Car seats should be two things: safe and comfortable. Everything […]
Car seats should be two things: safe and comfortable. Everything else is just icing on the cake. That’s why I love the new Primo Viaggio 4-35 from Peg Perego—in addition to being extra safe and cozy for our baby, it has a long list of features that make it a joy for me to have around, too.
Perks for parents
I should mention we also have (and swear by) an older SIP 30-30 car seat from Peg Perego. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it could get any better—but it did! The new Primo Viaggio 4-35 is lighter, the fabric is softer, the design is sleeker, and it’s easier to handle. After a couple of trips, I was a full-fledged convert.
What do I like most about Peg Perego’s new seat? At 9.5 pounds, it’s 1.5 pounds lighter than the 30-30, which may not sound like a lot, but when I’m lugging a car seat around all day, every ounce matters. And speaking of little things making a difference, the elastic fitting straps are fantastic! These small straps on the sides of the seat hold the harness while I nestle my baby into place. Not having to fight to keep the straps open while maneuvering a wobbly newborn is a welcome time- (and sanity-) saver.
The Primo Viaggio 4-35 has all sorts of other creature comforts. The canopy is extremely generous and it’s also adjustable, removable and rated to UPF 50+. The handle is compact and comfortable for moving and carrying, and the rounded bottom on the seat has bought us lots of fuss-free moments when we’re out in public and in desperate need of a little rocking to fend off tears.
We use this seat to complete our Peg Perego travel system and it’s wonderful—it just snaps right on the chassis, and we’re good to go. (I should mention that this car seat is hot off the press, so adapters for travel systems outside the Peg Perego brand may not be readily available yet.)
There are a whopping 16 color choices ranging from vibrant to neutral, so it’s easy to match the Primo Viaggio 4-35 to a travel system or personal style. Ours is Atmosphere, which is very dark. I was worried about it getting too hot, but the Fresco Jersey fabric is breathable and soft, and we’ve had no issue with overheating in the warm weather. It’s easy to clean, too; the plastic parts are wipeable, and the fabric is machine washable.
I also have to highlight the great instruction manual. It offers very clear guidance, both visually and verbally, on everything from installation to refitting the pieces back together post-wash. Best of all, the manual fits into a slot in the rear compartment of the seat, so answering questions on the go is easy, and for me, having a designated spot ensures it won’t get lost. (But even it did, Peg Perego’s product manuals are available online.)
Reliable safety features
Since our baby arrived three weeks early, I can appreciate the peace of mind that comes with having a seat that’s safe for small babies. As the name suggests, the Primo Viaggio 4-35 is good for kiddos from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall, and it’s rear-facing only.
The Primo Viaggio 4-35 stays true to Peg Perego’s high safety standards: It includes two seat cushions as part of its Dual Stage Cushion system so baby’s head and shoulders are always properly protected by the side wings, and the shell and headrest are lined with energy absorbing Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam for impact protection. It also has adjustable Side Impact Protection, which can be moved to any of the six positions with the push of a button (no rethreading—yay!). The 5-point harness system is just as easy to adjust by using the harness adjustor button and strap on the front of the seat, and the removable padded strap covers ensure a snug -but-soft fit on our little one’s shoulders.
There’s another new safety feature, too: an anti-rebound bar. This was the only thing we had to “install” when we pulled the Primo Viaggio 4-35 out of the box. It takes about four seconds to snap into the base and provides extra protection in the event of a crash.
The base can be installed using a LATCH system or a seat belt. We secured our base using the LATCH system. What I like about the base is that I know with absolute certainty that it’s installed correctly. The instructions are crystal clear. I can hear the Right Tight lock-off clip click audibly into place, and I can tell it’s sitting at the right angle thanks to the level indicator that shows the best backrest angle for baby’s weight, so she’s never too reclined or too upright.
The base fits well in my Toyota Highlander; however, there isn’t a lot of leg/recline room for the front-passenger seat once the car seat is in place. I think this is more a reflection of my vehicle than a car seat issue, though, as the Primo Viaggio 4-35 has a relatively small-to-normal size footprint (the base is 21.6″ x 14.6″ 11.5″, and the car seat is 25.9″ x 17.0″ x 23.9″).
No base? No problem!
Another major perk: This seat is certified for air travel and for use with or without the base. Peg Perego made seat-belt installation as easy as possible with color-coded guides right on the seat. (Here’s a great video of a seat belt installation.) For parents who travel with their wee one, this is a godsend.
Although this feature makes it possible to use the seat in multiple vehicles, I wouldn’t want to mess with strapping the seat in without a base for every trip across town. Using the base is faster—just click the seat in place, lower the handle, and go. It’s also very safe, since you only have to install it once. For this reason, extra bases are available for purchase, but for travel, the base-less system can’t be beat.
My baby is the most important thing to me in the world, and I trust her safety to Peg Perego every single day. I would recommend the Primo Viaggio 4-35 to anyone. For my family, it’s worth every penny.
To buy: buybuybaby.com