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Diono Radian RXT Review [Mom Approved]

3RX

Many Moms asked me are Diono car seats good? Other than that, I was asked are diono radian car seats safe? More specifically, is Diono Radian RXT safe?

In this Diono Radian RXT Review, we will identify the best diono radian car seats. First, let’s review the pros and cons of those car seats. Then we will review the recalls, installation procedure, and safety ratings.

Price Comparison

Advantages Of Diono Radian RXT Car Seat 

Increased weight limits keep kids in the rear-facing position longer and can support big kids up to 120 pounds in booster mode.

  • A collapsible steel frame offers maximum strength and portability.
  • FAA approved for airplane travel.
  • Aluminum reinforced sidewalls, adjustable head support, and energy-absorbing foam allow for increased side-impact protection.
  • An energy-absorbing harness, Safe Stop®, acts like a bungee cord protecting forward-facing kids in an accident.
  • SuperLATCH™ makes installing LATCH hooks easy with an audible click.
  • Narrow design allows you to fit three car seats in a row in most vehicles.
  • Memory foam padding helps with comfort for short and long car rides.
  • Machine washable covers make clean-up a cinch.

Disadvantages 

  • One of the most cumbersome seats on the market.
  • Radian® seats can be confusing and difficult to install.
  • The Radian™ will not be compatible with any stroller or travel system.
  • May not work with smaller infants due to rear-facing angles.
  • Kids may outgrow the seat before reaching the published weight limits in all stages.
  • Expensive.

The Best Radian Models 

diono radian rxt convertible car seatCurrently, there are four different Diono Radian™ convertible car seats to choose from 3R, 3RX, RXT, and 3RXT.  Note that the diono radian r100 and diono radian r120 are both discontinued and were replaced with updated versions discussed below.

Each of the Radian® models is considered an all-in-one convertible car seat.  Meaning it can be used as a rear-facing seat, a front-facing seat with a harness, and as a booster seat.  Currently, no Radian® model can be used as a backless booster seat. All Radian® models come with the same slew of features noted above, but there are a few differences worth mentioning as well.

1.The Diono Radian 3R (replaced the R100)

The Diono R100 was replaced with the 3R at some point in 2017. The replacement version is almost identical to its predecessor but is now made in the USA.

The 3R still offers extended rear-facing limits up to 40 pounds and 44 inches tall, forward-facing with harness limits from 20-65 pounds, and the booster limits extend up to 100 pounds.  Both forward-facing options also include child height restrictions up to 57 inches.

Unfortunately, the 3R does not include an infant insert or a cup holder, so if these are essential features for your family, you will need to purchase them separately.

Smaller babies also seem to get lost in the seat due to the installation angle, and big kids have been known to outgrow this model seat prematurely. Furthermore, parents have complained that the seat is too heavy to travel with, and installation can be challenging despite Diono’s online tutorials.

Unique Features

  • Rear-facing weight limits between 5-40 pounds.
  • Booster weight limits are between 50-100 pounds.
  • This 3R does not include an infant insert or a cup holder.

The Good

  • Extended rear-facing limits will keep kids in the rear-facing position longer.
  • This all-in-one option may be the only car seat you need to buy.
  • Six machine-washable fabric options include black, light gray, dark gray, red, blue, and pink.
  • Made in the USA.

The Negative

  • The 3R does not include an infant insert.  You will have to purchase this separately for smaller babies.
  • As a rear-facing seat, it can be a tight fit in a lot of cars.  You may need to purchase an angle adjuster to help the seat fit properly in your vehicle.
  • Small babies may sit-up too high in the rear-facing seat, especially if the angle adjuster is added.
  • Big kids can outgrow the seat before reaching the extended height and weight limits.
  • Parents claim it can be hard to install.
  • This seat is heavy, weighing in at 25.83 pounds.
Diono 2019 Radian 3R All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Black
335 Reviews
Diono 2019 Radian 3R All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Black
  • JOY OF THE JOURNEY: From birth, keep your little one rear-facing longer to 40 lbs., and as they grow...
  • THREES NOT A CROWD: For safety that fits 3 across the Radian 3R packs all our innovative safety...
  • LOVINGLY ENGINEERED: The Radian 3R is built with automotive-strength steel, engineered into a dual...

2.Diono Radian 3RX Review (replaced the R120)

The Diono Radian 3RX replaced the R120 at some point in 2017 as well and is also now made in the USA. This seat extends the rear-facing weight limit up to 45 pounds, and the booster weight limits up to 120 pounds.

The Radian® 3RX also comes with an infant insert for increased comfort and head stability, has five different color options, and includes an attachable cup holder.

Parents still have some of the same complaints, including the overall weight of the seat and installation challenges. It’s also a tight fit in some cars (rear-facing), and kids may outgrow the seat before the recommended limits are reached.

Unique Features

  • Rear-facing weight limits between 5-45 pounds.
  • Booster mode weight limits between 50-120 pounds.
  • The 3RX includes an infant insert and a cup holder.

The Pros of 3RX

  • Extended rear-facing weight limit of 45 pounds.
  • The 3RX extends the booster weight limit to 120 pounds.
  • It includes an infant insert for smaller babies.
  • It also includes an attachable cup holder.
  • There are five stylish color options, including black, light gray, red, blue, and pink.
  • Made in the USA

The Cons of 3RX

  • In the rear-facing position, the seat may be a tight fit in some vehicles.
  • The rear-facing angle may be too steep for smaller babies or those without full head and neck control.
  • This model might still be tricky to install.  An angle adjuster can help with installation but may cause more issues with space for front-seat passengers.

This seat is even more cumbersome than the 3R (26.8 pounds) making it difficult to transfer between cars or to travel with.

Diono 2019 Radian 3RX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Blue
  • JOY OF THE JOURNEY: From birth, keep your little one rear-facing longer to 40 lbs., and as they grow...
  • THREES NOT A CROWD: For safety that fits 3 across the Radian 3RX packs all our innovative safety...
  • LOVINGLY ENGINEERED: The Radian 3RX is built with automotive-strength steel, engineered into a dual...

3.Diono Radian RXT   

The Dionono Radian RXT has the same weight and height restrictions as the 3RX but now includes a 12-position adjustable headrest too. This version also comes with a cup holder, infant insert, and offers five stylish color combinations to choose from.

Unfortunately, the same parent complaints spill into this model too. These include complicated installation, small babies not fitting well, big kids outgrowing the seat early, and it’s too heavy to move around with regularly.

Unique Features

  • Rear-facing weight limit between 5-45 pounds and booster weight limits from 50-120 pounds.
  • The RXT includes a 12-position adjustable headrest.

Pros

  • It offers the same extended rear-facing and booster weight limits and as the 3RX (45 pounds rear-facing and 120 pounds in booster mode).
  • The RXT includes an adjustable headrest for added comfort and side-impact protection.
  • This model includes a cup holder and infant insert (no separate purchase needed).
  • Updated color options include blue/green, maroon/white, blue/yellow, blue/gold, and silver/blue.

Cons

  • The angle of the seat may not work for smaller infants without proper head control.
  • Front-seat legroom can be compromised when installing in the rear-facing position.
  • Parents complain that the installation instructions are confusing, and it can be challenging to install.
  • It’s still a hefty seat (26.5 pounds).
Diono Radian RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, For Children...
  • SAFETY THAT FITS 3-ACROSS: The Diono Radian RXT packs our innovative safety features into a sleek...
  • STYLISH AND SNUG FOR YOUR LITTLE ONE’S COMFORT: The Radian RXT features a 12-position adjustable...
  • EXTENDED REAR-FACING CAPACITY FOR THE SAFEST RIDE: The Radian RXT offers an extended rear-facing...

4.Diono Radian 3RXT

This latest version of the Radian® will give you a lot of bells and whistles, including a love-hate relationship with the new fabric cover on the back of the seat.

The cover hides all the ugliness and helps protect your vehicle seats from damage, but there are also a lot of complaints that it makes the components harder to reach.

Additionally, the 3RX comes with color-coded dots underneath to help with the installation process. Similar parent complaints also include the weight of the seat, installation challenges, and kids outgrowing the seat too early.

The Features

  • Rear-facing weight limits from 5-45 pounds and booster mode weight limits support children between 50-120 pounds.
  • The fabric cover on the back of the seat hides car seat components.
  • Color-coded dots and belt paths to assist with installation.
  • Heaviest Diono Radian® car seat available.

The Benefits

  • New back cover conceals components and helps protect vehicle seats.
  • Color-coded dots and belt paths to make installation easier.
  • The widest Radian® variety of color choices including black, dark gray, gray oyster, red, blue, plum, yellow sulphur, and gray dark wool.

The Drawbacks

  • New back cover makes components difficult to access.
  • Installation can still be challenging, even with the new color-coded paths.
  • The angle of the seat may be too high for small babies without head control.
  • Kids tend to outgrow the seat before height, and weight limits are met.
  • This is the heaviest Radian® seat available at 27.68 pounds.
Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Black
  • JOY OF THE JOURNEY: From birth, keep your little one rear-facing longer to 40 lbs., and as they grow...
  • THREES NOT A CROWD: For safety that fits 3 across the Radian 3RXT packs all our innovative safety...
  • LOVINGLY ENGINEERED: The Radian 3RXT is built with automotive-strength steel, engineered into a dual...

High Safety Ratings Across All Models 

Diono’s commitment to safety and innovation shines through in its various Radian® models. Continually updating the features and options keeps Diono® ahead of the game and allows parents to have a choice in which features are most important for our families. But it can be super confusing. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions:

What’s The Difference Between the RXT And The 3RXT?

The Radian® 3RXT is merely an updated version of the RXT.  Both seats share the same main features, but the 3RXT has a few extra bells and whistles.

  • A new wrap cover that encloses all components into the back of the seat, making everything look neat and tidy.  This could also protect your vehicle seats from damage.
  • Color-coded guides help with belt path installation and upgraded top tether.
  • An easy-glide adjuster allows for a smooth, single-pull harness adjustment.

What’s The Difference Between The RXT And The R120?

There is just one single difference between the Radian® RXT and the R120, a 12-position adjustable headrest adding another layer of side-impact protection and another level of comfort for the kids.

What’s the difference Between The RXT And The Diono Rainier?

As you may know, Diono® introduced a second line of convertible car seats to complement the existing Radian® line.  This new line, Rainier®, has a few differences worth mentioning. First off, the Rainier® extends rear-facing capabilities up to 50 pounds, five pounds higher than the Radian® RXT.

It also increases the weight limit for kids in the forward-facing with harness position up to 90 pounds, which is 10 pounds higher than the RXT.  Finally, the Rainier® boasts extra-deep sidewalls which increase the width of the seat by an inch and a half at the top.

Who is Diono?

Diono® is an American-based company that has been passionate about child safety for 20 years and counting. They have a complete catalog full of car seats, strollers, and accessories that surpass recommended safety standards and help make parents’ lives a little easier.

Diono’s commitment to safety is what sets them apart from other companies. Their car seats are designed to withstand the most horrific of crashes. They are crash-tested regularly to ensure safety and continually exceed the standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Diono® even takes things a step further by offering parents a voluntary crash exchange program. If you bought your car seat directly from Diono® and you are involved in a significant crash (i.e., one that does structural damage to your vehicle), you would be issued a new Diono® safety seat to replace the damaged one.  Restrictions do apply, but this is a pretty fantastic deal if you ask me.

What is Radian?

In 2005, Diono® upped their game by introducing the first fully-collapsible, steel-framed car seat to the market, the Radian®. This innovative design stands out in a crowd offering maximum crash protection in a design that folds flat for easy travel and is FAA approved for airplanes.

The Radian® offers parents extended rear-facing capabilities that can keep kids in the safest, rear-facing position longer. On the flip side, the Radian® booster seat can support kids up to 120 pounds.

Side Impact Protection 

Additionally, increased side-impact protection and patented technology such as Safe Stop® and SuperLATCH™ are all wrapped up in the Radian’s slim design allowing parents to install three car seats in a row in most vehicles.

When evaluating car seats, we also have to take a look at any headaches they may cause.  First of all, the Radian® is heavy. It’s one of the most cumbersome child safety seats on the market with each model weighing between 25 and 28 pounds apiece.  Steel frames may offer the best protection for our littles, but the drawback comes when you have to move or travel with your seat.

The Super Latch System 

The Radian® is undoubtedly meant to be set up and left alone.  Parents have also complained that despite the unique SuperLATCH™ system and online installation tutorials, directions are confusing and the seats can be hard to install. Another good reason for this car seat to stay put.

You also need to consider the fact that the Radian® is a convertible car seat and will not be compatible with any stroller or travel system on the market. Parents may think this is a pretty big deal, especially with infants.  Having to disturb a sleeping baby to take them out of a car seat is one of my least favorite activities as a mom.

The Radian® models also claim to support babies as small as five pounds.  An infant insert will help, but these seats may be entirely too much for smaller infants.

Rear Facing Angles 

The rear-facing angles can also be challenging before babies have full head control. At the other end of the spectrum, the height and weight limits for forward-facing harness and booster modes may be a bit far fetched.  It has also been noted that children outgrow these seats well before they reach the weight limits.

This may force parents to purchase a separate booster seat to accommodate their kids. Finally, Radian® can also be one of the more expensive models on the market.  Unfortunately, the price point might be out of reach for some families.

Diono Radian Rxt Installation: How To Install Correctly 

Did you know that 59% of child car seats are installed incorrectly?  And if used correctly, child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by almost 71%?  These staggering statistics researched by the NHTSA make it imperative for all of us to learn how to use our car seats correctly.

  • ALWAYS read the car seat manufacturer manual.
  • ALWAYS read your vehicle manual.
  • Find yourself a car seat installation tech to assist if needed.

There are two different methods for installing a car seat – the LATCH (aka SuperLATCH™) system or your vehicle’s seat belt.  LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) has been a standard installation method since 2002. The system was designed to help parents safely install car seats without having to use a seat belt.

Before installation, always check your vehicle manual to find the lower anchor locations in your particular vehicle.  ALWAYS secure your child in the backseat of a car and DO NOT use the LATCH installation system with any Diono Radian® model for children over 35 pounds (rear-facing) or 40 pounds (forward-facing). You also shouldn’t ever install a car seat with both LATCH and the vehicle seat belt at the same time.

Installing LATCH in a Rear-Facing Position

  1. Install the detachable rear base to the bottom of the seat.
  2. Remove the LATCH strap from the back of the seat and extend it to the maximum length.
  3. Move LATCH connectors down the rear-facing belt path.
  4. Place the car seat in the rear-facing position between the lower LATCH anchors on the vehicle seat.
  5. Thread LATCH strap through the rear-facing belt path making sure it doesn’t twist.
  6. Connect the LATCH connectors to the lower anchors.  You will hear a click when done correctly.
  7. Tighten the LATCH strap.
  8. Wiggle the seat from side to side then back and forth to ensure the seat doesn’t move more than an inch in any direction.

 Vehicle Seat Belt Installation 

  1. Install the detachable rear base to the bottom of the car seat.
  2. Place the car seat in a rear-facing position on your vehicle’s seat.
  3. Thread the vehicle seat belt through the rear-facing belt path. Make sure the belt doesn’t twist and connect.
  4. Tighten the vehicle seat belt.
  5. Press firmly in the middle of the car seat and remove any remaining slack from the seat belt.
  6. Wiggle the seat from side to side and back and forth, making sure the car seat doesn’t move more than an inch in any direction.

Installing LATCH in A Forward-Facing Position

  1. Remove the LATCH strap from the back of the seat and extend it to the maximum length.
  2. Remove top tether from the back of the seat.
  3. Move LATCH connectors down the forward-facing belt path.
  4. Place the car seat in a forward-facing position in between the lower LATCH anchors on the vehicle seat.
  5. Loosely attach the top tether.  Refer to your vehicle’s manual to locate.
  6. Thread LATCH strap through the forward-facing belt path making sure it doesn’t twist.
  7. Connect LATCH connectors to lower anchors.  You will hear a click when complete.
  8. Tighten the LATCH strap and then the tether strap.
  9. Wiggle the car seat from side to side, then back and forth to ensure it doesn’t move more than an inch in any direction.

Installing with vehicle seat belt in a forward-facing (with harness) position

  1. Remove the top tether from the back of the seat.
  2. Place the car seat in a forward-facing position on the vehicle seat.
  3. Thread the seat belt through the forward-facing belt path, making sure it doesn’t twist.
  4. Loosely attach top tether referring to your vehicle manual for the specific location.
  5. Tighten the vehicle seat belt, then tighten the tether strap.
  6. Wiggle the car seat from side to side and back and forth, making sure it doesn’t move more than one inch in any direction.

Installing booster mode

  1. Refer to the car seat manual and remove the five-point harness before installing the booster seat.
  2. Place the booster seat in a forward-facing position on the vehicle seat.
  3. Your child should sit with their back flat against the back of the booster.
  4. Thread the shoulder belt through the belt guide in the headrest.
  5. Buckle the lap belt low on your child’s hips, ensuring there are no twists.

Diono Car Seat Expiration

It is essential to know when your child’s car seat will expire so that a car seat can provide optimal protection at all times. All Diono Radian models expire at some point depending on the mode they are used. For instance:

In a Harness Mode:

  • Expire 8 years from the date of purchase

In a Booster Mode:

  • Expire 10 years from the date of purchase

Diono Car Seat Recalls

In 2017, Diono® issued a voluntary diono radian rxt recall on many of its models, including the Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT, Olympia, Pacifica, and Rainier convertible and booster seats manufactured between November 2013 and September 2017.

Diono® claims that kids over 65 pounds may have an increased risk of chest injury when secured with a lap belt alone (no top tether).  Recall notices were promptly sent out to all registered owners, and they were all offered a free repair kit if affected.

The kit includes a 2.5-inch thick pad to install on top of the seat, a replacement chest clip, and instructions on how to fix everything.  Diono® also sent a new warning label to attach to your recalled seat. Recalls such as this one also serve as a reminder to always return your registration card upon purchasing a new car seat.

Once your card is on record, you can rest assured that you will be notified if a recall impacts your specific model. If you’ve forgotten to send it in, moved, or didn’t receive a notice you can always contact Diono® customer service directly with any questions.

Diono Customer Reviews

If you’re anything like me, I do a ton of research before making any significant purchase.  This includes scouring the internet for what others are saying about the product. With so many different opinions out there, it’s up to us, as consumers, to make the most logical decisions we can base on what we find.

What parents love

No matter which Radian® model you choose, you’re sure to find more positive reviews than negative ones.  Furthermore, parents seem to love a lot of the same features on Radian® models across the board.

  • Diono Radian® car seats are heavy duty.  You can tell they are designed to protect kids in the most horrific of accidents.
  • The extended rear-facing capabilities are fantastic, keeping kids in the safest position for the longest period of time.
  • The Radian’s space-saving design allows parents to fit up to three front-facing car seats side-by-side in most vehicles.

What parents don’t like

Similarly, there seems to be a pattern to what parents don’t love about Diono Radian®.  There are common features that seem to aggravate parents the most.

  • The Radian® all-in-one convertible car seats are heavy.  They are not meant to be switched between cars or are they easy to carry through an airport.
  • Small infants have not been as comfortable in these convertible seats.  The rear-facing angles are too high for babies without full head and neck control.  The rear-facing installation also limits the legroom in the front seat of some cars.
  • The weight and height restrictions on the Radian® seem to be a little far fetched.  Kids are outgrowing the booster seat before they should be. This has forced parents to purchase a separate booster seat to fit their child.

Best Diono Car Seat Accessories 

Cup Caddy

The Cup Caddy was designed to be installed quickly and easily on any Diono® all-in-one convertible car seat with a simple click and twist method. The extra-deep sides on the caddy help keep cups or snacks in place when you’re on the go.

Diono Car Seat Travel Bag

Transport your convertible car seat with ease using a Car Seat Travel Bag.  Designed with reinforced seams to withstand the weight of Diono’s steel-framed seats, this bag can be used as a backpack or as a duffle bag to make traveling a little easier on all of us. It’s also waterproof and has an outside pocket for the little things you may have missed along the way.

Diono Dry Seat – Waterproof Seat Protector

Let’s face it; kids have accidents.  This easy to clean, waterproof cushion fits snugly in your car seat or stroller to protect fabric in times of trouble.  This seat protector also includes a buckle strap guard for even more protection.

Diono Car Seat Carry Strap

Traveling with your all-in-one car seat has never been easier.  Attach the shoulder strap to the side of the seat and be on your way.

Diono Car Seat Angle Adjuster

Elevate any rear-facing car seat to give yourself a little more room behind the front seat.  This angle adjuster is perfect for older kids and has been crash-tested for safety.

Diono Ultra Mat™ Car Seat Protector

Keep your vehicle seat protected from the wear and tear from a car seat with the Ultra Mat™.  This mat will secure to your vehicle’s seat and is compatible with both LATCH and vehicle seat belt installations.

Diono Sun Stoppers™ Sun Shade

This convenient sunshade attaches easily with suction cups to any vehicle window.  Sun Stoppers™ is made from a solar mesh fabric and will help protect your kids from sun glares.  It also folds flat for secure storage when not in use.

Diono Heat Block Sun Shade™

Take sun protection just a step further with the Heat Block Sun Shade™.  This shade also attaches easily with suction cups to any car window and provides UPF 50 and UVB protection for your little ones on the go. 

Choose Wisely 

Diono has outdone itself with the Radian.  These car seats have everything a parent is looking for in terms of safety and security for a child on the go.

These top-of-the-line safety features, however, do make them incredibly heavy. So if you frequently move car seats in between cars or travel in airplanes a lot, the Radian® may not be the best choice.

I would place any of the Diono Radian models as the top of my list for all-in-one convertible car seats despite some of the headaches they may come with.  They will undoubtedly be worth their weight in gold when you need them to perform the most.

Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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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