Dec 8, 2008

Choosing a new car seat is not that easy

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I need to buy new car seats after our recent accident, and asked for info on the Britax Regent. I want to thank everyone who shared info, experiences, and recommendations - it was so helpful and the perfect example of why I enjoy and appreciate this blog so much.

Melissa and Shelly convinced me to give the Sunshine Radian a try - although, as easytocheck noted, it's hard for a Britax mom to switch!

The Radian (pictured) is similar to the Regent, in that it sits low and has a high weight limit of 65 or 85 pounds, depending on which model you choose. I got the Radian65 since my kids are average in height and weight, and I expect Alex will be able to use this seat for years.

The main reason I decided on the Radian over the Regent was size. The Regent is huge - I believe Melissa called it a "beast" because it's so wide. With the Radian, we should be able to fit someone in the middle - we may even be able to get a car seat in the middle, which would be nice, although I don't know if the boys will be able to tolerate being so close to each other in the back seat.

The other reason I was sold on the Radian is that it can go on an airplane - the Regent definitely can't do that. Shelly says the Radian is heavy but still quite portable, so that's reassuring.

Of course, there are always drawbacks. The biggest reason I hesitated and waffled for over a week in making my decision was that I read in a few places that the Radian can be difficult to install, particularly with a seat belt (as opposed to LATCH). Apparently the bottom of the Radian is quite flat, such that the seat does not always rest in proper position on the back seat. I could only find one reference to a successful forward-facing installation in a Nissan Altima (of which we have two), but Shelly's report that it installs easily in her Honda Accord was enough to make me decide to give it a shot.

I did insure my decision as best I could. I found a new-to-me site,, which has the Radian at just 99 cents more than Amazon, and $1 Return Shipping Insurance. The shipping insurance means that I paid a non-refundable dollar in my order, but I won't have to pay for shipping if I need to return the seats. They also offer free shipping, and my seats should arrive by the end of the week. I'll let you know how installation goes.

Image credit: Sunshine Kids Radian65 Convertible Car Seat at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I work for, and I wanted to say great choice on the Sunshine Kids. It's a great seat, especially if you have three kids in need of a car seat or a small car. I recommend it to all my friends. And thanks for mentioning us so positively in your blog! We work hard to make the shopping experience informative and easy for folks, and we take child passenger safety very seriously. Many of us are certified child passenger safety technicians, so our information is, hopefully, top notch.