Best Baby Travel Systems

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The Best BabyTravel Systems

With a good car seat / stroller combo, your baby can see the world in style and comfort

Summer’s coming, and so are vacation plans. You’ll need one of the best baby travel systems so it’ll be easier to take your baby along with you. Travel systems include a car seat and a stroller, sold together, which can be used separately or as a single unit.

Once babies are past the newborn stage, they’re heavier to pack around in their infant carriers, in your arms or wraps. Trust me, you’ll want one of these when you head out on your first family vacation. That’s why we wrote this article breaking down the Best Baby Travel Systems for you.

When our daughter was about 8 months old, my husband had several out-of-town trips for work. I was a full-time mom, so she and I were able to travel with him. She was still small, but at about 16 pounds, our arms got awfully tired carrying her around. That’s when our travel system saved the day.

Take the stress out of outings

While he was in meetings, she and I went to zoos, museums, parks, and malls. She was only crawling at the time, so riding in the stroller gave her a chance to see more of the world and saved my back in the process.

Some strollers come equipped with a bassinet or reclining infant seat that’s great for little ones. But what do you do when she’s fallen asleep in the car on the way to the zoo? You’ll have to unbuckle her, pick her up, get her settled in the stroller, buckle her up again…

You can guess where that leads: one seriously cranky baby and one flustered parent with a backache. Save yourself the sweat and tears and invest in a great travel system.

By the time they can sit up unassisted, you can use the stroller alone, all the way up until she’s saying, “Mom, my feet are dragging in this thing.” Okay, so maybe not that long…

Some things to consider

If you’re flying, strollers will have to be checked. It’s usually free to check any child restraint or stroller, so that’s a plus. What you’ll want to look for are sturdy travel systems that can withstand the rough handling of the baggage handlers.

If you’ll be using your car seat on the plane, make sure it’s FAA approved and that you know how to install it correctly. You can only use rear-facing or high backed booster seats on an airplane – no backless boosters.

Though children under the age of 2 are free to fly when held on your lap, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using an FAA-approved car seat instead. Keep in mind, you will have to pay for an extra ticket since you’ll need an extra seat.

However, some airlines such as Southwest, offer “infant fares” that are a lot cheaper than an adult seat. You will need to bring proof of the child’s age  (like a birth certificate) with you regardless how she rides.

Ready to shop for the best travel system for your baby?

Here are some worth considering:

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect

This travel system from Graco features the Snug Ride Click Connect 35 infant car seat. It’s made for infants 4-35 pounds and up to 32 inches. The quick one-handed fold on the stroller is a lifesaver if your arms are full of baby or bags. For the joggers, this one has air-filled tires with good suspension for gliding over sidewalks and side streets and a lockable front wheel for more stability.

Several parents thought the stroller was too heavy and that the car seat didn’t recline enough to keep the baby comfortable. A few parents noticed flat tires after only a couple months of use. Another mom noted that the iPhone holder doesn’t fit an iPhone6.

  • One-handed fold on stroller
  • Compatible with other Graco Click Connect seats
  • Extra large canopy
  • Smartphone cradle
  • Phone holder may not fit an iPhone6
  • Wheels may go flat easily
  • Car seat may not recline enough

Baby Trend Expedition Jogger

The car seat in this set works for babies 5 – 30 pounds and up to 30 inches tall. The stroller fits children up to 50 pounds and 42 inches tall. Like the first jogging stroller, this one has a lockable front wheel for stability. Two cup holders and a covered storage compartment for phones, keys, etc. make it easier for mom and dad to enjoy an outing with baby, even on rainy days.

Some parents ordered this system but only received the stroller. A few moms said it wobbled all over the place, even at a slow walk. Others claimed the product description listed MP3 speakers as a feature, but this product has no speakers. Apparently, this company’s customer service is lackluster too if you encounter problems. Our recommendation – try a sample model in a store first.

  • Locking front wheel
  • Two cup holders
  • Extra large canopy
  • Smartphone cradle
  • Phone holder may not fit an iPhone6
  • Wheels may go flat easily
  • Car seat may not recline enough

 Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace

This system comes in 3 really cute colors and patterns. The car seat is for babies 4 – 35 pounds and a height range of 17-30 inches, while the stroller holds up to 50 pounds. The large canopy and sun visor have a peek-a-boo window so you can look in on the baby in the sun or rain and not disturb her nap. The stroller folds down to a slim 16 inches to fit easily in your vehicle.

Out of all the systems on our list, this one seems to have quality control issues. Several parents noted it collapsed upon putting the car seat in the stroller. Many parents have been very happy with it, so we suspect they’ve had a bad batch. We can’t find any current recalls, but call customer service to see if this problem has been addressed, and you may want to go to a store and try it before you buy it.

  • Affordable
  • Compact folding size
  • Peekaboo window
  • 2 cup holders
  • cell phone holder
  • May collapse even if it seems locked

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System

This system comes with the SafeMax infant car seat which holds babies from 4 – 35 pounds. The cool thing about this one is that it has 6 modes, including a reversible carriage (think pram), frame stroller, travel system and a toddler stroller. Cruiser tires provide a nice, smooth ride. While not cheap, many parents love the sleek, lightweight, well-built stroller with generous storage space for diaper bags, purses, set.

The biggest complaint with this system was that the back wheels were too far apart (26″) and made it difficult to go through narrow doors. Other parents didn’t like the smooth wheels and reported lack of traction along with excessive wear after a few uses. This one might be best-suited for use on smooth terrains like paved walks and mall floors, but that’s likely where you’d be using it anyway.

  • 6 modes of use, including carriage (pram)
  • Cruiser tires
  • Lightweight
  • Generous storage
  • Wheels may lack traction & wear easily
  • Back wheels may not fit through narrow doors
  • Car seat may not snap in place easily on the stroller

Britax 2017 B Agile & B Safe 35 Travel System

Britax is one of the leading names when it comes to safe child restraints. Their Safe Cell Impact Protection system exceeds all federal safety standards. This car seat holds 4 – 35 pounds and is compatible with any Britax single stroller and vice versa. The narrow design and swivel front wheels make it easier to navigate through tighter spaces. A lightweight and one-handed fold design make this a popular system.

Like most of these products, you’ll pay for the best quality. It’s a pricey system, but considering it’s multi uses and longevity (from newborn to toddler), it may be a worthwhile investment. Some problems parent noted were that the width was too narrow, so didn’t fit larger babies well. Others had issues with wheel stability and attaching the car seat to the stroller.

Please note there have been recalls on this seat in 2017. However, an updated version MAY be available.  Call Britax and check the recall registry on NHTSA for current recalled models.

  • Narrow profile fits tighter spaces
  • Compatible between other Britax strollers/car seats
  • Lightweight
  • Car seat may not attach well to stroller
  • Fit may be too narrow for some babies
  • Possible recalls

Disney Amble Quad Travel System

This may be the cutest system on our list, and it’s no surprise with this Minnie Mouse design. There’s also a Mickey for the boys. This is an affordable system that won’t put too big a dent in your wallet. The car seat fits babies from 4- 22 pounds. Both seat and stroller have an adjustable, quilted canopy to provide good insulation on those cooler days.

Unfortunately, the weight range on this car seat isn’t as much as others, so you’ll have to buy a new seat sooner than later. Parents noted issues with steering. Some strollers had missing parts. A few parents reported the car seat handle was difficult to move.

  • Affordable
  • Quilted canopy
  • Mickey and Minnie designs
  • Limited weight range
  • Possible steering issues
  • Parts could be missing from stroller
  • Car seat handle may be hard to move

Chicco Cortina CX Travel System

This system comes with the Key Fit infant car seat which holds babies from 4 – 30 pounds. A lightweight, quick fold design makes it popular with busy moms. Multi-position recline in the stroller keeps your baby comfy for naps or while pointing at giraffes. An extra-large storage basket holds a diaper bag, purse, shopping bags, and more. Plus a toddler tray keeps your child’s sippy cups and snacks at hand.

First of all, this is a pricey system. Some parents thought the stroller was too heavy and bulky. Others experienced quality control issues with the canopy, seat adjuster, etc. after several months of use. A few parents had trouble opening and folding one-handed. Be sure to inspect the whole system thoroughly before every use and call Chicco customer service if you have any issues.

  • Quick-fold design
  • Extra large storage basket
  • Toddler tray with 2 cup/snack holders
  • Car seat base may be hard to install
  • Stroller may be hard to open/close one-handed
  • Some quality control issues

Final thoughts about travel systems

Finally, with combination products such as these, it’s going to be really hard to find a perfect system. Whenever you can, try these out in a store or try a friend’s or family member’s out first so you know if you like the feel and maneuverability before you buy.

If you can find systems that are compatible with a car seat you already own, get the system too, and you’ll have an extra car seat/base for a second vehicle or grandparents, etc.

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