Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Review
Pros: Easy to install, nicely put together, non-rethread harness
Cons: Basic crash test results, higher price
Manufacturer: Peg Perego
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Peg Perego is an Italian company that makes a variety of baby products, including car seats, strollers, and ride-on toys. They are known for their attention to quality and detail. The Perego family started the company in 1949 and take pride in being part of the entire process from design and development to production.
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio crash test data indicates that it meets the Federal Minimum guidelines for safety as defined in the FMVSS 213. In crash tests designed to the specifications used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this seat was below the maximum limit for both the head and chest sensor data during testing. All of the products in this review meet or exceed the guidelines and are therefore considered safe according to the standard. The Peg results, however, show sensor data that is higher than some of the competition and therefore, does not offer an additional margin of safety over seven of the competing products in this review.
The charts shown below include the crash test data results for the head and chest sensors located in the crash test dummy from the Peg Perego (shown in black). The test data for the products with the least amount of G-forces for each sensor show a comparison.
The sensor located in the head portion of the Britax Allegiance test dummy has the lowest recorded G-forces. The Clek Foonf has the least amount of G-forces in the dummy's chest sensor than all the other seats that were tested (in green).
Ease of Install - LATCH
The Peg earned an 8 of 10 for ease of installation using the LATCH system.
Utilizing the LATCH should be easier than installing with the vehicle belt. For the most part, testers felt it was equally easy to install rear-facing as it is front, but at least one tester had difficulty installing the seat rear-facing in a Subaru Outback. The seat didn't feel very stable in the rear-facing position, even though we had the straps so tight we could barely get them unbuckled. It almost needs a towel under the base to get a proper angle in most of the vehicles we tested, but then the towel gets in the way of the anchors. We did like that there are dual tightening straps as opposed to the more common one side strap. Overall the stability of the seat and our ability to install it securely was better than average with this seat.
Ease of Install - Belt
The Peg earned an equal score for belt installation as it did for LATCH, which is pretty impressive given that the LATCH should be easier than the belt.
The belt path for the forward-facing configuration (above left) varies compared to the rear-facing configuration (above right) for the Peg.
The Peg does not have a belt lock-off as much as it has a positioning/stabilizing clip on the sides of the seat. The clip where the buckle inserts into the vehicle is the only one you use, and we had some difficulty with the plastic button on the seatbelt crossing in the same path as the clip making the clip hard to close. The belt path for forward and rear-facing are both easy to follow, and hands of almost any size can thread the belt. The recline adjustment is in the front of the seat near the foot and is hard to access with a rear-facing installation. In general, we were able to get a stable installation using the belt in both the rear and forward-facing positions.
Ease of Use
In the ease of use section, the Perego earned an above-average score with features that compare favorably to the competition.
The buckle on the Peg isn't the best of the bunch and is similar in ease of use to about half the other buckles. The chest clip is easier to use and didn't have any issues.
This Peg seat has a non-rethread harness height mechanism in the moveable headrest. The headrest shoulder straps smoothly slide when you pull the tab at the top. The harness has ten different options for height adjustment, and the crotch strap has one position. This type of design is one of the easiest in the group. We appreciate the fact that it can be adjusted on the go while the baby is still in the seat. Tightening and loosening the harness is also easy with the tighten strap and loosen button located near the foot of the base.
Storage for the LATCH anchors is better than much of the competition. While this feature isn't as crucial on convertible seats as it is on infant bases where the straps could cause trouble installing the carriers, it is still nice to be able to store the anchors out of the way and in a safe location. The clips attach under the seat on the top of the base, and the tether strap stows away in a hard case on the back.
Removal of this fabric is more convoluted than some products given the adjustable headrest contraption but still manageable. The cover fabric is machine washable (woohoo!) but it should be air-dried.
This Perego offers high-quality materials brought together in a manner comfortable for little passengers. The fabric wraps around the bottom and edges of the shell and is smooth enough to wipe clean. The infant insert and fabric around the head are both textured and seemed like they would be more absorbent than the majority of the fabric on the seat. The fabric is not particularly soft or comfortable, but it feels like quality fabric that should stand the test of time. The padding is firm and thick enough over the hard plastic shell that you can't feel bumps or grooves on the seat. It isn't a lot of padding, but it is enough to avoid obvious discomfort.
This seat is one of the rare in the group that is self-contained and smooth. This design will make it easy to keep clean and avoid the collection of crud in the small spaces and grooves found on most of the seat backs. The LATCH anchor storage is also very tidy, and the tether strap has a storage box where it hides, and there is even a slot on the back for the user manual.
The overall fit and finish of this seat are partly to credit for the Peg's good showing in this metric. The fabric fits precisely over the frame and conceals the edges of the seat. The plastic frame feels sturdier than most of the competition with plastic only shells/frames. It has nice rounded edges, and apart from two holes, the bottom is entirely enclosed and flat. This surface means a significantly smaller chance of this product causing damage to your vehicle.
The Primo convertible is about 21 lbs. This weight makes it one of the heavier options in the group. If you live in the city or plan to take your seat on travel, then the overall weight might factor into your decision on what to purchase. Alternatively, depending on your vehicle or number of children, you might be more interested in how much space the seat takes up in your vehicle and whether or not you can fit 2-3 across or have space for another person to sit between two seats. The Peg is 18.25 inches at its widest point, making it one of the narrowest seats in the review. The combined weight and width measurements give it a 6 of 10 for weight and size.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team