This extensive review will help you make a decision on which is better, the Graco Extend2fit or the Diono Radian 3RXT? Read on.
Diono Radian 3RXT
4 to 50 lbs
5 to 45 lbs
|Rear-Facing Height Limit:|
Up to 45 inches
Up to 44 inches
22 to 65 lbs
20 to 65 lbs
|Forward-Facing Height Limit:|
Up to 49 inches
Up to 57 inches
|High Back Booster Weight Limit:|
50 to 120 lbs
|High Back Booster Height Limit:|
The child’s shoulders must be at or above the 4th harness strap slot
In the rear-facing mode, both the Graco Extend2Fit and the Diono Radian 3RXT can be used to accommodate a child as long as possible (up to 4 years old or a little beyond that depending on the height).
The Extend2Fit has a higher weight limit of up to 50 pounds.
While the forward-facing weight limit of these two is the same at 65 pounds, the Diono Radian 3RXT could stay longer in the game since it has a higher height limit. The 3RXT can also be used as a high back booster seat.
Both may claim to be used even with a small newborn, but actual life uses on smaller infants would not be safe.
The Graco Extend2fit seat is a better choice with its distinctive leg extension panel. With this feature, not only the upper body of a growing child will be lodged comfortably, but also the legs while in rear-facing.
This tray can be extended in 3 positions (Position 1 is essentially fully retracted) and give extra legroom of up to 5 inches.
Be informed, however, that in a smaller vehicle, pulling out the leg panel could slightly decrease the legroom for the passenger in the front seat.
The manual says Graco Extend2fit can accommodate an infant as light as 4 pounds, but its harness and crotch buckle system would be too big to achieve a snug fit on such a tiny body.
Diono Radian 3RXT:
Just like the Extend2Fit, the Diono Radian 3RXT might not be as good as infant carriers in supporting the little body of a smaller baby, who still cannot support their neck and head.
Aside from inadequate tightness in the harness, the Radian 3RXT car seat might also be too upright for an infant.
The Diono Radian 3RXT as a booster seat would be a fine safety travel seat for children who are stockier and shorter or those with shorter torsos and longer legs. Yet, children who are really tall and big might not be comfortably seated in this system.
Such issues about convertible to booster seats exist. It can be tempting to buy a product with a promise of prolonged usage because it can transform into a booster seat. However, children may grow differently from what you expect.
For all you know, a small and petite baby could grow up to be taller or chubbier than you expected that they could no longer be accommodated in this child restraint that you plan to use as a booster seat.
Diono Radian 3RXT
Due to the leg extension tray that can be extended up to 5 inches to provide comfortable leg space for rear-facing children, the legroom for the front passenger might be slightly compromised.
Check with your vehicle’s owner manual if you can install the Extend2fit in the middle backseat so as not to be bothered with the decreased front passenger space.
There are also expressed concerns about how its headrest at full height can be a rear window visibility obstruction in some vehicles.
Diono Radian 3RXT:
Radian 3RXT is a better option in terms of fitting in a vehicle. Either installed alone or in a 3-across setup, this slim and narrow car seat can surely be mounted fairly well.
Width-wise, there is no problem at all with this seat. The concern will only be apparent when you want it to be more reclined in order to achieve a safer recline for babies.
Its default height is 28.5 inches, so reclining it will definitely affect the available room for the front passenger, particularly in smaller vehicles.
As child grows and they can already sit more upright in the rear-facing position, the 3RXT seat can be raised higher using a seat angle adjuster so it will not take up more space than necessary.
You will be able to truly see and feel its space-saving feature once your child can sit in it in the forward-facing mode.
Diono Radian 3RXT
|Do I need to use a pool noodle/rolled towel?|
|Easy To Install Rear-Facing?|
Yes, by LATCH
No, by the seatbelt
|Easy To Install Forward-Facing?|
No, by LATCH
Yes, by the seatbelt
|Easy To Uninstall?|
1 to 4 for rear-facing;
4 to 6 for forward-facing
|Lower Anchor Weight Limit:|
35 pounds rear-facing
40 lbs forward-facing
The Extend2Fit can be installed easily in rear-facing with the LATCH and in forward-facing with the vehicle seatbelt. The Radian 3RXT is neither easy nor difficult to install in rear and forward-facing.
Both seats will require some effort on the part of the parents in order to install them securely.
Apparently, Extend2Fit will be your ultimate choice because it will give you more (6) options in recline positions or angles because Radian 3RXT has a fixed internal recline position.
The lower anchor weight limit of Extend2Fit is also greater at 45 pounds than the lower anchor weight limit of Radian 3RXT (rear-facing 35 pounds, forward-facing 40 pounds).
When installing using the LATCH system, these weight limits must not be exceeded so you need to always monitor the baby’s weight in order to know that it is time to switch installation using the car seatbelt.
Graco Extend2fit’s InRight LATCH system makes it easy to install in rear-facing.
Yet, its rear-facing installation with vehicle seatbelt is reportedly most troublesome because it is hard to thread the belt in the rear-facing belt path, which is physically smaller than the forward-facing belt path.
The leg extender and also the harness cover/padding should be put away once the Extend2fit seat is to be installed forward-facing.
Diono Radian 3RXT:
Parents who bought the 3RXT seat reported that they had to really pull hard on the seatbelt to achieve a tight installation.
Rather than exhaustingly read through a user manual, at least one parent even recommended watching online visual demos and videos instead. These videos will prove to be very helpful especially to clueless first-time parents.
Other reviewers mentioned how it can be somewhat annoying to access the LATCH connectors because they are covered by the new seat cover of this product.
Installation of Radian 3RXT, like other Radian models, involves the attachment of its base, which will apparently determine its recline position according to the slope of your vehicle seat.
In rear-facing, however, and especially for infants, it is hard to achieve proper recline because it has just one recline angle.
If your vehicle seat is sloped (the edge at the front is higher than the edge at the rear), the child restraint will be too upright for your baby.
Meanwhile, for vehicle seats that have flatter or have raised bight (the crack in between the seat bottom and the back of the seat), a better recline can be achieved.
The rear-facing belt path has been found hard to use by average/big-handed parents when they need to fit either the seatbelt or the SuperLATCH through this belt path.
Therefore, tightening the belt can also be a challenge, but not impossible. Patience, as they say, is the key.
In forward-facing, the car seat must be properly tethered.
You need to call Diono and request a locking clip if your vehicle seatbelt requires one. Nonetheless, locking clips may be used interchangeably between vehicles so you could use the one you might already have.
Diono Radian 3RXT
|Country Of Origin:|
|Side Impact Tested:|
|Approved For Airplane Use:|
|Easy To Buckle And Unbuckle?|
|Headrest (# Of Positions):|
|Crotch Strap Positions:|
China-made non-supporters would quickly choose Diono Radian 3RXT without even looking at the complete list of Extend2Fit’s features. However, both seats have been proven in real-life accident scenarios to have really effective safety features.
In the competition of headrest positions and crotch strap positions, the emerging winner will be the Radian 3RXT. It has a 12-position headrest and 3-position crotch strap (vs the 10-position headrest and 2-position crotch strap of Extend2Fit).
The superiority of the Radian 3RXT in these aspects is expected since its promise is to be used until the booster mode.
Given as a gift to them, one mother said that in a minor accident where they were rear-ended while on the stop, the Extend2Fit secured their sleeping baby.
Hailed as a great car seat by another reviewer, their children aged 3 and 1 years old were not injured even a bit after they had the horrible experience of rolling over 6 times at a speed of 70 mph.
In spite of this, there was a report about how the warning labels on the cushion might not be safe for kids and could cause the child’s skin to be burned during hot weather because the label is screen printed on the fabric.
Extend2Fit has fuss-free harness storage pockets where buckle tongs can be stored away to make buckling your child in the seat “easier.”
However, despite this, it can be hard to deal with Extend2fit’s 5-point harness system. Many parents said that it is hard to get the straps to be tight enough to pass the pinch test. If your harness strap doesn’t pass the pinch test, it is not safe.
Diono Radian 3RXT:
The grandparents’ car horribly got in a 60-70 mph side-impact collision that made the vehicle flip in the air and then crashed into the parked cars.
Luckily, the 3-year old child was properly buckled into the Radian 3RXT so the child emerged with just a broken leg from the shattered front seats.
Another reported incident was by a mom whose car was totaled, but her youngest child endured not even a bruise or a scratch on her body.
Radian 3RXT has a Safe Stop Load Limiter, a small strap at the back left of the child restraint. This strap works by increasing the time it would take for the child to feel the force during a crash.
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|Is The Material Breathable?|
|Machine Washable Cover?|
|Comes With An Infant Body Support?|
Yes, body pads
|Easy To Remove Cover?|
|Comes With A Cup Holder?|
|Shoulder Harness Has Pads?|
If you live in a place where the weather and climate are usually hot and humid, you should opt for the Diono Radian 3RXT because its breathable cover may help keep the child cool and comfortable while sitting.
Graco Extend2Fit, meanwhile, will be a better choice if you are choosing which of the two you can take with you when you travel since it much lighter in weight. However, Radian 3RXT can be folded, which makes can make it compact for carrying or storage.
In terms of making adjustments in the harness straps, Extend2Fit will provide you with more ease because of its no-rethread harness.
Choose the Diono Radian 3RXT if you want to get a child restraint whose cover you can quickly remove and wash.
As for the cup holders, the Extend2Fit might be disadvantageous since it can only hold feeding bottles and sippy cups with smaller radius because the cupholders are squarish in shape.
Radian 3RXT’s cup holders may be placed in any of the four available slots so it offers more flexibility.
The Extend2fit car seat could be adequately padded for some, but the fabric of the cover is what seems to make children sweat a lot while sitting there. The weave of the fabric is reportedly loose that some parents think will only make the cover more prone to dirt.
Reported nuisances regarding Extend2fit include slumping the child’s head due to inadequate recline, trouble in tightening/loosening straps, and failure to tighten the seat belt and LATCH.
Extend2Fit is notorious for having a cover that is difficult and time-consuming to remove because it is secured on the frame using small bands of elastic in various places.
Diono Radian 3RXT:
In rear-facing, the cover can be easily removed for washing. In forward-facing, you will find that it cannot be removed unless you uninstall it first. Initially, the new full-wrap cover of the Radian 3RXT might seem only to make it more streamlined.
However, you would come to appreciate how this sleek appearance helps make things look better. With the full-wrap cover, you would not be annoyed at the sight of the inserted/stored adjustment mechanisms, tether straps, etc.
The wrap even has a pocket for the user manual.
This full wrap also serves for practical purposes such as preventing anything from getting caught in the open frame of the back while you move it around such as for scanning in the airport.
Its padding is also made from memory foam, which makes it comfortable to sit on. You need to rethread its harness if you wish to make any adjustments, so this seat is not that convenient to use in this regard.
There is an approximately USD 100 price difference between the Graco Extend2fit and the Diono Radian 3RXT. The Radian 3RXT is more expensive. Let’s see why is that so.
- It has a higher forward-facing height limit.
- It can be used until booster mode (120 pounds).
- It is known for its slim profile, a good feature when you are trying to fit three car seats in a row.
- It is made in the USA.
- It is easier to buckle and unbuckle the five-point harness.
- It has more headrest positions.
- It has an extra crotch strap position.
- It’s made of breathable seat materials.
- It is easier to remove the seat cover for washing.
- It can be folded to be more “compact” for traveling.
- It comes with crotch pads.
Now let’s see what you’ll get from saving your money with the Graco Extend2fit.
- It has a higher rear-facing weight and height limit.
- It has a leg extension tray to accommodate the growing height of a child.
- In the rear-facing mode, it is easier to install by LATCH.
- In the forward-facing mode, it is easier to install by the seatbelt.
- It has more recline positions.
- It has a higher lower anchor weight limit.
- It is lighter in weight.
- It has a no-rethread 5-point harness.
Honestly, If I am choosing between the Extend2fit and the old model of the Diono Radian 3RXT (which is the RXT), I would choose the Diono despite its shortcomings.
But the changes in the new Diono Radian 3RXT’s seat, especially the added back cover, make it more of a challenge when it comes to installation. A safely installed seat is the primary gauge if you will have a safe passenger.
Now here’s the challenge. In choosing the Extend2fit over the Diono, you need to tighten the seat harness in a way that will pass the pinch test.
And because the seat buckles can be hard to release, you need to be sure that you can safely get your child out from the seat in emergency situations that calls for it.
It seems that it will boil down to two things. Something you can control versus something you cannot control.
What exactly do I mean?
Something you can control:
With the Diono Radian 3RXT, I can patiently learn and deal with installation hassles. As soon as I have a safely-installed seat, the rest of its shortcomings can be easier to deal with.
A buckled child is only safe in the Extend2fit as long as the little passenger is safely buckled up with the five-point harness (i.e. you really need to pass the pinch test).
Both of these shortcomings are controllable by users. And they would now all be depending on your patience in dealing with both of the seats’ shortcomings.
Something you cannot control:
Despite its downsides, most parents seem to choose the Graco Extend2fit because of its hassle-free features.
The older version of the Diono Radian 3RXT (which is the RXT), seems to be more favored by parents, but those days are gone. Diono has yet to gain the consumers’ trust, especially after their voluntary recall.