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44 Reviews
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful, Safe Booster Seat
I am a car seat freak. When it was time to transition my daughter from the Britax Boulevard seats we have been using to a booster seat I sort of panicked. After doing a lot of research I decided on the Sunshine Kids Monterey booster and purchased the pink seat in Mar 2010 for my daughter, who had just turned 5 and has always been in the top 90th percentile for height...
Published on September 2, 2010 by Mommy2two

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not big enough
This booster is not large enough for an older child. It states "fits children to 120 pounds and 63" in height", but my child is only 85 lbs and 54 inches and the seat is not wide enough and the highest height adjustment is too close to the shoulders. The shoulder width adjusts larger, but the seat is not as wide as the shoulders. If your child has a skinny butt and...
Published on March 2, 2011 by Cheetah


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful, Safe Booster Seat, September 2, 2010
By 
Mommy2two (Northern Virginia) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am a car seat freak. When it was time to transition my daughter from the Britax Boulevard seats we have been using to a booster seat I sort of panicked. After doing a lot of research I decided on the Sunshine Kids Monterey booster and purchased the pink seat in Mar 2010 for my daughter, who had just turned 5 and has always been in the top 90th percentile for height. Just this week I purchased the red one for my 4 year old son, and I have to say the color of the red is much more vibrant than what's shown on the website. I let him pick the color and I didn't really care much for the red, but when it arrived I was VERY pleased. It's quite striking!

The reasons I chose this seat are:

- Has the LATCH capability, which we always use. I want the seatbelt to be responsible for holding the kids in the car, not the kids AND their seat. Besides who wants their kids in a car seat that isn't secured to the car and who wants a car seat flopping around in the car when the kids aren't in the vehicle?

- The back is removable...and you can still use LATCH with the bottom

- The back has expandable side wings so you can continue to use it longer.

- The back has one of the highest headrest of any of the booster seats on the market. The headrest is great. Neither kid has complained about not being able to see and they both are able to sleep comfortably in the seat.

- Two cupholders.

Both kids love their seats. I am very happy with these purchases. The quality is great. The only complaint I might have is that there are a lot of pegs that hold the material onto the seat. They're a bit of a pain when washing the cover. I didn't realize the pegs should be removed from the material before washing and I think I lost one or two...I think. Another issue is determining where the pegs go once they're removed! I'm sure this will get easier as I learn the placement of pegs as I wash the seat more often. All in all I would order this seat again. What am I saying? I DID order this seat again!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to adjust, comfy and error-proof for grandparents/babysitters, June 28, 2011
By 
K. Perkins (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have owned this seat for three years. My daughter who uses it is now 7 years and 53 lbs. We use it in two older vehicles, a 1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon and a 2002 VW Eurovan.

I love this seat and feel very secure when I give it to the grandparents on her visits. My in-laws also have one in their newer Lexus SUV. I don't have an opportunity to use the LATCH anchors because I don't have them, but my in-Laws do, and its been nice because they don't usually have kids in their car, so the seat doesn't slide around. It stays in place. The backseat of the Lexus is narrower than my two vehicles, and it fits this booster and a Britax Roundabout directly next to it.

My parents hate using car seats. They reminisce about the days when I was a child and we could just lay on the floor of the car or stand up surfing in the back of the pickup. So I have to monitor their proper use of the seats carefully. The seat belt guide on the Sunshine Kids Monterey has a snug slot opening through which the seat belt threads. I admit, when I am in a rush moving this seat to another vehicle, it can be frustrating to get it in quickly. One needs to place it in the opening sideways and then slide and jiggle it back and forth to insert it completely into the belt guide. But then I know it will not slide out, and once inserted, it slides easily through it and does not get hung up or stuck. It is bright red and cannot be ignored. The seatbelt will not lay properly if it is not threaded through the belt guide, so I know that my folks will insert it, and it will not slip out. I also like that the proper position of the lap belt is bright red, as well, so they can't miss it. It it quite easy for anyone who has never used a booster to see exactly where to thread the car seat belt.

It is very easy to move the headrest up and down, and the shoulder belt guide moves with the headrest, so it is always at the right position on your child. I have had carpooling guests use this seat and I can easiy reach behind pull up the headrest to their height, even with them sitting in the seat. Adjusting the width of the shoulder sides requires you to reach behind the seat, so it has to be empty to do that. It is very easy to turn the knob which expands and contracts the width, but I have found that, over a few days, if your child wiggles or plops into the seat against the sides, it will open itself a bit wider than might be necessary for your child. When my child was smaller, I frequently had to do a quick reach behind to tighten the shoulder width if it has slowly widened itself.

This booster can be taken apart, allowing you to use only the base. It is really easy to separate and put back together, but it doens't fall apart when you move it from seat to seat. That is not to say you can just hold onto the backrest and expect it to stay together, both the bottom and top need to be held when carrying it around, but the backrest doesn't just flop off the minute you pick it up. For a year I carpooled with a neighbor who had two Graco boosters. Every time we moved those from car to car they would just fall apart, and it was difficult to piece the top and bottom back together.

The cupholders and open and close easily and are large enough for her kid-sized water bottles and a small baggie of a snack. The arm rests are stationary, but she usually uses them. I have never though of them as being in the way. The fabric on my model is a mesh grey. It is comfortable on hot days, not sticky or wet. It says cool and the mesh airs out when you get out of the seat. But I could do without the mesh, which allows tiny crumbs through and takes a bit longer to vacuum out. The padding is ample and she has always been very comfy in this.

I have just been looking into a new booster for my second child and found that the Britax Parkway SG and SGL have a crotch strap through which the lap belt is threaded to prevent your child from sliding or scrunching themselves down below the lap belt. I think its a nice safety feature that the Moneterey doesn't have, but this has never, ever been an issue for me. Perhaps it is because of the angle of the Monterey seat. They advertise it as being for this purpose. Or perhaps it is because I threaten my daughter when she moves herself into an improper position in her seat. Either, way, I've decided to go with the Monterey again because the Parkway has quite a few complaints about the shoulder belt guide and some about the cupholders.

My only frustration is what I mentioned earlier about how difficult it can be to insert the shoulder belt into the guide. My daughter pulls her seat belt out so far as she leans to the side to buckle the belt, that she engages the auto-lock on the seatbelt retractor. I don't realize this, however, until the next time we get in the car and the belt won't budge. I then have to take it out of the belt guide so that I can retract it completely and then re-insert it. Of course, this always happens when we are in a hurry, so I get frustrated. I am trying to teach her to pull it out less, but she needs a lot of slack in order to successfully buckle the belt on her own. Maybe my old car has a shorter seatbelt than newer cars, and the auto-lock engages sooner than it would in another car. I really don't see how this can be a legitimate complaint about the seat, however, since it is actually a good safety feature to prevent the seatbelt from slipping out of the guide. If there is a booster out there that has a shoulder belt guide which is quite easy to slip the belt into, but which also doens't allow it to slip out, I'd love to hear about it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS BOOSTER!!!, March 2, 2010
By 
Mommy Brooks (Long Island, NY) - See all my reviews
I LOVE this booster seat!

This booster seat is FABULOUS. The "latch" system is a great idea and the straps located just underneath the seat adjust to make the fit in your vehicle snug as can be, so the seat does not wobble around in your car. Also, it is easily transported to a different vehicle; the booster seat latched and unlatched easily. My 5-year-old is extremely comfy and cozy in it... so comfy and cozy in it that she fell asleep on a late night car ride -- love the side wings and the padded seat.... Most important, the booster is SAFE! And, my daughter is tickled with her "own" cup holder!

Admittedly, there is a downside: my daughter can't hook the seatbelt herself, something she could do in her previous carseat. Nevertheless, the many pros far outweigh this one "con."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great booster seat!, March 31, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My kids have been in a Britax Marathon since they were 1. My son is almost 5 and my daughter is 6.5. We have been thinking about moving them to booster seats for a couple of weeks and thought that now would be a good time. They are both still within the weight and height limits of their Marathon, but the tops of their heads still up well over the top of the back. It wasn't comfortable for them.
I bought one int he gray with black for my son and a gray and pink for my daughter. They arrived and both kids were thrilled. I did a lot of research on the various booster type seats. The deciding factor for me on the Monterey was the clips that LATCH the booster to the vehicle seat. It doesn't move around when my kids climb in and out of the seat and it isn't a projectile in the vehicle when they aren't in it (because who really belts an empty booster into the vehicle?) I know that we wouldn't, what with school dropoffs and pick ups.
They were a snap to get installed into our van seats, could not have been easier. The Monterey was also really easy to adjust to the proper fit of my kids.
Two weeks after their arrival, we headed out on a road trip from Minnesota to Florida. These seats were wonderful! Two cupholders, perfect!
We drove straight through, once my kids fell asleep in their seats, they were out for the night. They didn't do any of the head flopping forward at all, why? because our van seats are captains seats and I reclined them the slightest bit (the Monterey back also reclines slightly) and they slept all through the night! It was so nice.
I asked both of them if they like their new seats and if they are comfortable, I get a very enthusiastic "yes!" They love them.
My husband picked up some neck pillows at Target for them, they used them for a short while, but once we figured out the whole recline thing, the pillows were tossed in the back.
I did have to wash their seat covers when we got home, which was sort of a pain, but no more than having to thread the straps through the Marathon (total pain). I did the washing and reinstalling, as my husband doesn't have the patience for it....(also, it says to handwash, I ran them on the delicate cycle of our front loader and they came out great!)
All in all, we are really happy with our purchase of these. They are comfortable, have a very solid build and are going to be used for a long time!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great seat!, June 28, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunshine Kids Monterey Booster Car Seat, Black (Baby Product)
I needed a seat for an older restored VW BUS. I wanted the be able to latch the seat to the frame and get the extra protection on the side impact. Tried a few seats and returned them. This one did the trick! It works very well. My 5 (42 lb very tall) year old does not think it's a baby seat. He loves the thing! Lots of padding, cleans easily. The upgraded shoulder strap I had installed works very well with this seat, other seats not so well. His head doesn't bob when he falls asleep. We will use this seat for many years to come.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monterey Booster perfect fit for Traditional Car, May 18, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For a 4.5-year old boy: Well made, Extremely comfortable, soft, fits perfect in the backseat of my 2-Door Solara (i.e. family sized, 2-door camry). The seat is easy to adjust for childs size, and easy for him to buckle himself in [parents do need to check the seat is secure and the seatbelt is properly threaded]. We're probably one of the few families in the world that have refused to get an SUV or minivan - and not a problem - the anchors are still there and the seat can be secured as intended. What a phenomenal difference and improvement over the non-secured, hard Graco boosters we used for our daughter and at first for our son. There's just no comparison - I feel safe with him in this, and it's worth every penny. Slight mishap on putting the seat together (which was my fault) because I unsecured the bottom straps to see what they were, then put them back in the wrong way - a nightmare to release, but again -this was my fault. So, if you do get this, just make sure if you pull the bottom anchor straps out, that you put them back in the way they were. Overall a great, comfortable childseat that looks like it should last for a long time. We purchased light grey, and it is beautiful with a plush look. Not too hot for the Miami heat either; probably just as cozy in a cold weather environment.

Update: 3 Years Later the seat is in Great Condition. Good quality, still comfortable. Not sure when son's supposed to come out - he just hit 50 pounds. But still fits well, straps are still strong and in good condition.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We love this booster!, March 2, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We have two of these boosters. I love the fact that they have LATCH and can be secured to the vehicle seat. They are adjustable by shoulder width and height. Perfect for my tall children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not big enough, March 2, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunshine Kids Monterey Booster Car Seat, Black (Baby Product)
This booster is not large enough for an older child. It states "fits children to 120 pounds and 63" in height", but my child is only 85 lbs and 54 inches and the seat is not wide enough and the highest height adjustment is too close to the shoulders. The shoulder width adjusts larger, but the seat is not as wide as the shoulders. If your child has a skinny butt and shoulders like a linebacker, this seat would work. But for an average build, it doesn't seem proportionate. Nice sturdy seat for a smaller child. It would be helpful if actual measurements were stated. Free return is a good thing!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, December 26, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am glad I went with this seat. I like the side impact and the versatility of it as well. It can be hard to buckle because I think the seat is a little wide for my backseat and can sit over the buckle, but that doesn't matter as long as I feel she is safe. Easy to install love that I can LATCH it into place. She loves it too very comfy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Son Loves It, March 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was surprised at how big this thing is, in a good way. My son is small for his age but was too big for the toddler seat so I purchased this. I love how you can customize the width and height of the supports. Right now I have it on the lowest settings. One of the complaints my son had with the toddler seat was it was too narrow for him. With this you can widen the supports as needed, same for the headrest and the height adjustments. The included cupholders are a bonus. The seatbelt guide is great. Keeps the seatbelt in the exact spot it should be. It also easy for my son to fasten the seatbelt himself. It does fasten with the LATCH fasteners but that shouldn't be the sole reason to purchase. One of our vehicles was about 14 years old and did not have LATCH so the seatbelt itself is what kept it from moving. It never slid around when it was just me driving nor did I feel it was any less safe. This seat is also highly rated by Consumer Reports and IIHS as well.
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Sunshine Kids Monterey Booster Car Seat, Black
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