Century is a “new” car seat/child safety product name that you might know from your own childhood. I promise you, the seat I’m reviewing today is not from that batch of seats, nor was the seat I’m reviewing used on the original Full House. The Century name has been relaunched with a small line of modestly-priced seats. Today, we’ll introduce you to the rather compact Carry On 35 LX rear facing only seat.
There are two versions of this seat: the Carry On 35 and the Carry On 35 LX. The LX model has beefier infant padding, a larger canopy, a handle that’s separate from the canopy (note: we didn’t have a Carry On 35 to compare this handle to) and harness covers.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Weight range: 4 to 35 pounds
- Height range: up to 32 inches tall or when the child’s head is within 1 inch of the top of the shell (note: this additional height limit is only listed in the fit to child section of the manual. We’d expect to see this guideline much earlier in the manual!)
- Carrier weight: 6.8 pounds
- Weight: carrier + base: 10.5 pounds
- Expiration: 7 years
- Handle position: any locked position, handle must be in the most upright position when carrying the carrier
- Width at widest point (outer edges of the carry handle) 17 inches
- Lowest harness slot: 6 inches with infant padding, 7 inches without
- Width, front to back: 25 inches (this unofficial measurement is taken by lining the carrier and base up on a flat surface, then measuring from the wall to the back of the carrier. The seat’s actual footprint will vary depending on the shape and slope of the vehicle seat.)
- Lowest harness slot: 6 inches with infant padding, closer to 7 inches without the padding
- 2 crotch buckle positions: 3.5 and 5 inches from the back of the seat shell
- 2 harness loops — the smaller set of loops is for smaller babies, the larger set is for larger babies
- 2 crotch buckle positions — the crotch buckle must be in the position that’s closest to, but not under the child. The crotch buckle can be shortened for the tiniest of passengers — the manual has instructions for threading the crotch buckle webbing through the outer slot, then back into the inner slot for this situation.
- Optional head and body inserts for babies who weigh less than 12 pounds — these inserts can be used separately or together
- Compact size
- Robust infant padding for children who weigh up to 12 pounds
These days, I’m kind of always reviewing a rear facing only car seat so there’s often a model in my living room while I’m working on the review. In most cases, that car seat takes up all of the space beside my chair. I had the Carry On LX 35 sitting next to my favorite chair, it took me about two days to fully comprehend that it is a very compact little seat compared to the seats I’ve been reviewing.
Front-to-back, the footprint is roughly 25 inches so this seat could be a great option for some smaller vehicles or tight third rows. I wanted to mention this first since that kind of compactness can be tough to find.
The carrier itself weighed in at 6.8 pounds according to my trusty luggage scale. Adding the base brought the weight for the entire package up to a stunningly light 10.5 pounds. That light weight makes me want to have a bunch of these seats on hand for our next CPST training course since we find ourselves moving seats around all day long!
Two Piece Infant Insert
Our seat came with a robust infant insert and separate head pillow. Both pieces can be used until the child weighs 12 pounds, they can also be removed at any time to fit the child. You may find that your child fits best with just one of the inserts in the seat — that’s just fine! The base model of this seat doesn’t include this insert but the manual states that tightly rolled towels can be used alongside the child’s torso to position the child if necessary.
About the Manual
The manual has a section at the front about how to remove and attach the carrier to the base. Having this information at the front of the manual is terrific because it’s one of the first things caregivers need to know — and it’s not always obvious! The weird part is that the information is repeated just 10 pages later in the manual. The good news is that I really understand how to remove and attach the carrier to the base now!
Recline Angle Indicator
The recline angle indicator is a line on the side of the base. That goes along with the bare-bones theme of the seat. The manual also has FOUR sets of instructions for checking that this line is level with the ground, the second set of instructions want caregivers to check this after the child is in the seat. The third set is identical to the first: “The red level line on the side of the base MUST BE LEVEL with the ground.” The second and fourth sets of level line instructions remind caregivers to check once more after the child is in the seat. There is an additional note of caution about the LXvel line in the baseless install section of the manual.
Note: the level line on the base is not red, it’s just molded plastic in the same gray color as the base. There is a red line on the carrier, but not the base. The manufacturer will be changing this to make the seat consistent with the manual.
There are also two additional reminders to check the level line in the installation summaries, bringing the grand total of reminders about the level line to 10, plus a bonus reminder on the quick start guide. This could possibly be overkill.
The base has a fairly large recline angle adjuster, we suspect that this means the Carry On 35 LX will fit in a variety of vehicles. This adjuster extends via kind of a unique, clever mechanism — by lifting the big C logo on the front of the base. Not related to anything, the logo reminds me of the sticker that many county employees have on their cars in my neck of the woods.
Standard J-hook Lower Anchor Connectors
The Carry On 35 LX’s base includes the standard j-hook lower anchor connectors. In most cases, the mere sight of these types of lower anchors inspires me to try a vehicle seat belt installation first. These anchor connectors get the job done but I tend to find them difficult to remove once they’re installed tightly.
Harness Adjustment as the Child Grows
The rethread harness means that the harness has to be disconnected and manually rethreaded as the child grows.
The harness also has two sets of loops for differently sized children. The splitter plate must be on top of the harness loops. The manual instructs caregivers to use the upper loops of the harness if the child is using the lowest 2 harness slots. Similarly, the lower loops of the harness must be used when the child is using the upper 2 harness slots.
The manual has thorough instructions for removing the cover to clean the seat. We’re seeing this type of instruction more often now and it’s pretty fantastic. If you’ve ever struggled to get a cover off or back on to a car seat, your time has come!
The cover can be machine-washed but cannot go in the dryer.
There’s something unusual about the cover — it’s made from recycled soda bottles! It’s quite plush.
Installation with the Base
The Carry On 35 LX has standard j-hook lower anchor connectors. Personally, I find wrestling with this type of lower anchor to be more of a challenge than I prefer, so I tend to use the vehicle seat belt to install bases with this type of lower anchor connector. For science, and for you, I accepted the challenge and installed the seat with these little beauties.
Installing the base with those lower anchors was just fine — I was able to get a secure install with very little effort. I attached the lower anchor connectors to the vehicle’s lower anchors, put some pressure on the end of the back, then pulled the slack out of the webbing until it was snug. And thanks to the many reminders in the manual, I knew to check that the level line was level to the ground.
Once the base is installed, check your work by giving the base a firm handshake at the belt path with your non-dominant hand. The base should move less than an inch at the belt path.
However, when it was time to remove the base, those lower anchors fought back mightily. The release mechanism did not want to release! It took a lot of effort but eventually, I was able to get the release mechanism to move a bit and release the lower anchor webbing.
I stand behind my assertion that the vehicle seat belt is preferable over standard j-hook lower anchors.
OF COURSE, if installing with the lower anchors works best for your family, please ignore me and do that. The installation method that works best and that YOU feel confident about doing is the right one.
Vehicle Seat Belt
Installing the base with the vehicle seat belt was so simple. The base doesn’t have any lockoffs or extra features. That translates to a very simple install, which is a gift in and of itself.
I threaded the vehicle seat belt through the clearly-marked belt path and buckled the seat belt. Pull the shoulder portion of the seat belt out until the retractor engages (you’ll know when there’s a clicking noise as the belt goes back into the vehicle), then feed that seat belt back into the vehicle until the slack is removed from the seat belt.
Check your work by giving the base a firm handshake at the belt path with your non-dominant hand. The base should move less than an inch at the belt path.
Thanks to the many reminders in the manual and the extra two reminders on the base itself, I knew to check that the level line was level to the ground.
Installation without the Base
A rolled towel is permitted to help with the recline angle. The “rolled towel” in the manual looks more like a towel-blob than a tightly rolled towel but we don’t take that to mean that blobs can be used in place of rolled towels.
The carrier portion of the seat has a traditional routing for a baseless installation, which means only the lap portion of the vehicle seat belt is threaded through the belt guides. I was able to install the carrier without issue.
Fit to Child
Our preemie doll weighs 4 pounds and is 17 inches long. With the infant insert in the seat, the harness fit our doll well. The insert can be used until the child weighs 12 pounds, our preemie is well within that range.
Our newborn doll weighs 7 pounds and is also 17 inches long. With the infant insert in the seat, the harness also fit our newborn doll well, though I admit that our doll looks a bit surprised here.
16 Month Old Doll
Since the seat is rated to 32 inches and 35 pounds, we asked our 16 month old doll to model the seat. Before asking our doll to model, I removed the insert since that is only rated for children who weigh up to 12 pounds.
The doll has more room to grow than in some rear facing only seats this doll has modeled recently! Since the carrier is so lightweight, it’s possible that families may choose to use this seat for quite some time — it’s nice to see that a young toddler could fit!
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA approval label: the Carry On 35 LX’s carrier can be installed on aircraft. The approval label is found underneath the carrier. At just under 7 pounds, this seat would be a very lightweight option for travel!
Manual storage: there’s a handy slot for the manual on top of the base.
Date of manufacture label: the seat has a 7 year lifespan. The date of manufacture label is found on the underside of the carrier and on the underside of the base.
The Carry On 35 LX is pretty bare-bones as far as rear facing only car seats go. It does not have a lockoff, premium lower anchors, or any extra features besides the cover made from recycled materials but it’s super compact, which makes it a nice option for families who have only small spaces to work with. It reminds me an awful lot of a plusher version of the SnugRide 22 that my now-15 year old daughter rode in when she was a baby. A basic seat that fits all of our models well and installed without a whole lot of fuss. In a world of $500+ rear facing only car seats, the Carry On 35 LX brings a lot of comfortable simplicity and ease of use back into the market.
Our friends at Century Baby are giving one Carry On 35 LE away to a lucky reader in the United States. Please read our terms and conditions, then enter below for your chance to win!
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