When it comes to selecting a convertible car seat, the choices are seemingly endless. Peg Perego hails from Italy and is a familiar face in the world of infant seats. The Primo Viaggio Convertible has some excellent features, a few drawbacks, but overall is a very nice car seat. Could it be the one for you? Check it out.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 5-45 pounds
- Rear facing height range: head 1″ below the head rest in the 7th position
- Note: seats manufactured after 2014 have a 47″ rear facing height limit
- Forward facing weight range: 22-70 pounds
- Forward facing height range: under 49″
- Lowest harness position: 7.5″ with infant insert
- Highest harness position: 17″
- Expiration: 7 years
- No re-thread harness
- Compatible with inflatable vehicle seat belts
- Allows use of rear facing tether (seats made after March 2013)
- Newborn insert
- Two position crotch buckle
- Convenient loops hold harness to the side while buckling/unbuckling
- Easy recline adjustment
- Storage clips for lower anchors
- Handy storage compartment for tether and manual
I installed the Primo Viaggio Convertible in several vehicles rear and forward facing, with lower anchors and with the seat belt. I didn’t run into any major issues, although installation with lower anchors was significantly easier than the seat belt installations that I did.
There are dual lower anchor straps with push button connectors that are easy to attach to the vehicle’s lower anchors. Rear facing, the seat left a surprising amount of space for a front passenger. In this photo, the Primo Viaggio Convertible is adjusted to its highest rear facing position in a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta. There is still plenty of space for a front passenger to sit comfortably.
Forward facing installation with LATCH was equally easy. The Primo Viaggio Convertible does sit fairly high up on the vehicle seat, but even when adjusted to the highest headrest position there is plenty of room for the child to easily climb in and out. The Primo Viaggio Convertible allows lower anchors to be used up until the child weighs 40 pounds, at which point the seat should be installed using the seat belt.
Forward facing seat belt installation is relatively straightforward. The seat does have lock off clips on each side of the forward facing belt path. The manual states that the clips are for stability only and do NOT replace the seat belt’s locking mechanism. You must lock the seat belt in addition to using the lockoff clips.
Installation: Rear Facing
Vehicle Seat Belt
Installation using the seat belt was a little bit tricky, however. The rear facing belt path has two openings that the seat belt must go through, and there is empty space in between. The manual directs you to lay the seat flat as shown to allow access to the opening of the second slot and assist in feeding the seat belt through. The process is awkward and frankly, it tends to eat hands.
Once the seat is buckled in, it doesn’t leave the installer a good angle to pull the seat belt tight. It took quite a bit of work to remove all the slack from the belt because of the awkward angle.
The Primo Viaggio Convertible allows use of the tether when rear facing as long as the seat was manufactured after March 2013, which can prevent excessive rotation of the seat in a crash. Wrap the included d-ring strap around the rail of the vehicle seat forward of the child seat, then attach the tether and pull snug. There is a handy storage compartment to stow the excess tether strap webbing after everything is hooked up. Many vehicle manufacturers now prohibit rear facing tethering, so be sure you know your vehicle’s rules before using this.
Fit to Child
I used this seat rear facing for my daughter (6 months, 14 pounds, 26″); and both rear and forward facing for my son (5 years, 40 pounds, 42.5″ with a 15″ torso).
My 6 month old fit nicely both with and without the substantial infant insert, however I preferred the fit without. The insert boosts the child high enough that the crotch buckle can be used on the outermost position, which is nice because on the innermost position the buckle is somewhat swallowed by the non removable belly pad. The picture to the left is without the insert, right is with the insert. The manual allows you to use the insert as long as you would like when rear facing. The harness strap covers are optional, and they were a bit bulky on her so I left them off. With the insert, the bottom harness position is 7.5″, making it low enough to fit a tall newborn.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my 5 year old, who has outgrown many rear facing convertible seats in height, fit rear facing in the Primo Viaggio Convertible. The Primo Viaggio Convertible allows rear facing up to 45 pounds and up to 1″ from the top of the headrest in the 7th headrest position, which is about 24″ tall. He fit comfortably and asked to ride this way several times as we tested this seat.
My 5 year old also rode in the seat forward facing, and was very comfortable. He really liked how high up the seat sits (“I can touch the ceiling, mom!”) and he loved the red color.
The harness strap covers were perfect for him. He has about an inch or so of torso growth room before he will exceed the 17″ top harness position.
Important Information: Where to Find
FAA Approval: The Primo Viaggio 5-70 is approved for use on airplanes. The FAA approval sticker is located on the left side of the shell.
Manual Storage: The manual stores on the back of the Primo Viaggio 5-70, towards the bottom.,
Extra Storage: There is a storage spot for the locking clip and rear facing tether D-ring at the top of the the back of the Primo Viaggio 5-70.
I found the seat easy to use with both children. The harness adjustment is very easy to tighten and loosen, and the infant insert and two positions for the crotch buckle gave great versatility to get a perfect fit on both kids. The high rear facing weight limit, generous rear facing height room, rear facing tethering capability, and oodles of easy to use features make this seat a keeper!
Now comes the best part, the generous folks at Peg Perego provided this Crystal Red Primo Viaggio 5-70 for us to review, and they would like to give one away to one of our readers in your choice of color. Contest is open to US residents only, enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
**Giveaway is now closed, congrats to the winner, Liz H!**
If you didn’t win, don’t despair! Find the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible on Amazon.com!
Originally written by Emma Douglas. Edits maintained by CSFTL.