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Diono Radian RXT Review

In early December Diono Car Seats heard about Phoenyx and thought he might benefit from the technology and safety of the Radian RXT car seat. They asked us to give it a shot in our home and tell everyone what we thought. What was interesting is that just not a month prior I had been asking some friends on Facebook the best car seat around and the Diono line was repeatedly mentioned, so when given a chance to see if it was the right fit for our cars, I jumped at the chance.

Out of all the things I do on a daily basis, as you can imagine, safety for my son is my number one priority. I spend a lot of time keeping him from falling down the stairs, redirecting him from sharp corners, and removing items he found in drawers that he has found. But when it comes to leaving the house, there is very little that he or I can do to save him from an accident. And when it comes to an accident, while not any car seat is perfect, its great to learn more and be educated about the options you do have as a parent.

Meet Diono Car Seats


According to the company regarding the Radian RXT Car Seat:

The RadianRXT is a highly versatile car seat that could be the only seat you’ll ever need. It comfortably seats rear-facing children from 5-45 lbs, forward-facing children from 20-80 lbs in 5-point harness, then converts to a booster for children up to 120 lbs. It’s built for strength and safety with a steel alloy frame, reinforced sidewalls, adjustable head support and our patented SafeStop® energy absorbing harness. EPS foam surrounds the child’s head and body to provide complete side impact protection. Our unique SuperLATCH system makes installation easy. The RadianRXT is NCAP crash tested, the industry benchmark for verifying child seat performance in severe accident conditions, and the only car seat rated for LATCH use with a child up to 80 lbs. The RadianRXT sits low on a vehicle seat for easy child boarding, features memory foam padding and infant support pillows. Expandable sides and a longer seat bottom provide extra room and comfort for your growing child. One cup holder is included, with the option to add up to 4 cup holders. In addition to all this versatility, it folds flat for travel and storage, has a 10 year life and offers amazing safety, comfort and convenience your child won’t outgrow.

What Dad Says


First reaction: Around here, if it involves instructions or any amount of tools, I divert to dad. In this case, since it required the fancy word “installation” I left it for my husband to decipher. His initial reaction to me was that the seat was very heavy. Very. (You can see more on this below)

Getting it to the car: Chris said that all he had to do was attach to the base and then once in the car feed the latch system through it. He stated that both of these things were super easy and that the latch system was “one of the easiest latch systems” he has even installed in the car. He felt that the slim design made it slide perfect within the seats of our SUV and was instantly hooked.

What Mom Says


First Reaction: When Chris told me that the car seat was heavy, he wasn’t kidding. He made me come over and lift it up and while one of the features of this seat is claimed to be easily used in an airport and for transport (comes with a should strap and can be worn like a backpack) do not take that lightly. At 5’1″, even as strong as I am carrying around a 30 pound child on my hip, he was right. Although its certainly convenient that its made with the travel thought in mind, the reality is that if I ever had to take this seat with me it would have to travel on a cart. I just could not carry it.

In the car: Because Chris has mentioned the latch system, which we use, I tested it out today myself. It was certainly so much easier than our last car seat and didn’t require digging in order to get the system hooked up tightly. I was also pleased with how easily the straps adjusted and how heavy duty the buckle was on the front. It didn’t feel flimsy and was very secure.  I will say that the car seat is large. I have noticed this is a standard when it comes to grow with me types of seats because it covers such a range of weights and ages. In this case, the seat came within 1/2 inch of touching the front seat (in a comfortable front rider position) when the seat is strapped rear facing on the far right of the vehicle.

What I like the most: Because of the high sides of the last one, getting him in and out of my SUV could be a real problem. I am just over 5 foot tall and I would literally have to make sure nothing was in my hand, gather him like I was rocking him, and try to maneuver him in and straight him out. 99% of the time I managed to hit his head on the roof of the inside of the car because of all the finagling. I am happy to say that is no longer a problem and I can lift him right inside.


What Phoenyx Says

Ok, Ok, Little P cannot talk.

BUT if he could he would say that he loves how the sides are open. On his last car seat the sides were really high and he was leaning way back. That meant he had to lean forward (hard to do when restrained) to see anyone. It also limited the interaction him and his sister could have on car rides (she is 8). With this more open side he has better visibility to the overall car around him, which is seems pleased about:



(Look mom, I can see you!)

Overall I have to say I have been pleased with the initial features. Obviously I have no car crash to compare it to and I hope I never do. And if I do, or you do, they also have a Crash Exchange Program that you can read more about.

I encourage you you to click on some of the safety links above to read more while doing your research.

Do you own this car seat? Do you like it?

Tell us!


*car seat provided by Diono, opinions are only those of our family. Please research your options when you purchase a car seat to find the one that fits your child, car, and safety requirements the most.

20 thoughts on “Diono Radian RXT Review”

  1. I’m in the market for a new cars eat… Will this carseat be safe in the case of side impact accidents? God forbid it should happen.

  2. I love the Radian and I really love your review. Your son is just so adorable!

    I noticed that you didn’t include it in your review, but Diono has created an angle adjuster that puts the car seat more upright. The angle adjuster is just a foam wedge that is sold separately for about $10. This is not an aftermarket product as this product has been crash tested with the seat. Here is a video that shows how easy it is to use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcPh2ORw9LY

    The more upright any rear facing car seat is, generally, the less leg room you will get. Also, having it reclined the way it is may be more comfortable for a sleeping toddler.

    Also, another thing that you didn’t comment on was that the Radian has the option of using the tether while rear facing the front of the car. Tethering a rear facing car seat helps to limit rebounding, but very few convertibles allow that. 🙂

  3. WE have the 120 and love it! The differences between the 120 & RXT aren’t worth the price for our family, but we love the safety that Radians provide & the slim fit! 🙂 We will soon have 2 in our family car & one in Auntie’s car for back-up!

  4. I appreciate your honesty about how heavy the car seat is (I’m only 5 foot 1, too, so I’d probably struggle as well).

    And I hadn’t really thought of the low side deal, but I can see how that is SO liberating to a child. I think that’s a fantastic feature!

    I HAVE been in a car accident with a baby in the car. What a miracle car seats can be. I’m a nut about them, I would say.

  5. This looks like a great seat! I love that the sides are low, I remember how hard it was to get my kids in and out of their seats when they were little because of the high sides. I’ll be looking into this brand when my granddaughter is old enough to switch from her infant seat!

  6. Great review! Nice to see your little guy rear-facing. I have the old version of this seat and really like it as well. One thing I noticed from your pictures is that it appears you might have the LATCH strap flipped the wrong way. The adjuster and the strap you pull to tighten should be on little P’s right side, not his left. This will put the adjuster on top of the strap, instead of underneath. Good luck!

  7. I got the RXT back when their name was sunshine kids because of the super high rearfacing limits. My first weed/kid outgrew his infant seat at four months (not weight but height). So I got the RXT. At this point 45lbs rearfacing was VERY new. I LOVE that seat. My now 4.5 year old is still in it. No longer rearfacing of course but it was only in the past year that he outgrew it for rearfacing. It still looks like new too.

  8. Your little guy is amazingly adorable and looks great in his new seat! I am a child passenger safety technician and am currently using the same seat rear facing for my 3 1/2 year old, 41″, 40lb son. Just wanted to mention that you have the latch strap backwards. The adjuster (part where you pull to tighten) needs to be on the other side of the seat and should be facing out not in like in the last photo. 🙂

    • OH! I see now, its flipped wrong!! Someone else said that and I was confused. I see it when you said the photo! On my way to change it. I am going to blame this on my installation of my spouse. LOL

  9. I have 3 of these. I love them. You can actually buy their bag to carry it in. We take ours on the plane & they fit quiet well. I wouldn’t trade these for the world.

  10. We have 2 of these and love them. The kids are very happy in them.
    Shelly, they also have a different version that is cheaper that may be perfect for your 5 year old (R120 / R100) or one of their boosters may be.
    We got ours on Amazon, that was the best price we found

  11. I have never heard of this brand but I am looking for something for my little guy that can eventually be used as a booster seat. He will be 5 next month but only weighs like 35 pounds. I swear he will be in a car safety seat forever!! Thanks for your review.

  12. I have heard so many good things about the Diono brand. I really wish we had bought one back when we were looking for our convertible seats instead of the ones we bought.

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