When driving with your precious cargo you’re extra cautious and abide by all traffic laws to a T. You can control your actions but what about other drivers? It’s scary to think about all the things that could go wrong, which is why a car seat is the most important thing you’re going to buy for your child. Kids outgrow things like crazy, which is why having a single car seat that’s appropriate for all stages is a feat itself. On the search for the perfect car seat that ticks all my boxes, I came across Diono’s RadianRXT, one of the very best on the market. Why? Because they consistently achieve the highest ratings in the industry. And with a convertible car seat you get one and you’re done – no exchanging out as your child gets bigger. The RadianRXT rear-faces from 5-45 lbs, becomes a forward-facing seat for 20-80 lbs and can become a booster for 50-120 lbs.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now advises children to be kept in a rear-facing position for 2 years or longer, and the RadianRXT’s 45 pound rear-facing limit absolutely allows you to go above and beyond with these standards. The 80 pound weight limit also allows heavier children to stay in the seat longer before moving to a booster. It’s obvious that safety is the number one concern with Diono, too.
With the RadianRXT there are 5 harness shoulder slots and 3 buckle slots to ensure proper restraint. Adjusting the shoulder height is done by threading the harness through the metal slots. With my last car seat we weren’t able to adjust the crotch buckle and always had to fish it out from under my son when he was placed in the seat, and always resulted in an awkward fit with bulky cloth diapers. When a child is rear-facing the shoulder straps should be at or below shoulder level, and for forward-facing they should be at or above shoulder level. The headrest, made for complete side impact safety, adjusts to 12 different positions allowing you to move it up or down depending on your child’s height.
My son is only 8 months old so we’re required to install our seat in the rear-facing position. This requires the extra foot that comes with the seat, which reclines it to the correct position. There have been recent discussions regarding the weight limits of car seat manufacturers versus the weight limit of certain vehicle manufacturers. In a highly condensed summary, the conclusion is that some LATCH anchors have a lower weight capacity compared to the LATCH connectors. For instance, Diono’s SuperLATCH system is approved for children up to 80 lbs but your vehicle’s LATCH anchors may only have a limit of 60 lbs. You can read more about it here on carseatblog.com, and also check with your vehicle manufacturer on their weight limits. When you’re converting to a booster the SuperLATCH can still be used since it’s only holding the car seat in place and the seatbelt will be the device restraining your child. But when you aren’t using the SuperLATCH system or tether (for forward-facing) you can store the devices in on the back of the seat. Actual. Designated. Storage spaces. The seat folds up for easy traveling but keep in mind the RadianRXT is a heavy duty, built-to-last car seat and does have a steel frame. Steel = weight, and if you plan on carrying it around often you might want to get an extra strap to carry it backpack style and ease the load.
The RXT is one of the narrowest on the market, also making it appropriate for airplane use. But the benefits of the small footprint extends beyond airplane compatibility. You can actually fit 3 RXTs across in a mid-size vehicle – an absolute bonus if you have 3 children in car seats! The seat comes with removable head and body inserts for infants. He’s grown out of the head insert but we still use the body insert, as it has most of the padding around the sides as opposed to the bottom. Perfect for my long and skinny boy. As he gets bigger the expandable sides and long seat bottom will provide extra room and comfort for him to grow. We received our seat in Shadow – chosen for the subtle dark gray pattern that works magic on hiding stains. This seats feature memory foam for added comfort and soft mesh material covering the majority of the seat, accented with cozy velour on the sides and shoulder straps.
Speaking for my son, he loves this seat. He literally fought me every time with his old seat but doesn’t give me any grief with this one. I think it’s because it’s more comfortable and isn’t as much of a ‘bucket’ seat like the last one and he can look out easier. The RXT also comes with one cup holder, but is capable of holding 4. One of the coolest things about the RadianRXT is the manual because if you have any questions you can scan the QR code and a video will pop up showing you how to use the car seat! Pretty neat.
Special thanks to Diono for providing a sample for review.