Babystyle Oyster Max Review by Sarah
Having never owned or pushed a Baby Style Oyster I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the Oyster Max.
When it first arrived I was pleasantly surprised with the overall quality considering the price range this tandem is in. I’m an avid iCandy fan and as the owner of iCandy’s new Peach Blossom 2, the Max had a lot to live up to if it was going to compete with the Peach Blossom 2 for me.
My first impression was very good, the Max seemed to have all the features I needed in a tandem for our baby and toddler with some extra things thrown in. I was particularly happy with the adapters for the second seat. Once there on, there on no taking them off to fold which is a big selling point for us.
On our first use I found the Oyster Max incredibly easy to unfold and assemble. The carrycot is a very good size and my 17 week old, 62.5 cm long daughter has plenty of growing room still. I was a little concerned that the mesh part at the back of the hood would make it a little drafty for her but this wasn’t the case at all, we didn’t even notice it was there.
She was ever so snug in the carrycot; the hood is very large providing excellent protection from the elements and the placement in relation to the main seat when forward facing, adds to the protection making it a really cosy place for baby to be.
I do however have a few grumbles with the carrycot. I found the hood really difficult to put down at times, it has two buttons that need to be pressed and I had difficulty pressing them and pulling the hood down at the same time. The hood will also only stay up if it’s opened fully which is not possible if your toddler is having a sleep and the main seat is reclined a little.
The main seat has an excellent feature where it can be tipped forwards to access the carrycot or lower seat with ease, this is really useful unless you like us and put your toddler in first so save the baby crying while you put the toddlers coat on.
Access to the carrycot is a little restricted by the handle when the seat can’t be tipped forward but we managed and found it was much easier to slide baby in under the apron as the apron can’t be fully unzipped due to the bar the basket is attached to. This bar also creates a problem fitting the raincover. It’s impossible to fit it with the carrycot on the chassis so I would fit it with the carrycot off and slide it over the hood so it sat on top of the carrycot when not needed, and could then slip back over the hood if needed. If I was caught out in a shower and had to fit the raincover, I would just slip it over the hood and let it sit on top of the carrycot. The main seat provides so much protection that the carrycot hood is the only part that really gets wet, so this works really well.
The basket space is virtually nothing with the carrycot on, but there is enough space for the raincovers to sit under the carrycot so it wasn’t really an issue for me as I don’t require a large basket. Access is hard though and the basket could do with a zip or something on the side to totally utilise the small space that is available (*BB EDIT The basket has been altered on the final production model).
This needs to be considered carefully when buying this tandem as shopping would be a problem if a good basket space is required. I used my buggy hooks on the handle to hang my changing bag from and did manage to do some shopping in town and hang my bags from the hooks along with my changing bag.
The Oyster Max main seat is very roomy, both my 2 year old toddler and 3 year 8 month old, fit with plenty of room for growth. We found the footrest on the chassis was a great feature, it’s great giving older children a place to rest their feet but something on the seat itself for younger children would have been nice. Our toddler is just 2 years old and we found that because she didn’t have anywhere to put her feet but was aware the footrest was lower down, she would try to slouch and slide down the seat to get her feet to reach.
The hood on the main seat is massive, there’s no other way to describe it. The coverage is excellent. We were really impressed, my toddler hates raincovers and this huge hood meant this wasn’t such a problem in light rain as it covered her really well.
The main seat also has a bumper bar that is hinged although I did struggle to press the button and remove one end at times so I didn’t bother opening it and just slipped my toddler in under it. There was plenty of room to do this so it was never an issue.
We tried the Babystyle Oyster Max in every combination we could, except with carseats because we didn’t have the required adapters. We found the carrycot on the bottom with the main seat parent facing was our favourite. I was pretty sceptical about using it in this was as my toddler likes to kick and the first time we tried it she thought it was a game trying to reach the baby in the carrycot. The second time we tried it in this configuration both my toddler and baby were so happy. My toddler loved been able to see her sibling and enjoyed leaning forwards to interact, our baby also enjoyed this interaction and would happily lay smiling and laughing at her sister.
Our least favourite combination was our toddler in the lower seat and baby in the main seat. Our baby was extremely comfortable and happy to ride there but our toddler was distraught. She didn’t like how close the footrest was to her, and she couldn’t really see much so she would lean her head to one side trying to look out which is not ideal due to the risk of her head being banged.
We didn’t get to try our baby in the lower seat as she isn’t old enough, but even at 6 months I wouldn’t be happy to put my baby in the lower seat. It only has 2 position recline and the recline is still sat far to upright for such a young baby to sleep comfortably and supported in my opinion. The main seat however has 4 positions recline so is perfect for a baby.
I’m not convinced our baby would have been safe from kicking toddler feet if she had have been old enough to try her in the lower seat with our toddler in the main seat parent facing so this is something to consider when deciding how you will use the Oyster Max.
I found the Oyster Max a dream to push, it’s very light for a tandem and the handle is nice and wide, meaning I could get a good distance between my hands giving greater control over the pushchair, the height adjustment was also spot on and suited both myself and my husband perfectly.
I did find the fold quite big and it wouldn’t fit in the boot of our Vauxhall Zafira even with all the wheels removed but having said that it’s still a good size fold for a tandem. It can also be folded with the main seat still in place so is not as time consuming to fold as the tandems that require all seats removed.
I loved how the seats fold in half, this made them nice to store for us, as once they are folded, they are free standing so unlike my peach I wasn’t looking for somewhere to lay them flat.
We really enjoyed using the Oyster Max and I’m thinking of buying one when they are available to buy.
I used it on my normal day to day school runs and was very happy with the overall quality of it. The wheels didn’t seem to wear really bad like my iCandy Peach Blossom 2 wheels have, and although it has a lovely shiny finish to the chassis it didn’t seem to mark excessively.
Another great thing about the Oyster Max is that the carrycot can be used as a single carrycot as well as in double mode, and we found we used it as a single on a few occasions. It was really nice to have both options from just the one carrycot.
Overall I would defiantly consider the Babystyle Oyster Max to be one of the top tandems on the market.
Its excellent value for money and would suit a baby and toddler perfectly.
SARAH’S EDIT: I have been made aware that Babystyle has improved the size of the basket. It’s now a lot longer so has a lot of extra room compared to the review model I had use of.
This is a very positive change and makes the Oyster Max even better.
Other Babystyle Oyster Max 1 & 2 Reviews: