Because Jake has grown so quickly, my husband and I decided it was time to trade in his 5-point-harness seat for a booster car seat. Even though our son is tall, he is still a little on the slim side, so we needed to find something that would, not only keep him safe, but something that would be comfortable for him as well.
What my husband and I thought about the Monterey Expandable Booster:
1) I may have mentioned once or twice (or a hundred times) that my husband is very particular about safety items and children's gear in general. He actually said that he was "extremely impressed" by this booster seat.
2) This booster is adjustable to fit a child up to 120lbs and up to 5' 3" tall. The 12-position headrest has a 6" adjustability. We know that this seat will last us a long time even if my son does some more sprouting.
3) The back can be removed completely for when my son is even older and is ready for a backless booster.
4) I like how the seat is extra deep. That is one main problem we had with Jake's previous car seat. It did not support his legs very well and could not have been comfortable during long rides.
5) Jake says his new seat is very comfortable. The seat is padded with energy absorbing foam on the sides to help reduce the effects of impact should he ever be involved in an accident.
6) This booster seat comes with LATCH connectors, but the second row of our minivan does not have LATCH capabilities. I was concerned that the seat belt being the only thing holding Jake and the booster in place would not be enough, but it actually does the job. When he is sitting in the seat, the combination of his weight and the rubber gripping bottom keeps the seat in place very well. When he is not in the seat, we make sure to fasten the seat belt around the booster seat anyways because it would not be ideal to have a large free moving object in the car during sudden stops or any kind of impact. If it was in a LATCH capable seat, then the booster would already be attached to the car and this would not be necessary.
9) The fabric turned out to be extremely easy to clean. The cover is removable and hand washable, but it actually wiped clean to our surprise. We found this out after our son experienced motion sickness while reading in the car one day.
The list above are the main reasons why we love our Monterey Booster. Of course there are little things that we also appreciate, such as the deep cup holders on both sides that can be hidden when not in use. The seat also has 2 reclining positions, but we have not yet had the need for that feature. However, it will definitely be handy if we ever decide to go on a long road trip.
You can find the Monterey Expandable Booster plus an array of car seats and accessories at One Step Ahead. Through August 31st, 2009 you can receive Free Ground Shipping on a purchase of $85 or more when you use Code: FREE85 at checkout.
Thank you to One Step Ahead for providing us with both a review product and a contest prize free of charge.
What you can win:
One lucky readers will receive a Monterey Expandable Booster (which retails for $129.95).
This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing.
How to Gain Entries:
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(All entries will be verified prior to awarding this prize.)
This contest will be closed on Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. A random number drawing will be held shortly after. The winner will be announced here and will be contact via email or through their blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new number will be drawn.
Good luck in the drawing!