In September, Sunshine Kids changed their name and became Diono (pronounced dee-oh-no). I was really excited to get my hands on the new Diono seat because more than half of our kids are in car seats to my tiny Toyota Corolla needs three seats in the back. Diono has introduced an entire new line of convertible seats based on the Sunshine Kids Radian line. The main new feature of these carseats is that they can become highback booster seats—they’re now 3-in-1 (rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster).
Diono Radian RXT Convertible Seat Features-
-Rear face from- 5-45 lbs, with 1.5” of carseat above the child’s head or total height of 44”
-Forward face from 20-80 lbs, with a child less than 57” tall
-Booster from 50-120 lbs, with a child less than 57” tall, but whos shoulders are at or above the 4th set of harness slots
The 5-point harness keeps your child in the seat from 5-80 pounds: The 45 lbs. rear-facing weight limit is currently the highest on the U.S. market. The high 80 lbs. weight limit means that heavier children will be able to stay in the seat longer before moving to a booster. My seven year old still fits in this seat rather comfortably! One large issue that we have had with past seats is the crotch strap and thigh area being to tight or loose. This seat has three crotch strap positions located approximately 3.5”, 5.5”, and 7” from the back of the seat and the armrests on the Radian can be pushed out to give your kiddo about 2 inches of extra width to the seating area.
Rear facing to 45 means that right now I could have both my 5 year old’s rear facing! This falls in line with the revised policies of the American Academy of Pediatrics to keep children rear-facing to a minimum of age 2 and longer, if possible. Plus the deepness of the seat makes sure that your rear-facing child will have plenty of leg room.
The harness height is not so easy to adjust. It adjusts from the back of the seat, so you do have to uninstall the seat.. Each strap is removed from the metal plate and rethreaded through the correct harness slot. Use the slots at or below the shoulders for rear-facing, above for forward-facing. Children whose shoulders are above the top harness slots, yet still weigh less than the maximum forward-facing harness weight limit, may continue to use the carseat. For those children, the tops of their ears must be below the top of the car seat. (like my seven year old!)
All of my kids that are in car seats right now fit into this seat.
Installing the Diono Radian RXT was very easy. It has the deluxe push-on style LATCH connectors that I love. They store at the top of the shell when not in use. The manual says that the tether strap can be used rear- or forward-facing, but for the life of me I can not figure out how to use it rear-facing. I love the instruction manual though. I don’t often rave about a manual in a review- but the Diono Radian RXT manual comes with nifty QWERTY codes that I can scan with my phone and watch a video that shows me how to do it!
I was sent the shadow color which is a dark black and goes perfect with my black sport interior. But there are tons of other colors available – red, purple, blue and an assortment of other neutral colors. My kids were stoked when they realized that this seat holds four cup holders!! Only one comes with the seat but there are slots for two cup holders on each side!
This car seat literally will last you from birth to 10 years because the RXT has 2 separate expiration dates. If you use the harness (up to 80lbs) the RXT expires 8 years from date of manufacture. When used as a booster without the harness, the seat expires 10 years from date of manufacture.
The only down side to this car seat is it is heavy. It weighs in at a whopping 24 lbs but comes with a padded shoulder strap for carrying.To be honest it being this heavy only makes me feel safer putting my little one (or big one) in it! I have a Sunshine Kids Radian as well and not much has changed from one seat to another. I was a bit disappointed to find that the Diono Radian RXT seat base is wider than the old Sunshine Kids. There is no way I could fit three Diono Radian RXT’s across my Corolla.
If you are looking for a safe car seat that is going to last you a very hard time, the Diono Radian RXT is definitely a seat to check out!