Why We Love Our Diono Rainier Carseat


Disclosure: Mama Smith’s Review Blog received this item in exchange for her honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% hers.

Diono Rainier

I am a huge fan of extended rear-facing. And because of this, the Diono Radian RXT is a carseat that I had been looking into when I was picking out carseats for my daughters. I know I have mentioned it before but my husband is a researcher. He was also looking into the best discount auto insurance while he was at it. He spends hours – no days – no weeks – researching items that he wants to purchase before making a final decision. Ultimately, while we REALLY wanted Dionos, we went with something else because of the price. The issue being that we would need to purchase two. If we were buying just one, it would have been a Diono, no questions asked. I can confidently say that if we had gotten to try a Diono out, we would have purchased them hands down. We love our Diono Rainier (the “updated” version of the Radian RXT) and will be purchasing a second one very soon.

Diono Rainier

This carseat has so many awesome features that I love that I really do not even know where to start. This carseat makes extended rear-facing extremely easy. It comfortably rear-faces from 5 – 50 lbs! 50! That means that my almost 4 year old could STILL be rear-facing (boy do I wish that was a fight I could win with the hubby, but that is another story). The Rainier also has the highest forward-facing capacity of any car seat in a 5-point harness (from 20-90 lbs – up to 57″ in height). As if that is not enough, it converts to booster mode for children between 50 and 120 lbs (up to 57″ in height). So basically, you can purchase a Diono Rainier for your newborn baby – and have it until they no longer need a booster. That more than justifies the cost. The main reason we did not purchase a Diono before is because we were already out of the newborn stage when we were shopping for new carseats.

Diono RaInier Diono RaInier

When it comes to safety, the Diono Rainier is unmatched. It has a full steel frame and aluminum reinforced sides. It also has energy absorbing EPS foam surrounding the side and head for added safety. The Rainier is NCAP crash tested, which is the industry benchmark for verifying child seat performance in severe accident conditions. My husband even commented on how sturdy it is as he was setting it up and installing it. It has an angled cupholder which keeps drinks completely upright. I love that because we have had way too many spills in our backseat. You can also move it to three different spots for what is most comfortable for your child – and it is easy to remove and clean – a HUGE plus in my book. Something else that is really cool is that there is memory foam in the seating area. Talk about comfortable on long trips for the little ones!

Diono RaInier Diono RaInier Diono RaInier

My absolute favorite part about the Rainier though is tightening and un-tightening the straps. Our old carseat (and the one that my youngest is still in) is awful. I have to practically get in the car and crawl on top of my daughter to pull it tight, and even then it feels a lot looser than it should be. And when I try to take her out it is near impossible. I have actually just unbuckled her without loosening the straps before because I was so fed up. The Diono Rainier can fit three across in the back seat if you need them to. I am looking forward to having a second Rainier so I can comfortably fit between the girls if I need to (like when my mom is visiting). My daughter keeps talking about all the room she has now and how she is not “squished” like in her old carseat. She never puts up a fight about going anywhere now – she loves riding in her new carseat. The Rainier also folds flat for easy travel – and even has straps so you can carry or wear it easily. And the color selection! Don’t get me started on my love of the Orchid color we have.

Diono Rainier Diono RaInier

I will say that when it came to installing the carseat, we had some trouble at first. My husband breezed through the installation instructions and headed out to the car. About 15 minutes later, he came in, very frustrated, saying that the Diono was never going to work in our car – at least not for forward facing (which is how we were installing it for our almost 4 year old). Of course, I was pretty upset – I loved this carseat already and wanted my daughter to use it. I asked him why and he said that the way our seats were, it was impossible to pull it tight. I went out with him and noticed what he was talking about. The seat itself would move several inches when pushed (it should move no more than 1 inch). As he was tugging on the SuperLATCH it was getting caught between the Diono and our car’s backseat. He had to climb inside the car, put his knee on the Diono’s seat, and pull REALLY hard several times. After one of them I noticed the seat push flush against the back seat. That was it! We latched the back strap and pushed the sides. This seat is going no where! Now that we know how to install it, my husband is pretty confident that he will be able to quickly install our second one (because we will be getting our younger daughter one). I plan to video it and post on my YouTube account for you guys because we would have loved to see a good Diono Rainier installation video while installing ours.

Diono RaInier unnamed (6)

Overall, we all love this carseat. My BFF is a bit of a carseat expert and she flipped when she heard I was getting a Diono Rainier. She could not say enough good things about it and I now see why. I am really excited to be getting one for our youngest daughter soon. I understand being scared off because of the price but don’t be. It is worth every penny (and more!) in my honest opinion. We are a Diono family for life!

Purchase your Diono Rainier here.

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  1. That looks like a wonderful carseat! A good carseat is one of the most important things a family can have! I also love that it is purple- such a great color!

  2. Good Enuf Mommy on

    I have the same car seat! I agree – I absolutely love it. Especially because it’s so slim! Great pick!

  3. Your pictures are so adorable. This carseat is incredibly beautiful. The girls look so happy in it hehehe. You definitely need two of these bad boys! I love all of the safety and comfort features. Great review Mama Smith!

  4. What a thorough review! It’s great to know the research on this car seat is so good! Good to know about watching the installation video! We love our Britaxes but this car seat looks great too!

  5. shirley martinez on

    I am in love with that Diono! That color is amazing. If we didn’t already have a car seat, we’d totally get this one.

  6. Oh! I love the pics you have, your kids look adorable! The car seat looks so comfy I wish I could fit! πŸ˜‰ This would make a great car seat for my friend Joanna! I’ll have to share. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This seat looks really amazing, and I love that it converts to a booster seat. This review is do nice and thorough, which is great, because researching car seats get soon tedious!

  8. This car seat really looks awesome. I don’t have any children, but my sister has two and they grow up so fast. I know she is always buying new clothes and what not’s. This seat is perfect! I love how sporty it looks and how it converts to a booster seat. Your pictures are all so cute!

  9. This car seat looks amazing, I am going to have to share with my daughter. We did not have all these options and choices when my kids we’re little. your pictures are great! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Cindy Robinson on

    I think that its great that you guys got to test out the Diono since that is the car seat you wanted in the first place! I also love the color you choose! It is honestly pretty cool that the car seat has memory foam on the seat. I don’t have kids right now, but I am glad I read this post because now I know what to get when I do!

  11. Thank you for sharing such a detailed review. I love the pictures too! A car seat is such an important investment in a child’s safety and comfort so it is important to have good information.

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  13. I have this same car seat for my 1.5 year old and I adore it! It’s super soft and plush, plus I know my baby is going to be safe for years to come.

  14. I have heard so many wonderful things about this product that I can’t wait to recommend it to my friends who are all new mommies! Even my sister who is a daycare teacher now has something to recommend to her kid’s moms! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

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  22. Claire Rheinheimer on

    I want this seat so badly! I love that the 5 point harness can be used up to 90 pounds! Our current seats are only up to 65, so that would be a huge difference! I love these seats!

  23. Thanks for sharing! Great features and I especially like that I could convert it to a booster seat when the time comes.

  24. Dorothy Boucher on

    I love the slimline, more room for comfort without taking up so much space,, but I mostly love the security of
    this car seat and what fabulous colors they come in

  25. Elizabeth Parker on

    The Rainier is a bit wider than the Radian RXT, so it cannot fit 3 across, sadly, but with that loss comes extra usage and comfort from what I have read. πŸ™‚ I love the steel frame, that it folds for easy travel/storage, it is FAA approved, (I believe), and it has such extended use, from birth until booster, with extended rear-facing height and weight ranges. πŸ˜€ What is not to love about this seat?!

  26. I love that it grows with the child from birth up to age 10! I also love how slim it is. I will be looking to fit a car seat in my backseat with two boosters, so slim is a requirement!

  27. Dorothy Boucher on

    I love that you can have it back facing for forward facing and even the slim look and what a pretty color this one is

  28. Claire Rheinheimer on

    Those safely features are amazing! I think we should protect our children while we can, and one way to do that is to keep them safe in the car!

  29. Dorothy Boucher on

    I love that you can buy this diono car seat for your new born and have this until they no longer need a car seat.. WOW! think of the money one will save..

  30. Dorothy Boucher on

    It comfortably rear-faces from 5 – 50 lbs is one of the better features that I really like about this car seat.

  31. Dorothy Boucher on

    I do love that this has extended rear-facing, I also am a huge fan of this, I think my granddaughter would appreciate this also.

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