There's been a lot of buzz about the Oyster 3 so we were really excited to get our hands on this one and see for ourselves the changes that the designers at BabyStyle have made to this popular all-round pushchair. Turns out there are quite a few - and they tackle all the quibbles parents might have had with the Oyster 2 and add some clever enhancements we hadn't thought of too.
First up, the Oyster 3 is bigger and higher (and, yes, slightly wider) when in use - but smaller and lighter when folded. Clever!
When we say higher, we mean it. Look at the difference between the Oyster 3 and its predecessor with the carrycot in place!
This is due to significantly larger wheels all round, a raised chassis, and a roomier, deeper and taller carrycot too. Removing the carrycot has become a one-step process - one hand on the handle, one on the lever at the back of the hood, and lift. It's well balanced, not heavy, and features a gently rocking base with pop-out feet for a stable stand when preferred.All the day-to-day operations such as reclining the seat unit and switching from world to parent-facing have been made simpler and smoother - pretty much everything that can be done in one instinctive move now is!
The fold doesn't fit into this bracket but is still a speedy and straightforward procedure that leaves you with a neat freestanding package with a pull-out handle to make lifting and carrying even easier. This holds true whichever way the seat unit is facing.
The very large basket has a separate pocket and the newly elevated overall height has the added bonus of giving great access to all those essentials too. The hood is also super-generous with a big zip-out mesh section.
We love the new padded, shaped headrest in the pushchair seat - giving that extra bit of support and comfort to younger children and sleeping bigger ones! Brilliantly, two small buttons on the sides of the hood raise and lower both the headrest and hood together to ensure your little passengers have the same clearance and ideal positioning even as they grow.
At the other end of the seat, the compartment-style space under the padded fabric of the calf rest can actually be pushed out to create a raised platform for your little one's legs for perfect comfort when sleeping.
BabyStyle has recognised that the tyres on the Oyster 2 did show signs of wear over time, so the larger wheels on its successor run on a tougher, more durable rubber compound that will withstand the miles of rolling.
There is a luxury feel to the finish on this pushchair, with the branding more subtle than on previous versions and most of the external rivets magically removed to give a clean, sleek frame. The number of colour combinations has been streamlined with seven fabric options - including shades of grey, stone, a lovely denim-style blue, black and a berry red - matched with a black or chrome chassis.The design of the changing bag hasn't yet been finalised but the current frontrunner is a lovely soft, padded bag with rounded curves, matching the fabric colours and perfectly in keeping with the style of the buggy.
The Oyster 3 pushchair will have an RRP of £499 - so £100 more than the Oyster 2 - but we certainly think the increase is justified for all the improvements. The carrycot has gone up £20 to £149 but this includes the coordinating fabrics - the old price was for basic black with a colour pack sold separately.
The Oyster 3 is due to hit stores in September and we will be bringing you a full in-depth review nearer the time.