My wife and I spent quite some time researching different models of car seats available on the market and which car seat models offered the best safety for our child. There are quite a few reputable companies producing car seats which are up to the best standards, but only a few offer it at a reasonable price.
Enter the Joie Spin 360 – a car seat which can be set up in the rear facing configuration up to 18kg (or until they are too tall) and in the forward facing configuration also until 18kg (if your child outgrew the rear-facing configuration by height alone) or until 4 years of age. Apart from the benefit of being rear facing for so long, as you might guess from the model name, the Spin 360 is capable of spinning around a full 360° allowing you to easily and effortlessly place your loved one into their seat and buckle them up without bending over the side.
What are the benefits of the Spin 360?
The Spin 360 comes with an ISO-fix base – this is a special base that gets installed in cars which are ISO-fix enabled. All vehicles produced since February 2013 are required to have ISO-Fix tether points, though some car manufacturers have started including the ISO-Fix tether points since 1997. It is best to ensure your car has ISO-Fix tether points before purchasing this car seat or any other ISO-Fix based car seat as you would not be able to install it otherwise. The ISO-Fix base also has indicators which show you when it is installed correctly, giving you piece of mind that you’ve done a good job at installing it. Other car seats which use the seat belt as the harnessing device do not have this kind of indicator and we worried it would be constantly on our mind.
It also has 5 recline positions which are ideal if travelling long distances since babies, especially newborns, require a certain amount of inclination whilst in a car seat for longer periods of time. Grow Together™ is a system invented by Joie where the multi-height headrest and harness system adjust simultaneously and require no re-threading of the harness as you would find on some other car seats.
Another thing we really love about our Spin 360 is that the 5 point harness can be tightened in one pull motion. When we were still deciding what to buy we noticed that some harnesses required you to adjust all the straps before tightening and the fact that this only required one motion after buckling helped us in making our final decision.
What didn’t we like?
After some use we realised that lever to spin the car seat around was a bit hard to reach, but once reached it was very easy to use. Upon further reading we found out that the fabric isn’t easily removable – on a car seat that can last up to 4 years one would expect it to get grubby so cleaning it might be an issue.