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Radian or Britax...help!

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

Hey Mamas!  I'm looking into getting a new seat for my 9 month old as he is growing out of the infant seat.  My 4.5 year old is currently in a Britax Marathon but I really want to get him into a longer lasting 5 point harness that will eventually convert into a booster.  Which brings me to my question.  I'm considering either Sunshine Kids (now Diono?) but not sure which model - I think the Radian RXT.  I was thinking of getting two of them - and obviously RF the 9 month old in one and FF my almost 5 year old in a 5point harness.  The other consideration was Britax - Frontier for 5 year old and Marathon 70 for baby.  Once baby outgrows Marathon, he can have older brothers Frontier (expiration should not be for a while I believe) and when DS1 passes frontier onto baby, he can just get a plain booster at that point.  Thats if I go the Britax route.

 

 

It sounds to me the Radian would be the only seat I would need so that would make more sense.  I also hate that Britax is rating toxic on Healthystuff.org  I just happen to be used to the Britax brand and I'm comfortable with the ease of use of it and had no complaints of my current Marathon.  So I want to just keep using Britax but I have this jabbing conscience thing telling me (especially about the toxic portion of it all with Britax) to get the Radians.  The Radian RXT looks great and all but I keep reading about comfort...also the head wings look like they would be annoying...

 

Can anyone guide me here?

post #2 of 47

Happy to help :-)

 

What is the date of manufacture on the Marathon your 5 year old uses?  Normally I'd suggest just passing it down to the baby, but if you've had it since the big kid's infancy it's probably close to expiring, so that won't work. 

 

 

Here's the thing.  New Britax seats are different than the style you're used to.  They've made the shells shorter (despite artificially inflating the weight limits), and the seat will NOT last as long as is necessary rear facing.  It's simply too short, unless you by chance have very petite kids.     NHTSA recommends all children under 4 be in a rear facing convertible, with the AAP adding that children under 2 absolutely should be rear facing.     I would not recommend a new Britax convertible.  There are convertibles that will last longer for a lot less cost. 

 

The Radian is NOT the only seat you will ever need.  Full stop.  Despite its artificial height limits, most kids will outgrow it around the 6th birthday, but that's fine!   You want a seat that will get you to three or four years rear facing, and then long enough forward facing to get you to booster age.  The Radian will do that.  So will the Graco My Ride, the Evenflo Triumph 65, the Evenflo Momentum, the Safety First Complete Air 65, and the Maxi Cosi Pria 70.   

The head wings on the RXT are not annoying, and the seat is very comfortable for children of all ages. 

Furthermore, I would not worry about the 'toxicity' ratings.  They come out every year, and they are somewhat of an alarmist scam.  Unless your baby is EATING his car seat (and as a rule that is counterproductive winky.gif)  toxicity in the seat cannot affect the child riding in it.  If you are worried about the fire retardancy in the seat cover, one good spin through the wash will remove most of those chemicals.  


For your older child, the Britax Frontier 85 would be a fine choice, as would the Graco Nautilus, Graco Argos, or the Recaro Prosport :-) 

post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much!  Actually...the new Sunshine Kids (now Diono) R120 converts to a booster to 120lbs.  Not sure if you knew that or not, so it ultimately is the only seat I would need.  At least I would think!  Am I missing something?  Not sure if I misread your response or not...

 

Either way, your info was very helpful.  I ended up buying 2 Radian R120s...very happy!

post #4 of 47


Yes, I am aware of that, and that is what I was trying to explain to you. 


It is NOT the only seat you will ever need and it does NOT keep a child boostered to 120 lbs.  

 

The seat is the exact same seat, more or less, as it was 6 months ago.  They just threw a seatbelt guide on it and called it a booster.   

Children need to be boostered until they are at least 4'9" and pass the 5-step test.  The radian is NOT physically tall enough to keep a child boostered anywhere near that long.  The seat will be outgrown when the tops of the ears reach the top of the shell (and usually before that simply due to comfort reasons).  This will happen at the very latest around 4'2" or 4'3"...usually around 6 or 7 years old.  You will need a booster after the child outgrows the Radian by height for another 2-4 years.  

 

Don't get me wrong, the Radian is a great convertible, and you'll likely like it a lot, and it will do what is important right now, which is to keep your child rear facing for at least another 3-4 years.   But it will absolutely NOT be the only seat you need, and you absolutely will have to buy a booster when it's outgrown. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmama View Post

Thank you so much!  Actually...the new Sunshine Kids (now Diono) R120 converts to a booster to 120lbs.  Not sure if you knew that or not, so it ultimately is the only seat I would need.  At least I would think!  Am I missing something?  Not sure if I misread your response or not...

 

Either way, your info was very helpful.  I ended up buying 2 Radian R120s...very happy!



 

post #5 of 47

The new Radians (RXT and R120) have 12 adjustable heights I don't see how it wouldn't be the only seat you need since the height adjusts shrug.gif

post #6 of 47

"So will the Graco My Ride, the Evenflo Triumph 65, the Evenflo Momentum, the Safety First Complete Air 65, and the Maxi Cosi Pria 70."

 

We had the Evenflo Triumph 65 and DD outgrew it by height by her second birthday! (RF) We bought a Radian XTSL and she has plenty of room to grow in it now although I do think she will outgrow it before the 80lbs limit. I have been looking into the RXT since we have another baby due but we may be getting a Radian for free for that baby so...

post #7 of 47

Again, it doesn't matter how many 'adjustable heights' it has.  The seat is outgrown when it is outgrown. 

 

A seat is outgrown by height when the tops of the ears reach the top of the seat.  Full stop.  There isn't any other information to provide.   The shell is NOT TALL ENOUGH to accommodate a child to 4'9".  It simply is not.   You will need a booster after this seat is outgrown.   
 

 

If it helps you to visualize it, my 7 year old, who is 4'4" and 60 lbs, is too tall for that seat.  This is because his ears are over the top of the shell.  That means it is outgrown.  It doesn't matter what inflated height limit or weight limit they put on the seat, because he doesn't meet the physical perimeters of fitting in the seat and hasn't for quite a while. 

 

Also, unless your child is extremely overweight, you will not get anywhere near 80 lbs in the harness.  The harness is generally outgrown by height around the time a proportional child is about 45-50 lbs. 

 

You said your child outgrew the Evenflo Triumph 65 by height at 2 years of age?  That is an off the charts tall child as that seat can fit 80th-90th percentile children through 4 years rear facing.   How tall is she?  

Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

The new Radians (RXT and R120) have 12 adjustable heights I don't see how it wouldn't be the only seat you need since the height adjusts shrug.gif



 

post #8 of 47
Thread Starter 

Either way then...still a great seat to get me through many years with DS2.  DS1...well, I guess he's got 2 years or so in it...he's skinny but tall so...guess I can get an inexpensive booster when the time comes...Thanks!

post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Also, unless your child is extremely overweight, you will not get anywhere near 80 lbs in the harness.  The harness is generally outgrown by height around the time a proportional child is about 45-50 lbs. 



And if I remember correctly, the radian does not even allow you to use it as a booster until 50lbs.  So my 7yr old (47-48lbs) would have to still be harnessed and would most likely be too tall already.  (she's been boostered safely now for around a year)

post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Again, it doesn't matter how many 'adjustable heights' it has.  The seat is outgrown when it is outgrown. 

 

A seat is outgrown by height when the tops of the ears reach the top of the seat.  Full stop.  There isn't any other information to provide.   The shell is NOT TALL ENOUGH to accommodate a child to 4'9".  It simply is not.   You will need a booster after this seat is outgrown.   
 

 

If it helps you to visualize it, my 7 year old, who is 4'4" and 60 lbs, is too tall for that seat.  This is because his ears are over the top of the shell.  That means it is outgrown.  It doesn't matter what inflated height limit or weight limit they put on the seat, because he doesn't meet the physical perimeters of fitting in the seat and hasn't for quite a while. 

 

Also, unless your child is extremely overweight, you will not get anywhere near 80 lbs in the harness.  The harness is generally outgrown by height around the time a proportional child is about 45-50 lbs. 

 

You said your child outgrew the Evenflo Triumph 65 by height at 2 years of age?  That is an off the charts tall child as that seat can fit 80th-90th percentile children through 4 years rear facing.   How tall is she?  



 

I'm not trying to be argumentative but I'm trying to understand it. With a booster why would it matter if the height is past the shell?  I get outgrowing it as a car seat but once it's used as a booster it doesn't make sense to me that you can outgrow a booster by height?

 

My DD is 33.5 inches and I she only had 1 inch left for shell height. She is mostly trunk. (with the Triumph 65) It wasn't safe to RF her much longer in it and even FF if we switched her forward which we did not want to do. I bought it thinking we could ERF in it but we weren't able to.
 

 

post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

I'm not trying to be argumentative but I'm trying to understand it. With a booster why would it matter if the height is past the shell?  I get outgrowing it as a car seat but once it's used as a booster it doesn't make sense to me that you can outgrow a booster by height?

 

My DD is 33.5 inches and I she only had 1 inch left for shell height. She is mostly trunk. (with the Triumph 65) It wasn't safe to RF her much longer in it and even FF if we switched her forward which we did not want to do. I bought it thinking we could ERF in it but we weren't able to.
 

 



truedat.gif  This makes sense to me...curious what Maedze thinks of that point?  lurk.gif

If Maedze is correct (which I'm not saying you are not) I feel a little bummed out that I just spent the money on a new seat for DS1 (he is currently in his Britax Marathon (the older one that goes to 60 lbs).  He is still ok in it but I can't imagine he can stay in it for a few more years.  My goal is to keep both kids in a 5 point harness as long as possible.  Since he is almost 5, I was hoping I can keep him harnessed for at least 2 more years then move to a booster.

post #12 of 47

If the shoulder guides position the belt below the shoulders, the booster is outgrown by height.  If the child's ears are above the shell, the booster is outgrown by height (because there will not be sufficient head support and whiplash or worse may occur).

 

I also find it extremely hard to believe that a 33.5" child outgrew a Triumph Advance by height rear-facing.

post #13 of 47
Thread Starter 

I have a good question for Maedze since I've been very impressed on the knowledge you have for the subject matter:  smile.gif

 

I also purchased the angle adjuster for my Radian to use for my RF baby who is now 9 months old.  When would you say it is okay for a more upright RF?  I called Diono and they said it was okay to use past the infant stage...I'm assuming 9 months is an older baby and not an infant.  Should I keep DS2 at the angle we it allows us to install it for without the wedge for a while longer?  

 

Thanks!

post #14 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post

If the shoulder guides position the belt below the shoulders, the booster is outgrown by height.  If the child's ears are above the shell, the booster is outgrown by height (because there will not be sufficient head support and whiplash or worse may occur).

 

I also find it extremely hard to believe that a 33.5" child outgrew a Triumph Advance by height rear-facing.


So when my kids outgrow the booster seat and its okay to booster them...should I just get an inexpensive backless booster at that point?  Is there any point to boosters with the backs if the Radian (which is a top of the line seat to my knowledge) is a booster with a back?  Most boosters I see are backless anyway unless they converted from a convertible seat in the first place...

 

post #15 of 47

If you have adequate head support in your vehicle and the child is "ready" (does not require the containment of a highbacked booster shell) for a backless booster, then that is a fine choice once the booster portion of the Diono has been outgrown.

 

Highbacked boosters contain squiggly children better, and the headwings may provide some additional side impact protection.

 

The Diono angle adjuster has a 1-year minimum age.

post #16 of 47

Maedze is correct ;-)   She has been doing this a long time, is a big fan of Radians, has purchased several of them herself, and frequently recommends them *as convertible seats*.   Maedze would not make blanket statements about child restraints if Maedze wasn't well-informed ;-) 

 

A seat is outgrown by height, and this includes boosters, if the tops of the ears go over the top of the seat shell.  The seat shell is not tall enough to accommodate kids who are big enough to five-step (at least 4'9" and can fit safely in the seatbelt.)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmama View Post



truedat.gif  This makes sense to me...curious what Maedze thinks of that point?  lurk.gif

If Maedze is correct (which I'm not saying you are not) I feel a little bummed out that I just spent the money on a new seat for DS1 (he is currently in his Britax Marathon (the older one that goes to 60 lbs).  He is still ok in it but I can't imagine he can stay in it for a few more years.  My goal is to keep both kids in a 5 point harness as long as possible.  Since he is almost 5, I was hoping I can keep him harnessed for at least 2 more years then move to a booster.



 

post #17 of 47


DIono's official rule is, 12 months and good neck control.  It says it on the package, and their engineers insist on it.  

Unofficially, we have been told the 12 months is a very conservative estimate.   

So, if you told me you were planning on using it with a medically healthy 9 month old with excellent head control, I might develop an unfortunate coughing fit and get distracted by a squirrel.  *whistles*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmama View Post

I have a good question for Maedze since I've been very impressed on the knowledge you have for the subject matter:  smile.gif

 

I also purchased the angle adjuster for my Radian to use for my RF baby who is now 9 months old.  When would you say it is okay for a more upright RF?  I called Diono and they said it was okay to use past the infant stage...I'm assuming 9 months is an older baby and not an infant.  Should I keep DS2 at the angle we it allows us to install it for without the wedge for a while longer?  

 

Thanks!



 

post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 


biglaugh.gif

Yes, a very healthy 9 month old with good neck control.  However, I'm very conservative with safety.  So, if the 12 month rule is what they recommend, I might just wait a few more months...especially if he's not fussing.  I would think the whole idea of the angler is for the extra room it creates in the car...not so much comfort for the child?  If he is safer angled...then angled he shall be.  There is a leg room issue now with just the infant seat RF so I can only imagine with a Radian RF that it would be way more tightly confined.  Especially since he needs to stay that way until 2 minimum.  Having said that, I think eventually - if not in a few months, I will try out the angler and see how he does with it.

 

As far as backless boosters go...I'm a couple years away from even being in that boat with my 4.5 year old.  However, when that time comes, I will just have to evaluate how he is fitting in it as a booster seat...otherwise, I will just get him a backless booster at that point.  At least it's nice to know I'm "done" with seats for a few years...until booster time...

 

Thanks for all of your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post


DIono's official rule is, 12 months and good neck control.  It says it on the package, and their engineers insist on it.  

Unofficially, we have been told the 12 months is a very conservative estimate.   

So, if you told me you were planning on using it with a medically healthy 9 month old with excellent head control, I might develop an unfortunate coughing fit and get distracted by a squirrel.  *whistles*



 



 

post #19 of 47

Ok, actual known facts involved:

 

1.  Newborns, and children who have medical delays, need a 45 degree angle.  Why?  because when they fall asleep and their heads slump, their little airways pinch off. Head slump=not a big deal in an older baby/toddler.   The trachea is more fully cartilaginized (is that even a word? LOL), so if the neck tips, the trachea still allows air to pass through it.     For a little newborn, the trachea can actually get pinched off when the head slumps.    So being too upright can actually be fatal. 

 

2.   *In general*, excepting the issue of airway stability, the more upright the seat, the safer the kid.  Why?  Because in a crash, for a reclined seat, the body of the child can ramp up the shell, directing more of the force into the harness holding the child in place, and thus into the child itself.   The more upright the seat is, the child's body simply moves back into the shell of the seat, and the energy is spread equally over the shell of the restraint, around the child rather than directly into the child.    That being said, a rear facing seat at 45 degrees is still safer than a forward facing seat . It's just not *as safe* as, say, a rear facing seat at 30 degrees or 20 degrees.  (Diono puts no upward limit on angle, but most companies insist on a max of 30-35 degrees.)

 

3.   By putting an age minimum of 12 months on the angle adjuster, Diono engineers are making absolutely certain that their product isn't used to inadvertently kill a little baby for no darned good reason.  

 

 

What you choose to do with that information is entirely up to you.  *bats eyelashes*  

post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post

If the shoulder guides position the belt below the shoulders, the booster is outgrown by height.  If the child's ears are above the shell, the booster is outgrown by height (because there will not be sufficient head support and whiplash or worse may occur).

 

I also find it extremely hard to believe that a 33.5" child outgrew a Triumph Advance by height rear-facing.



Seriously I have no reason to lie and was super pissed I had to buy ANOTHER car seat.

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