Best Toddler and Newborn Travel System 2019
BabyStyle Oyster 3 review
A large well-built travel system that’s designed to last well into the toddler years, the BabyStyle Oyster 3 is the ideal pram for any growing family.
Verdict in 10 seconds
The BabyStyle Oyster 3 is a stylish, hardworking buggy that offers good longevity. If you’ve got the budget, you can choose a larger package with everything you need from a changing bag to a buggy board.
- One-handed recline with a lie-flat seat
- Puncture-free tyres
- Compact fold – folds with seat unit still attached
- Easy to carry (has a retractable carry handle)
- Chunky rear wheels for off-roading
- Needs two hands to fold
- Carrycot tricky to remove
- Covers not machine-washable
What are the key features?
- Adjustable handlebar
- Folds with seat in both directions
- One-handed recline
- Large turbine rear wheels
- Five-point safety harness
- Shoulder pads and a headrest for extra comfort
- Extendable sun canopy with UV 50+ protection
- Pull-out sun visor and ventilation net
- Hand-stitched bumper bar and handle
- Soft suspension
- Lockable swivel front wheels
- Car seat compatible
- Packages include carrycot, stroller, i-Size infant car seat, Duofix base and car seat adaptors
What are the specs?
- Suitable from: Birth to 22kg
- Pushchair orientation: Parent- and world-facing
- Number of wheels: Four
- Dimensions: L 94 x W 57 x H 102 cm
- Dimensions when folded: L 71 x W 37 x H 57 cm
- Weight: 11.7kg
- RRP: £499 (£886 for bundle) at time of review
- Compatible with the following car seats: Oyster 3 Carapace, Maxi-Cosi Cabrio Fix, Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus, Cybex Cloud Q, Cybex Aton Q, Joie i-Level, BeSafe iZi Go Modular i-Size, BeSafe iZi Go x1, Kiddy Evoluna i-Size 2
What does the package include?
While we only tested the seat and chassis for the Oyster 3, you can also buy it as a bundle which includes a carrycot and car seat.
The carrycot has been improved on previous models with a new easier-to-use ‘lift-off’ mechanism. Plus, it has a rocking base to help soothe your baby. If you’re after extra stability, four feet pop out to keep the carrycot stationary.
Larger bundles include extras such as sun parasols, footmuffs and rain covers for the car seat along with a matching change bag, if your budget allows. There’s a choice of eight colours and our test buggy was in the berry colourway.
How easy is it to assemble?
The BabyStyle is easy to put together and only took our tester a few minutes to fully assemble. Because the hood was already attached, it was just a matter of attaching the wheels to the frame and then clicking the seat into place.
The wheels also have different colour markings on the inside to make it easier to know which wheel goes on which side, and our tester only needed to refer to the instructions once to figure out how to change the seat position from parent- to forward-facing.
There’s a comprehensive instruction manual online which features photographs of the product, in place of graphics, to make it easy to understand.
Be aware that the two-year warranty only covers the chassis and seat frames – the seat fabrics, carrycot, accessories and PVC rain cover are all covered for six months.
You can contact customer services via a landline number displayed on the BabyStyle website or by using an online query form.
How does it look?
The BabyStyle Oyster 3 is, quite simply, a beautiful buggy. It looks really smart with large rear wheels and it exudes an air of quality and style.
The buggy design promises to fit a child up to 22kg (approximately four years of age), however our tester felt it would be a little on the small side if you have an older child as they would likely outgrow the seat faster than expected.
Our tester’s seven-month-old is a large baby and, although there was plenty of leg room, the actual height of the seat was quite low and she was often concerned about opening the hood and bumping his head.
The quality of the pushchair as a whole really shines through though and BabyStyle has lovely aesthetic touches, most noticeably the almost-pearlescent wheels, which makes a pleasant change from the usual chrome.
The colours available are fairly muted, but there’s plenty for every taste, including pebble, Mercury grey, regatta blue, peacock green and caviar black as well as the berry we tested. The frames also come in two options, the mirror chrome or the matte ‘city grey’. There’s also an option to buy a buggy board, which makes it perfect for a growing family.
What's it like to use day-to-day?
With the extendable handlebar, which is effortless to use, the pram offers a good range of height settings making it the best on test for flexibility when it comes to daily use by more than one parent or adult.
The Oyster 3 is really comfy to push – our tester found she was able to keep her stride and even power walk when she wanted to. It also has a tight turning circle and a slim base, which makes it a good option if you use public transport regularly.
We’ve taken it off-road and on public transport and it handled both well, absorbing uneven fields and tracks while also being able to squeeze onto the bus easily.
Chunky rear turbine wheels allow the buggy to bump up and down kerbs well and help it to run smoothly along pavements so that you don't feel every lump and groove along the way.
It’s well-balanced in general so it doesn't tip over when being pushed sharply around tight corners or over tree roots, even when loaded with shopping, a baby in the seat and a child on the buggy board.
When it comes to storage, the basket is more than adequate and fits two or three shopping bags along with the rain cover. It didn’t struggle with the weight once loaded either – the basket held firm and the buggy was still easy to manoeuvre.
The hood is UV 50+-protected and is a good size. It also extends to keep the sun off the child on even the sunniest of days.
You can't go far wrong with an Oyster.
How does it fold?
The Oyster 3 has a simple flip fold and, while it can be folded with the seat facing either way, our tester found the easiest fold was with the seat facing forward.
You need two hands to fold the pushchair as there is a switch either side (which means finding a safe place for the baby when you do it, which could prove slightly problematic on pubic transport), however, once folded, it is compact and light with a clip to keep it in place and a handle for carrying.
It will fit neatly under the stairs – it would need to be stored upright as it doesn’t stand on its own – and it can be folded with the buggy board still attached, which is a great bonus.
Once folded, it can also fit comfortably into most medium-sized car boots, but the wheels are easy to remove if you need to squeeze it into a smaller space.
How comfortable is it?
The seat is roomy and there’s cushioning and padding all over to allow for maximum comfort for your tiny passenger. The seat reclines very smoothly between the three settings, which is great if you have a napping baby, and it is easy to use even with a two-year-old in the seat.
It easily attaches to the chassis, so you can pop it on and off with ease, although initially the handle can be hard to locate (it’s in the middle back of the seat) so you may need to refer to the instructions to start with.
There are different layers of padding in the seat to suit all age groups. Our tester’s seven-month-old was very comfortable with the extra head and neck padding, which is easily removable to create more space for a growing baby.
The Oyster 3 is well-designed for older children and offers good longevity as there are two release buttons on the edge of the hood that allow you to adjust both the height of the canopy and the harness without any need to touch the straps.
Love our Oyster - it's light, fits in our small car and my DS is super comfy in it.
How safe is it?
BabyStyle's five-point harness works well (the clip holds the straps firmly in place), but the strap between the legs didn't fasten tight enough for our tester’s liking – while it was difficult for her seven-month-old to wriggle his arms out, she found it fit her nearly three-year-old more snugly.
The straps are easy to clip together, even with a wilful baby in the seat, and the pram also has a belly bar that sat across our tester’s baby securely at belly-button height – he loved leaning forward and holding onto it during journeys.
While the buggy is quite light at 11.7kg, it’s also very sturdy. It balances well with a couple of bags hanging off the back (with or without a small passenger) and our tester also loaded it with day-to-day items, such as handbags, changing bags and shopping bags, and found that it didn’t topple – this included with the seat both fully reclined and fully upright.
The brake is positioned in the middle of the rear bar and is easy to click on and off, even with no shoes. It feels very secure and stays firm once on which prevents any fear of the buggy rolling away.
What about the extras?
The rain cover is effective in all weathers and fits well without a struggle, making it ideal for any sporadic downpour. It's generously-sized, covering the buggy almost completely, and it folds down compactly to fit into the storage basket after use.
The extras included were minimal – the buggy didn’t include a footmuff, which is a shame, but there is an option of purchasing a buggy board (approximately £40), which we tried, tested and loved.
Our tester was particularly impressed with the buggy board because of how easy it was to use. While the Oyster's handlebar is height-adjustable, the buggy board didn't affect our tester's stride at all.
Once attached to the pushchair, the buggy board can be pushed up and stored out of the way when not in use.
How easy is it to clean?
The fabric is tough and hard-wearing, but also simple to clean. We tested a dark colour and found that daily stains weren’t very noticeable. Any marks that could be seen were easily removed with a damp cloth and a good scrub.
During testing, the Oyster 3 was subjected to spilled milk, mud and juice and all marks disappeared with spot cleaning. Once dried, there were no visible stains.
The seat inserts can be removed for washing, but the manufacturer recommends that these are handwashed at 30 degrees rather than being put through the washing machine.
While the Oyster 3 is in the medium-to-high price bracket, it represents good value for money if you buy it as a package deal alongside a carrycot and a car seat.
Our tester said she would be happy to pay the price, especially for the quality the BabyStyle Oyster 3 offers. Overall, she found it a pleasure to use and said it fit neatly into her daily routine.
As such, we think it's a firm favourite for any growing family.
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For more information about what to look for when buying a travel system, check out our buyer's guide.
All prices correct at time of publication
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