Expert Review: Diono Radian 3R Latch All-in-One Convertible Car Seat and Booster

Published on 03/26/2023 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the car seat and booster, which I purchased with my own money and have used for three years.
Kathleen Sarb, Baby Expert
By Baby Expert Kathleen Sarb

All photos courtesy of Kathleen Sarb

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the car seat and booster, which I purchased with my own money and have used for three years.

My take

I absolutely love my Diono Radian 3R Latch All-in-One Convertible Car Seat and Booster. It is perfect for smaller cars or families with multiple children.

About the car seat I own

  • Model: 2020 Diono Radian 3R
  • Configuration: Rear-facing, forward-facing, about to transition to seat belt booster
  • Intended age group: Infants—school age

Test conditions

  • When I used the product: 2020–current
  • Child’s age range: 6 months–5 years old
  • Lifestyle: Suburban and rural
  • Frequency of Use: Used daily
  • Vehicle: 2016 Ford Fusion, 2019 Ford Escape, 2020 Chrysler Voyager

How it performs

Ease of Cleaning
Ease of Use
Setup Ease

What I was looking for

I was looking for a car seat that was narrow and easy to install, and was also versatile for different ages. Working as a nanny, I needed something that could be durable enough to withstand a lot of use from children ages six months to five years.

Why I chose this car seat

I decided on the Diono Radian 3R because of the ability to fit three seats across in my Ford Fusion. I loved that I could use it for rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster. It is also relatively affordable for a long-term option. I considered a few other options, but ultimately chose Diono for the ability to fit three children across comfortably. The seat is also really sturdy and durable to withstand years of use.

What I love about it

  • Installation: The installation is quick and easy. I used the Diono installation videos for the first install but never needed to use these again because the process is so straightforward. There is an option for a rigid latch install or seat belt install for rear and forward facing. There is also a rear anchor for both rear and forward facing. The straps are easy to tighten and can be simply loosened with the push of a button to move or uninstall.
  • Ease of use: Once installed, the straps are easy to adjust and tighten based on the child's current size. As one’s child grows, one can easily move the straps up.
  • Design: The product design is very sleek and simple. The fabric stays nice and cool in the summer. One can choose which side to install the cupholders as well.
  • Quality & Durability: This Diono seat has really impressed me with how durable it is and how well it has withstood daily use for the last four years. It is in the same shape it was in since the day I pulled it out of the box, even after being used by children of all ages. It has even held up to washing after stomach bugs.
  • Versatility: The most versatile feature of this convertible car seat is how long it can grow with one’s child while still maintaining durability and safety. Most long-term seats wear down over time. This option can easily last until around the age of ten in booster mode.
  • Ease of Cleaning: The fabric seat cover and strap covers are machine washable, but the fabric is so wipeable that I rarely have to take it off and run it through the wash. The straps wipe clean easily as well.
  • Aesthetics: I like the range of color options, but I really like how sleek and simple the design is.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Weight: This convertible car seat is a little on the heavier side but relatively lightweight, considering it has a steel-reinforced frame. Though I wouldn’t recommend it for people who are moving between cars daily.

Value for the money vs. other options

For me, it is 100% worth it to spend the money on this car seat that grows with one’s child and actually lasts long-term. A lot of other all-in-one options don’t withstand the test of time. Another similarly priced option is the Graco 4Ever Convertible Car Seat. While it is advertised as an all-in-one, my sister-in-law had to replace hers after only two years due to the wear and tear of its plastic parts and its lower-quality fabric.

Final verdict

Overall, this car seat is a great option for growing children and growing families. Its performance and durability are top-notch.

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