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Giveaway: Win the Diono RadianRXT Convertible Car Seat (a $340 value)

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**CONTEST CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER RACHEL B.!**

I’ve been strapping children into car seats for 15 1/2 years. When I think back on the first few car seats and carriers we owned, I marvel at how much they’ve changed. My oldest children sat in seats with padded bars I pulled down and buckled. 5-point harnesses didn’t exist and the LATCH system was a gleam in some automotive engineer’s eye. The moment my older kids turned one, we flipped the seats to face forward. When they hit age four, they were done with car seats forever. Laws change, knowledge increases, and now we approach transportation safety with a more thoughtful and serious eye.

Kids today have never been safer as they’re shuttled around town, across the country, and even in the sky. Recently, I was asked to try Diono’s RadianRXT Convertible + Booster because I’ve been a consumer of car seats for a very long time. When I read the specifications, I was immediately impressed.

The first feature that caught my eye was its versatility. The Diono RadianRXT is a rear-facing infant seat, a forward-facing 5-point harness seat, and a booster for older children. It can be used by kids from 5 pounds to 120 pounds. This is a seat that will truly grow with your child from sleepy newborn to big kid doing her math homework on the way home from school. Kids can remain rear-facing, which is recommended by experts, until 45 pounds with the Diono RadianRXT. This provides a significant leap in safety. It is rated for an astonishing 80 pounds with the 5-point harness, meaning it has the highest weight capacity available on the market.

Another great feature is it’s portability. It folds nearly flat and can be carried four different ways, including like a backpack. I found it to be heavy at 24 pounds but then I realized there is a trade-off: When we installed it in our van, it seemed more solid next to the myriad of other car seats and boosters we own. It’s seriously well-built with a complete steel frame.

We decided to try it with Teddy, our 2-year-old. We’ve never had an easier time installing a car seat. It was a seamless process with our LATCH system, but you don’t have to own a vehicle with a LATCH system to use the Diono RadianRXT. Once installed, it felt like it’s a part of the van. I love strapping Teddy into it, actually. It has a lot of thoughtful touches, too, like comfy shoulder straps, a removable cup holder for easy cleaning, and memory foam padding. Arm rests fold in and out and the head support adjusts up and down 12 positions for maximum side-impact safety. Really, they thought of everything.

It’s nice they recognize kids like to be just as comfortable as adults. Teddy was very excited to use it. When we drove around town the first time using the Diono, I asked Teddy repeatedly if he liked it. Yes! he answered until he got sick of me asking. It sits lower on the seat, which means it’s easy for him to climb in and out of by himself, which is a huge help when I have other kids to load into the van.

But more important than a comfy ride is peace of mind. Diono is clearly committed to ensuring safety and proper installation. Following directions is critically important, but can be stressful for even the most experienced parent reading a well-written manual. The instruction manual includes QR codes you can scan with your smartphone. For visual learners, this is great. Parents can watch video tutorials of how to adjust and install. The instruction manual is also available online as well as the Diono Safety Center where parents can learn more about the safety features, watch crash test videos with results, and access car installation video tutorials.

CONTEST

I’m really pleased with our Diono RadianRXT Convertible + Booster. Mile High Mamas and Diono would love for a lucky Mile High Mamas reader to win a Diono RadianRXT of their own! Please go here to enter. Contest deadline is January 12, 2013.

For more information on Diono, you can connect with them at Facebook and Twitter, as well as their website. Learn more about where to find Diono Car Seats and check out their other products, including stroller and travel accessories.

(Diono provided a car seat to me to review and write about. The opinions of the car seat itself and the installation process are my own.)

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