Over the years, Diono has brought a number of solid booster seat options to the market. Many CSFTL families have gotten quite a bit of mileage out of the Monterey and the Cambria. The Solana 2 is a backless booster only. It includes lower anchors, two cupholders, and some extra padding that’s made it a fan favorite among our booster riders. Let’s take a closer look!
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Weight range: 40 – 120 pounds
- CSFTL recommends that children be at least 5 years old before moving to a booster seat.
- Height range: Up to 63 inches tall
- Expiration: 6 years
- Replace after a severe crash
- Width at widest point: 18.5 inches across the armrests and front
- Seat pan depth: 14.5 inches deep
- Seat height: ~4.5-5 inches tall
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Internal seat pan depth at the widest point: 17 inches
- Width at the hips: 14 inches. Note: the armrests flare out so the inside space is generous.
- Width at widest point: 18.5 inches wide with cupholders folded in
- Two swivel cup holders
- Standard lower anchors
- Available in a variety of bright colors
The Solana 2 has a couple of pretty solid features: cupholders that fold in and lower anchors to secure the seat when it’s not in use. The lower anchors also help secure the seat and prevent it from moving around while the child gets into the seat. For some of our families, this is a huge bonus!
It’s no secret that children who are taller than 57 inches tall can still require a booster seat until they pass the Five Step Test. Unfortunately, there’s a very small number of backless booster seats that have a height limit of more than 57 inches. Right now, that list includes the Graco RightGuide, the now-discontinued Safety 1st Incognito, the Peg Perego Viaggio Shuttle 120, and now the Solana 2!
At 18.5 inches across, the Solana 2 is a pretty wide seat. It’s definitely comfortable for all of our models but since it’s so wide, we wouldn’t consider it a great option for tight spaces. In vehicles with narrower captains chairs or heavily contoured vehicle seat backs, that width could be an issue.
Setting up the Seat
Getting the Solana 2 ready for use is pretty simple. Set the Solana 2 on the vehicle seat, then extend the lower anchor connectors until they’re long enough to reach the vehicle’s lower anchors. Attach the lower anchor connectors under the lower anchor in the vehicle (note: this is a little different than most car seats or booster seats, where the lower anchor connectors go over the vehicle’s anchor, these anchors attach with the opening side facing up), then pull the webbing to at the front of the Solana 2 until the slack is removed.
If you’re not using the lower anchors, remember to buckle the empty booster seat in when your child isn’t riding in the seat. Slide the shoulder portion of the vehicle seat belt over the armrest and it’s ready to go!
Fit to Child
7 Years Old
Our 7 year old weighs 65 pounds and is 49 inches tall. He found himself a bit tired when he first met the Solana 2. He was able to remain in the proper seating position and stay safely restrained as he slept.
9 Years Old
This kiddo is 9 years old. She’s 54 inches tall and wears a size 14 in clothes. The Solana 2 has become her favorite booster seat! It’s wider than most booster seats and comfy, but provides support for her thighs. It’s not heavy, and it’s easy to install.
She loves the cupholders and finds them easy to push in and out herself and use, while we’re driving or as she gets in and out of the car. This kiddo may never hit the height limit for this seat, but she’ll probably pass the Five Step Test way before reaching before the weight limit. The roomy interior means that she’ll be comfortable until that point.
10 Years Old
This model is 10 years old. She is 58 inches tall and weighs 105 pounds. Though she’s close to passing the Five Step Test, she still doesn’t get a safe adult seat belt fit in some vehicles. The Solana 2 provides plenty of support for her long legs and boosts her in to the correct position for a safe vehicle seat belt fit. She finds the Solana 2 to be a well-cushioned, comfortable seat and likes the cupholders. There are few booster seats that she still fits in and of those she has tried, the Solana 2 is her favorite.
Important Information: Where to Find
Expiration The date of manufacture can be found on the very bottom of the booster. The manual lists a 6 year expiration.
FAA Approval As with all booster seats, the Diono Solana 2 is not approved for use on airplanes. This is because airplanes only have lap only seat belts.
Manual Storage The manual stores underneath the seat pad.
The manual is tucked into a little pouch.
The Diono Solana 2 continues Diono’s trend of solidly excellent backless booster seats. It fits larger children well and is a great option for children who are not quite ready for the adult belt alone.