When it comes to car seats, Diono is one of the most trusted names in the business. But with so many models to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your family? The answer depends on what type of vehicle you drive and how old your child is. For example, if your kid will be riding in a convertible seat until they turn four years old or older (which most kids do), we recommend choosing a model that has an extended rear-facing capacity — like our top pick: the Diono Radian 3RXT. It’s an excellent all-around option that’s comfortable enough for every trip and safe enough to keep them riding safely during even the roughest rides home from school or soccer practice.
The Diono Radian 3RXT is the best all-around convertible car seat for most parents.
The Diono Radian 3RXT is the best all-around convertible car seat for most parents. It’s the most comfortable, safest, and easiest to install of any seat we tested. If you want a single car seat that can keep your child rear-facing until they’re ready to ride forward-facing (and beyond), this is it.
The Radian 3RXT is also compatible with strollers from Graco, Chicco, BOB, and others via its ClickTight technology. This system makes installing or removing the car seat incredibly easy: You simply press down on both sides of the LATCH connectors on either side of your vehicle’s lower anchors—they release instantly in a jiffy—then use those same LATCH clips on top as well. The entire process takes less than 10 seconds from start to finish!
The 3RXT offers a more comfortable ride and more safety features than Diono’s cheaper model, the Radian RXT.
The 3RXT offers a more comfortable ride and more safety features than Diono’s cheaper model, the Radian RXT. It’s also more compact and easier to install, but it doesn’t have as many color options.
The two models are similar in price (the 3RXT costs about $50 more), but they differ slightly in design: The Radian RXT is about three inches shorter than the 3RXT. That means that if you have a vehicle with a tight backseat or your child is tall for their age, you might be happier with the Diono because it fits better behind car seats or other objects in your trunk. However, even though it’s shorter overall than other car seats on this list, both models offer ample legroom for children who don’t fit into infant carriers anymore (they can sit up straight). They also have wide shoulder straps for extra comfort during longer trips—a feature that is surprisingly hard to find at such an affordable price point!
The 3RXT’s 12-position adjustable headrest allows it to accommodate very small to very tall children.
The 3RXT’s 12-position adjustable headrest allows it to accommodate very small to very tall children. It features a removable, washable seat cushion that can be used with or without the 5-point harness for use as a car seat, travel system or stroller. The infant car seat is designed for babies weighing between 4 and 35 pounds and up to 32 inches in height.
The Diono 3RXT has an anti-rebound bar that minimizes rebound after impact by absorbing energy in a crash. There is also an integrated lock off feature that helps prevent accidental unbuckling of your child’s harness when traveling in the vehicle.
Its narrow profile makes it easier to fit three seats across the back of a minivan or SUV.
The narrow profile makes it easier to fit three seats across the back of a minivan or SUV. It also has a unique recline feature that allows you to adjust the seat from level for infants and young children up to 30 pounds, to more upright for older kids who can sit up by themselves.
The Diono Radian R100 Convertible Car Seat is designed for children between 5 and 65 pounds (which is an impressive range), and it fits children up to 50 inches tall. That means your child will be safe and secure in this seat until he or she is ready to graduate from their car seat at age 8!
At just over 25 pounds, the 3RXT weighs 9 pounds less than Britax’s Marathon ClickTight, and 11 pounds less than Graco’s Extend2Fit — both of which are much bulkier options.
The 3RXT is also one of the best car seats you can buy if you have a small car. At just over 25 pounds, it weighs 9 pounds less than Britax’s Marathon ClickTight and 11 pounds less than Graco’s Extend2Fit — both of which are much bulkier options.
If you already own a Diono Radian RXT or Radian R120, then you’ll be happy to know that the 3RXT has several design elements that make it compatible with both seats. The seat has a plastic base (instead of metal) and can be installed using either LATCH connectors or vehicle belt paths; there’s also an additional lower anchor strap for use when installing the seat with LATCH in forward-facing mode only.
The 3RXT has an aluminum frame that helps keep the weight down, and it’s made out of reinforced steel, which makes it more durable than our other picks.
The 3RXT has an aluminum frame that helps keep the weight down, and it’s made out of reinforced steel, which makes it more durable than our other picks. This is a good thing when it comes to car seats because you want something that will last your child through multiple kids.
The plastic seat on the Chicco Keyfit 30 is very durable compared with some other budget picks we tried out—it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy at all. The seat itself is made from polyester material with a removable fabric cover for cleaning purposes (and because babies are messy!). In addition to being easy to clean, this durability may be important for safety reasons as well: It’s possible for any plastic part in contact with an infant’s skin to melt under high temperatures during a crash event.
Although the 3RXT reclines only at one angle (not multiple), you can use a rolled towel or pool noodle under the base in the rear-facing position for better positioning on uneven surfaces — something you can’t do with many other models we tested.
The Diono Radian RXT has a one-size-fits-all recline angle, which means it can be used at any angle in the rear-facing position. You can use rolled towels or pool noodles under the base to adjust its positioning on uneven surfaces, something you can’t do with many other models we tested. In addition, this seat features storage pockets on both sides, and you can purchase additional cup holders separately to add even more storage space.
Below its plastic shell is Energy Absorbing EPS foam that crumples on impact to absorb energy from a crash and protect your child.
- EPS foam is a material that crumples on impact to absorb energy from a crash and protect your child.
- The 3RXT has an aluminum frame that helps keep the weight down, and it’s made out of reinforced steel, which makes it more durable than our other picks.
The Diono 3RXT is the best all-around convertible car seat for most parents. It’s easy to install, comfortable for kids and easy on parents’ wallets — plus it offers more safety features than any other car seat we tested. The 3RXT is a great option if you have a newborn or toddler who needs rear-facing and forward-facing protection while traveling in your family car or SUV.