The GB Asana35 was the first infant car seat from a new company that made a splash in the stroller world. The Asana 35 holds a child up to 35 pounds, hence the name, and has lots of high-end features that make it worth a second look. It's important to note that there are two different versions of the Asana car seat. The Asana35 AP is available on its own, and has a load leg attached to the base. The Asana35 that comes with the GB Evoq travel system does not have the load leg.
Asana35 Car Seat Features
- Holds babies from 4 pounds to 35 pounds, up to 32 inches tall
- Includes newborn padding
- Automatic harness height adjustment
- Built-in lock-off on base
- Pop-down base angle adjuster
- Color-coded angle indicator
- Load leg on Asana35 AP model (not on travel system model)
- Storage for LATCH connectors and instruction book
- MSRP $260
There's a lot to enjoy on the GB Asana35 AP infant car seat! First, when it comes to your baby's comfort, this seat has to feel like a luxury recliner. The cover material is silky soft, and there's thick foam throughout for cushioning. The infant insert, which is required for babies from 4 to 6 pounds and optional from 8 to 10 pounds, feels like a cushy memory foam pillow. It's a very nicely padded car seat.
The FirmFit harness makes it easy to get the perfect fit each time. You don't adjust the harness height prior to putting your baby in the seat, as you do with other car seats.
Instead, you buckle your baby into the car seat, then pull the webbing tail that is between baby's feet. Once you've tightened the harness enough that you cannot pinch any extra webbing, the harness height is automatically set. The head wings and harness slots are on a spring that lets the whole assembly pop up when unbuckled, and then slide down as the harness is tightened.
It's a genius system, and will work very well as long as you make sure you tighten the harness properly. If you do not tighten the harness, you could be introducing another car seat error, as well.
An average-size newborn test doll fit perfectly in this car seat. Most babies from 4 pounds to average newborn size should fit just fine right from birth. That newborn padding is pretty thick and takes up a lot of extra space.
The harness slots at their lowest are about 6.25 inches (with the newborn pads). The highest harness position is about 11 inches. The buckle between baby's legs also can be moved into three positions. These are 3.75 inches, 5 inches, and 6.5 inches from the back of the car seat. The shell height, measured from the seat bight (where the bottom and back of the seat portion come together) is about 18.75 inches. As with most rear-facing car seats, the baby needs to have at least one inch of car seat shell over his or her head. Any taller than that, and the seat has been outgrown.
There are three different positions for the harness at baby's hips, too. Changing these can give up to 5 inches more width at the hips, so you can see how the car seat really works to accommodate little babies and big ones!
You'll need to pay close attention to the instruction manual on the hip strap changes, though. The routing is very specific and may not be intuitive.
When it comes to installation, the LATCH install is a dream. You raise the FirmFit arm ( a built-in lock-off) and attach the premium push-button connectors to the vehicle anchors. Then you pull the webbing tail on the LATCH belt to tighten, and push down on the FirmFit arm to lock it in place. There's a green indicator that tells you when it is locked.
With a lap and shoulder belt, installation is also easy as long as the angle adjustment foot is in one of the higher settings. You raise the FirmFit arm, route the seat belt through the belt path and buckle it. Pull the seat belt to remove slack, then close the FirmFit arm. Generally, closing the lock off is enough to tighten the base down.
For this review, the base was installed in three different vehicles. When the angle adjustment foot was in the lowest setting, it was consistently difficult to close the FirmFit arm and lock it over the seat belt. For this reason, try this car seat in your vehicle before purchasing it if possible.
The adjustable foot pops out with the touch of a button. It also slides back in easily when you push the same button and apply some pressure. The angle indicator gives very clear direction. There are different angle settings for different weights, and each has its own color on the indicator. It must be showing only one color to be correct. Being halfway between colors means it's incorrect. If it shows red, then the angle is also incorrect.
The load leg is simple to figure out. Fold it out and extend it to the floor. The instructions say that you should not use the load leg if it causes the base to lift off of the vehicle seat.
Aside from the difficulty closing the lock-offs in some situations, the only other potential drawback on the GB Asana 35 is the canopy. It's too small to do much good, and it didn't want to stay fully extended on the test model.
Overall, though, many families will be happy with the GB Asana35 AP infant car seat. It's pretty easy to use, and it has enough padding under that luxurious cover to make the grown-ups wish for a larger parent version.
Heather Corley is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.