Have you ever heard of an infant car seat that actually rotates? I had only heard of convertible swivel car seats before I came across the Orbit Baby G5. It rotates a full 360 degrees, making extremely easy your job of loading and unloading your little one for rides in the backseat. And it’s probably the best rotating car seat with stroller out there.
In this Orbit G5 360 Infant Car Review, I endeavor to unearth every little but important thing you need to factor into your decision making. And in the end, you’ll be able to say without doubt I want it or I don’t want it.
Also Read: Evenflo Gold 360 Review
Since the Orbit Baby G5 is an infant car seat, the base is detachable. Which means you can purchase extra bases, which in turn makes using the car seat in multiple vehicles incredibly easy.
But that’s not all. It’s also baby stroller-compatible. You can mount it onto all Orbit G5 strollers. And the best part? The swivel feature works just as well in the travel system mode.
Well, it costs a pretty penny. But that’s hardly surprising for a plush infant baby car seat that works that much harder so that your back can do substantially less.
Also Read: Cybex Sirona S Review
Why Buy a Rotating Infant Car Seat?
It’s the same reason people buy expensive cars: increased convenience and often more comfort. The key reason that nudges nurturers of all kinds to splurge on a rotating car seat of any kind is the swivel feature.
You can turn the car seat an entire 360 degrees. So, you swivel the seat towards the door during loading and then spin it around so that it rear-faces for safety.
And when the time to unload the precious passenger from the rear-facing position, all you have to do is activate the rotational mechanism, grab the top of the shell with one hand and revolve the car seat towards the side door.
Also Read: Nuna Revv 360 Convertible Car Seat Review
If you have ever struggled to get a chunky kid out of crammed backseat, you have an idea how challenging the task can be. But then enter swivel infant car seats such as the Orbit Baby G5, and every ounce of pain flies out the window, and parenting becomes once again the true joy it’s supposed to be.
Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat Specs and Features
If you haven’t already, make sure to register your G5 Infant Car Seat here. You may also fill out the card that comes with the seat and send it back to Orbit Baby, but why do that when you can register the car seat online?
Lifespan: 6 years from date of manufacture
FAA Approved? YES
Rear-facing weight range: 4-30lbs
Rear facing height range: 19″-32″
Lower anchors weight limits:
Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat Safety Certifications: ASTM, CPSC, JPMA, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 213 & FMVSS 302), & Oeko-Tex 100 Standards
Car seat base compatibility: The base is compatible with Orbit Baby G2 and G3 toddler car seats
Stroller compatibility: Compatible with ALL G5 strollers. Also works with the G5 stroller frame
Car seat weight: 13.8lbs (without the base)
Harness slot heights: 8″,10″, and 12″
Warranty: 2 years
A 5-point harness, and it’s a no-rethread harness. Also, removable harness covers
Infant insert included? YES
Car seat shell detachable from the base
Extra bases available, making switching the car seat between cars super easy
Swivel feature: rotates 360 degrees but should NEVER be used for forward-facing seating, it’s a rear-facing-only car seat
A padded ergonomic carry handle for elbow carries
2 side carry handles, which gives you extra carrying options
Unique feature: The StrongArm Knob on the back of the base. This unique feature makes achieving a really tight base install easier and faster.
Unique feature #2: This revolving infant car seat is stroller-ready and stays compatible with all G5 strollers, including the X5 Jogging Stroller
Full-coverage UVF sunshade, easily stores away when baby isn’t using it
Deep bucket design for & impact-absorbing EPP foam for better side impact protection
Fabric: Plush, soft-touch, all-weather fabrics certified to the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, seat covers removable and washable, but headrest must be spot cleaned at all times.
Colors sold in: Black, Melange Navy, and Melange Gray
With specs and features of the Orbit Baby G5 Rotating Infant Car Seat now out of the way, let’s now jump right into the review to help you appreciate the greatness (or lack thereof) of this unique bucket car seat.
Orbit Baby G5 360 Infant Car Seat Review
First off, the Orbit Baby G5 Swivel Infant Car Seat is in all honesty an expensive purchase. At $480ish at time of writing, this is no doubt one of the priciest infant car seats on the market today.
It’s a different bucket seat in that it swivels, but is this hefty price point really justified? You’ll soon find out in this analysis.
360 Swivel, Stroller-friendly, and Sunshade
Dock the G5 infant car seat into the insanely easy to install base and rotate it into a locked position. That’s how easy it is to use this seat. The spin is nice and smooth, and one hand is adequate to swivel it.
Unlike most swivel car seats, which are almost always convertible car seats, the G5 is stroller-compatible. If you have the G5 stroller or G5 stroller frame (sold separately), you can dock this car seat in and be able to stroller around with baby rear-facing or facing the world. And it looks really really nice, the quintessential compliments magnet.
Oh, and you don’t need to use a car seat adapter to couple this car seat to a G5 stroller. The seat revolves on the base of as it does in the backseat.
Then there’s the oversized sun canopy to shield baby from UV rays. The material they used for this seems like good quality, and it doesn’t fade as fast as others I’ve seen. Plus, this sun canopy tucks away into a sort of pocket on the car seat shell.
This car seat is FAA-approved, too. You can use it on planes, but not with the base. But at 13.8 pounds, it’s heavier than most infant car seats. But it’s not too heavy that you can’t air-travel with it.
But Is the Price Point Reasonable?
It depends on who you ask. Me? That price is too steep. I mean, you could get a decent all-in-one convertible car seat that revolves at substantially less than $480.
Take the Evenflo 360 Gold, for example. It’s a $329-$399 forever deal that works for newborns and serves them faithfully until they’re ready for the vehicle’s seatbelt.
If you’re looking for a premium quality infant car seat that offers the fancy swivel feature and don’t mind spending more; if you want a versatile car seat that docks on strollers or bases in different cars; if you’re OK with purchasing a convertible or forward-facing car seat in a year or 2, the G5 Infant Car Seat might be a good fit.
But if dropping nearly half a grand on a rear-facing-only car seat makes you shudder even if it swivels, pass up the deal. Pick up something else that offers more value for a significantly lower spend.
With all that being said, this infant baby car seat rotates. And that alone could be enough reason to buy it for folks who worship at the altar of convenience. If you have a not-very-strong back or have a chunker to travel with, paying that much for the G5 Infant Car Seat shouldn’t feel like a rip-off.
If you’re on a tight budget or just like doing more or getting more with the budget you’re working with, definitely buy a different swivel car seat. And the Evenflo 360 Gold comes highly recommended. Check out the Evenflo Gold 360 below.
G5 Infant Car Seat Weight Limits
The weight range for this bucket seat is 4-30lbs. When it comes to the typical infant car seat, the weight range doesn’t get substantially better than that. It’s usually 4-35 pounds.
You should be able to rear-face baby for at least 12 months in this baby car seat, but most babies should be able to use it up to month 15 or a little longer.
Keep in mind that pretty much all pediatricians (and the American Academy of Pediatricians in particular) recommend rear-facing up to at least age 2. They defend their advice arguing that the rear-facing seating position is the safest strategy to ride around with babies and toddlers.
You get to rear-face for long, but I’m aware of options (not infant car seats, so we’re not comparing apples with apples here) that’ll let you do really extended rear-facing. For example, the Cybex Sirona S let’s you rear-face up to 50 pounds while the Evenflo 360 Gold rear-faces until 40 pounds.
If you’re looking for a rear-facing-only car seat and won’t fret if your lovely little one outgrows it before year 2, then by all means get the G5 Infant Car Seat.
G5 Infant Car Seat Height Limits
The height limit of a car seat is another critical metric to put into careful consideration. You want to purchase a seat with a decent height range. Otherwise, your baby could outgrow the seat way before age 2, and you’ll have to get a convertible car seat sooner than you’d imagined.
For the G5 Infant Car Seat, the height range is 19″-32″, which is similar to what you get from most infant car seats. While a maximum rear-facing height of 32″ isn’t bad at all, some car seats (mostly convertible options) offer a much bigger range.
In some cases, the upper height limit can be as high as 49″. In fact, that’s the exact same limit the Cybex Sirona S, a rotating car seat that also works for newborns and infants, offers.
Harness Slot Height Stats
When buying a car seat of any kind, it’s critical to pay attention to how high the harness slots seat. For most infant car seats, the highest harness slot is found at about 12″ or slightly higher.
With our candidate, there are 3 harness slots. There’s one at 8″, another at 10″, and the highest-seating slot is accessible at 12″. Now, this is OK, but if you have a kid who’s growing faster and taller than everyone else’s, there’s a chance they might outgrow this car seat between age 1 and 1.5.
One reason I keep recommending the Evenflo 360 Revolve Gold is how high its top harness slot seats. It seats at 19″ vs. between 16″-18″ for many competitors. And can you believe there’s an expensive convertible car seat (costs about $100-$120 more than the Orbit G5 Infant Car Seat) with the top harness slot seating at just 14″? That’s a joke!
Weight, Looks, Material and Construction Quality
If an infant car seat ever got draws compliments from complete strangers, the G5 it is. It wears a stylish, modern look, and even though it’s pretty heavy it’s one of most solid rear-facing-only car seats on the market today. It weights in at nearly 14 pounds without the base compared to 9-12 for most infant car seats.
If all you have encountered are lightweight options, the G5 could feel like the heaviest car seat ever. But I believe that the extra heaviness stems from the seat being made from more solid, better quality materials and components. The opposite of solid-albeit-heavy is lightweight-albeit-flimsy, and I say give me solid-albeit-a-little-heavy any day.
A Note About Material Quality
I’d love to say that every part of this car seat is premium quality and gleams, but I’d be fibbing. I did notice that the back portion of the removable and machine-washable seat cover is kind of thin and tends to wear down pretty fast. A couple of washes and you end up with multiple holes on the back of the liner.
Aside from this, the car seat is pretty much a work of art and feels like it could last years. BTW, what’s the expiration date of the Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat? It is 6 years from date of manufacture. The same goes for most if not all Orbit Baby car seats.
Where’s the expiration date on the Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat? You can find the expiration date in two places namely on the rear of the seat shell and on the back of the car seat’s base. This product information label not only indicates the date of manufacture but also displays the seat’s serial number.
Infant Insert: A Limit of 4-11 Pounds
Pretty much all infant car seats come with an infant wedge that provide padded support to the tiny body and head. If you have a really tiny tot, this is the kind of car seat you need.
While most convertible car seats are marketed as being the only car seat your child will ever need, many don’t fit newborns and preemies the way a dedicated infant newborn and infant car seat does.
You really don’t need to use the insert if your baby is relatively big, and even if your baby needs it, you need to remove it at 11 pounds.
You’ll have to rely on your eyes and overall sense of judgement to determine when to take the insert out. Don’t worry; installing the infant insert is pretty easy. Here’s what to do:
Remove the harness covers and place them aside. These covers attach to the harness straps through Velcro.
- Simply detach the seat cover from the harness and lift it off the seat.
- Drape the liner over the top of the seat so that it stays out of the way as you work.
- Then, put the insert into place and position the harness straps on top.
- Return the seat liner to its original position.
- Get the shoulder straps from underneath and add back the harness covers.
- Get the crotch buckle out, positioning it in the slot you want to use it in, which happens to be the one furthest back.
Watch this video to learn how install the 4-11lbs infant insert.
Installing the Orbit G5 Infant Car Seat: You’ll Love This Unique Feature!
Most car seats that swivel are a onetime install, and the same applies to the G5 Infant Car Seat. But there’s one key difference between this guy and its convertible counterparts.
The difference is you can use the lower anchors to install the seat and not need to re-install using the vehicle’s seatbelt because baby maxed out the lower anchor weight limit.
I saw that the manufacturer’s website or the product listing on various online platforms doesn’t mention the seat’s lower anchor limits. If in doubt, it’s best to use the seatbelt to install the G5 Infant Car Seat.
Here’s the thing: this is hands down the easiest swivel car seat I’m aware of as far as installation. The base boasts a unique feature that makes installing this seat more accurate and easier.
There’s an easy-to-operate knob (StrongArm Knob) on the base that you turn to tighten the install until the car seat no longer shifts more than 1″.
In case you’re not aware, a correctly car seat moves no more than 1″ either back-to-front or side-to-side when tested at the belt path.
Make Sure to Check the Level Indicator
Similar to other car seats, this one comes with a level indicator on the base. Once you install the base and get it nice and securing with the turning tightening knob, check the red/green level indicator on the base.
If the indicator is red, it means you need to do something to make it turn green. The manufacturer allows users to place a rolled towel or a pool noddle under the base (at the back of base) before installing it.
Here’s a video on how to install the Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat with LATCH system. See how the technician works the knob to dial in a really secure install.
You can also install the Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat using the vehicle’s seatbelt. One reason many people prefer installing a car seat via the lower anchors is that it’s generally easier than when using the seatbelt.
But that’s not the way it is with the G5 Infant Car Seat. Using the seatbelt is as easy as installing via LATCH.
Here’s how to install the G5 Infant Car Seat with the seatbelt
- First off, route the belt through the belt guides and lock the buckle tongue into place.
- Then, open open the belt locker and remove any excess webbing from the system.
- Next, turn the StrongArm Knob as many times as needed to secure the base nice and snug.
- Finally, test the car seat at the base to see if it moves too much. If it stays solidly in place and doesn’t move more than 1″, that’s indication that you did a great.
And here’s a video on how to properly install the Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat with the vehicle’s seatbelt system.
Seatbelt installations almost always preferred
Most manufacturers prefer using the seatbelt for car seat installations. Why? Because if done correctly, this installation method attaches the restraint to the car as securely and immovably as does the lower anchors.
Besides, you don’t need to worry about your baby being outside of the stated weight limits either rear-facing or forward-facing. After all, seatbelts are for restraining adults.
How to Dock the G5 Infant Car Seat Into the Base
I can’t stop praising this car seat’s 360 swivel, but how does this feature work? Once you install the base onto the backseat (watch the video link above to learn how to do this), simply grab the car seat and put it into the base.
And here’s the beautiful thing about using this restraint: It doesn’t matter the angle at which the car seat docks into the base. Dock it in at whichever angle and it connects to the base perfectly fine.
With the seat now sitting on the base, strap the baby in and then rotate it (one hand is enough for the job) to rear-face baby. Here’s a video on how to dock the Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat into the base.
You’ll know that the car seat has locked into position when the “red bar” on the indicator located on the base disappears. Which means it’s not possible to make a mistake when locking the G5 Infant Car Seat. Starting your vehicle before the seat is properly locked into place is potentially dangerous.
Great Customer Support
One remarkable thing about Orbit Baby is the quality of their customer support. If you ever encounter problems while installing the car seat or using it, you can schedule a session with one of their dedicated car seat technicians.
The technician gets to help you solve whatever issue you’re grappling in a 30-minute video call. Nothing feels better than dealing with a company whose staffing are helpful and knowledgeable.
Here’s the link where you can connect with a real CPST from Orbit Baby and asks all the questions you have about the G5 car seat. Whether you want guidance on harness use, car seat installation, newborn insert use, or anything else, Jonathan Otero has got you covered.
It gets even better. You can request a live product demo so you can how the product actually looks like in person. Here’s where to book a live demo so you can see how the car seat works to avoid regrets down the road.
No-thread Harness and Crotch Buckle
The seat liner/cover is super easy to remove for washing. And you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) remove the 5-point harness when doing this. Also, when re-installing the seat liner, you’ll find that the harness needs zero re-thread. Nothing sucks worse than a harness that gets all crazy and twisty.
As is increasingly the case these days, the harness has nice covers that make sure the harness straps lie flat and comfortable around the shoulders.
The crotch buckle is adjustable as is the headrest. Oh, and the headrest needs to be spot cleaned. But I did notice that the manual isn’t super clear when it comes to how to use the crotch buckle/where to position the buckle.
The Manual Could be Clearer on Crotch Buckle Use
While you can adjust the crotch buckle as well as the straps, the manual isn’t very helpful as far as how to do it. The instructions simply say that you should fit the straps over the legs by pulling them snug.
And while the instructions are clear on where the crotch buckle should be with the infant insert in use, they say nothing about where to place the buckle once you remove the insert (at 11 pounds).
With the insert in use, the correct slot to place the buckle in is the one furthest back. Use the slot closest to the baby’s bottom, (but not under baby), but where should the buckle be positioned after removal of the infant body and head pillow?
You’ll have to figure this out yourself, mom/dad, but you could also reach out to Orbit Baby’s car seat installation specialists for assistance.
Is the G5 Infant Car Seat Worth the Money?
Yes, if you’re looking for a well-made rear-facing-only swivel car seat with stunning looks.
The greatest thing about it is that it swivels 360 degrees. Which is why parents with back issues and convenience lovers value it big.
Another great thing is how easy it is to install via both the vehicle’s seatbelt and lower anchors. This is easily the simplest-to-install swivel car seat ever made.
When it comes to docking the car seat into the detachable base, it isn’t rocket science. Simply get it in at whichever angle, rotate it to face it rearward, lock it into position, and that’s it. There are indicators to ensure you install the base and lock it correctly each time.
What’s more, you can use this car seat with compatible Orbit strollers. And you won’t need any extra accessories such as a car seat adapter.
Finally, it has a generous sun canopy that stores away in a compartment on the back of the seat. And since it’s FAA-approved, you can install it on planes (without the base).
Admittedly, though, this isn’t a cheap infant car seat. There are far cheaper options, but they don’t rotate at all. Also, it’s a little heavy, but that’s because it’s made of super solid and safety-certified materials.
As an infant car seat, the G5 is worth every cent. But it’s not the best fit for parents looking for a forever car seat.
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.