Disclosure: I was given a diono Radian rXT to review. All opinions are my own.
With the warm weather and kids out of school, families are packing up for the all American tradition – the family road trip. I’ll admit that there was an adjustment period to traveling with young kids. It can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. Especially for long hours in the car. Now we’ve got a great system to keep organized and make sure the kids are happy on a road trip.
With two kids this year, we’re using the diono Radian rXT carseat. We don’t own a minivan and our Jeep has a single split bench. I don’t like to feel cramped, on a road trip, and this carseat fits the bill as an awesome space saver. It’s 3-across friendly, which is hard to find in a convertible carseat.
When we aren’t using the diono Radian rXT, it folds flat for travel and storage (it’s also FAA certified for flight use). I really like that I can fold it if we need to switch vehicles, like to a rental car. When you’re on the go, the ease of installation and removal is important.
diono Radian rXT Fits to Every Child
The best part is how the diono Radian rXT works for both my 7 month old and my 3 year old. From out of the hospital to a booster seat, you can use the diono Radian rXT the entire time. It comes with an infant head pillow and body support. These items are optional and you can remove them at any time. The cushions are made of memory foam as well as the harness pads – both machine washable. Here are the weight and height requirements:
- 5-45 lbs. rear-facing with at least 1.5” of carseat above the child’s head or total height of 44”
- 20-80 lbs. forward-facing with a child less than 57” tall
- 50-120 lbs. as a booster with a child 40-57” tall, and child’s shoulders must also be at or above the 4th set of harness slots
The headrest also has 12 adjustable positions.
Safety Features of the diono Radian rXT
The full steel frame is first of it’s kind. It may be heavier, but diono say’s that “It’s worth it’s weight” and I have to agree with them. I feel comfortable knowing my child is protected with the steel frame surrounding them. The sidewalls are reinforced with aluminum and energy absorbing foam for side impact protection.
Do you hate installing carseats like I do? They also use SuperLatch™ to ensure proper installation. Parents have both an audible and visual cue to ensure the carseat is locked into place. That helps to eliminate the dangers of improper installation.
A new feature that I’ve never had with any of my old carseats is the rear-facing tether. Hopefully I’ll never need to see how it works, but it’s supposed to reduces seat rotation during an impact. diono added this new feature to the Radian rXT and it gives them an edge above the competition.
I also like that’s won multiple awards for safety. That means someone with the proper knowledge has put the carseat to the test and that gives me peace of mind.
10 Fail Proof Family Road Trip Tips
Since we’ve covered the basics of a family road trip, with safety first, I want to share my fail proof family road trip tips. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve discovered what works best for my family and traveling with young kids. It doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s all about preparation!
- Make a List and Check it Twice: Just like Santa, you want to make a list of everything your family needs. Think about daily essentials that you can’t go without. Medication, baby formula, diapers, etc. Then prioritize your list with what you need to keep within arm’s reach. That way you know that you’ll be packing it close to your seat, in the car, or in a bag that you’ll keep nearby.
- Pack the Car the Night Before: You never want to feel rushed in the morning and risk forgetting something. I like to pack the car the night previously. Fair warning – DO NOT keep the car in your driveway. Make sure all of your belongings are securely locked up and in your garage to avoid theft.
- Make a Toy Bag: Pack fun toys that help burn off energy. Jump ropes, balls and sidewalk chalk are cheap toys that you can take out at a rest stop. The kids will want to run around when you stop somewhere.
- Use a Car Seat Organizer: Preschoolers – teens will love having everything they need right in front of them and you’ll like not having the distraction of handing them items. Using a system, like this Premium Car Backseat Organizer (affiliate link) from Amazon, will help them be independent.
- Bring a Lap Table: If you have a little artist, or kids want to write, it’s best to bring a lap table. You can purchase one, like this Alex Toys Artist Studio Desk To Go (affiliate link) or bring a cookie tray to place over their lap.
- Change Diapers in the Trunk: I hate finding a clean spot to change my children’s diapers when we are on the road. Instead, I keep a caddy of diapers and wipes in the truck. I use the trunk floor space to change them. It’s perfect if you have the extra room. I also save plastic grocery bags and use them as a stink – proof system for dirty diapers if there isn’t a way to dispose of them immediately.
- Keep Extra Charging Cables Handy: If you let the kids watch a movie or use a tablet, bring extra charging cables for multiple locations in your vehicle.
- Make a Road Trip Scavenger Hunt: If you have time, make a road trip scavenger hunt to keep the kids entertained. It’s to make a list with an online puzzlemaker.
- Pack Easy Snacks: I pack snacks that won’t make a mess, melt or crumble. GoStak bottles (affiliate link) are my favorite way to pack road trip snacks. The modular design makes it easy to separate snacks, make a size that fits best for me and provide portion control.
- Drive While the Kids Sleep: If you want to log many miles without background chatter, leave early in the morning to start driving before the kids wake up. I bring the comforts of the best on the road – like blankets, lovables and bottles.
I hope your family road trips are full of fun and you can drive worry free with the diono Radian rXT. Since our kids aren’t in school yet, we go on weekend road trips well into the Fall season. Tell me, what are your favorite family road trip tips?
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Looking for a family road trip idea? I love this California Family Road Trip plan.