GB Asana 35 AP Review

Ready for another rear facing only car seat review?  The GB Asana 35 AP is another new rear facing only seat that the new company GB has just released.  We have many good things to say about the GB Asana 35 AP!

GB Asana 35 AP installed

GB Asana 35 AP installed

CSFTL Quick Stats

  • Weight range: 4-35 lbs
  • Height range: 32″ or less
  • Shell height: 20″
  • Lowest harness position: ~6″ with insert, 7.5″ without insert
  • Weight (carrier only): 9.2 lbs
  • Expiration: 6 years
  • Handle position: Any locked position

 

 

 

 

 

Features

  • Adjustable recline foot
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • Infant insert for smaller infants (required 4-6 lbs, optional 6-10lbs)
  • FirmFit system includes FirmFit load leg, arm, and harness
  • Storage area for instruction manual
  • Multiple crotch and hip strap positions (crotch buckle positions measuring 3.5″, 5″, and 6.5′)

Unique Features

GB Asana 35 AP recline

GB Asana 35 AP recline

 

 

Adjustable recline foot – Push the red button to easily adjust the recline into one of the 3 positions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GB Asana 35 AP lower anchor connectors

GB Asana 35 AP lower anchor connectors

 

 

Push button lower anchor connectors are stored in bottom of the base.  Thread through the holes and slide into the hole in the base for storage.  To attach, unthread in the opposite order and click right onto the vehicle’s lower anchors.  Tighten using the tail on the lower anchor connector strap.

 

 

GB Asana 35 AP infant insert

GB Asana 35 AP infant insert

 

 

 

The infant insert for smaller infants is required for infants weighing 4-6 lbs and optional from 6-10 lbs.  GB recommends removing when the insert presses the child’s thighs uncomfortably against the buckle.  It’s a very large insert and I could foresee it getting cumbersome quickly.  Due to the narrowness of the seat, it isn’t necessary for very long.

 

 

 

 

 

GB Asana 35 AP FitFirm System

GB Asana 35 AP FitFirm System

FirmFit System

    • FirmFit load leg – many new rear facing only seats on the market are now incorporating a load leg into their base, which helps with downward rotation in a crash.  It can be adjusted to a wide variety of lengths to accommodate both deep and shallow foot wells.  GB even claims that it will work on middle floor humps, and it can be used on stow and go compartments if the vehicle manufacturer allows it.
    • FirmFit arm – This is essentially a large seat belt lock off.  When installing via seat belt, lift the arm up, thread the seat belt through the belt path, then push the FirmFit arm down until it latches.  You will need to slightly tighten the seat belt before pushing the arm down.  You don’t want to tighten the belt as much as possible though, otherwise the arm won’t latch.  Make sure it latches all the way when pushing down on it, which can take a bit of force.
    • FirmFit harness – This is one the most unique features of the Asana.  The harness and headrest adjust together each time you tighten or loosen the harness.  When tightening via the tightening strap by the child’s feet, it pulls the headrest and harness to the child’s shoulders thus eliminating the need to change the harness height as the child grows.  This takes all the guess work out of deciding when the harness straps need to be moved up or down.  When the harness release is depressed, the harness and headrest snap back up to the top of the seat.
GB Asana 35 AP Manual Storage

GB Asana 35 AP Manual Storage

 

 

 

Storage area for instruction manual is a nice addition so the manual is always on hand, conveniently located on the top of the base.

 

 

 

 

GB Asana 35 AP crotch and hip strap positions

GB Asana 35 AP crotch and hip strap positions

 

 

 

The multiple crotch and hip strap positions allow the Asana to be used with a wide variety of children.  There are no set weight limits for each position, so the harness can be adjusted whenever necessary for each individual child.

 

 

 

 

 

Installation

  • Expiration: 6 years
  • Handle position: Any locked position
  • The Asana allows use of lower anchor borrowing if the vehicle manufacturer also permits installation in seating positions with non-standard lower anchor spacing.

With base

GB Asana 35 AP base installation

GB Asana 35 AP base installation

 

The GB Asana 35 AP has a very straight forward easy installation with either seat belt or lower anchors.  The FirmFit lockoff arm must be utilized with any installation.  The FirmFit arm eliminates the need to lock the seat belt and assists in achieving a tight installation.  The push button lower anchor connectors also make that installation method very simple.    Before installing with either method, check and adjust the recline angle by depressing the red button on the base near the seat bight.

GB Asana 35 AP recline indicator

GB Asana 35 AP recline indicator

 

 

Two different recline angles are allowed, the most reclined for infants 4-20 lbs and a more upright position for 20-35lbs.  My vehicle seats are very flat and I routinely have issues getting seats installed at a more upright position.  This base installed perfectly with no problems. If you cannot achieve the correct recline using the foot on the base, the manual does allow for use of a rolled towel to increase the base’s recline angle.

 

GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg removed

GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg removed

 

The FirmFit load leg is recommended for all installations, but can be removed if not being used or prohibited per your vehicle’s owners manual.  To remove, push the button in the instruction storage area and pull straight out on the leg.  It is no easy feat to remove it though and can still be used with the leg stored under the base.

GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg lengths

GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit load leg lengths

 

It has several adjustments to reach the necessary length.  For the initial adjustment, pull the bottom portion of the leg down until it touches the floor.  If it doesn’t rest flat on the floor, either push the lower portion back up, press the black button on the leg and extend the top portion only, or you can leave the bottom portion extended as well as extending the top portion.  Always make sure the load leg rests flat on the floor and it can not lift up on the base thus changing the recline of the base. Also be sure to check your vehicle owner’s manual if installing over a covered storage area.  Some vehicle manufacturers allow this, some do not.  Once the recline and load leg are set, you can install with either seat belt or lower anchors.

GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit arm

GB Asana 35 AP FirmFit arm

 

 

Now that you’re ready to install via seat belt or lower anchor connector strap, flip the FirmFit arm up.  If installing via seat belt, thread it through the belt path under the FirmFit arm, buckle, and slightly tighten the belt before flipping the FirmFit arm down over the belt.  Flip the FirmFit arm over the belt and make sure it clicks into place.  A green window will show by the FirmFit arm release when it is filled latched into place.

 

GB Asana lower anchor strap clipIf installing via lower anchors, the strap will need to be pulled out of the storage clip under the FirmFit arm.  Attach the push on lower anchor connectors to your vehicle, tighten it so that all slack is out of the strap, but not fully tightened.  Then push the Firm Fit arm down on the lower anchor connector strap and tail that tightens it.  Make sure you have a green window once it’s locked into place.

 

Without base

GB Asana 35 AP baseless installation

GB Asana 35 AP baseless installation

 

 

 

The Asana also has a very easy baseless installation.  The seat belt guides are easy to find and easy to thread.  Due to it’s compact size, it’s easy to get behind it to put your weight into it to tighten.  It doesn’t allow Euro belt routing, but the installation is still very easy and tight.

 

 

 

 

Fit to Child

  • Weight range: 4-35 lbs
  • Height range: 32″ or less, at least 1″ of shell above the child’s head
  • Infant insert for smaller infants (required 4-6 lbs, optional 6-10lbs)
  • Multiple crotch and hip strap positions

The GB Asana 35 AP fits a wide variety of children due to it’s multiple crotch and hip strap positions and versatile infant insert.  There are no set weight limits on the different harness positions so you can adjust according to your individual child.

GB Asana hip strap positionsCrotch buckle strap needs to be at the closest slot to the child without them sitting on it.  To adjust, pull the metal retainer up through the shell and reinsert in the correct slot.  The 3 positions measure 3.5″, 5″, and 6.5″ deep.  The hip strap positions are a little more intricate to adjust and the metal connector needs to be flush on the inside of the seat in every position.

Smallest position – insert the metal clip into the inner position, then slide through the outer position so it sits flush on the inside of the seat.

Middle position – insert the metal clip into the middle position, then slide through the outer position so it sits flush on the inside of the seat.

Largest position – insert the metal clip into the outer position, then slide through the middle position so it sits flush on the inside of the seat.

GB Asana 35 AP Jo- Preemie, 4 lbs, 17"

GB Asana 35 AP Jo – Preemie, 4 lbs, 17″

 

 

Jo – Huggable Images Preemie – 4 lbs, 17″

Since Jo is under 6 lbs, the infant insert is required.  She fit with her shoulders right at the bottom harness position.  The insert did a great job of bumping her up enough for a good fit.  The one thing that I found a fit disconcerting was the adjustable head support pushed her head back into the seat when it pulled down behind her.  I held her head forward a bit when I tightened to eliminate this issue.  The harness is quite a bit below where the sides of the head support are as well.  I could foresee an infant’s head easily falling to the side without that support there.  This isn’t a safety issue, more of a comfort issue, but a rolled receiving blanket on either side of the infant should solve this problem.

 

 

GB Asana 35 AP Fiona - Newborn, 7 lbs, 17"

GB Asana 35 AP Fiona – Newborn, 7 lbs, 17″

 

Fiona – Huggable Images Newborn – 7 lbs, 17″

I tried Fiona out both with and without the infant insert.  I actually preferred her fit in the seat without the insert because she didn’t seem quite so squished in the thigh area.  She fits right at the bottom harness position without the insert.  Her head did fit in between the head support a bit better with the insert, however.  I kept the harness in the smallest hip and crotch position with Fiona as well.

GB Asana 35 AP Anders - 10 months, 22 lbs, 28"

GB Asana 35 AP Anders – 10 months, 22 lbs, 28″

 

 

Anders – 10 months, 22 lbs, 28″

For Anders I removed the infant insert, moved the crotch strap to the farthest position and the hip straps  to the outer position.  He is right at the top harness/headrest position and seems a bit squished.  The narrowness is definitely nice for the smaller infants, but Anders is getting to the point where he’s about ready to be out of this seat.  He does still fit though and hasn’t complained about it at all.  I also have him in the more upright position in the car and he loves being about to sit up and look around better than some rear facing only seats.

 

GB Asana 35 AP Anders - 13 months, 23 lbs, 30"

GB Asana 35 AP Anders – 13 months, 23 lbs, 30″

 

 

UPDATE – Anders – 13 months, 23 lbs, 30″

Anders has almost hit the limit of the Asana by being about 1/2″ from reaching 1″ from the top of his head to the top of the shell of the seat.  He still fits well in the harness with a bit of excess harness for tightening and although a bit squished side to side, he still had no complaints.

 

 

 

Important info: Where to find

GB Asana 35 AP date of manufacture and expiration stickers

GB Asana 35 AP date of manufacture and expiration stickers

 

 

Date of manufacture and expiration date can be found on a sticker on the underside of the car seat and on the inside of the base.

GB Asana 35 AP FAA certification label

GB Asana 35 AP FAA certification labels

 

 

 

 

 

FAA certification can be found on the side of the car seat as well as on page 12 of the instruction manual.  The manual does not discuss how to properly install it in an aircraft.  However, the airplane installation will be similar to a lap only belt installation in a  vehicle.

 

 

Overall Thoughts

Overall, the GB Asana 35 AP is an exciting new addition to the marketplace.  The 35 lb weight limit is a bit over inflated compared to it’s height and most children will likely outgrow it closer to 25-30 lbs.  The installation is a dream in my van, making me a bit sad that Anders will be outgrowing it soon.  The child fit is also great with no worries about when to move harness straps up or down.  As long as the harness passes the pinch test, it will be set at the correct height.  The narrowness of the seat is good for small back seat spaces, but can be a downfall for bigger infants.

GB AsanaGB has given us the opportunity of sharing a GB Asana 35 AP with one of our lucky readers!  To enter, please follow the directions on the rafflecopter widget at the end of the review.  Contest is open to residents of the US only, ages 18 & up.

***Congrats to Cressie V. on winning the GB Asana 35 AP***

Need one now and can’t wait until the giveaway is over?  The GB Asana 35 AP can be found at your local Toys R Us/Babies R Us or online at toysrus.com.
While GB provided the seat free of charge to the author, GB did not pay for or influence this review.   All opinions expressed, as always, are entirely our own. Originally written by Angela Tastad. Edits maintained by CSFTL.

a Rafflecopter giveaway