Choosing car seats for my children is something I take very seriously. Right from the very first infant carrier through to the high back boosters my older 2 children use now, every car seat we use is thoroughly researched and thought about in depth before we buy. These things could save my kids lives.
The most recent addition to our car is the Diono Monterey2 – a high backed booster seat suitable from 15 – 36kg. But what makes it different from the other car seats on the market?
1. The adjustablility: The Diono Monterey2 car seat is adjustable in both height and width to fit a growing child up to 160cm and 36kg. There is an 11 position headrest which is activated by a simple one hand push button at the rear of the headrest, and can pull right up to 16.5cm. The width of the car seat can be adjusted using the red wheel on the back of the seat – simply turn it clockwise to make the seat wider, or anticlockwise for a narrower seat. As both Gemma and Jacob have been using the seat the fact that it is so easy to adjust is a real bonus.
2. The fitting: The Diono Monterey2 is an ISOFAST car seat. This uses the cars Isofix points, but is quicker and easier to fit than a lot of other car seats. You simply pull the ISOFAST straps out from the base of the seat and hook them onto the Isofix bar in your car. You then pull the adjuster strap at the front to slide the Monterey2 back against the seat of the car. This means it is a fixed position booster seat with a safe, secure and quick installation, and will not move about in the car, even when there is no child sat in it.
3. The safety features. All car seats obviously come with safety features as standard, but I really like the extras on the Monterey2. There are aluminum reinforced sides lined with energy absorbing EPS foam for side impact protection and the reinforced seat bottom provides extra lap belt safety. This significantly strengthens the Monterey2 and provides superior defence against crash forces. The fact that the car seat is so adjustable also improves the safety aspect, as you can ensure your child is in an optimum seating position and held securely.
4. The comfort. After the safety, comfort is an important selling point – if we are on a journey I need to know that the children are comfortable. Again, the adjustability comes into play here, ensuring we get the correct headrest height and seat width for whichever child is using the seat. The seat bottom has extra length for leg support and features thick AirTek™ foam and tapered sides for total comfort. The tapered seat shape properly fits a growing child at every stage, and there are 2 recline positions for optimum fitting and comfort. There are even retractable, dual cup holders which are extra-deep and angled to keep drinks upright – important on a long journey so that the children can access their own refreshments as and when needed.
If the car seat is comfortable the kids are happy, and if it is safe then I am happy too. The Diono Monterey2 ticks all the boxes I look for in a high back booster seat and more besides. As well as getting my approval it also gets the thumbs up from the children too. There’s just one problem – they always argue about whose turn it is to sit in it!