Updated July 2023 with details about the Evenflo Revolve Extend and Evenflo Revolve Slim; this review originally was focused only on the original Revolve, specifically the GOLD edition.
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. Updated July 2023: also watch for updates for where the Revolve Extend and Revolve Slim differ.
Who will fit in this seat?
|Original Revolve||Revolve Extend||Revolve Slim|
|Weight limits||4 - 40 lb rear facing|
22 - 65 lb forward facing
40 - 120 lb booster
|4 - 50 lb rear facing|
22 - 65 lb forward facing
40 - 120 lb booster
|4 - 50 lb rear facing
22 - 65 lb forward facing
|Height limits||17 - 40" rear facing|
28 - 49" forward facing
44 - 57" booster
|17 - 48" rear facing|
28 - 49" forward facing
44 - 57" booster
|17 - 48" rear facing
28 - 49" forward facing
|Top harness height||19"||19"||19"|
|Age requirements||age 2 - forward facing|
age 4 - booster
|age 2 - forward facing|
age 4 - booster
|age 2 - forward facing|
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 – or a daycare, or family support agency)
- 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”
- Width at widest point: Original & Extend 19.8″, Slim 16.7″
- Dual dishwasher-safe cup holders
- Range of recline angles (some variations between models, see details below)
- 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 to $749.99 depending on model and trim level
- 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, and if you are driving without a child in the car with you make sure to rotate it into a stable, locked position even when empty.
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. The possible exception to this is if you go with the Revolve Slim (it is among the very narrowest of seats on the market at only 16.7″ wide at the widest point!), and are rotating it next to an infant base. This is so dependent on the specific vehicle and seat combinations that it’s worth a try if you’re desperate to not replace your car.
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.
If you just want the convenience of that – that is also a valid reason to buy one!
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 40 lb on the original Revolve 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. Note that the Extend’s rear-facing weight limit of 50 lb does, ahem, extend this time frame somewhat, but the shell height and child fit are essentially the same – so this added weight limit is only useful for shorter, heavier kids. Slight variations may occur with different trim levels that have certain padding options.
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.
Note: the original Revolve and the Revolve Extend require the seat to be more upright at higher weights. The Revolve Slim allows the seat to be more upright, but does not require it.
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. I do worry a bit – possibly unfounded – that the rotating mechanism could get gritty or gunked up with sand, food crumbs, etc., so if it were me I’d take dirty boots off, and I’d 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. See my note above about some concern about grit getting into the rotation mechanism.
Like most (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.
Kids who don’t like things at their neck may not like the feel of the harness strap pads of the original Revolve – and they will seem really large on a small baby. The harness covers though are entirely optional and easily removed.
Original: 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.
Extend & Slim: No integrated harness strap pads, and the harness pads are optional and removable.
Check out Evenflo on YouTube for videos of the Revolve 360 in action.
Quick Clean cover (on some models):
Some Revolve models (the Extend is shown here) have a Quick Clean cover that makes it easier to remove and wash only the part of the cover that is dirty. Seats with this feature will have this orange tag readily visible on the front top corners of the seat.
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.
The Revolve seats will fit most kids who are between 4-40 lb and 17-40” tall (original), and the additional height and weight of the Extend and Slim (4 – 50 lb and up to 48″ tall) will provide more use for kids who are heavier for their age, or who carry more of their height in their legs. The shell heights are comparable across all versions so all versions of this seat are the shortest lasting for long-torsoed kids, or for those who have big heads and/or long necks. And here’s why (this applies to any rear-facing seat with a no-rethread harness): when rear facing, the harness is positioned at or below the child’s shoulders AND there must be car seat head rest or shell (varies by model) above the head, usually at least 1″. This is to keep the child’s head contained and protected in a crash. With this type of seat, when you raise the head rest to get more coverage, you also raise the harness height…potentially to above the child’s shoulders. If you are not sure how your child is fitting you should absolutely reach out to Evenflo for support.
The harness has ample length for most kids in that range, and there is lots of legroom.
This seat has one recline position when forward facing, and it is fairly upright. The harness height is very tall – among the tallest of available Canadian seats! – 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 the original and Extend versions of this seat do 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 Evenlfo 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 install.
From Evenflo: “SensorSafe…monitors the well-being of your child through a smart chest clip that syncs up with your smartphone via Bluetooth (and on some older versions, a vehicle dongle that plugs into your OBD port). 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
SensorSafe is not available on all versions of the Revolve. How do you know? Look for the white chest clip, shown here on the Evenflo Revolve Slim.
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). Note: the dongle version has been phased out and all current seats are set up to communicate directly with your smart phone via Bluetooth.
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.
The Revolve is a very nice option for those with room to rotate, offering smart design and comfort features to make loading an 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 (as well as the Revolve Extend and Revolve Slim) 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.