Mom’s Review: Best Travel System Stroller
Gone are the days when you can just put the baby on your lap during travel. Nowadays, if your child is riding the car, you need a car seat. State laws vary, but the gist is that kids must be sitting on a safe child seat, regardless if you are in for a short or long drive.
Parents even have to restrain older children in a booster seat or face penalties and child passenger safety citations.
** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon
Baby Travel System Stroller 101
What is a travel system stroller? This vital equipment is composed of the usual single stroller/buggy, together with an infant car seat. You can detach and reattach the car seat into the stroller. No need to scoop a sleeping baby out, just lift the whole seat and your little one is good to go in the stroller. The infant car seat complements the stroller, making mom’s trip with the baby in tow so much easier.
If you are buying a travel system stroller, you got two options:
1. Create your mix and match travel system.
You might already have an old stroller, and you would like to know the type of car seat that would fit with your buggy. Most types of branded strollers can fit with the standard car seat. Even different brands can complement each other.
This is an expensive option since you have to buy the stroller and the car seat separately. You cannot guarantee that your car seat can fit into your buggy. Your best bet is to take your stroller with you if you are planning to buy a car seat; do a fit and connect test before you buy.
2. Your second option is purchase a travel system in once package.
There won’t be any guesswork since you are buying a “system.” One item is designed to fit the other, like a glove. The best travel system stroller package is like purchasing a 2-in-1; it is cheaper in the long run.
Best Travel System Stroller
The best travel system stroller makes for a hassle-free trip. To give you some peace of mind and to save you from costly trial and errors, here are my top picks:
The Britax 2016 Elite Travel System is one of the safest travel system stroller on this list. Its impact protection extends to the side, absorbing most shocks with its car seat base and steel frame.
The car seat is for babies less than two years old. Baby must weigh no more than 35 pounds and with a height no taller than 32”.
The price tag of the Britax 2016 Elite Travel System is a bit costly, but it’s still a good value for money. The infant car seat weight is at 16.5 lbs., just the average in its class. The stroller, on the other hand, is one of the lightest in the market, at 26.5 lbs. It can hold a toddler up to 55 pounds. of weight.
Its 3-wheel design makes it easy to maneuver this stroller on tight aisles and corners. The stroller has a large canopy to shield baby from the sun, as well as wheel suspension to ensure a smooth ride.
The downside to this travel system is the type of material that is used for the car seat. It’s perfect for winter but too hot for summer. The all-black color looks sophisticated, but it doesn’t help to circulate air during warm weather. Your baby can sweat a lot so be sure to check on him from time to time. As for me, this is not a deal-breaker, considering that this is one of the best travel system strollers and is a favorite by parents all over.
Some mothers are too paranoid when it comes to safety. With other brands, you’ll hardly sure if you got everything locked when it comes to the installation of the car seat and stroller.
With the Graco Aire3 Click Connect, I like how the clicking sound can remind me that all is set, all is soundly connected. It is also one of the lightest car seat and strollers on this list, so even small-framed moms like me can safely lift that big seat with my heavy baby in it.
The car seat is within the usual 4 lbs. - 35 lbs. weight restriction. What I appreciate is its stroller’s one-second one fold feature, something useful to me whenever I don’t have an extra hand with all that grocery bags.
There is also an auto-locking feature to keep the stroller secured. Once folded, it can fit into thin spaces. You might not allow baby to sleep on the car seat for an extended time but with its partner stroller’s lie flat function, you got a portable and comfortable sleeping nook for your child.
There is also a removable armrest as well as a fabric cup holder. Add to that the large canopy and you got a complete travel system package that can take you anywhere.
The Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System Stroller comes with its car seat, stroller, and its car seat base. The car seat connects easily with the base, for a seamless transfer from the stroller to the car passenger seat.
The 5-point harness completes the package, keeping your baby safe and sound en route to your destination. Your child is likewise protected from bumps along the road with car seat’s energy-absorbing foam.
The rear facing car seat has a single pull function for easy latch and removal. I have an old Chicco stroller that had held up its form for years, and the buggy that comes with the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System looks and feels just as durable.
It terms of comfort; this Bravo Trio stroller is well-padded and spacious all around. Have I also mentioned how easy it is to fold and even easier to maneuver? It may look expensive at first; but on second look, it is on par with the best travel system strollers that are twice its price.
The Disney Amble Quad Travel System is ideal for the budget-conscious parent. It might be cheap, but it has likewise delivered, safety-wise.
Its side impact protection and infant head support kept your little one safe and cushioned from most shocks and bumps along the road. The stroller has a 5-point harness that you can also convert into a 3-point restraint.
This buggy is nice to look at, perfect for a girl. Assembly of the Disney Amble Quad Travel System stroller is a breeze, everything fits in together, and there’s less guesswork involved. Even the car seat comes as ready-to-go, no assembly needed whatsoever.
The downside of this travel system is its weight and size. It is on the heavy side, with its stroller at 35 lbs. and its car seat at around 22 lbs., definitely not for small-framed mommies.
The stroller is also huge, not something that I recommend if you want to bring the baby with you at crowded places. But all in all, you got a reliable travel system that fits the budget. So what’s not to love?
The Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel is the safest stroller if you want to take your baby with you during your morning jogs or weekend strolls. This stroller won’t fail you, even with all that rocks, sand and snow.
The 5-point harness keeps baby snug and safe, while the large canopy protects your little one, rain or shine.
What set the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System stroller apart are its huge wheels. Those wheels can take you anywhere, even on off-road location. The car seat and similar car seat base put the Baby Trend Expedition at both the all-terrain and travel system category.
Both the car seat and the stroller are comfortable and spacious enough, even for a baby on the heavy side. This Baby Trend is all rugged; the best travel system stroller to take on those off-beaten tracks.
Safety Tips When Using A Travel System
1. Make sure that everything fits
You don’t want your baby to fall off due to improper fit. Check the item’s specifications and installation directions. Manufacturers of baby travel systems specify the maximum weight and child age that can fit into the seat. Even strollers have weight restrictions. Read everything and do your homework.
2. The 2-hour rule
No matter how fancy your car seat is, limit your baby’s stay in this position for no more than 2 hours at a time. If you have a baby in tow for a long road trip, make a quick stop and scoop baby out of the car seat every 2 hours. It is unsafe for your baby to sleep while inclined and restrained for extended hours.
3. How much can you carry?
Since there is no need to scoop and wake baby while asleep in a car seat, you have to figure out if you can carry them together. Can you pick the seat with the baby in tow, and connect it to the stroller?
Some car seats can weigh at least 15-25 lbs., add to that your child’s current weight, and you’re in for a heavy lift. You can sustain an injury by carrying too much weight, so consider this tip before you ring the cash register.
Invest in a good travel system, do it for your baby and for your own peace of mind. Better buy a travel system package, it is wiser than buying that stroller and car seat on separate occasions. The best travel system stroller might not be on the cheap side, but trust me; your child’s safety is worth all that money.