Review: Diono Monterey High Back Booster
We love working with Diono Canada. Their products are second to none and their safety ratings are amazing, which is what all parents are looking for when it comes to purchasing a car seat. Diono actually has a really interesting history. The first product resulted from a family discussion following a documentary which demonstrated the consequences of improperly secured car seats in accidents. Within the year, the family had created a prototype that would come to be known as Mighty-Tite®—the world’s first and only seatbelt tightener—designed for ease of use and safety peace of mind. The Mighty-Tite has since been replaced and the Diono line continues to expand and be cutting edge with their safety technology!
The Monterey is a full-featured, expandable high-back booster seat designed to fit growing children 18 – 54 kg (40 lb to 120 lb). The adjustable head rest and deep, aluminum reinforced sides are lined with energy absorbing EPS foam for side impact protection and the reinforced seat bottom provides extra lap belt safety. This significantly strengthens the Monterey and provides superior defense against crash forces. Not only is a high-back booster safer, it is also much more comfortable for a nap on any long stretches of driving. My daughter is almost 8 and still falls asleep in the car. Having a booster seat with a back for her provides a much safer rest. The head bob that we have all seen in our rear views is uncomfortable, hard on the neck and unsafe in a collision. The head rests are nice and padded and perfect to lean a little ones head on. The 11-position head rest gives ultimate flexibility and adjusts up to 16.5 cm (6.5″) in height with one hand for an easy, precise fit.
We have two other Diono car seats, and I think what I like most about them (besides their incredible safety ratings) is the fact they fit so nicely in the seat. We have 3 kids, so that means that one is always having to walk in front of the other 2 car seats to access their seat in the third row. The Diono seats are nice and slender, so they don’t overlap off of the seat at all. Diono seats can also be install three-across for those families with a smaller vehicle without a third row, or for families that like the keep the third row clear for additional trunk storage. For the exact Monterey measurements; click here.
I surprised my daughter with the Monterey booster seat. She was thrilled by the print. The Diono Monterey comes in three colours; Bloom (as pictured below), Heather Grey and Surf. She loved the print so much, she found a shirt that coordinated with it!
A simple-to-use dial on the back adjusts the width of the seat to fit a child’s shoulders up to 50.8 cm (20″) wide. It took us just a few seconds to raise up the back for the perfect fit. I also really like that the Monterey is a fixed-position booster. It has integrated UAS connectors and front adjusters allow for a safe and secure installation in seconds (UAS use is optional) and keeps the seat in position when not in use. Carseats can become flying objects in a vehicle if they aren’t secured to the seat in the event of a collision and become dangerous for passengers in the vehicle. It is important to note that boosters without this great option should use the vehicles seat belt to ensure the booster stays in place during an accident.
I really like how the seat belt loops through the seat. We have another highback booster that always seems to tangle the seat belt. The Monterey system works really well and we haven’t had any seat belt issues yet. My daughter has been able to buckle on her own, every time. When she isn’t in the seat, the buckle also stays perfectly inline.
My daughter is quite tall already and growing fast. You can see from the photo below that the seat bottom has extra length for leg support and features thick AirTek™ foam and tapered sides for total comfort.
Retractable, dual cup holders are extra-deep and angled to keep drinks upright. For anyone that allows anything other than water in their cars (let’s face it – everyone has had a sugary drive-through treat on the road!) this is a big perk. It is nice that they are retractable as well so you can slide them away when not in use. They can also be removed for cleaning. Many other car seats have the cup holders integrated right into the seat, making cleaning up cup holder spills really difficult.
The Monterey can also be used as a backless booster and packs flat for travel and storage. This is a huge bonus and makes the decision easy as to what booster to take on vacation. We have to take two 5-point harnesses and one booster seat when we travel now, so the travel perks of all Diono seats are wonderful. Our other 2 Diono’s can be easily carried on each of our backs, so it is one less thing to push with all of the luggage!
- Fits children 18 – 54 kg (40 lb to 120 lb) and 97 – 160 cm (38″ to 63″) in height
- Extra-deep side walls are reinforced with aluminum and lined with EPS foam for superior side impact protection
- Energy absorbing AirTek™ foam provides superior cushioning and increased airflow for comfortable ride
- Adjustable width: expandable seat back fits shoulders up to 50.8 cm (20”)
- Adjustable height: 11 position headrest adjusts up to 16.5 cm (6.5″) with one hand
- Can also be used as a backless booster
- UAS system for secure installation (UAS use not required)
- Angled, reinforced seat bottom prevents submarining
- Longer seat bottom for proper leg support with cushioned comfort
- 2 recline positions for comfort and to fit all vehicle seat shapes
- Retractable cup holders are extra deep to keep drinks upright
- Packs flat for travel and storage
- 1 year warranty
We give the Diono Monterey Booster two thumbs up! It is Mom and Mady approved!
To learn more, watch the Diono Monterey You Tube Video. This high back booster can be purchased at most major retailers as well as online for $139.99 CAD. Visit https://ca.diono.com/where-to-buy/ for a listing. If you are in the market for a booster seat, we highly recommend you check this one out!