The Diono Radian RXT isn’t new on the block but still remains a heavy hitter among newer brands and models. From its impressive safety statistics to its vast array of color options, this car seat has always been popular among parents.
But how does it compare to other brands? And how can you tell if it’s the right choice for you? Read the review below to find out.
Or, if you already know you want it:
Table of Contents
The Radian RXT boasts extended rear facing capability, which should be at the top of your priority list when shopping, and it can be used from infancy to booster. It is built to last, and is known for its high quality materials. It is slimmer than your average car seat which makes it very useful if you have multiple children.
There are a few things to look for when reviewing the safety of a car seat: frame, rear facing capacity, and secure installation. This one meets all of these standards and then some.
The frame is made of steel. Diono wrapped the steel frame in engineered plastic. This helps brace for even extreme crash forces. Diono didn’t just stop with this intense frame, the sidewalls are also reinforced aluminum. Finally, energy absorbing EPS foam is present throughout to reinforce safety for your child.
The rear facing timeline is from 5 pounds to 45 pounds! That’s a very expansive length of time. The longer you can keep your child rear facing the safer they will be. A lot of parents mistakenly turn their child around at 1 to 1.5 years old. This subjects them to blunt force if there were to be an accident.
The Diono Radian rXT uses SuperLATCH technology to ensure a safe installation every time. It also has rubber grips on the bottom of the seat to be even more secure. Finally, it has rear facing tether capabilities. This is pretty unique to rear facing car seats but definitely adds to the safety of this product.
The Diono Radian rXT is 17 inches wide on the outside and weighs 26.5 pounds. On the inside, it is about 14 inches wide by the shoulders and a little wider by the upper legs. The weight limits vary for rear-facing, forward-facing, or the booster mode.
Rear-facing weight limits are between 5 and 45 pounds. It allows for up to 44 inches of height which is where the prolonged rear-facing attribute comes into play. When you look at other carseats longevity in the weight and height department, you are most likely going to see lower numbers there.
Forward-facing it gives you a range of 20 to 80 pounds. This also allows you to reach up to 57 inches in height. As you may know, it’s recommended that you leave your child rear-facing as long as possible. Given the rear-facing statistics of the Dino Radian RXT, that shouldn’t be an issue.
The same goes with forward-facing. You will want to keep them in a car seat as long as possible. This car seat beats the pants off others in the ranges available to safely and comfortably keep your child in the car.
Finally for the booster mode. Your child can sit in the booster seat from 50 to 120 pounds and up to 57 inches in height. You want to double check to make sure your child’s shoulders reach the 4th pair of harness slots before making the move to booster.
Just like with the other two options, you want to keep your child in the booster mode as long as possible, too. How will you know when they no longer need the booster seat? Well, I would recommend keeping them in there until they reach the end of the allotted weight and height restrictions. However, you must make sure that their belt stretches from over the shoulder, across their chest, and is flat on their upper thighs. If it isn’t in that position they are too small yet.
The Diono Radian RXT really is an excellent choice for all age groups. However, I do love a few things in particular about the newborn or infant stage capabilities.
A lot of times when you are looking for your first car seat, you will find that they are for newborns to 1 year olds or so. That’s something I really love about this one: it grows with your child.
They also have infant cushions and memory foam. This is important with a newborn so that they are well supported. If your child is well supported and comfortable in their seat, both you and they will have a much better experience riding in the car. It also saves you from having to buy an infant insert on your own.
The Diono Radian RXT has such a wide range of allowances for children’s sizes. Using it for toddlers and older kids is a breeze. It’s easier to have your child be comfortable rear-facing for longer. A lot of car seats can get uncomfortable to sit in rear facing once they reach about 2, but this one really allows for room while keeping them safe.
It’s always smart to compare brands before making a purchase. The Diono Radian RXT is a fine choice but let’s see how it compares to other makes and models.
The RXT has deeper side walls than the R120 or R100. This is better for safety reasons and should definitely be a huge consideration when making your purchase. The RXT is also less wide than the other two. It takes up less space across leaving you with more room in your vehicle for more car seats.
The Radian RXT is less wide than the Rainier. Just like mentioned before, it leaves you with more room for multiple seats or whatever else you may want to store with your precious cargo. However, I will say that I like that the Rainier has a longer rear facing timeline.
The Radian RXT is less wide as is the case when you compare it to most brands. However, there are a few issues with the Graco Nautilus worth mentioning. There have been complaints of the crotch belt being uncomfortable, for boys and heavier kids especially. Also, it seems you have to rethread the harness every time you want to adjust it. That could get really annoying.
The Radian RXT and GTX are really very similar. However, the GTX has a few extras including: the full-size waterproof undermat. That’s a really nice addition because we all know we need as much protection from liquid accidents as possible. It also has a lifetime warranty. That’s extremely beneficial if you plan on using it for multiple children. Finally, it has PureFab stain resistant velour fabric. Again, if you are a mom, you know how much stain resistant fabric comes in handy.
While both are excellent choices, the Britax Advocate is only a two way seat while the Radian RXT has 3 options. The Diono Radian also has a higher range for both rear facing and forward facing weight and height limits. This is beneficial because it means you can use it longer with more confidence.
The Diono Radian RXT outperforms the Chicco Nextfit Zip in several capacities. First, it has a 3 in one capability (rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster). The Chicco Nextfit Zip only has rear-facing and forward-facing attributes.
Second, it has a huge range of weight and height limits while the Chicco Nextfit Zip has a pretty small range. Here, the Radian RXT clearly wins out over the Chicco.
Again, the Radian RXT is a all-in-one while the Marathon is only for rear-facing and forward facing. The Britax is generally more expensive. It’s important to note that the it also has a higher rear-facing weight limit. That’s always a gold standard to me.
The Clek Foonf is definitely fashion-trendy. However, it cannot offer the all-in-one capabilities like the Diono Radian RXT. The Radian RXT also sits really low on the seat and that makes it easier to get in and out for loading. It offers longer rear-face seating, too.
One of the main differences here is that the Britax Frontier is only forward-facing. That should definitely settle if you are deciding between the Radian RXT or the Britax Frontier. It is also thinner so will fit 3 across easily, and is ideal if you have a smaller vehicle.
The Diono Radian RXT has the advantage of a higher weight capacity as well as the all-in-one conversion. Other than that, they are both really nice and have good attributes. I do think it wins out again over the Clek Fllo.
This is a tough one. I think that these are both really excellent choices. They are both all-in-one seats with a very comfortable ride for your kiddo. However, the Diono Radian RXT does have a higher weight capacity than the Maxi Cosi Pria 70.
I personally like the Britax brand (they’ve got the Marathon and Advocate Clicktight as well), but the Radian RXT wins out over the Boulevard as far as weight capacity and all-in-one capabilities. That and it’s slim design make it almost impossible to beat.
It is safest to always refer to the product’s manual when installing. However, these instructions will still get you through. These instructions are for using the lap-shoulder belt method.
1 .Place the restraint in a forward-facing position.
Note: The vehicle cushions should be pressed down where there is contact with the carseat.
These instructions are for installing in a rear facing position with a lap shoulder belt.
Note: The vehicle cushions should be pressed down where there is contact with the carseat.
These instructions are only for forward-facing.
Let’s cover the different parts and how to wash them.
Using a damp cloth with a mild soap, wash the plastic shell off. Try not to get it over wet so that it dries easily.
After taking the cover up, you can hand wash it with a mild soap and hang dry. You can also put it in a machine washer as long as you put it on a light or delicate cycle. It’s recommended to hang dry but some parents have claimed putting it in the dryer on tumble dry is okay, too. Another trick is to have an extra spin cycle after washing so that more of the moisture comes out.
The Harness Straps
Remove the harness straps. Wash them with mild soap and water. Do not use any harsh chemicals or cleaners on the harness straps as it may affect their bond. Hang dry.
Remove the center buckle. You can rinse it thoroughly in warm water and mild soap. If there is a particularly stubborn substance, you can soak it in water overnight to loosen up the debris. Make sure not to use any lubricant or harsh chemicals on the buckle. Thoroughly dry the buckle.
After cleaning, repeatedly connect and detach the buckle to make sure you hear a strong clicking noise.
The seat should only be reclined in a forward facing position.
To LOWER the Adjustable Bottom:
To RAISE the Adjustable Bottom:
The Diono Radian RXT comes in a vast array of colors and patterns. You can choose from the following: Black Cobalt, Black Mist, Black Plum, Black Scarlet, Essex, Midnight, or Shadow.
From what I can tell, all car seats have to meet federal requirements for flame retardants. What is that exactly? It means that they have to have some kind of flame retardant. Diono complies with this so it’s safe to say there is some flame retardant.
The Diono Radian RXT has a 10 year lifespan. That’s good news for you! You can use for multiple children which is really handy.
One of the best qualities of this seat is that it can easily fit 3 across in your backseat. It’s thin but tall making it perfect to have several in a row. I love this attribute especially if you have multiple children.
First, it should be noted that the Diono Radian RXT is FAA certified to be used as a harness restraint only! That means you can’t use it as a belt booster seat. Nevertheless, using your car seat on the airplane is an added comfort you will be happy to have.
Use the belt forward-facing installation instructions listed above.
The Diono Radian RXT has so many qualities that you should be looking at, and might just end up being the best convertible car seat for you.
From it’s all in one capacity to longer rear-facing credentials, it has it all. I love the different colors and styles to choose from coupled with their safety precautions. It really is the bread and butter of car seats.