Small compared to other front-mounted seats, but a great bike seat for the price.
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Bikes with little or no room on the headset for a mounting bracket.
MOUNT TYPE: Front
|Inches Needed to Mount||
12 mo. to 3 yr.
Pros & Cons
- Mounting system compatible with a wide variety of bikes
- Affordable, but solid-quality
- Quick release mount for easy ons and offs
- Padding stays firmly in place
- Handlebar can be removed
- Initial installation has a lot of pieces
- Minimal ventilation
- You may have to take off the child's helmet to put on the shoulder straps
- Smaller than other front seats - not ideal for chunky toddlers
In a world where the best front-mounted child bike seats are about $200, biking with your baby or toddler could be too expensive for many families. Enter the Peg Perego Orion! Commonly on sale for close to $75, the Orion has a much more practical price tag for those on a budget. Especially considering toddlers quickly outgrow front-mounted seats, it can be hard to fork over a lot of dough for a “temporary” solution.
While not as fancy or easy to assemble as those $200 options, the Peg Perego Orion still gets the job done, while keeping more money in your bank account.
Child bike seats are one of the most challenging bike accessories to buy. Why? Because not every child bike seat will fit on your specific bike. With countless bike frame designs on the market, it’s incredibly difficult for child bike seat manufacturers to create universal mounting systems. If you look on Amazon, one of the most common complaints in negative reviews is that a child bike seat didn’t fit the person’s bike. It’s not really the bike seat’s fault – it’s just the reality of the bike seat market.
That’s why we were particularly pleased to discover that the Peg Perego Orion is designed to fit on a wide variety of bikes. Most front-mounted seats attach to the headset of the bike. But if the headset of the bike isn’t compatible with the seat, you’ll be left trying to find another seat that is!
Frame-Mounted Peg Perego vs. Headset-Mounted Thule
The Peg Perego Orion, however, has four different ways that it can attach to the frame of the bike (not the headset!), and takes into account the various angles of top and bottom tubes. As a result, it’s definitely a more universal mount, which is wildly helpful for parents who are unsure if a child bike seat will fit on their bike.
4 Different Ways to Mount on the Bike’s Frame
Size and Age of Child
Like every other front-mounted seat we know of, the Peg Perego Orion maxes out at a 33 lb. weight capacity. Depending on your child, this seat could last you until your child is over 3. Our 15-month-old boy tester (23 lbs.) was a perfect fit. For our tall and chunky girl tester (30 lbs.), I’ll be lucky to get her to 2.5 before she’s too big!
With higher sides than our everyday use seat (Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini), the Peg Perego Orion has less room for a larger child to “spill over” the sides. As a result, sturdier kids (even within the weight limit) will likely outgrow this seat a little earlier than other seats.
24-Month-Old in Peg Perego Orion vs. Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini
Our barely 2-year-old girl weighs 30 lbs. and fits snuggly in the seat. With the handlebar engaged, there was very little clearance between her chunky thighs and the bar. As your child gets older, it may help to remove the handlebar to give them a little more wiggle room.
The handlebar can actually be removed at any point if you prefer not to use it. But for wiggly kids, it can also act as a secondary restraint.
In general, front-mounted seats only get about 1.5 to 2 years of use anyways. We recommend buying a front-mounted seat right as a child turns one so that you can get the most use for your money. If you know your child is tall or extra sturdy, the more open Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini may offer just a bit more room for growth.
24-Month-Old vs. 15-month-Old in Peg Perego Orion
The Orion’s shoulder straps are basic and have no padding like you’ll find on more expensive seats like the Hamax Observer or Thule Yepp Mini. They loosen or tighten by moving the plastic slider up or down and pulling the excess strap through a slider in the back. It’s certainly not the easiest system we’ve seen, but for the price, it works.
While most child bike seats have left and right shoulder straps that independently connect into the buckle, the Orion’s shoulder straps permanently connect at the bottom and click as one piece into the buckle. This V shape is lifted up and over a child’s head to get a child in and out.
Depending on the bulkiness of your child’s helmet, the straps can get caught and you may have to remove the helmet to strap your child in. This is more likely when your child is small and the straps are pulled tighter.
The buckle of the Orion is extremely secure, and we’re confident no toddler would ever be able to figure out how to unbuckle themselves. We’re sure because it’s hard for an adult to do. Ha!
To unbuckle your child, you have to press the front and rear of the buckle at the same time, in just the right way. It’s the most difficult buckle I’ve ever encountered, but does get easier the more you use it. It’s certainly not a reason to not buy this seat, just a nice to know.
In our experience, it’s easier to stay on your bike and unbuckle your child from behind. This way you can more easily wrangle your baby and maintain the bike’s balance as you attempt to unbuckle.
The Orion seat is solid plastic, lined with firm padding. While not as soft as some other seats, the padding does seem more durable than other budget seats we’ve seen. There’s also ample velcro holding it in place so that it won’t get messy and crumpled over time.
Ventilation: Peg Perego Orion vs. Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini
Most footrests on child bike seats slide up and down and are easy to adjust on the fly. The Orion’s footrests have to be taken out and set in place at the correct height. Rather than a continuous slide for a truly customized fit, there are three distinct positions.
It’s definitely something you need have set before you load your child into the seat. Certainly not a deal-breaker, but one of the points of sacrifice when you’re only paying $75 instead of $200.
One major difficulty you have to deal with when you buy a budget seat is the initial installation. There are a lot of little pieces, which is daunting for a non-handy person (like me). That said, if you are handy, you probably won’t mind the little extra time that it takes.
The red plastic mounting piece on the bottom of the seat (image on right below) allows you to adjust the mounting bar slightly forward or backward to give you more or less room in the cockpit of the bike. Most front-mounted child bike seats don’t have this feature, so it’s definitely a bonus for the Orion.
One important mounting note – on some bikes it may be possible to install the seat onto the frame a few different ways. Where we initially mounted the seat placed our baby riders pretty high, and the metal mounting arms interfered with the turning radius of the bike as well.
While we could technically ride the bike this way, we chose to mount the seat lower. This freed up the handlebars and also prevented our taller girl tester’s helmet from hitting my chin.
Bike Seat Interfering with Handlebars, vs. No Interference when Mounted Lower
However, after the initial installation, mounting and un-mounting the seats takes just seconds. To mount the seat, simply insert the metal mounting posts into the mounting bracket on your bike. You’ll hear them click into place! Then to un-mount, with the push of a button on the mounting bracket, the seat can be lifted up and out. It’s so easy and one of the best features of this seat!
For under $100, the Peg Perego Orion is a solid-quality seat that gets budget-minded families out on the trail or road. While not as fancy as our favorite seats, for the price, is does a bang-up job and we happily recommend it.