Find out why this top-selling travel system is my personal favorite!
We all have favorite things. When it comes to amazing travel systems, the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System is my absolute favorite. It’s one of the best jogger travel systems out there. When you consider features, durability, and price, it just can’t be beat!
Here’s what I’ve found out after pouring through the research and reviews. Plus, my best friend owns this system, so I really got the inside scoop.
A Safe Car Seat
I always start with the car seat. It’s so important, people! And the Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Car Seat included with this travel system doesn’t disappoint.
To start, let’s take a quick look at the safety specs of this Baby Trend car seat. It has amazing side impact protection due to shape of the design and extra padding. That padding is made from an EPS energy absorbing foam for superior energy absorption in the case of an accident. This seat meets or exceeds all US safety standards.
Another safety feature is the adjustable 5 point safety harness with no strap rethreading. Since straps that don’t fit right or are set up wrong are some of the most dangerous car seat mistakes, it’s important to get it right. And this seat makes that easy.
To adjust the seat straps to make them tighten or loosen, just press the harness release button that’s down by baby’s feet. It’s a one-handed process to get the right fit. When you are ready to adjust the straps to a higher shoulder level, you just adjust the entire back of the car seat up by turning a knob on the back.
One bad thing about the safety harness? The buckles have to be stacked to go into the crotch buckle. As all busy parents know, that’s such a pain! And not really something that you can do with only one hand. It’s extremely hard to do if your baby is fussing and moving around. But it isn’t impossible, and it’s probably a matter of getting used to it more than anything. Still, that detracts from the whole ease-of-use thing.
Sized Right for Babies
This seat is designed for babies from just 5 tiny pounds all the way up to 30 pounds. It can hold your baby until they reach about 30 inches, which is usually some time after age 1.
It has a lovely and soft heat support pillow to help support the littlest babies. This head support is a bit awkward for smaller babies. I found that it was just better to buy a better, aftermarket infant support insert.
Beyond that, it has a smaller, more lightweight design than other car seats. Now, when I read that a car seat is on the small side, it makes this mom of giant babies nervous. I was happy to read that it only weighed 7 ½ pounds on its own, but what about space?
Well, this car seat lacks extra room, but not functional room. It’s still about 16 1/2 inches at its widest spot, so there’s plenty of room for baby. There’s also plenty of room for other car seats in the back seat when you’re using the Flex Loc seat.
The best part of the car seat is actually the base. I do love the Flex Loc. It’s handy and it’s unique. The seat is called the Flex Loc because of the awesome latch system that it uses. The latch hooks that come with this car seat are flexible, not fixed. If you look at them, they have a moveable joint in the middle. This makes them so much easier to hook in and so much easier to adjust to get that snug fit.
Despite these awesome latch hooks, getting the base really tight is still a challenge. I think that hinge allows for a little extra movement, which can be a bit disconcerting. But if you put all of your weight on the base and pull those straps as tight as humanly possible, you can rest assured that your car seat isn’t going anywhere.
And when it’s time to release the latch hooks? You just push the red release button to release the latches, instead of groping around under your seat for the hook that’s impossible to undo. The way the Flex Locs are shaped makes it really easy to actually click in and out of the anchors.
The base has other adjustable features. There’s a recline feature that allows you to move the base to 4 different heights. This allows you to get that perfect angle. Use the included level indicator on the seat to make sure that you have it all just right.
Some Unique Touches
Most car seat release levers are pretty standard. If you’ve used one, you have used them all. Not so with the Baby Trend Flex Loc. The release lever, the thing that makes it click in and out of the base and stroller, is actually at the bottom of the car seat. It’s down by baby’s feet, not by their head.
This unique system works really well for small cars, where backseat space is limited. But for most cars, it can be a pain. You have to shove your hand down between the vehicle seat and the car seat to get the release lever.
Once the seat is in the base, it likes to stay there. Same for when it’s clicked into the stroller. Be prepared to use those muscles and coordination to get this thing clicked out. But my best friend, who is on kid number 2 with this system, assures me that it gets easier and doesn’t get stuck as much as time goes on.
The last unique touch that this stroller has is the delta (aka triangle) shaped carry handle. This allows for multiple gripping positions, whether you are grabbing it or carrying it on your arm. The soft rubber and amazing shape make it so much easier to carry!
Moving this handle back to get the baby out proves tricky. Those big red release buttons on each side of the handle do not like to be pushed. You have to really show them who’s boss. But don’t worry, my friend assures me that this problem subsides over time, too.
If you want the full story on this Baby Trend Flex Loc infant car seat, click to read my full fledged review of the seat alone.
A Fast and Friendly Stroller
The car seat is quite important, but the stroller is nearly equally important in the travel system. Because what good is a nice car seat if the stroller that you need to haul it around stinks?
An Actual Jogger
When my son was born, I bought a “jogger” stroller. They called it this because it had 3 wheels and sporty design, but it was NOT okay to take running! My poor kid felt every little tiny bump in the sidewalk. This stroller is totally not that way! It maneuvers like a dream. If you want an overview of more than just “jogging” travel systems, check out our review here.
With my first kid, I didn’t know that I couldn’t use a 3-wheeled stroller to jog with. Until I tried it. I immediately realized that they make special 3-wheeled strollers designed specifically for jogging for a reason!
The Baby Trend Expedition Jogger tires are big bicycle tires that are made for faster speeds. They’re filled with air for the best in suspension and smoothness. It features 16 inch back tires and a 12-inch front tire. That front tire can swivel for strolling through the mall, or it can lock in place for that 5 mile run on the sidewalk. The only downside of these tires is that flats and air leaks are commonplace. That’s a big pain if you don’t have your own pump or air compressor.
This stroller offers a really smooth ride. I think it’s because it has bigger wheels than a lot of the other jogging stroller travel systems on the market. With bicycle tires like these, you do have to be aware that you will have to eventually fill them with air. My suggestion to you is to just go get inner tubes and some of that tire slime and just fix up your tires from the get-go. You’ll have to do less maintenance and you’ll find that you have an even smoother ride from the beginning.
The other features that make it an actual jogger are the safety features. Let’s look at the brakes, for example. There’s that front brake, that locks the front wheel into place so that it doesn’t wobble or turn unexpectedly. Then, both back wheels have their own brakes. You can brake one side or both sides by pressing each lever down. That’s good for quick stops and overall mobility.
Then look at the tether strap, grippy, wide, ergonomically shaped handle, and footrest reflectors. These are essential for those running parents! Nobody wants to watch their stroller run away from them while going down a hill. No one wants their sweaty hands to cause a crazy ride for baby as their hands slip all over the place. And no one wants to become invisible when there’s not as good of lighting, like early in the morning or late in the evening. That’s why that tether strap and footrest reflectors are included. Because real runners need these.
Here’s one thing to consider. I want to throw in a quick disclaimer that this isn’t the best jogging stroller that I’ve ever used. That honor belongs to the BOB Revolution stroller that doesn’t come as a travel system. So while you are getting a good jogging stroller and a great car seat with the Expedition travel system, this probably isn’t the best jogging stroller on the market if the travel system part isn’t important. I would recommend the Expedition for someone who’s going to jog occasionally or has to go somewhere outside of their own neighborhood to jog. Because then, you really do need to have the car seat and the stroller combo.
This is not one of those strollers that you have to fight to get folded. Just push the two triggers on each side of the stroller and push it down. It folds up tight and locks into place. You can even have it stand on its own. You do have to have both hands free for this whole process, so it’s not a one-handed fold.
Unfolding is just as easy. Just release the locking bar and unfold! Easily done with just one hand. Plus, there’s built-in handles that make it easy to hold onto and move around.
Being so lightweight makes it a lot easier to open and close then other joggers. You really can open and close this stroller quickly and easily. You can’t quite do it one handed because you have to pull both triggers, but otherwise, it’s quite simple to do.
And since it’s only 26 pounds, it’s really easy to fold up and lug around. That sounds heavy just talking about it, but it’s actually one of the lighter ones on the market. And the steel frame keeps it sturdy at that weight. Need another thing to love? If you really need more space, you can release the tires and take them off for an even tighter fold.
It’s about 5 pounds lighter than the other strollers I looked at across the board. This is good because when you’re running, you don’t want to be pushing a 50-pound stroller. And when you’re getting this thing in and out of your trunk, you don’t want it to be heavy. Since it’s a jogging stroller, it’s already bulky, so you don’t want to add any weight. And this stroller certainly doesn’t.
Baby Comfort, Parent Convenience
Let’s list off a few of the features that are added to this travel system for the benefit of you and your kiddo. Keep in mind, you’ll reap these benefits all the way until your child reaches 50 pounds and 42 inches.
- Fully padded and reclining seat (that can go all the way back to nearly flat!)
- Kid snack tray with 2 drink holders (the snack tray is also the car seat adapter, so no extra parts to keep track of)
- Parent snack tray with 2 drink holders and a covered tray
- 5 point safety harness with solid, but complicated buckles
- Large bottom storage basket with easy access from the back
- Adjustable canopy with peek-a-boo window (side note: the canopy on the car seat and the canopy on the stroller actually meet up in the middle to give baby total sun protection!)
- Newborn insert (note: the pillow might make a smaller or preemie baby sit at a weird angle.)
- Wonderful value (aka cheaper price)
Comparison: Baby Trend Expedition vs Graco Fastaction Fold
Both of these systems top my lists of Best Baby Travel Systems. If you look at the strollers side by side, they look nearly the same. And they certainly have a lot of the same features.
Both of these strollers feature large bicycle tires for great suspension, a smooth ride, and easy maneuvering. Both of the front wheels can be locked for added stability while jogging. Both of the strollers have separate brakes for each tire in the back.
The strollers both have large canopies, 5-point safety harnesses (although the Graco one can convert to a 3-point harness for older babies), and some sort of reflection for safety. The Baby Trend stroller does come with a safety tether, which I didn’t see on the Graco model. The Baby Trend also has a more grippy handle, which I personally like better when jogging.
Both strollers have a child snack tray with 2 cup holders and a place to put treats. Both strollers have a parent compartment with 2 drink holders and a covered section. Both strollers also have a large storage canopy underneath for taking along everything you need. I think that Graco has slightly nicer storage items, since their lower basket is larger, and their upper compartment does feature that handy phone holder.
When it comes to folding the strollers, Graco wins by a decent margin. Their one second, one-handed Fastaction fold is fantastic. It is certainly much easier than pulling the two triggers on the Baby Trend stroller. However, both of these fold up really compactly for a jogging stroller. They both have a locking fold and they both stand on their own once locked into place.
Both of the car seats are pretty basic models. The biggest difference is probably the Flex Loc latch connectors on the base of the Baby Trend car seat. These are definitely more user-friendly and a bit nicer to have. Also, the Baby Trend car seat features that delta shaped handle which, is just a wonderful convenience feature for moms and dads.
The car seats are a lot different in their clicking and release mechanisms. Both of the car seats click into the strollers and into the bases, but how you release them is a bit different. On the Baby Trend car seat, you have to pull the lever at the feet of your baby, as opposed to the Graco car seat, where the release lever is at the head of the car seat. This is probably just a matter of which one you prefer. I think I could get used to doing either one. I know that when we’re using my husband’s smaller car, having the release lever at the foot of the car seat would probably be a little bit more user-friendly since we’re low on space.
Price is the big difference: So then if everything is so similar about these two systems, why do I pick the Baby Trend? Because it costs literally half of what the Graco system costs. As you can plainly see, there’s nothing on the Graco stroller that the Baby Trend stroller doesn’t also have. There are slight differences here and there, but there is no difference big enough for me to justify a doubling of the cost.
If I had to spend my hard-earned money on a jogging travel system, I would go with the Baby Trend. I know that I would get a nice car seat that’s safe and easy-to-use. I would also get a jogging stroller that has all of the basic features that I could want. It would have great tires, great maneuverability, fun features like storage, a canopy and extra safety features. I would be getting all of this at a fantastic value. The Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System certainly wins when compared to the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Travel System.
- 4.5 stars, 46 reviews- Target
- 4.5 stars, 654 reviews- Walmart
- 4 stars, 14 reviews- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Comfy lightweight car seat
- High safety standard with fantastic Flex Loc installation
- Lightweight jogging stroller with real running features
- Easy folding and unfolding
- Nice extras, like huge canopy and lots of storage
- Easy to get car seat in the stroller and doesn’t need an extra adapter
- Car seat buckle and stroller buckles are both finicky
- Infant support pillow isn’t that great
- Delta handle doesn’t like to move
- Can be hard to click in and out of the base due to awkward release lever placement
- Base takes some muscle to get in the car securely
Other Travel Systems
My best friend received this car seat and stroller combo at the baby shower for her first baby. She is not a runner or jogger of any kind. I watched her daughter 3 days a week, so I already knew how great the car seat was. I hadn’t used the stroller much, but she would always rave about this stroller and how easy it was to use and how nice the ride was. Me, being an avid runner and outdoorswoman, decided to put it to the test one day. With her permission, I strapped my kiddo into her car seat and went for a 2 mile run that encompassed both cement and rock paths. I was not disappointed!
I really like the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System. It’s got an easy-to-use car seat that keeps baby safe and comfortable. The Flex Loc installation system is almost a game-changer, it’s that cool!
It’s got a great stroller that is wonderful for both the occasional jog or cruising around the mall. The stroller works for really big kids, all the way up to 50 pounds. It has loads of storage, not to mention a huge canopy and comfortable, reclinable seat.
The little things like the storage compartments, the safety tether, and the light reflectors made me feel safer about my little one being in the stroller. I also felt safe about baby being in the car seat.
But most importantly, both the car seat and stroller and superbly safe.
All of this comes at a really low price. You’ll find that this system has all the features and benefits of comparable big-brand systems, at about half the price. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get a good jogging travel system.
Having both researched and used this system personally, I can tell you that you’ll love the ease of use, durability, features, and price on the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System. I can say that it won’t disappoint you on the trail, on the street, or at the store. It maneuvers like a dream and is lightweight. The car seat is really good, too. You can easily click the car seat in and out of the base and in and out of the stroller for added versatility.
I highly recommend it to any active mommy.