Price: $135-$200. Extra base: $70.
Type: Infant seat, five-point harness.
Limits: 35 lbs., 33”
NHTSA ease of use rating: Five out of five stars.
Pros: EPS foam, one-pull harness adjustment, nice padding. Works to 35 lbs.
Cons: Complex belt path and puzzle buckle. Large seat.
Comments: The Combi Shuttle works to 35 lbs. and features EPS foam for crash protection, comfort pads on the harness and one-pull harness adjustment. The seat has an anti-rebound bar, which keeps the seat more stable in the case of a crash. Kudos to Combi for being among the first infant car seat makers to offer this feature.
The Shuttle’s base is smaller and easier to use, thanks to its new built-in lock-off design. But the belt path on the Shuttle base had us scratching our heads: it is way too complex compared to other seats. Four position height adjustment rounds out the features. All of Combi’s strollers work with the Shuttle infant seat.
Reader and expert feedback on the Shuttle 35 has been mixed. Consumer Reports ranked it fourth overall (out of 30+ seats) in a recent survey of seats, giving it above average marks for ease of use and crash protection (“better” in CR’s parlance).. Our readers weren’t so generous, with numerous complaints about difficulty fitting the seat into the base. The carrier is also heavy at 10.1 lbs.
Fans of the seat like that the handle can be left in the upright position when in a vehicle. But be forewarned: the Shuttle is a large seat that won’t fit into some smaller vehicles (and even mid-size sedans). And the Combi infant seat is compatible with few strollers, except, of course for Combi’s offerings.
Combi’s car seats are aging—the Shuttle 35 reviewed here was first introduced in 2010. And it hasn’t seen any major changes in the past seven years.
Regarding safety, Combi’s track record has been mixed, with several major recalls. Example: a 2008 recall for 67,000 Shuttle and Centre seats after testing revealed the seats could separate from the base in a crash. That recall covered a previous version of the Shuttle, not the one reviewed here . . . but problems like that still haunt the brand. Rating: B-