Web site: perego.com
The Peg Perego Prima Pappa high chair had been a best selling high chair for years, but its day has come and gone. Sure, it looks stylish and features a four-position reclining seat, seven height adjustments, a dishwasher-safe dinner tray, five-point restraint and compact fold. And the fabrics! Tre chic!
But let’s look at the chair’s key flaw: the tray. It sits a whopping 8.5” above the seat, making it too tall except perhaps for LeBron’s kids. Another problem: the tray sits 7” from the back of the seat, creating a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between your baby and her food. (There is some good news on this front: in the past year, Peg added a newborn cushion to one model of the Prima Pappa to address this issue).
Then let’s talk about this chair’s cleanability—it’s notorious for collecting food in every little nook and cranny. And the dishwasher-safe tray insert is too big to fit in most dishwashers. All this for $200+! Wow, what a deal.
Perego makes three versions of the Prima Pappa: Best, Diner and Zero 3. The Best ($250, pictured) features an upgraded, tailored seat cushion. The Diner ($186 to $200) has a seat pad made of microfiber.
The Zero 3 is the newest version of the Prima Pappa. This chair features a reclining seat (four positions), seven height adjustments, vinyl pad, simple wheels, easy fold, adjustable footrest, and the ability to store the tray on the back. Price: $200.
Perhaps the best thing about the Pappa high chair is how it looks—the fabrics are gorgeous. And this chair is made in Italy (and your only option if you want to avoid Chinese-made high chairs, which is basically everything else on the market). But when you actually use the chair, the design flaws (it lacks a compact fold, the tray is sticky and tough to remove with one hand, lack of cleanability, etc.) quickly outweigh how pretty it looks. As one mom summed it up in an online review: “this chair should only be sold together with a 2000 psi power washer!”
The pricey Tatamia ($400) is billed as a “multi-purpose baby seat“ since it also functions as a swing and bouncer. Given the high price, reader feedback on this model has been thin, but in general, the few who have it, like it. In contrast to the Prima Pappa, the Tatamia is easy to clean. And fans like the multi-function swing/bouncer plus the compact fold. On the other hand, critics say this chair has a steep learning curve—the directions to convert functions are complicated, etc. Other negatives: the Tatamia’s large base takes up a lot of space and the swing motion can trap a baby’s arm, creating a safety hazard. New for 2016: a dark gray base option.
The newest Perego high chair is the Siesta. Billed as a “multi-function, ultra-compact” model, the Siesta has nine height positions and a full recline. We liked the hi-tech “eco-leather” covering, which should be easy to clean. The Siesta also includes a dishwasher safe tray, wheels that have a unique “stop and go” break system and a storage net on the back. When folded it measures just 11.8″. That is a bit wider than the 9″ depth of the Graco Contempo when folded, but overall, impressive.
At $300, the Siesta is no bargain, but reader feedback has been mostly positive. Fans love the overall design and ease of use, but critics say the overly complicated wheels aren’t user-friendly. Since the front wheels are fixed, the Siesta only pushes in a straight line. That sort of defeats the point of having wheels in the first place.
Some parents complained about the Siesta’s tray (it is hard to release with one hand; it can get stuck); others say the chair is hard to adjust. Bottom line: while the Siesta has its fans, the drawbacks are too much for this pricey model.
To sum up, Peg’s Italian tailored high chairs are pretty to look at—but high prices and design flaws prevent us from recommending them. If you have the space and a rich uncle, the Tatamia is probably the best of the bunch here. Rating: C+