Chicco Fit360 Rotating Convertible Car Seat Review

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Chicco Fit360

The day has arrived, Chicco has entered the rotating car seat chat!

The number of rotating car seats on the market seems to do nothing but grow. At this point, most of the major manufacturers have at least one offering in this category. We’ve found a lot of similarities but an equal number of different features and installation experiences. We know Chicco car seats to be consistently easy to install and use properly so we were excited to see the Fit360 rotating convertible car seat arrive.

CSFTL Quick Stats

  • Rear facing weight range: 4-40 pounds
  • Rear facing height range: under 43 inches
  • Infant insert and body pillow weight range: 4-11 pounds, must be used together
  • Forward facing weight range: 25 – 65 pounds
  • Forward facing height range: 28 – 49 inches tall and the tops of the child’s ears must be at or below the top of the headrest and the straps are at or above the child’s shoulders
  • Forward facing age minimum: one (best practice is to rear face until at least 2 years old, CSFTL strongly recommends keeping children rear facing until they reach the maximum height or weight limit of the car seat)
  • Lower anchor weight limit:
    • Rear facing: 30 pounds
    • Forward facing: 35 pounds
  • Replacement policy: replace after any crash
  • Recline positions: 6
  • Expiration: 8 years
  • Age range: birth to 6 years old
  • FAA certified for use on aircraft

Features

  • Additional bases available for separate purchase!
  • Rotates 360 degrees with one installation
  • LeverLock door – this panel closes the lockoff
  • No rethread harness
  • Magnetic chest clip
  • Bubble recline indicator on both sides of the base
  • Dishwasher safe cupholders
  • Flame retardant free ClearTex fabric option.
  • Optional crash-tested, manufacturer-approved mirror accessory

Measurements

  • Lowest harness position with insert: 7 inches
  • Lowest harness position without insert: 9 inches
  • Highest harness position: 18 inches
  • Crotch Buckle Position with insert: 3 inches
  • Crotch Buckle Positions without insert: 5 and 7 inches
  • Width of seat at shoulders: 18 inches
  • Width at cupholders: 18.5 inches
  • Width of base:
    • At the narrowest point: 10 inches
    • At the widest point: 17 inches
  • Total seat weight: 33 pounds
    • Seat shell: 17 pounds
    • Base: 16 pounds
  • Front-to-back measurement: 32 inches on flat ground (This will vary in/by vehicle)

Two Pieces

Chicco Fit360 Seat and Base

The Fit360 consists of two separate pieces: the base and the seat shell. We’ll refer to the pieces by these names, the manual refers to them as “base” and “seat.”

Removing the Seat Shell from the Base

Chicco Fit360 Assembled in Box

The car seat comes pre-assembled with the seat shell attached to the base. The first order of business after I was done admiring its beauty was to crack open the manual and learn how to separate the two. Here’s what I learned:

Chicco Fit360 loading/unloading position

Rotate the seat shell to its midway point.

Chicco Fit360 seat removal tool

Insert the handy seat removal tool that arrives attached to the bottom of the harness adjuster strap into the seat lock release opening on the base until you hear a click.

Chicco Fit360 seat release handle

Squeeze the yellow handles on each side of the seat shell (photo to show) and lift up the seat shell to remove from the base.

Chicco Fit360 Seat release handle

Attaching the Seat Shell to the Base

Chicco Fit360 ready to ride indicator in red

With the seat shell facing towards you, line up the bottom of the seat shell to the base. Insert the seat shell into the base until you hear a click. Note: the “ready to ride indicator” will be red anytime the seat shell is not in a locked position.

Chicco Fit360 ready to ride indicator in green

Squeeze one of the seat release handles and rotate the seat shell into either the rear or forward facing position, Once the shell is locked in place, the indicator on the base will turn from red to green.

Challenges with the Base

While this base is extremely user friendly and easy to install, we noticed two issues with our base that we want to highlight. Should Chicco provide solutions for these particular challenges we’ll update this section to include those remedies.

Chicco Fit360 toddler feet opening LeverLock

Chicco Fit360 toddler feet opening LeverLock

The biggest issue is still not resolved but we’re hopeful that Chicco will develop a solution quickly. The lockoff’s release handle was a magnet for curious, barefoot toddler feet. While riding rear facing, my inquisitive 3 year old niece managed to maneuver her feet in a way that lifted the handle and opened the panel a little bit. As a disclaimer, she rides without shoes the majority of the time in my car, especially during the winter. I’m not sure she would have had the same success with shoes on. Nevertheless, it happened so I’m sharing it here.

The good news is, while Chicco considers the panel being open a misuse, they have assured us that when the seat is in a locked position, the LeverLock door cannot open far enough to release the tension on the belt that is keeping the seat secure but it should be resecured at your earliest convenience.

We recognize that this is a somewhat rare corner case, but it’s a big deal. We don’t want the kiddos we’re trying hard to protect attempting to uninstall their car seats. We hope that Chicco provides some type of remedy for this situation ASAP. In the meantime, if your family includes a long-legged rear facing child who is prone to curiosity and who does not typically wear shoes in the car, we would not suggest this seat for your situation.

Lockoff Sticking
The first base we received had an additional issue – the lockoff panel got stuck if you pushed it in too hard. Our model is a one of a small handful of seats with this issue — models headed to store shelves right now already have a fix in place!

Magnetic Chest Clip

The Fit360 includes a sporty magnetic chest clip. I had some reservations about the idea of a magnetic chest clip before the seat arrived. I was worried the chest clip would open without effort and I was pleasantly surprised this was not the case at all. The magnet part engages when you secure the chest clip. To open you have to squeeze the two buttons (top and bottom) and then pull it apart. I asked the 4.5 year old model attempt to open this and he was not able to. While I’m sure the child Houdini’s of the country will be able to figure it out eventually, it is certainly not the easiest to open on the market. I also found the chest clip was challenging enough to slide on the straps that it would be a great chest clip for kiddos who persistently move their chest clip out of its proper position while riding.

Top Tether

Chicco Fit360 top tether

The Fit360’s top tether use is a bit unique – it’s required in both rear and forward facing modes when available. We wanted to call that out early in the review, mostly so none of our readers think we’ve made a mistake by using it during the rear facing installation.

Front-to-Back Space/Recline Angle

Normally we just measure how big a car seat is and move on. But the Fit360 is a bit unusual – no matter which recline position we installed the base in, the Fit360 ends up at pretty much the same angle. This is true for both rear facing and forward facing. Using the infant insert in rear facing mode changed the angle of the harness position internally, in other words it put our doll at the correct recline angle but the seat’s shell remained in the same fairly compact position.

Optional Items

Additional Base

A similar rotating car seat that has two separate pieces and installs in a similar fashion doesn’t have the option to purchase additional bases for additional vehicles. We’ve always found that limitation a bit tragic so we were pretty excited to see that Chicco has additional, optional Fit360 bases for sale.

Fit360 Mirror

Chicco Fit360 Mirror accessory

This is the first accessory of its kind! While mirrors typically fall under the category of aftermarket products, their use (like all things when it comes to car seats) are up to parental discretion. The Fit360 mirror accessory was designed to secure to the Fit360 base.

Unlike aftermarket products that aren’t made, tested, or approved by the car seat manufacturer, this mirror is! Chicco reports that it is crash test approved for the Fit360 Convertible Car seat and is shatter resistant. While we advise caregivers not to look at the mirror while operating the vehicle, we know this option will appeal to many parents and caregivers and we’re glad to see a crash-tested option available.

Installing the Base

It’s possible to only install the base one time ever because it installs exactly the same for rear and forward facing use. We recognize that this is a big plus for many families but we want to assure you that the Fit360 installation was stunningly easy.

Vehicle Seat Belt and Top Tether (Preferred Method)

Chicco Fit360 LeverLock door open

To install the base, detach the car seat shell from the base (see our “Removing the Seat Shell from the Base” section above and/or refer to the manual for these instructions) then place the base on the vehicle seat. Route the top tether (it is required for both rear and forward use) over the vehicle seat back, adjust the recline to get the bubble in range and open the lockoff (Chicco calls this the LeverLock Door, we call it a lockoff).

Push the top of the release handle then lift the bottom of the handle to open the door. Route the vehicle seat belt behind the lockoff. Thread the lap portion of the vehicle seat belt through the marked belt path, then route the shoulder portion of the vehicle seat belt into the shoulder belt guide.

Typically, a shoulder belt guide is something we only see on booster seats so it feels weird for us to use that phrase when talking about installing a convertible car seat. However, a shoulder belt guide is exactly what this is, so please bear with us.

Chicco Fit360 seat belt routed behind lockoff

Close the lockoff, then check your work by giving the base a firm handshake with your non-dominant hand. The base should move less than an inch in any direction.

Chicco Fit360 seat belt installation

Chicco Fit360 Checking for movement

Reattach the car seat shell to the base and rotate the seat shell to either the rear or forward facing locked position. The ready to ride indicator must turn to green before driving.

Chicco Fit360 rear facing installed with the vehicle seat belt

Chicco Fit360 rear facing installed with the vehicle seat belt

Chicco Fit360 highest harness height

Chicco Fit360 forward facing install

Lower Anchors and Top Tether

Chicco Fit360 Lower Anchor storage

Detach the car seat shell from the base (we still have instructions above) and remove the lower anchors from the storage compartment on the back of the base.

Place the base on the vehicle seat, route the top tether over the vehicle seat back, adjust the recline to get the bubble in range and open the lockoff. The lower anchor webbing was a little bit twisty at first, we’d suggest making sure that the webbing is flat when routing them through the belt path.

Chicco Fit360 Lower anchor install

Pull the tail on the lower anchor webbing to remove the excess slack, close the lockoff and check for less than one inch of movement at the belt path with the force of a firm handshake with your non-dominant hand.

Chicco Fit360 Lower anchor installation

Reattach the car seat shell to the base and rotate it to the rear or forward facing position.

Lap Belt Only

Since this installation has unique rules, please refer to the manual for full details on how to do this installation if it applies to you.

Fit to Child

Rear Facing

Newborn Doll

With Infant Inserts

Chicco Fit360 newborn doll

Chicco Fit360 newborn doll

Our Huggable Images doll weighs 7 pounds and 17 inches and fit very well with the infant inserts in place. The optional hip and strap covers didn’t get in the way of a proper fit for this doll either but they happen to be off in these photos.

Chicco Fit360 newborn doll from side

Chicco Fit360 newborn doll from side

Without Infant Inserts

Chicco Fit360 newborn doll no inserts

Chicco Fit360 newborn doll no inserts

Although the manual only suggests that the inserts be used when the child weighs between 4-11 pounds, Chicco’s customer service told us that they are required under 11 pounds. If they truly are required, we hope to see a manual update and a FAQ on their website as soon as possible.

We did try the newborn doll fit without the inserts and found the straps were above the shoulders. For this car seat, the straps must be at or below the shoulders for rear facing.

16 Month Old Doll

Chicco Fit360 16 month old doll

Our 16 month old doll is practically weightless and is 31 inches tall. This model has quite a bit of room to grow in this seat.

3 Year Old Child

Chicco Fit360 rear facing 3 year old

The human model is 39 inches tall, weighs 36 pounds, and was the most excited of our models to test out the new seat. She thought the seat was comfortable on our long drive, she found lots of places to put her legs and her favorite feature was the mirror accessory. She put on quite the performance for herself for 2 straight hours.

Chicco Fit360 rear facing 3 year old with mirror accessory

Disclaimer: if your child isn’t used to a mirror and you get this seat and accessory please note they may not nap when you need them to ;).

Forward Facing

18 Inch Top Harness Height

Chicco Fit360 highest headrest position

In a car seat world that’s kind of dominated by a 17 inch top harness height, the Fit360 offers a nice surprise: an 18 inch top harness position. In theory, that means families can use this seat a bit longer. Unfortunately, our Fit360 includes an age range of up to 6 years so we’re not sure how many families could take advantage of this extra growing room. We’re hoping that we’ve convinced Chicco to remove this age limit, we’ll update this review the moment that happens (if it happens!).

3 Year Old Child

Chicco Fit360 forward facing 3 year old

Our 3 year old model was equally as excited about the seat when I spun her around from rear facing to forward facing to see how she fit. She remains 39 inches tall and still weighs 36 pounds. I really like this versatility for using the seat for multiple kids of varying sizes and ages and how seamless it was to switch directions. As I expected, she had a great fit in forward facing mode as well. She has quite a bit of growing room left.

4 Year Old Child

Chicco Fit360 Forward Facing 4.5 year old

Our 4.5 year old model is 43 inches tall and weighs 42 pounds. Even with his long torso, he still has a handful of clicks to go before the headrest is in the highest position, meaning he’s got a fair bit of room to grow in this seat. The independent preschooler noted and appreciated the magnetic chest clip as he buckled himself in. He found the seat comfortable and liked that I was able to spin him towards me to help him in and out (although he did state he was able to climb in and out himself without my help) ;).

Important Information: Where to Find

Manual Storage: The manual stores in a compartment on the bottom of the base in between the ready to ride green/red indicators.

Chicco Fit360 manual storage

Chicco Fit360 base date of manufacture

Date of manufacture labels: The Fit360 expires 8 years after the date of manufacture. The base and the seat shell each have a label.

Chicco Fit360 seat shell date of manufacture

The date of manufacture labels can be found on the bottom of the seat shell and the backside of the base. Note: the seat shell and the base may have different manufacture dates.

Chicco Fit360 QR code

Installation resources: QR codes can be found on the back of the manual and on the side of the seat shell for installation, care, and maintenance resources.

Chicco Fit360 FAA approval label

FAA approval label: This seat is approved for use on an aircraft. For both rear and forward facing, the lockoff remains closed, thread the seat belt is over the base and tighten it over the lockoff. The seat shell should then be placed back on the base and locked into position. Note: the Fit360 is many things, but lightweight isn’t one of them. Families who prefer a lighter weight seat for travel will not find a fit in the Fit360.

Chicco Fit360 Lower Anchor storage

Lower anchor storage: The lower anchor storage can be found on the bottom of backside of the base. The top tether secures to the cutout on the bottom of the lower anchor storage compartment.

Overall Thoughts

Chicco Fit360 Review dogs

At this point, we’ve spend a lot of quality time with every rotating car seat on the market. In our eyes, the Fit360 stands out from the crowd. We can see that Chicco put a lot of time and effort into the design and functionality of the Fit360. Once the toddler-opening-the-LeverLock-panel issue is resolved, we anticipate adding this seat to our list of Recommended Car Seats. For now, we’ll assert that this seat is a great option for just about every situation except for long-legged, barefoot rear facing children who are prone to messing with things in front of them.

We also appreciate how simple the base was to install with the lockoff and how easy it was to rotate the seat between rear facing and forward facing modes. Because this seat has an 18 inch top harness height, we’d expect it to not have an age limit so that families who need that extra inch of height might be able to take advantage of it. Even though the manufacturer assures us that the installation isn’t compromised if a child unlocks the lockoff while riding, that is an issue we would like to see get fixed.

The option to buy a second base is fantastic and the crash-tested mirror accessory is a nice option as well.

This seat will be an excellent option for families who want or need a rotating car seat.

Special thanks to my review dogs who made sure to check my work thoroughly throughout this process.