Perfect fit for a bucket seat
July 2, 2020
This is our 7th car seat and the only reason I bought it was to fit it in a bucket seat of Mitsubishi 3000GT. So my review will be mostly devoted to that and could be related to 2+2 sport or GT cars with very limited space for rear seats, which are usually done as bucket seat. Except for 3000GT, I can think of Nissan GTR, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Nissan 300ZX (2+2 version) etc.
Overall Diono Radian 3RXT looks very solid, designed with both kids and parents in mind, looks very comfortable and safe for a child, and is designed to keep everything together (belt are secured and not hanging, fabrics are zipped or on velcro etc.).
So as I mentioned before it fits well in a very tight spot of 3000GT bucket seat giving some room to the kid. Although it is very tight, but is the only seat I could adjust to fit in there. Securing the seat in the 3000GT wasn't easy as the belt strapped behind the back is not tight enough, so I ended up using it as a "lap belt" strapping. But that gives too much slack in the upper side. To fix that an anchoring point is needed. Specifically in 3000GT I could find 3 anchoring points (there's no one from the factory):
1) with the help of auxiliary strap supplied with the seat to the back of the trunk (a loop could be made around one of the brackets). The only issue with it is I don't find it secure in case of impact from the rear. Although the car is very solid and can take a pretty severe hit from the back, if the trunk gets bent in that spot, the anchoring point loosens and that could be a safety issue. That's what I'm going to show on pictures, but would recommend only as a temporary solution.
2) Parcel bracket used for tying up luggage right behind the rear seats. The bracket itself is not big and is being held by 1 bolt, but since it is done in addition to the main belt, it should be able to manage. The only issue is that the bracket is not easy to find. I'm also trying to use a mopar tether from Dodge Dakota as a replacement for that rare bracket. That's what I will probably end up doing.
3) Probably the most secured way of anchoring would be a rear strut bar. The most expensive anchoring point but if you have one, not only the car seat could be fixed to it, but it also gives some more rigidity to the rear part of the chassis. Potentially a mod to consider.
Pros- Narrow but with enough room for the kid
- Small base allowing it to be fixed in "bucket" seats (e.g. Mitsubishi 3000GT)
- No parts hanging out of the car seat, everything has a spot to be secured at
- A removable cup holder that could be put on either side
- Has support for rear facing position, making it very comfortable for that position
- Secure pads for side impacts
- Universal car seat for different ages
- Foldable so could be used for travel, although a bit heavy compared to "travelers'" seats, but that comes at a cost of being secure and solid enough to be used every day
- Nice design. Looks good in real life, in my personal opinion
Cons- A bit heavy although positioned as a traveler seat. But to me it's not really a cons item as the heavier the more secure
- Synthetic material, even though it is designed to be breathable. Not sure how is it going to be taken by my kid in summer
- A bit tricky assembly of a cup holder. Made me look it up on YouTube
Best Uses- Tight cars, or when 3 in a row is needed
- Bucket seats of sports cars but might need a fit test as could be very tight
- Somewhat for travels, as it folds well, but might be a bit heavy if you're looking for "light" travels
- All the ages, including rear facing as it comes with a proper support to maintain the comfortable angle