Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 High Back Booster Review

(Last Updated On: January 17, 2018)
Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120

When the the new Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 emerged from a slim box dropped off on my doorstep one day, I was instantly impressed.  Booster seats can be quite basic and work fantastically well so it’s quite a feat when I’m blown away by one.  The Viaggio Flex 120 emerged from the box folded, narrow, and assembled. It only got better from there.  The Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 booster seat has a lot of pretty spectacular features.

CSFTL Quick Stats:

  • High back booster weight range: 40-120 pounds
  • High back booster height range: 39-63 inches tall
  • Highest booster guide position: 18.5 inches. No head restraint from the car is required. However, the child’s shoulders must be contained within the backrest, making the highest useable shoulder belt guide position 18.5 inches.
  • Outgrown when the child’s shoulders are above the adjustable backrest.
  • Expiration: Twelve years

Measurements

  • Width: 14 inches wide at the base, 17 inches wide at the shoulders (when in narrow mode), 20 inches wide at the shoulders (when in wide mode)
  • Weight: 14.8 pounds

Features

The Viaggio Flex 120 has several amazing features. Here they are in no particular order.

It Appeared to be TALL!

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex fully extended

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex fully extended

This seat appears to be TALL. My 14 year old tried out the Viaggio Flex 120. It’s so tall that she could absolutely ride in it in the car. She meets all of the requirements to use the booster, and she would fit. She’s 62 inches tall, weighs 105 pounds, and her shoulder was under the top belt guide height.

However, Peg Perego has clarified that the seat is outgrown when the child’s shoulders are above the wings of the booster. This clarification translatest to the Viaggio Flex being outgrown much sooner than we would have hoped.

It’s WIDE!

The Viaggio Flex 120 has three width modes: wide, medium, and narrow mode. The shoulders open and close as needed for the child’s comfort, size, and fit to other seats or people in the back.

It’s also NARROW!

It’s quite narrow when in narrow mode. It’s 17 inches wide at the shoulders when in narrow mode, and 14 inches at the base; it’s a potential booster for a three across situation. The wings are shaped such that a lower profile seat next to it will help, but it’s a contender to try for a three across situation.  It also doesn’t have armrests, so putting it with other seats and still being able to buckle should be easy enough to do.

It RECLINES!

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex fully upright

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex fully upright

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex fully reclined

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex fully reclined

Recline feature. The Viaggio Flex 120 reclines by pulling a handle that my seven year old can reach. Unlike most other boosters that can recline, it can be reclined on the fly. This is great for a long road trip or a sleepy child. Just tilt the booster back and the kiddo can sleep more easily.

It FOLDS!

The Peg Perego Viaggio Flex is quite petite when folded

The Peg Perego Viaggio Flex is quite petite when folded

In addition to reclining for road trips, the booster folds and has a handle for easy carrying between vehicles or to carry on board and store in the overhead bin of an airplane.

Rigid Lower Anchors!

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex lower anchors

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex lower anchors

Rigid lower anchors. This makes the seat very easy to connect to the vehicle so it’s not a projectile during a crash (when no child is sitting in it). Just find the lower anchors, aim, and attach. Done!

Moving On

Now that we’ve shared the highlights of this long-lasting booster seat, we’ll continue with our regularly scheduled review.

Installation/Usage

High Back Booster Installation

This booster is remarkably easy to install and use in the vehicle. While writing this review, I’ve been able to get it set up in the car in a matter of seconds. Here’s how: I used the handy handle to carry it to the vehicle. While it’s folded, I’ve attached the lower anchors, squeezed the yellow handle to move the seat back and “lock” it into place. Lastly, I moved the seat to the upright position and threaded the vehicle seat belt through the belt guide.
All in all, from the time I open the vehicle door to being able to have a child sitting in the Viaggio Flex 120, it’s about five seconds of work.

Fit to Child

High Back Mode

7 Years Old

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex: 7 years old

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex: 7 years old

This model is seven years old. She weighs 48 pounds and is 49 inches tall. The seat is adjustable at the headrest, backrest, AND shoulder width. Here she’s using it with the backrest up, but the headrest not up, and the shoulders set at narrow mode. She can recline it if she desires.

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex folded, showing shoulder width adjuster knob.

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex folded, showing shoulder width adjuster knob.

The Viaggio Flex 120 is immensely adjustable to fit nearly every child properly. There’s a handle at the headrest and backrest, which we’d expect to find on a booster. But then there’s more! The knob on the back adjusts the shoulders in three positions, narrow (one), medium (two), and wide (three).

In some vehicles, the seat belt comes from far enough back, or not low enough, so that the lap portion of the belt doesn’t lay across a child’s lap properly.  Generally this isn’t a concern, but definitely take a peek as you start using it in a new vehicle.

Important Information: Where to Find

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex date of manufacture label

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex date of manufacture label

Expiration: The date of manufacture label is on the underside of the seat. With a whopping 12 year lifespan (you read that right, 1-2, TWELVE years) this seat is a long lasting option for families.

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex manual storage

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex manual storage

Manual storage: The manual is stored in a drawer under the handle at the back of the seat. It’s accessible whether the seat is folded or upright.

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex FAA label

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex FAA label

FAA Approval: Like all booster seats, this seat is not approved for use on aircraft. It requires a lap and shoulder belt, and planes do not have them. There is a sticker on the seat below the knob to adjust the shoulders that states the seat is not aircraft approved.

Thoughts from our Little

Cupholder?

Cupholder?

My Little likes this booster a lot. While she was getting to know the recline I had to deal with the sound quite a bit, but otherwise it’s fine. She has one complaint, and it’s one I share. The cup holders aren’t very useful: they are just small plastic rings. For a seat in this price range, useful cup holders would be nice.

She finds this booster easy to buckle in vehicles, even those with traditionally annoying buckle stalks like my car and my husband’s (they’re recessed and like to hide behind boosters).

Overall Thoughts

I review a lot of seats, and many of them I like, some I dislike, some I’m indifferent. This one I really like. The height, the narrowness, the ease of installation, and the easiness of just about everything associated with this booster is just great.

It folds with one hand either attached with the lower anchors or sitting free. It’s easy to carry when folded, even for someone who is vertically challenged like myself. I don’t worry about scraping the seat along the ground (though when fully extended that may be an issue).

Unfortunately, the clarification from the team at Peg Perego around the usable height limit for the seat make it an even tougher sell for the price. In addition to my disappointment with the cup holders, my complaint is that this $300 high back booster does not become a backless booster.

It has a 12 year lifespan, so if you use it for multiple children it’s a great price per year ($25), but it’s still a lot of money for a single seat that doesn’t convert to a backless booster.  For many families there are other seats that would work very well.  However, if you’re a multi-child family who tends to pass down seats, or space and headrests are at a premium in your vehicle, this booster may be absolutely perfect. The booster used in the review was made in December 2016. It will not expire until December 2028. The Little demonstrating this would be able to drive it around for over a year before it expires. That is a LONG time.