Product Review: Diono Rainier 2AXT Car Seat
Diono was kind enough to send us their Rainier 2AXT car seat and I couldn’t be more excited to review it! Our little peanut has been outgrowing her infant car seat for a little while now, so this Diono arrived at just the perfect time. On the Diono website they have six different car seats to choose from and I selected the Rainier 2AXT. I specifically chose this car seat not only because of the ample lateral and head support, but also because of the the space-saving design. This car seat is designed to fit somewhat narrow at the base so you are able to fit three car seats side-by-side if you chose to do so. How cool is that? I also loved how this particular model allowed for rear-facing up to 50lbs and forward-facing up to 120lbs. The Rainier 2AXT also comes in six different color options, and I chose their dark grey.
The car seat arrived relatively quickly after ordering and Diono’s customer service was fantastic. I recruited the Hubby to help because car seats are notorious for being a pain in the butt to install (or atleast in my personal experience they have been) Unfortunately for us, installing this car seat was no easier. Maybe we just have poor luck?
After taking everything out of the box and reading through the instruction manual, we were ready to install. Since our little one is just at 24lbs, we ended up installing her seat using the provided latch and detachable rear base. This method of rear-facing installation can be used until she is 35lbs and at that time we will switch from the latch to the shoulder/lap belt, which is appropriate for use up until 50lbs.
I also prefer to have my car seat placed in the middle seat instead of behind the driver or passenger seat. Personally, I feel it’s the safest spot for my little one to be if I were to get T-boned or in any type of a wreck.
I love how this photo shows just how narrow this car seat is at the base. It doesn’t spill over into either seat, leaving passengers with ample space in the backseat. I was so pleasantly surprised and happy to see this, which made me even happier with my decision to go with Diono for our “big girl car seat” upgrade.
I would be lying if I said installing this car seat was a breeze for us. We initially attempted to install it utilizing the shoulder belt method because like I already stated above, that method of installation would last until our girl reaches 50lbs and ultimately is able to then forward-face. Well, we tried to install it that way but couldn’t get it tight and snug enough no matter what we did. After about 30 frustrated minutes or so, we gave in and ended up utilizing the lap belt method with an additional tether cord for stability which ran from the top of the car seat (on the back of it) down underneath my passenger seat and attaching behind the passenger seat. (I am SO HAPPY that Diono includes this additional safety feature. I have never seen this with a convertible car seat before!) This installation method is appropriate until our girl reaches 35lbs and we will unfortunately have to re-install the car seat using the shoulder belt method. Hopefully when that time comes, we are able to figure out how to make it tighter and more secure. Regardless, we will also utilize the tether as an extra safety “buffer” because, why not?
After completing installation, I added on the provided cupholder which can install on either side of the carseat and also chose to leave the padded shoulder straps on because they felt so amazing and comfortable. Honestly, the quality of the car seat is impressive to say the least. The seat itself is made using memory foam and the fabric is amazing, completely different than the cheap feel of many other car seats i’ve looked at at local retailers. The frame of the seat is constructed from high strength steel with side impact protection and aluminum reinforcement, giving you extra piece of mind if ever in the event of an accident.
Overall I would give this car seat a 9.5 out of 10. The only reason I won’t award it a perfect 10 out of 10 is because of how mildly frustrating and lengthy the installation process was for us. The car seat itself is beautiful, comfortable, and will certainly be the one and only car seat turned booster seat my child will ever need. This product is built to last, offers the most head/neck/shoulder support and protection I have ever seen, and is incredibly space-saving! The Rainier 2AXT has a price point of $349.99-$449.99 which I find to be appropriate for the high-quality, luxury-feel it provides. I highly recommend this product to anyone in search for a convertible car-seat. The quality is just outstanding and my girl loves riding in her “big girl seat.”
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