I got my hands on the Zeus 360 and had to try it out. I knew is was a small seat, but didn't realize just how small! It is a niche seat. The small size and the turning capabilities would be great for a small, 2 door car. The seat is rated for rear-facing from 5-33 pounds and up to 36 inches. It forward faces from 20-40 pounds, up to 40 inches, and of course, the infant must be at least 1 year in age. The seat is good for 7 years before it expires. It is very heavy- around 30 pounds. It is not aircraft approved.
Recommend this product?
First of all, the seat comes with all kinds of padding. There is a combo head pad: a small one with a big one on top. They can be used separately. There is an infant pad which adds a considerable amount of hight (about 1 inch). That pad must be used for infants under 25 pounds that are below the top harness slot both rear and forward facing. The harness has 3 sets of loops, so it can get pretty tight on a tiny infant. With the required infant pad in place, the bottom slot comes to about 8.5 inches, which would be sufficient for many newborn babies.
To install the seat, you can use latch. It's just the regular hook-type latch. First the seat needs to be in rear-facing mode. Then put it in the belt path (bends the strap), buckle, tighten, then put the seat forward. It's the same with a lap-only belt. When you have a shoulder belt, you buckle, then push the shoulder belt down into the lap belt path, turn the seat forward facing, push it down to locked mode, which then opens up space to open the lockoff. Stick the shoulder belt in, then stick your knee in the seat to tighten, and lock the lockoff. The seat should be top tethered no matter which way the seat faces, though it is not required.
When used rear-facing, the line on the side of the seat must be parallel to the ground. The seat comes with a foam block to use if the seat needs to be more reclined. The highest harness position is about 14 inches. It is reclined when installed, so it may very well be effectively less than 14 inches. All three harness positions are approved for rear-facing. Only the top two can be used forward facing.
Aside from the swivel feature, the seat has some more convenience features. When the child is unbuckled, you can stuff the chest clip pieces in the side loops to hold the harness out of the way for getting in and out. The buckle is only a slight puzzle. It has one nub that must be put together, then both pieces inserted into the crotch buckle together. When unbuckled, the indicator in the crotch buckle shows "red". When buckled, it shows "green".
When the seat arrived, I first set it up in the living room and took my 20 pound 21 month old for a "spin". She was scared to death! After a while, though she got used to it. My 32 pound 4 year old barely fit in the seat in both directions in the house, but when installed, he had outgrown it forward facing and most likely rear-facing as well. (It was really close.) He's the kid that can fit in the combi shuttle 33 infant seat!
Bottom line: This seat is really nice, but I think of it more of a really nifty infant seat than a convertible seat. If you have a small 2-door car, aren't into carrying infant seats around, and find the Zeus 360 on sale, it may very well be a great seat for you. I wouldn't pay full price for it. I also would not recommend investing in it for a baby over age 1 because it just isn't going to last.
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