This is a review covering the many aspects of the Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat. Within this review you’ll find several resources and lots of information regarding the Diono Radian RXT – we welcome your questions, comments and feedback.
On May 2nd we found out we are having a baby girl! We were terribly excited, but the reality that we still had so much to prepare for hit me later that afternoon. All I could think about was everything she needed, and her car seat was at the top of those thoughts. When I returned home, I was prepared to begin my search for her car seat. Little did I know….
What do you look for in an infant car seat?
I think many parents are automatically drawn to the rear facing infant carrier without taking much consideration for the relatively short time they will be able to use it. The average infant carrier isn’t built to exceed the height and weight of a child over one year. If you have a child who is on the higher end of the growth chart, you might be lucky to make it past nine months! (Note: None of my 4 have made it past 9 months in an infant carrier car seat.) How does this help you in keeping your child in a rear facing position until 24 months?
Getting the most for your money:
Everyone knows I am all about multifunctional products. With five children, I can’t afford to keep up with my ever-growing children’s needs by purchasing single use or short-term use products. If I were to purchase an average infant carrier car seat, convertible car seat, and booster, I would be spending almost $400 by the time each child is able to ride without a safety seat. Additionally, If I wanted my children to have the best seat in each single use class, I would be spending an upwards of $800 per child! I can’t imagine not wanting the best for my children’s safety, but I can’t afford that type of expense either.
The Diono Radian RXT Convertible is the only seat you will need and you will be able to use it in each capacity longer than the competitors! By following the manufacturer’s recommendations, It can be used for children 5 to 120 lbs! To give you an idea, my oldest son is almost twelve and isn’t much over a hundred pounds.
This seat will start out with your newborn as a rear facing seat until they reach 45 lbs! That’s right, your little one will be safer, longer, by staying rear facing for as long as possible, maybe further than newest car seat safety recommendations from the AAP (depending on the weight of your child).
When your child has outgrown the allowable rear-facing weight requirements, the Diono Radian RXT is easily installed in a forward-facing capacity and will meet this need until they are a whopping 80 lbs!
Moving past the forward-facing stage, this seat will function as a booster from 50-120 lbs. I am still amazed at the weight allowance this seat can perform at! That is fantastic for anyone who has an above average weight child, as weight limitations could pose a problem for their car seat safety solutions.
Our Diono Radian RXT Convertible arrived!
My first thought was “Jilli is going to be riding on a pillow!” The neck/shoulder cushions are soft and will provide maximum comfort for your little one. Additionally, the memory foam pillows are incredibly soft, maintain their shape, and stay in place even when the infant is not in the seat. (You won’t need to hold one hand down on the seat and the other on the baby while you are trying to place him/her inside – perfect!)
The colors are very pleasing. We received our Diono Radian RXT Convertible in the color “Daytona”. The scheme of red, black and gray are fantastic! Perfect for a child of either gender.
I love that the material is easily to wiped clean. Although the cover can be hand washed, or front load machine washed when necessary, who wants to do that frequently? A material that wipes clean is a plus for me.
Moving past the appearance, the bottom locking mechanism is very tight, with a firm lock that you can hear!
The chest harness is my favorite feature of safety; this seems to be made very well with thick plastic, and again, a lock you can hear! When the straps are tightened across the child appropriately, the chest strap is difficult to slide up and down. No more “pull overs” because your little one is playing with their chest strap!
Diono Radian RXT Convertible Instructions…
As with any car seat, to understand the proper Diono Radian RXT Convertible installation you MUST read the Instruction Manual. Taking a thirty minutes to read through and study the instruction manual could save your child’s life. After all, that is the goal behind placing your child in a car seat. No matter what the value or rating of your car seat, if it is improperly installed, it can’t do it’s job.
If you have any difficulties understanding what you have read, you can easily scan each section to view a video instruction. I don’t have a device to use this feature. Therefore, I found DionoUSA’s YouTube Channel and Safety Center as a backup to any of our installation questions.
I have never flown in an airplane, however, I can’t imagine not using a safety seat for my child. If they need one in the car, why wouldn’t they need one in a plane? Lucky for you, the Diono Radian RXT is FAA Certified and may be used to keep your child safe in the air too!
The design of this seat allows you to fold it for your carrying ease (page 10-12 of your instruction manual). If you are a frequent flyer, I would recommend the purchase of the shoulder strap accessory for maximum carrying comfort and convenience.
Tip: Make a copy of page 28 of the instruction manual and take it with you to be sure you are properly installing this seat in the plane.
If the worst happens:
If you are in a severe vehicle accident with your child, while they are using the Diono Radian RXT Convertible, Diono has a Crash Exchange Program which allows you to exchange your old seat for a new seat. Please be advised that supporting crash documentation and prior registration of your car seat is required to be considered for this program. However, the fact that they have this program at all says a lot about the company to me.
My fellow research junkies: In case you need more information about the Diono Radian RXT Convertible, or car seat safety in general, I have you covered! Please enjoy these quick links from me to you:
More RadianRXT Mommy Reviews:
Rear Facing Articles:
- Consumer Reports, New Car Seat Research Shows Rear-Facing Long is Better, Nov 2011
- New York Times, Rear-Facing Car Seats Advised at Least to Age of 2, March, 2011
- Parenting Magazine, New AAP Car Seat Safety Guidelines: Rear Facing Until Age 2
Booster Seat Articles:
- Consumer Reports, Recommendations for Booster Seat Use, July, 2011
- Booster Seat Evaluations from IIHS, 2011
- USA Today, Carpool Parents Often Don’t Pud Kids In Booster Seats, January, 2012
- Boosters Are For Big Kids
MISC Car Seat Articles:
- USA Today, Study: Most Parents Fail Child Car Safety Seat Tests, December, 2011
- Car Seats: Information for Families for 2012
- NHTSA Unveils ‘New 10-Year-Old-Child’ Crash Test Dummy, February 2012
- AAP Updates Recommendation on Car Seats
- ABC News, Child Safety Seats on Airlines: New Recommendation from FAA, May 2011
- Rethinking Car Seat Safety
Car Seat Safety Resources:
- Car Seat Product Listing 2012
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator
- Search Child Passenger Safety Laws
- Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe
- Safe Kids USA, Car Seats, Boosters, and Seat Belt Safety
- Motor Vehicle Safety Fact Sheet
- Data Map: Non-Fatal Motor Vehicle Injuries, Ages 0-14
- Data Map: Fatal Motor Vehicle Injuries, Ages 0-14
Legal Research for your Child’s Safety:
I always research important safety issues within trial lawyer magazines. The reason is because they are often the ones who bring important safety issues to the forefront. By combining research from personal injury and wrongful death cases, they are able to see the bigger picture long before the rules are changed.
When I worked in the legal field, I was able to learn and share valuable car seat information that the consumer didn’t learn until later. When my oldest two children were infants and toddlers (2000-2002) we were using a car seat with a padded pull down bar. Everyone was using them, even the school board were using them on school buses at this time. Upon reading an article in The Trial Lawyer Magazine, I learned that these car seats were causing severe injuries due to the unnatural bend of the spine during impact. Needless to say, I purchased a new car seat for my toddler that afternoon! Did you notice the year I learned this? In the fall of 2002. I learned of this issue from a trial lawyer magazine years before it appeared in the news!
You can find used trial lawyer magazines by contacting a local law office and asking if you can have them before they are discarded.
*Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary RadianRXT from Diono for the purpose of facilitating my review. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions expressed herein are unbiased and not influenced by the developing company or its affiliates in any way.*