Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: Our Week With the GB Asana35 AP Car Seat

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GB. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.

There are so many topics that polarize parents today, but there's one area that I believe is never up for debate: car seat safetyAs a follower of the latest car seat news and guidelines, I first learned about the load leg, prominent in European car seats, when I was pregnant with Grayson, and I was excited when I was invited to try the GB Asana35 AP car seat which includes this feature. 

It's amazing what advancements are made in baby gear, especially car seats, in just the few short years since we purchased our first car seat for Nia 5 years ago, and the GB Asana35 AP (MSRP $259.99) offers 3 key features making it one of the most safety-conscious car seats on the market:

  • FirmFit Load Leg - this prop leg extends perpendicular to the car seat and stabilizes the base providing additional protection to your baby's head neck and spine should you crash
  • FirmFit Arm - this locking arm in the base gives 20 lbs of additional force by securing the car's seat belt or LATCH straps, locking them in for an extra-tight and secure installation
  • FirmFit Harness - this pull strap makes it so easy to tighten the harness straps and adjust the headrest laterally; it really is fool-proof!
Another feature worth noting is the premature baby insert - it's a feature that I'm not surprised GB thought of especially as they've been making car seats at their state of the art factory for over 25 years!

We've been using our GB Asana35 AP for the past week and shared our experience in this video:

Grayson used to cry so hard every time he went into a car seat and while he rarely does now (mostly thanks to Nia's entertainment antics!), the true proof of the GB Asana35 AP's comfort was when he fell asleep in it for over two hours! He's a snuggler, and I think the way the GB Asana35 AP nestles him in its bucket seat reminds him of being held tightly in my arms (or in the womb!)

Besides safety and comfort for Grasyon, ease of installation and weight of the car seat are also important to me when selecting a car seat. Mr. Lovebird was able to spend some time with the car seat as well and while the saftey features of the car seat win hands down compared to all the others we've owned, we agreed on two cons: 

  • Difficult to install - this critique was a result of the extra safety features, especially the FirmFit Load Leg which was the feature I was most excited about however it was also the most time consuming to engage; ultimately, I decided we'd have to wait until Grayson hits 20 lbs (he's about 17lbs) so we could level it properly
I couldn't get the FirmFit Load Leg button in the red circle to engage and the Recline Indicator to stay blue so we'll try it later when Grayson's a bit chunkier!
  • Heavy and uncomfortable to carry - even without the base, which is substantially heavier than our other car seats due to the added safety features, just the carrier is more weight than we're used to; at 9.2 lbs although it technically isn't much heavier, to us it felt heavier than the listed weight due to the uncomfortable handle grip. I'm 5'6" with medium sized hands, and my husband at 6'8" has extra-large hands, but we were both equally uncomfortable gripping the handle. Additionally, it was awkward to rotate the handle position as it wasn't a seamless movement as we're used to when depressing the side buttons
There's a lot going on in the base!

A quick story: the night before I installed the car seat I had a nightmare that we were in a car accident. It seemed so real as our SUV t-boned another in a parking lot. I woke up startled and literally felt shell-shocked as though I really experienced an accident. I rarely remember when I dream so when I do remember I especially take heed. Since relocating from NYC-metro to NH we're a driving family now and car seat safety is important more than ever for us. The added security of the GB Asana35 AP can't be beat and if that means it takes extra time to install so be it. A few extra moments for car seat safety whether it be for installation, or removing my kids from their puffy coats before securing them is worth it in my opinion. 

You can purchase the GB Asana35 AP from BabiesRUs and be sure to visit the GB Child website and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest