While both the Bugaboo Cameleon3 and BabyStyle Oyster 2 have sizeable fan bases, the debate about which buggy is best rages on. We reveal the pros and cons in our buggy showdown…
Which pushchair is most expensive?
Cameleon3 £869 Oyster 2 £488
Let’s start with the biggest difference. With the Cameleon3, you get the chassis, seat and carrycot for RRP £869. This makes the Dutch-made buggy one of the most expensive pushchairs on the market and it’s often seen in the hands of celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller and James Corden.
For a similar Oyster 2 package with chassis, seat and carrycot, you’ll pay £488, plus an extra £20 if you want to colour-coordinate your carrycot. This good value price tag is one of the reasons why the Oyster has become such a popular model.
Which buggy is best to push?
Both buggies are at home in the city. They’re comfortable and easy to push on flat surfaces, plus they feel responsive when steering in tight spaces. However, Oyster 2 users tend to feel the ride isn’t particularly smooth and the suspension is rather lacking. No such complaints from Cameleon3 parents.
The Cameleon3 also has a bit of wow factor when it comes to versatility.
Firstly, by switching the parent handle over, you can have either the small swivel wheels at the front or the larger foam-filled 12” wheels at the front. The swivel wheels are essential for urban pushing, whereas you need the big wheels at the front for uneven ground.
Secondly, there’s a two-wheel mode (pictured above) which means you can pull the buggy on just two wheels (a bit like a wheelbarrow) over more extreme terrain, such as sand or snow. Perfect if you’re a jet-setting parent who likes to take your buggy on the beach or slopes. If you’re not, then you might think it’s more of a cool (and slightly fiddly to achieve) gimmick.
Our reviewer found the Oyster 2, meanwhile, is not so comfortable on uneven ground. She described her experience of pushing her Oyster 2 over bumpy streets and cobbled roads as a “bit of a bone rattling experience”.
Which is easier to fold?
Ease of folding is where these buggies score lower marks. Neither have quick and easy folding mechanisms.
The Cameleon3 has to be taken apart into two pieces before it can be folded. The carrycot or car seat is taken off first and then the chassis folded down after. Although the chassis fold claims to be one-handed (an improvement on earlier models) having to dismantle the buggy pre-folding needs two hands.The BabyStyle Oyster 2 folds with the seat in place in both forward-facing and rear-facing positions. But it’s fiddly at first and took a fair amount of practice before it became easier. The main difficulty with folding the Oyster is that you have to remove the bumper bar and apron to fold it when in the forward-facing position, which can be a major inconvenience. It’s also possible to remove the seat from the chassis and fold them both separately.
Which has the most compact fold?
Cameleon3 30.5cm x 60cm x 90cm Oyster 2 52cm x 55cm x 70cm (when folded with seat forward facing)
* See full specs for Oyster 2
Our reviewer found that the Oyster 2 folded into different sizes, depending on which way the seat was facing. Forward facing gives a smaller, but bulky fold. Parent facing gives a slimmer but taller fold. Neither were described as compact. The main complaint from Cameleon3 users is that you can’t hook the two folded pushchair components together, so it’s not easy to carry around.
Which has a better shopping basket?
Where the Oyster 2 does much better than the Cameleon3 is on storage space. The underseat basket can hold up to 20 litres and coped well with the multitude of bags our tester put in it. No matter the position of the seat unit on the chassis, the basket remains easily accessible. However, when you use the carrycot, the basket is not so easy to reach.
While Bugaboo boasts that its buggy can hold up to 24 litres, we found it to be fiddly to get shopping in and out, and almost impossible to reach when the carrycot is in place.
What is the age range of the buggies?
As we know age and size can vary significantly between children, which is why most companies use the word ‘approximately’ when highlighting a products age range. The Oyster 2 has the normal recommendation of being suitable for children up to 15kg (approx 3 years). However, the Cameleon3 has higher than normal upper age limit of 17kg (approx 4 years).
What about looks?
Both buggies are easy on the eye, but the Cameleon3 does boast an iconic design, which has since been much copied. Both offer chassis that come in either stylish black matte or en vogue aluminum finish, plus a range of colour options.
The Cameleon3 chassis comes in either matt black or aluminium finish and has 7 statement colours, while the Oyster 2 chassis comes in 3 variations: satin black, mirror finish (shiny silver) and anodised (matt) silver and is currently available in 5 eye-catching colours.
How much do they weigh?
Cameleon3 9.4kg Oyster 2 11kg
This is the weight for the chassis, wheels and seat for both buggies. Neither could be termed lightweight, but the Cameleon3 is the clear winner.
Do you need a stroller? Here are our 10 best buggies for less than £50.
Are they travel system compatible?
Yes, both buggies are travel system compatible, allowing you to add a Group 0+ car seat for your baby. The Oyster 2 fits the Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Cabriofix and Citi, a Britax Baby-Safe and SHR II, a Be Safe iZi Go, a Cybex Aton 2 and 3 and an Oyster own brand car seat.
The Cameleon3 is compatible with a Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Cabriofix and Citi, a Britax Baby-Safe Plus II and SHR II, a Be Safe iZi Go, a Cybex Aton and a Bebe Confort Pebble.
Adaptors are required for both buggies, but there’s one difference – the Bugaboo adaptors are more expensive.
As far as additional extras go, the Cameleon3 offers an array of pricey accessories, including footmuff, blanket, seat liner, bag, sun canopy cup holder and more. The Oyster 2 has fewer extras, but does offer a smart coordinating changing bag and footmuff. A nice little added extra from BabyStyle is the integral mosquito net, which you don’t need to pay more for. Most importantly, both can be fitted with an attachable buggy board, for toddlers who want to ride on the back. Here again, price is a factor because, at around £60, the Cameleon3 buggy board is almost £20 more expensive than its Oyster 2 counterpart.
Don’t want to push? See our 10 best carriers.
Which is better – the Cameleon3 or Oyster?
If you want a high-quality, long-lasting statement buggy with an iconic look, and you have the money and don’t care about a big shopping basket, then you can’t go wrong with the Bugaboo Cameleon3.
If you’re after a good value, cool looking, practical buggy, which has good, easy-to-access storage when you’re using the seat (rather than the carrycot), then the BabyStyle Oyster 2 is a great choice.
Read the full review of the BabyStyle Oyster 2
However, if you want an easy-fold buggy, take a look at these buggies that all scored full marks for folding:
* Joolz Day Sense
* Jané Epic
* Mamas & Papas Mylo.