Review: Diono Radian 5 car seat, aged 0-7 years

For some, choosing a car seat might be a fun activity. For others – like the editor, Annie Ridout – it’s a pain in the arse. So when Diono sent her their Radian 5 to road test, she was delighted. And it’s brilliant. Here’s why…

When it comes to choosing buggies, car seats, cots, highchairs – all the baby/toddler essentials – I come out in a cold sweat. Searching online is unbearable, and even if I have the time/inclination to visit actual real life shops to see these items in the flesh, it’s not high on my list of ‘things I’d like to be doing’.

So when I realised, a while back, that having another baby meant I’d need a second car seat, I panicked. Should I get a baby one? Or give the baby Joni’s existing seat and upgrade her? These thoughts stampeded through my mind every so often until I was sent a Diono Radian 5 car seat to try out.

Now, if I’m sent something crap – I don’t pretend it’s good. I just ignore the whole thing and get back to my motherly/work duties. But when I’m sent something worth sharing, I do. So here’s why I think this car seat is actually brilliant. In a list…

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  • You can use the seat from birth (with comfy extra inserts) up to seven years old. That’s a long time.
  • In terms of weight, it’s 0-25kg.
  • And it can be rear-facing for that whole period, if you like. This is known to be safer.
  • But it can also become forward facing any time from when the baby weighs 9kg.
  • There’s a five-point harness, to keep them strapped safely into the seat.
  • There’s an adjustable head rest, rising as the child gets taller.
  • The seat is made from memory foam, keeping little botties nice and comfy.
  • There are expandable sides on the seat. This is a big bonus – we have it as narrow as possible, which means someone can sit comfortably on the seat next to Joni, without feeling squashed. Our last car sear was really bulky and this massively limited space.
  • You can fold it into a backpack type thing. I can’t see us using this feature any time soon (but at 35 weeks pregnant, it probably wouldn’t be very safe). However, travelling with a car seat can be a pain, so it would then come in very handy.
  • Joni loves it. It’s more upright than her last one, so it feels like a booster seat and she looks less trapped (while still feeling safe and secure).
  • We’ve chosen the forward facing option, as she’s been sat this way for the past year or so – but I like that there’s the option to face backwards for longer.

What car seat are you using for your baby or toddler? We’d love to hear your recommendations in the comment section below…

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