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Guest Blog: A Peg Perusal… The Long Awaited Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Preview from ABC Kids 2010

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

For updated info on the Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible - please see our more recent blog from the 2011 ABC Kids Expo: http://carseatblog.com/13395/abc-expo-2011-whats-new-from-peg-perego-primo-viaggio-sip-convertible-viaggio-hbb/

Perhaps one of the longest awaited convertible seat launches in carseat history is the Peg Perego (pause–any guesses here?) Primo Viaggio convertible seat. The market has been anticipating the arrival of a convertible seat from Peg for longer than I would hazard a guess at, and according to the aptly-named Nicolas Perego their newest seats should be hitting the market early next year. Although the convertible carseat market is fiercely competitive right now, it does seem that the PV Sr. should at least hold it’s own in the current marketplace.

I had this opportunity to meet with Mr. Nicolas Perego at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas to discuss the company’s newest seat. What became immediately clear was that the show displays were prototypes, and many of the details of the seat are not yet set in stone with the company. Many of the details Mr. Perego was able to provide on the seat are still tentative as the product is still in the development stage.

Primo Viaggio

Primo Viaggio

Here’s the skinny on the stats–skinny, indeed; The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Sr. is expected to have a 65lb forward-facing weight limit, with a current estimate of the rear-facing weight limit being 30lbs but “maybe 35-40lbs”. The occupant total height estimate is 49″, and because I was seriously lacking a tape measure at ABC (as if I didn’t already feel like a pack mule?) I didn’t get to measure the top harness height on the prototype. The overall height looked very similar to a Britax convertible, as would be expected with that 49″ number. Rear-facing tethering seems to be on Peg’s radar, but there’s no confirmation either way by the company. Nicolas did confirm a 22lb forward-facing starting weight, but that remains to be seen when Sr. hits the market… And when might that be?

Prototype - Lockoff

Prototype - Lockoff

According to Mr. Perego–initial production may begin in Italy, and then later be moved to their United States production facility. Initial production is expected this Winter (Dec-Jan) and there is some possibility that Sr. will hit the Canadian market shortly after hitting shelves in the United States.
As the Italians say…Non lo so! Peg really doesn’t seem to have much of anything set in stone, but we hope they will look to Carseatblog.com for a comprehensive review when the first production seats come off the line!

Pereghi?

Pereghi?

Aww, who couldn’t love the adorable folks at Peg Perego? They were wonderful hosts at ABC, and after looking at the Primo Viaggio Sr., I moved on to explore my other obsession… ;)

ABC Kids Update – What’s New & Improved from Harmony Juvenile Products

At ABC we finally had the opportunity to meet with Michael and the rest of the FIVE-IIHS-BEST-BET-RATED-BOOSTERS Harmony Juvenile Team to check out their newest offerings and eat their stash of complimentary chocolate.  Actually, I think I was the only blog team member to indulge in the free chocolate loot but it was exactly what I needed at that moment – and the next day too when I conveniently needed to stop by again for more pics and measurements.   ;-)

Many of our readers are already familiar with the fabulous little Harmony LiteRider booster (aka, Harmony Youth Booster Seat) that was rated a “Best Bet” by the IIHS and is currently available exclusively at Walmart.  New cover options are Pink Leopard & Camo.  This particular model was absent from the Harmony lineup at ABC because…. well, it’s a wally world exclusive. However, we did get a look at the other IIHS “Best Bet” Harmony boosters, as well as a brand new booster design. First up was the Olympian, a tweaked version of the Secure Comfort Deluxe booster that was originally available at  Toys R Us.  I reviewed the original Secure Comfort Deluxe model last year and found it to be very effective in positioning the seatbelts properly on both of my boys in our minivan’s captains chairs.  However, the IIHS had some issues with that original design in their previous 2009 round of booster fit testing, so to their credit, Harmony went back and tweaked it.  The result of that tweaking is an IIHS “Best Bet” rating for this model which has been renamed the “Olympian“.     

We also saw the Dreamtime highback booster that I reviewed previously on the blog and the please-stop-calling-it-Baby Armor multi-adjustable highback .  All were covered in the nice, padded fabrics that we’ve come to expect from this manufacturer.  Last but not least, a new dual highback design called the V6 along with its backless little sibling – the Carpooler!  They claim you can fit 3 backless Carpooler models across the back of many vehicles but that isn’t a guarantee, obviously.  Much will depend on how much room you have to work with and how your backseat is contoured.  You’re more likely to have 3-across success with the Carpooler if your vehicle backseat cushion is lower (i.e., scooped out) in the outboard positions but more elevated and flat in the center.       

Britax Convertible Lockoff Tips and Guidance

We’re not done with the ABC Kids Expo yet!  Probably a few more blogs to come with some other tidbits from companies we didn’t mention, including some details on the new product from Peg Perego.  I imagine a photo dump is forthcoming as well.  Also, one thing I forgot to mention from Britax is that the Chaperone will have some minor revisions, including a slightly redesigned base that is a little shorter than before.  There are also a couple new fabrics and possibly another tweak or two.

Back to the topic of this blog.  Britax has made a very minor change to the built-in lockoff design on their new convertibles. This includes the Britax Roundabout 55Britax Marathon 70, Britax Boulevard 70, Britax Boulevard 70 CS, and Britax Advocate 70 CS.  The change is essentially a small rubber strip on the side of the lockoff area.  All of the new convertibles made after July 30th, 2010 should have this update.  Owners of models made before this date can request a kit from Britax to do the update.  This is considered a convenience feature change.  This change works in conjunction with the updated owner’s manuals that are being published online.  The new guidance from Britax is that you may use only one built-in lockoff, rather than two.  This removes a conflict with tabs built into certain vehicle seatbelt systems.  It may also makes it simpler to tighten the belt through a single closed lockoff, rather than two of them.  Though Britax recommends that one lockoff closest to the seatbelt buckle be used, they also offer an option not to use any lockoffs in vehicles where the seatbelt system can be locked with the retractor or latchplate.

Britax also has a suggestion on closing the lockoffs.  With the new lockoffs, you are supposed to leave the belt slightly loose when you close the lockoff, then pull slack through the closed lockoff to tighten it.  This is different than how the lockoffs worked on previous Britax convertibles, so it can take some time to get used to the change.  Compounding the problem is the natural inclination to push on the tab at the bottom of the lockoff to close it.  It turns out that this takes more force than if you push on the tab just a little higher, especially when a belt with any tension is being clamped.  Britax will add a bridge on the plastic to give a better indication of where to push.  Kecia demonstrates below:

Guest Blog: The ABCs of ABC Kids. ++Giveaways!

The sea of exhibits and exhibitors in the Las Vegas Convention Center this past few days for the 2010 ABC Kids show might have been overwhelming at first, but I found my inner child and began at the beginning…of the alphabet. This is the A-to-Z of ABC.