Car seats can be quite overwhelming. There are so many brands, so many models and so many features.
When we first started our research into his new car seat, it was headache inducing just trying to narrow down which ones we were interested in.
We did manage to narrow it down to two. The Britax Marathon and the Diono Radian RXT were the two contenders left standing after what seemed like a hundred matches.
The Radian and Marathon are quite similar in safety and features. From there, it was more so personal preference and price that made the final choice for us. (Which you should be able to guess what we went with from the title of this review!)
The Diono Radian RXT has the following stats :
Rear-facing : 5-45lbs
Forward-facing : 20-80lbs
Booster seat : 50-120lbs
At first glance, you may notice that it's a seat that will last you from birth until they are no longer requiring a safety seat. At second glance, you may realize that the average 4 year old (around 40lbs) will still be able to rear-face (Extended Rear Facing, I won't get into details right now, but Google it if you are curious why it's better to rear face for longer)
This seat (like all seats sold in Canada) meet the Canadian Safety Standards for car seats. However, this seat goes above and beyond the requirements.
It has a steel-alloy frame, which adds to the weight but increases it's durability. It's worth the extra few pounds for sure! The car seat even *feels* solid and durable, which is definitely reassuring.
It's narrow. So narrow that we could fit three across in our Chevy Cruz if the ones on the sides were forward facing. It's nice to be able to sit back there with him and not feel squished. But even though it's narrow, it doesn't take away from the seat. Little D doesn't look cramped in there and I don't think he will ever have an issue. It has wing-type things on the sides by his thighs that expand to give more room if you have a larger child.
When your child outgrows it, or you take it on a flight with you, you can fold up the seat and it becomes flat for storage. You can also purchase a shoulder strap so you can wear it as a backpack.
It comes with padded shoulder straps, infant support pillow and an aluminum-reinforced adjustable headrest for when he's taller. It has rear and forward facing tethers, LATCH straps and a safestop energy absorbing harness system.
It is quite a heavy seat, so if you have two cars that you swap the seat to and from, it may not be the seat for you.
It is also quite tall. We have to move both seats forward and have it in the middle to have it rear-facing in our car. Our car isn't the most spacious but it's a decent sized car. If we were to have a second child who needed to rear face, we would have to forward face D on the side seat as it wouldn't fit rear-facing.
Overall, I wouldn't trade this car seat for anything else. I highly recommend it when people ask on groups I am part of for recommendations. Hands down, I love this seat. And my son enjoys it to! He was not a fan of car rides until we switched him to this seat around 7 months. He would squeal in excitement when we put him in his seat. A big change from the screams of torment from his bucket seat!
If you are looking for a seat that will last your child (and maybe even a second child as it's got a longer than normal lifespan of 10 years) then look no further.
It retails for anywhere between $300-379 in Canada. You can save some money by buying the discounted (last years) fabric choices.
I do recommend test-installing it in your car before you pay for it though - some car seats don't mesh with some cars. And car seat returns can be tricky, depending on where you purchase it.