Price: $300. extra base: $100.
Limits: 4-35 lbs., 30”
NHTSA ease of use rating: Three out of five stars.
Pros: No rethread harness, new tensioning system for solid installations, anti-rebound bar, canopy with UV protection.
Cons: Price. Stroller compatibility is hit or miss. Handle must be in horizontal position when in vehicle—as a result, it takes up a large amount of back seat space.
Comments: Peg Perego has made slow but steady improvements to their best selling Primo Viaggio seat. The latest version (dubbed 4.35) works up to 35 lbs. and features a series of other improvements: a no-rethread harness adjustable from the rear of the seat, anti-rebound bar, infant insertand a canopy that now boasts UV sun protection.
The 4.35 also has two inserts for smaller newborns, an adjustable base and a tensioning system to tighten the belt or LATCH installation. Another nice new improvement: the handle can be left up or down when travelling in a vehicle. The base of the 4.35 is also compact enough to fit in smaller vehicles (it is similar to the Chicco KeyFit, based on our measurements).
The carriers weighed in at 9.1 lbs., which is almost 20% lighter than the previous version—not the lightest weight carrier on the market, but not the heaviest either.
Reader feedback on the 4.35 has been positive—like Peg’s other infant car seat, the 4.35 is easy to use and install. So what’s not to love, besides the hefty $300 price tag?
The negatives for this seat include a funky canopy that makes it hard to carry the seat when the canopy is extended. That’s because the carrier’s handle sits right near the canopy (see picture at right). Peg suggests the handle be in the horizontal position when the Viaggio is in a vehicle—and that’s a hassle for two reasons. First when you snap in the carrier to the base, you have to then use two hands to rotate the handle to the correct position. And then the handle takes up extra real estate in the back seat—perhaps requiring the passenger seat to be moved forward even more than normal.
One important caveat: as a reader pointed out below in the comments section, other stroller makers have yet to make 4.35 adapters since the seat is still relatively new. That means when you see a stroller that says it has a “Peg Perego adapter,” they usually mean adapters for the Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30. The adapters that fit the SIP 30/30 may NOT fit the 4.35. As of this writing, we only see Britax/BOB offering an adapter that specifically says it is both SIP 30/30 and 4.35 compatible. Baby Jogger has two different adapters for Peg—one that works for just the 4.35 and one that works for either the 4.35 and SIP 30/30. Confusing, we know.
And let’s talk price—at $300, the Primo Viaggio 4.35 is up there in stratosphere of the infant car seat pricing, with competitors like the Nuna Pipa and Cybex Aton Q. In the latest Consumer Reports crash tests, the Peg seat edged out Nuna Pipa even though the Primo Viaggio 4.35 rated a “better” compared to the Pipa’s “best” crash protection score. The reason? The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4.35 scored better on fit to vehicle belt than the Pipa.
At $300, we expect perfection in an infant car seat—and the Peg comes close. But it falls short of being a top recommended seat for the lack of value. For 30% less, the Chicco KeyFit 30 and Britax B-SAFE are just as safe and easy to use, in our opinion.