Along with its innovative range of car seats, CYBEX is well-known for creating luxury pushchairs for busy city-dwelling parents, and the newest version of the Balios S Lux is no exception. The company merged with Goodbaby International Holdings Limited in 2014, and, to date, has won over 500 awards for design, safety and innovation. Their latest pushchair stacks up well against the likes of its Nuna, Bugaboo and Uppababy equivalents, perfectly encompassing the brand’s three key principles: design, safety and functionality.
Francesca Challis is a digital news journalist living in southwest London. She tested out the new Balios S Lux on a variety of different terrains from Wimbledon Park all the way to the Norfolk countryside in collaboration with her four-month-old baby boy.
First impressions are very good. Once unpackaged, all the parts appear of very high quality and the Sky Blue colour is lovely. The stretch knitted fabric appears both luxurious and robust.
Is it difficult to build?
Putting it together it was very straight forward. It took less than five minutes and the instructions were clear and easy to follow — not a screwdriver or Allen key in sight. There are also videos detailing how to set up your pram on the CYBEX website
What do you think of the Cybex Balios S Lux's carrycot?
My four-month-old seemed happy and cosy inside the carrycot, but I imagine in about a month’s time he may have outgrown it as he is on the longer side. You undo poppers on the top of the carrycot in order to place baby inside, rather than undoing a zip or opening a magnetic fastening as seen on other pushchairs. Personally, I found doing the poppers up again slightly impractical and time-consuming. My baby also managed to actually undo a few of the poppers himself with some especially vigorous kicking from inside the carrycot.
The hood is large with a mesh insert for air circulation as well as an ‘XXL sun canopy’ with extendable visor for even more shielding from the sun. That being said, I would have loved it if it could have extended out even further for when the sun is low in the sky.
How do you remove the Cybex Balios S Lux's carrycot from the frame?
Personally, I found it a bit awkward to remove the carrycot from the pushchair. The instructions describe two ‘memory buttons’ located underneath the carrycot that need to be pressed to release it. They don’t need to be pressed simultaneously, but I still found the process tricky as one side kept on catching. Put it this way - if a baby had been sleeping soundly in the carrycot at the time, they would no longer have been sleeping soundly by the time I had managed to remove it thanks to all the jostling about.
In comparison, other brands like Uppababy have got this part nailed with just one simple button on the top of the carrycot which doesn’t require any awkward bending down and rooting around for elusive buttons. But once it was off, the carrycot was very light and it was easy to slot it back onto the frame in one swift movement.
How do you fold the Cybex Balios S Lux pushchair?
Folding the pushchair is definitely easier once you’ve done it a few times. To fold it:
Remove the carrycot
Press one button on the underside of the handlebar and press and slide another button on top of the handlebar, slide the handlebar to its lowest position
Then, this is key – push in, and then fold.
The one-hand fold is satisfying to do once you know how but took us a fair few attempts.
It’s a very quick process to unfold it again with just one hand. You have to make sure the latch is unhooked and then it’s a smooth process.
Is the the Cybex Balios S Lux pushchair compact when folded?
Once folded it’s pretty compact. The wheels are just quite big so there’s a limit to how small a cupboard you could try and shove it in. It self-stands once folded and is easy to pick up and stash in the car boot.
How does it feel to push the Cybex Balios S Lux pushchair?
Pushing this pram is a dream. Even though the pushchair itself feels quite light compared to others, it feels incredibly sturdy on pavement, gravel, grass, cobbles and any other type of terrain you’d find in a city.
I reckon it would do pretty well in more rural areas too. The wheels seem to cushion bumps in the road really effectively compared to other prams.
Giant kerbs were no problem, and the same goes for negotiating the gap from train to platform. One tip I'd pass on is that at first, I thought the turning circle and steering were fairly poor. But then I realised I had a lock engaged on one of the wheels!
What about public transport?
The pushchair is fairly large overall – I reckon two of them could just about squeeze into the designated area of a London bus. Lifting the front wheels up to get on the bus and/or train was not an issue, but it’s best to make sure you haven’t overfilled the basket underneath as things could topple out.
Does the Cybex Balios S Lux pushchair feel strong and durable?
The frame is certainly stylish and seems durable. I particularly like the contrast between the shiny aluminium frame and the vegan leather handlebar – which has a rather luxurious feel to it.
The handlebar’s highest setting is adequate for the taller parents out there and it’s very simple and strangely satisfying to adjust.
How are the brakes?
Solid. You use one foot to lock and unlock the brake located in the centre of the bottom bar. I trusted the strength of the brake even when London bus drivers took corners at speed.
Does the Cybex Balios S Lux pushchair have a large shopping basket?
For a full-size everyday pushchair, I was somewhat disappointed with the size of the basket underneath. I feel it could afford to be a lot bigger (it doesn’t stretch the full length of the carrycot) and I felt like my belongings weren’t all that secure inside.
You can still get a fair amount of stuff in there but I would put my more precious items towards the front, not near the back behind the brake. That’s because the basket is fairly flimsy at that point and you could easily stamp on the back of it while trying to engage the brake, causing things to fall out.
What’s inside the box?
Frame including wheels
Carrycot (with rain cover)
Seat (with rain cover)
You receive all the essentials as standard with optional add-ons including a cup holder, kid board, snack tray, summer seat liner and parasol.
Can the Cybex Balios S Lux pushchair be used in a travel system?
Yes, it’s part of a 4-in-1 travel system. That means you can attach a cot, an infant car seat or a seat unit to the frame. You can also install the Cocoon S into the seat unit for extra comfort and protection for babies. One thing to note is that car seat adaptors need to be bought separately.
How does the Cybex Balios S Lux 2023 pushchair compare to previous versions?
This latest edition of the pushchair boasts a one-pull harness, an improved suspension system for a comfortable ride on all terrains, as well as an increased basket capacity of 10kg. You can pick from a range of colours; from Sky Blue and Seashell Beige to Lava Grey, Ocean Blue and the classic Moon Black.
Is it worth the money?
The pricing of it seems fair. It’s not the most expensive out there, nor is it the cheapest, but all of its good qualities warrant its price point.
This is the product for city parents who want their pram to not only look good but also handle well and last for years. It’s a really brilliant pushchair overall.
For me, its best attribute is the suspension which makes for a really smooth ride for baby across London’s wonky pavements and kerbs. I also love the Sky Blue fabric colour and the vegan leather handlebar combination. Saying that, I found folding it to be a little tricky and the poppers on the carrycot to be a bit frustrating when in a hurry. But these drawbacks are only minor and I would definitely recommend this pushchair to any parents who value style, comfort and durability.