Diono Monterey XT vs Cambria 2

Car seats are mandatory to be used until children can wear their seat belt properly without a support. Depending on your kid’s height and weight, the options will differ as well and for those with older children, Diono Monterey XT Vs Cambria 2 are two ideal front-facing models to consider. Both of them are easy to install and also comfortable for the passenger. If you are also eyeing these safety seats, go see below about what they can offer and which model will fit the family better.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Which Car Seats to Purchase
  • What are Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2
  • What Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 Look Like
  • How are the Installation of Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2
  • How are the Fit of Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2
  • What else Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 can offer
  • Diono Monterey XT Vs Cambria 2

Safety Seats

Parents often worry about their child’s safety because we never know what will happen in the future. Vehicle accidents are one biggest threat to our family because of its high frequency and while adults can rely on the car’s safety system, unfortunately they are not made for children and their small figure. This is why we have to use a safety car seat whenever taking our little one with the car because it can reduce the risk of fatal injury that may happen during a crash. 

When choosing a car seat however, we have to match them with the passenger because they are built to follow their frame. The one we use when they are still an infant or earlier years will be different from those for preschool age and it is always best to shop based on your family’s needs as well.

Infant Car Seat

This is the first car seat we have to own when having a baby. It is the small plush cocoon with a handlebar, looks like a basket that often comes in a set with a stroller or we usually call them a travel system set. This safety seat is made for infants until they are about 12 months old or exceeding the height and weight limit of the seat. Unlike bigger safety seats, they come in two parts in which one can be installed in the car and the actual seat which is easily detachable.

Convertible Car Seat

This is the next step of your kid’s journey and as the name suggests, they are convertible from the rear-facing position to the front-facing option. They can be used for a few years starting from when they exceed the height and weight limit of their infant car seat until they are ready to use a booster instead of a harness. Convertible car seats have a bigger frame and in most cases can be reclined in a few positions to offer the best fit or to provide better comfort.

 Diono Monterey XTCambria 2
Product Dimensions16 x 20 x 26 inches
15.8 x 19.3 x 8.8 inches
Shipping Weight14.29 pounds
12.1 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

Booster Seat

This is probably the last safety seat you will buy before our children can finally wear the seatbelt properly without any help. Booster seats like Britax Highpoint Vs Chicco Kidfit are different from the former two because its function is only to increase the height and depth of the passenger’s frame so they can fit within the seatbelt’s protection. They can have backrest or not depending on the height of the kids and instead of secured with a lower anchor, the seatbelt must hold both the passenger and the seat together.

About Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2

If you are here then it means the kid is already pretty big to use their own booster seat but not yet well fitted with the car’s seat belt only. Booster seats usually can last for a pretty long time depending on how tall they are, especially on the limb area since children’s growth varies but if they are getting taller faster than their friends, chances are they may not need the booster for a long time. For the options however, almost all safety car seat brands carry the options.

You can pick any of them because safety seats have to meet certain standards to market and in general they are safe yet, some more expensive models often have additional features or overall easier to install in most cars models. Among the good options, Diono is one of the best for your budget and while they are not as popular as other parent’s favorite brands like Chicco, quality wise they are very well-made and there are lots of choices as well to make.

For parents looking to find a best buy for the budget, Diono Monterey XT and Cambria will be two ideal models to consider. Both of them are sold below $100 and since they may not be needed anymore in a few years, this should be a safe price range to spend. Both booster seats are loved by parents because they are easy to use and very comfy for the passenger as well while price wise are among the best you can spend.

Even though in general their capabilities are the same, Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 are not exactly alike. It seems that they made the former to have slightly better built quality which may improve the overall rigidity of the seat itself yet, it also doesn’t mean that the Cambria 2 is not safe since all car seats must follow certain standards. Overall, we do think both safety seats are great choices for the budget and while there is no fancy addition on the product, they work very well.

Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 Design

One of the challenges parents have to overcome when looking for a booster for their growing kids is to find the one that will fit and makes them comfortable the most because many of them are very narrow that makes our kid uneasy while sitting on the seat. Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 are pretty wide at the seat base and also quite roomy as they pan at around 14 inches. The design however, is slightly different from each other. 

If you look closely, the Cambria 2 actually has thicker padding into the seat and the gap between headrest and shoulder flare is not that far. Just like any booster, the headrest height is adjustable in a few positions and they can accommodate until around 62-inches at the top adjustment. As for the weight limit, these seats can be used up to 120 pounds in both settings; highback booster and backless booster.

Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 Installation

Unlike with infant car seats or convertible car seats, booster seats are the best and easiest to install because there is no need to thread anything here and chances are keeping them in place with a seatbelt is the quickest and simplest option to do. But, Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 also have flexible lower anchors that you can secure conveniently to keep the seat from moving around when the kid leaves or enters the vehicle. These anchors are also upside down thus, there is no need to flip them again.

Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 Fit

Moving to the fit, these booster seats are fitting from the same age and same height range so those that have graduated from the convertible seat at around 4-5 years old can sit comfortably in any of these models. The belt positioning is also working great as they ideally thread the belt across the passenger’s chest and sit on top of their hip without any additional help. In case your kid grows fast, we can adjust the height of their headrest too.

For those children who are bigger built or heavier than their friends, the backrest can get uncomfortable and in this case we can remove it as well to provide more room for them to sit easily. This usually happens at around 9 years old or even faster if they have a rapid growth. 

Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 Features

The last part we want to talk about is their features and just like any safety car seat both convertible and booster type, Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 are coming with cup holders as accessories and while it seems fragile they can hold water bottles pretty good. What’s great is that these holders are also retractable which means if not being used they can be tucked inside the base. This is also great because it can help parents arrange more seats in the car as we free space.

Another feature that we want to mention here is that Monterey XT also has adjustable side wings instead of just adjustable headrest. The method is through rotating a knob at the back of the seat frame and it is recommended to keep the adjustment as narrow as possible to snug the kid’s frame. Lastly, this model is also made with a composition of 2% aluminum and 1% steel instead of 5% metal which is used to make Cambria. This suggests that material wise the former has a slightly more robust frame.

Diono Monterey XT vs Cambria 2

Both Diono Monterey XT and Cambria 2 are good for the budget as they are not only safe but also easy to use and comfortable for the passenger. The difference is on what’s added into Monterey XT because overall it has better material to improve rigidity and additional features which is adjustable shoulder flare to give a range of fit especially for kids with smaller bodies or heavier weight.

- THE ORIGINAL EXPANDABLE BOOSTER SEAT: With both expandable headrest and sides, ensures a proper fit for your little one at every age.
- 69% INCREASE IN OCCUPANCY SPACE: The Monterey's clever height and width function allows for 69% increase in occupancy space for your little one when fully expanded.
- SUPERIOR SIDE IMPACT PROTECTION: Engineered with extra deep aluminum reinforced sides for complete Side Impact Protection for both head and torso.
- 11 POSITION HEADREST: The one-handed headrest adjuster has 11 positions and adjusts the headrest up to 6.5” in height.
- ROOMY COMFORT FOR GROWING SHOULDERS - Cambria 2 is one of the biggest highback boosters available. With roomy internal space measuring 19" in width, perfect for growing shoulders
- 6 HEADREST POSITIONS - Suitable for children from 33 to 79 lbs. (approx. 3 to 12 years old or 38 - 63"), features a 6-position headrest that adjusts with one hand
- LIGHTWEIGHT & EASILY PORTABLE - This versatile booster seat flat packs for easy transport or storage and the lightweight design makes it easy to transfer between vehicles
- BUCKLE FRIENDLY FIT - The Cambria 2 seatback has been redesigned to improve access to vehicle buckles


You can pick any of them as they are equally good but if you don’t mind spending slightly more, we highly recommend the Monterey XT because it has the adjustable flare and is more robust but, when the budget is extremely limited, Cambria 2 is already a good option.