gb Asana 35 DLX Infant Carseat Review: A Load (Leg) of Features


asana stockCarseat aficionados in the United States have long drooled over foreign seats with load legs that extend to the floor of the car to provide extra stability in a crash. Seats with that feature have slowly started to become available in the US market, and now there’s another one: The gb Asana 35 DLX infant seat. In addition to the load leg, the Asana also features a belt-tensioning lock-off, a no-rethread harness, and more. Let’s take a closer look!

gb Asana 35 Specifications

  • Weight range: 4-35 lbs
  • Height limit: 32″ and at least 1″ of shell over the head
  • Lowest harness height: 7″ (measured without infant insert)
  • Highest harness height: 11″
  • Crotch buckle positions: 4″, 5″, 6″
  • Interior shell height: 20″ (1″ of clearance would allow a child’s bum-to-head height of about 19″)
  • Interior seating width: 9″ at hips, 9″ in shoulder area
  • Interior seating depth: 12″
  • Exterior width at widest point (handles): 17″
  • Exterior width at narrowest part of base (near belt path): 14″asana naked
  • Overall length of carrier from foot to back: 27″
  • Weight of carrier: 9 lbs.


  • Load leg (on DLX model)
  • Fit-loc belt tightener/lock-off
  • Multi-position recline foot
  • Premium LATCH connectors
  • Two acceptable recline angles, one for babies under 20 lbs. and one for children 20-35 lbs.
  • Infant insert
  • Lots of EPS foam to help absorb energy and enhance side-impact protection in a crash

The Asana 35 comes in DLX and LTE models. The difference between the models is that the DLX version has the load leg and the LTE does not. This review is for the DLX version (with the load leg) but the rest of the information here pertains to both models. Prior to October 2015, the Asana was available in the Asana 35 and Asana 35 AP models. Those seats had a different harness-adjusting system (more on this below) but are otherwise the same as the current models. The Asana 35 AP had a load leg; the Asana 35 did not.  We believe load legs for rear-facing only infant seats are an important crash safety feature and the Asana DLX is one of the least expensive models to feature a load leg in the USA!

Installation/Fit to Car


Diono Approves Convertible & Booster Installations with Ford’s Inflatable Seat Belt Technology


Effective immediately all current models of Diono convertible seats (R100, R120, RadianRXT, Olympia, Pacifica & Rainier) and Diono boosters (Monterey, Cambria, & Solana) can now be used in Ford vehicles that have inflatable seatbelts! This allowance is retroactive to previous Diono and Sunshine Kids Radian and Monterey models.

Currently, inflatable seatbelts are an optional feature in the Ford Explorer, Edge, Flex, Fusion and F-150 as well as in Lincoln’s MKT, MKX and MKZ models. Read more about our experience with inflatable seatbelts in our Ford Explorer Review. This new allowance from Diono does NOT include the inflatable seatbelts found in some Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Photo Credit: Diono

If you own a Ford or Lincoln vehicle with inflatable seatbelts, or if you are a CPS Technician working in a Ford/Lincoln vehicle that has this technology, please make sure you understand how to lock this particular type of seatbelt before attempting installation of ANY harnessed carseat.

ford-inflatable-seatbelt-upper-elr-retractorThe Ford inflatable seatbelt system uses 2 retractors which is very unusual. One retractor at the top of the shoulder belt, where you normally expect to find a retractor (pic right) and a second retractor (pic below) is near the floor at the end of the lap belt portion of the lap/shoulder belt. When installing ANY approved harnessed seat with these seatbelts you must switch the retractor on the lap belt portion of the seatbelt to locked (ALR) mode. The retractor at the top for the shoulder belt is not “switchable” – it is ELR only, meaning that section of the seatbelt will only lock during a crash or under emergency conditions. ELR retractors don’t do you any good when it comes to a harnessed carseat installation (boosters are a different story) so you MUST lock the lap belt portion of the seatbelt by “switching” the bottom retractor to locked mode. Switching a switchable retractor to locked mode is achieved by pulling the webbing of the seatbelt all the way to the end. When the webbing starts to retracts, you will hear a ratcheting sound and you will notice that the belt webbing goes in but won’t come out in this locked mode. Read the vehicle’s owners manual for clarification and more specific details.


If using an inflatable seatbelt to secure a child in a Diono booster seat, you don’t have to worry about any of this. Just route the seatbelt properly and buckle.

Additional information regarding Diono seats and Ford’s inflatable seat belts can be found on the Diono website:

Cardiff Travel Headrest Review


Cardiff Headrest attachedMost people can stay awake on car trips for more than 15 minutes; not me. I must have been a really easy baby to put to sleep on a bad night—I’m sure my parents threw me on the floorboard of the car and only had to drive around the block once before I was quickly in slumberland. I don’t mind sleeping in the car as my husband drives, but the problem is that he and the kids derive great pleasure from my snorting myself awake as my head bobs to and fro. I just know one of these days there will be a video. Enter the Cardiff Travel Headrest.


  • 14 customizable positions
  • Removable sleeves are machine-washable
  • Universal mount for head restraint poles

The Cardiff Travel Headrest attaches to your vehicle head restraint poles, you know, those silver things that hold the head restraint onto your seat. Yes, you must have this type or the Travel Headrest won’t work for you. It has adjustable wings that rotate up and down so you can place them where they are most comfortable for you.

Cardiff headrest attachment

Setup time will vary. On my ’11 Acura MDX, the head restraint poles are kind of thick, so I had trouble with the length of the hook screws being *just* long enough to fit. I’ve learned to set up the Travel Headrest the night before and it takes only a couple of minutes, rather than feeling pressured while my husband stands there tapping his foot and sighing as I try to install it just before we leave. You do not need to remove your vehicle head restraint to install the Travel Headrest.

Cardiff Headrest up Cardiff Headrest down

We talked to the designers at an ABC Show several years ago and they designed the Travel Headrest for kids using backless booster users. But hey, we can’t have the little tikes having all the good stuff, now can we? I actually prefer that kids use a highback booster if they still need head support like this for sleeping, but this is a good travel option for larger kids who may have outgrown a highback in height, but still need a backless booster. It can also be a good option for tweens and teens who can pass the 5-Step Test and ride without a booster but miss having a place to rest their heads to sleep on a long drive.

Check your vehicle owner’s manual, though, to see if you have active head restraints. You don’t want to use the Travel Headrest in these seating positions since it will interfere with the active head restraint in a crash. Your vehicle manual will tell you which seating positions, if any, are equipped with the active head restraints. Active head restraints travel up and forward to reduce the distance between your head/neck and the vehicle seat when your body puts force on the vehicle seat back in a crash, so you can see how it isn’t a good idea to put anything on those poles.

The Travel Headrest doesn’t fold down nicely for storage, nor does it have a pouch to keep the hooks with it, so I shove them down inside one of the wings and cross my fingers they don’t fall out. I wish the headrest folded laterally so it could be stored in a drawer or on a shelf; right now I have it on a hook way up high, out of the way.

The Cardiff guys have a Kickstarter that may work on vehicle head restraints that are incompatible with the Travel Headrest. Cardiff Wings is designed to be used on an airplane seat, but since it slips over the top of head restraint, it may work in some vehicles too. It’s hard to say for sure until we have a chance to play with this product when it becomes available. Again, I would not put it on a vehicle seat with an active head restraint.

Cardiff Wings

Cardiff Wings on Kickstarter

Cardiff Advantages

  • Comfortable car sleep, are you kidding me???
  • Adjustable wings
  • Fits vehicle head restraints as long as they have poles
  • Simple enough for kids to adjust
  • Machine-washable sleeves

Cardiff Headrest


  • Could interfere with active head restraints on vehicle seat
  • Wings flip up for storage on seat, but if you are using for yourself in the front passenger’s seat – it could interfere with the driver’s vision
  • Doesn’t fold flat for storage
  • Hook screws could be ¼” longer for easier installation

Evenflo Recalls Evolve Combination Seat


Evenflo Platinum Evolve - ToryEvenflo is recalling certain Evolve combination seats because some children are able to reach the harness release button, allowing them to loosen the harness while they’re in the seat. No injuries have been reported.

The recall covers seats manufactured prior to February 9, 2016, with model numbers 34411700 and 34411741 in the United States and 34411700C in Canada. Registered owners should automatically receive the recall kit, but parents can check Evenflo’s website or can call the company at 1-800-233-5921 (U.S.) or 1-88-265-0749 (Canada) to determine if their seats are affected. The recall kit consists of a new harness adjustment button assembly and installation instructions. A video of the installation instructions can be found here.

If you own an Evolve car seat and are using it in booster mode, you can continue safely using the seat as a booster since the recall is for the harness portion only.

If you own an Evolve and are using it in harnessed mode, you have a couple options while you wait for your fix kit to arrive:

evolve-recallIf your child has not shown an interest in loosening it, or cannot reach the harness adjustment button with the harness straps tightened properly, you can monitor the situation while continuing to use the seat.

If your child is loosening the harness, the first thing you should do is the Pinch Test to double check that the harness straps are tight enough. It’s a lot easier to reach the button if the harness isn’t properly snug. A snug harness has no visible slack and you cannot pinch any webbing in the straps above the chest clip near the collar bone. In our experience, most younger kids can’t manipulate the button if the harness is appropriately snug because their arms just aren’t long enough. Older kids with longer arms are more likely to be able to reach the adjuster and unlock it.

If the harness is snug but the child can reach the adjuster button and persists in loosening the harness, Evenflo suggests using the seat in booster mode (if the child is at least 40 pounds and 44 inches tall) until the remedy kit arrives. If the child is under that height/weight and playing with the adjuster, Evenflo recommends discontinuing use of the seat until the remedy kit is applied.

The Evolve is a “sister seat” to the Evenflo Transitions car seat. The Transitions was recalled for an identical problem back in February.