the great carseat debate - britax or diono? — The Bump
Nurseries and Baby Gear

the great carseat debate - britax or diono?

My son is still in his infant carrier, I've been keeping an eye out for sales before buying his convertible carseat (in Canada, so prices are a little higher).  I think my ideal carseat is the Diono RXT, but with a price of $359 and no sale in sight, I'm wondering if one of the following would be a good substitute:
 - Britax Pavilion 65 G3 is on sale for $279 (from $359) - my son is petit so weight is not a concern, and I like that it has the side impact
 - Diono R100 is on sale for $229 (from $279) - I have one of these in my husbands car right now, but it expires in August.  I know DS likes the seat, but is side impact protection more important?

Would anyone like to weigh in on my debate and help me out?

TIA!
*** DS born February 21, 2013 - Toronto, Canada  ***
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Re: the great carseat debate - britax or diono?

  • We just got the Diono RTX for a Volvo small SUV. We ended up having to turn it front-facing because it simply will not fit rear-facing. Maybe it would if we then bought the special wedge that makes it not lean back so far, but with a really little one, you would then get terrible head-slump. So I am not a fan of Diono right now. (FYI, Diono doesn't allow use of a pool noodle for fixing the fit, like just about every other car seat manufacturer does.). Luckily, DD is close to 2 and rides about 1 mile in this car on residential streets every 2-3 weeks, so I'm okay with her forward-facing in it. Not happy, but I can accept it.
  • If you have a tall child and plan on RF'ing until 3-4, then the Diono would be a better pick.
    The side impact is nice, but it doesn't mean the Diono is less safe.
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  • I LOVE my radian. All car seats pass the same crash tests, so the low sides don't bother me in fact I LOVE it because it's so easier to load and unload him. I don't think I could do anything other than a radian now.
    Lisa
    Mom to Kendrick (12.20.12) and wife to Josh (married 9.18.10)
    Now expecting #2!
    BF for 14 months! (while working full time and traveling 50% of the time boy am I tired! haha)
  • kmc84kmc84 member
    @MommyAtty‌ if you just got your radian and you aren't going to use it rearfacing, you should return it if at all possible. You are wasting money not using it RFing and the booster mode is useless. You would be much better off getting a combination seat instead.

    However, since your dd is old enough to use the angle adjuster, I would get it and use that. She is so much safer rearfacing. Being in the car for a mile doesn't really matter as far as safety goes.....
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  • kmc84 said:

    @MommyAtty‌ if you just got your radian and you aren't going to use it rearfacing, you should return it if at all possible. You are wasting money not using it RFing and the booster mode is useless. You would be much better off getting a combination seat instead.

    However, since your dd is old enough to use the angle adjuster, I would get it and use that. She is so much safer rearfacing. Being in the car for a mile doesn't really matter as far as safety goes.....


    This. If it didn't fit rear facing I would get another seat that did. Kids spines don't fuse until between 3 & 4....so it's better to keep them rear facing as long as possible. People have all kinds of excuses like it won't fit or budget, but you really should try to rear face until at least 3. There are a lot of seats out there that will do that for you, especially for an average sized kid.

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  • I got my diono from amazon it was less than the price posted.
  • klvklv member
    My DD is tiny and at almost 3 she is still RF in a Britax Marathon (and a roundabout) with plenty of space. She is 27 lbs so she will likely be RF for another 6m-1 year of so. That seat will hold her FF until 65 lbs. at this rate, she will be 9 and still in this seat lol!
    image
  • I personally love the Diono racheting system!
    Lisa
    Mom to Kendrick (12.20.12) and wife to Josh (married 9.18.10)
    Now expecting #2!
    BF for 14 months! (while working full time and traveling 50% of the time boy am I tired! haha)
  • I think I'm going with the Diono. I already own one and I know ds likes it. Plus I can test it out in my vehicle to know it fits. We do like to travel, so i like that it's compact. Ds is 13 and I couldn't even forward face him if I wanted, he'll be rear facing for awhile.
    *** DS born February 21, 2013 - Toronto, Canada  ***
    imageimage
    kmc84
  • I love and have the Diono. I chose it for the size and its extended rear facing abilities. I also purchased the $10 wedge of foam and it makes the world of difference for space for the passenger in the seat in front of it.

    Does your local store do price match? If so, do what I do and show this link ( https://www.kmart.com/search=diono?storeId=10151&catalogId=10104&viewItems=50&levels=Baby&vDropDown=defaultOpt&sLevel=0&redirectType=SKIP_LEVEL ) to the cashier and get it for this price.

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  • Amazon had the Britax Pavilion for $188 today as a Today's Steal!
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  • alakealake member
    We have Radians and Foonfs for our two youngest girls.  (19 month old and an adopted 13 month old)
    We moved home from Miami back to Canada in February.  They were in Radians before we moved.  I like the height and weight limit on them.
    My six year old out grew the seat rear facing by height two months ago.  She will be seven in August.  She rear faced upon her request until she outgrew the seat.  She is 44 inches and 40 pounds.
    I have never used a Britax convertible.  I heard that they have short shells and wouldn't buy one, considering I rear face until 4 and then give the option to forward face.
    HisChamaoleGirl
  • We had a Britax Marathon when DD1 was younger. It was the classic Marathon, so about 1" taller than the seats out now. She outgrew it rear facing at 2.5 years, but she was off the charts for height. She was probably 40-41" with a long torso when she outgrew it. I'm sure she would have outgrown the current seats by 2 years.

    My 3.5 yo still fits rear facing in our Radian. She's *only* 42", which is 90th percentile for height. She's close to outgrowing it though. She has lots of room to grow in our Graco MySize though. She'll fit rear facing in that until she hits the 40 lb weight limit. She's about 37 lbs now.
    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
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  • LOVE my Britax Pavilion.  DD is 20 months, 95% in height, and still rear facing.  I don't know if she'll fit much after she turns two, but only time will tell.  So far so good!

    I love that she sleeps comfortably in it.

  • Thanks for everything, ordered the diono last night for $229, but it'll be another month or so until it comes in (they were way backordered due to the sale). Thanks for the advice on prices, but having to buy it in canada means I'm a little restricted I'm happy with my purchase. I just hope ds doesn't have a growth spurt and grow out of his infant carrier before then :)
    *** DS born February 21, 2013 - Toronto, Canada  ***
    imageimage
    kmc84
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