In case you haven’t noticed from my regular photos and posts showcasing a mud-coated toddler and lots of green spaces, we are country bumpkins. 200 year old cottage, allotment, soon-to-be chicken owners and walks whatever the weather. It’s a lifestyle we chose and love so when the children came along we needed products to fit our life. With two children born within 21 months and the youngest of whom puking whenever placed in a sling, a double pushchair was an inevitable purchase for us. We liked the side-by-side we went for, but it was a bit of a nightmare when navigating narrow cobbled or mud-ridden paths and teeny tiny country shop doorways. With Toby walking more than he goes into the pushchair, I also regularly felt ridiculous trying to manhandle a huge double around town which was half empty, whilst attempting to stop Toby running off. His side of the pushchair was generally used as a shopping basket, but it was invaluable when he did need a nap.
Towards the end of last year I was invited to the launch of the Babystyle Hybrid – a pushchair with different axles for City, Edge (urban) and tandem mode. The tandem mode uses the larger Edge wheels for a smoother ride on rough terrain so it seemed like the answer to my problems.
We’ve had our Hybrid since just before Christmas, so what are our initial thoughts?
Babystyle Hybrid Edge/Tandem – Pros
- It’s just so pretty. Honestly, the 7 colour choices are stunning and I am utterly in love with it our marine blue one, although picking a colour was so hard. The leather-effect details on the handlebar and bumper bar look fantastic and it just has an air of luxury about it
- To be in tandem mode, the top seat unit is raised up on higher adapters. This means that when I’m using it in single mode with Martha facing me, she’s nice and high for us to have chats
- It’s really versatile – Two carrycots, two seat units, one of each, car seats; the choice is yours. It’s a great option for both twins and siblings of different ages. Apparently even in single mode it’s big enough for two children!
- The hood is enormous! It’s like a tent in there! We’ve obviously only had the Babystyle Hybrid during the winter so far, but I know that it will provide Martha with a good amount of shade during the summer too. The standard hood is good and has a sun visor, but you can also extend it by unzipping it and that makes a huge difference
- The accessories are fab. We’ve got a cosy footmuff for each seat unit and the kids look so snug and comfy in them. A changing bag is also available, which is designed to fit perfectly either over the handlebar – where it’s held in place by little hooks – on in the basket where it doubles as an extension to the basket
- The straps are a car seat style design, so you press a button and pull to extend them, then pull a single strap at the base of the seat unit to tighten them again. Much easier than fiddly buckle adjusters
- It folds with the seat attached. This is more compact in world-facing mode and makes life a lot easier for getting everyone and everything into the car
- The Babystyle Hybrid is really narrow, at only 55cm wide for the City and 60cm for the Edge and Tandem axles. Yet you never feel like your children are squashed into the seats so there’s no compromising their space and comfort
- PU Puncture Resistant tyres are a brilliant feature
- It’s ridiculously easy to put together out of the box, or to swap between the 3 axle options. Trust me, I did it in about 5 minutes and that’s with a severely sleep deprived brain on limited functionality!
Babystyle Hybrid Edge/Tandem – Cons
- Although I love the straps for adjusting, it’s tricky to strap in a writhing, wriggling child when you have to use both hands to hold the overlapping buckles together and plug them in. For this reason, I do like to have straps that plug into the buckle independently so that I can do one at a time
- The basket isn’t very deep. It’s perfectly adequate, but the sides aren’t particularly big so I’ve had things falling out at times
- It’s lighter than many doubles, but still heavy getting up steps or curbs, even with only one child inside
- The suspension could be a bit more absorbent. Martha has bounced around quite a bit over countryside terrain
- You can’t have the seats parent-facing in tandem mode. This isn’t really a deal breaker and I’m sure it does Martha some good to look at something other than my face, but I like to be able to see and interact with her
- There isn’t a peep window in the hood for when it’s world-facing. I feel like there could be a transparent window maybe in the extended part of the hood so that you can check on your little one during walks rather than having to stop and potentially disturb them just as they’re falling asleep
- It’s quite bulky. Although the lightest tandem on the market (I believe), at around 11kg with one seat unit on, it is rather cumbersome to lift in and out of the car when folded. I don’t quite know what could be improved here and it’s certainly not a deal-breaker, but it’s a consideration all the same
There are down sides – as there are with every product – but on balance this is my absolute favourite of the 4 travel system pushchairs we’ve owned and it’s the one I will most definitely be keeping now until Martha no longer needs a pushchair. With prices starting from £499 for the Edge, the Babystyle Hybrid is amazing value for money that competes easily with pushchairs double the price.