The Evenflo Revolve 360 is a seat that turns heads … and itself!
As soon as it hit the market, Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) like myself were bombarded with questions from curious consumers. My first-look TikTok video of the seat garnered over 100,000 views in a very short time.
If you’re used to my car seat reviews, you’ll know I go into a lot of detail. So I would like to first offer a quick and dirty pros and cons of this seat for those already won over by the rotational feature demonstrated in my TikTok vid.
Every single car seat has its pros and cons: there is no single car seat on the market that fits every vehicle correctly or fits every child well. Here’s how the Evenflo Revolve 360 stacks up in this regard:
Will the Evenflo Revolve 360 work in your vehicle?
Will the Evenflo Revolve 360 work for your child?
Let’s talk more about fit-to-vehicle
Because this is a seat that is very new on the market, my best advice is to try it out in your vehicle before you purchase. I have put the Revolve in three vehicles: a 2014 Honda Odyssey, a 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander and a 2019 Honda Civic, and what I learned was that how the seat fits a vehicle is very dependent on the slope of the vehicle seat itself.
When I talk about fit, I am basically talking about whether the seat is able to sit as upright as allowed by the angle indicator in rear-facing mode, which means it can actually be very compact, or if the seat takes up more front-to-back space because that most upright angle cannot be achieved due to the vehicle seat itself being too sloped. The Revolve sits more upright (and therefore fits more compactly) in my cousin’s Honda Civic than it does in my Honda Odyssey, but luckily my Odyssey is a vehicle with a lot of room for car seats!
Besides the comfort and safety of the driver or front seat passenger, the front-to-back footprint of the Revolve is also relevant because you need enough space between the car seat and the vehicle seatback in front of it in order to make use of the rotational function.
If you have a tight back seat, don’t rule the Revolve out, but I wouldn’t commit without testing it out to ensure you can make use of the rotation.
How does the installation work?
The Revolve comes in two pieces. The seat itself can be removed from the base, and to install you must install the base first. The base must sit flat on the vehicle seat and firmly up against the seatback.
Lower Anchor Install Demo:
The seat can be installed using lower anchors up to a child weight of 35 lb (16 kg), but the recommended install method is by seat belt, which I would also recommend when using the seat for multiple children.
The seat features a seat belt tensioner, which is called the LockStrong. When securing the base with the vehicle seat belt, remove slack and close the LockStrong, ensuring the indicator turns green. You still need to lock the vehicle seat belt, as the LockStrong is not a lock-off.
Note that the top tether must always be secured. The top tether is located on the base, allowing you to rotate the seat between modes without having to detach and reattach the tether.
Seatbelt Installation Demo
The biggest difficulty for a seatbelt installation in some vehicles will be if your buckle stalk is long and the buckle itself ends up in the belt path, too close to the belt tensioner. You may need to shorten your vehicle’s buckle stalk by twisting clockwise up to three full times. This is necessary in the captain’s seats of my Odyssey. When in doubt, contact a Child Passenger Safety Technician or Evenflo’s customer service to help you.
To place the seat onto the base, line up the white arrow on the base with the red arrow on the seat, and it will click into place. Note that this base is not like the base on an infant seat: you are not meant to remove and replace the seat once it’s fully installed.
The Revolve has four reclines in rear-facing mode, but it’s not very explicit in the manual, so I initially missed it.
To ensure you’re getting the correct angle for rear-facing mode, you need to first place the seat onto the base, as that’s where the recline indicator is. The recline indicator on the seat has a wide range (white) for children 4–20 lb (1.8–9 kg) and a shorter range for children over 20 lb. This is unusual, as it allows for a smaller child to use the seat at a very upright angle but does not allow a heavier child to be more reclined. The more upright angle for kids 20 lb+ has proven to be a challenge for me in my 2014 Odyssey, as well as on the 2009 Sienna captain’s seat I use for demos in my office. To safely use the seat for a child over 20 lb, I need to get the ball into the black range. I really have to play with how the base sits on the vehicle seat to get the ball just inside the black zone, and if you are having this issue, I would recommend sending pictures of your installation to Evenflo customer service.
How does the rotation work?
The Evenflo Revolve’s rotation allows you to do one of three things:
Because the seat is always tethered via the base, switching between modes is easy and convenient. It’s just important for caregivers to remember to adjust both the harness and the crotch buckle to fit the child.
##ad Not gonna lie – for my smaller twin (10th percentile) I am loving the Evenflo Revolve 360! Makes unloading my bigs at the bus stop much easier.
To rotate the seat, grasp one of the handles at the top of the shell and rotate the seat in the direction required. This can easily be done one-handed, like if you have a baby in your other arm! If you need to rotate the seat entirely from rear-facing to forward-facing mode, you first need to fully recline the seat. You can rotate the seat to face you without changing the recline.
When rotating the seat, always make sure that it is rotated back in place with the lock indicator green before driving.
How does the Revolve perform in each of its modes?
Evenflo Revolve 360 rear-facing mode
I quite like the way my shorter twin and my nephew fit in the Revolve rear-facing. Because they’re not teeny tiny newborns, the built-in harness pads fit fine on their bodies.
I also tested my newborn demo doll in the seat. The Revolve’s infant bum cushion can be folded to help raise a newborn up to fit the harness. The fit looks great, but the harness pads are really, really bulky. I always recommend removing harness pads for newborns and young babies, and these ones cannot be removed. (There is a removable “cover” portion you can wash, but the harness pads themselves are attached to the harness.)
I was disappointed to find that my taller twin no longer fit the headrest having less than 1″ of space between the top of his head and the top of the headrest. He is between the 25th and 50th percentiles for height, so not an especially tall kid, and I was not ready for him to be forward-facing at age 3.
As for the 40 lb weight maximum, that’s fairly common for convertible car seats, although some 45–50 lb (20–22.7 kg) maximum seats are now on the market. A male child who is 78th percentile for weight will hit that maximum at age 4.
I dislike that the range of reclines on the seat is limited for children over 20 lb. Many kids are 20 lb or more before their first birthday, and many caregivers would prefer them to be more reclined in their seat; however, once the child hits 20 lb, the seat must be used with little recline.
Evenflo Revolve 360 forward-facing mode
My daughter is also quite comfortable in the Revolve in forward-facing mode. However, the seat is narrow, and I definitely expect broader or stockier children to find themselves cramped, especially at the shoulders. For larger children, I also think the crotch buckle positioning is not generous enough. A child with a bigger bum would find themselves sitting on the buckle even it its most outward position.
From an installation standpoint, it’s important to note that this seat may not work forward-facing if your vehicle’s headrests cannot be removed and they are quite sloped. Definitely try this before buying if this is the case!
Evenflo Revolve 360 booster mode
I honestly do not expect most families to want to use the Revolve in booster mode. By booster age, the rotation feature will probably not be useful for a lot of children as they will be climbing into the seat by themselves. (If mobility issues are at play, however, the rotation could be a continued benefit.) In booster mode the seat is bulky and tall, and it’s impossible for the child to buckle themselves.
My daughter definitely gets a good belt fit with the seat in booster mode, so no complaints on that front. The conversion to booster mode is easy as the harness just tucks away under the cover and there’s a handy pocket to store the crotch buckle. Keep in mind that once converted to booster mode it’ll be challenging to use the seat in rear- and forward-facing modes. The booster mode is functional but not convenient.
What are the disadvantages of the Evenflo Revolve?
Is the Evenflo Revolve the right choice for you?
The most important criteria in choosing the Revolve is whether the rotation feature is a game-changer for you. It absolutely makes loading a rear-facing child easier, and I can imagine it is a truly beneficial feature for caregivers with limited mobility.
I greatly appreciate the no-rethread harness and the comfortable fit on the kids I tested. The installation is straight forward, but if you have experience using other seats, you will need to remind yourself to lock the seatbelt (don’t let the belt tensioner trick you!) and to always secure the tether, even if you are using the seat rear-facing.
In our van, it allowed me to have my twins in the centre, rear-facing, with my two older kids in the back row. Because I could rotate the Revolve, my older kids didn’t have to crawl under the seat to get to the back. It also meant that when going out with just my daughter, she could sit in the centre (much to her delight) because I could rotate the seat for her to use forward-facing.
Having one seat that can easily switch from rear- to forward-facing mode may be a huge benefit for caregivers who transport different children at different times.
The seat retails for $550, but I have often seen it on sale for around $350. At the $350 price tag, there are definitely seats that will last longer in rear-facing mode that I would steer you towards for a child above the 25th -50th percentile for height. (Keep in mind here that the fit issue is impacted by the length of the torso, which is hard to assess based on percentile alone.) However, for a family that can truly benefit from the rotation—and who have ensured the rotation functions in their vehicle—it may be well worth the price.
This content was originally published here.