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The key difference is that you can buy the chassis with two different designs of seat. There’s the fully reclining hammock seat (£174), which can be used from birth, or the reversible seat unit for 6 months upwards (£194). There’s also the 5 colour packs to choose from to further add your own stamp. It’s also travel system compatible and has an optional carrycot for which you need adaptors – both sold separately.
If you’re tempted by the extras, the Oyster Gem is still pretty good value. For example, the Britax B-Motion 3 only offers an additional bumper bar and car seat adaptors in its £249 price tag, but if you’re keen on a carrycot, the Cosatto Giggle offers better value with a carrycot and changing bag included in the overall price of £280.
Who’s the Oyster Gem for?
If you’re looking for that single purchase to last throughout your child’s early years, the Oyster Gem’s a good choice. It’s promoted as a stroller that ‘simply grows with your child’. The Gem is perfectly poised for those short trips and on public transport journeys – it just fits wherever you go. It’s a light buggy with compact fold so popping it in and out of the car is painless.
The reversible seat vs the hammock seat….
The hammock seat is designed for use from birth and can be fully reclined to more than 150 degress. But it is only forward facing so you don’t get the cherished eye-to-eye contact with your newborn. The reversible seat does what the name suggests, and can be used either parent facing or forward facing. It’s for use from 6 months and has 3 positions in between a very upright position and half-recline either way. The reversible seat loses points on its small side panels. There’s little room for extra blankets to be tucked in. Both seats can be used until your child weighs up to 15kgs – approx. 3 years old.
Should you buy the hammock seat?
The hammock seat is larger out of the two seats. It’s slightly confusing given the smaller reversible seat is the one designed for a larger-sized toddler. The real benefit of the hammock seat is it folds in one with the frame. It’s just as well as I found the hammock seat quite tricky to fit and even trickier to remove. There are several straps and velcro bits to attach and negotiate. One niggle is that at the semi-upright angle the seat seems quite shallow. My other niggle is that, once folded, the wheels ram against the wipe-clean-only material, while the seat itself covers up the carry-hold on the frame.
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Is it easy to set up?
For the most part, the buggy is beautifully simple to set up and use, with instructions that are easy to follow. The chassis comes out of the box in one piece, with minimal other bits and pieces.
Is it easy and compact to fold?
The Gem’s the perfect pushchair if storage is a challenge at home. It folds by a simple two-handed ‘button and slider’ motion on the handlebars that collapses the frame in half. The only annoyance is attaching the fiddly travel lock and clip that keeps the buggy in place.
Folded, the Gem does turn it into a wonderfully compact package. It fitted easily into the boot of my small Honda Jazz. By comparison the folded Cosatto Giggle is nearly 10cm wider and 5cm longer. But it’s a shame the Gem hasn’t followed in the vein of the Oyster, which folds with the seat in both directions. On the Gem, only the forward facing hammock folds with the frame – the reversible seat has to be removed to fold down. However, the Gem does freestand when folded with the hammock seat.
Is it light to carry in and out of the car?
Babystyle has improved on the Oyster’s heftier weight of 11.3kg with the Gem. Weighing 10.5kg the Gem is a joy to carry in and out of the car for those short trips. Though there are lighter three-wheelers out there – the Mothercare Xpedior and Cosatto Giggle are at least 2kg lighter at 9kg and 8.5kg respectively.
What colours does it come in?
You get a stylish and sleek buggy for a reasonable price with the Oyster Gem. The hood and seat packs can be bought separately so you can customise the look of your buggy. There are 5 colours:
- Grape (Purple)
- Lime (Green)
- Ocean (Blue)
- Tomato (Red)
Footmuffs are also available in these colours for those who want to customise in the winter months.
Is it a comfortable push?
I’m only 5”6 so not massively tall, but I needed to adjust the handlebar as far up as it would go for comfort. Even then it felt like I was stooping. Also I couldn’t hang my changing bag from it in that position. No complaints on how the handlebar works though. The bar lowers and rises in three pre-set positions. Simultaneously press the buttons either side of the handlebar and it pivots up or down. The Oyster Gem has independent front and rear suspension, which does give a good ride and makes the Gem easy to push.
What’s the carrycot like?
At 4.5 months old, Marja completely filled the rather snug-sized carrycot with no wriggle room (see my photo). But then she is 91st percentile! It was a benefit too as she happily went off to sleep all snuggled up. I loved the little plastic feet underneath, which prevent the material on the bottom getting dirty when it’s placed on the ground – such a thoughtful little detail. Slotting the whole carrycot onto and off the chassis was simplicity itself, using little adaptors just like for the car seat, and the raincover is a dream to use.
Can the Oyster Gem handle tougher terrain?
I thought the Gem would be too lightweight for our semi-rural living, but it feels much more robust than its stylish frame suggests. Helped by the lockable swivel front wheel, it handled all terrains really well. Marja seemed quite serene whether on pavement, cobbles, grass or woodland tracks.
How well does the raincover work?
Both of us (me and hubby) sleep-deprived adults failed the intelligence test for the seat raincover at first! The instructions are simple. “Place the raincover over the stroller … fasten the Velcro strips together.” But we just couldn’t get it, even after several attempts. Eventually it did click. The raincover is large and secure and was just what we needed in this wet and windy weather. My advice is practice indoors first.
Which car seats is the Oyster Gem compatible with?
It’s compatible with the Maxi Cosi Pebble and Cabriofix or the Oyster car seat.
Does the shopping basket carry a lot?
The shopping basket is a disappointing and rather small triangle shape. I suppose it’s to be expected given this is such a compact buggy. The small, hard plastic wheels and light, manoeuvrable frame make it well suited to nipping into shops so you’d think the basket would be more practical. (By the way, it was a dream to whizz round Tesco!)
What’s in the box?
- Buggy frame (folded)
- Either reversible seat unit or hammock seat
- Shopping basket
Extras you might want to buy
At the value price of £174 for the reversible seat model and £194 for the hammock model, perhaps it’s no surprise there are lots of optional extras.
- Carrycot £119
- Colour pack (hood and seat liner) £35
- Car seat adapters £19
- Carrycot height increasers £10 (pair)
- Footmuffs £40
- Changing bag £40
- Hammock seat £25 (if you want to change the seat at a later date)
- Bottle holder £7.50
- Snack tray £10
- UV blackout sunshade £20
- Ride on board £40
- Parasol £22.50
- Rear air wheels (pair) £25
- Air pump £7.50
This stylish buggy is suitable from birth to toddler, although the different seats are all sold separately. It folds beautifully to a compact size and handles well even on rough surfaces. Parents with small cars or using public transport will love taking this buggy out and about in town or the park. The various attachments are simple and easy to fit and detach, and there are some lovely details. Niggles like the small shopping basket and shallow seats are disappointing, when it could have been a really top class package.
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|Child age (approx)||Birth (with carrycot/cocoon) to 3 years – Use from birth with hammock seat/carrycot or 6 months with reversible seat unit|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:86cm–97cm W:59cm L:92cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:31cm W:48cm L:92cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Maxi Cosi Pebble, Cabriofix or the Oyster car seat (adaptors sold separately)|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing (with carrycot/car seat)|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Recline positions||Multi-position – Hammock fully adjustable and reversible seat (3 positions both ways)|
|Accessories included||Shopping basket, raincover, hood|