Combi Centre DX


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
<h4>Combi Centre DX Infant Seat Review</h4>

The Combi Centre DX series car seat is an infant carrier/base carseat system. It is rated rear-facing with a 5-point harness for children 5- 22 pounds and under 29 inches.

<b>Review Introduction</b>

The Centre is one of the newest infant seats from Combi. Notable features include an easy-to-install base that has a very narrow profile at the back for use next to other carseats or boosters. Unlike many other infant seats, the handle remains UP in the car. The version I have has the very convenient, adjustable harness height system.

<b>Features and Advantages:</b>

<i>Base and Carrier Allow Secure Seatbelt Installations</i>- The Centre carrier and base can both be installed with seatbelts. The carrier itself does not offer LATCH at all, but it can be installed with seatbelts when you do not have the base. The base is fairly typical of many infant seats on the market. It does have a unique built-in locking clip to aid installations. It’s tall enough that it should be compatible with many seatbelt systems.

<i>Narrow Base</i>- The base is very narrow at the back compared to other infant bases. This can help a lot in center seating positions or for those who need to install three child restraints across one vehicle seat. While the width is normal farther forward, but the narrow back may be especially useful to allow older kids to buckle themselves in an adjacent booster. A built-in adjustable “foot” allows four recline positions and also provides storage for the LATCH attachments when not in use. The integrated locking clip is in the belt path and is used for both LATCH and seatbelt installations. While this should work well in most vehicles, it can be a problem on seatbelt installations in vehicles with very long buckle stalks or with some seatbelts that have plastic tabs in the stitching.

<i>5-point Harness</i>- This is the type of harness most recommended by child passenger safety advocates. It usually offers the best fit and the most protection from ejection. This seat should work well for many newborns; the lowest harness height is about 6.5” when using the nice infant insert. This is reasonable for smaller infants, but may or may not fit the smallest babies. Parents with premature or special needs infants should consult their doctor before using this model or any other. The version I have includes a height adjustment in back that is very nice. Seven adjustments can be made easily, without rethreading the harness. The harness comfort pads are nice and smallish. They can be removed, but the harness must be completely unthreaded to do so. The puzzle buckle is a compact design. It is plastic, which is handy as it won’t get as hot in the summer. Like most puzzle buckles, it takes more dexterity than a normal buckle to get the two sides together. The advantage is that combined with the great click you get, you always know when it is buckled properly. This type of buckle does take a little more force to insert than others. Overall, this is one of the nicest harness systems I have used.

<i>Rear-Facing to 22 pounds</i>- Rear-facing is the safest form of travel for infants and toddlers. The 22 pound limit allows all but the biggest babies to remain rear-facing in this carseat up to about a year. It also accommodates infants up to 29" tall, or as Combi states, until the top of the child’s head is at the top of the carseat. So, this model may be used a while longer than some older infant carriers limited to 20 pounds and/or 26" in height. That may be especially important if you have a big baby.

<i>Front Harness Adjuster</i>- This makes it easy to get a tight harness fit without having to remove the carseat. Experts recommend that the straps be tight on baby's shoulders. You should not be able to easily fit more than one finger between the baby’s shoulders and the harness straps when adjusted correctly. The strap adjusts with a simple push-button. It was stiff to adjust at first but seems to have become a little easier with use.

<i>Two-piece Harness Retainer Clip</i>- This style tends to be easier to use and prevents twisty straps more than the one-piece "paper-clip" style. It is also harder for escape artists to release.

<i>Head Impact Foam</i>- As part of a growing trend, the Centre DX includes EPS foam around the head, rather than hard plastic. This is the same kind of foam used in bicycle helmets. The adjustable back section is completely lined with this foam around the back and side of the baby’s head for added protection.

<i>Release Mechanism</i>- The release handle is located on the back of the carrier. The mechanism is smooth and easy to remove the carrier from the base. On the other hand, in certain vehicle installations, the carrier can sometimes require extra force to insert back into the base.

<i>Handle and Weight</i>- The carrier handle is average for comfort; the curvy handle and rubber grip help a little. The handle is somewhat hard to adjust, especially for those with small hands. The push buttons on each side require some force to press and that leaves little leverage to move the handle once you have them pushed. The overall weight is also typical of most infant carriers.

<i> Canopy</i>- While not particularly large, it is easily adjustable.

<i>Style and Comfort</i>- This model came with the trendy Keylime fabric and looks very sharp. It is a grey patterned fabric with darker grey and lime green trim. The fabric is smooth, so it should be durable and clean up easily. The belly pad on the buckle works very well and doesn’t fall off as easily as some others. The padding is average for comfort and an infant bottom insert helps for small babies.

<i>Stroller Compatibility</i>- Combi makes some very good and very popular strollers. The Centre is designed for use with some Combi models, including models in the Cosmo Lifestyle series. It is not compatible with all Combi strollers. The similar Centre EX is included in the Cosmo travel system.


<i>LATCH attachments</i> While the LATCH system worked very well for installation and should result in a good fit, it can be difficult to remove. The combination of the most simple hook type attachments and a tilt-lock tension adjuster can be problematic to release when the base is installed tightly.

<i> Recline Indicator</i>- This recline indicator is on the base and is not easy to see once you have the carrier installed. It also doesn’t help if you install the carrier alone.

<i>Instructions</i>- The instruction manual is good, but could use at least a few large, clear photos. It is a little confusing because it refers to at least a few different versions and accessories that may not be relevant to the model you purchase.

<i>Shopping Cart Use</i>- Though most advocates would recommend putting an infant carrier inside the cart rather than on top, many parents do put them on top of the folding seat for convenience. The design of the Combi carrier does not have a notch for stability, but does work OK in larger shopping carts.


Installation should be pretty typical in most vehicles. It installed well in our 2006 Honda Odyssey and our 2000 Subaru Outback. I have not yet seen a Centre at a checkup event or appointment for carseat inspections, so I don’t have a lot of experience with it in other vehicles. The nice base should fit well with either the seatbelt or LATCH system. As with any carseat, there are always some cars where a model will just not fit. So, it’s always a great idea to try it before you buy it if the store will allow, or at least get a good return policy just in case.


The Centre DX is a stylish infant carrier with a few nice features not found on mass market models. It should be very safe and install well in most vehicles. The great harness system is a big plus and being able to leave the handle UP in the car is also handy. It is not an inexpensive model but provides reasonable value. There are a lot of great, new infant seats on the market and the Centre is definitely one to consider while shopping.

Details on Combi Car Seats can be found here:

<b>For more information on child restraints and LATCH please visit:

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