Harnesses tall, older kids
July 15, 2014
I've had this seat for over a year. My 7 year old is tall (49 inches), but doesn't weigh enough for just a booster/seatbelt to keep her safe in a crash (she's just barely 40 pounds). I wanted to find a seat where we could still keep her in a 5-point harness. We have owned eight different seats for our two kids and this one, by far, is my favorite. I believe Diono has created close to *the* most perfect seat on the market. Pros: 1) Literally the only seat you'd need to buy to last your son or daughter's entire childhood. Rear-faces for newborns, all the way up to 45 lbs. Forward-faces with 5-point harness up to 80 lbs (my 7 year old is 49 inches tall and is still wearing the 5-point harness - she cannot do this in any other seat, even seats that boast extended harnessing). Converts to a booster up to 120 lbs. 2) Has a ten-year life, compared to 4-6 years for most other seats 3) Durable and safe with an easily-adjustable headrest and side-impact protection. I feel like my kid is in a tank when she's sitting in this 4) Folds for travel 5) Airline approved (not all seats are!) 6) Narrow enough to fit three across the backseat of a sedan - which is a huge consideration if you don't have a minivan or a 3rd row in your vehicle but you have 2 or more kids. Cons: 1) It's pricey (shop around, prices vary widely) 2) It's HEAVY (but that goes along with its safety and durability, so it's a trade-off) 3) It's not the easiest to install. I don't like the LATCH clips; I prefer the style of LATCH that other companies like Britax use, where you can adjust from both sides. This one only has the adjuster on one side. I don't feel like I can get as tight a fit as I can with other seats. It is also difficult to install using the seatbelt. I have very small hands, but I have such a hard time sticking my hands back there to thread the seatbelt through. 4) The adjustable headrest is a little *too* easy to adjust. It tends to slide down on my daughter with normal use (this could be a defect in my particular seat, though). Not enough of a nuisance to dissuade you from buying, though. 5). To adjust the height of the shoulder straps, you have to uninstall the seat, partially take off the cover, un-hook the straps from behind the seat, un-thread them from their current setting, and re-thread them back through the slots at the desired height. This is a big inconvenience to me because a lot of other comparable seats on the market have figured out how to adjust the height with the turn of a knob, and you don't have to un-install the seat. Come on Diono, you can do this. If you figure this out, you will have created the perfect seat. 6). My daughter complains that there is not enough padding on the seat part of the seat. I agree that it is minimal padding. On long trips, she complains about how uncomfortable she is, and she is a great traveler who rarely complains. She cannot be the only one. Overall, the pros outweigh the cons, and I wholeheartedly recommend this incredibly safe and versatile seat. It is expensive, but worth its weight in gold.
* This product review was collected by the manufacturer.