Best of both worlds
July 9, 2013
I bought the Diono Monterey because my 7 year old hates the way boosters slide around underneath her. This was the least expensive booster I could find that attached to the seat via the LATCH bars. I wasn't disappointed - it is very secure. It was a bit more than I wanted to pay for a booster, even at the sale price. But since she'll be in it for a couple more years (since she's so light) I figured it was worth the investment; and baby brother can use it after her (hence the blue). A lot of the price is the very adjustable back panel which makes the seat feel more like a full car seat than just a booster. The combined back and seat is a bit heavier than a typical booster/back combination and a bit cumbersome to carry around. However, the base detaches easily from the back if you need a more portable solution and you still have the LATCH straps. The back itself is just as big as a regular car seat. However, the shoulder strap guide is very adjustable and goes quite high. Which is another reason I chose this model; my daughter had already maxed out the height on her regular car seat. The "wings" adjust easily in and out to accommodate children of different widths. I also like the fact that it will recline if the seat is reclined which will be quite helpful for long car rides; although we haven't put that to the test yet. Also, the seat is deep to accommodate longer legs. Overall, my 7 year old loves her seat and has not complained once. The Diono Monterey is a great compromise between a booster and a full car seat and is perfect for children between five and nine years old.
Pros:LATCH hooks secure the booster to the seat
back is very adjustable for width and height
seat and back can separate
back can recline
retractable cup holders on both sides
deep seat for longer legs
Cons:a bit pricier than other booster options
back section adds weight and is cumbersome to carry
Best Uses:The Diono Monterey is perfect for pre-tweens (5 to 9 year olds) that have moved out of a buckle-style car seat but still need something more secure and comfortable than a typical booster seat.