We were fortunate enough to receive a hand-me-down infant car seat. The previous mom had warned us that her son had quickly grown out of it as the straps were quite short. We weren’t too worried. We didn’t anticipate driving in the car with E too much, and just needed something for occasional use. Plus, we were thrilled that it was one less baby item that we needed to purchase.
Oh, the naivety of new parents. Needless to say, E also quickly outgrew her bucket seat. Plus, Paul and I were never really a fan of this particular model. As warned, the straps were short making it really hard to adjust and adding to the new parent stress of wrangling a newborn into a car seat. Plus, the Evenflo brand was not compatible with our Uppababy Vista (or later Uppababy Cruz) stroller. Outings in the car required also taking our stroller. I’m pretty amazing on how we were able to fit the Vista with bassinet in our Nissan Versa! Most importantly, E hated it. Every time we were in the car she cried and cried. It was pretty heart-breaking and we made excuses not to take outings in the car!
So, when E was 8 months old, we decided to get a new car seat. We were planning a trip to Florida to visit Paul’s parents and with 2hr+ drive involved. I wasn’t looking forward to that drive with her crying the whole time, so it seemed like a good as time as ever to purchase a new car seat. We decided on the Diono Radian RXT. We had actually planned on using Paul’s credit card reward points but by the time we were ready to order it, they had pulled it from the rewards catalog! BOO!
I was pretty hesitant on spending $300+ for a car seat, but I’m really glad we did. It is one of the narrowest car seats on the market which means we still have room for our Versa seats to flip down or have room for 2 adults. It also means that we have plenty of space for another car seat for any future kiddos.
Another major selling point is that when installed correctly, it is okay if it touches the front passenger seat. This was an absolute must for us with our small car. I also felt confident that if it could fit in our car, it could fit in any car. So, I had no worries about it being too large for any future rental cars for future travel excursions. I later took the car seat to Victoria and was able to fit it in my parents’ GM truck with no problem at all!
It’s great to travel with too! There are places to clip the installation straps when not in use. It folds up and you can use the straps to carry it (although I didn’t manage to figure that out…). It is pretty heavy though.
Installation is also really easy. I became a pro on our Victoria trip. My sister had visited when Elijah was a baby and his car seat was too big for the truck which meant she had to rent a car. I was thrilled it fit in my dad’s truck and saved me this expense. I even managed to easily install it forward facing for my friend’s 2-year-old.
I do wish that the fabric was more kid-friendly, however. It is a nice, plush grey but I can see it being a bit of a pain to clean once E starts wanting snacks in the car.
Nevertheless, E likes it. So, all in all, a terrific purchase :)
Look how she’s grown into her jacket, too!