Travel system strollers are standard single strollers that come with an infant car seat. The infant car seat can be attached to the stroller, which is the perfect solution for moving a sleeping baby from your car to the stroller and back home again. This has become a helpful blessing for moms and dads everywhere who sing the praises of stroller travel systems.
The infant car seat and stroller are made to complement each other and they are great for parents, especially moms who prefer their baby gear to match. Travel system strollers are also perfect for parents who want peace of mind because their infant car seat is guaranteed to work with their stroller.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Current Best Selling Travel System Strollers
- 0.2 Important Features
- 0.3 Trending: Convertible Seat Strollers
- 0.4 Other Travel System Options
- 0.5 Car Seat Frame Strollers
- 0.6 Best Lightweight Travel System Strollers
- 0.6.1 babyzen Yoyo+
- 0.6.2 Britax B-Agile
- 0.6.3 Chico Viaro
- 0.6.4 Cybex Agis M-Aire 3
- 0.6.5 Graco Verb Click Connect
- 0.6.6 Best Full Size Travel System Stroller
- 0.6.7 Chicco Bravo
- 0.6.8 Top Reasons to Buy
- 0.7 Graco FastAction Fold Jogger
- 0.8 What is a car seat frame stroller ?
- 0.9 Why should I want to get one?
- 0.10 Best Car Seat Frame Strollers for 2018
- 0.11 What are the benefits of buying a travel system?
- 0.12 Choosing a travel system: Questions to ask
- 1 Some helpful tips when choosing a travel system
- 1.1 Keeping your child safe in a travel system
- 1.2 Travel system: Brands of note
- 1.3 The final word
Current Best Selling Travel System Strollers
- The Chicco Bravo Trio System Includes Bravo Stroller, Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base ; Front Wheel Diameter: 7" , Rear Wheel Diameter: 9"
- Stroller features removable seat for easy transformation into a stylish frame carrier for the Key Fit.A gorgeously woven jacquard in a delightful polka dot pattern is paired with warm grey...
- Stroller features one-hand fold, auto-positioning wheels?and a self-standing compact folded position
- FLEXIBLE INFANT TRAVEL SYSTEM: The Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System is a car seat and stroller combo featuring the Sarema Infant Car Seat and Safe Zone Base, infused with parent- and...
- VERSATILE & LIGHTWEIGHT: The Evenflo 3-piece stroller set features a modular frame with 6 modes. The reversible mode permits your baby to face in or out, while the seat converts to carriage,...
- EASY INFANT CAR SEAT TRANSFER: This car seat and stroller combo has been designed with a stay-in-car base that allows for a quick and safe infant car seat connection from stroller to car and...
- DURABLE INFANT TRAVEL SYSTEM: The Evenflo Sibby Travel System is the perfect stroller for your growing family. It includes a stroller, car seat, and ride-along board that work seamlessly and...
- This stroller, baby carrier, and ride-along board are made of high-quality materials and assembled to precision-manufacturing standards. This helps the system maintain safety and durability.
- EASY TO FOLD & STORE: The lift-to-fold design of our Evenflo car seat and travel system is easy to use, and the compact size lets it ﬁt into small vehicles even with the attached board....
- Travel system with SnugRide Click Connect 30 Infant Car Seat
- Stroller with one-second, one-hand fold
- Multi-position reclining seat for baby's comfort
- Includes the Graco Snug Ride Snug Lock 35 Infant Car Seat, rear facing for infants from 4-35 lbs. and up to 32"
- 3 strollers in 1 with 10 riding options from infant to toddler: 1. Infant Car Seat Carrier 2. Infant Stroller 3. Toddler Stroller
- Infant car seat: Seat attaches directly to the stroller frame for lightweight portability and can face you or the world for added flexibility
Most baby strollers have adapters that allow any brand of infant car seat to be affixed onto them, but travel system strollers are guaranteed to have car seats that match the strollers perfectly.
The ability to attach the infant car seat onto the stroller is a huge benefit for infants until they are older than 6 months. This is because your baby’s development at this stage means inadequate muscle control in the neck to hold up the head. Baby’s entire body, actually, needs snug support for that matter. Therefore, it is important for parents to use an infant car seat because they are made snug enough for babies to give them good neck support while keeping them safe at the same time. In addition, the car seat sits inside the stroller rear facing toward the parent, giving comfort and security – not to mention bonding – with your child.
When shopping for baby travel systems, parents should evaluate the infant car seat and stroller separately. Consider the features for both car seat and stroller, and make sure that both car seat and stroller have important safety features, such as 5-point safety harness, and brakes. If you come across a set and love it, but you are not too crazy about its complementing car seat or vice versa, opt for the travel system stroller that comes with a better infant car seat.
Trending: Convertible Seat Strollers
Here’s an alternative to the traditional travel system. If you prefer a more modern look and want the option to add a bassinet or car seat right on the chassis AND have a reversing toddler seat, then you must look at Convertible Strollers. They’re generally pricier, however, the selection for all budgets is growing. Convertible strollers are far more flexible with their seating options and are highly stylish.
Other Travel System Options
Most strollers today accommodate car seats– even some umbrella strollers! And while some take only certain brands of car seats, some will take most major brand car seats. You’ll have to check it out, and my reviews will tell you which ones, in most cases. It’s like a matching game, but it’s fun.
You may have to buy the car seat separately as well as the adapter, but you will get exactly what you want. So explore a bit, and feel confident that you will find something that fits your style AND budget!
Car Seat Frame Strollers
Another option to consider is using a car seat frame stroller, the third choice below. Many parents cannot decide on a stroller, or maybe the one they want is only good for babies six months and older. You still want something compact, convenient and lightweight and a stroller frame works perfectly. Once baby outgrows the car seat, you’ll have a better idea on the kind of stroller to purchase, based on your new lifestyle with a little one in tow.
Not that long ago, if you wanted a lightweight stroller or an umbrella stroller, you simply had to wait until your baby was at least six months old or later to be able to use it. Smaller strollers simply did not have the structure, strength or balance to safely accommodate a car seat.
However, today there are more and more lightweight options that safely hold a car seat. The lightweight travel system strollers highlighted here vary in weight, price, functionality, and design. Whether you intend to do errands, extensive travel or live in a small urban setting, one of these products will likely fit the bill.
Best Lightweight Travel System Strollers
- A newly reinforced frame that allows for a higher weight limit of up to 40 pounds
- New suspension that smoothes out the ride even further
- Better storage for all of your baby/kid needs on the go, including a new basket that's 60% bigger than the previous model, and a new storage pouch in the rear of the canopy
BabyZen Yoyo+ is a popular travel stroller in that it folds up small enough for airplane overhead bins and weighs a scant 13 pounds. But don’t let the small size fool you – this stroller is comfy for your child with a reclining seat, adjustable leg rest and a suspension system called “soft drive” that smooths out bumpy terrain.
Turn this adorable stroller into a handy travel system with a Cybex infant car seat or with the stylish carrycot that you’ll see in my review.
The Yoyo+ has a padded 5-point safety harness with a sturdy buckle. The canopy has a flip-out visor and offers full coverage.
For parents, you will love the ample storage in the basket beneath the seat, accessible from the front or rear. You can fit a large diaper bag in there. There’s also a zippered pocket for your smaller items at the back of the canopy.
The innovative, compact fold is easy to do with two steps and has its own carry strap and travel bag. A rain shield is also included with purchase.
Reviews so far have been strongly positive, averaging high reviews praising the compact convenience and smooth steering. Discover more about the Babyzen Yoyo Plus with lots of photos – especially in folded/travel mode – video demos and reviewer’s comments in the in-depth review.
Top Reasons to Buy
|Airline-ready compact fold with travel bag.|
|Super smooth steering and suspension.|
|Large amount of storage for such a small stroller.|
- Check out our all new B-Lively & B-Safe 35 Travel System! (B07FF1QWS8)
- Travel System includes B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat and base, B-Agile Stroller, and car seat adapters
- Surrounded in safety: Car seat has a layer of side impact protection, steel frame, and impact absorbing base
Here is a lightweight stroller that is giving the Baby Jogger City Mini a serious challenge. The Britax B-Agile3 with the B-Safe 35 car seat is the #1 selling travel system on Amazon! Weighing in at 16½ pounds, this stroller is sturdy and durable as well as attractive. What else makes the B-Agile take a place in the winner’s circle? It has a huge sun canopy, a really nice, roomy seat and a compact easy fold that automatically locks.
What do parents like about the B-Agile? Moms say they love the maneuverability and that it can go over rather rough terrain, though it is not an all-terrain stroller. Parents also write in to say how much they appreciate the easy fold and the one-handed seat recline. You can also buy lots of accessories!
Reviews have been phenomenal; we’re talking top ratings as well as rave reviews from various mommy and baby blogs. This lightweight travel system stroller comes with the Britax B-Safe 35 infant car seat, a Consumer Reports recommended product with a “Best” rated for crash protection.
Top Reasons to Buy
- Highly-rated Britax B-Safe 35 car seat for safety
- Easy steering and one-handed fold
- Light weight convenience
- Convenient one-hand quick fold. Assembled Dimensions- 38 x 25.5 x 41.25 inches. Folded Dimensions- 13.5 x 25.5 x 33.25 inches. Product Weight- 18 pounds
- Ultra-light weight aluminum frame
- 3 wheel design allows for nimble steering and a sporty stance
If you’ve ever wanted a lightweight travel system stroller for your newborn, then look no further than the Chicco Viaro. Released last spring (2016), the Viaro is a light weight three-wheeler weighing just 18 pounds, making it an instant favorite for on-the-go parents.
The stroller comes with a Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat, a Recommended Buy with Consumer Reports, rated Best Crash Protection, and at the time of writing, this lightweight travel system stroller is an Amazon Choice.
The Viaro has a full-size seat with a weight capacity of 50 pounds and a 5-point safety harness that grows with your child. You’ll appreciate the child’s snack tray and parent console, both with two cup holders. The three-wheel design gives parents agile maneuverability in tight spaces. Plenty of storage space beneath the seat has enough room to carry all your baby essentials.
So far the Chicco Viaro has been getting the best ratings possible from happy moms who recommend it for the lightweight, compact convenience. Many reviews mention liking the one-handed standing fold and the canopy coverage used in conjunction with the car seat. The canopy on the stroller covers the car seat hood for full coverage.
This little demo video shows you how the Viaro looks and works:
Top Reasons to Buy
- Keyfit car seat sits clicks right in, no adapters
- Great maneuvering and light weight
- Plenty of storage space
Cybex Agis M-Aire 3
- 3-in-1 travel system: Can be transformed in to a travel system with one of CYBEX infant car seats or used as a pram with the Carry Cot
- Quick one-hand fold: Can easily be folded into a compact package with one hand
- Stand-alone function: Free-standing when folded and can be stowed away compactly
Lightweight three-wheelers are extremely popular for good reason: they are very easy to steer and maneuver in tight places, and often you can do it one-handed!
Engineered and designed in Germany, the compact Cybex Agis M-Aire 3 has clean and simple lines, yet has all the functionality you need to take your child from birth through toddlerhood.
This stroller itself weighs only 16 pounds, yet holds your child up to 50 pounds. Features like a near-flat one-handed reclining seat with a 5-point no-thread safety harness keep your child snugly in place and comfy for snoozing or adventures. The generous UVP50+ sun canopy provides full sun and weather protection and I like the zip-away mesh panel to allow for air flow and to peek at your passenger.
You’re going to appreciate the one-handed fold that self-stands for your convenience. Taller parents are more comfortable with the height-adjustable handle bar. A large storage basket holds your essentials and the never-flat, foam-filled rubber wheels gives your child a smooth ride.
This travel system comes with the Cybex Aton 2 car seat and it accommodates babies between 4 and 35 pounds and up to 32 inches long. Height-adjustable Load Leg and a fold-out Linear Side Impact Protection (LSP) system for maximum side-impact protection, as well as an EPS foam, lined shell. By itself, the car seat has fairly high reviews and Consumer Reports rates the Aton 2 at an overall very high and is a Recommended Buy.
Parents are giving the overall Agis M-Aire 3 travel system pretty great for the quality materials, the ease in steering and for the well-made car seat.
Top Reasons to Buy
- Simple, clean design
- Lightweight, yet feature rich
- Car seat made of high quality, light weight materials
Graco Verb Click Connect
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Simple and elegant, the Graco Verb has all the features you want in a lightweight stroller – plus more!
I like the single front wheels, vs. the double front wheels, like you see in the Cloud Plus above. The overall look and design of the Verb is sleek and modern. It reminds me of the sleek lightweight stroller from BabyHome which is 3x more expensive!
The Verb holds your child up to 50 pounds, yet weighs less than 20 pounds. Install your matching Graco Click Connect car seat for a convenient travel system. The SnugRide Click Connect 30 car seat holds a baby up to 30 pounds and 3″ long.
The seat is nicely padded and has multi-reclining positions for comfort and a decent sized canopy protects from the sun. Suspension and locking front swivel wheels smooths out the ride, especially over bumpier surfaces.
Mom gets a generous storage basket and parent tray with cup holders. The one-hand, self-standing fold and the included carry strap are very convenient for on-the-go errands or travel.
So far reviews from parents like you have given this lightweight travel system stroller near-perfect ratings for the easy fold and excellent maneuvering.
Graco has a good selection of other highly rated lightweights, most of which have a travel system option.
See this Graco video demo for the Verb:
Top Reasons to Buy
- Convenient one-handed self-standing fold
- Matching SnugRide Click Connect car seat installs with audible “click” sound for peace of mind
- Sturdy and well-built with quality
Best Full Size Travel System Stroller
Not long ago, a full size travel system would be a great big stroller and car seat. The stroller has all the bells and whistles – features galore! But man, would it be heavy and bulky. That was the biggest complaint from moms everywhere. They love all the conveniences of the stroller, except when it came to folding it up and hefting it into the car trunk.
These days, a full size travel system stroller generally weighs well under 25 pounds, the exception being many all-terrain strollers and joggers. Gone are the days of every product being big, bulky and frilly with all the same design. You will see a variety of colors, shapes and functionality with the selection below.
- The Chicco Bravo Trio System Includes Bravo Stroller, Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base
- Stroller features removable seat for easy transformation into a stylish frame carrier for the Key Fit.A gorgeously woven jacquard in a delightful polka dot pattern is paired with warm grey...
- Stroller features one-hand fold, auto-positioning wheels and a self-standing compact folded position
Newer to the Chicco line, the Bravo has a removable seat so when your baby is newborn, you simply click your Chicco Keyfit car seat right onto the frame, making a stylish, lightweight travel system – or connect the car seat on top of the toddler seat (as shown in photo). Once your child is big enough to look out into the world, the toddler seat holds up to 50 pounds for years of use. And the stroller is not that heavy, either – only 23 pounds.
The one-handed, self-standing fold is a huge plus when you’re holding your baby, and a generous basket is accessible from both the front and rear of the stroller. Parents, you get a height-adjustable handle and a console with two deep cup holders. The seat reclines in multiple positions, and all-wheel suspension smooths out the ride. An extending sun canopy has a mesh peek-a-boo window.
Average reviews are mixed, but overall very positive for the convenient self-standing one-handed fold and for the removable seat. Consumer Reports gives the Bravo stroller a great rating, awarding an excellent mark for Ease of Use and very good marks for Safety and Maneuverability.
The KeyFit car seat has high ratings on Consumer Reports with an overall amazing rating and is also a Best Buy. It has excellent marks for Ease of Use and Fitting in your car using the Belt or LATCH system.
See this informative demo video of the Chicco Bravo:
Top Reasons to Buy
- Removable seat to put car seat right on frame
- One-handed, stand alone fold
- Fabulous storage options
Graco FastAction Fold Jogger
- Stroller travel system includes the Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 infant car seat, rear facing for infants from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches
- One second, one hand fold provides the ultimate in convenience for moms on the go
- Jogging travel system features air filled rubber tires that offer suspension for a smooth ride on any terrain
Graco’s done it again by creating an incredibly popular, versatile, and functional jogging/all-terrain stroller. The FastAction Fold Jogger has all the convenience features of a traditional stroller with the rugged performance of a fitness 3-wheeler. With air-filled rubber tires, you feel as if you float over bumps and rough terrain, and your baby feels comforted by the smooth movement.
This jogger includes the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 infant car seat, rear facing for infants from 4-35 pounds and up to 32″ in height, taking your newborn from stroller to car. The padded seat has multiple reclining positions and the 5-point safety harness converts to a 3-point lap belt for free movement when baby gets older. The FastAction Fold Jogger holds up to 50 pounds.
Consumer Reports rates this travel system with an overall very high score and is considered a Best Buy. It has excellent marks for Ease of Use and Maneuverability and a very good mark for Safety.
Read the Stroller Envy exclusive review to discover if the FastAction Fold Jogger is for you.
Top Reasons to Buy
- High quality, very functional
- Easy maneuvering
- Reputable, safe car seat
What is a car seat frame stroller ?
You’ve probably seen it before, a car seat perched right on top of a stroller’s chassis, making the perfect little buggy for a newborn baby. It is a great size: small and efficient, yet you still get ample storage, like a huge shopping basket.
These car seat carriers come with quality wheels and great suspension systems, smoothing the ride for your little one. Comfortable handles and sometimes a parent console with drink holders is also included.
Why should I want to get one?
Parents use car seat frame strollers for a variety of reasons. Probably the most common reason is that baby’s arrival came before a stroller was decided upon. Your life changes so drastically with a new baby that sometimes you have intentions for what you will do, where you will go, etc. but circumstances are unpredictable.
Some parents understand that this especially applies to their situation, and rather than decide before your baby is born which stroller will best fit their lifestyle, they opt for a car seat stroller frame to get them through the first 6-8 months or so. Then they can get any stroller they want, even umbrella strollers without much recline. Minimum age for those kinds of strollers are 6 months.
Best Car Seat Frame Strollers for 2018
Graco SnugRider Elite
- Includes only the Stroller(the carrier is only for depiction)
- Ultra-lightweight aluminum stroller frame is the perfect infant car seat accessory, providing convenience on the go.
- Works with all Graco infant car seats (including both Classic Connect and Click Connect seats)
Many parents like this type of setup when your baby is brand new and they still need more time to decide on a more expensive stroller purchase.
This car seat stroller frame includes two parent cup holders and a generous storage basket, as well as a compact fold, making it easy for transport and storage.
The SnugRider Elite has received lots of reviews from parents just like you with an overall impressive rating. The SnugRider Elite is a clear choice for a travel system stroller that is lightweight, good looking and extremely easy to use.
Chico Keyfit Caddy
- Designed exclusively for the Chicco Keyfit Infant car seat
- Audible click ensures keyfit is attached securely
- Premium featuring ultra light anodized aluminum frame with easy one hand fold
This is Chicco’s version of a car seat stroller frame called the KeyFit Caddy. This Chicco stroller fits either the KeyFit or KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat. Made with a strong, contoured aluminum frame, the KeyFit Caddy weighs a mere 11 pounds. You will appreciate the easy one-hand fold to freestanding position and smooth ride the all-wheel suspension provides.
The Chicco KeyFit Caddy has a huge storage basket with front and rear access and a parent console with cup holders. An adjustable handlebar accommodates tall parents with strolling comfort.
What do parents think? Positive reviews tell us that parents like you enjoy a specially made stroller frame for their KeyFit car seats. An easy click into place shows Mom that her baby is secure. No strap needed like other car seat frame strollers!
Baby Trend Snap N Go
- Stroller Frame that accepts infant car seats to form a Travel System
- Accepts all Baby Trend Car seats
- 2-cup holder parent tray w/covered storage compartment, Recommended Use : Max. Weight: 45 lbs
One of the simplest, most lightweight and convenient Baby Trend strollers you can get is a Snap N Go car seat carrier. Simply install your car seat and voila, you have a travel system. You’ll love the fact that this stroller frame can accommodate most major car seat brands such as Graco, Chicco, Combi and of course Baby Trend infant car seats.
The Snap N Go is also available in the double size to take two infant car seats for twins. Some popular features include a parent tray and cup holders and a large storage basket and a reliable braking system on the back wheels. Outstanding features without the travel system bulk!
A vast majority of Snap N Go owners give this stroller frame a perfect review and many give high ratings across different web retailers. In addition, Consumer Reports gave the Snap N Go a Best Buy rating with excellent marks for ease of use and maneuverability and a very good rating for safety. Most importantly, parents rave about the convenience and compact size as well as the ample storage.
What are the benefits of buying a travel system?
Still not sure if a travel system is for you? Here are a few reasons you should consider getting one:
You can use it as early as baby’s first day.
Travel systems are made for newborns, as infant car seats provide excellent support for baby’s delicate neck. So make sure you aren’t caught without one once you step out of the hospital after delivering your precious cargo.
It makes transferring baby from car to stroller (and back again) a breeze.
There’s nothing like the constant purr of a car engine to send little ones dozing off. It’s the parenting hack that’s given moms and dads the world over peace of mind and some much-needed breather, even for just a few minutes. So, car seats that keep your little one dozing off even as you unload them onto the stroller are a godsend.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Child-safety experts recommend that babies spend no more than an hour in their car seat.
It saves you money.
Having a bundled stroller and infant car seat actually saves you anywhere from $60 to $100, versus buying a stroller and car seat separately. Just make sure that you love both the stroller and the car seat to save yourself from buyer’s remorse.
Choosing a travel system: Questions to ask
Is it easy to use?
It’s the little things that actually turn out to be the big things. So don’t discount those seemingly minute details like having a one-handed (and standing) fold or easily detachable and washable covers. Take note: any stroller feature that saves you time and effort—and allows you to free up your other hand—is a sure win.
What types of terrain can I use it with?
You don’t necessarily have to buy an all-terrain stroller if you’re only planning to take your baby around the neighborhood. The trick is making sure your stroller of choice matches the type of environment you’re mostly going to use it on.
How small or light is it?
Do you drive a subcompact or a sedan? Do you commute a lot? Or do you live in a multilevel apartment? In such cases it’s useful to know how small a footprint your travel system has, especially if you live in tight spaces or take public transport a lot.
Also, remember that you’re going to be lifting that car seat a lot—and sometimes with your baby in your other hand too, so weight matters as much as size.
Does it come with features and accessories that’ll make life with a baby easier?
It’s good to know that stroller manufacturers are now realizing that mom and dad’s comfort matters too (next to your baby’s, of course). That said, look for strollers that come with adjustable handlebars, storage baskets with ample space, and cup holders (not just for baby but for you too!).
Does it offer enough bang for my buck?
As parents, we know that budget is a key consideration when buying anything. I know you want only the best for your little one, but getting the best doesn’t have to mean emptying your wallet. That’s precisely why we’re here to show you what each stroller has to offer!
Some helpful tips when choosing a travel system
“What should I look for in a travel system?” is a typical question for new parents ask. To help you answer that, here’s a run-down of things to look for when choosing a travel system:
Make sure the car seat fits.
With travel systems, the car seat should be your top priority since you’re going to be carrying your newborn in it a lot. Aside from the safety features (a 5-point harness should be standard), look for one that installs easily and fits the seats in your car.
Have more than one vehicle? A car seat that doesn’t have a travel system base at the bottom is a more convenient option.
Check if car seat adaptors are included.
Some car seats click or slot into the stroller chassis, while others need adaptors before you can fit them in. Some manufacturers include adaptors when you buy a travel system, while others don’t—to be safe, double-check before you click “buy.”
Remember that weight matters.
I can’t stress this enough: when it comes to choosing a travel system, spare an extra couple of dollars and go for a lightweight option, if not the lightest. Ten pounds might not sound like much, but once you’ve got a baby in there, trust me, it’s going to get pretty heavy. With a travel system, you’re going to be doing a lot of lifting and transferring, so do your arms and back a favor and choose a lightweight car seat and stroller combo.
…And so does size. Check your trunk space.
One con of travel systems is that they’re usually heavier and bulkier than your average stroller. If you drive a subcompact or sedan, make sure the stroller that comes with your travel system fits the trunk of your car.
Look for newborn-friendly or age-appropriate features.
Most of the time, those looking for travel systems are parents of newborns. If you’re one of them, make sure the stroller, aside from the car seat, is built with your delicate newborn in mind. That means strollers that come with adjustable and UV-proof canopies, reversible handles (so you can change the orientation—whether you want your baby to be facing you initially and, later on, the world), as well as a lay-flat recline (when you don’t want to use the car seat).
Keeping your child safe in a travel system
When it comes to safety, it’s best not to leave anything to chance. Here are some ways to keep your baby secure in his or her travel system:
Install the car seat properly
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3 out of 4 car seats are improperly installed. If you’re having difficulty following the manufacturer’s manual, ask for help from the experts: get a car-seat technician to have a look at how well (or poorly) you were able to follow the installation instructions, and teach you the correct way to install an infant car seat. (You can look for one in your area here.)
Practice makes perfect.
Know the ins-and-outs of your travel system even before your baby enters the picture. Remember, you can never be too prepared when it comes to ensuring your child’s safety. Read the manual, watch how-to videos, and practice putting the car seat in the stroller and taking it out again.
Follow the expiration date.
Here’s a caveat for parents who want to save by buying a used car seat: car seats do have an expiration date. You can only use it for six years (counting from the time it hits the store shelves). That’s because parts wear out overtime, or safety mechanisms may become obsolete after a couple of years. So to be safe, buy brand-new and check the expiry date (usually printed at the bottom of the car seat) to make sure your baby doesn’t outgrow it.
Make sure the car seat complies with safety regulations and standards.
All brand-new car seats are required to comply with federal safety standards. Additionally, look for car seats and strollers that have the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) seal, which assures you that this particular model has undergone and passed safety tests.
Travel system: Brands of note
Here’s a short lineup of brands whose travel systems come highly recommended by fellow parents.
French baby products company BabyZen was founded in 2010. Many parents are fans of its travel-friendly and cabin-compatible baby stroller, the Yoyo, released in 2012. It has since received an upgrade with the Yoyo+.
Britax is a British company known for making reliable car seats, among other baby gear, so it’s no wonder its lineup of travel systems is such a hit with parents. (Read our review of the top-rated B-Agile.)
Dubbed the “Honda of strollers,” Chicco is known for manufacturing affordable and reliable baby goods, including strollers, car seats, high chairs, and playyards. You can read about the Bravo and all their other travel system offerings in this feature.
A member of the GoodBaby International family, Cybex was founded in 1947 in Medway, Massachusetts, and is engaged primarily in the manufacture of exercise gear and fitness equipment. Their infant car seats and complete travel systems are a hit with parents too.
Founded in Ohio in 1920, Evenflo is a market leader in the research and development and manufacture of infant travel systems, baby car seats, toddler boosters, and baby gates, among others. Two of their most popular and higher rated travel system offerings include the Pivot and Folio. You can browse their travel systems catalogue here.
Graco is a baby products company founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and got its name from founders Russell Gray and Robert Cone. Graco manufactures a range of baby products, including infant car seats (SnugRide being its most popular), travel systems, strollers, high chairs, and play yards (which it invented).
Parents looking for a stroller-car seat combo will be delighted to know that Graco offers more than 30 travel systems options (from lightweight strollers to joggers), enough to satisfy every parents’ needs.
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia about Mamas & Papas: all their strollers come with a lay-flat recline feature, which makes it perfect for parents with newborns. This popular UK-based brand sells bassinets, strollers, baby products, furniture, and maternity wear.
You can search through their travel system offerings here.
The final word
So there you have it, folks—everything you need to know before buying a travel system. Travel systems are a great investment, when you think about all the fun you’re going to have being out and about with your little one. Whether you’re looking for a simple, no-frills travel system or a feature-rich option, know that there’s a brand and model for whatever you need—if you know what to look for.