There's no better piece of Baby Gear more important (in my opinion) than a car seat and we are excited to be bringing you this review from Diono today.
About the company: Diono consistently earns high ratings from industry experts and families around the world for all of their products. They are committed to providing car seat safety to families everywhere with innovative and advanced travel solutions. Their first product was in 1999 called the Mighty-Tite, the first and only seatbelt tightener. In 2005, they introduced the Radian Car Seat, the first steel-reinforced folding car seat that makes travel and storage more convenient than ever. In 2008, they were one of Inc 500's fastest growing U.S. companies and today they have more than 100 product offerings across 54 countries, with offices in seven.
We were beyond excited when this box carrying our Diono Radian RXT arrived at our door. Never again would we need to get another car seat for Baby Skibbles! We quickly rushed it inside (okay, so maybe slowly--this thing is massive weighing in at 24 lbs! Don't let the slender box fool you). The reason we wanted this car seat above all others were not only for it's superior safety rating, but for it's ability to rear face for an extended time and be essentially an all-in-one car seat.
The Basic Specs:
Maximum child weights:
Rear-facing 45 lbs (20.5 kg),
Forward-facing with 5-point harness 80 lbs (36 kg),
Booster mode 120 lbs (54 kg).
• Maximum heights:
Rear-facing 44" / 112cm,
Front-facing 57"/ 144 cm
We unwrapped everything and quickly took note of everything included and then opened the manual to get started! Let me start by saying we love this manual. It's in depth with detailed pictures and explains things very well. There are seven fabulous color options and we received the "Shadow". It's gorgeous in person. The material is soft, including velvet strap covers and part of the head rest fabric. Andrew and I both commented how we wish part of our car seat was made from this material.
|Photo Credit- Diono|
So let's get down to what you really want to know...what's all the hype about this car seat, what are the great features, and what do we love?
First, I just have to mention that we plan on having more children and being able to move seats around easily is a huge plus for me. The Diono Radian RXT can easily fit 3 side by side and with it's infant to booster features, you never need anything seat for any babies.
|Photo Credit: Diono|
I'm a huge fan of products, especially ones involving the safety of Baby Skibbles, being properly and clearly labeled, so I loved knowing exactly where I needed to put the seat belt.
The Diono Radian RXT feature five different strap positions and three different harness buckle positions. The manual clearly shows how each should be and it was easy to figure out which one was the proper installation for Baby Skibbles. Removing the straps and replacing them to the correct position for use was an absolute breeze. We've had a few other carseats before and Andrew said that this was by far the easiest to removing and reattach the straps.
I love the the harness adjustment strap is concealed under a padded cushion that said Child Emergency Information (Lift). Diono has an awesome medical info card in case of emergency that you can print off from their website and stick inside of here so that the child's medical information is always on hand. The harness strap adjuster was easy to use by simply pushing down and tightening. It all rolls back up into the seat without any problems with bulking up.
The strap covers are by far the best I've seen on any car seat I've come into contact with. Not only do they cover above the chest clip, but they are cover below. I love this because when messes happen I can just remove the covers and wash rather than figuring out to to clean the actual straps (messes are bound to happen). The straps are incredibly easy to remove and put back on and like I mentioned above are made from a velvet material, making them insanely soft.
The side impact head support is awesome. It can adjust to different positions depending on your child's side which means it provides maximum protection as they grow. The Radian RXT also features two slots for cup holders on both sides of the car seat, meaning you can hold up to four cup holders in one seat at a time! One cup holder comes with the car seat, but any other additional cup holders are separate.
We are also in love with the adjustable armrests. We know this will come in handy as Baby Skibbles grows more into the seat.
The back of the car seat is full of straps that can get overwhelming if it weren't for the amazing manual provided with the car seat. Some of the amazing things you will find include:
1. Harness Straps adjustment positioning
2. LATCH straps
3. Shoulder Carry Strap anchors
4. Top Tether
5. Backpack Strap Anchors
6. FAA compliant making air travel safe
7. StopSafe strap
8. Shoulder carry strap
Installation was a breeze. There is a detachable base that is necessary for rear facing the car seat, but all your have to do is insert and lock into plan. Then, the manual explains what the best method is for securing the car seat. It goes in depth with pictures to detail for nine types of installation including multiple forward and rear facing options (LATCH option available), as well as aircraft and booster options.
We used our Buddy Dog to demonstrate the infant support system. It was easy to install both pieces of the infant support and feed the straps and buckle into each piece. The chest clip is secure with plenty of room to fit snug and secure. We love how versatile in size this seat can be. As you can see from the picture in the middle (below) it's almost like having a car seat inside of a car seat. There's just that much room.
One of the most important factors for me was extended rear facing and room to grow. With the Dinoo Radian RXT we have the ability to do both. She has so much room left to grow both height and length wise. We plan to rearface until at least two years old so have the additional leg room was a big deal to me since she is currently at the top of the chart for height according to our pediatrician. She has plenty to spare as you can see from the picture below.
We also love the compactness of the seat. Even though it's a bit on the heavy side there are still 4 amazing ways to carry it including with the shoulder strap, by the red carry strap, by the plastic on it's side, or like a back pack. The back pack straps are sold separately which is why I am not demonstrating in the pictures below.
|photo credit: Diono|
Overall feelings? We are totally head over heals in love with this car seat. It's hands down the best car seat we've laid our hands on. With the superior technology, durability, room for growth, we couldn't ask for more. I will admit we were nervous when transitioning her from the infant car seat to the convertible because I was terrified she would no longer sleep because she was sitting straight up, but much to my surprise she actually fell asleep faster! She looks incredibly comfy and relaxed inside her brand new big girl seat!
*car was not moving at the time pictures were taken
We could right a book about how great the Diono Radian RXT car seat is from a safety, security, and comfortability view point, but we can wrap it up in the following points.
Recap of the Amazing Features:(courtesy of Diono)
- Full steel frame and aluminum reinforced sides for unmatched safety
- Comfortably seats rear-facing children from 5-45 lbs, forward-facing children from 20-80 lbs in a 5-point harness, then converts to a booster for children up to 120 lbs.
- Unique SuperLATCH system that makes installation easy
- It also fits 3 across in a mid-size vehicle, folds flat for travel and is FAA certified
- NCAP crash tested, the industry benchmark for verifying child seat performance in severe accident conditions
- Infant body support cushions and memory foam for added comfort
- Energy absorbing EPS foam and side impact protection provides added safety
- Safestop® energy-absorbing harness
- Additional forward-facing recline position to accommodate different types of contoured vehicle seats, 12-position adjustable headrest, 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions deliver a comfortable ride.
- Rear-facing tether capability
- LATCH installation up to 80 lbs
- Expandable sides and long seat bottom allow proper leg support
- Low-sitting profile makes it easy for your child to board
- Angled cup holder keeps a variety of drinks upright and within easy reach
- Cover is machine washable and dryable
- Rubber bottom grips for no-slip installation
- 10 year life
We highly recommend you can view and test one of the car seats our for yourself. We promise you won't be disappointed.
We were also generously sent the Diono Ultra Mat. It is a full seat protector that not only protects your car upholstery against scratches and dent from the car seat, but can be used rear or forward facing. The non-stick grip are awesome to ensure that the car seat doesn't slip. There's an awesome three-pocket organizer in the front that is great for toys, snacks, and more (I'm always loosing Baby Skibbles shoes so that's why they are there!). It's waterproof, washable fabric, and easy to care for. The best part is that it's compatible with all infant carriers, car seats, and boosters and it's also Latch compatible. The only down side is it has to have a headrest to either buckle or velcro around so if you don't have that in your vehicle you can't ensure it will stay. We absolutely love the Ultra Mat to contain messes and prevent dents in our car seats. It's a must have accessory no matter what car seat you have!
The Ultra Mat is just one of a number of different car seat accessories that Diono makes for the Radian RXT. We hope to get them all soon!
We are beyond thrilled to have been given this opportunity to bring you more information about this amazing car seat. We hope you will check out Diono and see why it's right for you as well.
BUY IT: The Diono Radian RXT Car Seat retails for $340 US, but is currently on sale on Amazon for $260! Just click on the link below to view the Amazon site or make a purchase. To see other retailers that carry the seat or Ultra Mat, just visit the Diono website HERE.
WIN IT: One lucky reader is going to win their own Diono Ultra Mat just like the one reviewed! Just fill out the form below. This giveaway will end on 10/9/13 at 1:00am EST. Open to US residents only.
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