When we were planning the arrival of baby #2, we made all these grand plans for how we’d “survive” with two kiddos. Our 2-year-old would go to school 5 mornings a week. My husband would drive her to school, while I tackled the baby’s nap. The kids would nap at the same time in the afternoon. We were set… until a couple weeks before my due date when we realized none of our car seats fit behind the passenger seat of my husband’s sedan (rear-facing).
Come on. How is it possible that none of them fit (we have quite a few)?? OK, full disclosure, my husband’s car is definitely not designed with car seats as a first priority, but still. We HAD to have the ability for both of us to drive both kids.
Thankfully, we lucked into an amazing solution. I reached out to a long-time friend who’s the owner of Tot Squad (an awesome company specializing in car seat safety, installation and cleaning), to ask her advice. I asked 1) what she considers to be the “best” car seat for forward-facing, since we’d eventually need to forward-face, and 2) what would likely work in our current situation.
She suggested Diono Radian RXT.
I was excited to hear this, since Diono graciously let me hold a giveaway contest of one of their Radian RXT carseats a few years ago via my blog. When I told a moms’ group about the giveaway, one of the moms wrote back, “Girl…. Do you know this car seat?! I have one and I need another! Best car seat ever. Can fit three in a row in the car. Also holds HIGH weight. Best car seat around I think.”
I regretted not also trying to get one for myself too, at the time!!
Anyway, there was an expo later that week, which showcased kid-related products, so I got to check out the car seat in person and ask all the tough questions.
The tech told me it had an all-steel frame. Then he literally threw it on the ground and started jumping on top of it. He jumped hard, and the metal frame didn’t seem to budge one bit. He shared that one had survived being run over by a Jeep (you can see the video here if you’re curious).
He also then picked it up and put it on like a backpack—well, wouldn’t that be helpful for travel?
I wanted to be sure there were no extra parts needed for forward-facing (a car seat I have by a different manufacturer does have extra braces for forward-facing). Nope.
It was completely lined with foam, with memory foam in the seat… it sounded and looked pretty comfy. Also, the tech let me know that the cover was water-resistant, so water (or pee!!!) would be easy to wipe up.
Last, it’s the narrowest seat on the market.
Between the hard-core safety features, a great recommendation from a super-credible source, and all the bonus stuff (comfort, portability, size), it won us over.
The real test though, of course, was the back of my husband’s car.
Sure enough, it fit, rear-facing, behind the passenger seat. And better yet, it’s so low profile that my daughter can literally climb in and out herself. I’m super-impressed with how secure and high quality the harness and shoulder pads are too (another complaint I’ve had about other car seats). And, most importantly, my daughter is safe and as happy as can be in there. Yay!
As for the rest of our plans… like having both kids nap at the same in the afternoon. Ha! My older child ended up completely dropping her nap about a week before the baby was born (noooooooo….. ).
At least the car seat fits.
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A special thank you to Diono for providing us with this wonderful Diono Radian RXT car seat.