Babystyle Oyster Max Photographs from Harrogate Nursery Fair 2012
We had been really excited to see the new Babystyle Oyster Max at the Harrogate Nursery Fair. We had seen photos of a smart looking black pushchair with a shiny chrome edging and chassis, so when we turned the corner and saw the beautiful jewel like colours of the new Oyster Max we were stunned! The Babystyle Oyster Max is one gorgeous looking single to tandem pushchair!!
The Oyster Max is a true single to tandem pushchair. When the Oyster Max is bought as a single pushchair, there are no signs that it will at some stage transform into a tandem pushchair. Yes, it is a little larger than the regular Oyster stroller, and has a slightly longer handle, but there are no sockets or anything to be seen. Once the second seat is purchased then the box will contain two sockets for the lower seat which I believe just clip into place (see photos), along with blanking plates for if you want to use the Oyster in single mode alongside tandem mode (eg if the eldest is at nursery), and also large wheel trims to add on to prevent little fingers from coming in contact with the wheels when the lower seat is in use. These photos show the wheel trims in place because they were being used as demo models.
Babystyle were fab and let us just play with the Max and take photos (Thank you Babystyle). The photos show most of our findings – they include seating positions that did not work, as well as did work, just so that it gives an idea of what can and can not be done, and also for example where the footrest for the upper seat can be positioned.
The Babystyle Oyster Max can have two seat units on; two carrycots; two car sets or a combination of these. We did not try a car seat and carrycot combination but feel confident it will work. I think its clear from the photos that some combinations will work for any age children, and some will need some thought as to what is best for a particular pair of children on any given day. But there are so many options here that we feel sure that you can find something to suit. Some like the car seat on the bottom and the seat parent facing on the top probably do not look ideal, but with that particular combination we agreed that we felt there was plenty of room for the child in the car seat as long as the legs of the child on top were not too long. Equally maybe the car seat on top with the seat sat upright is not ideal for a long time, but it could easily be used to nip in and out of a shop.
What else did we like? We loved the choice of the highly polished silver metal chassis as well as the black chassis. We loved the beautiful vibrant colours. Even the black was off set beautifully by the silver chassis. We saw a stunning purple, lime green, sky blue, red and black. We loved the leather (?) feel handlebar. It just added that touch of luxury to what is a beautiful looking pushchair. We liked the rotating handlebar. Neither of us (at 5ft 6ins and 5ft 8ins) kicked the rear seat or the carrycot with our shins but someone with a long stride may well do. However there was so much space behind the upright rear seat that we fitted an Oyster board to the rear of the Oyster Max to see if it would take 3 children. The board fitted fine, and although to be honest neither of us would have wanted a child to stand on the rear for a long period of time, we both felt sure that a tired child would quite happily perch on the rear short term to get home.
The Babystyle Oyster Max is a modular system, so each part simply and easily drops into place, and each part removes just as easily with a squeeze of the handles at the side of the seat unit. I think the ease of use is one thing which stands out both with the regular Oyster Stroller, and now also with the Oyster Max. The seats recline easily using a button recline on the rear of the seats. I will stand corrected, but I believe the upper seat had three recline positions, and the lower seat had two recline positions. The upper seat unit will lie flat and be suitable from birth but the lower seat unit is suitable from 6 months old.
Prior to 6 months there is a choice of using the Babystyle Oyster carrycot or one of three car seats. This carrycot also fits onto the new Oyster Gem. We believe it will fit onto the regular Oyster stroller too although it will be slightly smaller. So if you were in a situation where you did need more than one pushchair, then one carrycot could be transferred between the chassis of three Babystyle pushchairs.
There are currently three brands of car seats which fit the Babystyle Oyster Max. They include the Maxi-Cosi Pebble and Cabriofix and the Britax Baby-Safe, and the Babystyle Oyster car seats.
It took a while for us to identify which was an upper Oyster Max seat, and which was a lower seat, but we worked it out. The main difference is that the upper seat has a larger hood.
We were shown how to fold the Oyster Max. It didn’t really work with the seat parent facing, but presented a long fold forward facing. However we were questioned by one of the team on our return as to why the seat didn’t fold in half before being folded like the regular Oyster? Good question! So we have asked Babystyle if the seat should have been folded in half before folding. As we said at the start these pushchairs were all prototypes and had only just arrived in the UK. So it is very possible that the staff were still learning about the products like we were.
*EDIT* The Babystyle Oyster Max will fold in a similar way to the regular Oyster ie the seat in half and then the chassis folds.
Right at the very end we discovered the height increasers. These were being used with the carrycots to raise the upper carrycot by 7cms. It is possible to see the difference these make on the last two photos of the red carrycot. The height increasers in theory fit under the carrycots and car seats. However the height increasers should not be used with the seat unit of the Oyster Max.
We believe there will be a hidden insect net under each seat but that is to be finalised.
There will also be a rear air tyre option for purchase seperately.
We did get measurements of the Oyster Max seats which we will post on the specification page. The hoods are a fixed height, and for older toddlers it may be necessary to remove the hood. But until we can put a child into the seat unit, we will not know for sure.
Please bear in mind that the pushchairs photographed are all prototypes and anything could happen before the final production stage.
The Babystyle Oyster Max is due in the UK in September.
With many thanks to all at Babystyle and to Nick.