Am I the only one who thinks these things look like the most comfortable seats in the world?
We are officially a two convertible car seat family! For a while there we only had one, and it was getting annoying switching the seat between both cars – the first convertible car seat we bought was the Britax Boulevard 70CS. Ariadne loved it and we loved it. The only problem we had with it was a lack of leg room (not that a lack of leg room would stop us from rear facing, but with her growing so fast, more would be a plus) Although the Boulevard was rated pretty well for leggy babies, it just wasn’t cutting it. I’m fairly certain that Ariadne’s height is 3/4 leg after all.
So I went on the hunt for the most leg room we could get for the second convertible seat.
And it was hard. Almost every seat that had great leg space (or appeared to) had a much larger footprint. Considering that we drive two sedan’s, and keep Ariadne’s seat installed in the middle seat space, big footprints mean we would lose the outboard spaces. No bueno.
Eventually I found one that seemed to fit the bill. Small foot print, lots-o-leg-room, comfy looking, high rear facing weight limits… The whole nine yards.
It’s everything I hoped it would be, and more. I expected more leg room, and it definitely delivered that, but it also is a much more open seat, so I can see that this would be an awesome seat for chunkier babes as well as the leggier ones.
I love that it has elastic straps on the edge of the seat to hold back the straps when putting baby in the seat. Our Britax has velcro, which works fine, but doesn’t hold the straps as open as this.
It’s very easy to install. We do belt installations with both our seats since neither of our cars have center latch – as an aside: I once tried to use latch to install on an outboard seat, just for curiosity sake, and it was NOT easier than belt installations. I couldn’t get the damn thing tight enough. Anyways, for belt installation with the Britax you have to pull up the seat cover to run the belt through. On the Peg there is an opening on the sides to feed through. Very very easy. I will add that due to deep sloping seats in both vehicles, we have to roll up a towel (pool noodles work too) to get the seat at the right level.
The Peg has a smaller feel overall (although it is probably about an inch wider), and sits noticeably higher. Both seats have a 70lb forward facing max weight limit, but the Peg has a 45lb rear facing limit, where the Britax is 40lb. This is great for chunkier babies, but probably won’t mean much for us, since Ariadne is a string bean. I expect she will grown out of the rear facing limits in height before weight in either seat. Max seat back height in rear facing position is 23.5inch (Britax) and 24inch (Peg.) Side note: For super super tall kids, I have heard that the Radian Diono RXT is fantastic.
Both seats have automatic height adjusting harnesses (no re-threading) although I will add that the Peg is easier to move up and down than the Britax. The harness on the Britax is slightly superior as it comes with the CS feature (an automatic click occurs when you have pulled the straps tight enough) and I do find that handy. I will mention that the harness covers on the Peg are longer and plusher than the Britax though, which is nice.
The fabric on the Peg is worlds better than the Britax, which is crazy to me considering both seats are in the $300+ price department. The Britax seat has a velourish material, which I hate for Arizona temperatures in the summer. The Peg is a cooler cotton/canvas ish (obviously I have zero idea what the fabric really is) and is available in a LEATHER TRIM. Don’t worry, if you purchase the leather trimmed seat, the leather is only on parts of the seat that WOULD NOT touch your child – but this (I guess) could be a plus for parents that are concerned about the car seat not “matching” their car…We aren’t those types of parents.
Overall I prefer the Peg. I think it’s a great seat, with some awesome features that you don’t usually get on even these pricier seats.
That being said, there is one con to the Peg, and I don’t think it’s a long term problem…
For rear facing children that weigh less than 22lbs, there is a seat insert that you have to use which is basically a riser. It pushes up the child’s butt about an inch higher than the seat alone. This is totally fine except it causes the hip belt straps to dig in to the child’s legs more than I would like when tightened properly. I fully expect this to not be a problem when we are able to remove that riser thingy, but for now, it’s annoying and we have to make sure that there is clothing between Ariadne’s legs and the straps OR ELSE we get a hugely fussy child.
All in all, I would highly recommend either the Britax Boulevard 70CS or the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 5-70 – but when compared side by side, we prefer the Peg!
Note: I couldn’t write a car seat post without mentioning my very strong opinion regarding extended rear facing. The law in most states allows turning children forward facing once they have hit 1 year old and 20lbs, but the AAP recommends 2 years or to the seats height/weight limits. Please please please consider keeping your child rear facing for as long as it is safe per your seat’s manual. Your child is safest rear facing, regardless of if they are fussy or have to fold their legs…a broken leg is much more manageable than internal decapitation. If you haven’t seen this video before, please click here. Ariadne will be rear facing until she has outgrown her seat’s limits.