If you are looking for a car seat for your little one, you mostly have two options to choose from-a convertible car seat and an infant car seat. A convertible seat can be set up in both front facing and rear facing configurations and supports children weighing up to 80 pounds and 40-60 inches tall.
An infant car seat on the other hand is a rear facing one and supports a maximum weight of about 40 pounds.
There are special 3-in-1 convertible seats available that can be used as booster seats meant for carrying extra weights (up to 120 pounds). These are not suitable for newborns since they are front facing only.
It may be economical to buy a convertible seat directly but recent studies show that an infant car seat provides much more safety to young babies. Toddlers find convertible seats quite overwhelming for its unique design.
However, you must make sure that extra padding and inserts for newborns are provided which serves as an additional level of security and added comfort.One of the most important things that come to mind while buying is the ease of use of the product.
A convertible seat is much difficult to set up compared to an infant car seat. They are usually heavy and needs to be installed. Infant seats on the other hand can simply be clicked on the base of the original car seat.
It is challenging to take a convertible seat in and out of the vehicle or use it with a stroller.
Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Convertible Car Seat:
- Ease of Use: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration rates infant seats and convertible seats based on its simplicity and efficiency. This is a 5-star rating system where more the number of stars denote a better quality product. Things that are taken into consideration are easy installation, child security and safety features and whether proper instructions are provided in the user manual.
- 5-point harness: These types of seats provide maximum protection to your child. There are 2 shoulder straps, 2 for the hips and one that runs between the legs. Almost all modern car seats are equipped with these.
- Ease of adjustments: As your child grows, the straps need to be adjusted to provide him/her a comfortable position. Many car seats come with quick release buckles which are very convenient to use.
- Latch System: Instead of securing the car seat with seat belts, modern car seats come with latch system which allows it to connect it directly to the car’s main frame. A tether strap is present at the top along with lower anchors. Thoroughly read the instructions when setting up the car seat in rear-facing position because most manufacturers do not recommend the use of the top latch in this configuration.
- Comfort: For a better ride, the seat must be well cushioned. Opt for a seat which provides plenty of head support.
- Cleaning: Your kid is bound to create a mess while traveling. Several car seats have covers which cannot be taken off. Always choose a car seat which comes with a detachable cover and is washing-machine friendly. This makes cleaning much easy.
Diono Convertible Car Seat
Diono was founded in 1999 with its headquarters in Seattle which one of most innovative cities of the world.
Diono aims at providing parents with all the necessary things which are required for a long trip or a small one around the corner. The company received the award for the Most Innovative Product in 2002 and also established themselves overseas in the United Kingdom.
They are the first to introduce Super Mat technology which protects car seats from any kind of damage caused due to infant or convertible seats.
Diono revolutionized the industry with its Radian Car seat which was made up of reinforced-steel and could be folded for better travel and storage. They are also known for being the first company to invent the booster seats which would support your child even when they grow up.
With positive reviews received over the years, Diono is one of the most popular brands amongst parents. Their products are highly recommended for their exquisite build quality and innovative design.
Important Features of Diono Convertible Car Seat:
- The seat is made up of a full steel frame and is rated as one of the safest products that are available today. It also has reinforced sides made of aluminum.
- It can support your child from birth till he grows up.
- Rear facing configuration supports weights in the range of 5-45 pounds, forward facing supports 20-80 pounds and booster supports up to 120 pounds.
- 3 seats can be accommodated in a mid-sized car.
- The seat can be folded flat for more space and better travel.
- Body support cushions are provided for a comfortable ride.
- Premium fabrics are used in the product resulting in better durability and longer life span.
Pros & Cons of Diono Convertible Car Seat:
Why we choose it:
- It is easy to install.
- The latch system is extremely convenient.
- The product is not too heavy.
- It comes with good cushioning and head supports.
- Use of reinforced steel makes it one of the sturdiest products out there.
- The folding system comes in handy during travel.
Keep in mind
- The buckle is very stiff.
- The re-thread harness is difficult to use.
- It is quite expensive compared to the other products that are available.
With all the pros and cons, the Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat is one of the best products that you can currently buy. Many of its rivals offer better cushioning and has performed better in many of the tests performed by experts. Where it shines is the fact that the narrow 17-inch base allows 3 seats to be installed in a medium sized vehicle. At this price point, we can definitely expect a lot more from the product. With a few additional tweaks and improvements, the product certainly has the potential to be the top contender!