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Diono Rainier Reviews – 2AX & 2AXT Convertible Seat Models

Joanne Stene
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by Joanne Stene

Diono Rainier is one part of their “Radian Line,” one of Diono’s premier convertible child car seat offerings. The goal of the Radian Line was to provide parents with a long list of unique and reliable features in a slim, compact design.

Of the three items in the line (Olympia, Pacifica, Rainier), the Rainier is the most expensive across retailers. Here, we’re going to take a look at the Rainier, it’s options, and provide an in-depth review so you’ll know whether or not it’s right for you and your child.

Diono Rainier Reviews 

The Rainier is considered a “birth to booster” car seat, adjusting to a child’s needs and accommodating them as they grow. According to the manufacturer, the Rainier 2AXT can support children until they reach a weight of 120 pounds.

Its profile is thin enough that it can fit three across in almost any vehicle, or easily fit into tighter spaces safely and securely.

Though the Rainier was subject to a recall in 2017, most users did not return the seats. Instead, buyers received a kit that helped reinforce the unit and increase its performance in case of an accident. The recall only affected models produced between 2013 and 2017.

Even throughout the recall, the Rainier remained one of the best reviews and highest performing seats on the market.

The Rainier is currently available in two different models: the 2AXT and the 2AX. Each has its individual unique specifications, price, pros, and cons, which we will go over in detail.

1. Diono Rainier 2AX Review

diono-rainier-2ax
The Rainier is the more basic of the two models, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver plenty of convenience for the price. Like most Diono designs, the goal of the Rainier 2AX is to keep the child rear facing for a much longer time.

With this model, parents can keep their child facing the back of the car until they reach 50 lbs.

The Rainier 2AX does not have the booster option included with the 2AXT, but it can still accommodate children until they reach 65 pounds, or approximately eight years old.

The unit features a steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides as well as memory foam cushioning, infant support cushions, and adjustable shoulder and lap belt guides.

Specifications :

The Rainier 2AX is a top-tier product and includes many unique features focused both on the safety of the child and the convenience of the parent.

  • Patented SuperLATCH system locks the seat in place instantly
  • Folds flat for quick and easy transport
  • Solid steel frame and reinforced aluminum sidewalls
  • Extra rear-facing capacity (accommodating up to 50 pounds)
  • FAA certified
  • Adjustable, forward facing recline boot
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • Three-position adjustable waist strap (four inches, six inches, and eight inches)
  • Detachable boot for rear-facing installation
  • Tether strap for additional security when the seat is rear facing

The Rainier 2AX is made to accommodate children up to 65 pounds, which results in a car seat that is much larger than most users expect. Many users find it cumbersome and quite bulky, and as the design is slightly broader at the top than the 2AXT, the promise of fitting “three across” may only apply to the largest of cars.

That said, the bulk and heft of the seat are indicative of its increased safety features and extra, memory foam padding. Though most users find the unit a bit difficult to install, they also tend to appreciate the added security that comes with having a supportive and tethered product that grows with their child.

Pros
  • Quite a bit cheaper than the Rainier 2AXT model.
  • Rear-facing capacity up to 50 pounds, forward facing capacity up to 65 pounds.
  • SuperLATCH system, tethering, and steel alloy frame for extra security in accidents.
Cons
  • Does not include the Booster weight capacity that comes with the 2AXT.
  • Does not include the 12-position head support system.

2. Diono Rainier 2AXT Review

diono-rainier-2axt
The most notable difference when upgrading to the Rainier 2AXT from the 2AX is the booster capacity. This feature allows children to remain in the seat until they reach 120 pounds.

This adjustability makes it an ideal choice for safety-conscious parents of all kinds, as well as those of children with special needs.

The inclusion of an adjustable 12-position head support system is also a big difference between the 2AXT and the 2AX. This provides neck support for children as they grow and increases head protection in the event of an accident.

All of these features come on top of a heavy steel frame wrapped in some of the most comfortable, fashion-inspired fabrics available.

Specifications:

The Rainier 2AXT is one of the highest quality car seats on the market, and while it has many of the same specifications as the 2AX, it also boasts some features that take convenience to the next level.

  • Patented SuperLATCH system locks the seat in place instantly
  • Folds flat for quick and easy transport
  • Solid steel frame and reinforced aluminum sidewalls
  • Extra rear-facing capacity (accommodating up to 50 pounds)
  • 12 position adjustable headrest
  • FAA certified
  • Adjustable, forward facing recline boot
  • Push button lower anchor connectors
  • Three-position adjustable waist strap (four inches, six inches, and eight inches)
  • Detachable boot for rear-facing installation
  • Tether strap for additional security when the seat is rear facing
  • Booster capacity brings weight limit up to 120 pounds

The vast majority of users overwhelming praise the forward-thinking safety features included with the Rainier 2AXT. Though many find the unit a bit cumbersome and difficult to install initially, they often appreciate the fact that the car seat will accommodate their kids for the majority of their childhood and – in some cases – beyond.

Though the price point is high, many users feel that a seat that lasts this long and provides this level of safety is well worth the investment.

Pros
  • Incredible safety and comfort throughout your child’s growing year.
  • Rear-facing capacity up to 50 pounds, forward facing capacity up to 120 pounds.
  • SuperLATCH system, tethering, and steel alloy frame for extra security in accidents.
Cons
  • A luxury car seat with a luxury price.
  • Many users find the unit to be quite heavy and hard to install.

Conclusion

No matter which model best suits your needs, it’s easy to get years’ worth of protection and comfort out of a Diono Rainier Convertible Car Seat.

For parents who want to ensure that their children are in the best possible hands should an accident occur, both the Rainier 2AX and 2AXT are reliable, high-performance car seats that truly deliver when it comes to safety.

Feel free to checkout more car seat reviews.

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About Joanne Stene
Joanne Stene
Joanne is a mother of 2 young girls and a technical writer with over 20 years of professional experience. She originally got interested in the topic of car seats as her two daughters were born and during the course of research into which seats to buy for her family. That interest has turned into a passion of sharing information on the Elite Car Seats website.
Joanne Stene
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