Rotating car seats were briefly a thing, then not a thing and now they are really a thing. We’ve gone from having zero of these seats on the market to now having a few models to choose from. We’ve reviewed them all (except the Orbit) so I was pleased to have the opportunity to spend some time with the newest entry into this category, the Graco Turn2Me. It offers a fairly easy installation and a plush cover. Plus, it rotates in rear facing mode.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 4-40 pounds
- Rear facing height range: the child’s head must be at least 1 inch below the headrest adjustment handle
- Rear facing lower anchor weight limit: 35 pounds
- Forward facing weight range: 22-65 pounds
- Recline position 2 or 3 must be used for forward facing children who weigh less than 25 pounds
- Forward facing height range: up to 49 inches tall
- Forward facing lower anchor weight limit: 40 pounds
- High back booster weight range: 40-100 pounds
- High back booster height range: 43-57 inches tall
- High back booster minimum age: at least 4 years old. CSFTL advocates that children be at least 5 years old before moving to a booster seat.
- LATCH is permitted in booster mode
- Expiration: 10 years
- Lowest harness height: 7 inches with padding, 8 inches without padding
- Highest harness height: 17 inches
- Highest shoulder belt guide height: 18.5 inches
- Front to back space in the most reclined rear facing position: roughly 28 inches
- Width at widest point: 19 inches
- Front to back space: 28 inches
- Seat weight: 26 pounds
- The seat rotates in rear facing mode. It does not rotate in forward facing mode.
- SnugLock installation in both rear and forward facing modes
- No rethread harness
- 4 recline positions
- Easy-to-read recline angle indicator for rear and forward facing modes
- 2 easy-to-clean cupholders (these are required for use)
- Steel-reinforced frame
- Premium lower anchor connectors
- Removable, plush head and body inserts for rear facing use (both inserts must be used at the same time)
Comparison of Rotating Car Seats
Now that there are a number of car seats that swivel, we’ve developed a handy chart to help you keep track of some of the primary differences between them.
|Car Seats that Swivel: a Guide|
|Car Seat Name||Rear Facing Weight Range||Rear Facing Height Range||Rear Facing lower anchor weight limit||Forward Facing Weight Range||Tether Use||Forward Facing Height Range||Forward Facing lower anchor weight limit||MSRP|
|Evenflo Revolve||4 – 40 pounds||17 – 40 inches tall or until the child’s head is within 1 inch of the top of the headrest or backrest, whichever is higher||35 pounds||22 – 65 pounds||Required in both modes, stays out of the way and can stay attached||28 – 49 inches tall and the top of the child’s ears are below the top of the headrest||40 pounds||$379|
|Graco Turn2Me||4 – 40 pounds||Child’s head must be at least 1 inch below the headrest adjustment handle||35 pounds||22 – 65 pounds||Required in forward facing mode, stays out of the way and can stay attached since the seat doesn’t swivel in forward facing mode||28 – 49 inches tall and the top of the child’s ears are below the top of the headrest||40 pounds||$449|
|Cybex Sirona S||5-50 pounds||17 – 49 inches tall||30 pounds||22-65 pounds||Required for forward facing in Canada, optional for forward facing in the US, must be attached every time the seat swivels for forward facing||28 – 49 inches tall and the top of the child’s ears are below the top of the headrest||35 pounds||$500|
|Baby Jogger City Turn||4-50 pounds||Until the child’s head is 1 inch below the adjuster handle on the headrest when fully extended||35 pounds||22-65 pounds||Required in forward facing mode, stays out of the way and can stay attached since the seat doesn’t swivel in forward facing mode||less than 49 inches tall||40 pounds||$500|
|NUNA REVV||5-40 pounds||43 inches tall max||30 pounds||5-40 pounds||Required in both directions, stays out of the way and can stay attached||43 inches tall||30 pounds||$599|
The Turn2Me includes 2 cupholders that must be attached before using the car seat. Other Graco seats have a similar requirement that’s often missed when caregivers are setting up their child’s car seat so we mention this first nowadays.
Each cupholder is marked L or R, indicating use on the left or right side of the seat. Remove the edge of the cover from around the cupholder area on the seat to expose the installation area, then align the groove on the back of the cupholder with the line on the seat itself, then slide the cupholder into position. The cupholder will click then lock into place once it’s in the right place.
Now that we have the complex assembly instructions out of the way (install cupholders, done!), let’s talk about the seat’s other big feature: it rotates in rear facing mode to make loading the child easier.
Like the Baby Jogger CityTurn before it, I admit that at first, I wanted this seat to rotate in rear and forward facing modes. However, when it comes to both of these seats, logic prevailed — in most cases, a child whose parents follow best practice and don’t turn their car seat forward facing until somewhere around 3-4 years old, that child can climb into their own car seats. So the rotating feature wouldn’t be as useful for forward facing.
The Turn2Me rotates quite easily, just squeeze the little button behind the cupholder and gently nudge the shell of the seat in the other direction. It will click when it is in a locked position and it must be in that locked position before beginning to drive. We found that loading our rear facing dolls (who, I admit are rather compliant in all matters, unlike sassy toddlers or squirmy newborns) from the side was quite easy and convenient.I did test the rotation by placing the seat in a variety of weird locations while I was writing this review. Regardless of whether or not the seat was secured in a vehicle, sitting on top of my table, or (don’t ask) sitting on top of my trash can for a moment, I was able to rotate the seat with ease. Obviously, families who use this seat on the regular won’t need to test the rotation like this but I was glad to see that I could rotate it with one hand even when the seat isn’t installed! (OF COURSE it does need to be installed when the car seat is actually being used in a vehicle.)
There’s also a handy QR code on this section of the cover, scan it to view installation videos. FYI scanning a picture of this QR code didn’t work for me but scanning the QR code itself did.
Plush Cover/Fun Colors
In a world that’s currently dominated by black and gray car seats, the Turn2Me’s plush, purple cover is a welcome change. I know lots of families love their monochromatic car seats (all colors are great, just read and use those manuals for the correct installation and use!) but my kids were young during the heyday of fun patterns — cows, flowers, monkeys, we had it all!– so I welcome the return of a color palette to the car seat world.
Note: this seat is also available in black and gray.
The Turn2Me includes a plush set of inserts for use in rear facing mode. Note: like most inserts, these inserts cannot be used in forward facing mode.
These inserts must be used together and they must be used if the child’s shoulders are below the lowest harness position.
Recline Angle Adjuster
The gray handle that adjusts the recline angle is mounted on the back of the seat’s shell. It adjusts fairly easily, just squeeze, then tilt the seat’s shell until it’s in the desired position, then release. Make sure the seat’s shell clicks into place.
If you’re moving the seat between rear and forward facing modes, there’s an extra step to get the seat into the most upright forward facing position. First squeeze the handle to move the shell into the upright position, then rotate the seat.
Now the very same handle will be at the front of the seat, squeeze it once again and push the shell into the more upright position to move the seat into the most upright position. I’m pretty sure I just made that sound more difficult than it actually is.
The Turn2Me’s widest point is 19 inches across, that probably doesn’t make it a great option for three across situations. Where I found that the Baby Jogger City Turn sat up pretty high and was able to rotate next to a lower-set convertible seat because it rotated over that seat, the Turn2Me sits lower and likely wouldn’t play well with convertibles or rear facing only seats that sit higher. Your mileage may vary, but I wouldn’t put the Turn2Me at the top of any list for tight spaces.
Recline Angle Indicator
The manual states that the bubble must be completely within the blue zone for proper rear facing use. If needed, rolled towels may be used to install the seat at the proper angle.
The Turn2Me has Graco’s most premium installation system — SnugLock. We’re big fans of this system, on every other seat with SnugLock, we’ve found that it takes most of the pain out of installing the seats correctly. When it comes to the Turn2Me, we found that it’s a bit tricky in rear facing mode, but in the end, fairly easy to get that secure installation.
Here’s the scoop: in rear facing mode, the belt path and SnugLock arm are underneath the seat pan. Press the button on the front of the seat to open the panel and expose the SnugLock arm.
Here’s the tricky part — I found the belt path area to be quite small. So much so that I’d encourage caregivers with larger hands or with arthritis to perhaps choose a different seat (I’m well aware that some will take this as a challenge, there remains no medal for proving me wrong, as always, this is my own experience, your mileage may vary). Here is my own medium-sized hand inside this belt path, please note that it takes up about half of the working area.
The lower anchors store on the front of the seat in a handy compartment. They’re attached to the seat by a benign-appearing piece of webbing that I found oddly difficult to work with — it really really wanted to be in the way no matter what I did.
Here you can see that pesky webbing trying so hard to get in the way of the lower anchor adjuster.
We had words, that webbing and I. Eventually, we made peace and I was able to get it tucked out of the way and continue installing the seat.
As I mentioned, the rear facing belt path is quite small so I had to be pretty careful while I was working in there.
Once the panel is open, press the release button on the SnugLock arm to open the arm, then thread the lower anchor webbing through the belt path and under the SnugLock arm. Be careful not to scrape your hands on the metal bits that are on the underside of the panel while you’re in there working!
Attach both ends of the lower anchor connectors to the lower anchor connectors in the vehicle, pull the end of the tail of the webbing to remove most of the slack from the connectors, then close the SnugLock panel. Check your work by giving the seat a firm handshake at the belt path — it should move less than an inch in any direction. If the seat still moves, open the panel to expose the belt path, then open the SnugLock arm, push down on the seat while pulling straight up on the webbing to remove a bit more slack, then close the SnugLock arm and check your work again.
Like other seats that have SnugLock, I found that removing most of the slack from the webbing was the most effective way to get a solid installation.
Vehicle Seat Belt
Installing the Turn2Me with the vehicle seat belt presents the same “working in a small space” challenge that the lower anchors did, only slightly more challenging since you also have to thread the seat belt through the belt path.
The process is the same — press the release button on the front of the seat to open the belt path, raise the SnugLock arm — the difference is the next step — thread the vehicle seat belt through the belt path, under the SnugLock arm, remove the slack from the shoulder portion of the belt, then close the SnugLock and check your work. The seat should move less than an inch at the belt path.
In the end, installing this seat rear facing was not difficult, it was mostly what I’d expect from a seat with SnugLock in the name, the only challenge was working in the small space of the rear facing belt path.
Note: recline position 2 or 3 must be used for forward facing children who weigh less than 25 pounds. CSFTL advocates that children ride rear facing as long as possible, ideally so long that this restriction would no longer apply.
The Turn2Me has a first for Graco — an angle indicator for forward facing use. The manual states that the bubble must be completely within the orange zone for proper forward facing use.
The Turn2Me does not rotate in forward facing mode. I know I said that earlier but I’m mentioning it again since it’s kind of a big deal. However, it does have SnugLock, which I found made the installation pretty darn simple.
To install the Turn2Me forward facing with the lower anchors, first move the lower anchors from the rear facing belt path into the forward facing belt path. This was a bit more difficult than I’d like, again due to that piece of webbing attaching the anchors to the seat. Once the lower anchors are in place, set the seat on the vehicle seat with the harness facing the front of the vehicle. Raise the headrest all the way up, then unsnap the cover to expose the delightfully open forward facing belt path.
Release the SnugLock arm, thread the lower anchors through the belt path and behind the SnugLock arm. Press the Turn2Me away from you, back into the vehicle seat, while pulling the webbing on the lower anchor connectors to remove the slack. Once most of the slack is removed from the webbing, close the SnugLock arm to secure the installation and check your work. The seat should move less than an inch at the belt path.
Vehicle Seat Belt
To install the Turn2Me forward facing with the vehicle seat belt, first make sure that the lower anchors are stored in their handy storage compartment on the front of the seat. Also make sure that the seat is rotated into the forward facing position, set the seat on the vehicle seat with the harness facing the front of the vehicle. Raise the headrest all the way up, then unsnap the cover to expose the delightfully open forward facing belt path.
Release the SnugLock arm, thread the vehicle seat belt through the belt path and behind the open arm, buckle it in, then remove as much slack as possible from the shoulder portion of the vehicle seat belt — the goal is to get that lap portion of the belt as snug as possible! Hold the belt in place, then close the SnugLock arm. Check your work, the seat should move less than an inch at the belt path.
Fit to Child
It’s somewhat uncommon for a convertible or multimode car seat to be rated down to 4 pounds so I almost forgot to ask my preemie Huggable Images doll to model the Turn2Me! Here is our delightful 4 pound doll, the doll is 17 inches long. Since the Turn2Me does not have a minimum rear facing height, our doll was the right size to model this seat. Sometimes, we find that the lowest harness position is still not low enough for these tiny passengers but I’m pretty thrilled to tell you that the Turn2Me fit our preemie doll quite well! As always, we’d caution caregivers wanting to use any car seat with a preemie to check the fit before heading out on a ride (make sure the harness is at or below the shoulders and the seat/padding doesn’t push the baby’s head forward).
Our newborn Huggable Images doll weighs 7 pounds and is 17 inches long. Since the infant padding is optional (but required if the child’s head is below the lowest harness position), we tried our doll in the seat both with and without the padding. With the padding in place, the doll fits well, though the padding does appear to make the doll feel a bit squished in the seat. Our doll wasn’t talking and it’s unlikely that a newborn would either so the decision about whether or not to use the padding falls to the caregiver.
So we tried the doll without the padding in place.
16 Month Old Doll
Our 16 month old doll weighs next to nothing and is 31 inches tall. The doll has plenty of room to grow and loading the doll into the seat was a piece of cake, thanks to the rotating seat!
3 Year Old Child
For the first time since early 2020, I’m thrilled to have actual children sharing their thoughts about some car seats! This 3 year old model weighs 31 pounds and is 38 inches tall. She rides forward facing most of the time these days but was happy to give the Turn2Me a whirl for us.
She was VERY amused that it rotates and was jazzed about climbing in. Her mom found it pretty easy to do her harness while the seat was rotated. Once we got her harness nice and snug, it was time to rotate the seat. That’s when we discovered that explaining the concept of where your legs should go was oddly challenging. Naturally, her mom figured it out way before I did (“bend your legs. Then leave them bent.”) and we worked through it. I’d imagine that children who start riding in this seat much earlier will sort of figure this out as they grow but it was a small issue during this review. Our model found the seat quite comfortable, it’s not unlike the Graco Milestone she normally rides in, though it’s a bit more plush. She has some room to grow yet in terms of harness height.
3 Year Old Doll
Our 3 year old doll is 38 inches tall and, like our 16 month old doll, full of lightweight fluff. The doll has a bit of room to grow and, unlike our human model, we had no issues moving the fluff-filled legs out of the way to rotate the seat. I do want to know that the Turn2Me’s low-slung rear-facing belt path puts the vehicle seat belt out of the way of the child’s legs. The similar (yet not) Baby Jogger CityTurn’s belt path puts that vehicle seat belt directly in the path of the rotation and we had to be careful that the doll’s legs didn’t catch on the belt. That’s not an issue with the Turn2Me.
3 Year Old Child
Our fabulous and funny 3 year old model remains 31 pounds and 38 inches tall. She was able to climb into the Turn2Me without issue and we found that the harness fit her well. She’s got some room to grow yet and she had no complaints about the overall comfort level of the seat, though she did let me know that I shouldn’t call her “kiddo” so that’s been avoided here. We are absolutely at the mercy of our models and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
She’s got some room to grow in this seat and she found it just as comfortable in forward facing mode as she did in rear facing mode.
3 Year Old Doll
Here is our 3 year old doll once more, this time the doll was kind enough to model the seat in forward facing mode. The harness fits the doll well and there’s still plenty of room to grow.
6 Year Old Doll
Our largest stuffed model is the 6 year old doll, which is 48 inches tall. At this height, the doll is just an inch away from outgrowing the seat by height. That measurement is if you’re just looking at the stated height limit for the seat. We’re mostly looking at seated shoulder height and in this case, the doll is right at the height limit for the harness. Since our doll is 6 years old, we’d expect that there wouldn’t be a lot of growing room left in harness mode.
Converting to Booster Mode
The Turn2Me converts to a high back booster, it must be in recline position 1 for booster use. To make the transition, first be sure that your kiddo is old enough (ideally, at least 5) and mature enough to sit properly all of the time. Then, with the Turn2Me in forward facing mode, open the lower panel to expose the rear facing belt path. This is the step where the crotch buckle gets stored.
With the rear facing belt path panel open, push the crotch buckle out through the underside of the panel until it’s loose, then remove it from the seat pan. This took a bit of effort, though it’s nothing like the challenge that was removing the crotch buckle on the early Nautilus/Argos. That remains the most challenging thing I’ve done as a car seat person. Once this crotch buckle is removed, reattach it to the buckle tongues. Attach the chest clip and slide the pieces together.
Raise the headrest all of the way and pull down the cover to expose the belt path, then open the harness storage door.
Store the chest clip and crotch buckle inside, then close everything back up and you’re ready for booster mode.
6 Year Old Doll
Our 6 year old doll saves the day once again by showing the seat in booster mode. The official maximum height for this seat in booster mode is 57 inches tall but the shoulder belt guide is barely taller than the highest harness position so (as always) I’m not sure how those extra inches of height come into play between harness mode (49 inches) and booster mode (57 inches) when there isn’t an 8 inch distance between the top of the harness and the shoulder belt guide.
Anyway, our model is 48 inches tall and has a teeny bit of room to grow in booster mode. We’ve long considered booster mode on multimode seats as a transitional option since they don’t tend to have very tall shoulder belt guides. But! Booster training a kiddo who is very comfortable in their seat in harness mode using the same seat can be really helpful since the kiddo already knows the seat.
Important Information: Where to Find
Date of manufacture label: the seat has a 10 year expiration. The label is on the bottom of the seat’s base.
Manual storage: the manual stores in a slot at the bottom of the seat’s base.
Lower anchor storage: the lower anchors store on the front of the seat behind a panel.
FAA approval label: the Turn2Me is approved for use on aircraft in forward facing harness mode only. It is not approved for airline use in rear facing mode.
The approval label is found on the front of the seat, on the panel where the lower anchors are stored.
The Turn2Me has everything we’d expect from a Graco multimode car seat — it’s fairly easy to install, has a smooth harness, and has the potential to be fairly long-lasting. The turning portion of the program is pretty nice — the mechanism is very smooth. For families who are looking for a rotating seat, we’d definitely put the Turn2Me high on the list of rotating seats to consider!