Babystyle Oyster Zero Review by Best Buggy
It is a sign of a brilliant pushchair when you don’t know you have it with you. A brilliant pushchair simply works well, it is easy to live with, and nothing niggles at all. That sums up the Babystyle Oyster Zero for us. It has been a perfect pushchair!
We took a huge risk and we literally picked the Oyster Zero straight out of the box and put it in the car for a long weekend away. Given it usually takes us ages to decide on the ‘perfect pushchair’ for the occasion, this really was saying something about the confidence we had in the Oyster Zero, based on a few minutes observations at the Harrogate Nursery Fair a few months earlier. We didn’t even try 112cm, nearly 6 year old Master BB in before we left – we had absolute trust that the seat size was large enough, the harness was long enough, and that he would be comfortable! If Babystyle had got it wrong, we would have had a nightmare, but they didn’t! Their new Oyster Zero was perfect! It passed all our tests with flying colours: the push has been excellent across all surfaces; the handlebar is the right height; the seat size is great; there is plenty of room for all your ‘stuff’; it has coped with the odd shower and brilliant sunshine; and it fits in the car easily. Hurray!
The Oyster Zero is very much part of the Oyster family with a similar look and feel to the Oyster, Oyster Jule and Oyster Lite. However, the finish is in line with the new 2016 collections and is stylish and smart. This is achieved through quality textured fabrics and a tan leatherette stamped, hand stitched handlebar and bumper bar. The Oyster Zero is lightweight, and has great rear suspension. It is a great looking neat pushchair and lightweight to carry too. Our Oyster Zero is Olive Green, but there are 4 other colours to choose from: Ink Black, Oxford Blue, Pure Silver and Wow Pink.
There are carrycot and car seat options too which make the Oyster Zero a very affordable, flexible travel system which will take your baby from birth to three…and beyond if necessary… in style and comfort.
Child Comfort, Harness and Bumper Bar
There is no doubt that Master BB has been comfortable in the Oyster Zero. He is a large child, and we do hesitate these days to put him into a pushchair seat lest he looks ‘too big’, but the first comment from Mr BB was “Wow, that’s a big seat!”, and it really is. The proportions of the seat feel good – generous width and height, combined with good depth and leg room. It may seem obvious to say that Master BB was comfortable – but he isn’t comfortable in all pushchairs these days, and he doesn’t always want to stay in a pushchair – but he kept returning to the Oyster Zero and clambering on board. To put this simply: he loved it!
The seat forward faces only. The seat reclines using a toggle recline which is accessed via small press button at the rear of the seat. This gives infinite seat recline positions which can be stopped wherever suits your child. Pulling the straps at the rear will pull the seat back up to the upright position. The seat does go very upright but it also lies flat enough to the used from birth. There is a lift up calf rest which offers a younger baby or toddler leg support whilst they nap or watch the world go by.
There was plenty of room in the 5 point safety harness for Master BB although the highest shoulder strap height was too low which meant the straps slid off his shoulders. However, the harness would fit perfectly on any a typical 0-3 year old. We liked that the height was easy to adjust very simply using a series of fabric loops, and that there were settings for the crotch strap for both a small baby or large toddler. The harness and crotch pads were thickly padded. The buckle was sturdy and easy to use. It was possible to break the harness into 5 pieces, but it took a big squeeze to break the side pieces, which is great! We don’t like harnesses which fall apart into 5 pieces in your hand.
Hood, Raincover and Storage
The large hood proudly boasts a UPF 50+ label, and believe us, we needed all the sun protection we could get on one of the sunniest weekends this year. The hood has two panels, with a further zip out third panel. At the front is a silver flick out visor. There is a mesh peekaboo panel in the rear of the hood which is silently closed using magnets. Great for peeking on a sleeping baby.
The hood height is excellent for a taller child, and gives good coverage for a smaller sleeping baby. We also discovered that the hood was water repellent when a sudden thunderstorm hit. The water just bobbled on top and ran away, however we are not saying the hood is waterproof. Babystyle provide you with a raincover which folds down very neatly, and stores in a handy pocket at the front of the basket.
The rear of the hood has one of the best features of this pushchair – a generous sized storage pocket! This was so handy for keeping the camera, phone, car keys, purse, maps etc. to hand. We were constantly in and out, and it saved our backs! There was even sufficient room for 2 water bottles which meant that they stayed upright once opened. However, we utilised the raincover pocket at the front of the pushchair for our stash of water bottles. It was so handy to have them all neatly lined up, so that we knew whose was whose bottle, instead of having to fish in a basket to find one randomly rolling around. It was easy to access the front pocket by lifting the calf rest up a little first.
The basket overall is a great size. We had a rather large rucksack which was in and out of the basket constantly. Although it is sticking out of the rear in a lot of our photos, there was plenty of room to push the bag all the way into the basket. The access and clearance under the seat was very good.
There is also a tiny pocket under the front of the footrest. This is to store an insect net if required (an optional accessory). It is a bit of a shame that the opening is at the bottom because it would be a great hiding place to store a purse or phone at playgroup! But don’t try it as things will fall out!
Handlebars, Handling, Wheels and Brake
The Oyster Zero has a beautiful stitched tan leatherette handlebar. The handlebar is a fixed height. Whilst we measured the handlebar at just 102.5cms, quite strangely, the handlebar didn’t feel too low for me! Either I am shrinking, or there is more to handlebar comfort than simply the height measurement!
The handlebar was comfortable to hold and we loved the leatherette, although I did find I played with the stitching!
The handling was excellent. We have no complaints at all. The Oyster Zero went everywhere we needed it to. It turned easily and was responsive even with heavy Master BB on board. The Oyster Zero has great all round suspension but especially amazing rear suspension which does give great handling across a variety of every day terrain. It was not too bouncy though. The wheels are soft touch wheels with some ‘give’ in them. These made for a pleasant push. The 16.5cm front wheels are lockable / swivel wheels. The larger rear wheels are 22.5cm. All the wheels pop off very easily for storage.
The brake was probably the only issue we had. The brake pedal is situated down by the right hand rear wheel. The pedal is very small, and also low to the ground. We had to lift the pushchair up slightly to be able to get the toe of our shoes underneath to flick the brake off. The pedal really needs to be a little wider so that there is more room for shoes to press on the top too. The brake works well and holds the pushchair firm.
Folding the Oyster Zero is simple, and can easily be done one handed. On the right hand side of the pushchair (when standing at the rear) is a small red plastic ‘block’. This has a silver pin at the top and at the bottom. The block will move sideways at the bottom if pushed. This releases the secondary lock mechanism. The fold is completed by pulling on a webbing handle which is situated under a fabric flap in the centre of the seat unit. The pushchair simply folds in two. There is a side lock, which probably will lock automatically. However, we have found that the pushchair needs a squeeze together to ‘catch’ the lock. The Zero will freestand when folded if the wheels are in the correct position. Removing the bumper bar when folding gives a much neater package, although leaving it in situ gives a handle to carry the pushchair by. At just 7.9kg the light aluminum Oyster Zero is easy to lift and carry.
Unfolding is simple except that locating the fold lock can be challenging! The fold lock is hidden inside the chassis and not obvious from the outside. We have had a few head scratching moments where we have turned the pushchair around a few times before we spotted where to push out fingers in to release the grey plastic lock (near a rear wheel). Once released, the pushchair needs to be pulled apart – we usually simply pull the handle upwards, and then give it a good flick until the pushchair is open and stood on four wheels. The seat back clicks into position ready to go.
We think the Oyster Zero is a cracking little pushchair. We took this pushchair for a long weekend without prior testing because our experience and knowledge, told us that this pushchair would be a safe bet, and wouldn’t let us down….and it was. The Oyster Zero was fantastic to use. It slid easily into our car boot, and handled everything we asked it to do. The negatives may be the fixed height handlebar; finding the fold lock; and the low small brake pedal, but none of these dampen our enthusiasm for what is a really excellent lightweight, sturdy, pushchair. Our Oyster Zero is getting a lot of use this summer because it is such a practical pushchair to take anywhere, and it has a great basket for a picnic and toys. At just £199 with carrycot and car seat options available, this would be a very practical choice for a new baby. The Babystyle Oyster Zero receives a Best Buggy 5 gold star rating from us for excellence. Well done Babystyle on another brilliant pushchair!
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