The Diono Rainier Convertible+Booster Car Seat will change your love-hate relationship with car seats. This seat recently received the The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval. We received the Diono Rainier to evaluate and took the seat on a test ride with the best judge possible: our four-year-old daughter.

Diono Rainier Convertible+Booster car seat

Diono Rainier Convertible+Booster car seat. Photo courtesy Diono

Safety is a parent’s first priority—especially car seat safety for today’s busy parents. It is something every parent starts to consider even before their bundle of joy enters the world, let alone the car. For parents who also find themselves taking air trips, car seats become an even bigger consideration. Traveling with children is already difficult—running through the airport to visit family (or Disneyland) with kids in tow can be a juggling act of epic proportions. Lugging a car seat through the airport adds hassle to an already stressful day. The Diono Rainier absolutely meets the needs in both of those areas.

Diono Rainier car seat folds

Diono Rainier car seat folds for easy airplane travel. Photo courtesy Diono

With its extended rear-facing capabilities, it can comfortably seat rear-facing children from 5 to 50 lbs. and forward-facing children from 20 to 90 lbs. in 5-point harness mode (up to 57″ in height). Researchers now recommend that children rear-face until the age of two.

Diono Rainier backward facing

Diono Rainier backward facing. Photo courtesy Diono

The Diono design allows for that to be a reality by recognizing that children grow and that car seats need to be adjusted accordingly. The seat’s life extends longer than most as it eventually converts to a booster for children between 50 and 120 lbs. or up to 57″ in height.

The Diono Rainier converts to fit kids up to 120 pounds.

The Diono Rainier converts to fit kids up to 120 pounds. Photo courtesy Diono

Some of the other features of this innovative seat include:

  • Full steel frame and aluminum reinforced sides for unmatched safety
  • Reinforced extra deep sidewalls lined with energy-absorbing foam for superior head and body protection
  • Unique SuperLATCH™ system that makes installation easy
  • Space saving design allows extra room for passengers while providing spacious interior for child
  • NCAP crash tested, the industry benchmark for verifying child seat performance in severe accident conditions

One of the features that our four-year-old daughter loved most was that the seat is quite comfortable. The memory foam cushioning absolutely made for a smoother more comfortable trip, not only for our daughter, but for everyone in the car, because she usually fell fast asleep. She also liked that it was secure and gave her approval that “it don’t squash me”. The 5-point harness system held her comfortably without pinching. We also love the special protective pad, so that nothing is pinched into the harness when she is wearing her fairy princess dress!

Given the fact that our four-year-old is one of four kiddos, we love that it has a space saving design that allows for extra room on each side while still making sure the little one is safe and comfortable.

As I mentioned, the Diono Rainier makes traveling with kids a bit less of a hassle. The Rainier design folds flat and is FCC certified. While it is a bit heavy, it definitely isn’t nearly as bulky as most car seats and won’t take up the entire luggage cart on its own. You also have the option of purchasing backpack-style straps for easier carrying. The seat is 28.5″ high by 18.5″ wide and 16″ deep (which closes down to 10″ when folded).

The SuperLATCH™ system is awesome, but it did take a little getting used to. We love the safety features. We love that it folds for travel through the airport. We love how sturdy and heavy duty it is without sacrificing our daughter’s comfort. However, this is our ninth year of car seats and we are stuck in our old-fashioned ways, so there was a learning curve for this particular latch system.  Once we figured it out, getting the Giono Rainier car seat in and out of the car is a breeze! This unique latching system seems much more secure than traditional latches. Caring for the seat is also a breeze. You can hand wash or machine wash (only in front loading machine) the covers, then line dry or tumble dry on low temperatures. Hurray! This is one of my favorite things, personally, since toddlers seem to naturally produce sticky crumbs.

We definitely recommend this seat and believe that the slightly higher price is offset by the extended life of the car seat.

The Diono Rainier Convertible+Booster car seat retails for $359.99 but is available on Amazon.com for $251.99 using this link:

 

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