Just about kids' life

Just about kids' life

Best Baby Car Seat And Stroller Combos of 2019

Best Baby Car Seat And Stroller Combos of 2019

When you’re ready to roll with your little kid, you require a car seat and a stroller. Thanks to a smarty who designed the very first travel system– a safety seat that clips onto a matching stroller– you can make one purchase and get both essentials.

They’re guaranteed to work terrific together, and you don’t have to awaken your kiddo (who’s lastly drifted off) for the car seat-to-stroller transfer. Simply unclip the safety seat from its base in the backseat, snap it onto the stroller and go.

With so many choices on the marketplace, how do you pick the ideal one for you and your infant that will not have you scrambling for the guarantee card a month later? Prior to you stress and rush out to purchase a travel system, there are a couple of things to consider. We’ll assist you sort it all out, including reviews of some of the best car seat stroller combos on the marketplace for 2019.


Do I Need a Travel System?

infant prams

Apparently a baby stroller is an essential part in your life if you have a baby– certainly one of the top ‘must have’ items. And if you’re carrying around your baby from place to place, you’ll definitely need a safety seat. So, why not just combine the two and save yourself the inconvenience of buying separately?

Certainly, you may like the Disney Stroller for its cute Minnie Mouse design, but does the Chicco Keyfit 30 Car seat detach and immediately re-attach to your Disney stroller? Let’s face it, parts that don’t go together add to the confusion– and sometimes price. So what are some of the real benefits of buying a travel system?

  1. Easy car-to-stroller switching. No un-fastening, moving and re-fastening your child in the middle of the grocery store parking lot. Unclick the carrrier from the carseat, snap it into the stroller. Compatibility.
  2. Some hospitals may not let you leave without having an infant car seat for the ride home– all reviews are with infant car seats.
  3. Convenience. If you live in a cold climate, you’re going to like the quick transfer of carrier-to-stroller.
  4. Ease of shopping. Compare the safest car seat and stroller combo and go with it. How many strollers and car seats would you have to investigate individually. Ugh!
  5. Repeat the process for your future children.

When Do You Need a Travel System?

For parents with younger babies, traditional strollers alone cannot be used until the baby is about 6 months of age and can sit without assistance. So a travel system allows you to use a stroller from birth until she outgrows the stroller itself at 50 + pounds. By then, she’ll be dragging you along by the hand so you don’t miss the sea lion show.

Ideally, try to purchase a travel system before your offspring arrives on the scene. One of the greatest advantages of a car seat/stroller combo is that it can save you from spending more for a separate car seat and a stroller. So start shopping early!


Types of Baby Strollers with Car Seats

There are a few different types of car seat & stroller combos on the market today. You can certainly mix and match different models of car seats and strollers for a custom combo. But a travel system is already designed to play nicely together with no additional equipment needed, which can save you a lot of time, money and peace of mind.

Of those on the market, there are 4 main types of travel systems. What you need depends on your lifestyle, family size and budget.

3-Wheel 4-Wheel Jogger Double
3-wheel car seat and stroller combos 4-wheel car seat and stroller combos car seat and jogger stroller combos double car seat and stroller combos
Three wheel stroller-car seat combos can be easier to navigate and weave throughout tight, cramped spaces. They are recommended for families that live in bigger cities and will have to walk through crowds and narrow passages. They also tend to be more compact for easier storage on subways, cabs, and small apartments.
The downside is they don’t have as much storage space underneath nor are they quite as sturdy as other models.
Four wheel stroller-car seat combos are the sturdiest of travel systems, built for people who will take their children on many playdates and trips that cover longer distances and bumpy terrain such as parks, zoos, etc. They usually have a lot of storage space underneath as well as parent cup/key/cell phone holders up top.
The downside is they tend to be more bulky than other models. So fellow passengers might give you the stink eye on the subway if you’re trying to board with one of these.
Jogger car seat stroller combos are built sleek and slim so that parents can exercise and keep an eye on the baby. These typically have a more compact design than other models and larger wheels with more tread and better suspension. They also tend to be lighter.
You won’t get the bells and whistles with this one like with the 4-wheel models, but you will get the ease of maneuverability that you get with a 3-wheel system. And it might even tempt you into exercising more.
A double stroller with infant car seats helps with transporting two children of different or similar ages at the same time. You can personalize this to fit your needs. Parents of twins or two toddlers should really consider this combo! If you’ve ever chased two toddlers who are heading in opposite directions at Disney World, you’ll know why.
These are the bulkiest travel systems, but have typically been streamlined to take up the least amount of room possible.

 


The top 10 travel systems (infant car seat & stroller combos), not listed in order, are:

Image Model Type Price Rating
Britax B-Lively and B-Safe 35 travel system Britax B-Lively and B-Safe 35 3-wheel High ★★★★★
Chicco Viaro travel system Chicco Viaro 3-wheel Average ★★★★★
Graco Fastaction Fold Sport Click Connect travel system Graco Fastaction Fold Sport Click Connect 3-wheel Average ★★★★★
Chicco Bravo Trio​ travel system Chicco B​ravo Trio 4-wheel High ★★★★★
UPPAbaby Cruz and MESA Travel System UPPAbaby Cruz and MESA Travel System 4-wheel High ★★★★★
Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect travel system Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect 4-wheel High ★★★★
Peg Perego Booklet Travel System Peg Perego Booklet 4-wheel High ★★★★
Graco FastAction Fold Jogger​ Click Connect Graco FastAction Fold Jogger​ Click Connect Jogger Average ★★★★★
Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Jogger Low ★★★★
Baby Jogger 2016 City Mini GT Double Stroller Baby Jogger 2016 City Mini GT Double Stroller Double High ★★★★


1.
Britax B-Lively and B-Safe 35

Britax B-Lively and B-Safe 35 travel system

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without/with base) 10/19 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-35 lbs
Stroller Weight 20 lbs
Stroller Age Range 55 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 30-39 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) 40″L x 24″W x 39.5″H
Stroller Size (folded) 29″L x 23″W x 10″H

The travel system consists of B-Lively stroller and B-Safe 35 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • The B-Safe 35 infant car seat has two layers of side impact protection, a steel frame, and impact absorbing base.
  • The B-Lively stroller is technically a 4-wheeled stroller, since two wheels act as the third front wheel. It offers fantastic maneuverability. You will easily fit through narrow spaces.
  • A one-handed fold design and lightweight aluminum frame make the stroller fairly easy to carry and fits in majority car trunks.
  • Thanks to enlarged basket and a few additional pockets, trips to the ZOO or museum with this stroller are much more easy.
  • Transition from the car to the stroller is a piece of cake and everything easily clicks in the right spot.
  • The canopy offers good SPF 50+ sun protection, and there’s a mesh peek-a-boo window to keep an eye on baby.

Disadvantages

  • The braking system felt a little awkward to some parents, especially when wearing sandals. You press it down with your foot to engage, but have to lift it up to disengage.
  • The wheels were a bit too small for uneven terrain.
  • The carrier fabric lacks some breathability, so your baby could get sweaty in hot weather.
  • Chubby babies or those who are on the high side of the growth chart may feel too cramped in this seat.
  • There are no solid cup holders included. You can buy a separate organizer with cup holders to add yourself.
  • Non-adjustable handlebar.

Conclusion

  • While this system isn’t cheap, it’s not as much as some of the competitors. You get a light and well-equipped stroller, fantastic infant car seat and a car base without spending a fortune. The stroller itself might be a better investment than the car seat, since your child may outgrow the seat before they reach the weight limit. If you buy a car seat adapter, you can easily attach another brand of seat to the B-Lively stroller until your baby is ready to sit up on her own.

2. Chicco Viaro

Chicco Viaro travel system

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without base) 7 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-30 lbs
Stroller Weight 18 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 50 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 25 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) 38.0″L x 25.5″W x 41.25″H
Stroller Size (folded) 13.5″L x 25.5″W x 33.25″H
Car Seat Size 22″L x 17″H x 24″W

The travel system features KeyFit 30 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • This is a lighter model, especially for Chicco.
  • The KeyFit 30 infant car seat itself is also on the lighter side, making it great for people who have to do a lot of switching between cars and stroller.
  • This car seat has adjustable straps which we can loose or tighten to provide comfortable ride for our little passenger.
  • The car seat cover is easy to remove and machine washable.
  • The double front wheel and lightweight frame of the stroller makes for better maneuverability.
  • The stroller can be folded with one hand for compact, free-standing storage.
  • A parent tray with two cup holders helps you keep water or coffee at hand for any time of day.
  • There’s also a two-cup child tray with a snack compartment for when baby’s ready to ride without the car seat.
  • The storage basket underneath is pretty roomy for a 3-wheeled model.

Disadvantages

  • Some parents had issues with the stroller seat reclining enough to be comfortable for their child.
  • The cup holders on the parent tray weren’t big enough to fit larger water bottles.
  • Assembly proved to be difficult for some at first.
  • Some parents didn’t like that the child tray had to be on and the stroller fully reclined in order to attach the car seat.

Conclusion

  • Overall, this travel system is great value for affordable price. The car seat is probably the better investment so if you wanted to make a custom combo, you could purchase a Chicco KeyFit stroller frame (does not work as a stroller alone). The seat is also compatible with several other stroller brands such as Baby Jogger, BOB, Britax, Bugaboo and more. You may need a car seat adapter in order to use some of those, however.

3.Graco Fastaction Fold Sport Click Connect

Graco Fastaction Fold Sport Click Connect travel system

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without base) 7.5 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-35 lbs
Stroller Weight 21.4 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 50 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 28.9 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) /
Stroller Size (folded) 16″L x 25″W x 28″H
Car Seat Size 30.7″L x 15.6″H x 18.7″W

The travel system features Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • Besides the top-rated SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant seat, this stroller has a one-second, one handed fold that makes it super quick to transfer into the car after a fun outing.
  • The seat of the stroller has multiple recline angles for baby’s comfort.
  • Extra deep cup holders in the parent tray hold many sizes of travel cups and bottles.
  • The seat covers are machine washable in cold water (hang to dry).
  • Great suspension and a big storage basket make for a smooth ride with everything close at hand for baby’s needs.
  • The pivoting child tray makes it easy for your toddler to get in and out of the stroller.
  • Parents appreciate the affordable price and easy assembly.

Disadvantages

  • Unfolding the stroller to be somewhat difficult. It remains loosely open when folded, doesn’t lock in place. And it’s not so compact when folded vs. competitors.
  • It’s easy to accidentally engage the wheel locks while walking with the stroller.
  • The storage space was also a little too small for large diaper bags.
  • A few parents had issues with the car seat in getting it out of the base, while others also found it hard to attach securely to the stroller.
  • There were also a few quality control issues noted when unboxing such as a missing seat base, and a loose front wheel.

Conclusion

  • Besides a few quality control issues, this system is a good option for most families. It’s reasonably priced and performs well for the vast majority of parents. Be sure to thoroughly inspect all parts any time you purchase a car seat or travel system. If anything is missing or broken, contact the seller or manufacturer immediately.

4. Chicco Bravo Trio

Chicco Bravo Trio​ travel system

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without base) 9.6 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-30 lbs
Stroller Weight 23 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 50 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 32.6 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) /
Stroller Size (folded) 16″L x 28″W x 21.8″H
Car Seat Size 17″L x 27.5″W x 24″H

The travel system features Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • This car seat and stroller combination is lightweight, folds and unfolds easily and quickly.
  • The stroller has a removable seat so it can go from a lightweight, skeleton frame that carries an infant car seat to a full-featured stroller for bigger kids when you put the seat on.
  • Has a lot of storage space, including a large storage basket and parent tray with two cup holders. The basket is accessible even when the seat is reclined.
  • Once folded–which is a breeze–it can stand on its own (great for storing in the corner of a closet or cafe).
  • The handle is height-adjustable to accommodate parents of differing heights.

Disadvantages

  • Some parents had problems with the maneuverability of this stroller. It can be difficult to turn the stroller at times.
  • Others had issues with loose or squeaky wheels that made it hard to steer. You may end up picking up the back wheels to turn instead of turning gracefully.
  • As far as the car seat, some had issues getting the correct angle when installing without the base.
  • Others found the car seat didn’t always snap securely into the base, even when a click was heard.
  • Some also reported that the seat fabric didn’t breathe well, leaving their babies sweaty.

Conclusion

  • Overall, this is a great combo, if only for the Chicco KeyFit 30. The included adapter allows you to use any KeyFit and Fit2 car seats with the stroller. So if you wanted to use a KeyFit 30 Magic car seat with the improved canopy, you could easily do that.

5. UPPAbaby Cruz and MESA Travel System

UPPAbaby Cruz and MESA Travel System

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without/with base) 9.9/18.9 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-35 lbs
Stroller Weight 15 lbs
Stroller Age Range /
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 24.9-33.9 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) /
Stroller Size (folded) /

The travel system features UPPAbaby MESA infant car seat.

Advantages


  • The Cruz can be steered with one hand, turns on a dime and can even handle rougher surfaces like cracked sidewalks and gravel.
  • The stroller also has a large basket, extendable handlebar, and large extendable sunshade.
  • There are rubber, foam-filled wheels and all-wheel suspension which together provide really nice and smooth ride.
  • The MESA seat is reversible―parent-facing or front-facing―and has multiple reclining positions including fully flat.
  • With red-to-green light indicator on the car seat base so you know when it’s been properly secured.
  • There’s shade galore with an enormous UPF 50+ canopy, and it even comes with a mesh bug net and a rain cover, too.

Disadvantages

  • There’s a bit of learning curve to folding up the Cruz with five, albeit simple, steps.
  • Bigger and heavier than many other travel system strollers.
  • Neither the car seat nor the stroller has machine-washable fabric.
  • Even though the stroller reclines, it doesn’t allow the child to lay fully straight with their legs out (unless it’s a small infant and you don’t use the harness).

Conclusion

  • This is a top-quality travel system and it looks so stylish and chic! It is expensive, but you can be sure this is top-notch stroller and will give your baby maximum comfort and safety. If you want to use UPPAbaby VISTA with a different infant car seat than MESA, you will need to purchase a special adapter.

6. Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect

Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect travel system

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without/with base) 7.5-14 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-30 lbs
Stroller Weight 22 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 50 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 29.5-36 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) 27.5″L x 41″W x 22″H
Stroller Size (folded) 28.5″L x 18.5″W x 22.5″H
Car Seat Size 26.7″L x 17.5″W x 24.2″H

The travel system features Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • The stroller is lightweight and easy in comparison to other to use.
  • It is simple enough that you can fold it with just one hand.
  • This Graco stroller combo also works with many different varieties of Graco car seats, so you can mix and match as needed.
  • Multi-recline angles help your child rest comfortably in the stroller.
  • An storage basket and parent tray keeps all your essentials at hand.
  • The child tray pivots out so your toddler can get in and out easily.
  • The car seat cover is machine washable (line dry).

Disadvantages

  • The stroller doesn’t ride well on all terrains.
  • Some parents had problems with the canopies of both seat and stroller. They didn’t close together well.
  • Others found when folded, the stroller seemed awkward and upside down.
  • The stroller seemed very hard to turn once their children were over 35 pounds.

Conclusion

  • Parents who use the Graco Fastaction Fold Click Connect really like the “fast action” part of folding/unfolding. For parents who don’t have a lot of time, who are on a budget, or those who are constantly going from car to stroller, this is a great option. For those who have a child that’s high on the growth chart, you may want to look elsewhere.

7. Peg Perego Booklet

Peg Perego Booklet Travel System

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without base) 10 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-35 lbs
Stroller Weight 19.6 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 50 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 29.6 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) 38.5″L x 21.5″W x 40.8″H
Stroller Size (folded) /
Car Seat Size 28.5″L x 17.25″W x 26.5″H

The travel system features Primo Viaggio 4/35 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • This stroller is super-easy to maneuver, and the suspension and ball bearings allow for 360 degree agility. Though this isn’t technically a jogging stroller, both front wheels swivel and lock.
  • The stroller is compact when folded, enough to fit through an airport x-ray machine, so it’s great for travelling and carry-on.
  • The handle is height-adjustable, and there’s a hook under the hood for a favorite toy.
  • They also love the roomy basket, which pulls down farther to fit larger items.
  • The large canopy with extendable panel and peek-a-boo window has UPF 50+ sun protection and closes completely over baby when using the car seat canopy as well.
  • There’s even a flap on the stroller seat back that you can lift to provide a mesh ventilation system to keep your child cooler in hot weather.

Disadvantages

  • This is an expensive travel system.
  • With no parent tray and the child tray as a separately sold item, it’s rather lacking for the price.
  • Hard plastic tires, stiff suspension and little seat padding mean this travel system isn’t as comfortable a ride as some of the competition.
  • The stroller isn’t intended for children over 3.

Conclusion

  • Overall, for parents who can afford it, this is a high quality travel system. However, that’s about it. There’s not much to hate about it, but there’s not much to get excited over either. We recommend watching for it to go on sale.

8. Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect

Graco FastAction Fold Jogger​ Click Connect

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without base) 7.5 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 4-35 lbs
Stroller Weight 30 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 50 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 37.5 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) /
Stroller Size (folded) 39″L x 23.6″W x 15.3″H
Car Seat Size 30.7″L x 18.7″W x 15.6″H

The travel system features Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • Safety and security are the biggest advantages of this model.
  • This travel system stroller has reflectors on wheels and child tray to keep you and your little rider more visible in low light.
  • Air-filled rubber tires and the 5-point safety harness ensure that you can run while keeping your baby still without making them feel constrained or uncomfortable.
  • The pivoting child tray with 2 cup holders and storage for snacks or toys lets your toddler get in and out on their own.
  • There’s a parent tray that parents love as well, with two cup holders for water bottles and a cell phone cradle.
  • The under-seat storage basket is big enough to toss in a few extra water bottles, some diapers, and other essentials to lengthen your run.

Disadvantages

  • The stroller was too heavy and took up too much room in cars.
  • The stroller may not stand well on its own, either.
  • Handlebar is non-adjustable and may be less convenient for parents shorter than 5’6”.
  • The wheels are easily punctured with thorny plants or sharp rocks.
  • Stroller seat is not removable, so the infant car seat attaches onto it, making the stroller more heavy.
  • Phone Ccradle is too small for smart phones like iPhone.

Conclusion

  • While not without some issues, this system is a good value for tight budgets. It’s surprisingly heavy and big, so be sure to measure your trunk space before purchasing.

9. Baby Trend Expedition Jogger

Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System

Additional Specs

Car Seat Weight (without base) 9.5 lbs 
Car Seat Age Range 5-30 lbs
Stroller Weight 26 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 50 lbs
Car Seat & Stroller Weight 35.5 lbs
Stroller Size (unfolded) 44″L x 22″W x 46″H
Stroller Size (folded) /
Car Seat Size 26″L x 16.5″W x 25″H

The travel system features Baby Trend Flex Loc 5-30 infant car seat.

Advantages

  • This budget-friendly system maneuvers easily on many surfaces with its 16” rear and 12” front all-terrain bicycle tires. This jogger has swiveling lockable front wheel for better maneuverability and stability.
  • It’s easy to assemble. It’s easy to fold up with two hooks on each side.
  • The stroller has reflectors on the footrest, providing added visibility for parents and kids walking at night.
  • Its canopy is adjustable with large basket underneath the seat.
  • The child tray swivels out so your toddler can climb in and out easily.
  • The parent tray has a covered compartment to keep your keys/phone, etc from flying out or getting wet.

Disadvantages

  • Cheaper price means the stroller materials won’t be as long-lasting as other stroller systems and may only last through one child.
  • Wheels may begin to lose air and become loose after some time. So you need to remember about inflating tires once in a while.
  • Some parents had trouble getting the seat off the base and off the stroller.
  • The fabric isn’t very soft and smooth as with other strollers, so it might not be comfortable or breathable for long trips.
  • The covered compartment in the parent tray might be too small for some phones such as the iPhone 6Plus and up.
  • Also, there have been quality control issues with some parts breaking or getting stuck on the stroller after less than a year’s use.

Conclusion

  • For the price, this is a good system, but don’t expect it to last through more than one child. The stroller is sturdy for those who are only going to use it for walking and travelling. For running, it may wear out faster. Always inspect every part as soon as you get it and contact the seller or manufacturer immediately if something breaks. The warranty on this system is also about 180 days, so you may have issues getting replacement parts past that time frame.

10. Baby Jogger 2016 City Mini GT Double Stroller

Baby Jogger 2016 City Mini GT Double Stroller

Additional Specs

Stroller Weight 23.5 lbs
Stroller Age Range up to 100 lbs (50lbs/seat)
Stroller Size (unfolded) /
Stroller Size (folded) 30″L x 30″W x 11″H
Compatible Car Seats • Baby Jogger City GO
• Cybex Aton & Aton Q
• Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30, 35, 35 LX, & 40
• Maxi Cosi Mico AP & Mico Max 30

Advantages

  • The pull-to-fold strap makes folding and picking up a lot simpler, even though it’s not a super light stroller.
  • Parents appreciated the Forever Air tires that don’t need inflating, which is great if you’re on vacation and have no access to a tire pump.
  • It’s narrower than some double strollers when unfolded (29”), so a bit easier to turn and maneuver through tighter spots.
  • This version has updated the harnesses from the earlier 2013 models so it’s quicker and easier to snap together.
  • Children who are high on the growth charts fit this model better than others.
  • The handlebar adjusts for parents of different heights.

Disadvantages

  • Note: Unlike the brand name might suggest, this is NOT a jogging stroller.
  • Some parents had difficulty getting some of the car seats to attach, especially the Graco models.
  • The basket is pretty small with a bar in the middle that makes it hard to store a normal size diaper bag.
  • The suspension is lacking, so rough terrain will make for a bumpy ride.
  • Parents were also unhappy that the stroller isn’t compatible with more brands such as Chicco and Britax.
  • Some parents noted that the seats didn’t have enough recline when sitting fully upright, and that their children tended to slide down.
  • There also seems to be a tendency for tipping over if a child stands or climbs into the seat with their knees.

Conclusion

  • Despite the price and somewhat misleading name, this is a good double stroller that many parents are satisfied with. If you already have some of the compatible seats, it would be a good investment.

 


 

Others Needed To Know About

What do I look for in a travel system?

Purchasing a travel system means that you will also be purchasing an infant car seat. Unless you have another dedicated seat for the car, the car seat part of your travel system is the most important part to consider. Your child will most likely spend more time in the car than the stroller, so look for a travel system with a car seat that has a higher weight limit (35 + pounds). The seat should be highly rated and really easy to install in the car.Push-on LATCH connectors are a real lifesaver. So are no-rethread harnesses. Car seats with a good canopy and breathable fabric will keep your baby comfortable when you attach them to the stroller.

In just a few short months, your baby will be sitting up on her own and ready to ride in her stroller without the car seat. Since the usual stroller should last until your child is 50 or more pounds, you’ll want one with good suspension and easy maneuverability. A sleeping 3-year-old can often feel like they weigh a ton, so you want something you can push around easily without breaking your back and waking her up. The stroller should also be easy for your toddler to climb in and out of without having to be picked up.

Snack trays and parent trays with decently sized cup holders are a real lifesaver for long outings. You don’t want to be stuck in the zoo on a hot summer day with no good place to store water for both of you. Having it right at hand will be very convenient. Of course, there’s always the chance she’ll play the “drop the sippy” game, but that’s where a second parent cup holder and extra storage baskets on the stroller can save the day.

Besides your budget, one of the most important aspects of knowing which travel system to buy is your lifestyle. Do you rarely leave the house? Do you live in a city or in a suburb or way out in the country? Do you enjoy hiking or jogging or just simple strolls around the neighborhood? Do you fly or use public transit or ride shares a lot? Do you have twins? Look for a system that fits your lifestyle, whatever that may be.

Other factors to consider:

  1. Safety
  2. Comfort
  3. Ease of car seat installation
  4. Maneuverability
  5. Compactness
  6. Weight
  7. Tires
  8. Storage space
  9. Breathability.
  10. Easy stroller folding/unfolding
  11. Stroller recline

What do these weights mean?

The weight of the stroller determines, in large part, how easy it’ll be for the wind to tip it over – and how easy it’ll be for you to stash it in the trunk of your car or walk up a short (or long) flight of stairs with it.

It’s important to understand that “umbrella” strollers usually weigh about 12 lbs (5.5 kg), and heavy duty strollers can weigh 30 lbs (13.6 kg) or more. Most strollers are somewhere in the middle.
Before you buy a travel system, you’ll want to check the weight of the stroller and how heavy the stroller and car seat are when used together.

Will buying a travel system save a lot of money?

When you are doing research to find the perfect car seat-stroller combo, of course the most important thing is safety. You’ll want to pay particular attention to the car seat portion of the combo, as your baby will spend more time in the car than the stroller. Car accidents are still a leading cause of injury and fatalities in young children, so it’s vital to ensure they’re in a good safety seat.
But money is still an important factor for most families. If you buy your car seat along with a stroller in a travel system, it can save you some money. For instance, a Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 car seat is about $300 alone. The Peg Perego Booklet stroller is about $350. Buying them together in the Peg Perego Booklet Travel System is about $600, so you’re saving at least $50. That might not seem like much, but every dollar saved can really help when you need to buy essentials like diapers, baby food, etc.

When shopping, these 4 tips will help you make the most of your money:

  • Price. How much do you want to pay? A car seat stroller combo is going to cost you more than buying one of those items individually, but that might not always be the case. Compare the price of each item individually to the price of the combo to see which will save you money.
  • Type of seat. There are two types of seats for infants: convertible seats and rear-facing seats. Convertible seats can often last through the time your child no longer needs a safety seat, which can save you money. But they don’t work as infant carriers and therefore will not attach to a stroller. Think about getting a convertible to stay in the car and a separate travel system so you’ll have an infant seat for the stroller. Then you’ll also have an extra seat for grandma, babysitters, etc.
  • Ease of use. Read reviews to see which car seats are easiest to use. This, in our opinion, is the most important factor for safety. A car seat that is difficult to install or use increases the chance of a malfunction. Look for a travel system that includes that seat. The stroller should ideally be easy to unfold/fold, easy to push, and easy to attach/unattach a car seat.
  • Custom combos. Sometimes a custom combo is the way to go, especially if you already have a car seat you love but need a stroller to go with it. Many brands like Graco and Britax have strollers that are compatible with several of their seats. Or you can often purchase a car seat adapter so your car seat will fit on a wide variety of strollers. Example: the Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight Jogging Stroller can be used with a LOT of different car seats if you buy a specific car seat adapter.

Can I reuse the stroller portion?

In general, you can reuse the stroller portion of your travel system. While most people don’t suggest that you reuse the car seat portion because the quality of it degrades over time, there is generally less wear and tear on a stroller.

Most of the support, comfort, and safety features are actually included in the car seat itself. The stroller is just more of a base, but ALWAYS check all parts, wheels, etc. regularly to make sure none of them need replacing. For parents who are truly on a budget, they will just buy a system from a brand name that they trust and then keep buying compatible car seats as each child comes along.

Bigger name car seats and stroller combos are more likely to have several compatible seats and available replacement parts. But don’t overlook smaller brands, as they may also have better customer service.

To inspect the stroller, look for any wear and tear first on these parts:

  • Wheels
  • Joints
  • Axles
  • Harnesses
  • Seat fabric
  • Handles

Note that just like other pieces of equipment, the stroller does have an expiration date. Try to replace strollers a few months before they expire in order to give yourself time to search.
Types of infant safety seats and strollers

The Type of Car Seats and Strollers?

When choosing your baby travel system, you should look for the type of auto seat that you want first. Some will work with strollers. Others won’t.

Types of car seats

  • Infant Car Seat: These are for newborns up to at least 2 years. They have a harness and seat that cradles your child, protecting the spinal cord and neck. You must use this seat in a rear facing mode. **Note: Most infant seats can be used with strollers.
  • Convertible Seat: These seats can be used from birth as a rear-facing seat, then converts to a forward facing seat when they’ve outgrown rear-facing. Some even convert to boosters and last until your child is too large for any safety seat. This is usually a costlier investment, but can save money down the road. **Note: They cannot be used with strollers.
  • Booster Seat: These position your child so that he or she can use the lap belt and shoulder belt more effectively. **Note: They cannot be used with strollers.
  • All-In-One Car Seats: All-In-One Car Seats provide great value by following a kid from birth to booster. This type of baby car seat is a tempting money-saver, but our tests have shown that by trying to do too much they don’t do any single task pretty well. It accommodates children from 5 to 45 lbs. sitting rear-facing; kids from 20 to 65 lbs., forward-facing in a harness; and kids from 30 to 120 lbs., in booster mode. All-in-one car seats are usually large and heavy, lack the convenience of a detachable carrier, and may not fit to smaller babies (or smaller vehicles) well. They could be a good backup seat or for a caregiver who transport a child less often. **Note: They cannot be used with strollers.
  • Toddler Booster: Toddler Booster can only be used for toddlers who are at the appropriate weight, age, and height limits to sit facing forward. This type of baby car seat is designed to be forward-facing only having a harness (for use up to a certain height/weight), and able to transit to a booster (removing the harness). It is designed for children weighing between 20 lbs. and 90 harnessed, and 30 lbs. to 120 in booster mode. In comparison to convertible seats, they are less expensive option (if your child meets the forward-facing age and weight requirement), and offer a safe option for an older child not yet ready for a booster or a transition seat. **Note: They cannot be used with strollers.

Types of strollers:

Now, once you’ve chosen the type of seat that you want, you have to choose the type of stroller you want. The most popular ones include:

  • Travel systems: Travel systems combine the car seat and stroller for a smoother ride but a shorter lifetime as your child outgrows it.
  • Prams: This is a trendy style today that was the only style years ago. It has oversized wheels and a larger, covered bed for your baby. This is only meant to be used for newborns.
  • Seat carriers: Probably the easiest of all strollers, this is a metal or plastic frame that holds the baby car seat. There are many models available under this category.
  • Jogger strollers: For parents who love to work out, this one allows you to run without jostling your child.

How to Avoid making mistakes ?

Six years ago I was all gung-ho to choose a travel system, and I even made sure it was handled stairs easily and folded in, not out. What I forgot to check was if I could carry it easily, and how easy it would be to maneuver the stroller with a 20-pound child in it instead of a nine-pounder. The answer? Not easy.

To avoid mistakes like mine when choosing your travel system, make a list of what you want.
Do you do a lot of walking? Do you need your stroller to fit in the trunk of your car? Are you tall, or does your stroller need to fit behind a pushed-back driver’s seat? Maybe it needs to fit through your building’s elevator doors, and maybe you need something you can easily toss in the machine.
Regardless, be sure you can easily steer and maneuver your stroller, both with and without a car seat attached. Also make sure the stroller isn’t too heavy for you to lift on your own. If it is, taking it in and out of your trunk, or up and down stairs, will be….purgatory.

To sum up, think about your lifestyle, and make a list of your needs. Then, find the travel system – baby safety seat and strollers combos which will meet those needs.

 

Other related articles:

4 Different Types of Baby Strollers

12 Important Things For Buying a Stroller

 

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