Top positive review
Beast of a Seat
Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2020
Let me preface this by saying I am a professional nanny who has taken multiple car seat classes and done hundreds of car seat installations for a variety of seats and cars. These Diono seats are tanks. They are not easy to install and require a few “tricks of the trade”. I was able to get a safe install (and had a CPST verify) while nine months pregnant in the Florida summer heat without TOO much trouble, but I would not recommend this seat if you are going to be switching it between cars or having someone unfamiliar with car seat installations transporting your child (grandparents, friends, etc).
I drive a 2016 Honda Civic and my two year old son has been in a Diono Randian RXT installed in the middle seat since birth. I chose Diono because I needed a slim seat to maximize back seat usage and I wanted something that would last from newborn to booster. I was very excited about the new QXT seat for my newborn because it addressed some of the issues I had with the RXT.
Side impact protection- this seat offers greater side impact protection in both the shell of the seat and the attached pod than its predecessors did. I feel completely comfortable having my newborn in the rear passenger seat.
Anti-rebound bar- the older Dionos have a strap you attach to the front seat tracks which decreases rotation in a crash, but it can be difficult to set up and leaves excess strap laying everywhere. The anti-rebound bar is supposed to be the replacement, however, due to the design of the seats in my car, the bar does not completely brace against the seat. It will still reduce some rotation in a crash, but not as well.
Newborn usage- my first son was two weeks late and a decent size, so the RXT worked well from birth but would not be ideal for a small baby. However, the QXT has some awesome newborn features and keeps the new baby at a perfect angle and keeps his head from flopping around.
Rear facing foot attachment- the foot attachment at the bottom slips into the crack of your back seat to achieve the desired angle, but I’ve learned that some vehicles do not have a suitable crack for this to be positioned in. It is pretty much impossible for me to get a safe rear facing install in my mother’s Subaru, so I have a Chicco nextfit as an easy to install spare seat for her car. This issue hasn’t been rectified in the new QXT.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the seat so far. My older RXT has held up well and my toddler is always comfortable so I expect nothing less from this new series. I love that I can have both boys in the back of my little car along with full usage of my rear driver’s side seat. This seat has also passed extensive safety tests beyond the required testing and will hold up exceptionally well in the event of a roll over crash. Be sure to research compatibility with your vehicle and give yourself plenty of time to achieve a safe install after reading the manual and looking up videos online.