Grow Beyond the Five-Point Harness
- What: Diono Cambria 2
- When: 5 to 10 years
- Why: Affordable, easy to use, comfortable
- Where: Amazon or Diono
If you’re a regular reader here at Practically Apparent, you may recall that once upon a time we needed to fit three kids in car seats in one row (commonly called three across). Thus we got introduced to the Diono brand, with their particularly narrow profiles. When we needed to transition to a new booster seat for our oldest child, we returned to the Diono lineup. We love their Diono Cambria 2 highback and backless booster combo, and it has worked well for us for multiple children over the last three years.
Installation is a breeze, so much so that I don’t hesitate to install it over the seat compartment that stores our jumper cables (which I’ve had to use several times in the last few years). Unlike other car seats we’ve used, I have no issues taking it out and reinstalling it. Like most boosters, you can just slap it on the seat. But then you have to use the seat belt to buckle it in even when unoccupied to prevent it from becoming a projectile and injuring someone in the event of a crash. Not so with the Diono Cambria 2. It includes LATCH connections so you never have to worry about kids buckling the seat in when they get out. The LATCH anchors go in easily and tighten with a simple tug on the strap in the front.
Two collapsible cup holders with extra spots for miscellaneous items keep the kids happy. And all my kids love sitting in this seat. They call it “extra cushy.” The padding on both the headrest and the seat itself can be removed for easy cleaning, not that we’ve ever done that. And best of all, it fits a wider range of kids than most seats. It can go as low as 40 pounds and all the way up to 120 pounds, a threshold my twelve year old only cleared a month or so ago. The height limit also exceeds that of many other seats, so you can keep kids safely in this booster until 63 inches. That’s a solid three inches over five feet tall! For families with bigger or older kids who still need a safe space in the car, those extra few inches can make all the difference.
The wider seat base also makes it more comfortable for larger kids as well. Though it may not fit well in the middle position of some vehicles, kids love the extra room and comfort. And it can still allow three across, especially when paired with other Diono seats like the Radian. While there was a brief recall in March 2021, no injuries have been reported and the company replaced all affected parts free of charge.
The seat weighs very little, and you can use the LATCH connectors all the way up to the maximum weight, so there’s zero concern about LATCH limits. The LATCH anchors also attach underneath the seat if you don’t need them, or want them out of the way when traveling. This seat can fold up, making it easier to store, transport, and keep handy in the boot of the car. The headrest offers six adjustment positions to get just the right seat belt fit. My son rode in this seat until age eleven, when he had no trouble passing the Five Step Test. My ten-year-old daughter has ridden in it for over a year now with zero issues or complaints as well. And my eight year old fits in it as well. The headrest can easily be adjusted without moving the seat, making it a dream to go between kids of different heights for carpools and the like.
If you want a solid booster seat that goes the distance after your child finishes with a five-point harness, you can’t go wrong with the Diono Cambria 2. Want more reasons to love it? Right now, you can buy two and get the third seat free with the code CAMBRIA3RDFREE! Team up with friends or family to buy three and get even more value out of these solid booster seats.