I can’t discuss every convertible car seat under the sun, which is why my review zeroes in on two decent choices: the Nuna Rava vs Cybex Sirona S.
One key difference between the Cybex Sirona S and Nuna Rava is that while the Cybex Sirona S rotates to make loading and unloading baby easy, the Nuna Rava Doesn’t spin. If you’re dead set on a revolving car seat, jump to sections that deal with the Cybex Sirona S.
So why did I compare these two car seats when one doesn’t spin at all? Because they’re popular car seats, and parents seem interested to know how they stack up against each other.
Will it be the Nuna Rava or the Cybex Sirona S? You’ll know the answer in a bit, and I’ll also tell you why I think the winner carried the day.
Just in case you’re interested, I recently put together what I believe is a helpful review of the Cybex Sirona S vs Evenflo Revolve 360 Gold. That comparison ran the gamut from the specs and features to ease of installation and car seat care or maintenance. And you can expect no less in the current comparison.
4 Good Reasons to Choose a Rotating Car Seat
Reason #1: It’s new car seat technology. Car seats have been evolving since forever, and modern car seats offer features and a level of protection that the earliest versions couldn’t dream of. There’s always a greater likelihood that a newer car seat provides slightly better protection since it’s designed in accordance to the latest car seat safety guidelines.
Reason #2: It makes loading and unloading babies easier than ever. The seat swivels, which means you can easily make it face to the side where the door is and get your precious cargo out without breaking a sweat or your back for that matter. Put another way, swivel convertible car seats make traveling with babies and toddlers that much more convenient.
Reason #3: If you use the seatbelt to install the car seat, that could be the only install you’ll ever need to do. You install the seat facing the rear, and when the time comes to forward-face baby, you work some handle or lever or whatever and turn the seat forward. No need to uninstall and reinstall when switching between seating modes.
Reason #4: If the car seat has a detachable base (the Evenflo Revolve 360 Gold has a detachable base), getting the dirt and debris hiding in the hardest to reach recesses becomes that much easier.
But there are cons, too.
3 Reasons to Think Twice Before Purchasing a Rotating Car Seat
Reason #1: Since swivel car seats tend to packs loads of amazing tech, they tend to cost significantly more than the regular $300 convertible car seat.
Reason #2: Majority of these kinds of baby car seats feature a non-detachable base. You’re looking at a big and bulky piece of baby gear each time you want your baby to ride a different vehicle. This is the very reason most people buy this as an always-in-the-car option and don’t move it out much at all.
Reason #3: If you buy an option whose top tether keeps getting in the way because it’s attached to the car seat shell, you’re signing up for more work than you probably want to do.
Let’s now dive in and do this Cybex Sirona s vs Nuna Rava comparison so you can intelligently pick the better bet.
Specs, Features, and Measurements of the Nuna Rava
Rotation: The Nuna Rava Doesn’t spin
Expiration: 10 years
Rear facing weight limit: 5-50 pounds
Rear facing height limit: Less than 49″
Lower anchor max weight rear facing: 5-35 pounds
Forward facing weight limit: 25-65 pounds
Forward facing height limit: Less than 49″
Lower anchor max weight rear facing: 25-40 pounds
Side impact protection pods
All-steel frame and belt path
True Tension doors
Footrest for rear & forward-facing
Push-on lower anchors
NO level indicator
Colored belt path indicators
Removable body and head support insert: 5-11 pounds
No-rethread 5-point harness with 10 positions
Ventilation panels on shell and highly breathable knitted fabric (machine washable)
FAA Approved? YES
Dimensions: 16″L X19″ W 25.2″H
Width at widest point: 19″
Seat pan width: 17″
Product weight:27.2 pounds
Seat pan depth:13″, with footrest extended 16″
Highest harness height: 17″
Lowest harness height: 7″ with insert
3 Buckle positions: 3″ with insert, without insert 4.5″, and 6″ greatest distance
Crotch buckle positions: 2
Specs, Features, and Measurements of the Cybex Sirona S
Rear facing weight limits: 4-50 pounds
Rear facing height limits: 17″-49″
Lower anchor weight limit rear-facing: 4-30 pounds
Forward facing height limit:22-65 pounds
Forward facing height limits: 28″-49″
Lower anchor weight limit forward-facing: 35 pounds
FAA Approved? Not for US aircraft but aircraft-ready in Canada
SensorSafe chest-clip sensor
Height-adjustable Load leg for stabilizing seat and reducing crash impacts
EasyLock Bar and Belt tensioner for locking the seatbelt
Removable body and head support insert for 5-11 pounds
Linear Side impact protection (LSP)
Adjustable headrest 12 positions
Product dimensions: 30″L X 19″W X 24″H
Width at widest point:21″ (at the shoulder)
Seat pan depth:13″
Car seat weight: 31 pounds
Highest harness height:16.5″
Lowest harness height: 7″ with newborn insert
Lowest harness height: 8″ without insert
Crotch buckle positions:3 at 5″,6″ and 7″
I get it. Trying to digest all these little not-so-clear stats can be overwhelming. But each of these numbers will soon become clear. Let’s now dive into the comparison to help you decide who deserves your money.
Car Seat Weight
The Nuna Rava wins here since it weights in at 27.2 pounds versus 31 pounds for the Cybex Sirona S. IMHO though, being lighter doesn’t make much of a difference unless you intend to switch between vehicles a lot, which isn’t something you want to do with this kind of a car seat.
Remember that the base and seat shell stay fused at all times. So you have to carry the whole thing each time. That said, the Nuna Rava is FAA-approved, which means it’s supposed to be light enough for air travel. But it’s not anyone’s best idea of a lightweight travel seat.
By the way, you can’t use the Cybex Sirona on US planes because it’s not approved. But if you’re Canadian, here’s good news! It’s aircraft-approved for Canadian planes.
Related: FAA-approved car seats
Weight and Height Limits Rear Facing
Both car seats post really good numbers in the rear-facing mode. While most rotating car seats offer a max rear-facing weight limit of 35-40 pounds, these two guys here let you carry your baby until they are 50 pounds. That’s what real extended rear-facing looks like.
The experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics think transporting kids rear-facing for the longest time possible is a really good idea. And these two seats make that possible.
As for the height limit, it’s a maximum of 49″ versus 30″-35″ for the typical infant car seat. Seriously, why buy an expensive infant car seat only to use it for 6-15 months before your baby outgrows it when you could get either of these car seats and possibly own only one car seat until they’re booster-ready?
Lower Anchor Weight Limits Rear Facing and Forward Facing
For both car seats, you can use lower anchors to install, but the manufacturer recommends installing via the seatbelt. One good reason to use the seatbelt is that there are no weight limits to observe, and if done right, you end up with a safe and secure install just as do with LATCH.
If you still choose to install via LATCH, that’s OK, but it’s not going to be a one-time install. Once the weight limit for the lower anchors is reached, you have to uninstall the car seat and install it via the seatbelt. So why not do it that way right at the beginning?
The LATCH weight limits rear-facing for the Cybex Sirona S are 4-30 pounds vs 5-35 pounds for the Nuna Rava. There’s no winner for me here; use the seatbelt and stop worrying about lower anchor weight limits. Forward facing, the weight limit tops out at 35 pounds for the Sirona vs 40 pounds.
Forward-facing Weight and Height Limits
They have similar limits forward-facing: up to 65 pounds and a maximum height limit forward-facing of 49″. There’s no guarantee your kiddo will ride in this seat until they’re booster-ready. However, there’s a decent chance you won’t need another car seat until booster mode age.
Installing Via Seatbelt: Which is Easier?
The Cybex can be a little challenging to install via the seatbelt since the belt path isn’t very big. But it’s not like extremely hard. The Nuna Rava wins in this respect. Installing the Nuna Rava with the seatbelt is incredibly easy.
Here’s what to do when installing the Nuna Rava via the seatbelt: Access the tension door by moving the seat padding, open this tension door, and route the seatbelt through the reinforced belt path.
Next, buckle the seatbelt, tighten it, lock it, and finally close the tension door. I tested a friend’s Nuna Rava for ease of installation, and it’s one of the easiest installs I’ve ever done!
I’ve handled my fair share of car seats that are frustrating to install, and my advice is don’t hesitate to pay more if the seat you’re looking at installs with ease. If there’s ONLY one reason to bet on the Nuna Rava, let it be that it’s a breeze to install.
Spin Quality: No Contest Here
As noted at the intro, the Nuna Rava DOESN’T spin. Which means I can’t really pit this car seat against any that swivels to see who wins that race.
But how well does the Cybex Sirona S spin? It rotates nicely, and I didn’t need to input a whole ton of might to spin it. IMHO though, it doesn’t spin as nicely as the Evenflo Revolve 360 Gold.
And because the tether strap of the Sirona S attaches to the shell rather than to the base as in the Evenflo, it gets in the way when rotating. This makes the Sirona S a tad more challenging to use forward-facing because the tether needs to stay secured in the forward-facing mode.
Side Impact Protection
Both seats provide little ones with side-impact protection, which is great. This makes these options a little more protective than others, but rest assured that ALL approved car seats are protective enough.
Be sure to register the car seat no matter which option you end up choosing. Because that’s the only way to keep abreast with car seat recalls should that ever happen down the road. Each package includes a postcard to make registration easy, but you can also register online on the manufacturer’s website.
Recline Settings: Who Reclines Better?
Both car seats recline with ease, but I’d say that the Nuna Rava performs somewhat better. Each seat offers multiple recline positions forward-facing and rear-facing. You can dial in a nice and comfortable recline angle for a newborn (about 45 degrees), and when carrying an older kid forward-facing, you can make each seat sit straight up.
Removable Infant Insert
Each comes with a removable infant body and head insert, which means it’s intended for fitting newborns as well as older kids. The minimum weight limit of the Sirona S is 4 pounds vs 5 pounds, which means you might be able to fit a smaller kid better in the Sirona.
But if you have a really small baby, get the super popular Evenflo Revolve Gold 360. Why? Because it uses a foldable infant insert, something we don’t see in other convertible car seats. Being able to fold the insert enables you to customize the fit to even the tiniest of tots.
The insert is removable. And the manufacturers say to take them out as soon as baby reaches 11 pounds.
Looks, Padding, Comfort, and Ease of Care
In the looks department, the Nuna Rava wins hands down for me. Both seats have comfy padding, and the covers are removable and machine washable. But because the Sirona S swivels, cleaning it does feel a tad easier. But nothing cleans easier than the Evenflo 360 Gold since you can actually detach the shell from the base to access hidden filth.
In terms of padding quality, both choices win big. The padding in either case is great, but when it comes to doing long road trips, I bet your kiddo will love the Nuna Rava better. Because its fabric ventilates that much better, and it boasts dedicated ventilation panels on the back for even better air circulation.
Harness, Headrest, and Crotch Buckle Adjustment
The Cybex Sirona S as well as the Nuna Rava have a no-rethread 5-point harness. A no-rethread harness is easier to use than regular harnesses, which partly explains why car seats with this kind of a harness are pricier.
The headrest adjusts like a dream in either seat, but you get to move it through 12 positions for the Sirona S versus 10 positions for the Nuna Rava.
Also, the crotch buckle is easy to adjust on both car seats. However, you get to adjust the crotch buckle through three positions on the Cybex vs 2 positions on the Nuna. The important thing here is that you can adjust the crotch buckle, something many car seats don’t do at all. Which means each of these contenders enables you to fit baby a little better and easier.
Harness Height and Car Seat Longevity
You might be able to use each of these car seats from infanthood through toddlerhood. The highest harness position on the Nuna Rava is 17″ versus 16.5″ on the Cybex Sirona S.
That’s not much of a difference honestly, and if your kiddo is growing really fast, there’s a chance they might outgrow either pick before they’re ready for the booster seat. That said, most kids use these car seats until they’re mature enough for the booster.
If you want an option that offers a little more growth room in the harness, consider the Evenflo 360 Gold since this one has a harness height of 19″.
As for lifespan, each option is rated to last up to 10 years compared to 6-7 years for most car seats. In case you’re wondering if car seats expire, they do. Learn more about why car seat expiration dates exist here.
Both choices have cupholders, and both are removable and easy to manipulate to a desirable position. But the Rava wins here because the cup-holders are flip-up style. You can easily fold them for storage or remove them altogether, which makes things easier when you want to fit 3 across or do side-by-side setups.
Interested in compact car seats that make fit 3 across a dream come true? Here are reviews of the best tiny-vehicle car seats.
SensorSafe and Level Indicator
With the Cybex Sirona, you get baby safety notications via phone, chest clip, or car’s receiver. You get to know each time baby undoes the chest clip, not it’s easy to open. You also get informed when it the temperatures in the backseat are too high. There’s more: you get notified any time you leave baby in the car, which happens.
In the Final Analysis, the Cybex Sirona S Won
Why did the Cybex Sirona S swivels win? Because it swivels while the Nuna Rava doesn’t. This alone makes the seat a better buy for lots of tired moms and dads out there. Getting baby in and out of the backseat gets that much easier with the Cybex, and cleaning it is also easier.
What’s more, the Cybex comes with a load leg which works for both rear-facing and forward-facing seating. It’s adjustable, and it stabilizes the seat while also reducing “rebound speed” towards the backseat as a result of frontal impacts. On top of that, this seat works with Cybex’s SensorSafe tech for critical safety-related notifications.
I love that both seats allow for extended rear-facing up to 50 pounds, and both can be used from birth until the child is ready to switch to a booster car seat. Also, both offer side-impact protection, which is awesome.
Well, installing the Cybex Sirona S is a tad trickier than installing the Nuna Rava, but it’s not too hard as to be a dealbreaker.
As a medical professional practicing in the United States, Joe Waweru medically reviews every piece of relevant content at kiddofreddom.com, but nothing he says here should be construed as medical advice of any kind.