Sunshine Kids Radian Review


New member
I don't know of any convertible seat that is compatible with a stroller, only infant seats.

The Radian 65 and 80 are the same seat with the same top slot heights, no kid will actually get to 80 pounds in this seat before getting too tall for the top slots.

That's what I thought on the convertible. I didn't realize that the Radian 65 and 80 were identical in regards to the same top slot heights. That's a bit of a bummer. I could hope for a short kid, but that's most certainly NOT in the cards for us. Very tall families and a history of big babies on both sides. We're hoping for a Supermodel or a Football player to care for us in our dotage... :p


New member
This may be off topic a bit - but anyone have trouble with the harness length on the Radian 65? My son who is 4.5 has very very little harness room left - so little that if he is even wearing a fleecy sweater he is really tight - am I failing to adjust something?? he is not a heavy nor really tall kid, just an average 4.5 year old...Thx - Amy


Senior Community Member
I was curious if the folding feature caused concern for any of you? What is the folding mechanism failed during a collision and the seat folded on the child...? Just a thought. But is that possible?



New member
I think the seat would physically break before it would fold if it's locked. If you've ever played with one you probably wouldn't worry. It's VERY strong and not "floppy" at all like you might imagine when you hear "folding car seat." Maybe I'll take a photo of the mechanism that locks it. It's pretty beefy looking :-D


Ambassador - CPS Technician
I was able to hook up the 'safe stop' and the rear tether within 5 minutes.

Just got a Radian, and when I read my manual, it says the "Safe Stop" is for the harness adjuster (only for children under 40lbs) not for the tether - does yours say something different?


New member
Just got a Radian, and when I read my manual, it says the "Safe Stop" is for the harness adjuster (only for children under 40lbs) not for the tether - does yours say something different?

Sorry to be so long in responding, I just saw this post.

Top of page 24 of Radian manual
"Forward-facing lap belt installation
-For lap belt installation ONLY use SafeStop with top tether and with child under 48lbs (see page 26)

from page 26
"SafeStop is a load-limiting device designed to absorb energy and reduce impact to a smaller, forward facing child.ALWAYS use SafeStop with LATCH or Top tether with forward facing child under 48lbs

It's like doing tax forms -- always being refered to another line or page :rolleyes:
But since my dd is about 35lbs or slightly more clothed, her Radian is set up facing forward via the car's center lap belt + top tether.

The Safestop is hooked up correctly to her harness Yoke on the backside of the seat. (not to the tether itself, which might be where my original posting might have confused you).
hth :)


New member
No-go in my van

The Radian that I ordered from Canadian Tire was delivered today. (Great service - I ordered it online less than 5 days ago!) Unfortunately we just couldn't get it to install in our 2000 Dodge Caravan. The install was FF on a two seater bench seat. We have to use a locking clip with our belts, and it wanted to sit partway in/on the beltpath of the seat. Once we did up the belt and attempted to move the seat, the pressure and angle of the seat and the locking clip caused the locking clip to slip out of position.

I really am disappointed. This seat seemed excellent in all other areas.


New member
QUick question..... from the pics its seems the lower straps hit higher on a child, not on their thighs. Is this correct? Are there pics of children in this seat somewhere. I like that this seat sits lower than the MA, and has higher harness slots.


New member
Now I am really confused about the SafeStop strap

When I installed our new Radian 65 last night, the manual said that the Safe Stop strap MUST be used for LATCH+Tether installations FF under 40 pounds and not with any other install configuration.

This seems contrary to what has been posted on this thread. Maybe I'll go down to the car at lunch and check the SK Radian65 manual. Weird that the instructions would change on the same seat. MAybe I read the manual wrong yesterday? I'll have to check it out!


New member

My DS aged 4.5, 45lbs and 45" tall, with a 16" torso. Just moved him to the top slots a few weeks back. The lower part of the harness seems like any other to me, haven't really noticed it sitting high...


New member
I ordered a Radian65 for my 36lb 4 year old for in my husband's extended cab pickup, as the rear benches tend to be smaller than a regular seat. I wasn't aware of the learning curve on installation and I consider myself to be very proficient in getting a rock solid carseat install on all seats I've used previously (quite a few, lol).

With a lot of effort, I got the Radian installed in the truck in the outboard position behind the driver. I did have to twist the stalk 3 full times but it was solid. Used it a few times and then decided to try it in my 1999 Grand Caravan with captain's chairs. I had a Marathon in there at the time.

I have to say that I like the Radian in my van even more than the Marathon (never thought I'd say that...) and I like the Marathon in the truck more than the Radian, due to the fact that the Marathon sits up higher and he can see more.

What I really like about the Radian is 1. it's quite the multitasker. It can be used RF as an infant all the way till 65lbs--at right around $200 (I got mine cheaper than that), it's a great value. 2. for my older child, I like that this seat doesn't look like a "carseat", but it kind of meshed with my vehicle and looks like a part of the vehicle and not a big clumsy seat. I also like that it's not flimsy.

There are a few things I don't like, but I think that they aren't prohibitive in me choosing it again if I were to go back in time. The main thing was having the patience to figure out the install. Seeing as I think that rock solid seat installations are unfortunately the overall minority, I can't see all parents having the fortitude to work around a difficult install and it may just be installed incorrectly/unsafe. I dislike the fact that the harness *can* get caught up in the back and make adjustment difficult/impossible, thus requiring you to uninstall the seat and fix it. I've heard that SKJP has corrected that issue on the newer models. The other thing I don't *love* is that it's touted as being a "folding carseat" and though I don't need to use that feature for anything, I found it to be rather difficult and can't imagine folding it up and carrying it on a regular basis.

I've already started thinking about what seat I'll choose once my ds outgrows his Marathon in my husband's vehicle (it may be a while) and the Radian will definitely be on my list.


New member
I just bought this seat a week ago for my 21 month old daughter, who is RF. I must say that I love this seat. We had a tight but easy install in the back of my 2003 Focus Wagon. Jenna has way more leg room in this seat RF than in her MA RF. I love that. I just wanted to add my :twocents:


New member
Hi everyone, I am brand new here! I havent read through all the replies, so sorry if this is already mentioned. I just bought the Radian 65 yesterday for my daughter who will be 2 next month and I installed it yesterday. We have a 2007 Toyota Camry and I installed it forward facing with the latch system. It is ROCK SOLID there, it feels like it is part of the car and not a separate seat, which is awesome in my opinion! It was easy for me to figure out too!
We didn't go anywhere today so I havent used it with her, but she did get to sit in it while I was adjusting the harnesses inside before installing it and she loved it! It looks so comfy, I cna't wait to use it tomorrow!

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know, if you have a 2007 Camry, it is very compatible with it, at least forward facing. I haven't tried it rear facing at all yet.


New member
Okay, I wanted to add my :twocents: to this review!

I recently received the Radian 65, and I bought it specifically to fit on the "jump" seat (front row center between the driver's and passenger's captain's chairs) in a Ford Excursion. We were not happy with DS#5's Britax Blvd. in that position as it sits so high.

I was able to get a rock solid install using the lap belt on our jump seat. I had to twist the stalk three full turns as it otherwise came way too high into the belt path. But, once I twisted the stalk down and got that baby cinched tight it's not budging an inch.

The Ford Excursion is built on the same chassis as the Ford F250 and F350 Superduty pickup trucks, which is how we were able to replace our center console with a factory jumpt seat. If you are the owner of any of these trucks, I highly recommend the Radian 65 as a good option for a harnessed seat in the front row. :thumbsup:


New member
I live in Canada and was very excited to find the Radian as a cheaper alternative to Britax seats. My husband was impressed with the "safe-stop" as he has experience in construction safety training and they use similar devices in fall-protection. At the time we bought it, the seat was only rated to 48lbs here, but very recently was changed to 65lbs. It's been less than a year since we bought ours, and from what I know about the testing methods in Canada (previously they just didn't test them over 48lbs, which is a pretty dumb reason in my opinion), I'm hoping that no changes were made to the seat and I'll be able to use mine past 48 to save me buying an extra seat. (I'm waiting for a response from SK regarding this)

I've only used the Radian with my oldest son, at 4 yrs he's 38lbs and I'm not sure how tall, but I just moved the harness to the highest slot (his shoulders are dead even with the second-highest). He's always been a bit taller than average (although not sure where he gets it from!) so I was extra happy to find the Radian. I couldn't imagine moving him to a booster in the near future! Back to my review...As for the install, I found it a little difficult until I figured out a couple things. Since the belt track is so much lower than a lot of carseats it gets a little tricky. We have a 06 Toyota Sienna and I've had the Radian FF in the middle row (bucket seats) and FF in the rear bench, all with Latch. I think I briefly tried with the seatbelt, but gave up because Latch was just easier, from previous experience with other seats. I don't remember reading that Latch can't be used over 48 lbs, I'll have to check on that. I haven't installed it RF, but I'll have to try it soon because I'll be needing it soon for a baby I just started babysitting. I had trouble tightening the Latch until I discovered I could pull it through the openings in the seat cover to get a better pulling angle (on the same side of the buckle). The most difficulty I had installing the seat was in the 3rd row bench. The Latch anchors are slightly narrower than the seat and since the belt track is so low I had to play with the recline of the bench and ended up using the the built-in recline on the Radian as well and finally got it solid.

In Canada it's mandatory to use a tether FF, so that was nothing new to us. I don't really understand the V in the tether, though, maybe it attaches more securely to the seat(?), but it works fine. The only thing I wonder about the tether is that where it's attatched to the Radian is much lower than the top of the van seatback. On one of our previous carseats, the Costco Touriva, the tether came out the front of the seat under the seat cover and over the top edge of the shell, it seemed like it would do a better job keeping the seat from flying forward. Over all the Radian is rock-solid, so I'm not worried about it.

As to the comfort of the seat, my 4 yr old doesn't complain. The crotch strap seems a little short, but like I said, he doesn't complain! I think one of the comments I read was about the harness straps seeming too short with a bigger child and I have wondered about that too. My son is just under 40lbs now and it seems like there's not a lot of extra length, not to mention the safe-stop makes the harness a bit longer and we won't be using it much longer. It's not my biggest concern, though, because I'm a stickler about getting the harness is as tight as I can pull it, I use two hands and lean my weight into it. I do wonder about his head rolling around when he goes to sleep, it does tend to tip forward. I have seen some pictures (I think on the SK website) of the Radian with head cusions that are bigger than the infant ones (maybe the body cushions do double-duty?), but I don't think you can get them separate. I would like to know where to get them if anybody out there knows about them. I'm not sure what the seat's like with a young baby yet, but the infant cushions that are included with some models look like a good idea.

Over all I highly recomend the Radian if, and only if, you can get it installed tight enough in your vehicle as there are some vehicles that are just not compatable.

I have gotten a good RF install in most positions both with Latch and seatbelt. I was, however, disappointed to re-read the manual and discover that Latch can only be used up to 48lbs (not sure how I missed it the first time), after that you have to switch to the vehicle belt. Unfortunately I can't get it anywhere near tight enough FF with the seatbelt due to the buckle being forward of the back of the seat. Maybe I'll be adding a Marathon to our collection eventually...

Further update:
I'm learning new things every day, so pls forgive my updates! I did get a MA (DOM Sept 07, YAY) with the new Canadian 65lb sticker, and am using it RF for a 13mo old I babysit. With the top slots fitting shorter than the Radian, I'm still out of luck finding a seat to harness past 48lbs (DS1 has 10lbs and 2" left in the Radian). I did just recently get the Radian installed w/the SB in the middle 3rd row of my 06 Sienna, I'm pretty sure it's acceptable, but waiting for a tech to confirm (due to a gap in the seatbacks, see the Radian successfull install thread) Other note, I have since discovered that my Radian is one of the short-strapped ones, I'm waiting to get my new one, should be a new DOM and stickered to 65lbs:thumbsup::thumbsup:!
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New member
Hi - I'm new here, but have been lurking for a while.

We were very happy with our Radian from an installation standpoint, but ended up returning it due to several issues. I e-mailed back and forth with Russ but we couldn't find a resolution.

Harness straps: Our harness straps were too wide for the buckle tongues and had lot of "folding over" issues, and we were concerned about possible fraying. The buckle tongues were also difficult to move up and down because of the strap width.

Crotch strap position: Even in the outermost position, the crotch strap seemed too far towards the back of the seat to fit my average size son (35 pounds, almost-40" tall at 3-3/4 years old). At the outermost setting, the crotch strap was at its limit and was tight on him and coming up from underneath of him. We were concerned that if he grew even a little, he would no longer going to fit comfortably in this seat given how tight that strap was on him. Russ sent us a longer strap but that didn't help because the strap was still coming from underneath my son, so lengthening it did not result in a fix that would accommodate a growing pelvis, especially for a boy. Also, Russ said that the outermost crotch strap position definitely measures 7.5". We measured ours (and sent him photos) and not only did ours not measure 7.5", it did not even measure 6.5" out from the back of the seat. We noticed that the crotch strap positions were not equidistant from one another (I don't know if this is the same with other Radian 65s or just ours) but perhaps that was the issue with our crotch strap position not fitting well.

We were told by Russ to take the cover off and the outermost crotch buckle position should measure 7.5". It didn't (and we feel that what matters is how it fits and measures with the cover on, of course. We were also told the cover would stretch in the "butt" area and allow a better fit in time, allowing our DS to sit "deeper" in the seat. :confused: He said "kinda like a pair of jeans, it will fit better in time." In our minds, the seat should be right from day one and this wasn't acceptable to us.

At that point we just gave up and returned the seat to Target. We were so bummed about it because we love the fact that it could fold and be taken on an airplane easily and it did install well in several vehicles for us.
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