I’ve had the opportunity to test out and experience quite a few car seats first-hand, however Diono is one brand I wasn’t quite familiar with. Although I’ve heard of them time and time again, there hasn’t been an opportunity for me to see what all the fuss is about.. until now.
I used an infant seat for my son for the first few months, but as he is such a large baby, he outgrew it after four months. It was convenient in the beginning as I was able to use it with my stroller, however the life-span was very, very short-lived.
Diono recently released their RadianRXT Convertible + Booster Seat to the masses and it is designed so that you can use it from infancy right up to toddlerhood. Convenient and a good bang for your buck.
Out of the box, the seat was folded in half. I was a little confused as to why the seat would be folded, but it is just one of the many great features of this seat. Since it folds flat you can store it quite easily and compactly. It even has a strap attached so that you can carry it on your shoulder. Genius!
The seat is pretty heavy duty with it’s steel alloy frame, reinforced sidewalls, adjustable head support and Diono’s very own patented SafeStop energy absorbing harness. The EPS foam that is used with this seat surrounds your child’s head and body to provide side impact protection.
Once I unfolded the seat, I installed the detachable base (for rear facing only) by simply sliding it across the grooves in the bottom and pushed down the metal lock to secure in place.
Car installation was very simple with SuperLATCH as I used the UAS connector to slide it through the sides of the seat before click it into the anchor.
Note: A really great thing about Diono instructions is the QR codes. On every page there are codes that once scanned with your smart phone, bring up video instruction. Very, very cool!
There is an Infant Support Cushion included, but we didn’t use it as my son is passed that stage. In regards to adjustability, it was very straight forward. The head support can be raised up or down depending on the height of your child and the harness adjuster is located in the front for quick and easy adjustability.
The RadianRXT is the only car seat rated for LATCH use with a child up to 80 lbs. Impressive. The roominess of the seat both impressed and scared me as I was worried it wouldn’t fit in the back of our seat. Turns out it fit with even more room to spare than the infant car seat I had!
To top it off, the seat is covered in a memory foam padding that is so soft and cushy. The seat is longer on the bottom and provides more room than my girls’ seats and there is even a cup holder, with an option to add 3 additional.
The buckle and strap covers are the best that I have seen. This may seem like an insignificant feature, but let me tell you it is the one thing my girls complain about ALL the time with our current seats. Diono’s straps are hands-down the most comfortable and cushy and the buckle is larger and easier to manage.
Other features include:
- Rear-facing: 5 – 45 lbs
- Forward-facing: 20 – 80 lbs (and up to 57″) in a 5-point harness
- Booster to 120 lbs
- Steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides
- Safestop® energy-absorbing harness system
- Adjustable head support, reinforced for complete side impact safety
- Energy-absorbing EPS foam panels on all sides
- Rear-facing tether capability
- LATCH installation up to 80 lb child
- Infant body support cushions
- Memory foam padding for superior comfort
- 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions for custom fit
- Expandable sides and longer seat bottom for leg support and comfort
- 12 height positions for adjustable head support
- 2 recline positions in forward-facing mode
- Sits low on vehicle seat for easy child boarding
- Fits 3 across in a mid-size vehicle and offers more shoulder space
- Add up to 4 cup holders (1 included)
- Folds flat for travel and storage
- Rubber bottom grips for no-slip installation
- 10 year life
I highly recommend this seat! Two thumbs up on all counts. The safety features are abundant, the fashion forward colours are gorgeous and the seat itself will last you for the 10 years you require.
*Company sent a sample to facilitate this review.