After my son was hospitalized for a virus last year, my husband and I decided to keep our travels local. You think you have it all figured out by the third kid, but then they throw you for a loop. While we aren’t naive to the fact that any one of us can become ill while on vacation regardless of our method of travel, we prefer to stay grounded and not too far from home. Since last year we’ve taken at least one car trip a month and pretty much have it down pat. We’ve become efficient in knowing what to bring and traveling as light as possible with three kids.
Keeping the kids comfortable in the car has posed other challenges for us. My husband and I can both agree that we like to get to our destination as quickly as possible with limited stops. My kids, on the other hand, like the idea of inspecting every rest stop, needing full meals every hour, and needing a general break from the car. I can’t blame them! Our Most recent car ride to Hershey, PA (5 hours, 2 spent in extreme traffic) was made more comfortable for our kids with their Diono car seats. Let me elaborate more-
All three of my kids are in Diono car seats- my oldest in a Radian RXT set up as a high back booster, my little guy in a rear facing Rainier, and my middle girl in her new forward facing black plum Rainier. You might wonder why we decided to stick with Diono for all our kids and what makes them superior over other car seats. The answer is simple- steel beams. On an impact, which do you think would protect you better- plastic or steel? If you answered steel you are correct. Plastic snaps easy while steel can take a beating.
Another reason we chose Diono is the ability to fit three in a row. In my car we have a third row, so we have the kids split between both rows, but in my husbands sedan we can get all three Dionos in. If the slim design and high safety rating aren’t great reasons to choose Diono, then think about value. They may seem to come with a higher price tag but these car seats last you 10 years! That’s the longest on the market and offer extended rear facing features. You can use the Diono Rainier from newborn through booster-seat-age, and everything you need to convert your seat throughout various stages is already in the box. The Diono Rainier comes with infant inserts which are easy to add or remove. The 5 point harness can be taken out to make way for a seatbelt when the time comes. The Diono Rainier holds up to 90 pounds rear facing and 120 forward facing. I joke with my husband that my kids will be taking their drivers ed courses in their Diono car seats because they would probably still fit in them!
This full featured car seat with all the bells and whistles of infant inserts and a cup holder retails at $379, which breaks down to less than $40 a year for the course of 10 years. That’s not a bad deal, after all, for a seat that grows with your child and provides optimal safety features.
You can check out Diono to learn more, and purchase your seat in a variety of colors at Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us, and other car seat retailers.