The Cybex Balios S is a full-size stroller at 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 of full-size products 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 11 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 a Cybex infant car seat and want the simplicity of a brand match.Editor's Note: We updated this individual gear review on December 21, 2021, to include sections and our advice on whether or not to purchase this stroller.
Cybex Balios S Review
Pros: Reversible toddler seat, self-stand fold
Cons: Low storage max, thicker fold
Compare to Similar Products
Cybex Balios S
$549.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Reversible toddler seat, self-stand fold||Easiest to push, jogger, high quality, easy to use||High-quality, compact fold, lighter weight, comfy||Price, lightweight, compact fold||Easy to navigate tight places, inexpensive|
|Cons||Low storage max, thicker fold||Bulkier, harder to transport||Somewhat harder to push||Dual-front wheel, hard to access storage||Limited storage, lower quality materials|
|Bottom Line||Average performance during testing, but might be good for Cybex infant car seat owners||A cool-looking multi-purpose jogging stroller that is also great for everyday use||A compact, full-size with impressive features for comfort and ease of use, but it is somewhat harder to push, especially one hand||A budget-minded stroller with the features you need and not much else||An easy-to-maneuver and budget friendly option, but has limited functionality|
|Rating Categories||Cybex Balios S||Thule Urban Glide 2||Thule Spring||Baby Jogger City Mi...||Baby Trend Expedition|
|Ease Of Use (45%)|
|Weight Folded Size (15%)|
|Specs||Cybex Balios S||Thule Urban Glide 2||Thule Spring||Baby Jogger City Mi...||Baby Trend Expedition|
|Weight||24 lbs||24.4 lbs||22.7 lbs||19.3 lbs||23.7 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||24"W x 17.3"H x 30"L||27.2"W x 15.5"H x 36.5"L||17"W x 15"H x 30"L||25.7"W x 10.6"H x 31.1"L||23.1"W x 33.1"H x 16.3"L|
|Capacity Limits||Minimum: Birth Maximum: 55 lbs||Minimum: 6 mo.
Maximum: 49 lbs/43.7"
|Minimum: 6 mo.
Maximum: 64 lbs/44"
Maximum: 50 lbs/44"
|Minimum: 6 mo.
Maximum: 50 lbs/42"
|Included Car Seat Compatibility||Cybex (All)||None||None||Baby Jogger City GO, City GO 2||Baby Trend
Any Baby Trend car seat
|Click-in Car Seat Adapters||Cybex (All)||BeSafe
Izi GO Mod, Izi GO X1
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Aton, Aton 2, Aton 4, Aton 5
CabrioFix, Citi, Mico 30, Mico Max 30, Mico NXT, Pebble, Pebble Plus
KeyFit 30, KeyFit2
Cloud Q, Aton M, Aron 2
Pipa, Pipa Lite, Pipa Lite R
|Baby Jogger City GO, City GO 2
Britax B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite
Chicco KeyFit, KeyFit 2, KeyFit 30, KeyFit 30 Zip
Cybex Aton, Aton 2, Aton Q, Cloud Q
Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite, Snugride 35 Platinum, Snugride Click Connect 35 LX
Maxi Cosi Mico AP, Mico Max 30, Mico NXT, Mico 30
Peg-Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35
|Strap-in Car Seat Adapters||None||BOB
Affinity Unity, B-Safe, B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Chaperone, Unity, Unity ISOFIX Compatible
Baby-Safe, Baby-Safe Plus II
SafeSeat, SnugRide, SnugRide Click Connect, SnugRide Click Connect 30, SnugRide Click Connect 35, SnugRide Click Connect LX 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40
Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30, Primo Viaggio 4-35
Comfy Carry Elite, onBoard, onBoard Air
Unity, Unity Neos
Any Baby Trend Car Seat
|Storage Basket Size||Large||Large||Large||Large||Large|
|Sun Shade Size||Large||Large||Large||Large||Small|
|Handlebar Height - Min/Max||39.5"/43.89"||30"/46"||39"/43"||41"||41"|
|Included Accessories||Rain Cover,
Car Seat Adapter
|None||Sun Shade||City GO infant car seat adapter.||None|
|Setup Time||10-15 minmin:sec||5-10 minmin:sec||1-5 minmin:sec||5-10 minmin:sec||5-10 minmin:sec|
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 is on the larger side and has good access, which is all good. The manufacturer's maximum weight allowance is 11 lbs. This limit is lower than some of the competition, like the UPPAbaby Cruz v2 and UPPAbaby Vista v2, whose weight limits are as high as 30 lbs. But, this stroller's storage max is essentially average among the contenders.
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, which is 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 more challenging 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, the largest stroller 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.
Should You Buy the Cybex Balios S?
The Cybex gets the job done, and it might be a fit for those who use Cybex car seats. But, comparing this option to others, particularly strollers that score higher in our testing, we would pass on it. Yes, it's stylish and offers good quality, but it falls short on the finer details that we prefer for everyday adventuring, and, given its cost, it shouldn't lack in performance. Other strollers deliver more, meet our high standards, and are less costly than the Cybex.
What Other Full-Size Strollers Should You Consider?
Two of the finest strollers in our lineup, the Thule Urban Glide 2 or Thule Spring, are compelling alternatives. These award-winning strollers score higher and are more user-friendly than the Cybex. Side note: if you're using a Cybex car seat, we suggest checking out the specification details to see which stroller is compatible with your car seat as this factor might help in the decision-making process.
— Wendy Schmitz
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More