The Way Forward?
When I was first in the business of growing babies and buying equipment, extended rearward facing wasn’t something that was on my radar. Back in 2010, facing your kids backwards in car seats beyond Stage 0 wasn’t really talked about, at least not in the baby shops in which I frequently handed over fistfuls of cash, or even in my parenting circles. If it was, I’d probably have been all over it. There’s none more earnest and conscientious than a first time parent, after all.
By all accounts, the savvy Scandinavians have been at the practice for ages. By the time the debate kicked off here in Ireland, my seats had been bought and I’d tuned out a bit, my kids happily facing forward from the age of one. My youngest is now two and has been using her elder siblings’ forward-facing seat since she outgrew the infant seat that came with our first travel system.
The New Norm
While children aren’t required by law to remain rearward facing beyond nine months in Ireland, there have been murmurings for quite a while now about impending regulations that will keep little ones rearward facing for longer. There’s no shortage of research out there to suggest that rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby’s head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats and experts and retailers alike are firmly stating that it’s best to keep your baby in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible.
OK. So clearly a woman who has been practicing extended rearward facing for a wet week isn’t in much of a position to preach about its benefits, so I won’t. But if you have a little rummage around the web, you’ll be able to make up your own mind. Here’s the RSA’s take on it.
Our Review of the Diono Radian 5
When I was offered the chance to review the Diono Radian 5, I didn’t hesitate. Partly because I had been hearing and thinking a lot about extended rearward-facing and partly because it’s one of the slimmest high back boosters on the market when facing forward – we’ve recently changed our car from a seven-seater with three full seats in the middle row back to a five-seater and things are a lot tighter back there.
Functionality (Group 0, 0+, 1 and 2)
Durability, Safety & Reliability
I’d be lying if I said the installation was a walk in the park. There’s no winging this one without instructions. There are lots of parts and straps and buckles and if you’re someone who’s used to the instant gratification of an ISOFIX click, then you’ll find this cumbersome and laborious by comparison. ISOFIX is unable to hold as much weight as a car seat which uses a seat belt and tether, hence the Radian 5’s capacity to cater for 25kg.
The instruction manual left us scratching our heads initially, and it took (two of us) a while, even after consulting online video tutorials.
However, in it’s defence, a car seat that’s going to offer such a huge range of functionality isn’t going to be straightforward really, is it? We forgive you, Diono.
Getting our daughter in and out is simple and straightforward and the straps are easily adjustable. I’ve had no complaints from my rear-traveling passenger so far, who, from what I can see, is enjoying the first class travel experience. I did fear that she wouldn’t like facing backwards when her siblings were facing the opposite way, but she doesn’t seem bothered. I do need to root out the old mirror I used when she was an infant though, so I can see what she’s up to.
Another feature that impressed us was the additional angle adjuster pad that Diono sent us to to use with the seat. It’s easy to position underneath the car seat in rear-facing mode and it adjusts the angle of the seat to a more upright position to allow for extra leg room for passengers in the front – a feature welcomed by my long-legged husband!
Oh. And it comes with a cup-holder as standard, which is more than I can say for my last car.
The Diono Radian 5 car seat retails for anything between €250 and €400, which, even at the higher end isn’t unreasonable considering it can be used up to age 7. Shop for a Diono Radian 5 on Amazon ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>here.
We’re more than happy with the Diono Radian 5, now that we have it installed and have come to understand its ways! We love the peace of mind that a car seat of this calibre offers and for now, our little passenger is happy to be rear facing. I’m confident that when we choose to turn the seat around, we’ll be grateful for the narrow base width in the back row.
For more info on the Radian 5, including installation videos, visit the Diono website.
Do you practice extended rear facing beyond the infant stage? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
- I was sent a Radian 5 car seat from Diono for the purpose of this review. As always, I’ve written honestly and all words and opinions are my own.
- This post contains affiliate links. Shinners & the Brood is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. To find out more, please read my Disclosure page.