About the Hybrid City:
- Dimensions: 76x55x87cm (unfolded), 71x55xcm (folded with wheels)
- Weight: 10.6kg (chassis, wheels, seat with bumper bar and hood)
- Carrycot weight: 3.5kg
- Key features: telescopic handlebar to 111cm, convertible to Hybrid Edge single and tandem, all-wheel suspension, car seat adaptable
- RRP: £449
Babystyle is a successful parenting brand, offering strollers, car seats and other accessories. Its popular Oyster stroller has won numerous awards, and with its Hybrid it has designed a very interesting solution for growing families.
As the brand explains, the Hybrid is a 3-in-1 stroller – ‘one chassis, three strollers’, says the marketing line. Indeed, you can adapt the Hybrid by exchanging its rear axel – so you have the additional options of the single Hybrid Edge, which can be turned into a tandem for twins or siblings. We have put these two options through their paces in this in-depth review.
Or you can downsize by exchanging the rear axel for the 55cm wide City version to create a super nimble and compact stroller ideal for city living, getting about on transport and storing in smaller spaces.
Even though it is the compact version, the City is packed full of features. The seat can face parent or world, you can buy a carry cot or use it with infant car seats, it comes with rain cover, bug net, bumper bar and more, and it is great to push.
With a starting price of £449, this package is pretty impressive. The comparable UPPAbaby Cruz, for example, costs nearly £600 (and doesn’t have the future proofing options of turning it into a tandem at a later date), while Bugaboo’s Bee5 starts at nearly £500.
What were your first impressions of the Babystyle Hybrid City?
I loved the look of the Hybrid City. It felt like a really good-quality buggy, with lovely finishing touches and many useful design details. The colour (I tested the MIneral Blue) was lovely, and it looked super smart. I also liked that it seemed quite compact from the start. Not overwhelmingly bulky at all.
How does it compare to other travel systems you’ve used?
I have had a trusty Baby Jogger Versa (now no longer available) for quite some years now, and have tried the likes of the Koochi Modhero, a Bugaboo Cameleon (early generation), and friends’ UPPAbaby Vista and Cruz. The City performs very well. It is quite similar to the Modhero, in its lightweight frame and nippiness – it is lovely to handle. Style-wise it is one of my favourites. The Hybrid City is not in-your-face flamboyant but is clearly good quality – puts my poor old Versa to shame in the style stakes. It combines fantastic features and clever design details with a nice compact shape. For a fully-featured buggy, which is car seat and carrycot compatible, it is super solid, and its compactness is great for city living – as the name suggests.
The Hybrid price is very fair too, and the best aspect is that it will be able to grow with your family – you can buy a different axel to turn it into a tandem buggy very easily. The Vista allows you to do similar, but that’s nearly £200 more in price.
What age is it suitable for, can it be used from newborn?
You can use the Hybrid City from birth, but should purchase the carrycot to do so, as the toddler seat is not suitable for a newborn. The toddler seat is tested to 15kg, which is around 3 years of age.
How does the Hybrid City fold?
The Hybrid City’s fold is interesting. It can be folded with the seat facing in either direction (it folds smaller facing forward). This is really useful, as sometimes it’s just not convenient to take the seat off – when on a busy train for example. However, the brand suggests it’s best to fold the Hybrid with the seat removed, as that makes the most compact fold.
What I love a lot is that you can fold the chassis with the changing bag still in the basket, which is such a lifesaver. The brand doesn’t really recommend this, but it is handy when you quickly need to put the buggy in the boot of your car. It means you don’t have to start unpacking and repacking the buggy every time you pack it up or unload it.
Just how compact is it? How easy is it to store?
Without the seat it measures a respectably compact 71x55x30cm when folded. It’s not quite as handy as some compact buggies I have tried, such as the UPPAbaby Minu, but for a fully-featured travel system, it is not bad. Unfortunately, it isn’t free-standing when folded.
When unfolded it has a nice compact footprint, with the chassis measuring only 55cm in width. And when the handlebar is fully retracted it is a super space-saving 87cm high.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
Yes, it does fit in the boot of our car. Our car has quite a generous boot, so it’s not a surprise. But it does fit in quite neatly, especially if the seat is detached.
How lightweight is it?
The chassis with wheels weights 7.2kg and with the seat attached it weighs 10.6kg, which is not bad, but not super lightweight either. The Bugaboo Cameleon, for example, weighs a kilo lighter, and the UPPAbaby Cruz is 9.8kg. However, these types of pushchairs are not really designed to slung over a shoulder- they are full-sized travel systems providing superior comfort and usability. So keeping it around 10kg is perfectly respectable – and much lighter than some 13kg plus systems.
How easy is it to push?
The Hybrid City is very easy to push. The lovely, wide handlebar is tactile and easy to grip and the suspension makes the buggy glide and bounce along very easily. It’s also easy to get up and down kerbs and feels solid. The front wheels are set quite close together which improves the buggy’s nimbleness – fantastic for navigating busy city streets or public transport, turning in a tight spot.
How does it ride on different surfaces?
Even with its City wheels, which are smaller than the Edge wheels, the Hybrid rides very well on different surfaces – cobbles, lawn, bumpy pavements and so on. It feels very sturdy and secure and there are not too many jolts – I never really got stuck with it.
How is it on public transport?
The Hybrid City’s footprint is compact, and it’s therefore easy to navigate it onto busy buses or trains. It’s also fantastic, that the handlebar can be pushed back down when space is tight.
What do you think of the wheels? Is the all-wheel suspension noticeable?
I like the look of the wheels, and they are very reliable. They seem durable and the all-round suspension was very noticeable. It’s good that the front wheels are also lockable, for those who want to use that feature on more uneven long walks.
Is the frame strong, durable?
Yes, the sleek aluminium frame feels very durable. It’s solid but elegant, in my opinion. It can take being loaded up with unwieldy things – such as a balance bike or scooter, and doesn’t seem to mark too much. So I think it should last a long time – which is what it’s designed to do as it grows with your family.
What do you think of its handlebar?
I really liked the wide, faux leather handlebar. It is very comfortable to rest my hands on and to push, even one handed. It also has some welcome design features. These include hooks to prevent your changing bag from sliding down – very simple solution, but ingenious, as let’s face it, we all perch our massive bags on the handlebar at some point. I also regularly hang the kids’ various rucksacks or the shopping off them. I also love that the telescopic handlebar extends to an impressive 111cm with 12 different positions. It is rare that I don’t extend the handlebar to its maximum height (I’m 5’7’’), so tall parents should definitely give this one a try.
What do you think of the seat unit?
The seat unit seems very comfortable and has a generous seat back height of 58cm. It is quite narrow (with a width of 32cm), but my 2.5-year-old seems very comfortable in it – he really snuggles into it.
He also loves the fact that the seat is quite upright in the upright position, so he can happily observe the world.The seat unit is much higher off the ground compared to our Baby Jogger City Versa – much handier for pushing those traffic light buttons effectively! You can also buy additional height adaptors (£18) to raise the seat (or carrycot or car seat) an extra 10cm. This is a great option as it allows you to use the stroller as a highchair, for example.
The seat also features a padded leg rest, which is easy to adjust. You just click it up to the desired position and release two buttons at the side to push it down again.
Finally, the seat has a hidden pouch that stores the bug net (I found it by accident under the leg rest) and a zipped pocket in the back which is perfect to store extra bits within easy reach.
How many recline positions are there?
The seat has a pretty standard 3 recline positions, with the most horizontal one very good for sleeping.
What is the harness like?
The harness is very easy to clip into place and has some thick cushioning to make it super comfortable for little ones. You can tighten it in a similar way to a car seat harness – so you click your little one in and then tighten it by pulling on a strap at the front of the seat between your little one’s legs. You loosed it by pushing on a marked point in the seat unit.
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
My little one seemed very comfortable in the seat. It is nice quality fabric and encloses him nicely. He found the pads on the harness a bit thick and annoying at first, so I had to find a way of adjusting them. I must admit that I tend to not use them over the shoulders with him – but they are very secure and nicely padded for smaller children who still need that support.
How is interacting with your little one when in the buggy?
The buggy is great for interacting with little ones as you can turn the seat to face you. As it’s so high off the ground too, it’s really easy to communicate with, or reach your passenger.
In the world-facing position, it is a bit tricker, as always. There is no peekaboo window as such, but there is a ventilation panel in the back of the hood which allows you to check on your baby. It’s a tad fiddly to open and close, so it’s not a case of quickly flapping it up or down. But I like it to keep an eye on my little one when asleep.
What do you think of the hood?
I really liked the hood, as it gives amazing coverage with a great sun visor, and it has a large mesh ventilation panel if needed.
Tell us about the brake.
The brake is very easy to engage – it’s a foot pedal that you step on. You’re meant to be able to disengage it through stepping on the top of it to release, but I always give it another nudge with my toe just to be on the safe side. When releasing the brake the back of the basket can be a bit in the way, so I like to make sure to release it properly every time.
How easily can you access the basket and is it big enough to store everything you need?
The basket is really easy to access as it has a dipped back edge, so you can drop things in very quickly, especially when the seat is world-facing. The only problem with that is that things can fall out if you pack lots of loose bits in. But it holds changing bags and so on really well. It’s also designed to fit the accompanying Hybrid changing bag (£50) snugly, which is a nice design detail. And you can fold the lip of the basket down and clip the front of the changing bag to the chassis to create a mobile changing station – very helpful when on the go.
Is it car seat compatible?
Yes, the Hybrid City is compatible with a number of car seats from Kiddy, BeSafe or Maxi-Cosi, with the purchase of a multi-car seat adaptor.
How did you like the look of the Hybrid City?
I really like the understated colours that are available for the Hybrid, and I think its chassis and wheels look really sleek and modern. The faux leather accents complement the design nicely.
What’s in the box?
- Bug net
- City wheels
- City back axel
- Bumper bar
Are there any additional extras that you need to buy?
- Carrycot (£149)
- Multi-carseat adaptors (£25)
- Carrycot height adaptors (£18)
- Footmuff (£50)
- Changing bag (£50)
- Tandem axel (No wheels, £50)
Is it easy/hard to build the product? Instructions useful? How long does it take?
It was very easy to build the Hybrid City. The instructions were clear, and it was also quite instinctive, with the seat and wheels slotting in place easily. I did have to check how to fold it.
Who would the product be most useful for?
A new family that wants a nimble, compact buggy that’s great for city living – and for accommodating a possible second child.
What was your favourite feature of the Babystyle Hybrid City?
I really liked the way it handled and the superb handlebar.
What is the price? Is this good value for money? Would you recommend it?
At £449, I think the Hybrid City is definitely worth the price tag. It comes with the main accessories (including rain cover and well-fitting bug net), and even though the carrycot pushes the price up to nearly £600, I really like that the Hybrid is future proof. I have bought a number of buggies in the past to suit our different family needs at different times, but the Hybrid can either be your City runaround or your more substantial single or tandem – and you can easily adapt between the three. I really like this, and it suits my growing worry about sustainability too.
If I could start my family life all over again, the Hybrid would probably be the buggy I went for. It is so versatile and a joy to use. My kids found it comfortable, converting it to a double is super easy. It’s stylish and compact. The only slight negative is that it currently doesn’t have a specially designed buggy board – I have used this option a lot on other buggies with my kids, so it would be great if Babystyle tackled this asap.
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