BabyStyle have presented us with several show stopping pushchairs but none at all are like the brand new Hybrid. We've put the Edge, City and Tandem versions of the Hybrid to the test, see how we got on.
What's in the Box?
The RRP of the Hybrid Stroller is £499 as a single or £698 as a tandem.
The Hybrid Stroller is available in a choice of luxuriously textured fabrics: Phantom Black, Wild Orchid, Simply Navy, Stonewash, Lava Red, Mineral Blue and Pistachio.
The Hybrid arrived neatly packed into compact boxes. Putting it together was a very exciting affair, that was done with relative ease.
The Hybrid is pretty unique as pushchairs go, so depending on what option you purchase, you will have different assembly processes to follow. Either way, all of the bits pop together with a reassuring click and there was no headache gained from consulting the instruction manual every two seconds!
The lightweight aluminium chassis is so elegant to look at. The slim line tubing is super strong and feels of the utmost quality whilst still looking sleek and stylish. The unique looking chassis definitely stands out from the crowd with its futuristic front wheel axle.
It was no surprise to us from looking at the Hybrid that it weighed next to nothing (7.8kg!) but our testers were really impressed by the strength and feel of the chassis - how can something so sleek be so robust?! Very clever!
The handlebar is a real highlight of the Hybrid. Many pushchairs have really chunky handlebars with broad circumferences, which don't always sit too well in the palm of your hand. The Hybrid handlebar is narrow and padded to perfection, with the soft touch leatherette covering adding a real feeling of luxury.
The magic with the Hybrid all happens with the rear wheel axles. There are three axles to choose from depending on what you will use the pushchair for. The Edge is the standard single mode of the Hybrid - this is a single back axle with larger rear wheels to take you over any terrain smoothly.
The City - this axle is slightly narrower and has smaller wheels to allow you to nip in and out of shops, aisles and on public transport easily.
Finally there is the tandem axle which allows for a second seat, carrycot or car seat to be fitted onto the Hybrid frame so the pushchair can be used for two children. We were really impressed at how these options made the Hybrid so versatile.
You do have to purchase the different axles separately, but having had a good think about this, the cost of an axle is far smaller than the cost of a whole new pushchair. This makes buying the Hybrid from the start and adapting it as your family grows a really cost effective investment on wheels!
Each axle clips on and off the frame using the easily accessible levers just a few inches above the rear wheels. All you need to make sure that you do is undo the Velcro straps of the shopping basket to allow the wheelbase to stretch or reduce and then re-attach the basket once the new axle is on. The whole process of changing rear axles is surprisingly fuss-free - a welcome way of working in the world of any busy parent!
The wheels of the Hybrid are futuristic in appearance, with the Hybrid logo proudly displayed on the disc like hubs. Inevitably, these silver discs will gain a few scratches with use but we were impressed with the hard wearing rubber of the wheels. The wheels are smooth in appearance with no visible tread on them, but after weeks of daily use, they still do not appear worn at all.
The two smaller lockable swivel front wheels are easily removable by pressing in the black catch just above the wheels. The back wheels also pop off easily using a little thumb lever. We found this really handy for cleaning the pushchair wheels after woodland walks or particularly wet and muddy school runs.
When in city mode, all four of the pushchair wheels are the same small size making the pushchair slightly narrower and really nimble to drive down the narrow aisles of shops, buses and trains.
The shopping basket on the Hybrid is clever and has multiple uses. Although not the largest basket we have seen, there is the option to use it with the official Hybrid changing bag which is perfectly moulded to fill the shopping basket. With this in place it can be used as a covered shopping basket to stop your belongings getting wet and keep them safe too. Another little feature of the Hybrid changing bag is that it can sit in the basket and be kept open for easy access, by attaching the internal straps to the frame.
When changing the axle from Edge or City to Tandem mode you simply use the Velcro straps to adjust the basket - it automatically extends which is great. The sides of the basket are not the tallest and when using a carrycot in tandem mode, the roomy carrycot fills the whole basket, so you will have to revert to hanging your bag from the chassis.
The luxurious nature of the Hybrid is 100% evident in the seat and carrycot. The fabrics are soft and richly textured so baby will get a comfortable ride in the lap of luxury and the embroidered logo's add that extra touch of style and substance. The height and width of the seat are brilliant, 58cm and 32cm - leaving plenty enough room for the tallest and chunkiest of toddlers.
The seat is almost square like in its appearance with the sun hood taking on this lovely shape too. The hood is large and gives great coverage. The pull down sun visor adds that extra protection from sun rays and when fully extended using the zip open panel, it almost touches the bumper bar.
The harness is beautifully padded and has a fabulous quirky feature that will save parents minutes every day! Rather than adjusting the harness via buckles, you use a one pull adjuster located just below the crotch strap (a bit like you find on most car seats). To loosen the harness, you press the button (underneath the embroidered press label) and pull the shoulder straps to the length that you need. This was a definite stand out feature for us here at PX HQ and something we think you might see other pushchair brands magpie in the future!
The bumper bar is a great feature for little ones to hold on to or even to hang a pram toy off for smaller babies. Just like the handlebar, it has debossed branding and a soft touch leatherette covering. We were pleasantly surprised to find that it pivots easily to let baby in and out of the seat without a fuss and it also has a bit of give in it, to make clipping in and out of the seat that bit easier.
Being the middle of winter, we tested out the luxurious fur lined footmuff designed specifically for the seat of the Hybrid. The footmuff is cleverly designed so there is no need to thread and unthread harness straps, you just Velcro the flaps of the footmuff around the harness.
The front can be unzipped off the footmuff, which left our little tester with a gorgeous fur liner to keep them extra cosy on their travels in the Hybrid. As you can see, our tester found this so cosy that he couldn't resist a little nap. It's worth mentioning that for a child of 20 months old, there was still plenty of room in the bottom of the footmuff.
The seat of the Hybrid can be clipped into place in either forward or parent facing modes by squeezing the half moon shaped clasps on either side of the pushchair chassis and lifting the seat off the frame.
The carrycot is covered in the same luxurious fabrics as the seat unit with the same gorgeous, generously proportioned sun hood. The detail on the Hybrid carrycot had us mesmerised, all of the small details have been really well thought out. The leatherette detailing to the front and back of the carrycot base stops the scuffs of daily life from harming the fabrics. The handy zipped storage pouch is great for keeping essentials in and the leather look zips look stylish too.
The size of the carrycot was really pleasing. At 75cm long and 33cm wide we had a 9 month old, 9kg baby napping happily in the carrycot on the included comfortable mattress. To remove from the frame, you pull the handle at the rear of the carrycot (at the base of the hood) and use the handlebar on the rim of the hood to lift it off the frame.
Both the seat and carrycot of the Hybrid come complete with mesh mosquito nets and raincovers. Instead of fumbling around trying to figure out which accessory fits which pushchair part, BabyStyle have thoughtfully and conveniently labelled each accessory which admittedly saved us from wasting quite a bit of time!
Either the seat or carrycot can be used in Edge or City mode and in Tandem modes several combinations of seat unit, carrycot and car seat can be used.
When using two carrycots together, both carrycots are full sized and nice and roomy, but we were a little sad to see that using a carrycot in the lower position means waving goodbye to your storage space. This can be combated slightly by using the bag hooks on the pushchair handle, but some shopping basket space to put unused coats, hats and gloves would've been nice!
The seat in the lower position can recline just as the seat in the regular position, and getting younger babies in and out proved hassle free. Sometimes our toddler testers in the lower seat would get caught on the plastic chassis auto-lock clip as they climbed in and out - just a tiny point to note if you plan on using the pushchair with a toddler.
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!
Available as an optional extra, you can purchase the Hybrid height adapters. The adapters allow you to increase the height of either the carrycot, car seat or main pushchair seat, making them closer to the parent. If you are using the pushchair as a tandem, then the main function is to create more space between the two seats, or the seat and carrycot.
There was only one way for us to describe the drive of the Hybrid for us here at PX and that is ‘silky smooth.' The clever engineering and design works wonders together and pushing the Hybrid in Edge mode felt like pushing a vintage coach-built pram - so light with an element of rocking and bouncing, which is perfect to soothe baby. Even on the more rickety cobbles and streets of old villages on days out, the Hybrid Edge was quite possibly the smoothest pram we have ever pushed (and we've pushed a lot!)
In Tandem mode, of course, the extra weight of the second child and seat/carrycot was evident, but because of the careful positioning of the weight over the central support bar and rear wheels, the pram was still light and smooth to push as tandem pushchairs go. Curb-popping with a lower carrycot in place felt different, but was definitely doable and not once did the Hybrid ever feel unstable in any of its modes.
In City mode the rear wheels are smaller, making the whole pushchair sit slightly lower to the ground and altering the centre of gravity for the pushchair. The ride was just as smooth but had less bounce. It might not sound much but the inch of width that you lose by putting the city rear axle on really seemed to make all the difference. We easily managed to steer onto a busy rush hour-hour train to Manchester without bumping into any seats or passengers!
The fold on the Hybrid is as unique as the rest of design features which make it stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, you can unclip the handlebar adjusters on either side of the handlebar and push the handlebar down to its lowest position.
Next, located at the front of the pushchair, right in between the front wheels, you will see a grey handle with a silver 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 frame lock. Once this is released, we just grabbed the handlebar and flicked the pushchair into place. Everything clicks into place itself so there's no need to worry about locking off any levers.
It's 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 back chassis of the Hybrid.
The Hybrid has a compact folding chassis and fits easily in the boot of your average hatchback car, even in tandem mode too!
Overall, BabyStyle have raised the bar with the Hybrid stroller. Whether you are using it in City, Edge or Tandem mode, the unique features such as the one pull harness and the extra smooth rolling wheels really give luxurious feel for baby and parent alike.
The extra large extendable hood, roomy carrycot and attention to detail in the seat unit make sure that the Hybrid will stand the test of time and serve your family for many years.
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. However you can combat this by purchasing the specially designed BabyStyle Hybrid changing bag for £50.
But our reviewer is adamant that the Hybrid is the smoothest push she has ever experienced in a pushchair (and she's pushed a lot!).
For such an incredible price at just £499 for the single Edge version of the Hybrid, there is no denying that the Hybrid offers value for money as well as oodles of class and style.
We give the Hybrid Stroller 4.5 out of 5 stars.
To find out more about the BabyStyle Hybrid, visit the Hybrid Stroller website.