Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Review
Pros: Better crash test results, anti-rebound bar, easy install
Cons: Heavier, harder to install LATCH system, few strollers are compatible
Manufacturer: Peg Perego
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Peg Perego is an Italian company that started in 1949. Giuseppe Perego founded the company with a single baby carriage. Peg's popularity continued to rise during the 60s with the development of strollers and a highchair. In the 70s, Peg launched lightweight strollers and ride-on toys for toddlers. The 80s saw the first Pilko options and electric riding toys. Peg Perego works to design innovative and stylish products.
The Peg has comparatively impressive crash test results, well above average in our tests that suggest it provides a higher level of protection than required by the basic federal safety regulations. The Peg performed better in crash tests than most of the seats in our tests.
The crash test results are 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 ensure each seat meets the Federal safety guidelines outlined in FMVSS 213. The test results are compared to one another and the Federal minimum guidelines to evaluate each seat. While any seat sold in the US must offer the basic level of protection, some seats offer an additional margin of protection with crash test results above the minimum requirements. The Peg is one of those seats.
The charts show the Peg (in black) compared 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 (HIC), and the Cybex Aton 2 for the lowest Gs (best) recorded in the chest sensor (g).
The Peg has an anti-rebound bar on the foot end of the base. The marketing claims this feature 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 feature can decrease the amount of motion for the baby's head and body. We do not have any test results to determine the benefits of this additional feature.
Ease of Install - LATCH
The Peg is relatively easy to install using the LATCH system. This car seat has the more substantial, but easier to use, anchor (below left).
You utilize it by pushing it on the vehicle's U LATCH anchor and releases by pushing the red button. The straps are easy to tighten, but it is only 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 is easier than most of the competition.
The Primo Viaggio's level is a bubble indicator (above right) in a bright green liquid that should sit at a different spot depending on the weight of the baby. This level works like an ordinary construction level, and we found it worked consistently.
The base recline adjusts using a knob that moves the foot up or down. Unlike some of the other seats, the foot is easy to adjust even after you tighten the base.
Ease of Install - Belt
The Peg is one of the easiest options to install using the vehicle belt.
The Peg Perego has a belt lock-off on the base of the seat that helps make belt installation a breeze. The lock-off is the easiest one in the group to use.
The openings for the belt thread are somewhat open, and the belt threads easily. Once installed, it feels stable whether you use a shoulder/lap belt 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
Installation without the base is the installation method where the Peg really excels.
This seat has a color-coded European belt path, which 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, and it threads without any struggle through the pathway. We did not have to use a towel or a pool noodle to achieve a secure fit.
Ease of Use
The Peg Perego Primo is comparatively easy to use.
The buckle comes apart with minimal effort but is stiffer than some to put back together. It doesn't require a lot of thumb strength, and the chest clip is easy to operate with one hand. 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 tightening strap located at the foot of the carrier is comfortable to pull and tightens smoothly. The shoulder pads are small enough that they don't impede the tightening process or limit how little the harness can go like some of the competition. To loosen the harness, you press a button located at the foot of the carrier under a small amount of padding.
Adjusting the shoulder strap height is a non-rethread design you operate from the back. There is a sliding mechanism you squeeze together with your thumb and forefinger to move it up or down; the squeezing is simple, and the sliding is smooth. You can do this with your baby in the seat, but it might be more comfortable with an empty carrier. This seat has six shoulder height positions and one crotch position.
The handle on this seat is average. The handle operates by squeezing the buttons on either side at the pivot point and then rotating to the desired position. It has five positions and must be in the correct position for driving. There is one position for installation with a base and another for installation with the seat only, so you need to review the manual before driving. The handle rubs on the canopy somewhat when it is up, and the buttons for release are awkward to use.
Carrier and Base Connection
The carrier portion of the seat installs fairly easily on the base, but we did manage to occasionally connect only one side instead of both in multiple trials during testing. Connecting only one side is a little concerning, and we suggest parents pay very close attention to the audible click and 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 connected correctly. 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.
LATCH Anchors and Manual Storage
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 can potentially get in the way of attaching the carrier to the base. It is probably best to tuck the trailing straps under the base to avoid a problem. The carrier also has a small stow pocket in the back for the manual.
The Peg Perego has impressive quality and features for comfort. The Peg earned one of the top marks for the comfort of the padding on the seat.
The Peg has medium firmness padding over the stiff, dense foam found on all the seats. The double-layer padding makes this a comfortable seat and one we think babies will really find cozy. The fabric 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. The way the padding and the fabric attached to the shell makes a very nice final product.
The Peg weighs in at 9.58 lbs. Given that some of the higher scoring products weigh over 10 lbs, this product feels relatively light.
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 weight as a deciding factor as opposed to a significant factor. It is more important for parents that may be carrying their seat for longer distances.
In our review for the best full-size strollers, we tested many of the top strollers to find the best choices for every family. While this Peg seat is compatible with the Peg Perego Booklet, the Booklet didn't impress us that much. Instead, we think the Primo Viaggio 4-35 would work well with our Best Value winner, the Baby Jogger City Mini. It requires the purchase of an additional adapter, and it utilizes a two-step process that includes straps. While not our favorite, it is one way to combine this seat with a stroller. Alternatively, you can skip the stroller and use a great hands-free baby carrier instead.
Installation using LATCH:
Installation using a seatbelt:
Installation without using the base:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz