Last Updated: May 8, 2023 @ 1:49 pm.

What is the best swivel car seat? And why would you want a car seat that swivels? We've been reviewing and rating car seats since the 90's, so let us guide you through this relatively new genre in the child safety seat market. Which swivel seats are easiest to install? Give the best bang for the buck? Here are our favorites.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Budget-Friendly

Roomy seat
Yes, swivel seats can be pricey—but we like this seat's overall quality and ease of install, at a price that is easier on the wallet.

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Best Budget-Friendly: Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Let’s talk car seats that swivel!

In the category of everything old is new again, car seats where the base rotates actually date back 20 years, when Japanese car seat maker Combi rolled out the swivel Zeus car seat. That seat didn’t make much of a splash, but paved the way to the current crop of rotating car seats.

So why would you want a car seat that rotates? Fans of swivel car seats say it is easier to put in a reluctant child in these seats—and we’d agree from our real-world testing. Kiddos who hate car seats tend to be less likely to object to these seats.

Also if you have limited motion (example: folks with a bad back, grandparents with arthritis), a car seat with a rotating base makes it easier to secure the child. 

Swivel car seats can be rather pricey—but there is good news: the Evenflo Gold Revolve360 is a safe, swivel car seat that doesn’t break the bank. Here’s why we recommend it:

What We Liked

• Roomy seat area.

• Easy to install.

• Nice padding.

• Great for kids who hate car seats.

• Converts to booster seat. 

• Affordable, at least compared to other swivel seats.

• Works rear-facing to 40 lbs.

What Needs Work

• Swivel can jam if not in full recline position, say our readers. Yes, for the full 360 degree swivel, you must fully recline the seat. But you can still rotate the seat from rear-facing to the load position when the seat is upright (that is, not fully reclined).

• Not approved by the FAA for airplane use.

• Tether use is required. 

• May not work in the third row of a SUV or minivan. That’s because (for some vehicles) the third row doesn’t have a tether anchor. And as we pointed out above, this seat must be tethered according to the maker.

• Straps could be longer for bigger babies.

• Heavy.

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Best With Load Leg

Premium fabrics
We like the safety enhancements with this seat, including beefed up side impact protection and a leg that helps prevent the seat from rotating in an accident.

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Best With Load Leg: Cybex Sirona S Rotating Convertible Car Seat

Car seat safety is a matter of physics. If you are in an accident, everything in the car stays in motion . . . including your car seat.

Car seats that are attached to the vehicle via a safety belt or LATCH straps still move after a crash. Reducing that movement results in less injury to the child.

That’s the point of the “load leg,” a relatively new feature seen on high-end car seats. Called the “EasyLock” bar on this seat, the Cybex Sirona S’s load leg keeps the seat from rotating in an accident by bracing the seat against the vehicle floor. That reduces movement and the chance of injury.

We should note that car seats without a load leg are still perfectly safe when installed correctly. The load leg just adds an additional layer of safety . . . albeit at a price. 

The Cybex Sirona S also has added side-impact protection as well as all the standard features you’d expect in a premium car seat: adjustable headrest, dual level indicators and plush fabrics. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Comfy for baby.

• Sensor sends alert to app if child unbuckles seat.

• Side impact protection.

• Load leg.

• For infants as small as four pounds.

• Adjustable headrest.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Could be easier to install in some vehicles. We realize each vehicle can present its own installation challenges, but we heard from more than one reader that this seat can take time and effort to get that correct install.

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Best Rotating 3-in-1 Seat

Easy to install
We liked how this seat both rotates AND converts to a high-back booster. Also nice: no rethread harness makes it easy to adjust seat as baby grows.

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Best Rotating 3-in-1 Seat: Graco Turn2Me 3-in-1 Car Seat, Manchester

Leave it up to car seat top-seller Graco to combine two of the hottest trends in car seats: seats that convert to three uses (3-in-1) with a base that rotates. Hence, the Graco Turn2Me 3-in-1 seat. We had a chance to poke around this relatively new seat and were impressed: yes, it can be used rear-facing and forward-facing as most rotating car seats. But then it converts to a high back booster for use up to 100 lbs—that’s something the Cybex and Baby Jogger doesn’t do. 

Here are some more of our impressions after being able to demo the seat:

What We Liked

• No rethread harness makes adjusting harness simple.

• 4 step recline is good (not as deep as others, but still good).

• Easy to install.

• Easy to adjust.

• Soft fabrics.

What Needs Work

• Seat only rotates when baby is in the rear-facing position.

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Best Tried & True Brand

Harness easy to adjust
This premium seat is loaded with features that impressed—we like the deep recline and easy install. Also nice: fabrics that breathe in the heat of summer.

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Best Tried & True Brand: Baby Jogger City Turn Convertible Car Seat

Since this seat is relatively new as of this writing, we have less real world feedback from our readers on this seat’s quality. However, the brand behind this seat is tried and true: Baby Jogger car seats are actually made by Graco, so we feel confident this seat will perform as intended. We did take a look at this seat in person and were impressed. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Deep recline for napping infants.

• Headrest adjusts to 10 positions.

• No-rethread harness doesn’t need to be adjusted as baby grows.

• Tried and true brand has good safety reputation.

• COOLMAX material helps seat breathe in warmer weather.

• Starts with infants as small as 4 pounds rear-facing.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.