The Italian-made Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 5-70 uses some of the nicest materials you can find in a car seat. Do the safety features and ease-of-use match up with its competitors? Read on for a complete review.
Given the premium price of this seat, it’s expected that there be premium safety features built in. While there aren’t any groundbreaking innovations in this seat, there are a couple features which go beyond those offered in low-cost seats.
A steel plate in the seat back is designed to support the head and spine in an impact.
The Primo Viaggio has generous side impact protection (SIP) bolsters made of EPS foam. This is adjustable to the height of the child.
There is also a block of foam beneath the seat designed to crumple in an impact and reduce crash forces, which Peg Perego calls “SAFE” (Shock Absorbing Foam Element).
Weight and Dimensions
One of the most important items to check when selecting a car seat is its dimensions. If your vehicle is on the smaller side or you need to fit multiple child seats, the size can be an issue. Here’s how the Primo Viaggio compares to other seats:
Depth: 21.2” – The depth of this seat is average. Only those with tall passengers up front or very small cars and average-to-tall passengers up front should have an issue with legroom up front.
Width: 18.7” – This seat is also average in width. All but the smallest cars will have no issue fitting three across or seating passengers next to this car seat.
Height: 26” – The height is average for a convertible seat and shouldn’t be an issue with blocking your rear view.
Weight: 21 pounds – The weight is a bit on the heavy side, but still far from being one of the heaviest. This is typical with seats that use steel to reinforce the structure. The weight isn’t much of an issue during installation or for moving between cars. Consider a lighter seat if you’ll be traveling with it frequently.
The instruction manual can be found in a holder on the lower back side of the seat. I found it to be well laid out with plenty of good illustrations showing both how to install the seat properly and what to avoid.
When it comes to installing this seat, it’s as easy as I’ve ever seen for LATCH and still one of the best if using the vehicle’s seat belt.
With LATCH, the straps have a storage bar to hold them out of the way when not in use. What makes the system really easy on the Primo Viaggio is that the two straps can easily be pulled in one motion to the front or the back of the seat, depending on whether you’re installing forward or rear facing.
If you install using the vehicle’s seatbelt, it can be a little tricky threading the belt through the car seat due to the fairly small openings. Once you get it through, though, it’s easy to secure the seat.
The recline angle of convertible seats need to be adjusted when going from rear facing to forward facing. On this seat, you pull a handle below the front and tilt the seat into place. An indicator line on the side of the seat helps in making this adjustment.
There’s one other great thing you may notice about this seat during installation; the bottom of the base is very smooth. If you first used an infant car seat base, you probably know that they all have lumps of plastic on the bottom which dig into the seat. If you have leather seats, this can stretch the leather and leave permanent marks. The Primo Viaggio’s base is very smooth so it’s less prone to this happening. If you’re very careful about your leather like I am, you can still add a seat protector in between just to be extra careful.
In the rear facing position, this seat can be used up to 45 pounds. This is a very high weight limit and is great for keeping children rear facing longer, which is of course safest.
A helpful visual indicator for the child’s maximum height is included on the seat so you’ll know when it’s time to change over to forward facing.
This seat also has a high forward facing limit at 70 pounds. This seat will likely be outgrown by its height limit of 49” first, but the high limit could be helpful for children with shorter torsos.
Peg Perego uses a pretty typical harness setup, but has added a couple of very welcome features. First is the harness retainer. This is a pair of straps on each side of the seat used to keep the harness from getting tangled or stuck behind the child when they’re first seated. The straps used to implement this are much more effective than the magnets some other brands use.
Next is the shoulder harness adjustment. With many seats, adjusting the harness height is a pain. They often require removing the seat and rethreading the harness through the back at the desired height. With the Primo Viaggio, it’s much simpler. Just press the button at the top of the headrest and you can move the headrest up or down to one of ten positions. When you make this adjustment, the shoulder straps move along with it. Simple as that.
The crotch strap has two positions and you do need to rethread it to adjust, but it’s not necessary to remove the seat to do this. This adjustment is only made once when going from an infant to an older child, so it’s not much of a hassle and this is something nearly all seats require.
Overall, this seat is about as easy to adjust as it gets.
Fabric and Design
The materials really make this seat stand out. This seat is Italian made, and it lives up to Italy’s reputation for craftsmanship. Whether you look at the all-fabric or the leather seats, the Primo Viaggio is one of the nicest looking seats out there. If finding a seat that looks great inside your car is one of your goals, I don’t think you can do any better.
Peg Perego offers a total of 10 different color choices for this seat, as shown above. Crystal Beige, Crystal Red, Fucsia, Licorice, and Paloma are available from a number of retailers including Amazon. Acquamarine, Atmosphere, Acquamarine, and Pearl Gray are a little trickier to find.
There are two options for materials with the Primo Viaggio. The Licorice and Paloma seats use a combination of fabric and leather. The leather runs along the outside edge of the seat, which is a smart design since it will keep it away from a child’s skin in a hot or cold car. These seats really look great in cars with leather.
The rest of the seats are fully fabric, using “Jersey Fresco” material. The fabric has a great feel and plenty of cushioning – it’s a very comfortable seat. Jersey Fresco is advertised as being breathable, which seems to be the case as it doesn’t get too hot. It wipes clean just as easily as any of the slicker, non-breathable fabrics I’ve seen. It’s also machine washable which I feel is very important for big spills and periodic cleaning. All in all, I’m very impressed with the materials of the Primo Viaggio.
Warranty and Customer Service
This seat has a 1-year warranty, which is typical for child seats. Feedback on Peg Perego’s customer service is a bit mixed, but mostly positive. They’re very quick to respond, but in some cases may not be quite as friendly or helpful as those who set the bar high at companies like Britax.
All convertible seats have an expiration date. This seat expires 7 years from the date of manufacture. This is a year more than a number of seats out there, which will help you get the most of it if you start your child in this seat as an infant.
This is a pricey car seat. The all-fabric color options are somewhat cheaper than the leather Licorice and Paloma seats, but still run over $300. However, given that the material quality is so good, and the safety features match the rest of the high end competition, I don’t feel the price is outrageous.
An infant filler cushion is included for small children to allow for better positioning and fit. This is the only extra item included with the seat.
Peg Perego offers a cup holder and travel bag for the Primo Viaggio. They also have a Clima Cover. It’s a thermal cover for the seat to supposedly help keep the child warm or cool. Given that the fabric included with the seat is of good quality and doesn’t get too hot or cold, I’m not sure who would opt for this cover. It might be even better for comfort, but it’s not cheap and I don’t think it looks as nice as the fabric included on the seat. I’d stick with the included fabric unless you live in an extreme climate and have issues with ordinary fabrics.
- Great safety features
- Straightforward installation
- Harness easily adjusts along with headrest
- Handy harness holders
- Very comfortable padding and fabric
- Good range of color choices
- Possibly the best-looking convertible seat
- Shoulder pads long, bunch up for infants
- Pricey, particularly for leather models
There simply isn’t a better looking or more comfortable car seat out there, and the safety features of the Primo Viaggio match that of its competitors. This seat has a premium price tag, but I feel that it does live up to being a premium car seat.