Rotating car seats are taking up an increasingly large portion of the space in store shelves these days. That’s not a bad thing — many of these seats offer a level of convenience that many caregivers find preferable. The Evenflo Revolve Slim joins the lineup. As the name suggests, the most notable feature is that the seat is narrow. Since we now live in a world where there are options for tight spaces, we’re excited to see how the Revolve Slim fits into the lineup.
Having a hard time keeping track of all the rotating seats? Check out our handy chart of rotating car seats, which has been upgraded to its own post.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 4-50 pounds
- Forward facing weight range: 22 – 65 pounds
- Forward facing height range: 28 – 49 inches tall and the tops of the child’s ears are at or below the top of the headrest
- Forward facing age minimum: at least 2 years old
- Tether anchor required
- Removable, top rack dishwasher-safe, optional cupholders
- SensorSafe chest clip on some models
- The seat must be in the locked position for proper use when the vehicle is moving
- Replace after any crash
- Highest harness position: 18 inches
- Lowest harness position: 6.5 inches with insert, 7 inches without insert
- Width at widest point: 17 inches
- Seat weight: 30 pounds
- Crotch buckle positions: 4.5, 6, and 7 inches from the back of the seat pan
The base installs via a very nice belt tensioner. However, I found that closing that tensioner was a bit challenging — I had to really make sure that it was closed, though the indicator did turn green, indicating that it was locked in place.
My fear around this is that caregivers will close it but it won’t be fully locked into place (the indicator might not be fully in the green) and the seat could uninstall itself. Caregivers would never know because the shell sits on top of that tensioner. We’d suggest that caregivers who use this seat remove the shell every now and again to make sure the tensioner is still locked.
Smaller Source of Confusion
The harness webbing ships with a rubber band on it to keep the webbing out of the way. Which is just fine until caregivers think they can’t remove it, then wonder why the harness doesn’t actually adjust. It is okay to remove this rubber band.
Rear Facing Recline Angle Rules
The seat has some pretty specific rules for the recline angle indicator. As the child grows, caregivers will need to move the seat to the correct recline angle based on the child’s weight.
- White zone: 4 – 20 pounds (this is the most reclined for the tiniest passengers)
- Black zone: 20 – 50 pounds (this is a bit more upright for larger, rear facing passengers)
Adjusting the Recline
The recline angle only adjusts when the shell is in the rear facing position. There are 4 recline positions for rear facing and just one for forward facing.
The optional infant insert can be used in rear facing mode only. It does not have any weight restrictions.
Seat Protector Insert
The optional seat protector insert included with the quick clean cover can be used rear facing for children who weigh up to 50 pounds and forward facing for children who weigh up to 40 pounds.
Crotch Buckle Position
The seat has 3 crotch buckle positions. The webbing should always be close to the child but the child shouldn’t be sitting on the buckle itself. If that happens, move the buckle to the outermost position. The manual includes a note that children who weigh more than 40 pounds must use outermost position from the seat back.
The installation for rear facing and forward facing is the same since there’s only one belt path and the shell rotates. That’s definitely a plus for caregivers who aren’t fond of installing and re-installing car seats!
Before installing the car seat in forward facing mode, the seat’s recline must be in the upright position.
Attach the Shell to the Base
The Revolve Slim is kind of unique because it has two pieces: the seat itself (the manual calls it the seat shell) and a base. Unlike the rear facing car seats that include a base, the Revolve Slim’s shell cannot be installed without a base. This also means you can carry it out to your car in two separate pieces when you’re installing the seat. Everyday use? Not so much, the shell isn’t really designed to be carried around all the time.
To install the base, remove the shell by lining the white arrows up and tipping the shell backward, away from you. The base and shell should be two separate pieces now.
Set the base on the vehicle seat and open the belt tensioner. Thread the vehicle seat belt through the belt path, pull up on the shoulder portion to remove slack, then close the belt tensioner. Check for movement by giving a firm handshake at the belt path.
Here’s how to attach the shell to the base.
1. Find the white arrow on the front of the seat shell.
2. Line the arrow on the shell up the white arrow that’s closest to you on the base (there are two, one on each side).
3. Place the shell on the base. Note: the harness webbing can interfere with the seat lock. Do not allow the strap to get caught between the shell and the base while you’re installing the seat.
4. Rotate the seat in either direction to confirm that it is properly installed.
Additional note: The seat will not rotate in the forward-facing direction unless it is fully reclined.
When rotating seats first hit the market, we were concerned that caregivers would drive off with the seats in an unlocked position. We’ve since learned that they all have a fail-safe built in so that’s pretty much not possible. The Revolve Slim solves this via the seat lock indicator on the side of the seat — make sure this is in the green before heading out for your ride.
Vehicle Seat Belt is Preferred
The seat can be installed via either lower anchors or vehicle seat belt. However, the manual states that the vehicle seat belt is the preferred method.
HEY! MINE TOO! So we’re already off to a good start here. I prefer the seat belt because there are no weight restrictions around its use (if it can hold grown adults, it can hold a car seat!) and they’re easier to release than many lower anchors.
The seat belt must be locked once the seat is installed, so this means 1. close the belt tensioner and 2. lock the vehicle seat belt. The manual and the quick start guide have instructions for this step but the label on the base itself doesn’t exactly include this final step. It says to “close and lock,” the “lock” part of that phrase indicates the vehicle seat belt.
Top Tether is Required in All Modes
That’s the whole statement.
Vehicle Seat Belt
Since this seat’s base can be installed once and the seat rotates within that base, one great thing about the Revolve Slim is that you only have to install the base one way. If you were really really loathe to uninstall this car seat, it’s possible that you could leave it installed forever until the child outgrows the seat. This assertion ignores the fact that many children create a debris field of snacks and other items below and behind their car seats.
Remove the seat’s shell from the base and set it aside. Remove the tether from the storage location under the base and loosely attach it to the tether anchor in the vehicle.
Place the base on the vehicle seat, then open the belt tensioner. Thread the vehicle seat belt through the open tensioner, pull the slack out of the shoulder portion of the belt to tighten, then close the tensioner. Lock the vehicle seat belt, then make sure the base moves less than an inch at the belt path. Tighten the tether and you’re good to go!
Installing the seat with the lower anchors is the same process. only the lower anchor goes through the belt path instead. I have to say, the one belt path thing is pretty great because it minimizes confusion.
The harness straps on this seat wanted nothing more than to twist. I would straighten them out and they’d magically be twisted again as I went to load my doll into the seat. I have no idea how that happened, but it did happen less when I removed the infant insert.
Fit to Child
The preemie doll weighs 4 pounds and is 17 inches long. With the infant insert in place, our doll has a great fit in this seat. The optional shoulder pads are missing because I managed to lose them along the way.
We also removed the insert and found that the doll also has a great harness fit.
Our Huggable Images newborn doll weighs 7 pounds and is 17 inches long. We know that Evenflo spends a good bit of time on fitting car seats for tiny passengers so we very much expected our doll to fit well.
16 Month Old Doll
Our 16 month old doll is 31 inches tall. Rear facing, the doll has plenty of room in the seat.
3 Year Old Doll
Our 3 year old doll is 38 inches tall. The doll fits well and has plenty of room to grow in rear facing mode. Since we tend to suggest that children ride rear facing as long as possible, the Revolve Slim is a nice option for extended rear facing.
3 Year Old Doll
Our 3 year old doll remains 38 inches tall. In forward facing mode, there’s definitely some room to grow and the seat fits the doll well.
6 Year old Doll
Our 6 year old doll is 48 inches tall. Since the Revolve Sim has an 18 inch top harness position, we expected the doll to fit with a little room to grow — and we were right! That’s the exact situation here.
No Booster Mode
Many of the rotating seats I’ve reviewed lately have a short-lived booster mode that proves difficult to use for a lot of reasons. I’m actually pleased that the Revolve Slim does NOT have a booster mode — it just focuses on what it does well, which is fit all of our models from day 1 to age 6.
Important Information: Where to Find
Manual storage: the manual stores in a cubby on the back of the seat’s shell. The manual refers to the manual as the user guide so finding this information was difficult when scanning for the word “manual.”
Top tether storage: the top tether stores at the bottom of the base.
Date of manufacture label: the manufacture date and the expiration date are both printed on the label that’s on kind of hidden underneath the tensioning plate.
FAA approval: the Revolve Slim is approved for use on airplanes.
As far as rotating car seats go, the Revolve Slim doesn’t try to do too much beyond the main requirement — install without too much fuss, work in a way that gives caregivers confidence, and be easy to use. It has a surprisingly tall highest harness height, so it could last for a good long while. The install is just a bit quirky but we’ve come to expect that from rotating car seats, this one is fairly easy to install once you know that the vehicle seat belt must be locked in addition to closing the belt tensioner. Overall, I’d have to say that this seat rises above the other rotating seats and has a lot to offer.