Quick Summary: The Cybex Balios S provides everything you might need in a pushchair or pram. It is the perfect pushchair for first-time parents who need their baby's first set of wheels to perform in a multitude of situations. The functions are genuinely useful and easy to operate, making the Balios S a hassle-free and stylish pram that will suit the needs of many families. Absolutely every function of the Cybex Balios S is simple to use, making parenting life that tiny touch less hectic!
- All-in-one fold
- Smooth push with great suspension
- Affordable price tag
- Simple but stylish
- Deceptively large basket
Whats not so good?
- Seat catches on basket when unfolding
At first glance, it's clear that simplicity reigns supreme in the realms of the Cybex Balios S. The clean lines of the chassis and well finished buttons and joints immediately give the appearance of a quality product. We're testing the Manhattan Grey colourway from the Denim collection, which happens to have a brushed silver chassis, but other colourways do come with a matt black chassis, which looks just as smart.
We must stress that every inch of this chassis is spotless. Every seam, join, line, component has a smooth finish with clean lines - this gives us great peace of mind that the pushchair is well made from the very outset. The 2018 Denim version of the Balios S has leather detailing on the handlebar and bumper bar - this may sound like a small touch, but it really does make all the difference to the overall look and feel of the pushchair.
We have used the Balios S every day for a few months now, so I will start from the bottom up and talk you through our experience with the chassis.
The wheels pushed brilliantly wherever we went and whatever surface we presented them with. Grass, gravel, pavements, cobbles - you name it, the wheels handled it (and with ease)! We noticed that each wheel has its own individual suspension system, which made for the smoothest ride for our all-important passenger. If you push down on the handlebar, you can really feel the subtle bounce of the suspension springs. The larger rear wheels are made for any terrain and the smaller front wheels were easily locked to travel over bumpier paths.
The foot pedal brake is located centrally between the two rear wheels and is a simple press on, flick off operation.
The basket was the next feature to get the thumbs-up from our family. It is deceptively large and we seemed to be able to pile endless luggage underneath the pushchair - even my rather large changing backpack was able to fit in the basket.
The handlebar is adjustable in height in four positions from 99 to 110cm, meaning there is a comfortable strolling height for everyone. At 5'6" our tester used the second height setting on the handlebar but it was easily adjusted using the palm grip button if needed.
Seat & Carrycot
The box of the Balios S pushchair contains the chassis, wheels and seat unit. The seat does lie flat and can be used from birth but it is open at the sides so we much preferred using the Balios Cot S for a newborn to nestle in snugly. This carrycot is deep and long and will easily last until baby is sitting unaided and wants to see more of the world as you stroll. The Cot S features are simple, but simple is effective in the world of parenting! The mattress is firm and comfortable, just the way it should be to promote safe sleeping for newborns, and the hood gives lovely coverage with a little mesh window to allow you to peep in on baby too.
Removing the carrycot from the frame was easy thanks to the memory buttons on each side of the pushchair and the carry handle is located at the top of the hood. We found it easy to lift the cot on and off the frame with the weight of a newborn inside.
One handy feature of the Cot S has to be the fact that it folds flat for storage. The adaptor clips that attach the carrycot to the chassis fold underneath themselves, allowing the whole carrycot to flatten down to a very convenient package.
Once baby is sitting unaided you are able to use the seat unit that comes in the box with the Balios S pushchair. The seat itself is nicely padded and comes with matching harness straps coordinating with your choice of fabric colours.
When you first move your child from the Cot S, the chances are you will still want to be able to see and interact with them to give you both peace of mind. The Balios S seat can parent and world face and is easily switched between the two positions using memory buttons, as on the carrycot. The 51cm seat back means there is no doubt it will last until your child no longer needs to hitch a ride!
The hood, in our eyes, is the crowning glory of the Balios S. It extends right down to the bumper bar and provides shade and shelter for the whole seat. The pull-down visor gives that all-important extra shade and on our Denim collection pushchair, the visor was piped in the same luxurious leather detailing the handlebar and bumper bar of the pushchair - again a really lovely touch for such an affordable pushchair.
The leather-effect bumper bar is soft for baby to hold and it looks lovely too. It pivots on opening, making it convenient to get baby in and out.
The seat also has an adjustable calf rest, perfect to support baby's legs. As your child gets taller, the calf rest can be lowered to allow their legs to rest at a more comfortable angle and for their feet to sit on the footrest of the chassis.
The harness can be overlooked when testing pushchairs, but it's crucial! It secures your baby safely into the seat and an easy-to-use harness can be the difference between ‘stress' and ‘no stress' for us as parents! The Balios S harness straps are simple to adjust by sliding the grips on either shoulder and the buckle is high quality with a very reassuring click when fastened properly. And as with all things Cybex, it looks stylish too!
The practicality and ease of use of this pushchair is highlighted again when used with the Cybex Aton M i-Size car seat. The Aton M i-Size car seat is suitable from birth up to 13kg and can be installed in your car with the seat belt or the ISOFIX base. It can be purchased as a system along with your Balios S or separately. We chose the fabric colours that coordinated with our pushchair and loved how easy it was to clip the car seat onto the frame when we were only nipping onto the school yard and then back to the car again. We were really impressed with the comfort of the seat for baby - the newborn inserts meant that the baby's back, neck and hips were flat, and as baby grew bigger the inserts could be removed.
Using the Balios S as a travel system with the Aton M i-Size really did seem effortless and make short tasks simpler with a small baby in tow.
A fuss-free fold is what all parents long for and a fuss-free fold is exactly what the Balios S delivers. The whole pushchair can be folded with the seat unit in place (when forward-facing) and with just one hand. We tried and tested the fold with a toddler on our hip on a daily basis and we didn't once come across a problem. For a full-sized pushchair, the fold is compact and really neat. We always had space left over in our boot when out shopping and on day trips.
There are two steps to the fold, but don't let this worry you; it's a very simple process once you know how.
The fold also has the advantage of an auto lock that keeps the package together when in transit.
One small point that we did notice with daily use was that when unfolding the pushchair, the footrest often got caught on the basket. We just had to just guide the footrest out with our hands - this wasn't a major headache but more a minor observation.
The Cybex Balios S provides everything you might need in a pushchair or pram. It is the perfect pushchair for first-time parents who need their baby's first set of wheels to perform in a multitude of situations. The functions are genuinely useful and easy to operate, making the Balios S a hassle-free and stylish pram that will suit the needs of many families.
We really feel that with this pushchair you gain all of the benefits of the signature quality Cybex finish at a widely affordable price tag.
When used with the Cot S, the Balios S provides an attractive and practical pram for newborn days, and the ability to use the chassis with an infant car seat gives a handy travel solution too.
As well as being tall and wide, the ergonomic hinged seat unit that moves at the base when being reclined made our little tester's ride comfortable at all times. The extra-large extendable hood was really handy not only when the sun shone but also when the wind and rain came out to play.
Absolutely every function of the Cybex Balios S is simple to use, making parenting life that tiny touch less hectic!