- Rear facing 5 to 45 pounds
- Forward facing 20-80 pounds (up to 53″) in 5 point harness
- Booster to 120 pounds
- Steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides
- Infant body support cushions
A nice seat, but concern over the parent company
I will say, this seemed like a very nice sturdy seat. I liked the following things:1. The fact that it is good from birth (assuming the newborn actually fits well in the seat) all the way through booster age.2. The 45 lb rear facing weight limit3. Steel frame4. It is a very narrow seat which is great for situations where parents need to get three car seats across a back seat.What I don’t like the following:1. Diono recently changed from the Sunshine Kids name after some really bad publicity around their LATCH connectors coming loose while the seats were installed. I also heard a ton of horror stories around the negative customer support parents received during this. Things like being told they were too fat to install the seat and had broken it, parents returning connectors only to have the same ones returned to them and being told these were the new fixed ones, being lied to by customer service, etc.2. I hate that Diono/Sunshine Kids claims these Super Latch connectors are good to 80 lbs. To be safe, both the LATCH connector and the vehicle LATCH need to be rated to the higher weight and, currently, there are no vehicles in the US rated over 48 lbs. So, this is very misleading and potentially dangerous information.
Get the next model down (R100)
This is a great seat. It has the rear facing top tether which was important to me, it’s easy to install and easy to get the baby in and out of. You can tell it is high quality in construction and materials. My only complaint is that the extra cushions that come with the R120 are always sliding around and getting bunched up and didn’t really seem to do much for my baby. Maybe with a newborn they would be more beneficial but for me they are just annoying. If I have another kid I will definitely get another of these seats but I will get the R100 again and not bother with the extra cushioning.It is nice and narrow so I can comfortable sit next to it in the backseat of my 2006 Accord. It doesn’t seem too narrow for my 20 lb 4 month old to be comfortable.
A very good car seat and a good value – but maybe not the only car seat you’ll ever own
THE QUICK TAKE: The Diono RadianR120 Convertible Car Seat is a very good car seat that should provide many years of use, making it a good value. I don’t think it will be the only car seat you’ll ever own, but it’s a very flexible seat that covers a wide range of weight and height. It’s exceptionally well made and has a number of nice features.FULL REVIEW:CONVERTIBLE MEANS FLEXIBLE: The Diono RadianR120 is a “convertible” car seat because it can be used in several different configurations and for different size children. It can be used as a rear-facing seat for children up to 45 lbs and 44 inches; as a forward facing car seat for children up to 57 inches and 80 lbs; and up to 120 lbs when used as a booster with the car’s belts.STURDY CONSTRUCTION: We’ve owned two mid-priced Britax seats, and I always thought they were pretty nice. But this Diono is in a whole different category, in terms of the sturdiness of construction and materials.LONG TERM VALUE: This car seat may seem expensive. (Or maybe you’re used to it by now, from the way all baby gear seems so expensive.) But even setting aside the valuable cargo it carries – the several years you’ll be able to use this seat makes it reasonably priced on a per-year basis. Even more so if you have another child who can get more use from it.FOLDS TO A COMPACT SIZE: One of the features I like about this car seat is that it folds to a compact size. To me, that would be most useful for when I wanted to move the seat, or store it in the car to make room to put the rear seats down to carry cargo. With 2 Britax Roundabouts in the back seat, I’ve occasionally run out of room for cargo. I can’t really fit 2 regular car seats in the front seat to make room in the back when I have a lot of cargo unexpectedly.THE CATCH – IT’S HEAVY: Sounds great, right? The perfect car seat. What’s the catch, I wondered. I realized when the box arrived and I picked it up. The tradeoff for an exceptionally sturdy, folding seat is that it’s heavy. They say it’s 23 pounds, which is 6 pounds heavier than the Britax Roundabout. That might or might not sound like a lot to you, but I’m pretty sure the smiling young woman carrying it like a backpack in the picture is saying “Honey, can you take this off my back now? Please?”That may matter if you travel by air in those early years when your car seat starts to seem like a member of the family because it goes everywhere with you. It depends on your travel style. And maybe whether you get a ride to and from the airport on both ends.MAYBE NOT YOUR FIRST CAR SEAT: Personally, I’m not sure this would have worked well for us as an infant seat. We got a lot of use out of a snap-in system with a handle that let us carry the sleeping baby in and out of the car, plugged into a stroller, could be used in a restaurant or friends’ house, etc. Also, the add-in part that Diono provides for infants seems a little modest, there’s not a lot to it.MAYBE YOUR SECOND CAR SEAT, MAYBE NOT: As mentioned, if you travel a lot with a car seat, the weight of this seat might be a bit much. Also, the seat height is relatively low, to accomodate larger children. That means a 2 year old probably won’t be able to see much but door and sky from the seat. (The base of the Britax Roundabout we have is elevated quite a bit.) Not a huge deal, but for amusement and possible car sickness, a slight advantage goes to a higher seat for smaller children.NOT A SPACE HOG: This Diono seat takes up only one seat, unlike the Britax Roundabout that really takes up a little more. (It mostly wasn’t a problem for us, but once in a while we needed to squeeze an adult between two Roundabouts and it was pretty awkward.) If you need to have three car seats, this one plays well with others – it’s not trying to take up part of the next seat over.INSTALLATION: If you’ve installed a car seat before, this one is much the same. The tether to the hook behind the rear seat was a little more awkward than average, but they are always a bit awkward.Remember to put your weight on the seat and then tighten up the belt to the LATCH hooks, to get the seat as firm as you can.BOOSTER? Since my children aren’t booster age yet, it took me a little while to figure out what that meant. Instead of using the built-in car seat harness, you use the lap-and-shoulder belt in the car to hold larger children in the seat. (The LATCH connectors on the car shouldn’t be used to hold the weight of your child once your child gets larger – over 80 lbs.)CUP HOLDER! There are 4 spots (2 on each side) where you can put the included cup holder. The seat is narrow enough that we can put it on the door side of the seat, to allow room for a small booster in the middle seat when we are carrying 3 children in the back.DIONO? Who? They’ve been around for several years as Sunshine Kids. I’m not familiar with either company, but the Diono RadianR120 is a very nice, thoughtfully designed car seat. They definitely seem to know what they’re doing.REGISTER: Register your baby products with the manufacturer, so they can find you if there’s a recall.WATCH THE HEIGHTS: We’ve found our children outgrow the heights before the weights – if your children are like that, be sure to keep an eye on the height limits for your car seats, to keep them safe. It seems all manufacturers show the weight limits prominently, but make the height limits hard to find.KEEP YOUR CHILD REAR FACING: Finally, Google a little on the benefits of keeping children rear-facing as long as you can. If it works for you, it’s the safe way to go. We tried to stick it out until age 2, but finally decided that the carsickness was more of a hazard than facing forward. So as with all parenting choices – do what works best for you and your child, they are all different.INSURANCE INSTITUTE REVIEWS: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reviews of booster seats, it’s a good resource for information if you’re shopping for a seat for a 4-8 year old (more or less).
Have used this car seat for 3 years with twins and think it’s very good!
Yes, it’s a long backed seat, as some have mentioned, so it is hard to fit rear facing in some cars while maintaining the 45 degree angle of the back of the seat, but if your child is 1 year or older, you don’t HAVE to maintain the recommended 45 degree angle, so we put the car seat in, behind driver and passenger seats of any car, and use the lap belt to buckle it in, and then push the back of the seat up toward the roof of the car while we put the front seats where we want them (my husband is very tall and puts is all the way back), and then let the back of the car seat rest on top of wherever it falls on the back of the driver or passenger front seats. You don’t want it to get locked in and under the head rest, because the back of the child seat in rear-facing position needs to ride up and down, if their is an accident. If it is in the front facing position, the back of the seat doesn’t need to ride up and down or forward and back, and should be snug and not riding anywhere in case of an accident.If you are using this seat for an infant, below 1 year old, then you need a special and longer/bigger car for that purpose. However, most people don’t want to have their infant in a seat like this, because they don’t want to have to move and possibly wake their sleeping baby just to get into and out of the car, so a bucket infant car seat would probably be more desirable. It certainly was for us, with twins. You just lifted the whole seat up and out of there with the convenient carrying handle and carried the baby inside until he woke up later (for bucket style infant car seats).This car seat (the R120 convertable) is nice because it can be used also as a booster seat as they grow out of a car seat, and the Past Radian brand name (now Diono) problem of a very difficult time adjusting the tightness of the past Radian car seat shoulder straps (you had to pull with all our might to get it tightened) has been fixed somehow and isn’t an issue for this newer version of the Diono R120 convertable car seat.I love folding two of these car seats up and putting them both in the biggest size duffel bag you can buy, and stuffing extra diapers and clothes around the edges and checking it for free on the airlines. It makes for one less piece of luggage to lug around (since we have two car seats), as they both fit together in one duffel bag (our duffel has two wheels so it’s easy to pull along, even if the seats are heavy without wheeled carrier).I know some of you may already know this, but most cars (Honda and many others) have latch systems (those little metal hooks in the crack of the seat that you can connect your child car seat to with the latch system) which only are rated as safe up to 40 pounds. This means, according to the very knowledgable firefighters who are trained for car seat instalation in Charlottesville, VA, that you have a 22 pound car seat (approximate weight) and a 20 plus pound child (1 year old is about 20 pounds), and you can’t use the latch system, so just use the seat belt instalation system and get used to it as soon as the child is 1 year old or 20 pounds and moving out of the infant bucket seat, and it’s no big deal. But be careful about those latch systems, with almost every car that is out there (except for very few highly luxury cars [which have heavier duty latches] that most people with little kids are not driving). The car seat installer in your town (police or fire fighters) should have a book with the maximum weight ratings of each brand of car’s latch systems. If not, call another city or your local car dealer for your brand of car and they should know the latch system’s weight limit for your car make, model and year (though I have read that the national Honda number did not know, our local dealer repair department did know).My kids love these car seats and, at age 2 and 3, can ride 10 hours in a day for 3-4 days in a row comfortably, though after 4 hours they do want to get out and move around and sometimes ask me after 3-4 hours to rub their back and butt and legs while they are still buckled in and driving and haven’t yet come to a rest stop. They ride rear facing still, but once have rode front facing and slept happily in them that way too, because they fit a little better that way in the back, third row of our Honda Odyssey and they wanted to look at the other kids in the second row, who were their friends. In the second row, they fit either direction fine.The cover also washes easily, but the instructions say not to wash it with normal laundry detergent because it washes off the fire retardant properties of the car seat cover. So, use gentler soap on it.We really like this car seat and appreciate that it’s not big and bulky like the Britax, which is the other car seat we were considering when the kids were turning 1 and 20 pounds, growing out of their infant bucket seats.
Quality Issues and Poor Customer Service
Safe & Narrow Carseat
This carseat was a lifesaver for us when I had to downsize from my van to my husbands jeep for a little while. I had to fit three carseats across a small space. It’s very narrow and doesn’t have all the wideness and fluff all the other carseats we have—so it was very help when it came to fitting a carseat in between to big honking carseats. It’s very heavy, but that’s for safety. The assembly was so easy I did it—basically—there is none, ha. The adjustments were easy and it’s very comfortable—no complaints from the kids.
Very impressive seat, this Britax diehard might just convert!
I’ve insisted on Britax carseats for our two daughters ever since their births, I honestly felt that nothing else compared safety wise and that they were well worth the price. I have two britax seats in my suv (5pt harness for my almost 8yr old and rear facing for my almost 2yr old) but we needed some seats for my husbands car. He has far less room in the back then I do and was giving me grief about trying to fit in two large britax seats, I’m thrilled to have found this seat! Not only do I feel it’s every bit as safe (potentially safer as it feels built stronger) then my Britax seats but it also has a smaller footprint so it easily fits into my husbands car. The colors are classic and the lines are clean, it all but disappears in the backseats of both of our cars and I appreciate that. My daughters both appear to be comfortable and my older daughter said it was even more comfortable then her Britax!I think my favorite feature is that it folds! If you’ve ever travelled with little ones you know how much stuff you bring along. Between pack n plays, diaper bags, strollers… and then carseats you’re completely lugged down. Travelling with our full size Britax seats is next to impossible, to the point where my husband says “we’ll just rent something from the rental car company” um.. NO. The Diono FOLDS UP!!!! Now granted it’s still heavy, but the fact that it folds up for travel saves SO MUCH space and makes it so much easier to travel with. This feature is also making me consider buying one for the Grandparents since they could keep it in their trunk when not in use.Excellent carseat/booster!
Great seat even if it’s a bit heavy
This is our second car seat after our son outgrew his snap-in system seat.So far this has been a great seat. It fits well rear facing (center position only) in our 2005 Toyota Prius and 2012 VW Jetta Sportwagan. By well i mean as good as can be expected for a convertible seat rear facing. The front seat backs touch the car seat and the car seat limits how far back the front seats can go, just enough for a 6’1″ driver.The negative feedback on this seat seems to center around the weight. And while it is heavy you need to go to the airport and see all the other parents hauling around a lighter car seat that doesn’t fold and is 3 times the volume of this car seat. Use the backpack straps or better yet get the also great travel bag for this–also with backpack straps–and check the car seat at the airport. Personally I’ll take the weight in a manageable package over a few pound savings and much larger packaging.In my experience the only problems are:1) The fact that this folds does require a bit of “training” on use. You will actually have to read the manual for this seat before use. In a dark rainy parking lot at the airport is not the time to find out how to fold and install the seat.2) There are ton of straps that are always attached to the back. While I’m sure this is driven by some regulation on car seats that required straps can not be removed to prevent loss. There is about 20 feet of webbing on the back of this things and enough connectors and buckles to go climbing. It would be nice to remove all the front facing tethers until i need them. But it’s also nice that I can’t lose them. However as a plus Diono has provided latching storage spots for the LATCH connectors.
Best on the market hands down
I love this car seat and recommend it to everyone I know. As soon as you are past the point where you have an infant in a bucket this is the car seat for you. It’s amazingly durable, easy to install (front or rear facing) and has a form factor that fits anywhere. My wife and I have two of them in her Honda CRV for our 4yr old and 2yr old and they fit the car and space really well. They support the LATCH system or a seat belt install.They adjust easily as the child grows or even when you just need a bit more space because the kids are in heavy jackets today. The fabric is heavy and well overall well stitched and attached to the car seat with clips, snaps and buttons so it doesn’t fall off. With a little work you can also take it off and run it through the washing machine. They wipe up with a wet cloth really well and vacuum out easily too.These seats are heavy as they have a metal frame and thick plastic molding around that but the solid feel is a real comfort. They are approved for airline travel (and actually fit in an airline seat) and fold up for travel. (If you travel buy the accessory travel bag, it’s a lifesaver!)The price point is a bit high but this is a case where you pay once for quality and are happy for years to come!
Slim and easy to install
We bought this carseat for our second car. We wanted a more “portable” choice then our primary car seat. The seat has all the promised features. It is very easy to install and uninstall. We yet have to test how easy it folds and can be carried. It is on the heavy side, so I don’t see how it can be carried on the back.Also, it is not as cushy and comfortable as the bigger carseats. But my son stayed in it for 5 hours drive and he didn’t complain 🙂
No good for rear facing in a 2013 honda fit.
I bought this seat after reading that people had used them rear facing in their Honda Fits. Turns out, those people have older models. It simply will not work rear-facing in the 2013 model. We tried to install it in my husbands 2007 Honda Civic, but it’s too big and makes the passenger seat unusable.That said, this seat is awesome when it is forward facing and would be great for rear facing in an SUV.. We bought an infant seat and are keeping the Diono for when the rugrat goes forward facing.It does weigh about 29743674 pounds, though so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’ll need to move it from car to car on a regular basis.
Best Transition Car Seat!
Love this car seat/booster!!! It is solid (made of metal components), yet easily portable and stores with the seat folded upright. We love how it has the three anchor points and 5-point harness for our son who is now 6. He uses it as a booster around town and 5-point (that he can operate now on his own) for when we are on the highway. It was well worth the money, especially since we will also be able to use it with our second child.The only downside is that it doesn’t have a reclining feature, but our 6 year old has fallen asleep on many trips this last year and the head protection sides actually keep his head mostly upright, so that is not an issue.
Great car seat
I ordered this car ceat for my average weight, tall 14 mo old to fit in my VW Tiguan. There is one major issue that is important to note…this car seat did not fit well in my Tiguan without having to move both the driver and passenger seats uncomfortably forward. Even with the front seats forward, it was still rubbing and making a wear spot on the leather. Once we moved this to our 4-runner, it fits very well, and has been great!Pros:
• Narrow seat. It is comfortable to sit next to as a back seat passenger
• easy to adjust
• seems safe (although never been in an accident)
• good rear-facing leg room
• easy to get child in and out of seatCons:
• seat height is very tall – this was originally why I bought this seat, because it had the tallest rear-facing specs
• not great head support. My child’s head flops down more than I would like while asleep in the car seat.
Our daughter loves it!!
We all love this car seat – not only that it’s the safest on the market it is also very comfortable and space saving. Our daughter (15 months) is still rear facing and will be for a while since this car seat can accommodate her up until 45 lbs!!! It’s a bit expensive, but great quality & easy to install. I recommend it.
Best car seat ever.
I know that all carseats have to pass the same safety standards, but that doesn’t mean they’re all created equal. This seat is great for extended rear-facing, has a steel frame that will give you peace of mind, and is very maneuverable. With the low sides it’s easy to get child in and out of the car. It folds into a backpack for easy carry. Where some flame retardant seats have toxins, this one does not (or they’re much lower than other seats besides the foonf, can’t remember which). I’ve never had an issue with this seat getting hot like other carseats I’ve had. The buckle is a pain to tighten until you get used to it but that’s the only problem I’ve had aside from size. Get an angle adjuster if you drive anything smaller than a boat. It fits fine in our Kia Sportage though… Diono also has a crash replacement. You’ll never have to buy another seat again! Very much worth the price when you break it down: infant, rear face, forward face, and booster. I could go on and on with positives, but I say just buy the seat and see for yourself.
Love our Radian!
Ok I’ll admit it, I’m a car seat freak. My 21 month old daughter has 5 convertible car seats. But I have to say, the Radian is by far my absolute favorite!! Love the 45 rear facing weight limit as she is ERF and already 32 lbs at not even 2 years old. Love the low profile. It is SO much easier getting her in and out of the seat without the high sides and tons of padding type material getting in the way that many other seats seem to have. Even the straps are nice and thick and it seems easier to get her in and out without having to tighten and loosen the harness every time. So clearly I love this seat for many reasons and if you’re thinking about getting it you definitely should!
This is a great carseat. It is heavy though so if you are going to have to switch your carseat from one car to another I don’t recommend. It is easy to install though and great for our kids.