Joie Spin 360 Car Seat review
In a nutshell
A car seat that affords parents ease of use with a 360 degree rotating base, while it's cheaper than other swivel car seats on the market, it's still one of the most expensive in the Joie collection
What we tested
- Ease of installing
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Safety features
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Worth the money
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Rotates 360 degrees, comfy, secure, safe, stylish
- Not travel system compatible, doesn’t recline very far
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The Joie Spin 360 is the one of the most popular original rotating car seats. As the name suggests, the Group 0+/1 seat rotates 360°, meaning it swivels on its base, great for getting your baby or toddler in and out of the chair easily. Rotating car seats also historically offer great flexibility for rear-facing for longer as well.
But this Group 0+/1 car seat does have a lot to offer, it may not be i-Size compatible, but it is suitable from birth to 4 years and allows little ones to sit rear-facing to 18kg (roughly 4 years).
Featuring ISOFIX only installation, the car seat also has a Grow Together™ multi-height headrest and harness system that adjusts simultaneously, meaning there's no re-threading of the harness and has a total of 10 recline positions; 5 rearward and 5 forward-facing. The Joie 360 Spin also scooped the coveted gold award for best rotating car seat in the MadeForMums Awards 2017.
The seat is sold on being a rotating seat, how does it work?
The rotating function of the seat is very easy to operate; to swivel it towards you, simply pull up a latch on the base of the car seat at the front, and turn.
Once you have strapped your child in, simply swivel the seat either forwards or back depending on the age/ weight of your child and your preference, and it will lock into place.
Is a car seat with a swivel function useful?
It’s an incredibly useful feature. When my first son was a baby we got the Britax Dualfix (£299), which also has a swivel feature.
My husband and I both agreed that once you know how good a swivelling car seat is you won’t want to go back.
How comfortable is the Joie Spin 360 seat?
It seems very comfortable. The newborn inserts look particularly study and I think a young baby would be very well supported with them.
Rafferty (14 months) is too big to need them but he’s certainly very snug in his seat without them.
How do you install the 360 Spin car seat?
The seat can only be installed using ISOFIX, but it was very simple to do and only took a matter of minutes with our seat. However, we have come across a few threads from parents who have newer versions of the car seat and have had difficulty with the seat not staying in one position even though the ISOFIX connectors are connected. Many parents thought it was a defective ISOFIX base, as it means the seat can slide forward, but we spoke to Joie directly and asked them about the new adjustment, this is what they said:
"Following customer feedback that the ‘ISOFIX adjuster’ buttons on the Spin 360 required significant pressure in order to change the position of the seat, updates were made to improve the seat’s ease of use."
"All Spin 360 car seats are built with an automatic retraction system. Extending the seat to its outermost ISOFIX position allows you to create more room for baby and gain easy access to the spin and recline functions."
"As with many child restraint seats, the fit may vary due to vehicle configurations and dependant on driving conditions, it can naturally retract during use. This feature has been designed to protect your child.The Spin 360 has been designed and tested to the R44.04 standards including Independent ADAC testing."
Looking through all of that, and taking into consideration that this didn't happen with the older version of the car seat, we (MadeForMums) recommend you do the following things before you buy this (or any other) seat and travel with it:
- Check the child car seat fits the dimensions of your car back seat. You can do this on most manufacture websites.
- Once you've checked that it fits and you're happy it's the seat for you, get it installed by professional, most retailers offer this service.
How is strapping your little one in?
Strapping Rafferty into it is very easy. The lever you push down to extend the belt is slightly hidden at the front, you can access it easily with your finger though.
When tightening the straps, the belt tightens easily and smoothly and he feels very secure in it.
What is the Grow Together™ multi-height headrest and harness system?
This is a great function. In order to raise the headrest, you simply pull up a latch and you can do it with one hand, and it simultaneously adjusts the harness, which means you don’t have to rethread the straps whenever you want to change their height.
How many recline positions does the 360 Spin have?
It has five recline heights when in rear and facing positions, and it is easy to adjust, you simply pull a latch under the front of the car seat and pull it up for down.
Do you worry that the recline position is too upright, particularly for a sleeping baby?
Yes, this is a major downside of the seat. We were on our way home – with two hours on the motorway ahead of us – when Rafferty fell asleep and slumped forward and we couldn’t get his head to rest against the seat, even when fully reclined.
We had to stop, get him out and reposition him in the seat but I felt the need to turn and check on him several times in the journey to make sure he was OK.
We’ve seen this problem before on Joie car seats at MadeForMums when we tested the i-Anchor. Our review and a few of our mums say that the seat doesn't give their little one a supported position when sleeping in the seat.
Is the Joie 360 Spin both a good rear and forward-facing seat?
Yes, I would say so. I have sat Rafferty forwards-facing in it while the car has been stationary just to see what it looks like, but as he is only 14 months I have only travelled with him rear facing.
For me, one of the key benefits of this seat is that it can be rear facing until 4. In fact, my 3 year old Fergus is so excited about Rafferty’s new seat that he has been asking to sit rear facing in his Britax Dualfix!
Will it last the full advertised 4 years?
Yes, I think it would definitely last the full four years.
Do you think it would fit a rear-facing 4-year-old child?
I think it would depend on the car you have. Ours is an estate and quite roomy so we are able to extend the ISOFIX legs to allow more leg room when rear facing. However, if you were in a more compact car, you might not be able to pull it forwards as much which would have a bearing on the amount of leg room they would have rear facing.
How does the Joie 360 Spin compare to other rotating car seats in its class?
Unlike the Maxi Cosi Axiss (£150.00) which is forward facing only, turns 90 degrees and suitable from 9 months to four years, the Joie Spin 360 can be used form birth and with its full 360 rotation, it means your child can be rear facing until they are four.
Meanwhile the Nuna Rebl reclines to a whopping seven positions, unlike the Joie Spin 360, which has 5 recline positions forward and 5 backwards, but at £425.00 it’s in the eye-wateringly expensive category.
I find it’s very similar to the Britax Dualfix (£340), which I have been using for my older son Fergus for over two years.
While the Joie Spin 360 is cheaper at £245, I believe the Britax Dualfix would allow your child to stay rear facing for longer as there is more leg-room and it also feels more solid.
How does it compare to your previous car seat?
I love the Britax Dualfix and have yet to find any car seat that compares to it and while it’s good, I’m afraid the Joie Spin 360 doesn’t quite do so either.
While it has a lot of brilliant functions, the leg room when rear facing isn’t quite as good, it doesn’t recline as far and it doesn’t feel quite as solid – although it’s nearly £100 cheaper.
How does it compare to the Joie Stages?
The Joie Stages lasts a long time – it’s takes your baby from birth to seven years and at £149.99 it’s much cheaper. But with the Joie Spin 360 you are paying for the convenience of the spinning function, if you have the budget I think it’s worth paying for.
Is there more feet space than average car seats when rear-facing?
When you are using it rear facing, you pull it out and away from the passenger seat by extending the ISOFIX this allows extra leg room for your child – it was very easy to do.
Is it high enough for little ones to see out of the window when rear-facing?
Yes, it sits quite high in the car.
How portable and easy did you find to get in and out of the car?
While it was easy to fit, it’s still a relatively heavy and bulky car seat because of the base and leg so it’s not super easy to transfer between cars.
Is the car seat easy to clean? Yes, thankfully I haven’t had to clean it yet but the material looks silky and easy to wipe down and the cover comes off easily too.
What’s in the box?
The car seat comes, with its base attached to it already and with the newborn inserts already fitted and instructions.
Who would the seat be most useful for?
To get the best value out of this seat it would be ideal from newborn – being able to have a tiny baby facing you as you strap them in would be ideal – the only snag is it’s fixed into the car so you couldn’t use it with a travel system. I know it will be extremely useful for Rafferty as I am confident it will last the full four years.
Is the Joie 360 Spin value for money?
Yes, it’s £249.99 which isn’t cheap but unlike some options the base is included within the price. Given that it’s something that you will use for four years - and for even longer if you have more than one child, it works out great value in my opinion.
Where can I buy The Joie Spin 360?
The Joie 360 Spin is a fantastic product. For its group stage and life span it’s pricier than most Joie seats, but if you use it for the full four years it’s a great investment. However, I'd like it to recline further back.
If you liked the Joie 360 Spin, we've got more Group 0+/1 car seats to check out...
- The best rotating car seats
- The best car seats from birth
- 12 of the best rear-facing group 1 car seats
- The best Group 1/2/3 car seats
|Model||Spin 360 Car Seat Review|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Child weight||Up to 18kg|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Car seat installation||Isofix base|
|Travel system compatible||No|
|Positions of carry handle||None|
|Removeable cover for washing||Yes|