Honest Diono Rainier Review [Safety Ratings & Specs]

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    The Diono Rainier convertible car seat is built to accommodate rear-facing (up to 50 lbs) and a five-point forward-facing harness (up to 90 lbs). It has the LATCH system, infant support cushions, and unique safety features. While this seat may be super safe, it’s also super heavy (weighs 30 pounds – heavier than most comparable models) and relatively pricey (sells for $299 – $400).

    Diono Rainier 2AXT Latch, All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

    The Diono Rainier 2AXT Latch is an all-in-one convertible car seat designed to keep your child safe and comfortable from infancy to toddlerhood. It features a 5-point harness system and advanced side-impact protection, ensuring your child is securely fastened and protected in case of an accident.

    With a weight limit of up to 120 pounds, this car seat is built to grow with your child and can be used in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions. Its easy-to-install Latch system and machine-washable cover make it a convenient and practical choice for busy parents. And with its stylish design and plush padding, your child will love riding in it.

    What We Liked:
    • Lasts 12-years or up to 120-pounds
    • Safe design
    • Easy to install and uninstall
    • Fashionable
    • Cheaper than the comparable models
    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
    10/01/2023 11:57 am GMT

    As parents, we can’t control everything (even though we’d like to). We can, however, make smart choices when it comes to purchasing our child’s safety seat.

    Diono isn’t as prominent as a few other brands in the car seat industry today. But looking at Amazon’s customers’ ratings about this product, 78% of 134 Diono Rainier car seat users were delighted. Still, there are some factors to consider to be sure you’re making the right decision.

    I started using the Diono Rainier 2AXT Convertible Car Seat seven months ago for my daughter, and the experience has been bittersweet. In the rest of this article, I will walk you through the key features, critical pros and cons, and the Diono Rainier car seat specifications. First, look at the available models under this Diono’s flagship:

    Available models of Diono Rainier convertible car seats

    You will currently find two different Diono Rainier convertible car seats – the 2AX and the 2AXT.

    The main difference between these two versions is that the Diono Rainier® 2AXT comes with extra upgrades:

    1. Diono Rainier® 2AXT is a complete car seat system you can use through all three recommended stages: rear-facing, front-facing with a harness and booster.
    2. The 2AXT design exceeds all recommended safety standards for children from 5 to 120 pounds. 
    3. The Rainier® 2AXT also comes with a 12-position adjustable headrest providing additional head support and side-impact protection for kids in all riding stages (rear-facing, front-facing with a harness and booster).
    4. Unlike the 2AX, the Diono Rainier® 2AXT has additional seat upgrade options, including European leather and Merino Wool.

    P.S: I would add that Diono is impressively starting to make its mark on the car seat industry by introducing all-in-one car seats with outstanding safety features. They are also famous for the Radian 3R, 3RX, and 3RXT models, but this review focuses on the Rainer model.

    Which model of Diono Rainier Convertible Car Seats is Best?

    The decision to purchase the Rainier® 2AX or the Rainier® 2AXT will differ from parent to parent.

    Both convertible car seats offer the same top-of-the-line safety features, but the 2AXT has a few extras that some families may be drawn to. These added features were convincing enough for me.

    Nevertheless, Diono has provided parents peace of mind and kept kids safe for two decades. Either model you choose is sure to be fantastic.

    Now, no matter the version of Diono Rainier you consider settling for, here are the key features to look out for

    Key Features of Diono Rainier Convertible Car Seats 

    • Integrated steel frame: Both the 2AX and the 2AXT versions of Diono Rainier feature fully integrated steel frames offering exceptional strength and durability.
    • EPS Foam: They are built with energy-absorbing foam, providing superior side-impact protection and aluminum-reinforced extra-deep sidewalls.
    • LATCH installation: The SuperLATCH™ System with an audible click is present in both versions to help you install seats quickly, correctly, and safely.
    • Extended rear-facing orientation: The extended rear-facing capabilities enable you to keep your child in the rear-facing position for up to 50 pounds.
    • Cushioning and memory foam: There are infant support cushions and memory foam for maximum comfort for all ages.
    • Rear-facing tether: The rear-facing tether helps minimize seat rotation.
    • Travel-friendly: Diono Rainier folds flat for easy travel. It is also Airplane friendly – FAA certified.
    • Washing Machine friendly: The seat cover is removable and machine-washable for easy clean-up.
    • Cup holder: The Diono Rainier comes with a convenient cup holder

     Diono Rainier

    Diono Rainier Car Seat Specifications



    Rear-facing weight limit

    5 – 50 pounds

    Forward-facing weight limit

    20 – 65 pounds (For versions manufactured after September 2017)

    Rear-facing height limit

    44″ or less

    Forward-facing height

    limit 57″ or less

    Highest booster guide position


    High back booster weight limit

    50 – 120 pounds

    High back booster height limit

    40″ and taller

    Shell height


    Highest harness position


    Lowest harness position


    Lower anchor weight limit


    35 pounds for rear-facing, 40 pounds for forward-facing


    8 years for the harness mode and 12 years for the booster mode


    Note: Diono Rainier car seat forward-facing weight maximum is 65 pounds for versions manufactured after September 2017. The car seat model had a recall to this effect (more on this soon). In addition, the high back booster height limit also suggests that your child’s shoulder is at or above the 4th harness position.

    Key Safety Features

    You can’t negotiate safety when choosing your child’s ideal car seat. So, it’s alarming that CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) found more than 618,000 kids under 12 rode in vehicles without proper restraint in one year alone.

    The Diono Rainier has the Safe Stop® System designed to help reduce the impact for smaller, forward-facing children during impact. Here are other key safety features:

    • The steel frame car seat designs are strong and durable when you need them the most.
    • The voluntary Diono crash exchange program provides peace of mind for parents.
    • This Diono model has one of the highest rear-facing weight limits on the market.
    • Diono gives back to its community by donating booster seats to those in need. In Scott McAllister’s (Brand Manager of Diono) words, “It is important to us that we give back to our community… Diono is a local Northwest business passionate about children’s safety no matter where they are in their journey.”


    My Review 

    I was lucky enough to be able to test the Diono Rainier, but I felt unlucky afterward.

    The only thing this car seat has going for it is its safety features. It has the LATCH safety system that allowed me to secure the car seat in place, but not without a workout.

    The installation was a chore, even with the instructional video on the official Diono website. Once I figured it out, I could hear a click after installing the seat properly, making me more comfortable with the position.

    Most Diono car seat models are similar (read: the Rainier, Radian, Cambria, Monterey, and Everet lineups). They have the LATCH system, infant support cushions, outstanding safety features, and extended rear-facing capabilities.

    This seat may be super safe, but it’s also super heavy, and I hated moving it from one car to another. It weighs 30 pounds, heavier than most comparable models.

    All this is to say that the Diono Rainier 2AXT Convertible All-in-one car seat was comfortable for my three-year-old daughter, but that’s pretty much all it has going for it, which is why I don’t recommend it unless you want to spend a fortune on a subpar car seat.

    On the price factor, the Diono Rainier car seat leans towards the expensive side of the spectrum. Every parent has a different budget, and the Diono Rainier® may be out of reach for some families.

    But, if you choose the Diono Rainier® 2AXT, it will likely be the only convertible car seat you will ever need to buy.

    Diono Rainier Pros and Cons 

    There’s no perfect all-in-one car seat model out there – each product has its benefits and drawbacks. But to choose the best option for your child, you want to focus on one with benefits that outweighs the cons. If you’ve considered the Diono Rainier car seat, look out for these advantages and disadvantages:

    What I like:

    • Crash tested regularly and consistently exceeds all federal safety standards.
    • Steel frame and extra-deep side walls lined with energy-absorbing foam.
    • SafeStop® is a standard feature on all models.
    • The SuperLATCH® System is also a standard feature on all models.
    • The Diono Rainer 2AXT may be the only car seat you will ever need to buy. 
    • Installation videos are available on the Diono website.

    What I don’t like:

    • Diono Rainier® car seats are heavier than most others.
    • Seats can be challenging to install, even with online videos.
    • Diono Rainier® is not compatible with any stroller or travel system.
    • They are expensive.

    Price Comparison

    The Diono Rainier 2AXT Latch Convertible Car Seat costs between $350 and $450 on Amazon, which is $50 less than what it would cost you to get the Radian 3RXT, 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat from retail platforms like Target and Walmart. 

    Still, compared with other brands offering similar features and benefits, the Diono Rainier lineup is quite expensive.

    But it’s not the most costly car seat model from Diono. The brand’s Radian 3QX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat costs $369.

    Depending on the retailer, the price of these items can vary slightly. For example, I got the Diono Rainier 2AXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat (Black Mist) for $418 on Amazon but saw similar offers with different price tags.

    The most affordable Diono car seat must be from the Radian lineup – the Radian 3R 3-in-1. It sells for $199, while upgrading this version – the Radian 3RX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat – will set you back to $285 on most retail platforms.


    In 2017, Diono issued a voluntary recall of over 500,000 convertible car seats, including Rainier® models. Diono claims that there could be a higher risk of injury in children over 65 pounds secured with a lap belt in a forward-facing position.

    Diono sent notices to all registered owners of car seats manufactured between January 2014 and September 2017. Everyone affected by the recall received updated instruction manuals, labels, energy-absorbing pads, and new chest clips.

    Returning your registration card within 30 days of purchase will notify you of any recall affecting your car seat. It’s also a good idea for any potential warranty issues. Diono offers a “limited one-year warranty” on the Rainier® line of convertible car seats. This will protect you against any defects for one year.

    As with any warranty, it has restrictions and won’t cover anything that happens if you install unapproved accessories.

    Comparing Diono Rainier Convertible Car Seats with Worthy Alternatives

    Diono Rainier has excellent features, especially concerning safety. But the heavy weight of the item and relatively high price point for the value it offers can eventually alternate your decision to purchase it.

    Emphasizing these two drawbacks, I have found these two other convertible car seats, after thorough research, as the best alternatives to the Diono Rainier model, especially if the bulkiness turned you off and “the heavy” price tag.

    Key Spec Comparison

    Product name


    Distinctive perks

    Major Drawback


    Weight limit (Rear-facing)

    Weight limit (forward-facing)

    Diono Rainier convertible car seat

    $299 – $450

    Safety features and LATCH installation System.

    Pricey and bulky.

    5 to 50 pounds.

    20 to 90 pounds.

    Safety 1ˢᵗ Grow and Go Sprint All-in-One

    $139 – $150

    QuickFit Harness, Affordable for great value

    Occasional installation huddle

    5 to 40 pounds.

    22 to 65 pounds.

    Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible car seat

    $80 – $120

    Incredible affordability and still meets safety standards.

    Not the best comfortable option for long rides

    5 to 40 pounds

    22 to 40 pounds.

    The Diono Rainier convertible car seat outshines the two alternatives in some areas, especially in reclining orientation weight limits. But there’s room for improvement regarding affordability and item weight.

    Final Verdict

    The extra-long leg support and impressive safety features like a full steel frame, aluminum-reinforced sides, energy-absorbing EPS foam, and an energy-absorbing harness make The Diono Rainier car seat an admirable option for me as a mother.

    However, it’s not the best product out there for the price.

    To be clear, choosing the Diono Rainier isn’t throwing money to the wind. At least, the side-impact protection, narrow space-saving design, option to use the tether with rear-facing installations, and even suitability for kids up to 120 lbs are glaring green flags.

    But the product is heavy, and rethreading requires adjusting the height of harness shoulder straps. 

    Also, the specifications show that the car seat may not fit all vehicles at the infant recline angle.

    Nevertheless, it’s a decent option for a convertible car seat with an expandable seat for a growing child’s comfort.


    How long does Diono Rainier last?

    Diono Rainier® lasts up to 10 years from purchase – 8 years for harness use/10 years in booster mode. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” method for car seat expiration dates. However, they seem to fall within six to ten years from purchase. Diono helps us by stamping the expiration date on the manufacturer label on the side of the seats.

    Is Diono safer than Graco?

    Both Diono and Graco produce high-quality car seats that meet safety standards. But the Diono models are uniquely built with impressive safety features.

    Still, the safest car seat for your child should fit your child’s age, height, and weight and is installed correctly.

    Does the Diono Rainier turn into a booster?

    The Diono Rainier can be converted into a booster seat for older children. You can use the seat in forward-facing mode with a five-point harness, then later convert to a belt-positioning booster if your kid is up to 120 pounds.

    Is Diono made in China?

    According to details on the Diono website, the brand boasts over 20 years of design and engineering in the USA. Diono car seats are proudly manufactured in Seattle. However, given that it’s a global company, Diono has facilities in several countries.

    Avatar of Keren Simanova

    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren
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    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren