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Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Review

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $300.00 List | $299.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Better crash test results, Anti-Rebound Bar, easy install
Cons:  Heavier, harder to install LATCH system
Bottom line:  A great all-around 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. This seat is very easy t install, no matter which type you choose, but it is particularly easy to manage without the base. When compared side-by-side with the competition this seat really shines and impresses with its quality and comfort. Possibly the only drawback is the slightly higher price tag. However, the price might be justified given how well it performed. Overall, we really liked the Peg Perego and gave it our Editors' Choice award.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Infant Car Seats of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

Last Updated:
Sunday
November 1, 2015

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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. 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 seat is supported by car seat adapters from top rated strollers outside of the Peg Perego lineup. In our full-size stroller review 8 of the top 10 rated strollers offer a car seat adapter compatible with the Peg.

Performance Comparison


We tested and compared the Peg Perego to 14 other top products, examining performance in detail on seven key rating metrics. The chart shows a comparison of overall scores for the infant seats tested in this review


Additional details on how the Peg Perego performed during testing can be found by metric in the sections below. Individual scores in each metric were combined to determine overall scores and rank.

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

Crash Test


The Peg has comparatively impressive crash test results overall scoring an 8 of 10, well above average in our test, and suggests it provides a higher level of protection than required by the basic Federal safety regulations. The Peg had the fifth best score for chest forces, and the sixth best in head forces, performing better in these crash tests 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 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. 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.

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) 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 Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 for the lowest Gs (best) recorded in the chest sensor (g).

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 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 can decrease the amount of motion for baby's head and body. We do not have any tests results to determine the benefits of this additional feature, but it does have some merit.

Ease of Install - LATCH




The Peg earned a 7 of 10 for the ease of install using the LATCH system.


The high score is a 9 shared by the UPPAbaby Mesa, Chicco Keyfit 30, and the Cybex Aton 2.

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. 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, 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 most of the competition.

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
The Primo Viaggio's level is a nice bubble indicator in a bright green liquid that should sit at a different spot depending on the weight of the baby. This level works much like an ordinary construction level, and we found it worked consistently unlike some of the products with 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
The base recline adjusts using a knob that moves the foot up or down depending on the need. Unlike some of the other seats, the foot is easy to adjust even after the base is tightened down. We think this will lead to greater compliance with ensuring that the base remains properly installed as baby grows.

Installation with the vehicle belt is easy on the Peg Perego
Installation with the vehicle belt is easy on the Peg Perego

Ease of Install - Belt


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 belt installation a breeze. The lock-off is the easiest one in the group to use. The openings for the belt thread are not holes like most of the competition but are somewhat open and the belt threads easily. 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.

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

Ease of Install - 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. The low score for this metric is 4 for the Chicco Keyfit 30.

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.

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 Embrace and the Recaro Performance Coupe.


The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 earned the lowest score for this metric, which is part of the reason it did not score higher overall even though it performed well in crash tests.

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 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 tightening strap located at 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 impede the tightening process or limit how small the harness can go like a few of the other seats. There is a button located at the foot of the carrier under a small amount of padding used to loosen the harness.

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 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 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 if you need to see it while you operate it, then it might be easier with an empty carrier. We prefer a non-rethreading height adjustment because we think parents are more likely to comply to ensure that baby is properly restrained in the harness. This seat has six shoulder height positions and one crotch position. We wish it had more buckle slots, but we think that given the extra height adjustment slots it will still fit most babies.

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 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 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 five position options 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 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.

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 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 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.

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


Comfort/Quality


The Peg Perego earned an 8 of 10 for this metric, tying with Chicco Fit2 and the Cybex Cloud Q; this is the high score for the metric.


The Peg earned one of the top marks for the comfort of the padding on the seat. It has a medium firmness foam padding over the stiff dense foam found on all the seats. The double layer padding made this a really comfortable seat and one we think babies will really feel cozy in. 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 attach to the shell make a very nice final product.

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 average and will get the job done. It doesn't rub on the canopy and that is a win in our book. The canopy is medium in size and doesn't have a peek-a-boo window, but almost none of the canopies did.

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

Weight


The Peg earned a 6 of 10 for weight. It weighs in at 9.58 lbs. Given that some of the higher scoring products weigh over 10 lbs, this product feels relatively light with only four products having a lighter weight.


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. It is more important for parents that may be carrying their seat for longer distances instead of combining it with a stroller or baby carrier.

Stroller Compatibility


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 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.

Best Applications


The best application for this seat is any parent looking for a quality seat that offers comfort for baby, extra features for safety, a higher margin of protection based on crash test results, and is easy to install. This seat does have a higher price tag compared to some of the competition, but in the end, we think it is worth 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. It may seem on the surface 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 a good value for what it offers.

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

Conclusion


The Peg Perego is an impressive car seat that did well in just about every test. This infant seat earned the highest overall score and an above average score in every metric. We think it is a sharp looking product that is easy to use and comes with some exciting 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 product 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 Cozy Greens back seat mirror
The Cozy Greens back seat mirror
The company Cozy Greens makes a Cozy Greens Back Seat Mirror that is a great accessory for any parent to keep an eye on baby. The mirror has a flat base that rests against the front of the back seat headrest and secures with two adjustable straps that fit both horizontally and vertically. The mirror has a convex shatterproof surface and can pivot and adjust to provide a wider field of view. Once the mirror is adjusted, it can be tightened 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. Otherwise, Amazon users love this useful accessory.

Peg Perego accessories include:
Primo Viaggio Igloo Cover
Primo Viaggio Igloo Cover
  • The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Igloo is a cover for winter weather. It has a weatherproof outer layer and an inner layer of down padding to keep baby toasty warm on cold days.

Manufacturer Video


Installation using LATCH


Installation with a belt


Installation without the base
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

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Most recent review: November 1, 2015
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