What are the extended rear-facing car seats available for my 13-month-old twins?
In this week’s Car Seat Chronicles, Elise advices Sue on her car seat options for her pair of twins, who seem to be outgrowing their Doona infant car seat at thirteen months. If you find yourself in a similar situation, read further to find out Elise's recommendations. Alternatively, you may listen to the podcast below. xx
At thirteen months old, Sue thinks her pair of twins are about to outgrow their Doona car seats and wonders what her next seats are. Sue gets around in Singapore with her seven-seater VW Touran, and would like to keep her kids in extended rear-facing car seats. While it is not necessary, she feels like it’s an additional plus point if the new car seat is a travel-friendly, US approved one.
Hi Sue, Elise here! Before we start, I want to bring your attention to a blog article that we wrote for another mom who thought that her son was outgrowing his Doona car seat but he wasn't. It turns out that he was going through a developmental leap (which was why he was resisting his car seat so much and making it look like he was really uncomfortable!), which happens when the kids start to walk and I’d imagine that your twins are about that point. That was the main reason of him resisting his car seat, it wasn’t that he was getting too big or that he was outgrowing it and he had at least six months left in the Doona. Since you love the Doona so much, you might like to keep using them for a while and at least delay your graduation a little bit. Hence, if you wouldn’t mind, please send me a picture of the twins in their car seats, and I can let you know how much time I think you’ve got left in that car seat.
In terms of what car seats options you have next, given your request and requirements, I reckon you should take a look at the Diono Radian range of car seats. Diono has quite a diversified range of seats inside their Radian pillar; they have different models of Radian seats available and they’ve done a pretty good job of splitting them out so it’s not simply a matter of choosing between a cheap one with cheap fabric and an expensive one with expensive fabric. If you’re confused, Diono’s the name of the brand and Radian’s the name of the car seat line. The weight ranges of the seats vary for the period you can use the seat forward-facing or as a booster, so you can click on the link and have a look at the different seats Diono offers.
There are five reasons why I suggest the Diono Radian 3R/3RX for your twins: 1) it’s safe, 2) comfortable, 3) robust, 4) narrow and 5) it offers rear-facing until eighteen kilos, which would probably keep them until they’re approximately five years old. I had a consult with a family on Saturday* and their seven-year-old was still under eighteen kilos so, it’s not so much age-related, it just really depends when they get to the point where they’re too big to use it.
The Diono Radian has a steel frame and hence it’s kind of heavy for a travel car seat but, it’s reasonably compact since the base of it folds up! I’m sorry if I’m confusing you here, I suppose the best way to describe it is: the Diono Radian is easier to travel with than most normal car seats but it’s not as easy to travel with as a travel car seat. It, however, allows you to travel with it without compromising on all of the features you’d expect from an everyday car seat, which a lot of travel car seats lack. I’ve a suspicion that some of the models from the Diono Radian range can rear-face past eighteen kilos or forty pounds but, I wouldn't recommend that you use a car seat that doesn’t have Swedish tethers past eighteen kilos. The Diono Radian doesn’t have Swedish tethers so, even if the label says you can use it past forty pounds, I’d be hesitant to do that considering the amount of rebound and vertical movement inflicted on the car seat in an event of a crash when there’s a very heavy child in there. The Diono Radian 3R model goes up to 40 pounds rear-facing, 65 pounds forward-facing (top tether required) and 100 pounds as a booster seat. On the other hand, the Diono Radian 3RX model is a tad fancier and goes up to 45 pounds rear-facing, 65 pounds forward-facing (top tether required) and 120 pounds as a booster.
If you’re looking at the range of Diono Radian car seats and you think that you might choose one because of its high rear-facing weight limit that goes past forty pounds, I’d suggest that’s not the reason to choose that car seat. You might still choose that car seat but for other reasons. The other nice thing about the Diono is that they’re robust and narrow and thus it’s no surprise that they’re well-known for fitting three passengers across the backseat of a car. That will be an additional plus point for you if you’re taking other passengers in the back with the twins.
Have a look at the links I’ve sent you and if there are things you like/dislike about the car seat let me know and I’ll refine your options. Alright, let me know if you’ve got any questions and we’ll take it from there! I’ll talk to you later, see ya! xx Elise
- Age: 13 months
- Height: 75cm
- Weight: 9kg
- Seated height: 44cm
- Seated shoulder height: 30cm
- Torso length: 20cm
Below is a guide to the above measurements:
*NOTE: this article was written before we limited our in-person services due COVID-19.
If you, like Sue, need some child restraint advice from us, simply grab a consultation session with our CPSTs. For more information, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or @taxibabyco on Facebook and Instagram. Safe travels!