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German company Cybex categorises its products as either silver, gold or platinum and the Balios S Lux sits in the middle of its range in the gold section. Priced at £399.99, it’s also a mid-range option in the wider market for a buggy that’s travel system compatible.
It’s branded by Cybex as a pushchair that’s ‘made for the city’, but with 4-wheel suspension, all-terrain wheels and German engineering on its side, the Balio S Lux can also hold its own in more rural settings against much pricier rivals.
Other features like its compact, one-hand fold, reversible seat unit with memory buttons and sleek, stylish design make it shine as a well-priced contender in a crowded market.
Journalist Fay tested the Cybex Balios S Lux with her 6-month-old son Chester over a number of months during numerous lockdown walks.
What were your first impressions of the Balios S Lux?
My first thought was ‘wow this is a big pram’. It looks and feels robust and substantial especially compared to more compact models I’ve tried before.
Can the pushchair be used from birth?
Yes – the seat unit lies flat and can be used with a newborn, however you can also buy a carrycot separately (currently priced at £140 on Amazon) to use from birth. This is something I much prefer as it feels cosier and more secure for my baby.
When used with the seat unit from 6 months, you can use the Balios S Lux up until 22kg/approx 4 years.
How is the Cybex Balios S Lux different to the Balios S?
While the buggy’s mechanics are essentially the same, there are a few differences; the Lux’s fabrics are new and improved, with a fresh colour palette to choose from, and it also has the choice of a silver or black frame rather than just black.
The Lux has a slightly longer life span to the Balio S with a maximum weight capacity increased from 17kg to 22kg.
In addition, the Lux is ever-so-slightly heavier at 11.7kg compared to 11.2kg, but for this, the one-handed folding system has been simplified.
How does it compare to other similarly-priced buggies?
With its 4-wheel suspension, chic look and smart design features, plus the option to be a travel system, the Cybex Balio S Lux competes with some of the most popular buggies on the market, many of which are substantially more expensive, including the UPPABaby Cruz V2 (£680) and the iCandy Lime (£650).
As for competitors within a comparable price bracket, there’s the 3-wheeler, travel system compatible Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 (£429) which has the same age range and can take you from the city to countryside with its all-terrain wheels and suspension – also found in the Balios S Lux. However the Balio S Lux is slightly sturdier with 4-wheels.
With its large back wheels and compact fold, there are also similarities to the Babystyle Oyster 3 (£499). The Balios S Lux has exactly the same upper weight limit and weight, but does come in about £100 cheaper (pushchair only).
How quick is it to build?
I am not the best person at building things anyway, but I really struggled with this. The instructions just feature pictures and it took me a few attempts to work out what went where. The hood in particular was tricky to fit as it doesn’t make it clear where it needs to be clipped on.
That said, many online shoppers remarked that they found building the Cybex Balios S Lux surprisingly straightforward, especially after watching a few instructional videos – I’ll definitely start there next time!
How comfortable is Cybex Balios S Lux carrycot?
The Cot S carrycot is a stylish bit of kit and feels sturdy. It features a really comfortable mattress and my son had some good naps in there. A real plus is how easy it is to attach and detach thanks to the 2 memory buttons.
The carrycot is sold separately to the Cybex Balios S Lux buggy and priced at £140, it’s a significant extra cost to consider. Although the buggy’s seat unit can accommodate newborns, the carrycot provides a much more comfortable ride. Other pushchairs which often include the carrycot, like the Silver Cross Wayfarer 2020 (£695) and Bugaboo Fox2 (£949), naturally tend to be pricier.
How comfortable is the seat unit?
The seat unit looks really smart and the recline is seamless. The seat is very secure and I like how the design almost cocoons my son.
The harness is simple to use which is handy when you have a squirming 6-month-old. The seat feels snug and while this looks comfy while my baby is little, I wonder how it will fit my son when he gets a bit bigger.
Is the Cybex Balios S Lux’s one-hand fold easy to use?
The ability to fold the buggy with one hand while holding your baby is one of the buggy’s major selling points, and while it’s certainly possible to do so, it wasn’t easy. There is definitely a knack to it as you have to press and slide two buttons at the same time. To be secure it needs to click into place, which can take a bit of fiddling. My tip is to make sure the brake is on as it really helps.
When you open the pram, I found the hood kept getting caught on the handlebar and the bottom bit of the seat on the shopping basket, which is tricky to sort with just one hand.
In the previous model – the Balio S – our MFM reviewer also commented on the difficult one-hand fold, and the new Lux model is said to have upgraded this system. Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations although in fairness, you do get the hang of it after some practice and when it becomes less stiff over time.
How compact is the fold?
It measures L75cm x W60cm x D41cm when folded – it looks neat, and it free stands, which is useful, but it does still feel big and wide. I also kept worrying it would topple over due to the big wheels at the back and smaller at the front.
How heavy is the Cybex Balios S Lux?
Complete with the seat unit, the Cybex Balios S Lux weighs 11.7kg, which is a fair bit heavier than other lightweight models I’ve used before, like the Babyzen Yoyo, which comes in at just over 6kg.
That said, compared to other popular mid-sized buggies, while it’s at the upper end of the weight range, it’s not significantly so – the Babystyle Oyster 3 is the same at 11.7kg, iCandy Lime is 10.2kg and the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 is 11.6kg.
How easy is it to push and steer?
It feels incredibly smooth to push because of its 4-wheel suspension. You can really tell it’s a good piece of equipment when out and about because it moves so nicely. My son always looked super comfy in it, while I pushed it without any worries about the wheels getting stuck! It was just as smooth in the woods as it was on the pavement. The only issue was leaves getting stuck in the wheels during particularly dense parts.
Despite the pram feeling quite weighty, it is remarkably easy to get up and down curbs. My son remained asleep throughout many hills and bumpy roads. My house is up quite a deep step and I didn’t find it a problem at all, even when the basket was full.
The quality of steering and manoeuvrability of the Cybex Balios S Lux shines through from many other online reviewers, who enjoy its ease of pushing with many remarking that it was as good as many more premium models.
How do the Cybex Balios S Lux wheels handle different terrains?
The Cybex Balios S Lux has puncture-proof, all-terrain wheels, so you can go off road with no concerns at all. Having used it in the woods, on the road and even on fields, I can vouch for their impressive ability.
This aspect of the buggy is another area where it makes its mark against rivals – the high-quality suspension is commented on frequently within shopper reviews and it offers a smooth ride that’s usually only reserved for more premium models.
How easy is the Cybex Balios S Lux to use public transport?
One of my only criticisms of the buggy is its width at 60.5cm, which made it slightly tricky getting in and out of shops. It also doesn’t fit between the seats on a train, so travel is a little awkward with it.
In comparison to other mid-sized buggies, the Balios S Lux does come up slightly bigger than the Babystyle Oyster 3 at 57cm wide, but slightly smaller than the iCandy Lime at 62cm wide.
How strong does the chassis feel?
It’s streamlined, sturdy and looks and feels very well made. The new Balios S Lux model includes the option of a silver chassis as well as the standard black, which is a nice addition.
How easy is the Cybex Balios S Lux to recline?
It’s really easy to use – it can be moved by pressing a button on the back, which goes from lying flat to sitting up in seconds. The upright mode paired with the seat unit positioned quite high makes it really handy when your baby is too young for a highchair when out and about.
How adjustable is the Cybex Balios S Lux handlebar?
The handlebar is a particular highlight because it has really good height adjustability, from 90cm to 110cm, making it great for taller parents. My husband loved this aspect as other buggies we’ve previously used haven’t been as accommodating.
It’s also really easy to adjust with just one button, so it can be changed quickly depending on who is pushing.
Which car seats is it compatible with?
It’s only suitable for use with Cybex car seats, which is a downside – especially if you want to use it as a travel system but have your heart set on a different brand of car seat. It must be said though that Cybex offers a whole host of car seats to choose from, many of which are award-winning and leaders in the market.
How large is the hood on the Cybex Balios S Lux?
The hood of the pram is a real selling point, because it is very large. Many online shoppers praise this aspect of the buggy, with the majority saying it offers more coverage than others they’ve tried.
It features a zip extender, so you can make it cover your baby almost completely if it is sunny or during nap time. My only issue is it feels slightly flimsy when it is fully extended.
How big is the basket?
It can hold 5kg, which is pretty average across the board for mid-sized travel systems. It feels fairly substantial and has a decent depth. It easily fits a changing bag and a couple of bags of shopping.
How effective is the Cybex Balios S Lux brake?
I had no doubts the break was secure and I often used it when I needed a moment while walking up the hill to get home. It’s situated in the centre of the bottom bar and it’s activated with the tap of your foot.
What’s in the box?
- Instruction manual
- Rain cover
What additional accessories can you buy?
There are a number of accessories you can buy for the Cybex Balios S Lux. These include:
- Cot S carrycot
- Cocoon S
- Drinks holder
- Car seat adapters
- Snack tray
- Rain cover
- Kid board
Is the Cybex Balio S Lux good value for money?
While it’s not the cheapest available, it’s not the most expensive by a long way either and for what you get – that is, a well-made, sleek buggy that offers a ride smoother than most – you certainly get your money’s worth.
Where can I buy the Cybex Balios S Lux?
A chic, sturdy, comfy buggy that offers comfort, security and a premium feel that goes beyond its mid-range price tag. Smooth steering and brilliant suspension make it perfect for urban parents who often venture into the country, but its weight and width may not be suitable for city dwellers who want something zippier and easier to fold.
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|Model||Balios S Lux|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:110cm W:60cm L:90cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:43cm W:60cm L:75.5cm|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Child weight||Up to 22kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing, parent facing and parent facing (with carrycot/car seat)|
|Recline note||reclined to an ergonomic lie-flat position|