Britax vs Graco

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If you enjoy getting out and about with your kiddo by car and on public transport, you really want to consider buying a stroller that can convert into a travel system.

In this buyer’s guide, we take a look at two popular manufacturers of travel system strollers, Britax, and Graco. We’ll compare and contrast the Britax travel system with two best-selling models from the Graco range so that you can see which would best suit your needs.

First of all, let’s talk about travel systems, in general, to find out why this kind of stroller is such a favorite among parents everywhere.

What’s so good about travel systems?

One great thing about travel systems is that you can use your expensive new stroller from birth right through to toddlerhood. That means you only ever need to buy one stroller, which will save you a lot of cash in the long-term.

Also, one stroller and an infant car seat will take up much less space in your home than two strollers!

When you bring your newborn home, you’ll place them in the infant car seat carrier. That means you won’t need to disturb a sleeping baby when transferring him from the stroller to the car. You simply take the car seat off the stroller and click it into place in the car and vice versa.

Now, you can buy a regular umbrella stroller or a jogger, but that means you’ll need to purchase an infant car seat separately. And that will cost you much more than choosing a complete travel system!

But there are a few drawbacks…

The main drawback to a travel system stroller is that they tend to have fewer features than a regular stroller.

Also, when choosing a travel system, it’s worth checking that you can fold the stroller with the seat attached. Buying the stroller and then finding out that you have to disassemble it to get it into your car trunk can be a real pain.

Now, let’s take a look at the travel system offerings from Britax and Graco.

Britax B-Lively Travel System

Britax B-Lively Travel System with B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat, Ashton [Amazon Exclusive] | One Hand Fold, XL Storage, Ventilated Canopy, Easy to Maneuver
  • The Britax travel system is a stroller and car seat combo including the B Lively stroller, B Safe 35 infant car seat base and adapters
  • SURROUNDED IN SAFETY: 1 layer of side impact protection, steel frame and SafeCell impact absorbing base
  • CONVENIENT FEATURES: Lightweight stroller with one hand quick fold, XL storage basket, ventilated UV50+ canopy, and no rethread infant car seat harness

The Britax B-Lively travel system sits in the medium price bracket.

This travel system is a combination of the manufacturer’s B-Lively stroller and their B-Safe 35 infant car seat. The main benefits of the new version of this stroller are an upgraded canopy, a bigger storage basket, and added footwell for your passenger.

What we like:

  • Very easy to maneuver, one-handed steering
  • Easy to navigate through narrow spaces and around tight corners
  • Quick and easy to fold
  • Lightweight yet solid construction
  • Easy and quick to move the car seat from stroller to car
  • Extremely good value for money
Britax B-Lively Travel System with B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat, Ashton [Amazon Exclusive] | One Hand Fold, XL Storage, Ventilated Canopy, Easy to Maneuver

Room for improvement:

  • Non-adjustable handlebar

Maneuverability and handling

The B-Lively is lightweight, and the stroller handles and maneuvers very well. Thanks to three-wheel configuration and a swivel front wheel, the stroller is incredibly easy to steer and handle, even in tight spaces. You can even steer the B-Lively using just one hand, which is great news if you have a toddler in tow.

Fold

The B-Lively is extremely easy to fold and can be achieved one-handed. Once folded, the stroller becomes a neat package that will fit comfortably into the majority of car trunks. Thanks to the stroller’s aluminum frame, it’s really lightweight and easy to lift and carry.

Storage

The B-Lively has a huge storage basket that will carry a diaper bag, your baby essentials, and a little bit of grocery shopping. Britax has also provided you with a few additional pockets to take smaller items, such as your phone, keys, and wallet.

Britax B-Lively Travel System with B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat, Ashton [Amazon Exclusive] | One Hand Fold, XL Storage, Ventilated Canopy, Easy to Maneuver

Seat

The B-Lively has a reclining seat that has a nearly flat position. While that’s perfect for an older child to take a nap as you stroll, you will need to use the infant car seat for a newborn or a very young baby who can’t hold their head up independently.

The seat is well-ventilated thanks to a mesh insert in the back, which is perfect for hot summer days.

Canopy

The stroller has a large canopy that’s made from SPF 50+ fabric to keep your child protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Handlebar

The B-Lively has a standard height handlebar that’s not adjustable. While that’s fine for most parents of average height, if you’re particularly tall or short, you could find pushing the stroller uncomfortable.

Car seat

If you intend to use the B-Lively as a travel system, you’ll need to know about the car seat.

The B-Safe 35 infant car seat provides the ultimate safety for your child when he’s riding in the car. Car seats are what Britax is most famous for, and the B-Safe 35 is extremely well-designed and constructed to protect your child in the event of a collision.

Britax B-Lively Travel System with B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat, Ashton [Amazon Exclusive] | One Hand Fold, XL Storage, Ventilated Canopy, Easy to Maneuver

The car seat is built in the shape of a shell. The seat is deep with curved sides that help to keep your baby in a stable position with minimal side-to-side movement. Also, there’s additional head support for a newborn, and it can be removed as the infant grows and becomes more independent.

And that’s not all! When it comes to moving your child from the stroller to the car, the system is extremely simple, and everything easily clicks into place. The travel system is available in three colors, which are priced individually.

The B-Lively travel system can also be purchased with the B-Safe Ultra infant car seat. The primary difference between the two-car seat models is that the Ultra has an additional layer of side impact protection. It’s also a little more expensive than the B-Safe 35.

To see a video of the Britax B-Lively travel system, click this link.

Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System

Graco’s travel system is one of the best-selling travel systems on the market. The stroller comes with the Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, which has a capacity of four to 35 pounds and will carry a baby up to 32 inches long.

Transferring your child from the car to the stroller is simple and quick via a seamless click and connect system. Also, you don’t need any adapters with the system. However, you should keep in mind that the seat is not removable, meaning that you attach the car seat directly to it, and that makes the stroller quite heavy in comparison to the Britax system.

What we like:

  • Easy to use with the infant car seat that attaches securely to the stroller
  • Car seat boasts impressive safety test results
  • The stroller can be used on uneven terrain
  • Can be used for jogging
  • Easy to push and very maneuverable, even with a heavy toddler onboard
  • Straightforward, one-handed fold
  • Comes with parent and child trays
  • Very good quality and reasonably priced
Graco FastAction Fold 2.0 Travel System GILT

Room for improvement:

  • Not very compact when folded
  • Heavy and awkward to lift and carry
  • Non-adjustable handlebar that won’t suit parents shorter than 5’6”
  • Canopy could be more generous
  • Storage for smaller items is limited

Maneuverability and handling

The Graco FastAction Fold Jogger is a three-wheeler, making it a very agile and maneuverable, although it feels extremely sturdy too.

The stroller has big, air-filled tires that give your child a super-smooth ride over any terrain, including snow, grass, and dirt roads. You can also use the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger for light jogging, unlike the Britax B-Lively, which is only suitable for moving across flat ground at walking pace.

However, compared to the Britax B-Lively, the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger is somewhat heavier. Also, when you have the infant car seat attached, you can only walk, not run.

A nice touch is the reflectors on the stroller’s wheels, making you and your passenger more visible when you’re out and about in poor light conditions.

Canopy

The Graco FastAction Fold Jogger’s canopy is smaller than that on the Britax B-Lively, although it does provide adequate shade for your passenger, and the side mesh windows allow lots of extra ventilation on hot days.

Handlebar

One disappointing feature of the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger is that it doesn’t have an adjustable handlebar. Also, users report that the handlebar height is really only suitable for someone of 5’6” or taller. If you’re shorter than that, you could find that pushing the stroller is not very comfortable.

As this is a jogging stroller, there’s a wrist tether attached to the handlebar, which can prevent the stroller from getting away from you when you’re running downhill.

Fold and portability

The Graco FastAction Fold Jogger’s fold is straightforward and can be done with one hand. However, the stroller weighs 30 pounds, minus the car seat, and lifting it in and out of your car trunk or lugging it up and down flights of stairs could be a challenge.

Also, when folded, the stroller is still quite bulky, and if you have a small car, it might not fit into the trunk unless you remove the wheels first. The extra weight is a trade-off for the all-terrain functionality of the stroller and its sturdy, solid construction.

Storage and accessories

The Graco FastAction Fold Jogger has a roomy underseat storage basket that will comfortably take a medium-sized diaper bag.

You also get a parent tray and a child tray included with the stroller, which is perfect for carrying your water bottle and a drink and snacks for your passenger.

Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat

The Graco FastAction Fold Jogger comes with the Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat.

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 Infant Car Seat | Baby Car Seat, Tasha

The car seat is super-light, weighing just 7.5 pounds, making it very easy to lift and move around. To fit the car seat into your vehicle, you simply slide it into the base and click! There’s an easily adjustable, five-point safety harness to keep your passenger securely in the seat.

The seat is cushioned and plushy, giving your baby a comfy ride and encouraging your little one to sleep once settled in the car or stroller. Like the Britax B-Lively, the seat has a newborn insert, making it suitable for use with preemies as well as for very young babies. The insert provides extra support for the baby’s head and neck, and it can be removed to allow for growth and for washing.

The Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat has six recline positions, as well as a pendulum level to help you ensure that the car seat is correctly fitted in your car. The car seat meets or exceeds every safety standard requirement for child car seats, so you know that your child is well-protected when traveling with you in your car.

To see a video of the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger, check out this link.

Graco Trax Jogger Travel System 2019

The Graco Trax Jogger Travel System 2019 includes the Graco Trax stroller and the incredibly lightweight The Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 30 Infant Car Seat. This combo is perfect for you if you’re looking for an affordable travel system that can be used off-road, as well as for trips to the city or mall.

What we like:

  • Travel system includes one of the lightest infant car seats on the market
  • Car seat clicks in and out of the stroller and base and doesn’t need adapters
  • All-terrain wheels make the stroller suitable for light jogging and off-road strolls
  • Easy one-handed turning and steering
  • Height adjustable handlebar

Room for improvement:

  • Not suitable for jogging or running at a higher pace
  • Small canopy
  • Not very compact when folded

Car seat

You get the car seat base included with this travel system, but it isn’t required for installation in your car. Also, you can install the car seat with a seatbelt only, making this the perfect choice for parents who want a car seat they can use in multiple cars, or travel with, for example, in taxis.

The seat is made from energy-absorbing foam, which gives your child extra protection in the event of an accident. You can remove the seat cushion, and it’s also machine washable, which is handy if your baby is sick in the car.

Maneuverability and handling

The Trax is an all-terrain stroller that’s equipped with large pneumatic tires, ensuring a super-smooth ride and easy push. Like most all-terrain strollers, the Trax is a three-wheeler, making the stroller easy to turn and maneuver, even one-handed.

The front swivel wheel is also lockable for times when you’re strolling over rough ground or jogging.

However, the stroller doesn’t have a suspension system, making it unsuitable for serious runners.

Seat

The main stroller seat can be used when your child can hold their head up independently, and it can carry a passenger weighing up to 50 pounds. The Trax has a multi-position recline, making it ideal for napping. However, the seat doesn’t recline to a completely flat position, so you will have to use the car seat for a newborn.

The seat has a mesh top that gives extra ventilation on hot days. There’s also a child tray included that will hold a sippy cup and snacks, and you get a parent cup holder too.

Canopy

The Trax canopy is not the most generous, although it does have a peek-a-boo window, which enables you to keep an eye on your child.

Fold

The Trax has an easy-to-use one-handed fold. However, once folded, the stroller is rather bulky and may not fit into smaller car trunks.

Handlebar

Unlike the Britax B-Lively and the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger, the handlebar on the Trax is height adjustable, which is a major consideration for parents who are taller or shorter than average in height.

To watch a video of the Graco Trax Jogger Travel System 2019, click on this link.

Final thoughts

Britax and Graco are both manufacturers with good, well-deserved reputations for producing high-quality strollers at the mid-price point.

If you want a versatile stroller that you can use for light jogging and strolling off-road along hiking trails, as well as for shopping trips to the city, we would recommend the Graco strollers that we’ve reviewed in this article.

However, if you live in an urban environment, and you want a well-made stroller that’s primarily to be used for shopping trips and running errands, the Britax B-Lively might be the better choice.

All the strollers we’ve featured in this guide are superb-quality travel systems that are approved by all the major safety regulators. So, whichever stroller you go for, you can be confident that your precious passenger will ride in comfort and safety from birth right through to his toddler years.