What surprised me most about the Orbit Toddler Converible Car Seat G2 is how cool the spinning feature is. Well, duh, you’re thinking.
But really. See, I’ve installed Orbit infant seats before, and I’ve always been impressed by their quality and ease of use. I just never really understood the appeal of the rotating feature, at least for people with 4-door cars and no physical limitations. Maybe I had gotten too used to side-loading kids for 7+ years, but I didn’t see how loading a kid facing me would really be that much easier.
Then I got a chance to use an Orbit Toddler for a while, and now I’m totally hooked…
First, the stats.
- Weight range: 15-35 lbs rear-facing, 25-65 lbs forward-facing
- Shell height: 25 inches
- Four harness positions: Bottom three can be use rear-facing, top three forward-facing
- Bottom slot: 10″
- Top slot: 18.25″
- Three crotch strap positions: 4″, 6″, 7″
- Internal seat depth: 11.25″
- Internal seat width (bum): 11″
- Interval seat width (head): 6.5-8.5″
- External seat width at widest (bum): 19″
- LATCH limit: 40 lbs
Heather reviewed the first-generation Toddler seat a couple years ago, and it is one of our recommended convertible car seats. Although many aspects remain the same, quite a bit has changed, some for better, some for worse.
This seat arrived at my doorstep the day before my six-month-old son had a little diaper incident in his Coccoro. He just met Orbit’s 15-lb minimum, so I decided he could take it for a spin, so to speak.
While he did fit (barely–the bottom slots were right at his shoulders), the seat installed so upright I decided it might not be the best choice for him right now. He still sleeps in the car on almost every trip, plus I had another kid who would be a much better candidate.
My daughter Anna was just about to turn 3. She is 37”, 30 pounds, and wears a 4T shirt. She typically uses a MyRide (which I always install as upright as possible, but which always settles back into the maximum allowed recline no matter what I do). In the MyRide, she has about two inches of shell left over her head, meaning one inch until it’s outgrown.
On first glance, the Orbit appeared to be about the same size as the MyRide. I put the harness in the third-from-the bottom slots, but after Anna climbed in (a bit of a feat considering that the Orbit does sit up very high on the base), I realized that l actually needed to move the straps down a set. That’s when it became apparent that the Orbit Toddler is more comparable to the Radian than the MyRide.
I had Anna fold her legs so I could spin her around. I thought for sure the seat would interfere with the back-of-the-seat protector we have to ward off footprints, but it was just fine, plus Anna found the spinning lots of fun.
As fun as it was, I still wasn’t convinced of the appeal of the rotation. I discovered its usefulness on our first trip out. When we arrived, I put the baby in a sling on my front, then went to get Anna. I rotated her to face me, and I effortlessly lifted her out. Until I had that for comparison, I hadn’t realized what I had been missing out on all these years. It sort of is a pain it is to try to lift a 3-year-old out of a seat sideways, especially while another kid is strapped to my front.
The other thing I loved was how upright it sits. The MyRide always wound up millimeters from the bar on the back of my Odyssey’s passenger seat. The Orbit allowed a couple inches.