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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy a convertible carseat for my 11.5 mo. old. He's maxed out his infant carseat already, so will need to upgrade as soon as he's one. I've read about a lot of carseats out there, and like this one. Does anyone have any praises or warnings about it? What have you heard?

Here's the link to one: http://sunshinekidsbaby.com/proddetail.asp?prod=ZM11187

I'm thinking about ordering today. Thank you!
 

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I have 2 actually--one for my 5 year old and one for my 22 month old. I *love* them--I can fit both of them in the back of my Neon, with room for the Safeseat for baby #3! My only complaint is that they are HARD to get a tight install on, especially in a sedan. You might need to get them professionally installed and then plan on keeping it there instead of moving it from car to car.

The seats are also narrow and fairly low. Both of my kids are thin, and so they fit fine, but a chubbier kid may outgrow it faster. And if you're used to a marathon like I am, the kids are really lower to the actual car seat in a radian. That isn't really a problem though--just an observation.
 

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I agree with Ellen about it's height--that's the only reason we don't have a 3rd radian and instead have a safeseat. I am short, and with a 3rd radian (the one that would have to be r/f), I wouldn't be able to see out the window, and it would push the front seat too far forwards. So, unless we had a van or something, I personally can't get it until I have f/f kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post
I have 2 actually--one for my 5 year old and one for my 22 month old. I *love* them--I can fit both of them in the back of my Neon, with room for the Safeseat for baby #3!
Is the Safeseat a convertible? I'm off to do a search...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrsbass View Post
Is the Safeseat a convertible? I'm off to do a search...
No, it's an infant carrier that goes up to 30 lbs.
 

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We have three Radians in our van and love them - like others said, in some cars the installation is very difficult or next to impossible. In other cars, it's a breeze.

Unless you want a specific cover in the 80, it's a lot spendier than the 65 for no real good reason - sure, it goes to 80 pounds, but the harness heights in both are exactly the same so unless you've got a very chunky kiddo, chances are they aren't going to need the extra 15 pounds of growing room because they'll max the seat out in height first, anyway.

That said, we have two 65s and one 80 - I couldn't resist the Princess cover!


Also, though they are one of the narrowest seats on the market, they've actually got more shoulder room than any other seat on the market (with the exception of the Regent), so an older child should be just fine in it.

RFacing it does take up A LOT of room.
 

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we love our radian.....it's in my SUV with a rear facing graco comfortsport next to it for dd2 and i still have room for a 3rd person in the back (and i have had 3 kids in my backseat several times!) DD2 will get a radian when she is ready for forward facing because the graco fits better in better rear facing than the radian would (its super tall)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
We have three Radians in our van and love them - like others said, in some cars the installation is very difficult or next to impossible. In other cars, it's a breeze.

Unless you want a specific cover in the 80, it's a lot spendier than the 65 for no real good reason - sure, it goes to 80 pounds, but the harness heights in both are exactly the same so unless you've got a very chunky kiddo, chances are they aren't going to need the extra 15 pounds of growing room because they'll max the seat out in height first, anyway.
It doesn't look as comfortable as other carseats - but I assume your kids are just fine? We take a lot of roadtrips and want DS to be comfy in his seat. Thanks for your info - I'm looking into the 65, too!

Also: We may be flying in January for a wedding. Will I need a carseat for DS (he'll be 13 mos.) and will any carseat we have for him work? Any recommendations, anyone? I thought the radian would be good since it folds...but would another work, too? Thanks for all the great input, mommas!
 

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We have a Radian80 and really like it; it seems to be DS's favorite seat. My one recommendation would be, unless you're planning on using it for a newborn in the next couple years, to save your money and get the 65. At almost a year already your LO doesn't need the nb insert (and most likely wouldn't be able to use it as a body pillow, unless he's tiny but since he's outgrown his infant seat...) and the height is the same for both seats, and the prevailing opinion seems to be that unless your kid is very chubby and short-torsoed they will outgrow height long before weight so no real need for the extra weight limit. I didn't know that til after I bought mine, but we are thinking about keeping it for a newborn in the next few years. One advantage to the Radian over other seats, IMO, is that it has a metal frame instead of plastic, so it has a longer expiration time (8 yrs instead of the typical 5-6 yrs IIRC).
We've had no problems getting a tight install RF using latch; in my Kia Rondo, DH's Neon, or Grandma's Malibu. It would not fit in the sitters car Rear Facing however ...but I don't know what make that was? We also had it briefly FF in the Neon w/ latch with no problems. Can not install it RF in the Rondo with seatbelts, because it is so low to the seat - for whatever reason the female end of the seatbelts in my car is very long, instead of just coming out of the seat, it's several inches of strap; so even twisting it, the belt is too long so that the buckle would need to be somewhere under the seat. Not a problem w/ seats that are higher up like Britax - something to consider though if your car has longer seatbelt pieces too. (If you plan on using it to the limits of the seat, most cars you cannot use latch after 40-48 lbs. so you'd have to be able to install w/ a seatbelt. It'd be FF by that point though). In my car, it also means we can't use the center position for that seat since no latch in the center.
(We currently have this, a marathon, and a signo, so to compare)
PROS:
-We LOVE the coolweave, DS sweats so much in other seats, even if it's cool or the AC's on; but not in this one. Wish all seats had that fabric!
-Easy to install & use. Not quite as easy to install as the Britax but much easier than any other seat we've used. (the two seperate latch pieces on Britax make it easier to get tight).
-RF tether. Pros & Cons there but I feel it's beneficial.
-Low sides at the bottom of the seat are great for extended rearfacing; My DS who just turned two is RF and hangs his legs off the side of the seat more often then not. He can't do this in his other two seats, but he seems to be most comfortable that way.
-Never had a strap twist inside the buckle. (the recaro does it almost every time it's used, the marathon has a couple times but very rare)
-I do like that the body pillow can come apart, we use the body piece as a head cushion sometimes. (but not worth the extra $$ IMO just for that)
-Great test ratings.
-Because it's low to the vehicle seat, this is the only carseat my DS can get into by himself right now. (backsaver, as he's approaching 30 lbs)
-High RF weight limit, high harness weight limit, and tall back - so you can get long years of use out of it.
-Folds up when not in use; we use this seat now as a seat for Grandma's car; when it's not there it can be folded up and put in the back of the closet, takes up less room than his high chair used to.
CONS:
-Like stated above, I wish it had two seperate LATCH straps instead of just one.
-No SIP (side impact protection); I wish they could combine the low sides on the bottom w/ deeper sides along the back piece of the seat. (Call me crazy but I don't think SIP is necessary for their legs - but for their head, definitely.
Because it's so shallow we have to be careful not to install it as upright as we can the other seats, or he has nowhere to lean his head if he falls asleep....we've gotten out of the car to find him w/ his head actually forward of the side pieces of the seat - so outside of the carseat (hard to explain that well, hope it's clear). Which scares me if we were to be in a side-impact collision; or an angled (front or rear end) one; where there were significant side-to-side forces involved, esp once he goes forward facing. If his head can come out of the seat just sleeping, how much force might there be on his neck then in a wreck?
-The velcro holders on the straps (as well as velcro on the LO's shoes or whatnot) does tear up the coolweave stuff. Not a big deal IMO but the seat won't look brand new very long. The velcro strap holders also don't work quite as well as in the marathon. Again not a big deal for us.
-Very long back so it won't fit RF in a lot of vehicles, especially at the recline needed for young infants. (not relevant in your case but worth noting) At a more upright angle (30 to 35 degrees) it fits in DH's Neon so should fit most like that, but then you have the head slump problem above.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrsbass View Post
It doesn't look as comfortable as other carseats - but I assume your kids are just fine? We take a lot of roadtrips and want DS to be comfy in his seat. Thanks for your info - I'm looking into the 65, too!

While he can't quite tell us in so many words yet I do think DS is more comfortable in this seat than in the others. He falls asleep faster and we hear fewer complaints out of him in general. Between the no-sweating and the extra legroom (see above) it seems to be more comfy.

Quote:
Also: We may be flying in January for a wedding. Will I need a carseat for DS (he'll be 13 mos.) and will any carseat we have for him work? Any recommendations, anyone? I thought the radian would be good since it folds...but would another work, too? Thanks for all the great input, mommas!
That depends, what seats do you have for him? At 13 mos he'll definitely need a seat at your destination, on the plane it's up to you whether or not you buy a seat for him (required over 2) but I'd think if you do, you'll definitely want a carseat, a 13 mos old is not gonna do well in just a lapbelt. (there are many, many debates here about whether or not to buy a seat for LO's on a plane, you can search for them, not gonna get into that argument here). Depending on the length of the flight if you do buy another seat, you may want the carseat RF so he can sleep easier, but you'll need a smaller seat to be able to do that (Scenera or the like). Alternatively, if you have a britax, most of them can fully recline in FF position. (other seats that say they recline FF usually only a little bit. The Radian says it reclines, for example, but in reality, you can lift the front of the seat another half-inch or so. The back is still fully upright.)
Seats do have to be specifically approved for flight; and some people have had issues if it's not on a sticker on the seat. (maybe if you had the manual ready and could point out where it said it's ok that would work). But some are not approved for air travel, so something to keep in mind.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by azmomtoone View Post
-I do like that the body pillow can come apart, we use the body piece as a head cushion sometimes. (but not worth the extra $$ IMO just for that)
If the OP wants the pillows, you can order them separately from Sunshine Kids or off ebay - I got them for $11 apiece.

Quote:
No SIP (side impact protection); I wish they could combine the low sides on the bottom w/ deeper sides along the back piece of the seat. (Call me crazy but I don't think SIP is necessary for their legs - but for their head, definitely.
Because it's so shallow we have to be careful not to install it as upright as we can the other seats, or he has nowhere to lean his head if he falls asleep....we've gotten out of the car to find him w/ his head actually forward of the side pieces of the seat - so outside of the carseat (hard to explain that well, hope it's clear). Which scares me if we were to be in a side-impact collision; or an angled (front or rear end) one; where there were significant side-to-side forces involved, esp once he goes forward facing. If his head can come out of the seat just sleeping, how much force might there be on his neck then in a wreck?
Yes, it has SIP. It doesn't have TRUE SIP as some Britax seats have, but TSIP isn't even regulated so there's no real way of knowing if those headwings work better or not. Any seat that has a 5 point harness and foam is SIP.... Have you seen the soon-to-be-coming Radian XT seats yet? http://www.pishposhbaby.com/sukiraxtcars.html

I've never seen a kiddo with the head outside the Radian's wide shell - is he harnessed tight enough?
 

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The radian is my favorite seat to travel with. Folding flat makes it much easier to carry. We actually bungi it to the stroller and push it through the airport.

We did travel with a scenera, once, but it was such a PITA to install in the car (you have to bring pool noodles to get a good install rearfacing) I never will again. I'd rather lug a heavier seat through the airport than waste 45 minutes at my destination trying to get a lighter seat installed.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by azmomtoone View Post
-I do like that the body pillow can come apart, we use the body piece as a head cushion sometimes. (but not worth the extra $$ IMO just for that)
If the OP wants the pillows, you can order them separately from Sunshine Kids or off ebay - I got them for $11 apiece.

Quote:
No SIP (side impact protection); I wish they could combine the low sides on the bottom w/ deeper sides along the back piece of the seat. (Call me crazy but I don't think SIP is necessary for their legs - but for their head, definitely.
Because it's so shallow we have to be careful not to install it as upright as we can the other seats, or he has nowhere to lean his head if he falls asleep....we've gotten out of the car to find him w/ his head actually forward of the side pieces of the seat - so outside of the carseat (hard to explain that well, hope it's clear). Which scares me if we were to be in a side-impact collision; or an angled (front or rear end) one; where there were significant side-to-side forces involved, esp once he goes forward facing. If his head can come out of the seat just sleeping, how much force might there be on his neck then in a wreck?
Yes, it has SIP. It doesn't have TRUE SIP as some Britax seats have, but TSIP isn't even regulated so there's no real way of knowing if those headwings work better or not. Any seat that has a 5 point harness and foam is SIP....

I've never seen a kiddo with the head outside the Radian's wide shell - is he harnessed tight enough?
 

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Ordering the pillows seperately is more worthwile than paying for the 80 over the 65.

It is advertised as SIP but I don't feel like it is. Unlike the marathon, true fit, scenera even that don't have the extra side protection wings but do have deep enough sides that the littl ones head is going to hit the carseat instead of something else. So maybe I'm using the term incorrectly .... but yeah, his head flops forward & to the side in front of the side piece. And yes, he's harnessed very tightly. Always. If the seat's at a 40 - 45 degree angle, no problem. But I worry about it when he turns around.

I have seen the XT, wasn't available when I bought mine over a year ago. And at that time I knew very little about carseats and car crash stats, just thought - hey, great, this seat goes to 80lbs, it'll be the last one we need to buy. (which I realize now is unlikely. since he'll more than likely get too tall for this seat before he's tall or old enough for a seatbelt but that was the thought at the time)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrsbass View Post
It doesn't look as comfortable as other carseats - but I assume your kids are just fine? We take a lot of roadtrips and want DS to be comfy in his seat. Thanks for your info - I'm looking into the 65, too!
My ds is 4yo, and he finds his Radian very comfortable (he's picky about comfort in carseats). It doesn't seem to have a lot of padding, but it seems like the padding it does have is very good quality or something. We've driven 2.5 hours with no problems at all, and I'm sure a longer trip would have been fine too.
He didn't seem very comfy in his Evenflo Triumph (not Advance- this was a couple years ago), and he said his Evenflo Generations and his Graco Nautilus were both not very comfy/padded. So the Radian wins hands down in the comfort/padding department for him.
 

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My 4 year old is in a Radian, in between my DDs each in Marathons in the backseat. He really likes the Radian, he's been in it for about 6 months now. Once the oldest Marathon starts to get close to its expiration date (probably in another year), we'll go ahead and get another Radian for DD1. We went with the 65 over the 80 because DS didn't need the pillows and he'll be outgrowing the seat by height before weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks so much, everyone! I'm pretty sure I'm going with the 65 now and feel really good about it! It's on sale for $179 on the Sunshine Kids web site, too! DH will be happy about the savings over the 80 ($219 on the site)!
 
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