In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Cybex Balios S Review

Average performance during testing, but might be good for Cybex infant car seat owners
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Price:   $400 List | $300 at Amazon
Pros:  Reversible toddler seat, self-stand fold
Cons:  5 lb storage max, thicker fold
Manufacturer:   Cybex
By Wendy Schmitz ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 3, 2020
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 23
  • Ease Of Use - 45% 7
  • Maneuverability - 30% 7
  • Weight/Folded Size - 15% 6
  • Quality - 10% 7

The Skinny

The Cybex Balios S is a full-size stroller with a reasonable price that pairs with an impressive infant car seat without the need for adapters. This stroller earns a slightly above-average overall score in our tests and has some features in common with pricier options. The Balios has a one-handed fold, reversible seating, a larger canopy and storage bin, and an adjustable handlebar. Unfortunately, while many features are interesting or look good on the surface, they fail to match the performance of the competition. A great example of this is that the large, easy-access storage basket only holds up to 5 lbs, making it big but virtually useless at carrying the minimum supplies you need for a day out with a baby. Still, while not an award winner, we do think it might be a contender for those who own or plan to buy Cybex infant car seat and want the simplicity of a brand match.

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.

Performance Comparison



The Balios has a belly bar and a sleek profile.
The toddler seat on the Balios can face the parent for increased bonding and interaction. The canopy is large and zips open for even more coverage.

Ease of Use


The Balios shows average performance in our testing for ease of use concerning the everyday functionality of a standard stroller.

The Balios fold initiates with the push-button frame release on the handlebar.
The Balios fold initiates with the push-button frame release on the handlebar.

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 pedal is a rocker style brake pad that is easy to set and release  but it is somewhat stiff and the stroller can try to roll away when you press the brake.
The Balios pedal is a rocker style brake pad that is easy to set and release, but it is somewhat stiff and the stroller can try to roll away when you press the brake.

Brakes


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 Balios storage bin is large with great access  but it only holds up to 5 lbs  which is inadequate for baby supplies  so you can forget about other things going in the bin.
The Balios storage bin is large with great access, but it only holds up to 5 lbs, which is inadequate for baby supplies, so you can forget about other things going in the bin.

Storage


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 Balios toddler seat can recline almost flat and the footrest can move for comfortable napping. The canopy is sown fully pen hear with the added zipped panel and a kick out visor.
The peek-a-boo window on the Balios has a mesh lining for increased ventilation which can be useful on hotter days.

Sunshade


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 harness on the Balios pops open with the push of the button and the harness straps move smoothly for adjusting height and fit.
The harness on the Balios pops open with the push of the button and the harness straps move smoothly for adjusting height and fit.

Harness


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 back on the Balios reclines with the lift of a lever and only one hand.
The seat back on the Balios reclines with the lift of a lever and only one hand.

Seat


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.

The Cybex infant car seat attaches to the Balios in the same location as the toddler seat without the need for additional adapters.
The Cybex infant car seat attaches to the Balios in the same location as the toddler seat without the need for additional adapters.

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 all-wheel suspension and while it is limited and doesn't help much over bumpy terrain  it is better than no suspension contenders.
The front wheels on the Balios are foam-filled plastic  so while they will likely maintain their shape and can't go flat  plastic isn't as functional as rubber  which hurts the overall maneuverability.

Maneuverability


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.

The Balios self-stands  auto-closes and folds with one hand  but it is sort of thick and may not fit everywhere you want to put it.
The Balios self-stands, auto-closes and folds with one hand, but it is sort of thick and may not fit everywhere you want to put it.

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 Balios offers quality on par with the price with a sturdy frame and attention to detail but coarse fabric.
The Balios offers quality on par with the price with a sturdy frame and attention to detail but coarse fabric.

Quality


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.

Manufacturer Video



Wendy Schmitz