correctly on the child’s body. The harness covers are for comfort, and may be removed. It may take a bit of practice to get used to adjusting and manipulating the two different pieces but it gets easier the more you do it. Kids who don’t like things at their neck may not like the feel of the harness strap pads. The strap pads will seem really large on a small baby.
Check out Evenflo on YouTube for videos of the Revolve 360 GOLD in action.
Fit to child:
My kids are big now, so thank you to Canadian CPSTs who provided photos of their kids in this seat.
Always make sure a car seat is as reclined as allowed for newborns – this protects their airway. Pay careful attention to instructions for how to position the body pad for a small baby. When fully reclined the Revolve 360 takes up a fair bit of front-to-back space, so make sure your vehicle can accommodate it before intending to use it from birth.
Some users found it a bit tricky to centre their floppy newborn on the slightly side-angled seat when loading. Older kids experienced this less, but take the time to position your child before buckling.
This seat will fit most kids who are between 4-40 lbs and 17-40” tall. The harness has ample length for most kids in that range, and there is lots of legroom. However, kids are not all proportioned the same way, so those who have long torsos, and/or long necks and/or big heads may not fit well or for as long when rear facing because their heads will not be sufficiently contained and protected by the height of the car seat. When rear facing the child’s head must not be less than 1” below the top of the car seat headrest or shell. For some kids this won’t work, unfortunately, and they should ride in a seat that provides them with appropriate head containment.
This seat has one recline position when forward facing, and it is fairly upright. The harness height is quite good, but the interior space at the shoulders, and crotch buckle length may get uncomfortable for kids at the higher end of the weight limit.
Booster seat mode:
While this seat does convert to a booster (quite easily, with handy storage for the harness so you don’t lose any parts) in most cases the booster mode will be outgrown shortly after the harness mode is outgrown (by height). It would be a very petite 10yo who fits in the Revolve 360 as a booster seat, and while most kids of that age do still require a booster seat for the adult seat belt to properly (and safely!) fit them, they also tend to have strong opinions about what they ride in and what is cool (or not). Consider this a back-up mode should it ever be needed, but it is rare for families to use it beyond the forward-facing stage. This is true for any 3-in-1/all-in-one seat: nice to have, great if it’s needed, but not a daily rider.
Neither of the experienced booster riders below could buckle themselves due to how high the Revolve 360 sit up off the vehicle seat, however, the belt fit was excellent on both of them. They have nearly outgrown it though, by shoulder height.
Available on a range of Evenflo seats, SensorSafe is an added safety feature intended to reduce the incidence of hot car deaths (hyperthermia) and other in-vehicle safety concerns. It works with a unique bluetooth-enabled chest clip, a mobile app, and on some products (including this review seat) a piece that Evenflo calls a dongle that plugs into the OBD port on your vehicle. If you’ve ever had an emissions test or run your own diagnostic test on an error code on your vehicle, that’s what you plugged into. It’s on the underside of your steering wheel area, near the driver’s knees, and requires no special skills to intall. Note: Evenflo is transitioning to just the app+chest clip, so if your product does not come with a dongle, don’t worry, all is well.
On SensorSafe, from Evenflo “SensorSafe…monitors the well-being of your child through a smart chest clip that syncs up with a vehicle dongle and your smartphone via Bluetooth. Breathe easier knowing that the SensorSafe mobile app will send you a notification in real-time if:
- Your child unbuckles the chest clip while the car is in motion
- The back seat has become too hot or too cold (above 35°C or below 7°C)
- Your child has been seated for too long (more than 2 hours)
- You’ve accidentally left your child buckled in the car
Screen grabs from the app setup:
I downloaded the app and installed the dongle and got myself set up to use SensorSafe. It was very straightforward, with plenty of help text and how-tos integrated into the setup (see screenshots above).
My little buddy (age 2.5) was delighted to discover that the system sings, and the notifications to the app were immediate. I played around with some of the settings, and I liked that I could have multiple car seats loaded into one app. This would be handy if I had multiple kids with seats in multiple vehicles.
I also really liked the safety aspect of setting up a cascade of emergency notifications to people I pre-selected should it have been necessary. This works a lot like a safe arrival program at school or daycare, where if the first person on the list doesn’t respond the rest get notified in order. And, since you have location services enabled on the app, your contact list will be notified in short order about exactly where you were when it pinged. My physical location is redacted for privacy on the screenshot here but the lat/long it reported was exactly where I was when I captured this, and I didn’t have real family members set up to test, but you get the idea.
So in theory it would go like this. You drove to work, and because it was not your usual routine, you forgot you were on daycare drop-off that day, so your brain took over and did what you usually do: parked the car, grabbed your bag, and walked into your building. As soon as you got out of range of the buckled chest clip the app would notify you on your phone. Let’s say you didn’t respond right away by clearing the notification – it was loud and you didn’t hear it and got distracted by the cute puppies in the lobby of your building…SensorSafe would then contact the people on your emergency list to tell them that there’s a child in the seat and GPS coordinates of where. If your contact tried to call or text you and you didn’t answer they could call 911 or other help and know exactly where you were parked.
Once I walked away from my van to put my garbage cans back into the garage before driving away, and that was too far for the app’s settings; most people are going to want to choose a bigger buffer before getting notified. I also laughed at the temperature range. It was March in Manitoba but it was still well below freezing. Being constantly reminded that it was cold is a feature that did get a bit annoying. Thanks SensorSafe, I live in Winnipeg, I KNOW. I didn’t use it in hot weather to see how sensitive it was to temperature on the warm end of things.
Originally designed to alert the user if the chest clip was buckled, and then not unbuckled after a drive (simulating leaving a child in a hot vehicle), SensorSafe has smartly evolved to do more than just note the chest clip situation. It will also:
- Notify if you walk too far away from the vehicle and it senses there is still a child in the seat (via the buckled chest clip)…this assumes your phone is with you. It’s communicating with the phone of course, not you. But whomst among us doesn’t have a phone glued to their body at all times?
- Your child unbuckles their chest clip while the car is moving. This can be helpful if your child is an escape artist, but will only notify you, and of course you are driving. Have a plan for how to address this behaviour to make it stop.
- The back seat is too hot or too cold.
- If you’ve been driving for more than 2 hours, as a reminder to take breaks. I didn’t take any trips of this length to test this notification.
A very nice option for those with room to rotate, offering smart design and comfort features to make loading and unloading a breeze. Whenever possible, test fit before buying to make sure there is room to rotate, and that you can properly install both rear- and forward-facing in your vehicle.
Your chance to win one!
Thank you to Evenflo for providing the Revolve 360 GOLD used in this review. All comments are our own.
Also thank you to Evenflo for offering one up to our readers! Enter for your chance to win an Evenflo Revolve 360 in Amherst fashion. Use the widget below to enter.
About the author:
Jen Shapka has been a CPST since 2010. She lives in Winnipeg with her two dogs, husband and kids, and a winter that never ended. It snowed a few days before writing this review.