What Car? test: Child seats - 2nd Mamas and Papas Primo Viaggio £110
16 April 2008
Colour schemes Eight
Weight 4.5 kilos
RRP Seat £110, ISOFIX base £100, seatbelt base £40
There's loads of cushioning and padding in the Primo Viaggio to make it a very snug seat. The carry-handle is comfortable to use, but it's awkward to release and adjust. The sun-shade isn't attached to the handle, but it is robust and stays in position well. All covers are removable if you need to clean them.
Ease of operation
Colour-coded guides show you where to route the seatbelt. The lap section goes over the top, so it's not difficult to use, although you might find it fiddly to work the belt through the guides. The carry-handle needs to be pushed into the back of the car seat, which makes the child seat feel very secure. Releasing the handle can be tricky, but we liked the extra tension that this system provided. Buckles and straps are easy to use, and the best on test in terms of adjustment. There are five different positions to choose from, and adjusting the straps takes seconds.
This is one of the most expensive seats on test, and adding in the ISOFIX base takes the cost over £200 according to the list prices. You could be mean and take advantage of store staff's knowledge, and then buy it cheaper online.
This feels like a top-notch seat. Every inch of fabric and plastic feels extremely durable and of high quality. While other seats have flimsy feeling sun-shades, the Primo Viaggio's is made from the same stern stuff as the other covers.
The ISOFIX base is easy to fit and makes taking the Primo in and out much easier. Colour-coded indicators let you know at a glance whether it's fitted correctly. The broad Surefix base for use with seatbelts isn't as simple, however. A spirit level lets you know if it's at the right angle, but once you've slotted the seat in and pulled the diagonal section of the belt around the back of the child seat, you might have upset the angle again.