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Thread: Radian opinions

  1. #1
    CPS Fanatic Angela's Avatar
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    Radian opinions

    I've heard many of you raving about the Radians on here. I hadn't heard much about them before I started frequenting this site. What are some overall opinions of them? Do they fit newborns well? Do they fit older kids well? How long will they usually last a child? I know they say up to 80 on the upper models with a 17" shoulder height, but will they really fit that long? I'm just checking around for myself (for future use) and a friend who is due in July. Thanks!!
    Mommy to L - 11.5 yrs, 160 lbs, 4'9" riding in seat belt
    F - 4.5 yrs, 33 lbs, 39" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestome
    A - 3 yrs, 32 lbs, 37" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestone

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  3. #2
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    Re: Radian opinions

    Radians fit newborns well, even smaller newborns. They have 17" top slots but due to their design seem to fit kids who have outgrown other 17" seats. I'd allow that most kids will get to 4+ rear facing in a Radian and 6+ forward facing harnessed. Practically speaking, 50-60 pounds.

    Due to their narrowness they are great options for getting seats next to each other. As forward facing seats, they install nice and upright like combination seats rather than bowl-shaped convertibles, which older kids tend to prefer.

    Their low profile makes them easy to climb in and out of.

    If a good install is achievable, it's generally rock solid. LATCH is generally very easy, seat belt not quite as much.

    Its infernal rear facing boot is its biggest drawback; you can't adjust the rear facing angle the way you can with other seats, making it nearly incompatible with some cars.

  4. #3
    CPS Technician cowgirlsmommy's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    My almost 3 month old has been riding around in hers for about a week now. It fits great! I can easily see a newborn fitting in one. Install was a breeze with LATCH. I haven't tried with the seat belt yet. So far, we love it though!


  5. #4
    CPS Technician urchin_grey's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    DS spent a few weeks riding in my nephew's while we stayed with my sister and I loved it so much I'm getting one. (My nephew has a Flex Loc and the Radian that I got him and DS has a TF. So I put DN in the Flex Loc and DS in the Radian while we were visiting so that DN could fit in the center).

    Anyway, yeah... All the things said above, really. DS isn't fully ambulatory so I have to lift him into his seat and the Radian was so much easier because of its low profile. Also, in the Radian, DS could pick up anything he dropped onto the vehicle seat, which he couldn't do in the TF. The Radian was an easier install in my vehicles as well, and I also like the harness a lot better. Oh, and DS tends to slump in the TF and sometimes its hard to get his butt up to where it needs to be so I can buckle. So overall, the Radian was just easier to use for us.
    Carly
    mom to Bram [10 years/32lbs/41" - BT 3-in-1 & Nauti]
    ...and TTC an excuse to buy a new seat since 2/2013

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Radian opinions

    I love the seat on paper, but it is a royal pain in some cars. If your vehicle does not permit the seat touching the front passenger seat back, you can easily run into trouble getting a great angle (and keeping it) while keeping enough room for your passenger. I have this problem and I'm driving a minivan! The driver's side could brace, but I have an extremely tall driver to accommodate and it's better for my ffing child to be on that side for school drop off. The seat is great for taller and/or heavier children, but I think anyone with a small to average child might be better off getting a less expensive convertible with a high rear-facing limit and then switching to a good forward facing harness/booster combo seat or even a cheap HBB if it's age appropriate. I have the radian and might even buy a frontier 85 (or future equivalent) when this is outgrown anyway. But most likely my DD will get DS' s85 and he will switch to a HBB or BB.

    My personal list of pros:
    -pretty cover
    -narrow
    -low profile
    -high limits
    -unique safety features
    -8 year expy.

    cons:
    -heavy
    -possible incompatibility with yours or any other car that might need to accommodate it. occasionally needs two people for trickier installs.
    -harness is not an easily adjusted one
    -price
    -the crotch buckle is poorly placed for skinny children who weigh more than 30lbs due to their height. The manual says to use the outermost slot for all children over 30 lbs. Russ says it's safe to go over that limit, but you are of course taking his word on that.

    While I don't love this seat, I wouldn't trade the radian for something else. I was buying it for a tall 2.5 year old so it's still the best option for me. The whole point was to ERF, so it wouldn't have made much sense to not get the seat with the highest limits.

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Radian opinions

    I agree with everything that Maezde said. I just want to add that I got a rock solid install with the seat belt so rock solid installs with seat belts are possible (probably depends on the car). Also, love that the seat is made of steel, not plastic, it is very sturdy and very well constructed. Also, love the thick non-twist straps and the fact that it can be tethered rear-facing.

  8. #7
    CPST Instructor Carrie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyMommy View Post
    I agree with everything that Maezde said. I just want to add that I got a rock solid install with the seat belt so rock solid installs with seat belts are possible (probably depends on the car).
    Yes, this. Almost all of my installs have been with a seat belt, and I've been pleased with their solidity. Although, I did put it in with the SL once for fun, and I was like "oooh..." because it was so easy, and solid, lol.

    The biggest cons are the amount of RFing room it *can* take, and the price. If you (a general you) budgeted for a Britax, though, then you can easily find a RN on sale in that price range.

    As someone who cares for tall/heavy kids, and is dedicated to RFing practically as long as possible, it's a no-brainer. I actually love the fact that it's heavy; it's solid and I feel like my kidlets are very safe in this seat.

    I've never used it with a little, though... it seems silly to put the lighter and smaller kids in the RN when I have preschool-aged kids who can use it. Although I did put my 22lb 2yo in it last week, and she fit well, despite the fact that I was amused at the six miles of shell above her head.

    One of the things I want to do in the next week or so is try my 63lb, 48" 6yo in the seat, just to see how he fits. He's AT both the height and weight limits of the Nautilus, so I'm interested to see what he thinks about the RN. (He typically rides boostered, so it's just out of curiousity.) I would expect you could use it from newborn to booster age, including ERF, without a problem.
    Down to just a spare Radian, folded in the hall closet for my Godbaby.

    Check out this thread for a Pilot overview!

  9. #8
    Moderator - CPS Technician
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    Re: Radian opinions

    I like our Radian for the reasons already given above. It installs easily (RF) in my car ('99 Altima), and it's pretty easy to get it in upright as well. My only issue is that the harness adjuster is hard to pull. Not a huge deal though, since we're not typically adjusting the harness tightness often.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician firemomof3's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    I went through so many convertible seats before I tried the Radian But now, I just love my Radians! It installs easy in my Kia Sedona and in dh's Dodge Ram truck via the seat belt. I love the versitility, us on airplane, the memory foam is awsome, rf leg room, ff leg support, low profile is easy for kids to get in/out. I love the steel alloy construction & rf tether too
    DD1 10.5y/o seatbelt
    DD2 8y/o 45" 52lbs. backless
    DS 7y/o 51" 58lbs. ProBooster or backless

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic Angela's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    Thanks for all the input! I recommended the MR to my friend a few weeks back, without even thinking about the RA.

    We have a Signo that I had thought about putting #2 in if/when we ever get pregnant again. After seeing that infants don't fit well and they aren't great for ERF, I'm thinking we might just sell that one and get an RA when the time comes (hopefully soon).

    One more thing... We have a Kia Rondo with optional 3rd row. I would be installing it outboard. Anyone have any experience installing in the Rondo or Optima (same chassis)?

    Thanks again for all the input, it really sounds like the ideal seat for several reasons!
    Mommy to L - 11.5 yrs, 160 lbs, 4'9" riding in seat belt
    F - 4.5 yrs, 33 lbs, 39" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestome
    A - 3 yrs, 32 lbs, 37" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestone

  12. #11
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    Re: Radian opinions

    (Important tangent: RA=Roundabout in c-s.org slang, not Radian RN=Radian )

  13. #12
    CPST Instructor Carrie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    I will add this, just for fairness' sake... some people are NOT fans of their Radians. Although I really like mine (and would consider getting another if I had a need, and the price was right,) they definitely have their quirks and are not universally loved.

    Before you absolutely settle on an RN, I would see if you can get your hands on one to mess with it. For me, if I had just one child to outfit for years and preferred to do it with one seat, it would be near the top of my list. But truly I love so many different seats for different phases, I'm not sure it would be THE seat (as glad as I am to have it in my arsenal at the moment.) Not to say I don't recommend it... just don't want you to think it'll feed and diaper the baby too, lol.

    Anyways, don't want to discourage you, I just know this thread has been very positive but I'm not sure it's a totally accurate representation of how folks feel about the seat.
    Down to just a spare Radian, folded in the hall closet for my Godbaby.

    Check out this thread for a Pilot overview!

  14. #13
    CPS Fanatic Angela's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
    (Important tangent: RA=Roundabout in c-s.org slang, not Radian RN=Radian )
    Sorry, still getting used to it.
    Mommy to L - 11.5 yrs, 160 lbs, 4'9" riding in seat belt
    F - 4.5 yrs, 33 lbs, 39" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestome
    A - 3 yrs, 32 lbs, 37" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestone

  15. #14
    CPS Fanatic Angela's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Carrie_R View Post
    I will add this, just for fairness' sake... some people are NOT fans of their Radians. Although I really like mine (and would consider getting another if I had a need, and the price was right,) they definitely have their quirks and are not universally loved.

    Before you absolutely settle on an RN, I would see if you can get your hands on one to mess with it. For me, if I had just one child to outfit for years and preferred to do it with one seat, it would be near the top of my list. But truly I love so many different seats for different phases, I'm not sure it would be THE seat (as glad as I am to have it in my arsenal at the moment.) Not to say I don't recommend it... just don't want you to think it'll feed and diaper the baby too, lol.

    Anyways, don't want to discourage you, I just know this thread has been very positive but I'm not sure it's a totally accurate representation of how folks feel about the seat.
    Yes, gotcha. I would LOVE to get my hands on one! We are pretty limited with kid stores in town (TRU is about it) so I'd need to look around some other areas to see if I can find one. I definitely won't be going out buying one soon. Personally, we've been trying for 3 years now and aren't sure when exactly it's going to happen, but I love looking at seats and keeping up with what's out there. I will mention to my friend and see what she thinks though.
    Mommy to L - 11.5 yrs, 160 lbs, 4'9" riding in seat belt
    F - 4.5 yrs, 33 lbs, 39" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestome
    A - 3 yrs, 32 lbs, 37" riding rear facing in a Graco extend2fit and Graco milestone

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    You could ask if anyone from c-s.o is in your area and has a Radian for you to try. Playdate!
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  17. #16
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    Re: Radian opinions

    I love my radian. As long as I'm not installing it in my Sienna. Then I hate it. And for that reason, unless they do something about that rediculous rfing boot, I will not be buying another.
    Mommy to two wild little boys and a little princess!
    DS1 (01/05, 46 1/2", 44 lbs), Boring Gray Turbobooster / Harmony Literider
    DS2 (07/07, 39 1/2", 40lbs), Harvest Complete Air / Booster Training in a Maui Blue PWSG / RSTV
    DD (07/09, 33", 23lbs), rfing Flair MyRide / rfing Scenera

  18. #17
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
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    Re: Radian opinions

    I have a love hate relationship with my RN65. When we first got it, I loved it. Our daughter had maxed out the weight on her marathon rear facing, and she was just over 2 years old. Looking at the options we choose the RN. She had plenty of room in it and that's why I chose it over the MR. When I first installed it I tried it both rear facing with latch and forward facing with the seatbelt. I only tried ff'ing because I had read that ff'ing with the seatbelt was a more difficult install and wanted to make sure it would work for her entire time in a harnessed seat. Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter, the heavier she got the more reclined the RN became. We have a 2005 Ford Expedition, and if she was in the center of the middle row the seat was over reclined, if I put her outboard the seat was depending more on the front seat to keep it from being over reclined than I was comfortable with. We ended up turning her forward facing about a month ago, long before she was 4, which was my goal. She now weighs approx. 36lbs and should have been able to rear face for another 4lbs. Maybe that would have gotten her to 4, maybe not, but I will never know. I wish a MR was currently in our budget, but because of it's shorter shell she will outgrow it much sooner than the RN and leave me buying another harnessed seat. So, given all of that, I do have to say that forward facing I love the radian, but rear facing for a heavier child in my vehicle (it does have leather seats, so maybe that's why it keeps sliding?) I hate it.



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