Backseat Driver: Diono (Sunshine Kids) Makes Room For Three

Posted on: August 5, 2010

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Add a kid, add a car seat.  Contemplate a minivan.  Which parent *hasn’t* been there?  Some families are okay with the minivan step, considering it a welcome rite of passage – essential gear for a well-equipped family.  Others stop at two, solely out of concern for their locomotive style.

Good news: Parents can fearlessly go for three and still drive a Prius with a little help from Diono’s superb Radian SL line of car seats.  Radian is slim enough to fit three across the back seat of most 4-door vehicles, using a padded steel alloy frame for strength and safety instead of typical bulky foam and plastic.

The “SL” in the moniker refers to Diono’s SuperLATCH technology – the beefiest lower latch tethers on the market.  There are seats in the Radian line rated to 65 and 80 lbs – all simply installed with the SuperLATCH tethers.  We have the Radian XTSL, and found the tether system both simple to install and convincingly strong and stable.

Of note, Radian is a convertible car seat, with impressive rear-facing weight limits for children 5-45 lbs, and forward-facing from 20-80 lbs (or 65 lbs for the base model).  While many parents prefer the convenience of a bucket seat, there is infant padding provided to ensure a cushy ride for baby #3! tested the 2008 Radian 80SL with a low toxicity result of just 0.2 – a superb score, especially compared with the popular Britax Marathon (1.4 – medium – lead!) and Graco Nautilus (2.2 – medium – bromine),

Radian 65SL is currently available for $229.99 online through Diono; Radian 80SL for $269.99; and Radian XTSL for $299.99.  We recommend either 80SL or XTSL – the main difference is a more prominent headrest on XTSL.  Both are rated all the way up to 80 lbs, and have a similarly sporty look.


UPDATE:  On Thursday, September 1, 2011, Sunshine Kids officially changed its name in the U.S. and Canada to Diono – pronounced (dee-ohh-noe).  We have updated the name in the text above, but alt text and links may still refer to Sunshine Kids for some time.  If you happen to find any links broken and not automatically redirected due to naming, please let us know.



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    • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
    • Mama GaGa: Oh, boo! Thanks for the manufacturing update - I will make note in the post. Cheers - MG
    • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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