Today’s baby strollers are pushing the boundaries of design and convenience. With new, never-before-seen features, modern baby strollers are going high-tech. As such, if you are parent of small children, they will tell you that shopping for a stroller is no easy task. There are many considerations to make. Is it portable? Does it have a storage basket? Can it collapse easily? Then there are the high-tech versions (like the one I’ll be reviewing) that take strollers to a whole new level of sophistication.
I’m reviewing the Cybex e-Priam Power Stroller (coming soon). With a removable battery, it’s the “e-bike of strollers” capable of climbing up hills and providing braking support downhill. If you’ve experienced riding a power-assisted bicycle, a power-assisted stroller is something you’ll appreciate. Let’s begin with the design.
Design of the e-Priam stroller
The e-Priam stroller incorporates the rich legacy of German-designed products with quality, award-winning design elements. It was the Baby Product of the Year in Sweden 2019, and German Design Award Winner 2020.
The variable e-Priam frame is a 4-in-1 system capable of carrying a stroller seat, a LUX Carry Cot, a LITE cot, and an infant car seat. The recommended age is 6 months and up with a maximum weight capacity of approximately 25 kg (55 lbs).
For this review, I received the Priam stroller seat. It features Priam’s extendable XXL sun canopy that provides a UPF 50+ rating for sun, wind, and weather protection. The stroller seat can be adjusted to forward-facing or rear-facing. One-hand recline positions it down to a near flat position for a comfortable, impromptu sleep session.
The stroller handle length is adjustable to accommodate different configurations. It features a single-hand folding design. This design element is something most parents will appreciate. Once folded, the stroller goes into self-standing mode.
The e-Priam stroller features an electric, battery-powered motor. This separates it from most other on the market today. The motor provides assistance uphill and braking support downhill. The motor on the e-Priam is activated by clicking on a blue switch located beside the left rear wheel. The removable battery docks on the bottom of the back axle. It can be charged while docked or removed. It takes approximately 6 hours to charge. The stroller can be used with or without motor assistance.
The handlebar features built-in sensors that detect and monitor pushing and pulling pressure. An algorithm Cybex calls “Smart Hill Support” adds support by guiding the motors integrated into the frame to add support when required.
Another feature is “Smart Uneven Surface Support”. This adds motor-assisted support over rough grounds like sand, forest trails, cobblestone, snow, and gravel. Not only does this help parents, but it also provides a smooth ride for the child as well.
Using the e-Priam stroller
To help with this review, I visited my cousin Jesse, his pregnant wife Jas, and their two-year-old son Kiaan. As parents to a young toddler and expecting their second child, they have a lot of experience shopping for strollers.
They were initially impressed with the design: the stunning German design aesthetics With black and red accents gives the stroller a modern, contemporary, and luxurious look. They also really appreciated the ease in switching the stroller seat forward and backward facing. They didn’t need instructions: everything from moving the sunshade to adjusting the handlebar length was done with intuitive ease.
The second thing they were very interested in was the folding design. The one-hand folding took them a little time to get used to. There is a proper order to folding the stroller but it seems that some steps, like collapsing the handlebars, can be done before others. This caused a little confusion at first, but after a couple attempts, they got used to it.
Kiaan seemed to enjoy sitting in the stroller. As I was taking pictures of him, he didn’t seem too bothered to be seated without moving. With the sunshade fully extended, he was completely protected from the sun. This led to an extended game of peak-a-boo to keep him happy during the photoshoot. There was also ample space for his feat, especially as he grows over the next two years.
Testing Smart Hill Support
Jas is currently 7 months pregnant with a 2-year old son. She was the perfect mom to benefit from e-Priam’s Smart Hill Support feature. She has trouble pushing her current stroller because their neighbourhood has a lot of hills.
The first thing we noticed was that there was no assistance on the flat driveway. Even on a slight incline, she felt no assistance. Only as the hill got steeper did we hear the motor kick in. It makes a subtle sound so you know when it is on. If her hands were not on the handlebars, the assistance did not kick in. This tells me that the sensor in the handlebar is legit.
Going downhill, we also noticed the motor turning on. This time it was braking to slow the stroller down. What became apparent to us was that the parent cannot really control when the assistance kicks in. It basically just happens based on the current condition.
The one feature we really didn’t get to test was the “Smart Uneven Surface Support”. There was a little patch of gravel we tested it on, but it wasn’t rough and long enough for the motor to kick in. Based on our hill tests, I have no doubt that this feature works as well. The stroller seems to have a mind of its own and decides when to activate the motor.
The big question is this: do parents want a power stroller? It’s super new to the stroller market so it will take some time before parents know this feature exists. Hopefully, this review will help. From our tests, we experienced motor assistance firsthand. At first, I thought it might be the same experience as a self-propelled lawnmower. However, it couldn’t be more different. A self-propelled lawnmower pushes you forward. The e-Priam does not. It only kicks in when it (i.e. the algorithm) thinks you need it. Therefore, you really have no control when it turns on. It really depends on the environmental conditions you happen to find yourself in.
A cool design feature I would like to see one day is regenerative charging. Instead of plugging the stroller in, it could charge itself from the manual pushing. I would also like to see dual e-strollers. I’ve never used a dual stroller before but I imagine pushing two kids uphill would be tiresome.
The biggest compromise we found in the e-Priam stroller was the added weight. All that motor-assistance technology and accompanying battery comes at a cost. At approximately 15 kg (33 lbs), it might be hard for some moms to pick it up and put it inside a trunk. That seemed to be the biggest consideration my cousin and his wife had with this stroller over their current one.
Be as it may, there are no shortages of choices in baby strollers and accessories. If you are in the market for a high-end, luxury stroller with the latest in motor-assistance technology, the Cybex e-Priam Power Stroller (coming soon) is second to none.