Cybex Balios S Review
Pros: Reversible toddler seat, self-stand fold
Cons: 5 lb storage max, thicker fold
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
With German Origins, Cybex started in 2014 under the Goodbaby International Holdings Ltd. Cybex focuses on innovation, safety, and functionality in all its products including carriers, car seats, and strollers.
Ease of Use
The Balios shows average performance in our testing for ease of use concerning the everyday functionality of a standard stroller.
Fold and Unfold
Folding the Cybex requires folding the seat in half and using the push button on the handlebar to fold the stroller in half. It automatically locks in place and it self-stands when closed. It has a grip carrying handle on the top of the fold and it can roll like luggage, though you'll need to bend over to accomplish this.
The Balios has single action brakes that work with a rocker pedal. They are somewhat stiff in our tests and the stroller tried to make a break for it when we pressed the pedal by rolling forward, so you need to keep a hold of the stroller handle. To release, you can lift from the bottom or press the top of the rocker pedal, which makes it sandal foot-friendly.
The storage bin in on the larger side and has good access, which is all good. However, the manufacturer's maximum weight allowance is only 5 lbs! This limit is disappointing as your supplies for a day out with your little one will likely weigh more than 5 lbs so you'll still be carrying some gear on your person. This is an oversight in our opinion as some of the competition have weight limits as high as 30 lbs with the average being closer to 10 lbs.
The canopy is a good size and can open significantly wider if you need it for almost to the knee coverage of the seat itself. It has a small peek-a-boo window with a flip-open cover and mesh underneath for added ventilation on hot days.
The Balios includes a 5-point harness with an infinite adjustment that slides up and down on the exposed straps. Changing the fit of the harness is straightforward, with a pretty easy button to push for harness release; it sort of pops open with a press.
The seat on the Balios can be reversed to face forward or back at the parent. It is easy to change and easy to adjust for comfort. The leg rest and move out for flat napping or down for upright riding. The recline moves with one hand on the back lever to infinite recline positions including almost flat.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Balios is compatible with Cybex infant car seats and doesn't require any adapters as it fits in the same slots as the toddler seat. The infant carrier is easy to connect and can face the parent for easy viewing and bonding. The Cybex Aton 2 is a great seat to pair with this stroller and one reason to consider buying the Balios.
Ease of Setup
The Balios took around 8:47 minutes to build from beginning to end.
Some of the competition is easier with times closer to 5 minutes but a few were significantly more challenging at closer to 20 minutes. The user manual is a multi-language on the same page version which can be confusing, but this one isn't as hard to follow as some of the competition.
The Balios has single front wheels on two legs, which makes for better maneuverability over less expensive strollers that have dual wheels on one leg. The wheels can be locked for easier pushing on rough surfaces and they are smallish foam-filled rubber wheels in the back and foam filled plastic in the front. This stroller rolls and turns easily on flat surfaces with no hiccups or stiffness on turning. Moving on gravel and grass is harder with stiff turning and larger wheels really would help in our opinion.
Weight and Folded Size
This stroller is fairly average when compared side-by-side to the competition for weight and size. In our tests, it weighs 24 lbs compared to the average of 23.9. The size is neither large nor compact at 12,456 cubic inches with the average for the group being 11,600. However, given that the largest is over 17,000 cubic inches. If you have a limited trunk or apartment space, you'll want to try this one shortly after buying to ensure it fits in case you need to return it.
The quality of this stroller is on par with its price tag. It looks nice and stylish with much in common with higher quality options, but the materials and attention to detail are somewhat lacking when viewed side-by-side with other contenders. Plastic wheels in the front instead of rubber all around is an example of lesser details that don't pass muster compared to the competition. However, the wheels are solid and the frame is sturdy and well put together without a wobbly feeling. The materials are fairly coarse and while they may clean easily, they aren't as skin-friendly as we'd like.
— Wendy Schmitz