Reviews Archive

2019 Diono Radian 3RXT Review: Diono Updates the Classic Folding Carseat

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2019 Diono Radian 3RXT Review

Like its predecessor, the Radian RXT, the Diono 3RXT fills a niche for parents and caregivers looking for a narrow carseat that will grow with their child. The Radian line of seats has always been known for being 3-across friendly. Families with mid-sized vehicles and 3 kids are often well-served by Radians; I had one in my Civic for years when I had to fit a toddler and two teenagers in the back regularly. The current Radian series, the 3R3RX, 3RXT, and 3RXT JMC (Just My Color, a customizable fashion scheme) all share the Radian platform but extra features distinguish them from each other. We have a previous review of the recently discontinued RXT and the basic features and functions are very similar. This review will cover the basics and point out the updates to the new Diono 3RXT.

Radian 3RXT Weight and Height Limits

◦ Rear-facing: 5-45 lbs., height 44″ or less, and at least 1.5” of carseat above the child’s head*
◦ Forward-facing: 20-65 lbs., at least 1-year-old, height 57″ or less, child’s shoulders are not above top harness slots
◦ Highback booster: 50-120 lbs., 40-57” tall, and child’s shoulders must be at or above the 4th set of harness slots

*See Fit to Child section

some state laws have higher minimum age or weight requirements for riding forward-facing – find your state law here.

Radian 3RXT Overview

◦ 5 harness slot heights
◦ 12-position headrest
◦ 3 crotch/buckle strap positions
◦ Safe Stop Load Limiter
◦ Full steel reinforced frame and aluminum reinforced sides
◦ Folds flat for travel and storage
◦ Lined with EPS foam
◦ Rear-facing tether capability
◦ Deluxe push-on latch connectors
◦ One of the narrowest convertibles on the market: makes 3-across much easier
◦ Low profile makes loading and unloading child easier

3RXT Updates:

◦ 65 lb. weight limit for the harness (this is more realistic than the previous 90 lb. weight limit)
◦ Full wrap cover makes for neat and tidy storage of unused straps and accessories on the back of the seat

 

Never-Ending Winter and a Follow-Up Review of the Buckle Me Baby Coat

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I think this has been a rough winter for most states. I know I should feel grateful for getting a million inches of rain here in the South vs a million inches of snow everywhere else but man, my mud is even getting tired of itself. Just when we have a nice 70-degree day, it drops to 30 and we get freezing rain. It’s gray, it’s gloomy, it’s gross, and I’m just done. I’m also sick of the constant piles of jackets strewn about. One of our most used is the beloved red jacket from Buckle Me Baby Coats. Dahlia with BMBC (Buckle Me Baby Coats) reached out to me earlier to see how we were doing with our coat. We love it! In case you missed it, I did a full review on our BMB Coat here. In a nutshell, it’s a nifty car seat safe coat that closes OVER the harness of your car seat instead of under them.

Declan is now 5 years old and about 43 inches and 35 lbs and our jacket still fits! He no longer has any growing room but hey, we got two seasons out of it! As you can see below, he’s still rocking it. He’s currently riding in a harnessed seat, but I took a picture of him in my 8-year old’s booster to show how this type of jacket will continue to grow with him as he moves up in stages of safety seats.

This is his big brother’s booster and the photo was taken entirely for the purpose of showing how the coat works in a booster seat. Declan is still riding in a harnessed seat.

So what’s new over at BMBC? Well, they have two new fashions! They are limited edition and include a cozy sherpa lining and a hood! You can see them below. “Hello Cupcake” is a super cute blush color and “Tornado” is the exact color you’d expect with a name like that—a really nice slate gray. Get them here on the BMBC website!

Lastly, as of this past fall, they have a trade up program! If you donate an outgrown BMBC, you receive a $20 credit toward the purchase of a new one. If you donate a regular coat, you get a $10 credit. Quality coats can be pricey, so the credits are a great way to offload some of that cost! They also offer a preorder program to order ahead for next season, and change your size any time before it’s delivered, if needed. The donated BMBC are given to local children in wheelchairs and the traditional coats are donated to refugee children from Syria. Such a great way to ensure your kids aren’t the only ones to benefit from your purchase.

All coats can be found on the BMBC website: Bucklemecoats.com.

Thank you again, Dahlia, for keeping us warm and safe for another winter. <3

I received no compensation from BMBC and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

2019 Clek Liing Review: Nothing Short of AmazLiing

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Clek Liing Infant Carseat First Look Review

In a market filled to the brim with good rear-facing only (RFO) infant carseats, it’s not easy to make one that stands out. So many features that used to be luxuries are now standard, and coming up with something truly unique is a rarity lately. For the last 2 years, we’ve all been waiting to see what Clek would bring to the RFO table. Since they have a history of innovative designs and advanced safety features, the expectations were high. I’m happy to report that I recently got my hands on a final demo model of the Clek Liing and let me just say, you won’t be disappointed. At the risk of spoiling all the good stuff, let’s just jump right in.

Clek Liing Overview

  • 4-35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall (must have 1 inch of shell above head)
  • Rigid lower LATCH anchor connectors that extend up to 8 inches
  • Metal load leg for crash stability
  • Belt-tensioning system in base
  • 7-position recline adjuster built into base (folks, hold onto your hats!)
  • European belt routing for baseless install
  • Extendable canopy with peekaboo window, 100+ SPF
  • 2-piece shell for ventilation and side impact protection
  • EPP energy-absorbing foam lining the shell
  • 2-stage infant insert
  • Narrow enough for 3 across
  • 3 fabric options (jersey knit, C-Zero+ and 100% Merino Wool), all are free of brominated and chlorinated flame-retardants and the wool fashion is also free of all flame retardants
  • 9-year lifespan before expiration
  • MSRP $399-$479 (depending on fabric)

 

Liing Fabrics & Fashions

Jersey Knit fashions are Chrome & Carbon: this fabric is a lightweight polyester-spandex blend that feels as soft as comfy pajamas and is also free of brominated and chlorinated flame-retardants.

 

C-Zero+ fashions are Thunder & Slate: this a Crypton fabric with a moisture barrier that is fluorine-free in addition to being free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.

 

Merino Wool fashion is Mammoth: luxuriously soft 100% non-mulesed Merino Wool is free of all chemical flame-retardants and is naturally temperature regulating.

 

Liing Measurements

Here Comes Our Circus – A Review of the Keenz Stroller Wagon!

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Well. It happened. The newest Carseatblog baby is here, and she’s actually the reason for this review! I will be honest though and say I started on this and took pictures months ago when she was still in Hotel Utero but life with busy older boys got in my way because by the time I sat down to write this, I’d pass out in pregnancy exhaustion. Enough of the excuses though, she’s a few months old and napping so here we go!

Both my older boys play baseball and with that comes lots and lots of stuff. We were hauling everything to a game one evening and I was thinking how the heck I was going to push a stroller and carry coolers and snacks and folding chairs at the same time. The boys can’t help because they’ve already got their bags and sports junk. Sure, I could babywear, and I do, but I need a place to set her down to chill when I’m helping in the field (let’s not have an episode of Foul Ball Meets Baby) and a stroller is best for that. Enter the Keenz Stroller Wagon. I read about it and it seemed perfect because we were already planning on getting a utility wagon from Costco or some other place and this was basically combining our stroller with the utility wagon.  So is that a stragon? Or a wagoller?

  

I quickly found out that it wasn’t as easy as I thought to score one. Apparently, everyone else thinks they’re awesome too. I was excited to find out what the hype was all about, so after a promo code search and my husband thinking I was insane, a green Keenz was on its way to our house!

It arrived quickly and was super easy to set up. I was impressed by the way it went together and how it looked, but the true test would be the push when weighted down! It came with the wagon/stroller itself, canopy and a storage bag for the canopy since you can’t fold it with the canopy on (we will get to that later), a cupholder, a cooler, and a cover for the whole thing to keep it clean when it’s folded and stored.

The canopy is super easy to put on. You just open it and click the arms into the holes on the wagon itself, then put the fabric over the canopy frame. It’s tall enough to accommodate bigger kids and has these nifty drop-down shades to completely enclose the seating area if you wish, or just on one side to block the sun. They roll up and out of the way when not in use. It also unzips around the top and leaves just a mesh covering for ventilation. One thing I noticed though is that it does bunch up a bit for me around the poles. It stays on and doesn’t affect functionality but still irritated me nonetheless. You can purchase a rain cover separately for rainy outdoor days as well as mosquito netting and a wind cover.

The canopy folded in its bag.

The frame is super lightweight and made of aluminum, so the total weight of the stroller wagon is 32lbs. Not featherweight but pretty dang good for something so beastly. The fold isn’t horrible but you’re not going to be doing it one handed. However, this is not a stroller so I don’t expect it to fold as one. For what it is, I find the fold totally reasonable and takes me just a minute or two to load it up. Will it fit in your car? Maybe. Let’s get to the dimensions. When opened and the canopy on, it’s about 25.6in long, 19.2 in wide, and 43.3in tall. Folded it maintains it’s width and goes to 13in in length and 23.2in tall. It fits fine in my van and stores easily under my sewing table at home.

Now, the important part. The push! I was very impressed. The best thing about this and what sets it apart from regular wagons is that it can be pushed or pulled. There is an adjustable handle on either side so you can choose what end to push/pull from (I found that pushing it on the end with the bigger wheels was easier when weighted down). I had both my 5-year-old and 8-year-old sitting in it together (it has a weight limit of 110lbs) and was able to easily push it up and down my street as well as turn around. They didn’t have a lot of room but obviously, my 8-year-old wouldn’t be riding in it for the most part. My 5-year-old had plenty of room to stretch out when he was riding by himself. For those baseball days, the baby will have tons of room to lay, roll around, play with toys, etc all while being protected by the canopy.

My 8 year old fits great although it’s not really meant for him!

All in all, I’m happy with it and think it’s going to be a great addition to our family with 3 kids. To summarize, here’s the nitty gritty:

Pros:

  • The sheer usefulness for a busy, active family. Having one thing to carry all our junk and be a place to stash the baby is better than strollers and bags and having our hands full.
  • The canopy. Yes, you could go out and buy a Radio Flyer wagon for cheaper but this canopy simply can’t be beaten. Blocking the elements, providing a quiet shaded place for naps, blocking wind…it’s just an addition I think is worth it.
  • 5-pt harnesses on both ends to prevent head dives onto the pavement if the child stands up.
  • The push. No, it’s not going to glide with one finger like your stroller. But it’s not a stroller. It’s a stragon. Or a wagoller. It’s big and loaded down with all your junk. For what it is, it’s a great push and a heck of a lot easier than a utility wagon when pulling.
  • Storage! I can’t even go in depth of all the various pockets and zippered areas but let’s just say if you basically bring your entire house with you when you go out, it’s gonna find a place on this thing.
  • Accessories. It comes with a nifty insulated cooler (that attaches on the back so it doesn’t take up internal space) and you can purchase various weather covers, hooks, cupholders, or even a cover in another color.

The cooler fits inside this storage basket and can be removed if you want to use the basket for something else. The basket itself folds down when not in use.

Cons:

  • The cost. It ain’t cheap. It retails for $389.99.
  • It doesn’t push well in sand, so I don’t recommend it for the beach. However, according to Keenz, beach/utility wheels will be available for purchase.
  • It’s a beast. It doesn’t leave room for much else in your trunk and may not even fit in your trunk if you have a very small one.
  • The cover for storage isn’t user-friendly. Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t get the thing on correctly. I always had it upside down or just wrong in general and ended up just storing it in the house without the protective cover.
  • You have to disassemble the canopy to fold.

Summary:

This isn’t something you’re going to want to take in and out of your car for quick errands. However, with that said, I used it at Costco and it was amazing. The baby could lay in her boppy on one end and I could put my items in the other end and keep the shades down to protect her from all the winter junk/people’s hacking. I definitely can’t fit Costco stuff in my stroller basket!

Overall the Keenz Stroller Wagon is pretty nifty!  While it definitely is a niche item, I think it’s very useful for the niche it fills. Would I recommend it as a stroller replacement? No. As a utility wagon replacement? Nope (I mean, it would work fine as one but I’m not spending that much on a utility wagon). But as a place to store your kids AND your junk together? Totally. So stragon on! Or wagoller on. Whatever.

The Keenz is available at Amazon and from www.keenz.us. It comes in black, gray, green, or purple.

No monetary compensation was provided from Keenz and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.