See you later, achy backs! The Joie i-Spin 360 car seat makes transporting your baby a dream

The 360° one-handed spin function makes boarding and off-boarding little travellers easy

Two images of the Joie iSpin 360 car seat
(Image credit: Joie)
GoodtoKnow Verdict

All in all, a brilliant car seat. As its name suggests, the Joie i-Spin 360° has a rotating function for easy boarding and off-boarding, six recline positions and it's ISOFIX compatible.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    360° one-handed spin function

  • +

    Well-padded, soft, and comfortable

  • +

    Six recline settings

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Straps and buckles take a bit of getting used to

  • -

    Doesn't spin as easily as in the adverts

Why you can trust GoodtoKnow. Our experienced Consumer Editor & parent reviewers spend hours testing products to help you make the best choice. Find out how we test and review products.

British brand Joie is a household name when it comes to the baby world. Its car seats — including the Joie i-Spin 360 — are a true testament to that. We put this one to the test for our guide to the best car seats for babies. Here's the tester's in-depth review so you can see for yourself if it's the right car seat for your needs and budget.

Reviewed by
Headshot of Grace Holliday, consumer writer
Reviewed by
Grace Holliday

For this review, GoodtoKnow asked mum Grace Holliday to put the Joie i-Spin 360 car seat to the test with her daughter who was seven months old at the time. "I love how comfortable my daughter is in this seat, and how much easier it is on my back to get her in and out, but the thing I love most about this seat is its safety features," Grace told us.

This is a worthy contender if you're looking for a super comfortable car seat that you can use from birth until your child is four years old, and which prioritises the safety of your baby, along with their comfort.

Grace mentioned that her daughter hated being in a car seat prior to reviewing this one. "For a little while we thought the crying was because she was a newborn, and that's what newborns do," she explained. "But after some time we realised it was because she was uncomfortable in the position the seat forced her into. She was desperate to lean or sit forward, but unable to do so, she would get cranky and frustrated quickly.

"Unpacking the Joie i-Spin 360, in our living room, we could see immediately that it was going to suit her demands better. It has padding and cushioning in every nook and cranny, including a memory foam headrest, padded shoulder straps, and infant inserts that can be removed individually. The latter is a particularly clever offering, as you can adjust things little by little, as opposed to removing the baby insert all in one."

To put this seat to the test, Grace used it for a six-hour trip from Yorkshire to Devon with her daughter — and the outcome?

"She even fell asleep at one point on the way there, and for a couple of hours (with a stop off) on the way back. There was no squirming or straining."

Price and availability

At £230, this car seat sits in the middle of the pricing spectrum, but considering its brilliant safety features, rotating function, numerous recline functions, high-quality materials, and ease of use, it represents fair value for money.

Grace also believes this ticks all the boxes you would expect a premium car seat to have, just minus the price.

"Despite its cost, it's worth the investment when you factor in that it can be used for several years, has a generously sized seat, is comfortable, and has reliable safety features," Grace told us. "Plus it's ISOFIX compatible. It has everything I would expect for the price and a little more, like being able to tilt the car seat from the back seat while in motion, which I wouldn't have thought you'd be able to do."

An image of the Joie i-Spin 360 car seat

(Image credit: Joie)

Design and features

Weighs: 13.9 | Age: Birth to 4 years old

Along with the 360° rotating seat, which makes offloading and unloading your little traveller easier, it also has Guard Surround Safety panels that automatically extend when your baby is placed into the seat to provide all the cushioning and security they need.

Couple this with the clever memory foam Tri-Protect headrest and six recline positions and you can rest assured your precious cargo will travel safely and comfortably.  

It's important to note that not all car seats rotate for easy access and it's not essential for them to do so. But for Grace, having a 360° spin function was crucial and for good reason.

"I have chronic back pain and scoliosis which have gotten worse since pregnancy, and I am still recovering from symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) brought on by the pregnancy (thanks for sitting on my ribs for three months, my darling!).

"Lifting our daughter both in and out of the seat caused pain, and the prospect of having to repeat the motion for years to come was unappealing, to say the least. That being said, my husband and mum, the latter of whom we gratefully welcome as a babysitter once a week, really appreciate the spin function too. I will say, however, that while you can spin it one-handed, it isn't quite as smooth or light as the adverts or demos make it look. This isn't much of an issue, as it's still possible to do easily, but it would be remiss not to mention that it does need a bit of a tug to rotate."

An image of the Joie iSpin 360 car seat

(Image credit: Joie)

Another design feature Grace praised was the clever tilting function, which enables little travellers to nap comfortably on the go.

"Once on its base, and even when the car is in motion, the car seat can be tilted backwards and forwards, with a total of six different recline settings," Grace explained. "We strapped our daughter in and went out for a little test drive, with my husband driving and me in the back. With a bit of practise, I figured out how to lean over with my seatbelt still on and lay her backwards and forwards. The buttons are a little stiff, and the motion is pretty jolty, so a very light touch and careful movements would be needed to lay baby back once they had fallen asleep, so as not to disturb them."

"That being said, our daughter looks more comfortable and settled than she ever has in her previous seat. She is also higher up, so can gaze out of the window. When she turns her head and the strap pads brush against her face, we can see they are soft and do not bother her."

How we tested

To test out this car seat, Grace used it as her main means of transporting her daughter for several weeks, using it daily as follows:

  • Transported a seven-month-old baby in a standard family car using this seat, installed via ISOFIX anchor points according to manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Used the seat for a minimum of two weeks for everyday transportation, which included a six-hour drive to from Yorkshire to Devon.
  • Tested the seat rotation functionality, in particular, to see how easy it is to place the baby in and out of the car compared to a fixed seat.

Things you wouldn't find on the box

ISOFIX bases are often believed to be a bit of a faff to sort out. But Grace confirmed that the Joie i-Spin 360 is straightforward to set up and it took just ten minutes to do so. Despite the car seat looking huge in her living room when unboxing it and taking up a fair amount of space in the car, she said it's well worth the effort required.

"The Guard Surround Safety™ panels auto-engage when the harness is tightened," Grace told us. "All the padding, and the design of the seat, feel like she is truly cocooned, without being squashed or uncomfortable." But better yet? "It doesn't encroach into the middle seat or look like an eyesore. It looks great."

Grace did however find the straps a little tricky to loosen.

"It is simple to tighten them - just pull at the single strap at the bottom, centre edge," Grace said. "But initially we could not for the life of us figure out how to loosen them again."

With the manual in the house, the pair tugged away for five minutes, growing more and more frustrated. Eventually, Google helped to save the day.

"To loosen the straps, you must insert your fingers into the hole in the bottom centre of the car seat," Grace explained. "With your other hand, you must pull the straps, but importantly not by the padded section." This is where Grace was going wrong, as the seat pads don't move - only the actual straps underneath do. She added: "Once we figured this out, it is very easy to do, which is a relief."

Who's it best for?

Overall, this is for someone looking for comfort and safety for baby. But, as Grace tells us, it's also best for someone who's looking for back and arm care for themselves.

Grace adds: "Yes, I'd recommend this car seat to a friend, absolutely. It lasts for long enough to justify the cost, and you won't need to replace it at 12 months or four years, plus my daughter is far comfier and happier in it than she ever was in her old seat. I would buy this again, rather than looking for other options, if we got a second car, for example."

Need an alternative?

Luckily, there are loads of other 360° rotating seat options to choose from although the Joie i-Spin 360 is much more affordable than the Be Safe iZi Twist B-E iSize car seat, yet it doesn't feel like a budget buy. However for a more affordable car seat, check out the UPPAbaby Mesa i-Size Infant Car Seat which we also reviewed.

Looking for more options to help your precious cargo travel safely and securely? Discover the best convertible car seats for your baby, the best pram we've tried and tested this year or the best baby carrier to keep little ones close to you while on the go.

Heidi Scrimgeour
Deputy Editor

Heidi is a seasoned parenting journalist with over 15 years of experience. She has contributed to numerous UK national newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times, and The Telegraph. Her work has also appeared in a variety of print and digital magazines, such as Psychologies and Mother & Baby, where she was Shopping Editor for six years. In this role, she specialised in consumer features, including buying guides and baby gear reviews. Heidi is also mum to two teenage sons and a ten-year-old daughter.

With contributions from