Type: Convertible seat.
Limits: Rear facing 5-45 lbs., forward facing 22 to 70 lbs.
NHTSA ease of use rating: Rear-facing: Four out of five stars. Forward-facing: Four out of five stars.
Pros: 70 lb. harness limit; adjustable side impact protection. Made in Italy (not China).
Cons: Pricey. Seat belt installs can be tricky. Hard to fit in smaller vehicles.
Comments: Peg Perego has long been a player in the infant car seat market, but Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible is their first shot at the convertible market.
The seat works to 70 lbs. with a five-point harness and features an adjustable headrest, three recline positions and a newborn insert. The winged headrest provides a measure of side impact protection and shock absorbing foam in the base adds to crash protection.
This seat first debuted in 2012 and reader feedback has been very positive. Folks say the seat is easy to install (with LATCH) and use, plus the fabric is excellent. And of course, the seat is one of the very few not made in China (all Perego products are made in Italy).
The Primo Viaggio SIP earns an astounding 92% positive rating on Amazon (four and five star reviews) and that dovetails with what we hear from readers. A few critics note the seat is very tall when rear-facing and that can be a no go for smaller vehicles. More than one parent struggled to get this seat installed in a Subaru.
Consumer Reports gave this seat a “better” rating for crash protection, but ranked the seat 21st out of 31 seats. CR knocked the seat belt installation method for both rear and forward facing positions (LATCH scored better).
And of course, we can’t forget to mention the price: at $350, the Perego is $50-$100 above similar (and better rated) Britax and Chicco seats. We’ll still give this seat an A, but the Perego fails to land a spot in our top picks.
New for 2018, Peg Perego is releasing a new version of this seat: the Primo Viaggio Convertible Kinetic seat (pictured). The big news here is a convertible car seat with anti-rebound bar that is integrated into the seat and folds under when not in use.
The Kinetic also includes “kinetic pods” that extend from the side to absorb more energy in a side-impact crash. Improvements to this model also should make LATCH installation quicker and tighter, says Perego. Cost: $430. Expect to see it in stores by July, 2018.