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Babystyle Hybrid Edge at the Harrogate Nursery Fair 2016

The Babystyle Hybrid Edge was the secret that we had been waiting to see. We had seen images, read teasers, and we had even speculated, but at last we got to see the Hybrid Edge for real!

The Babystyle Hybrid Edge is a single pushchair with large rear wheels. However, with a quick swap of the rear axle, the Hybrid Edge turns into the Hybrid City with a narrow 50cm chassis and perfectly dinky wheels; or it can transform into the Hybrid Tandem, which is a sturdy double pushchair for two children with loads of travel system and pram options.

The Hybrid City and Hybrid Tandem rear axles will cost £40 each. The City axle comes with the small wheels. The larger Hybrid Edge wheels transfer quickly onto the Hybrid Tandem axle.

The photos above were largely taken during a very quick demo by Ant from Babystyle. He showed us how the axles swapped over (simply press and pull off); and how the Hybrid chassis folds (there is a handle at the front of the pushchair and a button). Adaptors lift the front seat upwards in tandem mode, or so that the seat is at the right height for a child to sit with adults at the table in single mode. The handlebar extends a huge amount from very low (it tucks away nicely) to very high. I will confess to being surprised exactly how high the handle did go. In one of the photos with the orange seat, you can count at least 11 handle position notches!

The question everyone really wanted to know was whether you would kick the lower carrycot when walking. I walked the Hybrid Tandem around the stand a few times, and I can honestly say that I did not kick the back of the carrycot with my knees, shins or any other part of my leg! There was more than enough room to walk behind the Hybrid Tandem. However, we did have the handlebar set reasonably high, so we can’t speak for people who like a lower handle or have very long strides, but I am usually the first to knock my shins if the seat is too close. As you may spot, Little Miss BB took her turn at pushing the Hybrid Tandem around the stand too.

The seat unit is a bucket style seat which is suitable from six months old. There is a lever recline which was easy to use. Little Miss BB (age 7) hopped on board and although she was on the big side, she did fit in the seat. Babystyle do like generous sized seats. The lift up calf rest was good although there is no foot rest on the seats.  Babystyle have also considered the needs of the second child too. Thus the seat units on the tandem are the same seat. There is a requirement to remove a bar in the foot area of the lower seat in tandem mode, to meet with safety regs so that a child’s feet don’t get trapped (the footrest becomes flexible), but otherwise the seats are the same.

Babystyle have thought hard about storage. There is a zipped pocket on the rear of the seat unit and a fairly generous sized basket. The basket has a clever “origami” back, so that it can be folded up or down to suit. There is a cool Hybrid Edge changing bag which fits neatly into the basket. This bag can also be opened, and attached to the chassis which leaves a mesh section hanging from the lid for smaller items like keys or dummies; and a larger section at the bottom. The changing bag was one of those details that made me sigh with happiness! However, you do lose the use of the basket in tandem mode but we did spot hooks for a changing bag on the handlebar.

Another detail was on the carrycot. The carrycot release is a one handed lever at the rear of the carrycot hood – similar to the one UPPAbaby used to have on their carrycots. So, one hand will release the carrycot from the chassis, whilst the other hand is free to lift the carrycot upward using the carry handle. The carrycots looked a very good size. The hoods have hidden mesh panels for air flow, and also a pull out reflective visor at the front.

We love the more earthy tones of the Hybrid Edge, and also the fabrics. There are ten colours in total, so there should be a colour for everyone. The seat units looked great as a mix and match combination, as well as the same colour together. The footmuffs looked very neat on the seat units.

The fold was compact. The wheels pop on and off easily if necessary. The chassis was a reasonable weight to lift up and carry. The seats do need to be detached before folding.

There was hidden surprise. Babystyle are trialling a new one handed pull 5 point harness, similar to a car seat. It does make sense to consider this because it would be much simpler to put the child in, and pull one strap to fit. We would be interested to see how well children fit in the seat using this method of fitting and adjustment. Look carefully at the black and green seat units to see this new style harness. Babystyle haven’t decided which harness to use yet.

All round we were thoroughly impressed by the Hybrid Edge & Tandem. The size of the seats, the extension of the handlebar, the clever back axle system and storage solution and great fabrics all made a good impression. This is one pushchair that really needs to be seen and used to be fully appreciated. It has already won an award for the Best New Product at the Harrogate Nursery Fair. We can’t wait to see the Hybrid Edge in the shops in late summer this year.

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