Baby Gizmo Spotlight Review: Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL

Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL

If you are just entering the convertible car seat search, you know how utterly overwhelming the choices can be.  Weight limits, safety features and even fabric designs begin to blur together.  However, the Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL, with high weight limits, heavy duty construction, foldable portability and a narrow frame might be the light at the end of the tunnel!

Sunshine Kids has recently become Diono, which has brand new Radian models, but you can still get your hands on some products from their previous lines.  The Radian family of seats have the highest weight capacity available among convertible car seats, accommodating infants and toddlers from 5-45 pounds rear-facing, and kids 20 pounds to a whopping 80 pounds forward-facing.  With the new recommendation to rear-face children as long as possible, the 45 pound weight limit (compared to 35-40 pounds in other seats) extends the time your little one can be in the safest position possible.  The Radian not only exceeds the mandatory US safety standards, but passed the voluntary NCAP severe crash testing.

Sunshine Kids/Diono also addressed another safety issue for older children with the Radian: improper LATCH installation.  Most seats instruct users to switch from LATCH installation to seatbelt installation when a child reaches 40 pounds – surprised?  This conversion leads to increased likelihood of improper installation.  However, the Radian XTSL allows for the seat to be LATCH-installed up to 80 pounds using the Super-LATCH straps.  In addition, since the 80 pound limit means you’ll be able to use this seat longer, the Radian is approved for 8 years of use (if purchased brand new; as with all car seats, check the manufacturing date to be sure you’re still within the approved window).

The Radian XTSL is compact and portable, making it great for multi-kid families (it fits 3-across in many cars) and world travelers (FAA approved).  The seat folds up into the seatback, attaching with a velcro strap, allowing the seat to fold flat for travel, and comes with a detachable carrying strap for portability (a second strap, which can be purchased separately, converts Radian to be carried as a backpack.)  Despite the folding and narrow frame, this is no wimpy seat – aluminum-reinforced sides and a steel-alloy frame make this seat sturdy and safe, and worth the extra few pounds to carry.

Additional safety and comfort features include padded infant support pillows, padded shoulder straps, aluminum-reinforced adjustable head support for taller children, forward- and rear-facing tether, 5 shoulder harness positions, three lower-buckle positions and a variety of plush fabric choices.  A travel bag is available separately.

If you are looking for superior safety features and comfort for your growing child, look no further than the Radian XTSL.

Plus, check out our Baby Gizmo video that shows how the XTSL makes three car seats along the back seat of a car a breeze!  “Three Convertible Car Seats in a Sedan