The BabyStyle Oyster has become an amazing success, won many awards and had some great reviews. We have a 2010 model for closer inspection and we're looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype.
The BabyStyle Oyster comes in two base choices, silver or satin black. The silver option includes a silver chassis and a black seat with silver metal accents. The black option, has a black chassis and all black seat.
Once you have decided upon your base colour, you then choose a colour pack to complement your frame and suit your taste. There are plenty to choose from, 13 in fact!
What's in the box
Oyster Smooth Black Stroller without Hood
1. Satin Black Chassis Option RRP £249.00
2. Silver Chassis Option RRP £219.00
includes Chassis, Seat unit, fitted Apron & Raincover
The Babystyle Oyster comes has an amazing 13 colour packs to choose from, they are: Claret, Tomato, Orange, Yellow, Lime, Avocado, Apple, Ocean, Electric Blue, Grape, Rose, Dolphin Grey and Black
The full RRP of the BabyStyle Oyster is £299 (for the Black version on test)
The BabyStyle Oyster is a really eye catching pushchair and more so, depending upon your choice of colour pack against frame. On test, we have Oyster with the satin black frame with the grape colour pack …. it is stunning.
The black frame is not entirely black, it has a small percentage of silver; at the knuckle and around the wheels, just enough to prevent it from being too sombre.
The handle is clad in leather with the word Oyster embossed on the side. A central button releases the handle to extend or contract it to your desired height anywhere from 93cms to 106cms.
Working your way down the frame, the next stop is the folding mechanism. Two sliding buttons tucked under the left and the right of the handle activate the fold but the right button will not work until the safety catch on the top is depressed.
The handle then travels forward, towards the front wheels where, with an assertive push, it will lock, forming a compact 62cm x 55cm x 85cm. It can also fold with the seat unit in place when in the forward facing position. To achieve this, the seat needs to be folded all the way forward, like a shell (an Oyster?)
To open the frame, simply release the catch that keeps it locked shut near the right back wheel and pull the handle up. The frame springs open in one easy manoeuvre.
The brake is located in the middle of the back axle and pivots between on and off, achievable with zero effort and zero footwear.
Pressing the buttons to the left and right of the brake on the back chassis will release the 33cm plastic moulded wheels to reduce it's width when folding. The smaller 17cm front wheels can also be removed via the small buttons on the front of their mounting. They can also be locked off (i.e. no swivel) by the large pad buttons either end of the front axle.
The basket hangs from the chassis, beneath the seat unit, it's not huge, but would take one large bag of groceries.
The suspension on the frame is excellent. If you bear down on the front or the back axle with your foot, it is very easy to see it in action; great compensation for the lack of cushioning in the solid moulded wheels.
The seat, when fully dressed, with canopy and liner from your colour pack, looks great. The amount of contrast you can achieve, especially when set on the black frame, is really attractive.
One of the best elements of the seat is the way disconnects from the chassis. Attaching it to the chassis is simply a matter of locating the brackets into the sockets and waiting for the ‘click' however, removing it is just as easy – not the case for all pushchairs!
Either side of the seat, where you would naturally grab it to lift it from the frame, are two cup handles with the release mechanisms contained within, so as you go to lift, you naturally squeeze the buttons and it comes away in one easy action.
The seat has three recline positions in either front or rear facing mode. The same lever, at the back of the chair, is used to close the seat up, like a shell, to compact it to fit into the car. A fabulous idea, although on further inspection it has one fault; if you close the seat unit while it's still on the chassis, if folds too far, covering the chassis release buttons prohibiting you from lifting it away from the chassis! Slight design glitch!
The bumper bar is leather covered and, like the handle, embossed with ‘Oyster'. It can be angled to suit your passenger but the knuckled gate opening is clumsy. The release button is on the body of the chair, it's not particularly easy to locate or press and slides back into it's socket like a knife into a block rather than a ball into a cup.
The calf rest is easy to angle, controlled by the buttons either side of the chair.
The colour pack gives you a matching liner and canopy. The liner is an embossed neoprene that looks comfortable and contemporary. The five point harness, with padded shoulder straps, threads through it with ease. The canopy is enormous and can be extended to gargantuan by unzipping a concealed segment. It has a covered peephole for checking up on your passenger. My only dislike about the canopy is the fact that it doesn't stay folded out of the way without some bullying tactics. It needs a good shove to get it to remain concertinaed, imagine your child has nodded off, you recline them gently, only to wake them with a jolt as you try to shade them! Annoying!
The Apron that comes with your basic frame choice attaches onto the seat and under the bumper bar neatly to finish the overall look. It's not the thickest of covers but it is billed as an apron and not a footmuff.
The mosquito net is built-in, not in the canopy as you would expect, but concealed beneath the calf rest, in a little zip pocket. You simply pull it out and hook it over the canopy to provide extra shade and protection from flying buzzing things. A great use of space and a good demonstration of original thinking.
The rain cover is tailor made and uncomplicated to throw on in a hurry. The two straps at the back, that popper together, ensure it isn't blown off in the wind.
The BabyStyle Oyster is a beautiful looking pushchair with great functionality. It's fold is fantastically compact allowing it to fit in the smallest of boots and it would accommodate the needs of most modern families. It's great value for money at only £299 for the satin black model.and the accessories are not overpriced. It wouldn't suit a newborn on it's own as it doesn't recline far enough but the carrycot is only £119 with a colour pack.
The only dysfunctionality on the Oyster lies in the seat unit. The way the seat folds over the seat release mechanism is peculiar, it seems natural to want to fold it in situ, then remove it from the chassis to stow it. The way that the seat clam folds means the backrest is a little 'flappy' and you have to be careful when raising the seat from lying to sitting that you don't go too far! The bumper bar could be refined and the canopy size comes at a cost – theres a lot of it to retract.
In short, the BabyStyle Oyster is beautifully contemporary and does tick a lot of practical boxes, although some of the clever bits need a rethink to perfect them. However, it is a stylish urban pushchair that is fantastic value for money!