When it comes to convertible car seats, the Radian car seat is often the first choice for many parents and parents to be. The seat is world renowned for being one of the safest and longest lasting seats currently available, but is it really that good? Can you afford to put your little ones safety in this car seat? We will be discussing the seat itself below, but first lets take a very quick look at the company itself so we can get a rough idea of their history.
Diono was founded in 1999 in Washington, although this was under a different company named called Sunshine Kids Juvenile Products. The company renamed to Diono in 2011, although this was purely from a branding point of view as none of the products were changed in any way. The company was formed mainly market their groundbreaking new car seat securing system called the “Mighty-Tite”. This was after one of the founding members had seen a tv show in 1998 demonstrating the lack of proper tightening systems available, and the consequences of failing to secure the car seat effectively. After a year of design and prototypes, the company formed in 1999 and unveiled their finished product at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. This lead to the company receiving a huge amount of pre-orders, and the prestigious “Show-Off” award for this design. The Mighty-Tite system won the 2002 “Most Innovative Award” from Mom & Baby, so clearly Diono had a winner on their hands.
The first Radian car seat was launched in 2005. This was yet another industry first, as it was the first convertible car seat that was supported by a steel frame. This meant it was safer than any other car seat available on the market, which was a huge selling point. From that point on the company continued to make a number of innovating products and accessories, and today they now have office in the UK, China, Canada, France & Germany due to the massive demand for their products. Over the years the company has made a number of refinements to their line of car seats. The latest and greatest one in this range of products is the Radian RXT car seat, and this is what we are going to be looking at today. They do sell several cheaper car convertible seats, but we feel that we should look at the best the company has to offer to really give a writeup.
The RXT Radian car seat is not only a convertible car seat, but it is also a booster. This is one of the very few models in this category, and the aim of this product is to have one car seat that will suit your child until they are old enough not to need a child seat. When used in the rear facing position for infants it will hold a child from 5-45lbs, and in the forward facing position it can hold kids from 20-80lbs. When the child is big enough to use the booster seat, then it will accommodate then up until 120lbs in weight. With these range of weight allowances, this makes the Radian seat one of the longest lasting ones in the market. As mentioned earlier, the entire seat frame is made of steel which makes it very tough. The walls of the frame are further reinforced with aluminum keeping the entire unit as light and strong as possible. The entire seat can be folded, and even carried like a backpack when necessary. This is for easy storage purposes, and to use on airplanes (it is fully certified for flying).
The headrest and the sides are covered in energy absorbing EPS foam, which gives the best protection in the event of a collision. The harness also incorporates Diono’s Safestop technology, which helps to make sure the harness absorbs any energy in the event of a collision, instead of the child. The headrest on the seat is easily adjustable, and there are 12 different settings to pick from. This allows you to select the most comfortable position of the child’s head. The entire seat is fitted with a comfortable plush cloth finish, which helps to ensure there is no chafing against the seat. This cover is simple to wash, and it is certified for machine washing.
When the seat is used in the forward facing position you have the option of two different reclining positions. This gives the seat the ability to fit well in a range of different vehicles. When the seat is used in the rear facing position, you have the option of connecting a rear tether. If you have one, this is the safest way to make sure the seat is as secure as possible. When it comes to the use of Latches, these are fully supported thanks to the Superlatch system build into the Radian car seat. The seat has been fully crash tested using the weight capacity of the seat when used with Latch connectors, so the Superlatch system is definitely a safe and easy way to connect the car seat. There are rubber feet underneath the seat, which helps to keep the seat in place. The harness system used on this seat is a 5-point system, which is pretty standard these days. In early versions of the seat, the straps were a little difficult to adjust, but this has been rectified in all the seats that were manufactured after 2011. A common complaint on convertible car seats is the buckling and unbuckling part. Some seats have buttons that need to be pressed very hard to get them to release, but the Radian is a breeze. There is no struggling to get the harness unlatched, and most older kids can manage to unbuckle themselves! For infants, you will receive extra cushions to help the child fit into the seat a bit better. These are made out of memory foam, so will mold to the shape of the child.
Another nice little feature is the inclusion of a cup folder on the side of the Radian car seat. While this may not be the best idea for a younger child, older ones will certainly benefit from this as long as they are careful enough when using it! You can actually buy additional cup holders, and a total of 4 can be fitted to the seat. The actual seat is a bit thinner than some of the competing products. According to Diono’s website, you can fit three of these in the back seat of most medium sized vehicles. This is great for those of you who have a number of kids, as it leaves enough space to fit several in the back seat. Lastly there are a range of colors to pick from, which will suit a variety of vehicles and designs. These include solid colors such as blue, purple, black and red, and also miscellaneous patterns such as floral and camouflage. So that is a basic summary of all the features of the Radian RXT seat. The retail price is $339.99 in total, which is a good price considering you will not need to buy a booster seat afterwards. If you shop around you might get lucky and find one for around the $250 mark, which would be a great buy. We think the Radian is a fantastic looking and performing convertible seat, and will help to keep your little one safe in the event of a collision. The seat comes with a one year limited warranty.