Spotlight Product Review: Cybex Onyx 2011

Cybex launched their lightweight strollers in the US market in 2009.  If you aren’t familiar with this European line of strollers, you should be.  They are great!  The 2011 stroller line includes three different models:  Callisto, Onyx and Ruby.  The Callisto is their top of the line option, the Onyx is mid-range but still full of features and the Ruby is the simpler stroller and more budget friendly. There is an option for everyone.

The Onyx is the mid-range option of the three but still packed with features including the ability to take an infant car seat, huge “super” canopy, and deep reclining seat.

The Onyx seat is roomy and will accommodate your tallest toddlers.  It is 13” wide and has an 18” seatback.  Sounds like an average stroller seat, right?  Well, the seatback to canopy measurement is what sets it apart from the rest and will have parents of tall children rejoicing!  The stroller features a “super canopy” that slides up and down the frame to accommodate children of different heights.  At the max canopy height, the seatback to canopy measurement is 29 inches.  Your children are going to max out the weight capacity of 55 lbs or just be past the stroller stage before they are too tall for the seat. 

The seat is padded for comfort and what’s better yet is that the fabric is removable and machine washable! The non-padded, adjustable, 5-point harness has a great one hand adjustable harness system that is similar to how many car seats adjust. It allows you to loosen and tighten the harness with just one strap to get a perfect fit for your child every time.

We love the seat recline on the Onyx! No straps included! The seat has a deep, one-handed recline that has four positions that stops short of flat. There is an adjustable leg rest that keeps our little ones comfortable whether they prefer it up or down. You can also lift the back of the canopy and roll it up (it stays secure with Velcro) to open up the seat and allow air to circulate through to keep your child extra cool. The seat does not have a baby bumper bar, baby cup holder or snack tray.

Where the Onyx drops the ball on including accessories like a cup holder, it makes up for it in the canopy area!  The Onyx has a huge canopy!  And yes, size matters when it comes to canopies! It’s gigantic and it can tilt all the way forward to block the sun from every angle or block your little rider from the elements!  And that’s not all!  The canopy provides a UV protection of 50+ and has an extra panel that can be zipped if you don’t need so much canopy but still want a nice, clean look.  And one thing the Onyx has that the more expensive Callisto was missing is a peek-a-boo window.  The peeking window allows you to keep an eye on your little one in the seat. 

The stroller features two separate, foam handlebars that are taller than most umbrella-fold strollers to accommodate taller parents with a measurement of 41″ from ground to bar. Plus, the handlebars are removable and replaceable in case one becomes damaged. 

Since babies travel with lots of stuff, storage on a stroller is important.  There is a small basket underneath the seat that will hold a small diaper bag, purse or a few baby essentials. Just like many strollers with a deep reclining seat, the basket is hard to access with the seat reclined. For additional storage, there is a pocket on the back of the canopy for parent or baby essentials.  This pocket will hold a wallet, cell or a few parent essentials unless you have the canopy rolled up to open the seat up. 

The Onyx rolls on four 5.5″ inch wheels and has a rear wheel suspension system to absorb some minor bumps. The front wheels are swivel wheels that have the ability to lock straight for navigating a bit bumpier terrain. A unique feature of the Onyx is that the wheels are all removable, interchangeable and replaceable.  Make you want to rotate your stroller wheels?  Maybe one got damaged? 

Cybex must have taken our “Definitely not flip flop friendly!” comment about the rear parking brakes from last year’s models to heart.  Why?  Because they changed it!  Sandals and open toe shoes will be no problem anymore because the linked brake is now easier to do and can be done with the bottom of your foot.   Love this improvement!

The Onyx is a lightweight-plus umbrella stroller with smaller wheels so it is best on smooth pavement.  If you are on flat land, it has great maneuverability but since the handles are separate you will need both hands to maneuver this baby with a larger child aboard or on bumpier terrain.  If you choose to tackle uneven terrain such as playground mulch or grass, we recommend locking the front wheels to make it easier. 

The stroller also has an easy one-foot/one-hand umbrella fold that is easy to do. You can even fold the stroller while holding a child.  Plus, since you are only using the bottom of your foot, it is flip-flop friendly. The Onyx folds easily and locks closed with an automatic lock. Unfolding the stroller is no problem. Unlock the lock, lift up the handles, and step down on the rear step to open. Easy as that!

The Onyx is made of a lightweight aluminum but is still on the heavy side for an umbrella fold stroller weighing in at 17 lbs. With the carry handle on the side and the shoulder strap, transporting the stroller was no problem though. Plus, with the extra weight comes extra sturdiness for an umbrella stroller though.  This is important when you want to use Onyx with an infant car seat.  I’d rather have a heavier umbrella stroller with more stability to use as a travel system than a shaky one! 

By pairing the Onyx with the Cybex Aton Infant Car Seat (or other major brand of infant car seat) (adapers and car seats sold separately), the stroller can be used from birth.

The Onxy comes in 7 colors and retails for $229. This lighter-weight stroller with a great umbrella fold has some great standout features such as the gigantic canopy, one-hand adjustable harness system, deep recline, sturdy frame and large, roomy seat.

What is different from the more expensive Callisto?  Is it worth the extra $120?

  1. Continuous piece, adjustable handlebar on Callisto
  2. Wheels are one inch bigger on Callisto – 6.5” vs. 5.5”
  3. Callisto wheels are fancier with the real aluminum rims and single spoke design
  4. Front wheels lock easier on Callisto
  5. Callisto has a headhugger in seat – Onyx does not
  6. 5 point harness is padded on Callisto – Onyx does not
  7. Callisto has a bumper bar – Onyx does not
  8. Onxy has a shoulder strap to carry
  9. Callisto can take a carrycot – Onyx cannot
  10. Callisto is 2 lbs heavier – 17 vs 19 lbs
  11. Onyx has a peek-a-boo window – Callisto does not
  12. Pocket on the back of the canopy is larger on Callisto

To watch our full video review of the Cybex Onyx 2011, click the video below:


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Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in North Carolina where she is having a blast designing and decorating her new home.

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Another great review! Just a note – the cybex website has mounting locations for the cupholder listed for the onyx as well as the callisto.