Give Kids a Big Boost
- What: Diono Cambria Booster Seat
- When: 5 to 12 years
- Why: Safe, affordable, high limits
- Where: Amazon or Diono
I loved the Diono Radian 3RX so much, I decided to give their highback to backless booster option a try. My youngest son outgrew his Britax Marathon convertible car seat at age five, and needed a new seat.
Graco no longer makes the seat we got for his older brother at this stage, which left me searching for a suitable replacement. I like to keep my kids in a five point harness as long as possible, so I passed the Graco Nautilus 80 Elite to my five year old and replaced it with the Diono Cambria for my nine year old.
Though this seat doesn’t offer a five point harness, it works great as a belt positioning booster. It can accommodate kids from 40 pounds up to 120 pounds (and 38 inches to 63 inches – a good five inches past the 57 inch limit on many seats), and the adjustable headrest makes it easy to get a great fit. This seat also lets you use LATCH for the entire weight limit, which means my kid doesn’t have to buckle the seat belt in every time he gets out to prevent it from becoming a projectile in an accident. The LATCH hooks store neatly underneath, in case you have a car with a third row missing anchors. Easy straps hang out the front to tighten the LATCH anchors, and tuck underneath to stay out of the way after installation.
The belt path can be a bit tricky to spot. Though it’s highlighted in red, the red trim on the underside of the fabric cover can be harder to spot, unlike some other booster seats. The belt has to go under the arms, and seeing the red color from inside the seat can prove difficult.
The seat offers two cup holders, one on either side, that can retract in case you need to install it next to a door, beside another car seat, or in other tight places. Each cup holder also boasts a small storage area for toys, snacks, rocks, and whatever other jetsam your child collects in the course of a day,
The seat cover offers a cushy fit, almost like foam, and the wide bottom can fit older kids when smaller boosters won’t work. The wide side wings offer lots of side impact protection.
Overall, I have been very happy with this seat. It only comes in three color choices currently (black, blue, and pink), and the cover comes off for easy cleaning. We haven’t had ours long enough to see how well the material holds up, but so far, it looks pristine.
Like the Diono Radian line, this booster can also fold flat for easier storage or travel. It can also convert to a backless booster. Suitable from 40-120 pounds and 38 to 63 inches, it provides a high upper limit to help keep kids safer longer. The seat headrest raises to a fairly high position to achieve this upper limit, so if rear visibility matters, it may block a large part of the driver’s view at the highest position.
I currently have four different booster seats in my car. For me, the main drawback of the Diono Cambria is the lack of a five point harness. But otherwise, this highback booster seat has been my favorite of the four for ease of installation, slim profile, good fit, and affordable price point.