The Klippan Century is a roomy Swedish plus test approved extended rear facing seat. The main features include an easy adjust harness, excellent range of recline options and a huge amount of growing room!
If you have a tall child, this seat needs to be on your list to consider!
I got the Klippan Century in for the car seat libraries to show something a little different from the norm - Klippan is a long standing Finnish car seat brand with an extensive history, so I was very excited when their distributor for the UK agreed to send us one!
I must confess, that when I first had a play with the Century, I was slightly disappointed. Car seats nowadays are so sleek and snazzy, and this seat is no Kim K! It was a big beast of a seat, with all sorts of inserts and extra foam pads. The support leg and recline have a bolt like plunger to allow adjustment, rather than the enclosed buttons we are spoilt with - and for the price tag, I couldn't see why you would buy this, compared with other products on the market...
Nevertheless, as with any seat we have in the library, I watched countless video's, devoured the instruction manual and played with it until I was totally comfortable with the seat, how it works and how it fits.
Recline and Comfort
When I fitted it in the car, I first noted the recline - I checked the recline bar as I assumed I must have had it out, but no! The seat has a really nice sitting position for the child even in the most upright position, meaning they are nice and comfy, with little risk of their head flopping forward.
There are a good number of recline positions to choose from, with the recline leg being fully extended giving the largest tilt - which is very impressive for the style of seat.
If your car has very bucketed seats, this car seat should allow your little one to sleep comfortably.
Harness use and adjustment
The harness is nice and easy to use, and the gaps in the seat by little one's legs gives a nice natural space to put the buckle tongues when you get little one out of their seat - meaning you aren't digging around for the straps when you pop them back in!
The minimum harness height is quite high, and the seat comes with an insert to lift your child up so they fit safely in the harness. The minimum position is still on the high side even with the insert, so if your little one is all legs, or quite petite, they may not fit in the harness until they're a bit older.
The little one in this picture had just turned 2, and was on the bottom harness position with no insert.
That does mean that this is a fantastic seat if your little one has a long torso or is very tall - the harness height of this seat is huge, and I expect it is the roomiest on the market.
That said, it isn't overly wide - it is actually one of the narrowest 25kg rear facing seats around, making it ideal for 3 across.
To adjust the height of the harness of this seat, you need to move the metal bar up a notch from the back of the seat - you should be able to do this without taking the seat out of the car. The headrest then has a lever at the top, which you simply squeeze to move the headrest up.
Space in Car & Leg Room
In terms of space taken up in the car, it is big, and it is hungry on room, even if you fit it with no recline (the more reclined you have the seat, the more space it takes up in the car).
The images in this review were taken in a 2006 VW Golf Plus, which didn't compromise the front passenger room at all.
However I have also fitted it in our 2008 Honda Civic, and the front seat has to be pulled right forward - even at a mere 5'3, I don't have much leg room and wouldn't want to do a long journey with it.
To achieve such a huge amount of internal growing room in the seat, it's little wonder that it takes up a fair bit of space in the car. However, while it might eat in to your leg room a tad, it has bags of leg room for little one!
In this image, the seat is fitted as close to the vehicle seat back as possible, as that will take up less space in the car (giving the front passenger more room). As you can see, there is plenty of leg room for this little one! The seat can be fitted further away from the vehicle seat back, giving even more leg room - this does eat in to front passenger space (unless you have a car with stacks of room in the back!).
Fitting the seat
As for the fitment of the seat, as noted in the stats at the top of the review, it fits with the seat belt, a support leg and rear tether straps. The tether straps fit around dedicated rear tether points (such as in a Volvo), the front seat rails, or the front vehicle seat itself.
This is a pretty standard way for extended rear facing seats to fit. The one thing to note, is that the blue locking clip goes on the outer part of the blue seat belt guide, and locks on the shoulder belt, not the lap belt! This is quite unusual and took a lot of video watching and instruction checking, to ensure it was indeed correct!
Oh... and it's reflective, how cool is that!
On the whole, I really like the Klippan Century - it might not have the bells and whistles of similar products, however it is unrivalled on comfort for the child and growing room.
It is easy to adjust and I liked the extra side pads that it came with to make it snugger for a younger child, although I do think it suits an older child much better.
If you have a very tall child, or want a seat that will give you maximum rear facing time, then this is one to give serious consideration to!
The Klippan Century is only available from our approved retailer In Car Safety Centre - they very kindly sent us this seat for use in the Car Seat Libraries.