2021 Century Carry On 35 / Carry On 35 LX Rear-Facing Only Car Seat Review
I’m excited! Century Baby Products has made a comeback as a fresh, modern baby brand focused on safety, simplicity, sustainability, and style. The Century Carry On 35 and Carry On 35 LX are brand new rear-facing only seats (aka, infant car seats) for use from 4-35 lbs. and up to 32”. Both models are extremely light (carrier is approximately 7 lbs.) and feature fabrics made from recycled plastic. They are also budget-friendly and offer a wonderful fit, even for tiny newborns. We’re focusing on the Carry On 35 LX in this review but I’ll explain the differences between the base model Carry on 35 and the higher trim level LX model.
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WEIGHT AND HEIGHT LIMITS:
Rear-facing only from 4-35 lbs., AND 32” tall or less, AND child’s head is 1” below top of head rest
CARRY ON & CARRY ON LX DIFFERENCES:
- LX Model has different canopy, adds an additional lower body infant insert (4-12 lbs.) & harness strap covers
CARRY ON FEATURES:
- Lightweight (both carrier models are under 8 lbs.)
- 4 sets of harness slots
- 2 buckle positions
- Energy-absorbing EPS Foam
- 3-position adjustable base
- Optional European beltpath routing allowed when installed without base
- Machine washable seat covers and inserts
- Eco Friendly – fabrics made from recycled materials
- Head support insert included with base model;
- LX models feature head support insert + lower body newborn insert + harness strap covers
- MSRP: Carry On $89.99, Carry On LX $129.99
2021 CARRY ON FASHIONS:
The base model Carry On 35 comes in three color options (Metro, Splash & Berry) The LX model is currently only available in the gray “Metro” fashion (shown in the review photos).
CARRY ON MEASUREMENTS:
Harness height positions: 6.5”, 8.5”, 10.5” and 12.5” (lowest slot is approximately 5” with LX model insert)
External widest point: 17.25”
Width of base at belt path: 13.5”
Width of base at widest point: 13.5”
Internal shell height: 19.5”
Crotch strap depth: 3”, 5”
Seat depth: 10”
Carrier weight: 6.8 lbs / 7.1 lbs with inserts
Expiration Date: 7 years after Date of Manufacture
Installation is straightforward. The sleek look means fewer labels and markings but the quick start sheet is a wonderful resource to help caregivers get started. The level indicator is just an embossed line in the plastic but the base has three recline settings making it fairly easy to get an appropriate recline in various vehicles.
Lower Anchor Installation: The lower anchor LATCH strap has standard j-hook LATCH connectors and is reasonably easy to tighten and loosen. Kecia had a very difficult experience getting the LATCH strap to loosen on her Carry On base (once it was installed) but I did not encounter the same problem so we hope the issues with her base were just an anomaly.
Seatbelt Installation: There is no lockoff on the Carry On base for seatbelt installations but that’s not surprising for a seat in this price range. It’s definitely easier to get a solid installation (less than 1″ of movement from side-to-side at the beltpath) with lower LATCH anchors but with some effort I was able to get a good install with seatbelt in the vehicles I tried. It’s possible that a seatbelt install will be incompatible in some vehicles but hopefully in those cases a lower LATCH installation will yield a better/tighter result. The square shape of the base (where it meets the back of the vehicle seat), helps to stabilize the seat when it’s installed.
Baseless Installation: Both versions support European belt routing for baseless installation which we love! European routing (if your seatbelt is long enough to route around the back of the shell) makes getting a secure installation without the base easier and adds forward rotation control, similar to what a load leg would do.
Handle Position: The carry handle can be in any of the 4 locked positions when traveling.
Non-Standard LATCH Spacing / Lower Anchor Borrowing: If specifically permitted by the vehicle manufacturer, you may install the Carry On in the center seating position using lower LATCH anchors as long as the spacing between the lower anchors is 11” or greater.
Inflatable Seatbelts: While this isn’t much of a concern for infant seats as currently all seating positions with inflatable seatbelts have LATCH, we do like to mention it. Century allows the use of Ford’s inflatable seatbelts when installing the carrier without the base but NOT when installing with the base. In this situation, just install the base using lower LATCH anchors.
FIT TO CHILD:
Both versions of the seat fit newborns very well. With the low harness slots and optional newborn routing (shown below) for the crotch buckle, it’s easy to get a snug fit on a newborn. The optional insert on the LX offers great lateral support and can be used up to 12 lbs. which is marked on the tag. The head support pad that comes with both models is extra thin behind the head (it’s hollow inside the insert directly behind the head) yet it has padding behind the back which promotes a wonderful open chest position.
Head support and newborn insert (LX model only) can only be used up to 12 lbs. Harness covers (LX model only) are optional.
The harness has two loops; use the upper (shorter setting) loop for the bottom two harness slots in the carseat shell and the lower (longer setting) loop for the top two slots.
CARE & MAINTENANCE:
The cover and inserts are removable and can be machine washed and line dried. The cover can be spot cleaned for quick cleanup or removed pretty easily for larger messes.
The canopies on each model are different. The base model 35’s canopy is stitched into the handle which is good and bad. It offers a sleek look and keeps the canopy in place; however, it also leaves an opening at the top allowing the sun to come right through and limiting how you can carry the seat on your arm, as most people do. The 35 LX has a more traditional canopy that extends slightly past the upright handle. It’s attached to the handle so it moves forward and back as you move the handle but it can also be operated independently if you choose.
Additional bases are sold separately, but remember that this seat can be installed without a base and allows European belt routing (if your seatbelt is long enough) for an easy and secure baseless installation.
CARRY ON STROLLER COMPATIBILITY
Only compatible with Century strollers. The Stroll On 3-Wheel 2-in-1 Lightweight Travel System is available in all 3 colors and includes the standard Carry On 35 (not the LX) carseat. The Stroll On is available in a 3-wheel, 4-wheel, or double-stroller option.
CARRY ON 35 ADVANTAGES:
- Extremely lightweight carriers
- 4 sets of harness slots
- Harness is easy to tighten & loosen
- Energy-absorbing EPS foam
- 3-position adjustable base
- Great fit for small newborns or preemies
- European belt routing for baseless installation; great for travel
- Fun color options
- Only compatible with Century strollers (no twin stroller option)
- No lockoff on base to aid with seatbelt installation
- Proper installation with base using seatbelt may be challenging
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Thank you to Century Baby Products for providing the car seats used in this review. No other compensation was provided, all opinions are those of the author.