Founded in 1999, Diono is an American child travel company that makes car seats, pushchairs, carriers and travel cots. Known for its distinctive, modern designs, its products have won many global awards.
The company prides itself on innovation – the original Monterey booster seat came out in 2007 and was the first ever car seat to expand in height and width. Available in black, grey, blue, purple and red, the Monterey2 is the latest version of the Group 2/3 high-back booster seat. With an RRP of £120, it goes up against the Apramo Ostara Fix and the Maxi-Cosi Rodifix.
Janet tested the seat with her 6-year-old daughter Jasmine on trips to school, the swimming pool and on longer car journeys to visit friends.
What age is the Diono Monterey2 car seat designed for?
It’s for children aged 4–12 years old, or weighing 15kg–36kg. The maximum height is 160cm.
Is the Diono Monterey2 car seat easy to install?
The seat comes in two parts which need to be clicked together. It has ISOFAST fixings that clip onto the ISOFIX metal rods in the car. You then secure it into place by pulling on the fabric straps.
Does it feel secure when fitted?
Yes, the ISOFAST fabric pull fastenings mean you can fit it as tightly as you physically can.
Does the seat feel sturdy?
Yes. My kids are quite active, and I think it will survive them constantly moving while sitting in it!
What are the main safety features of the Diono Monterey2 car seat?
It has increased side impact protection from an engineered seat and visible metal reinforcements at the side of the seat, as well as energy-absorbing foam which adds protection and comfort. It can be used with or without ISOFIX.
Is it easy to strap your child into the Diono Monterey2?
Jasmine fastens her own seatbelt and got the hang of it quickly. I always do a check before driving off, and she did a good job.
How comfortable is the seat for your child?
Extremely. Jasmine instantly fell in love with this seat. Every time I’ve asked her, the feedback has only been positive.
Does the Diono Monterey2 car seat recline?
There are 2 recline positions – to allow the seat to sit flat against the car seat, rather than for sleeping. But it does have 11 headrest positions.
How easy is it to transfer between cars?
I think this would be an ideal car seat if you regularly need to move it between cars. It’s not at all cumbersome and folds flat, taking up minimal space.
Is the Diono Monterey2 car seat lightweight enough to take on holiday?
The seat is certainly lighter than others I’ve lifted, but at 7.1kg, it’s not feather-light.
Is it easy to clean?
It is wipe-clean, but I feel that the coloured part of the fabric – in our case, purple – won’t withstand regular cleaning and keep its “fluffiness”.
What do you think of the extra-deep cupholders?
These were a huge hit with Jasmine. She opens them as soon as she settles into the seat – even if she’s got nothing to put in them!
Do you like the design of the Diono Monterey2 car seat?
Yes, it is streamlined and modern-looking – it certainly stands out from other high-back booster seats. A plus is the lush seat padding made with AirTek foam, which feels like very firm memory foam. Soft and, I’m sure, nice to sit on.
Will your child fit in the Diono Monterey2 car seat until they’re 12 years old?
Yes, I think so, as the seat is adjustable in width and height.
What do you like most about the Diono Monterey2 car seat?
How happy my daughter is in it. She likes that she can cross her legs (although she doesn’t travel like that), which shows she has freedom of movement, particularly compared to her old seat.
What do you wish you had known before you got it?
The seat depth is quite shallow – it doesn’t extend out as far as our previous car seat. This works well as it gives both of our kids lots of space to climb in and out of the car.
What’s in the box?
Car seat and manual.
Are there any accessories needed or available?
There are quite a few accessories you can buy, but I didn’t feel that we needed any of them. They include the Ultramat (£25), to place the booster seat on, keep the seat securely installed and protect your car upholstery, and the Stuff ’n Scuff (£7), to protect the seat in front of your child from scuffs and to store some of their stuff.
Is the Diono Monterey2 car seat value for money?
At £120 and with the potential to last 8 years, I think it’s a very good investment.
Would you recommend this car seat?
Yes, definitely. Especially for ages 6+.
Where can I buy the Diono Monterey2 car seat?
You can buy the Diono Monterey2 car seat from Mothercare or online direct from Diono, whose website also has a long list of other stockists.
This seat was an instant hit for both me and my daughter. I liked that it was so simple to put together, with intuitive ISOFAST fixings, and it was easy to transport, too. My daughter liked the extra space and freedom of movement the seat gave her, which made her feel more grown-up.