BabyStyle Hybrid 2 Review
The BabyStyle Hybrid 2 stroller has had a big upgrade from the original model, while still offering the great versatility that we loved. Here's how it got on in our road test...
The BabyStyle Hybrid 2 is a real parent pleaser. Whether using it as a single or tandem pushchair, we found it to be a great mix of practical features, luxury quality and contemporary design.
- Comfortable and large seat
- Can be transformed between double and single
- Great price
- No basket space in tandem mode
- Only available in 3 lovely colours
The lightweight chassis making it easier to get around, extra-large UPF50+ extendable hood, roomy carrycot and the versatility of the interchangeable axles are all points that make the Hybrid 2 stand out from the pushchair crowd.
If we were to be super-critical, the fact the basket space is sacrificed in tandem mode, especially when using the carrycot in the lower position, isn't ideal. You can purchase the specially designed BabyStyle Hybrid changing bag for £50.
With an incredible price of just £499 for the Hybrid 2 stroller, there is no denying that this pushchair offers value for money as well as class and style in abundance.
We almost knew what to expect when we unboxed the new Hybrid 2 as we had previously tested (and fallen in love with!) the original Hybrid stroller.
The new Hybrid 2 retains many of the features that the original model gained a reputation for, but after popping it together we can see there are quite a few exciting changes to the design too!
The Hybrid system is best known for its ability to transform between a single and a double pushchair by changing the rear axle on the chassis. It can go from mono to tandem mode in just a click or two - very clever, we're sure you'll agree!
The stroller has a contemporary appearance with its chassis tapering at the front. The strong, stable but more elegant look of the Hybrid 2 has really impressed us. The all-new foam-filled multi-terrain wheels are a huge success and they strolled smoothly and the steering was light no matter where we went. The appearance of the wheels is obviously a matter of personal taste, but we think a lot of people will prefer the look of the new Performance wheels to the futuristic Expression wheels that initially came with the previous BabyStyle Hybrid model. The suspension feels lovely in the palm of your hand and our little passenger always seemed happy in the seat and carrycot.
The height-adjustable handlebar is an excellent feature of the pushchair. It is simple but effective to use and can be altered to no fewer than 12 different height positions, ranging from 89cm to 112cm to suit the tallest and smallest of drivers. The quality of the BabyStyle Hybrid is evident in the stitching and finish on areas such as the handlebar. We loved the attention to detail such as the moulded hooks that help you to hang your pushchair bag from the handle without it always slipping down the frame.
The magic with the Hybrid all happens with the rear wheel axle. For £499 we received the standard Hybrid 2 with the seat unit (suitable from 6 months). The carrycot for use from birth is £149, and for an additional £50 you can add the tandem axle to your purchase and just like magic you have a double pushchair instead of a single. The rear axle is popped on and off by just pressing a button on each side of the chassis. It might sound too good to be true but it really is a zero-fuss affair that will leave all fingernails and manicure intact!
The versatility of the BabyStyle Hybrid 2 meant that we could stroll as a single with a toddler in the seat one day and the next day just click on the Hybrid tandem axle, put the carrycot on the bottom and stroll with a toddler and a newborn!
The Hybrid 2 shopping basket is clever as it extends and reduces in size to adapt to the axle that is clicked in place. When using the basket in single mode, we never had any problems with storage space. We were able to fit everything we needed underneath the pushchair on shopping trips and school runs. The very clever official BabyStyle Hybrid 2 changing bag can be bought separately and it fits into the base of the pushchair basket perfectly allowing you both to cover your luggage when strolling and to just whip out the bag when it comes to folding the stroller so you don't have to empty everything from the basket. It has handy little clips inside to allow you to keep the bag open to use it as a changing station. When changing the axle from single to tandem mode you simply use the Velcro straps to adjust the basket - it automatically extends, which is great. When using a carrycot in tandem mode, the roomy carrycot fills the basket, so you will have to revert to hanging your changing bag from the chassis.
The carrycot and seat of the BabyStyle Hybrid have seen a few changes on this new model. The fabrics have been completely redesigned and are now smoother and softer. From a practical point of view we found them more wipeable when we had the odd spillage from bottles and snacks!
The carrycot is generously proportioned, leaving enough room for baby to stay in the recommended lie-flat position until they are 6 months old. We used the carrycot with a 5-month-old and found the luxuriously soft cotton lining very cosy. The handy zipped storage pouch in the carrycot is great for keeping essentials in and we loved the finish on the finer details such as zips and clips.
A new feature of the Hybrid 2 is the higher seating position. Both seat and carrycot sit higher on the frame and we really welcomed this as it meant we could interact with baby more easily and without the need to bend. It also meant that when we used the Hybrid 2 in tandem mode, there was more room between the two seats or seat and carrycot so neither passenger felt cramped. You can even heighten this position further by clipping in the height increasers, which raise the carrycot or seat another few inches.
The size and depth of the pushchair seat leaves plenty enough room for the tallest and chunkiest of toddlers.
The hood is large and gives great coverage, especially when you unzip the expandable panel. The pull-down sun visor adds that extra protection from the sun's rays too, although we didn't get a chance to use it in the drizzly British winter! The included raincover however got lots of use!
We loved the harness adjustment on the original Hybrid, which reminded us of the harness tightening systems you find on newborn car seats. This feature has been removed from the new model, which is a shame, but the harness is beautifully padded and easy to secure and undo.
The bumper bar of the seat has the same lovely leatherette covering as the handlebar and is so easy to use as it pivots and twists out of the way to get baby in and out of the seat.
The seat of the Hybrid can be placed on the chassis in either parent or world-facing positions, and it is really easy to pop the seat on and off the frame using the buttons on each side of the chassis.
To recline the seats you simply use the one-handed lever on the back of the seat and it offers multiple positions for baby to lie down and nap or sit upright and take note of the world.
It is perfectly possible to use the Hybrid 2 as a twin pram or pushchair - you just need to purchase the extra axle, seat and carrycot on top of the basic pushchair bundle. When using two carrycots together, both are full sized and nice and roomy.
The seat in the lower position can recline just like the seat in the regular position, and getting younger babies in and out proved hassle-free. Thanks to the new higher upper seat position, the toddlers in the lower seat position have more space than in the previous Hybrid model.
There were so many configurations to try the Hybrid in that we are pretty sure there will be something to suit every family. Durability and versatility are definitely strong points of this stroller!
Unique is the first word we would use to describe the fold of the BabyStyle Hybrid 2. The fold mechanism is placed on the front of the pushchair between the two front wheels. The fold hasn't changed from the previous model and we would say quite rightly so! The fold operation is easy, quick and accessible so, as the saying goes, ‘If it ain't broke, don't fix it'!
Firstly, you can unclip the handlebar adjusters on each side of the handlebar and push it down to its lowest position. Next, located at the front of the pushchair, right in between the front wheels, you will see a handle with a button just below it. Pull the handle and push the button downwards in one simultaneous movement and the chassis will fold in on itself.
To unfold the pushchair you need to release the cargo lock. Then we just grabbed the handlebar and flicked the pushchair open. Everything clicks into place itself so there's no need to worry about locking any levers.
It is also perfectly possible to fold the Hybrid with the main seat on the chassis, in the forward-facing position.
In tandem mode, you will notice that there is a small arrow on the right-hand side of the pushchair chassis. This is the point to which you need to adjust the handle height prior to folding, so the handle doesn't catch on the extended rear axle of the Hybrid 2.
The Hybrid 2 has a compact-folding chassis and fits easily in the boot of your average hatchback car, even in tandem mode! If you need it, the rear wheels can be simply removed to make it lighter and slimmer.
We were impressed with the lightness of the chassis when lifting it in and out of the car and the house.