In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Cybex Balios S Review

Average performance during testing, but might be good for Cybex infant car seat owners
Cybex Balios S
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Price:   $500 List | $549.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Reversible toddler seat, self-stand fold
Cons:  Low storage max, thicker fold
Manufacturer:   Cybex
By Wendy Schmitz ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 29, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 18
  • Ease Of Use - 45% 7.2
  • Maneuverability - 30% 6.7
  • Weight/Folded Size - 15% 5.5
  • Quality - 10% 7.0

The Skinny

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.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Reversible toddler seat, self-stand foldEasiest to push, jogger, high quality, easy to useHigh-quality, compact fold, lighter weight, comfyPrice, lightweight, compact foldEasy to navigate tight places, inexpensive
Cons Low storage max, thicker foldBulkier, harder to transportSomewhat harder to pushDual-front wheel, hard to access storageLimited storage, lower quality materials
Bottom Line Average performance during testing, but might be good for Cybex infant car seat ownersA cool-looking multi-purpose jogging stroller that is also great for everyday useA compact, full-size with impressive features for comfort and ease of use, but it is somewhat harder to push, especially one handA budget-minded stroller with the features you need and not much elseAn 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%)
7.2
7.6
7.9
6.6
5.1
Maneuverability (30%)
6.7
9.2
6.6
7.3
8.2
Weight/Folded Size (15%)
5.5
5.0
7.5
7.5
5.5
Quality (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
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"
Minimum: Birth
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
Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Cybex
Aton, Aton 2, Aton 4, Aton 5
Maxi Cosi
CabrioFix, Citi, Mico 30, Mico Max 30, Mico NXT, Pebble, Pebble Plus
Nuna
Pipa
Chicco
KeyFit 30, KeyFit2
Cybex
Cloud Q, Aton M, Aron 2
Maxi-Cosi
Mico 30
Nuna
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
Nuna Pipa
Peg-Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35
Uppababy Mesa
Clek Liing
None
Strap-in Car Seat Adapters None BOB
Unity
Britax
Affinity Unity, B-Safe, B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Chaperone, Unity, Unity ISOFIX Compatible
Britax-Romer
Baby-Safe, Baby-Safe Plus II
Chicco
KeyFit Plus
Combi
Shuttle 33
Evenflo
Discovery 5
Graco
SafeSeat, SnugRide, SnugRide Click Connect, SnugRide Click Connect 30, SnugRide Click Connect 35, SnugRide Click Connect LX 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40
Peg Perego
Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30, Primo Viaggio 4-35
Safety 1st
Comfy Carry Elite, onBoard, onBoard Air
Safe-n-Sound
Unity, Unity Neos
UPPAbaby
Mesa
None None Baby Trend
Any Baby Trend Car Seat
Recline Deep Deep Deep Deep Deep
Storage Basket Size Large Large Large Large Large
Sun Shade Size Large Large Large Large Small
One-handed Fold Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Locking Fold Auto Auto Auto Auto Auto
Self-standing Fold Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Handlebar Height - Min/Max 39.5"/43.89" 30"/46" 39"/43" 41" 41"
Sandal-friendly Brake Yes Yes Yes No No
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.

Performance Comparison



The Balios has a belly bar and a sleek profile.
The Balios has a belly bar and a sleek profile.
The toddler seat on the Balios can face the parent for increased...
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.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the balios fold initiates with the push-button frame release on the...
The Balios fold initiates with the push-button frame release on the handlebar.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the balios pedal is a rocker style brake pad that is easy to set and...
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.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the balios storage bin is large with great access, but it only holds...
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.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Storage


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 Balios toddler seat can recline almost flat and the footrest can...
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...
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.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the harness on the balios pops open with the push of the button and...
The harness on the Balios pops open with the push of the button and the harness straps move smoothly for adjusting height and fit.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the seat back on the balios reclines with the lift of a lever and...
The seat back on the Balios reclines with the lift of a lever and only one hand.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the cybex infant car seat attaches to the balios in the same...
The Cybex infant car seat attaches to the Balios in the same location as the toddler seat without the need for additional adapters.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 all-wheel suspension and while it is limited and...
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...
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 more challenging with stiff turning, and larger wheels really would help, in our opinion.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the balios self-stands, auto-closes and folds with one hand, but 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.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Cybex Balios S full size stroller - the balios offers quality on par with the price with a sturdy frame...
The Balios offers quality on par with the price with a sturdy frame and attention to detail but coarse fabric.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

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.

Manufacturer Video



Wendy Schmitz
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