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Questions about rear-facing, Radian Sunshine seats.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I just realized that our rear-facing seats only go to 35 pounds and our son is at 34 pounds. It is pretty important to us to keep him rear-facing as long as possible for safety reasons. The question is then about the Radian XLST or Radian 120 (formerly Sunshine babies) which both go up to 45 lbs rear-facing and (as far as I can tell?) are the only 45lb rear-facing option.

 

Anyone with experiences on this, I would welcome your feedback generally on how you like the seats.

 

1. We have small cars. I understand that I can try to see if they fit by using a floor model or buy and return, but if anyone has any experience with the Radian in Scion Xa (2006) or Corrolla LX (2005), middle seat, would love feedback.

 

2. Mainly I am concerned about the many reports I have read about Super-latch problems with Radian and the company's unresponsiveness about this. It seems like there are some people who are CONVINCED that there are serious problems while there are also some very defensive defenders. Everyone seems so polarized and dramatic about it, it is hard to tell what to make of it. Experiences? Background to this that I don't know about?

 

Also many stores seems sold out of the xlst. Any ideas why? Anything else to consider?

post #2 of 4

The XTSL is sold out because the seats were all renamed :-)   The brand was formerly called Sunshine Kids Juvenile Products and now is called Diono.   The seats are the R100, (65SL) the R120,(80SL) and the RXT (XTSL).  

 

SuperLATCH was/is an interesting issue.  The company handled it (as well as other issues) very poorly.   There is no doubt that a seat with a slipping LATCH adjuster is not safe as is; however, some vehicle/seat combinations are simply incompatible.  The fortunate thing is that if LATCH and your seating position are not copacetic, you can install the seat with the seatbelt.  The unfortunate thing is that the company dumped a lot into the SL 'branding', and then turned up its noses at its customers who spent money for the SL product.  

 

Interesting thing to note: with FMVSS 213 changes coming down the pipe in the next few years, Diono will no longer be able to *have* SuperLATCH as LATCH limits will be federally regulated and will include the weight of the child restraint.  I can't remember the specifics, but I believe lower anchors will be required to be certified to 65 lbs, minus the weight of the seat, which is around 22 lbs for the Diono seats (heavy suckers!).  There will be no more 'superLATCH'.   Diono is certainly aware of these changes, which probably played into their rebranding decision and the fact that they've stopped emphasizing superLATCH as a selling point.  

 

The seat itself is safe.  It passes all applicable testing, and is certainly a great option for keeping a child rear facing.  It will fit quite nicely in a Corolla.  The issue with the seat isn't so much its size as that if the vehicle seat is flatter, it over reclines.   You should be able to get a reasonably upright install in the Corolla.  I cannot comment on the Scion.  However, if the seat is simply over reclined in the Scion with no other issues, an angle adjuster should fix that problem.  

post #3 of 4

I have an R120 RF behind the passenger in a Honda Fit, a super tiny car, with room to spare.  I have the angle adjuster and wouldn't have been able to get the seat upright enough without it.  

post #4 of 4

It should fit fine in both of those cars but you can double check on www.car-seat.org to make sure.  I would also recommend getting the angle adjuster b/c you'll have an older kid and that will make it a few more inched upright.  You can also heavily brace with that seat which makes it easier too.  The Superlatch thing is ridiculous with them but since you're putting the seat in the middle of both cars it really won't matter b/c I'm pretty sure neither of them allow latch in the center anyways so you're going to have to do a seat belt installs anyways.

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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › Questions about rear-facing, Radian Sunshine seats.