The Cybex Priam is a fantastic pram and stroller if you’ve got the money, and boot space, to spare
- Premium build quality
- Superb handling
- Modular design offers immense flexibility
- 17kg weight limit
German firm Cybex is a leading manufacturer of luxury baby gear. Covering everything from carriers to car seats and pushchairs to furniture, the brand’s full range is divided into silver-, gold- and platinum-branded models. Needless to say, its Priam sits firmly in the high-end Platinum bracket. If the price hasn’t immediately put you off, then you’re in for a treat: it’s a sleek, convertible 3-in-1 travel system that can grow with your child, and even transport him or her to the slopes. Yes, seriously, there is a ski attachment.
Cybex Priam review: What you need to know
The Cybex Priam is a highly customisable part-pram, part-stroller. Partner it with a compatible carrycot and it’s suitable from birth right up to four years of age (or a maximum weight of 17kg, whichever comes first). It combines rubber wheels with plush suspension on a sturdy frame, and has been designed to suit both on and off-road adventures. You can even buy an extension pack that replaces the front wheels with a pair of skis, if that’s your thing.
The basic frame of the Cybex Priam weighs 8.3kg and comes in a range of colours: rose gold, black, chrome with black details and chrome with brown details. The Priam’s overall weight then ranges from around 11kg up to 13.5kg, depending on which seats, wheels and attachments you choose to add to it.
These options include the choice of smaller, standard or all-terrain wheels, the latter being larger and having extra grip for off-road walks; a Lite or LUX carrycot; a Lite or more padded LUX stroller seat that each come in 17 colour and design options, and skis. The frame is also compatible with select Cybex car seats – namely the Aton and Cloud Z ranges.
One thing worth noting is that the Priam’s seat is designed to sit at the average height of a table – quoted by Cybex to be 80cm – meaning it doubles up as a makeshift highchair when out. Other small touches include an SPF50+ canopy, a pocket to store your phone and keys, and a shopping basket that folds down when not needed.
Cybex Priam review: Price and competition
Due to the various configuration options, the price of the Cybex Priam depends entirely upon which frame and attachments you choose. Everything is sold separately, from the seats to the cot, cup holder, and footmuff.
As a guide, a Priam frame will set you back around £690 and a standard seat pack starts at £155. The Lite carrycot costs £130, while the LUX version which offers a breathable mattress and liner is £300. If you’re planning to use the Priam as part of a travel system, you’ll also need to shell out in the region of £135 for a compatible car seat. This puts the price of a complete Cybex Priam system at around £1,200-£1,300. Not cheap.
For a pushchair of this price, it’s a shame it only supports children weighing up to 17kg. The Hauck Runner, for example, costs £160 and handles up to 25kg, albeit in a far more basic, non-modular design and in less comfort.
Silver Cross, the baby brand beloved by the Royals, keenly rivals Cybex for comfort, style and status, and its prams range from £695 for the Horizon Classic Couture up to £2,500 for its Balmoral coach pram.
The Pioneer or Coast are likely the closest to the Priam in terms of weight and features and these cost £845 and £950 respectively. These prices include the carrycot and seat, hood and apron, cup holder and rain cover as standard, but don’t include the price of a car seat.
Both of these Silver Cross prams have a more classic styling than the Cybex Priam but they’re missing the luxury touches including the high-quality leather, padding and softer material. They also lack the suspension of the Priam, meaning that even though they each weigh around 12kg-13kg with the carrycot attached, the Silver Cross prams feel much heavier and more cumbersome to push. Elsewhere, little separates the two brands in terms of dimensions; none of the three models are particularly compact when folded or upright, meaning they’re better suited to larger homes and cars.
|Silver Cross Pioneer||90cm||60cm||98-107cm|
|Silver Cross Coast||92-112cm||60cm||90-107cm|
|Silver Cross Pioneer||86cm||60cm||34cm|
|Silver Cross Coast||94cm||60cm||34cm|
Ultimately, your choice will come down to your budget and whether you’re willing to sacrifice some of the luxury touches and comfort, and ease of use, to save money.
Cybex Priam review: Features and design
The myriad configuration options mean the Priam doesn’t come assembled, and more’s the pity. The seat pack, frame, and cot all arrive in different boxes (with a disappointingly large amount of plastic packaging) and it took almost 45 minutes – with a fair bit of swearing and trapped fingers – to get the pram assembled. This isn’t because it’s complicated, it’s just incredibly fiddly.
The precision design and engineering means there is literally no wiggle room. Everything from the footrest to the canopy is millimetre-perfect. That’s great, but it meant we had to wrestle the seat material over the footrest, for example, in order to close the zip. The benefit of a zip, as opposed to velcro or elastic which is common on prams, is that once completed, the seat won’t budge and it gives the Priam an elegant, sleek outline. We just wish the whole process wasn’t such a struggle in the first place.
We tested the Indigo Blue model and there’s no two ways about it: the material has a classy sheen to it that looks and feels expensive. The rich, dark blue is complemented fantastically with a more vibrant, almost electric blue, on the underside of the canopy. Elsewhere, the five-point harness clips easily together and the clasps are contained inside a stylish plastic housing meaning you, or your little one, won’t ever get skin trapped or pinched. Other luxurious touches include a stitched leather-style handle, wrist strap and bumper bar. The suspension and large, all-terrain wheels on the model we tested do look chunky but this adds to the overall aesthetic of sturdiness and luxury.
On first impressions, the shopping basket looks tiny – but that’s because cleverly hidden magnets allow it to be folded down when you’re not using it. When expanded, it easily accommodated three full bags of Aldi food shopping. We even used it to transport a slow cooker in a box. The capacity is boosted by the height of the seat which lifts it well above the basket, offering even more space. A downside is that by using clips and magnets, rather than a plastic frame, the basket does feel a little flimsy and has a tendency to drag on the floor when full.
Collapsing the Priam is possible with just one hand free: press the button on the underside of the handlebar and simply pull the seat towards the frame. It can be stored with the seat attached. When folded, the Priam stands on its wheels and its folded depth is compact enough to tuck in a hallway or on a bus or train, even with its large wheels attached. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t apply when being stored in a boot. Although the depth of the folded Priam is compact, the height means that it can’t be stored upright in a car, and will only lay flat in larger boots.
READ NEXT: Best baby cots
The handlebar height is adjustable via the same button which is used to collapse the Priam. Don’t worry though, you can’t accidentally fold the Priam with your little one inside: the handle locks in place until the seat is folded. A sprung clip on the rear of the seat lets you put the seat into three positions, including a fully flat recline, and the footrest offers three positions.
The hood folds out easily but its protection is limited. It doesn’t provide anywhere near as much coverage as rivals, including the brilliant Mamas & Papas Flip XT3, and this caused problems on bright, hot days.
Cybex Priam review: Handling and performance
Without doubt, the Cybex Priam is the easiest to push of any pram or stroller we’ve ever tested. Its suspension and large wheels take everything in their stride, even when you’re piloting it one-handed. Despite carrying a two-stone one-year-old, the Priam glid effortlessly over gravel and smoothed the rough, muddy terrain of fields at our local farm. In fact, it rolls so smoothly that there is surprisingly little difference from pushing an empty Priam to an occupied one. Additionally, the leather on the handle is comfortable to hold and the material retains your hand’s heat for much longer than plastic and rubber equivalents, which was very welcome on windy, chilly days.
It’s difficult to overstate the impact this ease-of-handling had on us: when we switched to using a friend’s pushchair on holiday, we were convinced the brake had been left on because it felt so heavy in comparison. Speaking of brakes, the footbrake on the Cybex Priam is conveniently situated in the centre of the foot bar, not tucked behind a wheel, and is wide enough to be able to control comfortably, even in flip flops, without being too big or looking unsightly.
Our review sample came with a LUX seat and it certainly lived up to its name. The padding and straps are both covered in a soft cotton and polyester mix which offers great comfort and support. The seat’s sides subtly curve inwards, and this provides added comfort for the passenger: our little one would often nod off even during short walks, nestling his head into the pillow-style pads either side of his head.
Cybex Priam review: Verdict
Style, luxury, comfort and class-leading handling has made the Cybex Priam our go-to pram, whether we’re popping out in the car to town, or going for walks in the Chiltern Hills. Our storage facility (read: garage) is regularly stocked with prams and pushchairs of various styles from multiple manufacturers, and thus far not a single one of these has taken precedence over the Priam.
Fiddly, frustrating assembly aside, if you can afford a high-end pram, you’ll struggle to find one that ticks all the boxes in the way the Priam does – and especially not with this level of panache. Sadly, the cost will price it out of reach of many parents, and that’s a real shame.