When Tyler turned 4 a few months ago, he suddenly had a growth spurt and seemed to look so tall, especially when he was next to his new baby sister – he looked massive! But it wasn’t us just imagining it – he was actually growing and no longer fitting in his Group 1 car seat. It was time to move on to a Group 2 car seat, and we were delighted to be able to test out Diono’s Radian 5 Group 0-2 car seat.
Now you may know of the Diono brand from the car and buggy accessories they make – I have owned the Diono Buggy Buddy for years, clipping it on to Tyler’s buggy so I could put drinks in it whilst pushing him around. But they don’t just make travel accessories, they actually make what I would say are the safest car seats on the market, with their unique steel frame. Plus they have created the only car seat that will last from birth to 7 years, converting from rear-facing to forward-facing.
I wanted a good few months to test it out before sharing our thoughts with you. It has now been nearly 3 months and I can tell you, this seat has got the thumbs up from us. Tyler absolutely loves it from the colour and comfort point-of-view. For me, this car seat ticks all the boxes from the safety point-of-view, I have peace of mind driving around knowing he is extra safe. The added bonus is that I can convert it from forward-facing to rear-facing, so if I wanted to, I could use it for Honey Nut also.
The installation was fine, my husband and I did have to read the instructions and have our thinking caps on – it’s not one of those car seat that you just plonk on and stick your seat belt through. You do have to adjust things like the harness height, the padded cushions, the headrest etc to your child’s height. This is what was inside the box:
We were using the Radian 5 in it’s forward-facing position, so did not need all the pieces in the photo, such as the infant cocoon cushion, the rear facing back pad and base. In my car we added the ‘Safe Stop’ attachment to the back of the harness. We had to remove the headrest from the back seat of my car so that the car seat was flat against the back. We had to attach the tether strap to the tether anchorage point in the boot of our Toyota Yaris. We knew when it was right, as there is an indicator that goes from red to green once it’s correctly attached. I’m not going to lie, it took both myself and my husband about an hour to fit the car seat in. It is tricky but once it’s done, that’s it, you have a super safe car seat that you can get your child quickly in and out of with ease for every car journey.
Here’s Tyler ‘helping’ us hehe 😀
I filmed us installing the car seat, so you can see for yourself how we did it.
THE SEAT – GROUP 0-2
The Radian 5 is a Group 0-2 car seat, so it is suitable from birth to 7 years, or up to a child’s weight of 25kg. The car seat grows with your child, converting from rear to front facing, with expandable sides and an extendable headrest. It comes in five colour choices – black, black/grey, black/scarlet, plum or teal. We went for plum as you know I love colourful things 🙂 And it is a gorgeous colour, really complimenting the charcoal interior of my red Toyota Yaris. The fabric is soft and wipeable, I’ve been able to wipe off any scuffs with a baby wipe.
THE SEAT – FORWARD-FACING
As I mentioned earlier, you can use the Radian 5 in the rear-facing position if you are using it from birth. For Tyler, we have been using it in the forward-facing position as he is 4 years old. The seat looks great in the car in this position, and it is low enough that Tyler can get into it himself, just needing me to clip the 5-point harness. The seat has a narrow design as it does not require thick, plastic sidewalls. So it takes up less space in the back, meaning that together with Honey Nut’s infant carrier, we can still have a small third person (ie my sister!) sitting in the middle seat.
THE SEAT – COMFORT
Oh my goodness, the seat is the softest one I have felt! The Radian 5 has memory foam seat padding, so it is soft and squishy. I wish all of my car’s seats had memory foam! The memory foam goes all the way up the car seat too, so Tyler is comfortable all over, including his sides and head. There are special padded harness pads in grey to use when your child is 15kg+ (these are supplied in the box), that provide extra safety and they are extra soft too. Nothing feels too tight or too loose, and he’s fallen asleep in the seat a few times, being able to rest his head on the side head rest.
This was the first time Tyler sat in the car seat, before we tightened the straps, which was quite simple to do by pulling the strap at the bottom between his legs.
There is also a detachable cup holder so Tyler could have a bottle of water in there while I’m driving. Only thing is he likes the cup holder so much, he’s kept it in our house instead 😛
THE SEAT – SAFETY
The most important thing to me when choosing a car seat is how safe it is, and this is where I am really happy with the Radian 5. It is a very heavy car seat, and I don’t take that as a negative thing at all, as it means that it is a really sturdy seat. It has a unique steel frame, meaning if I was to god forbid crash, the seat would offer the maximum protection. The steel frame is designed to resist crash forces and there is a V3 Energy Reduction System to protect in all collision situations – ie forward, rear, side impact or overturning. The Radian 5 also has metal reinforcements together with the best energy absorbing EPP foam for side impact protection. The deep, straight side walls, which are reinforced with aluminium, ensure the child stays contained in the seat during a crash.
I mentioned earlier about the comfy harnesses pads. From a safety angle they are ‘SuperGrip’ energy absorbing pads, designed to significantly reduce the impact to the child if there was a car crash.
MAIN FEATURES I LIKE
- Suitable from birth to 7 years or 25kg
- Both Rear and Forward facing
- 5 point safety harness
- Full steel alloy frame = strongest car seat available
- Grows with your child – expandable sides, extendable headrest, harness slots/crotch straps at different heights.
- Memory foam seat padding – sooooo comfy 🙂
- Low seat base so child can easily get in
- Space saving design – more space across the back seat
- Wipeable soft fabric
Another feature of the Radian 5 is that it is foldable, so you can take it on, for example, a plane. It is quite heavy though and in our car we will be keeping it installed on the back seat.
All in all, we are so impressed with the Diono Radian 5 All-in-One car seat. We’ve used it throughout the summer on all my weekly visits to my parents house (for help with the newborn) and on our first days out as a family of four to Bekonscot, the Ickenham Miniature Railway, to Soft Play and on our food shopping trips (I know it sounds mundane, but it’s a big achievement when you have a child AND a newborn!)
I would happily recommend to any parents looking for a car seat that will last through the years, whether from birth, or when moving on from a Group 0 or Group 1 car seat to the next stage. This car seat feels so sturdy and safe, it is comfortable and it looks stylish without being gaudy.
The Diono Radian 5 Group 0-2 Car Seat retails at £295, and you can find your nearest retailer on the Diono website.
Disclosure: I received the above item for the purpose of this post. As always, these are my honest views and opinions.