Babystyle Oyster Lite Review by Best Buggy
The Babystyle Oyster Lite wowed us at The Harrogate Nursery Fair earlier this year. It caught our attention because of the large seat and hood, but also because it is very lightweight for a full sized pushchair. We loved the smart styling, with the interchangeable colour packs. We were very much looking forward to seeing the Oyster Lite here at BBHQ and trying it out in real life.
Before we begin this review it is important to say that our Babystyle Oyster Lite is a pre-production model, we know there have been some changes in the finished pushchair due to our feedback which will improve what is already a good pushchair.
Our first impressions of the Oyster Lite fitted our expectations. The Babystyle Oyster Lite is very light to lift and manoeuvre. It is very light at under 7kgs, which is great for a full sized pushchair. The seat generous with a huge, high hood. We were surprised to find a swing away bumper bar with cupholder for the child. A raincover is also included. The main pushchair fabric is black with a splash of colour provided by the addition of a colour pack – the hood fabric and a padded liner.
What we had forgotten from Harrogate was how simple the Lite was to fold! Easy peasy and done in seconds!
Child Comfort and Harness
The Babystyle Oyster Lite is suitable from birth to 15kgs. The seat reclines from an upright position, down to a lie flat position, which is suitable for a newborn. The seat is customised with a thick padded colour pack liner. This makes the seat a comfortable place for the child to sit and sleep. The liner can be easily removed or swapped.
The most noticeable thing about the Oyster Lite seat is the space. The seat is wide, with a deep seat and a large footrest. The canopy is absolutely enormous and rises high above the seat, thus giving a very generous space for even Little Miss BB, (aged 6 years old – 116cms tall,) to fit underneath the rim of the hood with several inches to spare! Unfortunately, the hood height and size is SO huge, that it gives the illusion that the seat is short. At 48cms tall (with no liner in), the seat is certainly not short - it is a similar height to the Baby Jogger City Mini seat and the Oyster 2 seat. Any child up to the recommended 15kgs will easily fit into the Oyster Lite seat. Four year old Master BB (98cms tall) has the back of his head well supported on the seat.
The seat is reclined using a toggle recline. This is at the rear of the seat. There is a grey button which needs depressing to release the seat straps. The seat can then be simply pulled down to whatever degree of angle is required. Pulling the seat up requires inserting a finger from each hand into the two loops at the bottom of the webbing straps. Pulling hands apart then forces the seat upwards. A push from an arm or shoulder also helps for a heavier child.
The Babystyle Oyster Lite has a lift up calf rest. The calf rest pulls up very simply, and there is a rudimentary but clever metal support underneath to hold it in place. A lift up calf rest is a detail not often seen on strollers of this style, so is a big bonus. This means that a young baby or child can sleep very comfortably on a lie flat bed. When the Oyster Lite seat is reclined, there is an edged mesh guard which gives protection around the child’s head.
The harness splits into 3 pieces, which is refreshing to find amongst all the 5 piece break away harnesses of 2014. This makes it easy to put a wriggly child into the pushchair. We like the easy adjust buttons on the side of the buckle which allow the harness webbing to easily slide through for adjusting. The Oyster Lite comes with two harness pads and a very large crotch pad.
Hood, Raincover, Bumper Bar and Basket
As mentioned above the hood is bought as a part of the colour pack. This means that the hood can be swapped for a new baby or simply a change of season. The hood attaches easily using quite an unusual socket – a circular fixing.
The hood has an aluminum rim and plenty of fabric. The front section is a flick out visor which can be tucked away inside the hood when not needed. The second panel of the hood has a mesh peekaboo window in the hood with magnetic closures (great touch), and a triangular mesh panel on each side. The rear hood panel has two zips which can be undone, thus revealing another mesh ventilation panel for a sleeping child. This can be secured using a toggle at the top of the panel. We feel there is a little too much mesh on this pushchair for the UK market (where keeping children snuggly and warm in autumn / winter, is more important than ventilation in summer). There is already plenty of scope for airflow around the child, because of the gap between the top of the seat and the hood height.
There is also a decent sized pocket on the rear of the seat, which can be utilised when the rear panel is down (i.e. not rolled up). This pocket is great to drop keys, a phone or a purse into.
The Babystyle Oyster Lite comes with a raincover. It fits over the hood and velcros around the handlebar. The foot area is secured using elasticated button fixings around the front wheels.
The Oyster Lite also comes with a bumper bar with an incorporated child’s cup holder! The bumper bar is hinged and thus will swing open to allow a child clear access in and out of the seat. This is extremely handy with older toddlers, so that they do not need to be lifted into the seat. The bumper bar has a velcro on fabric cover.
The basket is an excellent size – really large. When the seat is upright it is easy to push a changing bag sized item through the back of the basket. The rear mesh panel is elasticated. The sides of the basket are not, and would benefit from being elasticated too. However, there is still plenty of space to push bigger items through the sides – my medium sized handbag fits through easily. The Oyster Lite is good for those who shop, or who need to pack the kitchen sink for a day trip!
Wheels, Brake, Handlebar and Handling
The Babystyle Oyster Lite has two small lockable / swivel front wheels, and two larger rear wheels. All the wheels are a soft plastic which has some ‘give’ in them. This provides additional cushioning for the child which is just as well, because we aren’t able to find any obvious suspension on the Lite. The front wheels lock using a clearly visible flick up / down switch at the front of the wheels. The rear wheels can not be easily removed, however the whole of the back axle – wheels and brake – can be removed if necessary, by depressing two metal pins. It is worth noting that the rear wheels are fairly wide for a pushchair.
The fixed height handlebar is perfect for me at 5ft 6ins. If anything it is on the tall side. The handlebar is a comfortable thickness and is covered with dense foam. There are two small abutments on either side of the handlebar which an Oyster changing bag will attach onto.
The Oyster Lite has a linked brake bar with a pedal on each side. This means that no matter where you stand behind the pushchair, it is easy to engage the brake, whether from the side or the middle. Having the two pedals on each side, makes it easier to apply the brake when the seat is fully reclined.
Fold / Unfold
The Babystyle Oyster Lite folds very quickly and easily. There is a secondary locking catch located on the right hand side of the rear of the pushchair frame. This lock is a red plastic block approx 6cms high. This red block moves sideways. Moving the block to the left releases the chassis ready to fold. The block will stay in position once moved. The fold is completed by pulling a strap handle up hard which causes the pushchair to fold. The strap handle is located in the centre of the seat pad. It is covered by a fabric flap so that it is out of sight from little eyes. The seat liner also has a flap through which a hand can be inserted to grasp the strap handle.
This may sound complicated, but the Oyster Lite has one of the quickest folds there is. The red block takes a second to move and then the handle completes the fold pretty instantly. The fold can be done one handed, which is useful for anyone who needs to hold onto the baby or toddler whilst folding. The Oyster Lite literally folds into your hand, thus the chassis doesn’t touch the floor, when folding.
However, the Oyster Lite doesn’t freestand when folded. This means that the aluminum chassis, or the aluminum hood frame will be in contact with the floor if the Lite needs lying down at any point. We have suggested to Babystyle that some tiny rubber stoppers to prevent the chassis getting scratched would be good, as there is no way to avoid the chassis getting scratched whichever way you put it down on the floor.
As mentioned above, the rear wheels of the Oyster Lite are quite widely set. This became apparent when we put the folded Oyster Lite into our car boot, and the wheels crossed the midline of the boot space. The Oyster Lite is a pushchair which may be wise to try in a small car boot before purchasing.
The Babystyle Oyster Lite is compatible with the Oyster, Maxi Cosi Cabriofix and Pebble infant car seats to become a travel system. The Oyster car seats are colour coded to match the Oyster Lite colour packs. Adaptors are required to fit a car seat onto the Lite. These are either £15 or £19, depending on which are required. The Oyster Lite travel system combination would work very well as the only pushchair you would need for your child.
The Babystyle Oyster Lite comes with a raincover and also the bumper bar. Our photos also show the optional bottle holder which neatly slides onto the right hand side of the handlebar. This is an additional £7.50. In line with the other Oyster pushchairs, the Lite has two press studs at the top of the seat, so that the footmuff can be fixed firmly into position. There is also a matching changing bag available.
The Babystyle Oyster Lite fills a gap in the Oyster family, for a lightweight, non umbrella fold, but full sized stroller. The Oyster Lite is a smart looking pushchair which is sturdy and substantial in size, but yet is extremely lightweight. However to compensate, the Lite has a wide rear wheelbase.
The Oyster Lite will easily take a child from newborn to the end of their pushchair using days. The travel system option is always useful to have, and the one handed fold is excellent, especially for those who use public transport. The seat is very generous with a huge hood and the lift up calf rest. It is excellent for an older toddler, and has plenty of room for a sleeping baby to stretch out. The basket is a good size, the bumper bar and raincover are all include. Thus for at £169 for the complete pushchair, the Babystyle Oyster Lite is very competitively priced.
We pleased to award the Babystyle Oyster Lite a 4.5 gold star Best Buggy rating.
With many thanks to Babystyle and to Nick for helping us with this review.
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