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Hands-on Gear Review

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Review


Infant Car Seat

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $300 List | $299.98 from Amazon
Pros:  Better crash test results, Anti-Rebound Bar, easy install
Cons:  Heavier, hard to install LATCH system
Bottom line:  Favorite Editors' Choice seat with good crash test results
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Peg Perego

The Skinny

The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 earned the highest overall score in this review. It is a nice looking car seat that has some interesting features and performed well in our tests. When compared side-by-side with the competition this seat really did shine and impressed testers with its quality and comfort. Possibly the only drawbacks are its slightly higher price tag and middle-of-the-pack weight. However, the price might just be justified given how well it performed and the weight is manageable and still not even close to the heaviest in the group. Overall, we really liked the Peg Perego and gave it our Editors' Choice award.

RELATED: Our complete review of infant car seats

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief, BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
November 1, 2015
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 is a rear facing car seat for babies 4-35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall. It is equipped with a "Right Tight System" base to securely lock the base in place and it has an innovative shell design for optimum safety and comfort. The base includes a built in anti-rebound bar for extra protection. The Primo offers side impact protection and is adjustable to 6 different height positions. The shell is lined with EPS energy absorbing foam for protection that is perforated for maximum circulation. It comes with a dual stage cushion system that comes with 2 cushions to properly position baby's head and shoulders. This car seat weighs 9.5 pounds and the handle is short and compact making it easier to carry and move. The car seat can be used without the base and has a color coded belt routing system to ensure proper attachment. This stroller is compatible with all Peg Perego strollers (except the Skate and Pliko Mini). In addition, it is widely supported by car seat adapters from top rated strollers. In our full size stroller review 8 of the top 10 rated strollers offer a car seat adapter compatible with the Peg, and all 5 of the top 5 support it.

Performance Comparison


We tested and compared the Peg Perego to 14 other top competing seats, examining performance in detail on seven key rating metrics.

Crash Test


The Peg Perego has a thick outer shell and thinner dense foam. It does offer more padding than a lot of the seats and the extra padding on the sides of the head potentially offers some side impact protection
The Peg Perego has a thick outer shell and thinner dense foam. It does offer more padding than a lot of the seats and the extra padding on the sides of the head potentially offers some side impact protection
The Peg has comparatively impressive crash test results overall scoring an 8 of 10, well above average in our test, and suggesting it provides a significantly higher level of protection than required by the basic Federal safety regulations. The Peg had the third best score out of 15 seats for chest forces, and 5th best out of 15 seats in head forces, performing better in these crash test scores than most seats we reviewed.

The crash test results were based on the G forces recorded in the sensors located in the head and chest of crash test dummies in sled tests designed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) specifications. The tests are designed to ensure each seat meets the Federal safety guidelines outlined in FMVSS 213. The test results were compared to one another and the Federal minimum guidelines to evaluate each seat in respect to one another. While any seat that is sold in the US must offer the basic level of protection from FMVSS 213, some seats seem to offer an additional margin of protection with crash test results above the minimum requirements. The Peg is one of those seats.

This chart shows the Peg Perego crash test results for the head region in comparison to the seat with the lowest recorded G forces  the Chicco Keyfit 30.
This chart shows the Peg Perego crash test results for the head region in comparison to the seat with the lowest recorded G forces, the Chicco Keyfit 30.
The charts show the Peg (in black) in relation to the top performing seats (shown in green) for the head and chest regions. The Chicco Keyfit 30 had the lowest Gs (best) recorded in test results for the head region, and the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 for the lowest Gs (best) recorded in the chest sensor.
This chart shows the Peg Perego crash test results for the chest region in comparison to the seat with the lowest recorded G forces in the chest sensor  the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40.
This chart shows the Peg Perego crash test results for the chest region in comparison to the seat with the lowest recorded G forces in the chest sensor, the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40.

The Peg Perego offers a solid anti-rebound bar on its base
The Peg Perego offers a solid anti-rebound bar on its base
The Peg has an anti-rebound bar on the foot end of the base. The marketing for the Peg claims this feature potentially decreases the movement of the base and seat in the event of a crash. The bar extends up toward the back of the vehicle seat and limits the amount of motion that can happen to the car seat during an accident. This can decrease the amount of motion for baby's head and body. This seat also has EPS foam that absorbs energy and decreases the amount of energy exerted on baby. Both are features that Peg Perego claim can help add protection in the event of a crash. We do not have any tests results to determine the benefits of these additional features.

Ease of Install - LATCH




The Peg earned an above-average score for the ease of install using the LATCH system with a 7 of 10 score. The high score is a 9 shared by the UPPAbaby Mesa, Chicco Keyfit 30, and the Cybex Aton 2. The low score is a 3 earned by the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect.

Installation of the Peg Perego with the LATCH system was easier than with most other seats we reviewed
Installation of the Peg Perego with the LATCH system was easier than with most other seats we reviewed

The Peg Perego has anchors that resemble slim seat belts that push onto the U anchor on the vehicle and release by pressing the red button. We feel this anchor style is easiest to use. You can also see the anchor storage location in this photo
The Peg Perego has anchors that resemble slim seat belts that push onto the U anchor on the vehicle and release by pressing the red button. We feel this anchor style is easiest to use. You can also see the anchor storage location in this photo
This car seat has the more substantial, but easier to use, anchor that works more like a seatbelt than a simple clip. It is utilized by being pushed on the vehicle's U LATCH anchor and released by pushing the red button. The straps on the Peg anchors are easy to tighten, more so than some of the competition, but it is only about average for loosening. Given that this is something you aren't likely to do often, we don't think it is a deal breaker and it was still easier than 11 other seats we looked at. It appears that the longer a strap stays tightened the harder it is to loosen and many of the seats required us to apply pressure onto the base to get enough wiggle room in the strap to loosen it buckle.

The bubble level indicator on the Peg Perego works well and is easier to use than some of the other seat indicators in the group
The bubble level indicator on the Peg Perego works well and is easier to use than some of the other seat indicators in the group
Once the base is installed tightly, parents can ensure it is sitting at the proper angle by using the level on the base. This level has a nice bubble indicator in a bright green liquid that should sit at a different spot depending on the weight of baby. This level works well, much like a ordinary construction level, and we didn't have trouble with it being consistent like some of the products that had a ball style level where the ball got "hung" up and didn't behave consistently.

The recline feature on the Peg Perego is adjusted using an easy to turn knob located near the foot of the base
The recline feature on the Peg Perego is adjusted using an easy to turn knob located near the foot of the base
To adjust the base recline there is an easy to use knob that moves the foot up or down depending on the need. Unlike some of the other seats, this foot is easy to adjust even after the base is tightened down. This means parents can potentially adjust the base without loosening the straps on the LATCH anchors. We think this will lead to a greater compliance with ensuring that the base remains properly installed as baby grows.

Ease of Install - Belt


Installation with the vehicle belt is easy on the Peg Perego
Installation with the vehicle belt is easy on the Peg Perego
The Peg earned a 9 of 10 for ease of install using the vehicle belt. This is the high score tying it with the Phil and Teds Alpha. The low score is a 4 earned by the Evenflo Embrace LX.

The belt lock off on the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 shown in light grey with a yellow mock seatbelt running through it. Notice the side belt threads are open as opposed to closed like the majority of bases we looked at
The belt lock off on the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 shown in light grey with a yellow mock seatbelt running through it. Notice the side belt threads are open as opposed to closed like the majority of bases we looked at
The vehicle belt is easy to thread on the Peg Perego base because it doesn't have to go thru closed holes
The vehicle belt is easy to thread on the Peg Perego base because it doesn't have to go thru closed holes
The Peg Perego has a belt lock off on the base of the seat that helps make installation with a belt a breeze. The lock off is the easiest one in the group to use and we didn't struggle to get the belt in the correct place like some of the other lock offs in the competition. The openings for the belt thread are not holes like most of the competition, but are somewhat open and the belt threads easily without messing with getting it into a hole. Once installed it feels stable whether you use a shoulder/lap belt combo, or a lap only belt. We think this base has one of the nicest and easiest to use lock offs in the group.

Ease of Install - Without the Base


The Peg Perego Primo uses the European belt path method for installation without the base
The Peg Perego Primo uses the European belt path method for installation without the base
Installation without the base is the installation metric where the Peg really excels. It earned a 10 of 10, tying with the UPPAbaby Mesa for excelling in a metric many city dwellers may use more than others. The low score for this metric is 4 shared by the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Orbit Baby.

The blue block on the back of the Peg Perego is not the carrier release handle  but instead is the belt clip for the shoulder portion of the vehicle belt for installing the seat without the base
The blue block on the back of the Peg Perego is not the carrier release handle, but instead is the belt clip for the shoulder portion of the vehicle belt for installing the seat without the base
This seat has a European belt path that is color coded. This means the shoulder portion of the vehicle belt wraps around the back of the carrier and threads under a clip to hold it in place. The lap portion of the belt travels across the lower portion of the carrier. The vehicle belt is easy to install on this seat and it
The Peg can be installed using a lap belt only if that is all that the car provides
The Peg can be installed using a lap belt only if that is all that the car provides
threads nicely without any struggle through all the threading points. We did not have to use a towel or a pool noodle to achieve a secure fit. For the vehicles we used in our tests we found it is easiest to install by wrapping the shoulder belt portion first and then the lap belt. It is also equally easy to install using the lap only belt if necessary, which would be the same as an American belt path and the method more commonly used in the seats in this review. Both are considered safe and secure, but we like the European method better and feel it is more stable overall.

Ease of Use




The Peg Perego Primo earned a 7 of 10 for ease of use, which is 1 point below the high of 8. The seats that earned 8s are the Evenflo and the Recaro Performance Coupe. Several seats tied for last place with a score of 3, including the Orbit Baby G3, Graco SnugRide Classic Connect, and the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40.

The buckle on the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 is easy to use
The buckle on the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 is easy to use

The buckle on the Peg comes apart easily with minimal effort, but is stiffer than some to put back together. It doesn't require a lot of thumb strength and most people will be able to do it with one thumb on the buckle button. The chest clip is easiest operated with one hand and is similar to the Recaro Performance Coupe chest clip. The button is easy to push and the sides slide apart without catching. They are also easy to match up when putting the sides together.

The harness release button on the Peg Perego is located under the seat padding. The harness tightening strap is located at the foot of the carrier
The harness release button on the Peg Perego is located under the seat padding. The harness tightening strap is located at the foot of the carrier
The harness on the Peg is easy to tighten and loosen. The tightening strap located on the foot of the carrier is easy to pull and smoothly tightens the harness. This operation works relatively smoothly compared to the competition and the shoulder pads are small enough that they don't impeded the tightening process or limit how small the harness can go like a few of the other seats. To loosen the harness there is a button located at the foot of the carrier under a small amount of padding. The button is easy to depress and isn't so far beneath the surface that parents with smaller hands will struggle with it.

The non-rethread harness height adjustment offered on the Peg Perego
The non-rethread harness height adjustment offered on the Peg Perego
Adjusting the shoulder strap height on this seat is quite simple. It is a non-rethread design you operate from the back. There is a sliding mechanism that you first need to squeeze together with your thumb and forefinger to be able to move it up or down depending on need; the squeezing is easy and the sliding is smooth. You can do this with baby in the seat, but if you need to see it while you operate it, then it might be easier with baby outside the carrier or the carrier outside the car. We prefer the non-rethreading height adjustment methods because they are easier, and we think parents are more likely to comply with the process to ensure that baby is properly fitted to the harness, unlike the rethread harnesses that must be adjusted with baby out of seat and can be a time consuming process. This seat has 6 shoulder height positions (the most in the group) and 1 crotch position. We wish it had more buckle slots, but we we think that given the extra height adjustment slots it can be forgiven this short coming and still manage to fit most babies.

The carrier portion of the seat installs fairly easily on the base, but we did manage to occasionally connect only 1 side instead of both in multiple trials during testing. This is a little concerning and we suggest parents pay very close attention to the audile click, and then give the carrier a good tug to ensure proper attachment to the base. We can see this carrier becoming loose due to improper attachment, especially if parents are in a hurry. There are no visual indicators that this seat is properly connected. To release the carrier from the base you pull the handle on the back of the carrier and then use both hands to lift it off the base. The process is easy and we didn't have any problems during testing.

The Peg has 5 different handle positions and different allowable positions during driving depending on the method of installation
The Peg has 5 different handle positions and different allowable positions during driving depending on the method of installation
The handle on this seat is operated by squeezing the buttons on either side of the carrier at the pivot point and then rotating it to the desired position. The carrier handle has 5 position options and must be in the correct position for driving. There is 1 position for installation with a base and another for installation with the seat only, so parents need to be sure they have the right position for driving. Parents should consult the manual to avoid making a mistake. This is where parents are likely to forget and we wish they would have designed the handle such that position didn't matter or that a single position is correct no matter what type of installation. We found that the handle rubs on the canopy somewhat when it is up and the buttons for release are awkward to use and not as friendly as the rest of the group, but overall it isn't as frustrating as the seats that had major canopy/handle problems.

The smaller grey handle near the top of the Peg Perego carrier is the carrier release handle
The smaller grey handle near the top of the Peg Perego carrier is the carrier release handle
The onboard manual storage for the Peg Pergo is in a handy compartment on the back of the carrier
The onboard manual storage for the Peg Pergo is in a handy compartment on the back of the carrier
The LATCH anchors clip into small pockets on each side of the base near the recline foot for storage. Depending on positioning, the straps from the anchors could potentially still get in the way of installing the carrier on the base. It is probably best to tuck the trailing straps under the base to avoid a problem if you aren't using the LATCH anchors. Given the difficulty we already described about placing the carrier on the base, you certainly don't need any other potential complications preventing a proper seat attachment. The carrier also has a small stow pocket in the back for the manual so parents will have it handy for reference on any installation or adjustment concerns.

Comfort/Quality


The Peg Perego tied for first place on comfort and quality
The Peg Perego tied for first place on comfort and quality

The Peg Perego earned an 8 of 10 for this metric, tying with Phil and Teds Alpha; this is the high score for the metric and both seats impressed testers in their looks and soft padding. The low score on this metric is a 2 earned by the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect.

The Peg earned one of the top marks for comfort of the padding on the seat. It has a medium firmness foam padding over the stiff dense foam found on all the seats. It offers a pretty soft stage 2 cushion for older babies and a pretty firm stage 1 infant insert as well. The double layer padding made this a really comfortable seat and one we think babies will really feel cozy in. The fabric is also fairly nice, maybe not as much as the Phil and Teds but still really friendly. It is soft and smooth on the majority of the seat with a little bit of rougher fabric on the bottom cushion.

The shell on the Peg earned it the highest score in our side-by-side comparison for quality and durability. It is nicely constructed and has a good fit and finish. It appears as though it will be very durable over time and that attention has been paid to quality manufacturing. The way the padding and the fabric attach to the shell on this seat make a very nice final product that impressed our testers and we think it will impress parents as well.

The canopy on the Peg is one of the nicest looking ones in the group
The canopy on the Peg is one of the nicest looking ones in the group
The handle on this seat is about average and didn't really do much to impress; it isn't a disappointment so much as it isn't really noteworthy at all. It will get the job done, and we didn't find any defects with it. It doesn't rub on the canopy though and that is a win in our book. The canopy is medium in size and is above average for the group. It doesn't have a peek-a-boo window, but almost none of the canopies did, so it's hard to find fault with this lacking.

Weight


We wish the Peg Perego weighed less than its current 9.58 pounds
We wish the Peg Perego weighed less than its current 9.58 pounds
The only metric the Peg earned lower than a 7 in is the weight metric. It weighs in at 9.58 pounds which is slightly above the average in the group of 9.4 lbs, but lighter than its closest competitor the UPPAbaby with a weight of 10.25. Both seats however are much lighter than the heaviest product in the group the Orbit Baby G3 that has a weight of 12.5 pounds. The lightest is the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect with a carrier weight of 7.06 pounds.

While the carrier weight of any seat is important, we don't think it should be the most important thing parents consider. We recommend that parents use the weight as a deciding factor as opposed to a major factor. Once the options are narrowed down to two or three using other metrics like ease of installation, ease of use, and crash test results, then it is the best time to consider the carrier weight to help make the final decision.

Stroller Compatibility


In our review for the best baby strollers we tested 21 of the most popular strollers on the market to find the very best options for every family. While this Peg seat is compatible with the Peg Perego Booklet, the Booklet didn't impress us all that much. Instead we think the Primo Viaggio 4-35 would work well with our Best Value winner, the Baby Jogger City Mini Single It requires the purchase of an additional adapter to use this car seat, but we think the added expense is worth it to have an award winning stroller to go with your award winning car seat. This seat will also work with the BOB Revolution Flex, which won an Editors' Choice award and can be used for jogging once baby is old enough (8-12 months of age). The Revolution has an adjustable handlebar, suspension, and the highest maneuverability score in the group. Once again you will have to buy the Peg adapter, but it is a far better combination than the Viaggio and Booklet.

Best Applications


The best application for this seat is any parent looking for a fine quality seat that offers comfort for baby, extra features for safety, a higher margin of protection based on crash test scores, and an easy install. This seat does have a higher price tag compared to some of the competition, but in the end it really seems to be worth it. If this car seat is within budget, we think parents will be very happy with it.

Value


The Peg has a list price of $300 making it one of the more expensive seats in the group, but certainly not the most expensive in the group, which is the Orbit at over $400. It may seem on the surface, given the higher price, that it isn't a great value, however, it did perform well in tests and does sport enough additional features that we think it is worth it. We think it is a good value for what it offers.

Conclusion


The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 comes with 2 removable insert cushions that can be adjusted to improve the fit and comfort for babies of various sizes
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 comes with 2 removable insert cushions that can be adjusted to improve the fit and comfort for babies of various sizes
The Peg Perego is an impressive car seat that did well in just about every test we threw at it. This infant seat earned the highest overall score and an above average score in every single individual metric. In 2 different ease of installation metrics it earned the high score. We think it is a sharp looking seat that is easy to use and comes with some interesting features for safety and convenience. It has one of the easiest to adjust shoulder heights in the group and a nice buckle that is not as stiff as the competition. It is widely supported by most strollers offering car seat adapters. While we wish it was a wee bit lighter and easier to install using the LATCH system, it is still hard to find fault with this seat. The Peg is a seat we think most parents will love, we certainly were impressed with how well it performed and gave it our Editors' Choice award.

Other Versions and Accessories



The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 works with some strollers we have reviewed including several award winners. For standard size strollers the Peg can work with the Peg Perego Booklet, BOB Revolution Flex, the UPPAbaby Vista, and the Baby Jogger City Mini Single. For jogging strollers it can work with all the BOB strollers we tested, and the Thule strollers, the Thule Urban Glide and the Thule Glide.

Peg Perego also offers the Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30 infant style car seat. We did not review this seat in our article, but according to their website it looks like a similar seat to the Viaggio 4-35 with fewer features and attention to comfort. It still looks nicer in pictures than some of the cheaper seats in the review, and if it holds up to the Viaggio 4-35 it might be worth a look.
The Cozy Greens back seat mirror
The Cozy Greens back seat mirror
The company Cozy Greens makes a Back Seat Mirror which is a great accessory for any parent wanting to keep an eye on baby from the front seat. The mirror has a flat base that rests against the front of the back seat headrest and is kept secure by two adjustable straps that fit around both horizontally and vertically. The mirror has a convex shatter proof surface and set a few inches out from the base. It is able to pivot and adjust to provide a wider field of view. Once the mirror is adjusted, there is a device to tighten the pivot point to keep it in place. One of the few downsides to this mirror is that it requires an adjustable headrest for the straps to attach to. Otherwise, Amazon users seem to love this accessory. Many reviewers claimed that it provides a much clearer reflection than other back seat mirrors.

Other accessories include:
Primo Viaggio Igloo Cover
Primo Viaggio Igloo Cover
  • The Primo Viaggio Rain cover keeps the child sheltered from the rain and snow. It comes only in a neutral gray color and retails at around $40.
  • The Primo Viaggio Clima Cover at $80, is a temperature regulating microfiber seat cover designed to keep babies warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • The Primo Viaggio Igloo is a warm cover for winter weather. At $100, it has a weather proof outer layer and an inner layer of down padding in order to keep baby toasty warm on cold days.

Video


Installation using LATCH


Installation with a belt


Installation without the base
Juliet Spurrier, MD, Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team

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User Reviews


Most recent user review: November 1, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
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5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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