You've heard about Diono, but you're not sure why these car seats are so popular? You're in the right place!
Today, I decided to do a complete overview of the best Diono car seats reviews, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of these seats.
We'll cover everything! From infant car seats, over boosters, and convertible car seats to the best all-in-one car seat.
Stay tuned to get familiar with the famous Diono Radian line, innovative engineering, and slim-fit design, the recognizable trademarks that make this brand exceptional!
I composed the list of the 9 best Diono car seats with the help of customer reviews, parents' suggestions, and my own experience with this brand, so whichever you decide for, be sure your child is in the right hands!
Table of Contents
- The Best Diono Child Restraint Systems: My 9 Picks
- #1. Diono Radian 3QXT - The Best Diono Car Seat for Infants
- #2. Diono 2020 Radian 3R - The Best Diono Convertible Car Seat
- #3. Diono Monterey XT Latch - The Best Diono Booster Car Seat
- #4. Diono Radian 3RXT - The Best All-in-One Child Diono Convertible Car Seat
- #5. Diono Cambria 2 Latch - The Best Child Booster Seat For Girls
- #6. Diono Everett NXT High Back Booster Car Seat - Best for Slim Fit System
- #7. Diono Solana 2 Latch - The Best Diono Child Backless Booster
- #8. Diono Solana Backless Booster Car Seat - Best for Ergonomic Design
- #9. Diono Monterey 5iST FixSafe Rigid Latch High Back Booster - Best Protection
- How to Find the Best Diono Car Seat? Buyer's Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Diono generally a reliable brand?
- Is Diono a luxury brand?
- Are Diono car seats FAA approved?
- What is the difference between Diono child car seats?
- What is the best Diono car seat for a three-year-old?
- Is Diono Radian comfortable?
- How safe is the Diono Radian 3RXT?
- How do you install a Diono Radian RXT car seat?
- Can you use a seat protector with a Diono car seat?
- What accessories does the Diono car seat come with?
- How do you change the angle on a Diono Radian 3 RXT?
- How do you adjust the straps on the Diono car seat?
- Can you wash a Diono car seat?
- Can all Diono car seats fit three across?
- How long are Diono child car seats good for?
- When should I replace my Diono car seat after an accident?
- Why was the Diono Rainier discontinued?
- Final Thoughts
The Best Diono Child Restraint Systems: My 9 Picks
All Diono Radian seats have almost the same design, yet Diono Radian 3QXT includes a series of specifically adapted features that make it the most suitable for newborns.
Let's see what these are!
First of all, this Slim-fit Diono car seat has a removable newborn insert made from super-soft, energy-absorbing material to surround your baby with nothing but comfort and safety from day one.
Additionally, it includes an infant positioning liner and small-sized harness pads that perfectly align with your baby.
Newborns cannot hold their heads upright, and often inadequate car seats cause a head slump. Diono specifically designed a newborn travel high wedge that allows a near lie-flat position.
Another reason why I find this seat fantastic for infants is the extended rear-facing use.
Namely, the seat can be used in a rear-facing mode for up to fifty pounds (approximately four years), but you can also use it in a forward-facing and a booster mode (up to 120 pounds).
With such a vast weight capacity, you'll be using this seat for around ten years, and it will certainly last that long thanks to the upgraded steel core made of automotive-grade steel.
On top of everything, this car seat provides unmatched safety with eight layers of combined EPP and EPS foam, forming side impact protection and an anti-rebound bar that reduces rotation by half in the case of a collision.
The seat meets all the NHTSA safety standards and can be used on aircraft.
Moving on to the best convertible car seat from Diono - Radian 3R, another model in their slim-fit line, but this one was initially designed to enable the most effortless transition between the modes.
With convertibles, I find it essential that you can accommodate your kid in all three positions for long enough, and this seat is one of that kind.
It supports extended rear-facing use from five to fifty pounds, forward-facing use from twenty-two to sixty-five pounds, and a booster mode up to 120 pounds.
Since this is the original Slim-fit model, it is incredibly convenient for carpooling, enabling you to fit three across the back seat, and due to its foldable design, it proves quite handy for traveling.
Like the previous Diono car seat, Diono Radian 3R incorporates the reinforced automotive-grade steel frame that keeps the car seat stable and sturdy.
What is more, the sides are reinforced with aluminum and a thick layer of energy-absorbing foam for efficient side impact protection.
I love how easy to install this seat is!
Its SuperLATCH system provides a genuinely secure installation with minimum effort. Wait to hear the audible click, and your child is safe and sound.
As for the handy additions, I would single out the anti-slip harness pads and comfy memory-foam padding that honestly make the difference in your child's experience.
Since things get messy with kids in seconds, you'll appreciate the removable covers that you can put into the washing machine and put back on clean.
Kids sure can be unpredictable, but there's one thing you have to expect - they grow fast! While you adapt the forward-facing seat, they are ready for a booster!
But, don't panic; if you haven't bought a convertible with booster mode, Diono has your back with Diono Monterey XT Latch.
The first advantage you notice about this car seat is how incredibly adjustable it is.
Its innovative design supports your child from forty to 120 pounds (4-12 years) and converts from a high-back booster seat to a backless booster car seat.
Unlike the previous two models, this booster car seat is honestly lightweight and thus very portable. Transporting the seat from one vehicle to another won't cause you any trouble.
After the third year, your child grows fast and changes drastically.
Luckily, Diono Monterey was designed to follow these changes with twelve headrest positions and an extraordinary dial on the back that allows a 69% increase in occupancy space.
With a simple turn of the dial, you can expand the seat to the target dimensions.
But I guess, before anything else, you care about safety.
Diono Monterey has been tested to exceed the Federal standards and includes the reinforced side impact protection with aluminum head support and a thick layer of energy-absorbing foam.
On top of everything, the seat includes two retractable cup holders so you can keep the snacks and drinks close to your child. Therefore, as you see, it is super functional for traveling.
Next, as the cherry on top comes one all-inclusive Diono convertible car seat, very elegantly designed and advanced to exceed all the market standards.
But don't let the chick look fool you; there is a rock-solid construction underneath ready to withstand all the unpredictable situations, protecting your child.
Let's see what this model is about!
As soon as you see all-inclusive, you know what's cooking.
The seat features a rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster mode, providing accommodation to kids from five to one hundred and twenty pounds. It also provides a longer rear-facing use for up to fit pounds.
The rock-solid construction I mentioned includes the alloy steel frame, aluminum reinforced sides, covered in EPS foam, and memory foam to surround your child with cloudy comfort and coziness.
Layered side impact protection makes sure your child is cradled and protected in crashes, while the easy-click super LATCH system enables secure Fit and easy installation.
Since the statistics say that 70% of car seats are incorrectly installed, this means everything since there's not much space for a mistake.
Moms love this Diono Radian 3RXT seat because it comes with removable covers that can be washed in a machine, so everything remains clean and fresh.
Also, despite its all-inclusive design, the seat is slim-fit, allowing you to fit three across.
Are you flying with your child? No problem. Fold the seat flat, bring it to the airport and use it on aircraft; it's FAA-approved!
Finally, it comes in a number of different colors and designs at a price, well reasonable considering the quality and durability of the seat.
If you plan to surprise your little princess, a booster car seat is definitely one of the ways to do it.
Both Diono Cambria and Diono Monterey support kids from forty to 120 pounds and can be used in two modes: a high-back booster and a backless booster.
On the other hand, Diono Cambria has six headrest positions while Monterey has eleven.
Also, Cambria does not have a weight and height expander. Still, it measures 15.5 inches in width, so the seat is pretty wide as it is.
These differences do not make Diono Cambria any less efficient from Monterey. Cambria also features deep side-impact protection and exceeds safety standards.
What is more, the seat is ergonomically designed and perfectly follows your child's physique for maximum comfort.
Another fantastic advantage of Diono Cambria is the upgraded material, soft and gentle on the skin but also removable. The covers are straightforward to maintain; take them off, wash in a machine, and put in a dryer.
Cambria is also great for traveling since it weighs very little and comes with two retractable cup holders for maximum convenience.
Finally, despite all the fantastic advantages, this car seat comes at an honestly reasonable price, so compared to the previous model, it is more affordable.
The following Diono high back booster car seat will win your heart since the unit offers a slim-fit design. Therefore, it saves space in the back seat of your motor vehicle, simultaneously offering more support and better stability for your kiddo.
So, it won't compromise safety, security, and comfort for your little ones.
Moreover, the high back booster seat offers a quick and straightforward installation process.
Namely, the booster car seat includes a LATCH system and attachment points; hence the setup process is stable and effortless. And, your seat and kid will be fixed, immovable, and unchanging once you complete the installation process correctly.
Since it weighs only 10.9 pounds, the Diono high back booster car seat is extremely lightweight, allowing you to manage it quickly, and you can move it around more vehicles effortlessly and straightforwardly.
So, the seat will be adjustable and versatile for your needs.
With the seven different headrests positions, the high back booster car seat easily adjusts to your children's needs and provides protective head support to your little one.
The seat also contains reinforced side-impact protection for more security and safety for your kids.
And, as the seat has a narrow seat back, it offers better access to vehicle buckles, so it's a buckle-friendly unit.
So, you can install and manage it in numerous motor vehicles; the booster seat will constantly adjust to all designs and spaces and save more space for better maneuverability.
If you're spending most of the time on the road, you sure need a helping hand to stay ahead of everything.
Backless booster car seats are super convenient for traveling for its ultra-light design and high portability, allowing easy transfer from one car to another.
The Diono Solana backless booster car seat weighs barely 6.6 pounds, yet it supports children from forty to a hundred and twenty pounds. This is precisely the same as the high-back boosters I reviewed thus far.
Although designed to provide maximum safety and security, the Solana car seat is straightforward to install and connect due to integrated LATCH connectors and front adjusters.
Also, Diono has redesigned its backless booster seat to provide better access to vehicle buckles. So, trust me when I say the installation is child's play, honestly.
If there are no LATCH anchors, place the booster seat on the car seat. If there are LATCH anchors, use the LATCH system on the Solana booster.
This seat is also great maintenance-wise. You can remove the fabric cover, throw it into the washing machine, and wash it at 86°F/30°C/Cold.
Why should you consider a backless booster at all?
Backless booster car seats are incredibly convenient for carpooling and frequent vehicle switches. These seats take up very little space and never weigh too much.
Diono Solana is exceptionally efficient because it has precisely the same bottom-weight limit as the high-back booster, which is not very common.
And of course, it does not cost as much.
Why should you look for the Diono Solana backless booster seat?
Firstly, the backless booster car seat fits growing children and offers enough room for their growth and development. As you can see, the maximum weight limit is 120 pounds. So, it will fit even older kids.
Moreover, the backless booster car seat is an exceptional model since it is a comprehensive car seat with an ergonomic design.
Namely, the booster is wide enough for better support, prevents sliding due to ergonomics, and offers extra length for better legroom and leg support. So, your kids will remain inside the seat, stable and secure while on the road.
In addition, the backless booster car seat is both portable and lightweight due to its design and system.
As you may notice, the backless booster weighs only three pounds; therefore, it will be effortless and quick to move it around two or more vehicles.
For more convenience, the backless booster also contains two adjustable cup holders. Therefore, your little ones will easily keep their snacks and drinks inside and keep them close when they need them. In addition, the units will be easy to reach and access.
Furthermore, the full booster seat's cover is detachable and easily removable, machine-washable, and easy to clean and maintain for an extended period.
Finally, the installation will be quick and stable with the seat belt attachments. So, the seat won't move around and will be secure and fixed for an extended period.
And the last Diono high back booster set will astound you due to its expandable system.
As you may observe, the Monterey high back booster car seat contains expandable height and weight, with one-hand adjustment, and includes 85% more space and room as your kid grows.
In addition, the Monterey high back booster car seat offers an easy and compact fold. The unit is 25% tinier than the average booster car seats, extremely lightweight, and provides the best safety and comfort features.
And since it includes carrying straps with a fitting storage compartment, the unit is perfect for carpooling and traveling.
Furthermore, the high back booster car seat offers FixSafe solid and reliable LATCH connectors for a stable, safe, and secure installation and maximum stability for your little one.
Thus, the seat won't move around or slip away, and the kiddo remains safe and sound for an extended period.
Thanks to the eight layers of safe side-impact protection with energy-absorbing foam, and strict crash tests, the high back booster seat verifies the best safety and security standards for your children while inside the seat.
The high back booster expires after eight years of more robust use. This period will support and accommodate all children between 40 and 120 pounds and offer them the best stability during the rides.
Finally, the content is easily removable and machine washable, along with the cup holders to ensure your kids' comfortable and clean rides.
How to Find the Best Diono Car Seat? Buyer's Guide
Let's talk about Diono.
Diono is a relatively young American car seat manufacturer, centered in Seattle and operating ever since 1999.
According to their own words, the brand is dedicated to creating child restraint systems that not only meet the Federal Safety Standards but go above and beyond to provide everything that your child needs for a safe and comfortable ride.
Diono child car seats are famous for their Diono Radian line. What makes these seats recognizable is firstly the slim-fit design that allows fitting three across.
For this reason, precisely, Diono Radian car seats are the first in line seats for families that often go carpooling.
The next thing that makes the Diono car seat exceptional is the high weight capacity.
Their convertible car seat line can support kids from five to a hundred and twenty pounds, which is the widest weight range in the market.
Also, they allow extended rear-facing use, which is an excellent safety measure.
Smart engineering is what you can count on with Diono car seats.
Easy-to-install LATCH system safely secures your child in seconds while the adjustable headrest and even extendable sides follow your child's growth adequately. These modifications do not compromise safety and stability.
In fact, Diono car seats have up to eight layers of impact protection, reinforced with aluminum sides.
Another distinguishable trait that makes the Diono car seat recognizable is the foldable design, allowing you to fold the seat flat.
However, parents do complain about this since the seat is then hard to reassemble.
Yet, all their seats are FAA-approved, so this comes in handy when you're bringing the seat to the airport.
Lastly, another inconvenience that parents come across with Diono is the heavyweight design.
And I do have to admit the seats are not on the light side, yet this is due to the reinforced steel frame that ensures durability and safety.
For more information, refer to some of the many videos you can find on YouTube and learn how to install their convertible car seat rear-facing, and forward-facing, more about the Radian line and whatnot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Diono generally a reliable brand?
Stay assured that Diono is one of the most reliable car seat manufacturers on the market.
They are excellent car seats for families with many kids because of the slim-fit design that is incredibly convenient for carpooling.
Is Diono a luxury brand?
Well, Diono is one of the leading car seat brands on the market. So, many consider it a luxurious brand.
However, some car seats they produce are very affordable, so they may not seem extravagant, but they still provide the best benefits as other car seat brands.
So, overall, Diono is a luxury brand in quality, not in the price.
Are Diono car seats FAA approved?
Some of these car seats are FAA approved; others may not be.
Therefore, it would be best to check with the manufacturer and look for the labels to see whether your car seats have FAA approvals or not.
What is the difference between Diono child car seats?
All Diono child car seats from the Radian line have predominantly the same features. Yet, as each line appeared on the market, some new feature was added.
Safety features and construction are the same for all the seats, yet they differ in the number of modes they can be used in.
The convertible car seats can be used in rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster mode.
Booster seats cannot be installed rear-facing; they are for older kids, and among themselves, they differ in design (high-back and backless) as well as adjustability (expandable or not).
What is the best Diono car seat for a three-year-old?
The best Diono car seat for a three-year-old is the Diono 3R.
With the extended rear-facing positions and maximum weight limit of 100 pounds, it’s the most convenient for three-year-olds.
And due to its narrow design, the car seat effortlessly fits three across.
Is Diono Radian comfortable?
Yes, it is.
It’s surrounded with safety and comfort due to kids’ support, side-impact protection, and overall materials to keep your little ones calm, cool, relaxed, and unpressured in the seat.
And, you can adjust the recline positions to meet your kids’ needs.
How safe is the Diono Radian 3RXT?
All Diono car seats available on the car seat market are safe. How?
All seats meet and exceed the FMVSS and NHTSA regulations and undergo rigorous crash tests so they are safe and secure for prolonged use.
On the other hand, the Diono Radian 3RXT car seat is safely advanced, thanks to its rock-solid construction.
The seat has an alloy steel frame; aluminum reinforced sides, EPS foam, and memory foam surrounding your little one with security and comfort.
Layered side impact protection ensures your baby is cradled and protected in crashes, while the easy-click super LATCH system enables secure fit & quick setup.
How do you install a Diono Radian RXT car seat?
You can install it either with the seat belt or the LATCH system. You can also install it rear and forward-facing.
Refer to the instruction manual for the entire procedure. Or, follow the steps:
- Remove LATCH Strap from Storage Location on the back of the car seat.
- Fold-down the cover on the back of the car seat.
- Find the Latch Strap in the belt storage location
- Push the red buttons on the LATCH connectors and remove them from the storage position.
- Extend the LATCH Strap to the maximum length as you press the gray button and pull the strap.
- Remove and detach the Top Tether Strap from Storage Location on the seat’s back.
- Place LATCH in the forward-facing belt path.
- Unzip the pocket to the right side of the LATCH storage point to move the LATCH attachments down to the forward-facing belt path.
- Once you thread the LATCH parts, close the zip pocket.
- Place the seat in the back and attach the top tether
- Refer to the vehicle manual whether to tighten or not
- Thread the LATCH strap through the forward-facing belt path
- Connect all LATCH connectors to hear the clicking sound
- Tighten the LATCH strap and press the seat firmly to ensure the proper stability
- Tighten the top tether strap
- Shake it a bit to see if it moves or not
Can you use a seat protector with a Diono car seat?
Yes, you can use a protector underneath the car seat. You can find it on the official Diono website.
But, you must check the vehicle manual to see if you’re allowed to place the protectors on the vehicle seat.
What accessories does the Diono car seat come with?
It comes with cup holders and an adjustable headrest. It also includes the removable car seat cover, suitable for cleaning in the washing machine.
The seat is special also due to infant inserts, comfort liners, and head and body support for your little ones.
And, you can find the car seat protectors, water-resistant for the most convenient use of the Diono seats.
How do you change the angle on a Diono Radian 3 RXT?
To change the angle on the Diono Radian 3RXT car seat, you will need to use the Diono Angle Adjuster.
Leave the seat belt or the LATCH strap loose for a moment, take the angle adjuster, lift the car seat, and slide the adjuster below the seat.
It should touch the back of the detachable car seat base. Tighten the seat belt while pushing down on the front of the seat. Check for a proper, tight fit.
Do not check at the seat’s top but the rear-facing belt path with one hand. It should move less than one inch in all directions.
The angle adjuster is not ideal for newborns; you must obtain it separately.
How do you adjust the straps on the Diono car seat?
Follow the steps below:
- Loosen the harness straps to place the kid inside
- Pull-on the CamLock adjuster
- Once the kid is inside the seat, route the shoulder straps over the shoulders and down across the hips
- Pull on the adjuster strap to shorten it and get it snug to insert the metal clips into the buckle
- Use the ratcheting system on the CamLock as a pull tug
- Pull it to snug it up a bit further to check for a correct fit
- Pinch the straps - if the fingers slip off, the Fit is a proper one
- Raise the harness pads
- Connect the chest clip
- Adjust it to the armpit level, and that’s it
Can you wash a Diono car seat?
Yes, you can. Remove the memory foam.
On a delicate cycle, you may either hand-wash or machine-wash the Diono car seat cover. In addition, you can wash the harness straps and plastic with mild soap and warm water.
Can all Diono car seats fit three across?
Yes, the majority of the Diono car seats, including the most prominent models, such as the Radian, Monterey, and Diono series, fit three across.
They come with a specific narrow car seat base, so the seats are ideal for more kids in the back seat of your vehicle and long distances. The more, the merrier!
How long are Diono child car seats good for?
Diono car seats are incredibly durable due to reinforced heavy-duty construction and smart engineering.
Their convertible car seat will cover the period of ten years intact thanks to accessible mode switching from rear-facing to forward-facing and booster mode and steel frame.
When should I replace my Diono car seat after an accident?
If you have an accident, you should instantly replace your car seat.
The Diono company will replace the car seats according to the NHTSA rules and standards without any worries about the expense.
Do not wait to substitute the car seats. Instead, call your manufacturer and replace them immediately. But, again, do not compromise your children’s safety.
Why was the Diono Rainier discontinued?
In 2017, more than 500,000 Diono child car seats were recalled because they could not adequately protect children in collisions.
The recall included the Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT, Rainier, Pacifica, and Olympia booster and convertible car seats.
Phew! That was a lot to say.
I guess it's because this brand has so many incredible qualities that it can get exhausting to list them all. I'm sorry if I forgot some, but you can find it on their official page of Diono car seats.
Now, let's do a short retrospective of the 3 best Diono car seats.
For the newborns, I recommend Diono Radian 3QXT, for it allows the longer rear-facing use and comes with infant inserts and mini harness pads and infant liner, or their best convertible Diono 2020 Radian 3R, used in a rear-facing position, of course.
For an older child, I recommend the same convertible car seat or one of the booster car seats.
The one I prefer is the Diono Monterey XT Latch, for it is super-adjustable, high-quality, and also a convertible car seat that transforms from a high-back booster to a backless car seat.
That was all, I hope you enjoyed my reviews of the best Diono car seats and hope you found the one for you.
Whether you choose a convertible car seat, a convertible car booster, or one of the backless booster car seats, stay assured you made the right choice!