We road test the Eames-inspired car seat and stroller system
Renowned for its sleek lines and handling, the latest German design that has our hearts aflutter, surprisingly, is not a car. It’s the Cybex Priam, an elegant, highly functional stroller and car seat system. The Red Dot design award-winning products stand out for their good looks and have an under-the-radar appeal, but above all their sheer utility puts them ahead of the competition. Inspired by Charles and Ray Eames, Cybex has been around since 2005, but the German company only recently launched in the US. The Cybex Priam, a three-in-one stroller system, consists of an aluminum base that pairs with a carry cot, car seat or seat. Designed for use with only one hand—key for those who always have their hands full—the base steers easily, maneuvering left, right and around tight corners. For the narrow aisles and doorways of NYC, this functionality proves essential.
One-handed operation also includes folding the frame into a standing unit for storage at home and on the go, folding flat for packing away, and reclining the stroller seat. With the CloudQ car seat on the base and its handle in the rear position, pulling the stroller backwards only requires one hand too, a feature that’s especially useful when going through doors.
Beyond its one-handed ingenuity, using the system is generally easy once you learn the basic functions. The design really shines when put to the test in a variety of situations. Need to pack it into a convertible’s tiny trunk? Wheels come off with the push of a button, clicking back into place once you’ve arrived at your destination. Want to get the handle out of the way when dining at a cramped NYC restaurant? Pushing a button slides it into one of three positions (though we wish there was a low option that didn’t hit the baby’s feet).
Materials make the Cybex system ultra-functional too—a thick water-resistant canvas wraps the carry cot and stroller seats and shade, which is “XL” and shields babies well. Durable fabric on the lower part of the seat stands up to spills and kicking feet. While the addition of the rain cover protects tots from inclement weather, it’s designed for everyday showers and isn’t secure or waterproof enough for major wind and rain, like the thunderstorm we braved one day.
Other accessories we tried and like include cup-holders that attach easily to the stroller handle for carrying your turmeric latte, but they unfortunately detach easily too making them prone to disappearing. And while a bottle of wine fits, anything too top-heavy or smaller than a large to-go cup will fall out.
The shopper basket, an essential stroller feature and an exceptionally smart design here. The basket closes with magnets for a compact compartment below the seat, opening at an easy-access angle or for more storage. A rear mesh panel allows you to see what you have stashed away, though you can only access your items from the front.
When it comes to the main components that fit on the Priam base—the bassinet, car seat and stroller—Cybex wins top marks too. The new CloudQ car seat is a rear-facing seat that’s highly rated for safety, featuring advanced side-impact protection, including telescopic bars which extend to offer additional protection. The LATCH system tightens easily to secure the base in cars, and the seat pops in and out of the base with the push of a two-part button. When attached to the Priam, the seat recline sallowing sleeping babies to relax while out and about.
If you opt for the two-in-one seat like we did, it starts as a carry cot that attaches to the base for a pram-style option and does double-duty as a bassinet with its sturdy legs around the house or when traveling. When babies are a little older (around two months) the cot converts into a stroller seat. An advantage of the Lux seat, in addition to a slightly plusher seat, is that the seat folds away with the frame, while the two-in-one seat has to be removed from it before storing. But both seats are table height, a feature we especially like, and bumper bars—useful for tying blankets and toys—open to one side for easy access.
And, like everything in the Cybex line, both seats are quite stylish too. Babies look cute nestled between the padded shoulder straps, and the stroller cuts a striking profile. With such a great form and superb function, we couldn’t be happier with the Cybex Priam system.
The entire Cybex line is available online and in-store at various stockists.
Images by Cool Hunting