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Cybex Priam review: the latest in stroller luxury

The Priam, in orange, poses with the Cameleon, in black chevron. So glam!

The Priam, in orange, poses with the Cameleon, in black chevron. So glam!

A closeup of the melange fabric.

A closeup of the melange fabric.

Where do you even begin with the Cybex Priam Stroller? Just look at it! The stroller is so truly and completely elegant in its design that it blows me away, transporting me to a magical land of luxury. And when I say luxury, yes, that does also refer to the price tag – but the Priam does a lot of things other strollers in that price range rarely offer.

The stroller itself can be broken down into three categories it excels in: style, functionality and quality. Frankly, I think the main reason to go for this stroller over something in a similar price range is the style it offers. It does everything else very well, but in terms of looking like you’re super well-put-together despite your crying, frazzled infant, nothing does it as well as the Priam. Everything from the wheels to the car seat adapters is engineered for beauty, with functional chrome accents throughout.

cybex priam with aton

With the Cybex Aton Q Infant Car Seat.

The first thing you notice when you look at it is the fabric. It has this gorgeous “twill effect” that’s a mélange of heathered colors. Regardless of what color you choose (and the Priam is available in the same bold, intense colors as the Cybex Aton Q Infant Car Seat), it looks like a million bucks.

Underlying that is the frame, which is so sleek, using a centralized support system for longevity, but accenting it with double chrome bars extending to the front and rear wheels. It has an all-black handle that squares off at the top with stitched leatherette padding, as well as leather accents everywhere from the zipper to the footrest. The basket is all sharp edges and functional snaps and magnets.

And then you’ve got those amazing wheels, outlined with white walls that remind me of Gatsby-era cars. They’re practical, too – you can choose from three tire options depending on what terrain you plan on strolling on.

But the Priam isn’t just about style: it’s also designed for superior function. The Priam was inspired by Charles and Ray Eames and their innovation in mid century modern architecture and design. What inspired the Eames’ was the idea of style, function, and durability at a price that your average consumer can afford. They combined elements of modern design with unique manufacturing processes, building everything from the ground up with cheaper materials but in a way that kept them effectively durable. Granted, the Priam uses top-quality materials and isn’t in everyone’s budget, but the inspiration is still obvious. I watched Eames: The Architect & The Painter, and discovered that the couple used borrowed ideas to create something uniquely beautiful and functional, so in carefully examining the Priam it became obvious where their inspirations lay.

A variation on the "Bugaboo Star." Plus CHROME.

A variation on the “Bugaboo Star.” Plus CHROME.

Since quality and function intermingle pretty intensely, we’ll discuss the frame first! It’s very clearly inspired by Bugaboo, and particularly by the design they call the Bugaboo Star. The Bugaboo Star is one of the main reasons why a Bugaboo stroller is so tough and durable: it creates three points with the front & back wheels and the handlebar, all meeting in the middle. What this does is allow suspension in a centralized source, spreading the forces and pressures of using your stroller every day through the whole frame evenly. Some designs put a lot of pressure on certain areas or don’t add enough suspension throughout to handle the strain of city living. It is important to give thought to this, especially in a city like Boston, where cobblestones are uprooted by trees at an alarming rate, and snow falls intensely, leaving strollers constantly at risk of being rusted stiff.

Cybex studied the idea of the Star and ran with it, offering the centralized suspension as well as very effective back-wheel suspension to take some of the strain off the foam tires. Only time will tell how well the Priam will hold up, but for now, based on my observations of similar strollers, it seems like a very well-engineered and durable frame. On top of this it even offers a two-wheeled mode for dragging the stroller up steps (which is where the huge back wheels and extra back-wheel suspension comes in handy!).

cybex priam big wheelOn top of that, this stroller gives you options. This may be one of the biggest perks here in Boston, a place where you really do have to compromise on the weight of a stroller in order for it to handle the lifestyle that city folks live. The stroller offers three different wheel options:

  • The City wheel is the thinnest, lightest wheel, offering a light stroller with wheels that are actually still pretty large, compromising only on their width.
  • The Trekking wheels add some rubberized traction.
  • And the All-Terrain is the ultimate wheel, comparable to those of the Bugaboo Buffalo, offering a 2” thick wheel with lots of traction and slightly bigger front wheels.

You also have two seating options with the Priam. The Lux seat offers a very plush, doubly padded seat that has a completely flat recline so that newborns are safe and comfortable in it. This seat can face both ways, and sits fully upright as well, with a super extendable canopy and a peek-a-boo window. The only issue with the Lux seat is that if you want a carrycot, you’ll need to buy it separately.

The other option is the 2-in-1 Light Seat, which offers a single frame with two different fabric sets, like a Bugaboo Cameleon seat. One fabric set is for a carrycot, which is removed once the baby grows out of it, and switched with the traditional seat fabric, which will be used for the rest of the life of the stroller. The seat is less plush but significantly lighter than the Lux seat, and is shaped more like a bucket. With an insert like the Uppababy Snugseat, one could easily use it with infants as well! Sadly, there is not sleep-safe bassinet stand made for the carrycot at the moment, but Cybex is always coming up with innovative new products and accessories, so perhaps one will emerge eventually.

See? That's a nice compact fold.

See? That’s a nice compact fold.

The Priam Stroller’s fold is also incredibly compact, and the folded stroller can stand up whether the seat is on or off. The handlebar is adjustable, as is the footrest. There is a wrist strap for when you’re afraid the stroller will roll away, as well as a footbrake. All of those are the more basic aspects, but still relevant to everyday life.

I have a few minor concerns with the Priam that I’m sure will be resolved in future models: the snaps on the basket tend to come undone during rougher use, and the Lux seat is a little tough to clean – the fabrics are hard to remove, and will mostly require spot cleaning. The handlebar doesn’t seem to be able to take much weight either, but that’s true of 12 of the 13 strollers on our floor in Brookline, so I guess it’s just something to chew on.

In the end, the Priam is new, so most of these minor quibbles can be worked on. Given how beautifully you can customize this stroller to your lifestyle and needs – and given how incredible it looks – it’s quite possible that Priam 2.0 will be completely perfect!

Want to give the Cybex Priam stroller a try? Stop in at any Magic Beans store and do a stroller test-drive! Or, if you want to really dig in and compare the Priam and other models with the help of one of our expert stroller matchmakers, sign up for a free consultation. We love having an excuse to push this amazing stroller around!

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