Booster type: High back
Weight: 40 to 120 lbs., 63” in height.
Backless mode: Check fit.
High back mode: Best bet.
NHTSA ease of use rating: Three stars out of five.
Pros: LATCH, height and sides are adjustable, EPS foam, retractable cup holder, seat recline. Nicely padded seat.
Cons: Short LATCH connectors make it hard to install, difficult to remove. Heavy. Cover can be hard to take off for cleaning.
Comments: A high back booster that converts to backless mode, the Diono Monterey XT features a dial-adjustable seat width, EPS foam, a deep seat, retractable cup holders, two recline positions and a cushy foam seat. The Monterey also features LATCH, which keeps the seat secure in the vehicle when unoccupied. But . . . the LATCH connectors are very short and hard to attach. And the seat is quite heavy. Hence, moving this seat from car to car would be a chore.
Overall, however, most readers are quite positive on the Monterey. Fans love the roomy seat, easy adjustments and cushy seat padding. Critics note it is a nightmare to clean—small black pins must be removed to take off the cover and the mesh fabric is a hassle to hand wash.
Bottom line: we like the Monterey better than Diono’s other booster offering, the Cambria. At $100, it runs twice the price of the similar Graco TurboBooster . . . but the numerous adjustments and upgrades may make it worth the expense.