June 2023: Updated to include Evenflo Revolve 360 Extend and Revolve Slim
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.
@carseatcubs *gifted in exchange for my review* Here’s your first look at the #evenflorevolve 360, now available in Canada. #cpst #carseattech #carseatsafety ♬ AIN’T GONNA STOP – Carol Kay
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:
What’s the difference between the Revolve, Revolve Extend and the Revolve Slim?
Since I originally wrote this review, Evenflo has added two new seats to the Revolve family. This review and the pictures are for the original Revolve 360 car seat unless otherwise specified. Note that the Evenflo Revolve 360 Extend is identical in most aspects to the original Revolve, with some added soft goods and a higher weight and height maximum (50 lb and 48″). The Evenflo Revolve Slim also has a higher rear-facing maximums (50 lb and 48″) but its design is narrower and it does not convert to a booster seat.
Will the Evenflo Revolve 360 work in your vehicle?
- The front-to-back footprint is unpredictable, depending on slope of the vehicle seats—try before you buy when possible, because if you don’t have enough space to rotate the seat, its purpose is defeated. Also note that if you need car seats a side-by-side, you may not be able to rotate the Revolve with another seat right next to it. (Even if you’re using the Slim!)
- The Revolve must be installed in a location with an approved top tether anchor, even if only being used rear-facing. This can be limiting in some vehicles depending on where you plan to put the seat.
- In forward-facing mode, non-removable headrests that lean forward may get in the way: if you cannot remove your vehicle’s headrests, test the Revolve in forward-facing mode before you commit.
Will the Evenflo Revolve 360 work for your child?
- Many kids have just enough head clearance in rear-facing mode, and this can lead families to switch to forward facing too soon. I would love love LOVE to see Evenflo tweak their design so that there is more head space: with the Slim and Extend having such high height and weight maximums, I would expect kids well under those maximums (like my twins) to have lots of head space still: if your child appears to have outgrown their Revolve because they do not have 1″ of space between the top of their head and the top of the seat, reach out to Evenflo’s customer service for troubleshooting.
- In forward-facing mode, the Revolve (all versions) has an impressive harness height (19”/48 cm). It will keep even very tall kids harnessed until booster readiness.
- The interior of the seat is quite narrow. My kids are skinny, so they fit well, but a child with a broader build would be very squished, especially in the shoulders. *Note: the Slim is even more narrow, of course, so it will be cramped in the shoulders for wider set kids.
- The built-in, non-removable harness pads are thick and wide. They are massive and will make the fit for tiny babies very awkward. *Note: newer versions, including the Extend & the Slim now have removable harness pads.
- The crotch buckle for the Slim can get stuck when moving it to the outer slot. It took me a while to figure this out: the buckle was digging into my kids’ thighs and seemed unusually short. If you encounter this issue, dig around in the crotch buckle slots to make sure the metal plate that holds the crotch buckle in place is fully in the outer slot and not wedged somewhere in the middle.
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.
Extend & Slim: the Extend has the exact same base and seat shell so will install in the same way; the Slim is a narrower seat so may fit in tighter set-ups (front-to-back is about the same). It fits very well on the centre 8th seat of my 2014 Odyssey.
When the Extend and the Slim are installed side-by-side in my Odyssey, I am able to rotate each of them in between rear and forward facing modes, however I cannot rotate them to face the door. If I use lower seat in the centre position of my Odyssey, I can rotate the Revolve (any version) completely.
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. The Extend has the exact same base as the regular Revolve, the Slim has a narrower base but the installation procedure is the same.
@carseatcubs Evenflo Revolve 360 install – full review linked in profile #cpst #carseatsafety #evenflorevolve360 #parentsoftiktok ♬ original sound – Car Seat Cubs / Maman Loup
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
@carseatcubs Evenflo Revolve 360 seatbelt install demo – review link in profile #cpst #carseatsafety #evenflorevolve360 #parentsoftiktok ♬ original sound – Car Seat Cubs / Maman Loup
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.
The height of the seatbelt in the centre row of my Odyssey can be adjusted, and I recently discovered that moving the belt to the lowest position also helped position the fabric loop on the lap belt out of the way of the belt tensioner. 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.
Note that the recline indicator and range is different for the Slim. Consult your manual and side stickers!
How does the rotation work?
The Evenflo Revolve’s rotation allows you to do one of three things:
- Rotate the seat towards the door so that the caregiver can more easily place the child in the seat and buckle.
- Rotate the seat between forward- and rear-facing modes to use with different children.
- Rotate the seat to the side or to forward-facing so that other passengers can reach their spots in the vehicle.
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.
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.
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How does the Revolve perform in each of its modes?
Evenflo Revolve 360 rear-facing mode
- 4–40 lb (1.8–18 kg) / 4-50 lb for the Slim & Extend
- 17″–40″ (43–102 cm) / up to 48″ for the Slim & Extend
- Child must always have 1″ (2.5 cm) of space between the top of their head and the top of the car seat shell or headrest when the harness is adjusted to be AT or JUST BELOW their shoulders
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. (Note that newer models have fully removable harness pads.)
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.) *newer models have fully removable harness pads
I was alarmed to find that my taller twin was very tight on the 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. I’ve spoken at length with Evenflo about this issue and have been assured that they have yet to have a child who didn’t have the 1″ of clearance when very carefully and precisely measured. If you feel that your child has outgrown rear-facing mode in the Evenflo Revolve because they do not have 1″ of space between the top of their head and the top of the seat (measured from the highest point; the top of the adjuster handle), definitely reach out to Evenflo’s customer service.
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. (Remember that the Slim & Extend rear-face to 50 lb)
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. The recline range is the same for the Extend, but it is different for the Slim, with kids over 20 lb being allowed the full range of reclines.
Revolve Slim: The headrest proportions are slightly different, so my twin who has barely enough head clearance in the Extend and the regular Revolve has more obvious space rear-facing in the slim:
Evenflo Revolve 360 forward-facing mode
- Child must be at least 2 years old to use this seat forward-facing
- 22–65 lb (10–29.4 kg)
- 28″–49″ (71–124 cm)
- The top of the child’s ears must be contained within the car seat headrest, the harness must be at or just above the child’s shoulders
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!
Revolve Extend: Same child fit and vehicle fit!
Revolve Slim: The slim has a nice tall harness as well: my daughter, at 49″ tall (one inch ABOVE the height max) still fit for harness height.
Evenflo Revolve 360 booster mode
Note that the Slim does not have a booster mode.
- Child must be at least 4 years old (best practice stipulates that a child be at least 5 before using a booster)
- 40–120 lb (18–54.4 kg)
- 44″–57″ (112-145 cm)
- Tops of the child’s ears must be at or below the top of the headrest
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?
- The seat easily looks outgrown rear-facing as kids can be very close to the 1″ head clearance requirement even if they are not especially tall kids; always contact Evenflo customer service if you feel your child has outgrown rear-facing too early.
- The non-removable harness covers can be awkward on smaller children or simply get in the way for kids of any age. *** new versions now feature removable harness pads
- The harness material is thin and prone to twisting.
- The inside of the seat is narrow, making it a squishy fit for some kids. (Even moreso for the Slim)
- The recline required for kids 20 lb+ has proven challenging to achieve in some vehicles.
- Children over 20 lb cannot use the seat more reclined (this applies to the original Revolve and the Extend, but not the Slim)
- An unpredictable rear-facing footprint makes it hard to know in advance how it will fit the vehicle and if the rotational function will be usable.
- Because this is a seat with far more moving parts than a non-rotating seat, it should be treated with extra care. I would avoid getting any kind of debris (sand, gravel, snack crumbs) or liquid (think melted snow) in the seat as this could greatly interfere with the rotation mechanism. I most recently found a marble inside my seat base.
- This seat is not easy to clean if your child has a pee or vomit accident, or a big spill. Note that there are now Quick Clean covers on some models.
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 it is a truly beneficial feature for caregivers with limited mobility. I recently helped a mama of twins who only has the use of one arm. She was able to rotate the seat towards her, load and buckle her toddler with ease: it was a game-changer for her!
I greatly appreciate the no-rethread harness and the comfortable fit on the kids I tested for the regular and the Extend. The Slim’s crotch buckle length poses a problem. 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. It is important that the caregiver understand how to adjust the seat for each child and mode of use: the crotch buckle slot and harness height are easily adjustable, but it’s important not to forget to make those adjustments when switching between kids and modes of use.
My twins are now 5 and have been riding forward-facing for quite some time. However, my bigger twin loves using the Revolve Extend because he can choose if he wants to ride forward-facing or “wrong way.”
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The price for the various iterations of the Revolve really vary depending on sales and which versions/features you choose. If we assume a pricetag of around $500 on sale, there are definitely seats that will last longer in rear-facing mode and that are priced lower. (Keep in mind here that the rear-facing fit issue is impacted by the length of the torso and proportions of their head as well, which is hard to predict, and as I’ve mentioned, my twins seem to have gone in and out of fitting rear-facing over the past few years, which would be decidedly inconvenient for families without an arsenal of seats to choose from.) All told, 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.
Which Revolve is right for you?
Keeping in mind that the regular Revolve and the Extend are primarily distinguished by the higher rear-facing weight/height max of the Extend, I would just consider whether you reasonably expect your child passenger(s) to require rear-facing over 40 lb/ 40″. The 40″ height maximum for the regular Revolve is pretty low, so if they’re prices are close, I would steer most folks towards the Extend.
The Slim is nice and narrow which may help you in 3-across situations. However, its rotating functionality may be completely useless, especially if you are installing the seat in the middle, sandwiched between two other car seats. Also note that the Slim does not become a booster seat.