Prima Pappa Zero3 high chairWeb site:

The Peg Perego Prima Pappa high chair had been a best selling high chair for years (sold in several iterations including the Best, the Diner and the Zero 3), 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: Peg sells a “booster cushion” for and extra $50 to address this issue. The cushion works with any Peg high chair.

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.

The Zero 3 (pictured above and directly below) is the newest version of the Prima Pappa. Besides the features above, his chair also has a vinyl pad, simple wheels, easy fold, adjustable footrest, and the ability to store the tray on the back. Price: $200.

Peg Perego Prima Papa Zero 3

The Zero 3 allows for five different recline positions, more than any other high chair.

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!”

FYI: The previous versions of the Prima Pappa, the Best and the Diner are still available from some sites online. Our opinion holds with these older versions: they’re pretty but tough to clean with many of the same flaws. They aren’t even on closeout special, so you could pay as much for them or more than if you bought the most recent model, the Zero3.

Besides Pappa, Perego has two other high chair offerings: The Tatamia and the Siesta.

Peg Perego Tatamia high chair

The Tatamia’s spring loaded design means you’ll be able to fold it smaller and more compactly.

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 is mostly positive. 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.

The Siesta folds down to less than 12 inches wide.

The Siesta, billed as a “multi-function, ultra-compact” model, has nine height positions a five-position full recline and three-position footrest. 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.

Peg Perego’s new line, Agio (sold only in independent baby stores) has its own version of the Siesta for a whopping $400 (called the Agio Siesta). At least they add sleek wooden leg accents to the design making the black and white version very fashionable. Otherwise, it has basically the same features as the regular Siesta.

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+