My daughter is now in preschool and at that stage where she wants to spend more time with her friends outside of school. Fantastic! The only issue is that transporting multiple kids to and fro is more complicated these days when kids are required to be in car seats up to higher height and weight limits. Luckily, my daughter is now big enough to fit a booster seat. While we recommend keeping your child in a 5-point harness car seat for as long as possible, we love the convenience of having a Diono Monterey Booster seat for transporting friends or installing in another vehicle, should my daughter need to ride with someone else.
The Monterey accommodates children between 38” to 63” and from 40 to 120 pounds. LATCH connectors and a range of recline positions make achieving a secure fit quick and easy, giving you a much better chance of installing this seat correctly every time. This is important given that we are constantly moving the Monterey in and out of vehicles. Should you be in an older car that doesn’t have LATCH, rest assured that the Monterey can also be secured with just the seat belt, as long as it is a 3-point combined lap and shoulder belt that is not motor-driven or anchored to your car door.
While the Monterey is made by Diono, the company best known for its super narrow Radian car seat, note that the Monterey is a few inches wider both at the base and the top, making it harder to fit 3 across in the back seat. The tradeoff for giving up space in your car is the ability to comfortably accommodate older children. The Monterey even expands to grow with your child. Both width and height are adjustable. Turn the dial at the back of the seat to adjust girth up to 20” wide. Raise the adjustable headrest to 11 different positions, extending the height by 6.5.” Once your child’s shoulders come to within 1cm of the upper belt guide, remove the backrest to continue using the Monterey as a backless booster.
Diono upholds its reputation for safety with the Monterey. It has aluminum-reinforced sides for a lightweight, yet strong structure. EPS foam covers the aluminum, adding side impact protection, and thick Airtek foam covers the reinforced seat base. In addition to excellent safety, these features provide a comfortable, padded ride with plenty of side support for sleeping kids to lean against. The seat is longer than most, which long-legged kids will especially enjoy.
My kids and I also adore the Monterey’s retractable cup holders, which pop out of each side of the seat and tuck back in when not in use. They act as great hiding spots for tiny treasures, while also yielding extra room around the booster when we’re tight on space.
The Monterey comes in multiple colors and patterns, and its fabric can be removed, hand-washed and line-dried. If your child is especially messy or tends to get carsick, this is an important consideration that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For travel and storage, the Monterey packs flat.
Recommended for older children who have outgrown their 5-point harnessed car seats and as a great secondary seat for carpools and play dates, the Diono Monterey is an excellent choice in boosters. Learn more on the Diono website.