Best Baby Travel System Stroller and Car Seat Combos of 2019 Reviewed


Giveaway We're Giving Away
A $300 Amazon Gift Card!
Add your email here to win!
Past winners and details

Today’s parents are out and about, and their babies are too. That’s why a baby travel system is totally essential to a parent’s ability to be busy. The best baby travel system? Depends on your needs.

Top Recommendations
Jog and Stroll
Graco
Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System
Classic 4-Wheel Convenience
Chicco
Bravo Trio Travel System
Lightweight and Maneuverable
Baby Trend
Expedition Jogger Travel System
Narrow and Compact
Britax
B-Lively & B-Safe 35 Travel System
Many Modes
Evenflo
Pivot Modular Travel System

Best Baby Travel Systems

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Travel System

Image of the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System, Gotham

The Car Seat

This best infant car seat comes with a lot of Graco travel system picks. Here is a quick overview of the specs of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 infant car seat:

Image of the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Gotham

  • Holds infants from 4 to 35 pounds, and up to 32 inches
  • Click Connect technology means you click it in and out of its base and in and out of the stroller, or any other compatible stroller
  • Weighs only 7 ½ pounds
  • Base connects to vehicle with latch connector straps for added security
  • Meets or exceeds all US car seat safety standards
  • Made with EPS foam for safety, and has particularly good side impact protection
  • 5 point safety harness with one hand adjust system
  • Large canopy to protect baby from the sun
  • Removable infant support pillow

At this point, you’re probably wondering if Graco is secretly paying me to give all their products rave reviews. While I wish they would, they aren’t. I have simply compared Graco products to other products and they hold their own. This jogging travel system is no exception. It’s gotten outstanding reviews on many websites.

You can check out our full review of the Graco SnugLock Click Connect 35.

The Stroller

Graco calls this a crossover stroller. They claim that it “combines all the comfort and convenience features of a traditional stroller with the performance of maneuverability of an all-terrain jogger.” And that’s exactly what it does.

Image of the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System, Gotham

It has a lightweight design. This stroller weighs in at 30 pounds, which is pretty good for a legit jogger.

In addition to being somewhat lightweight, the stroller also features air-filled rubber tires for a smooth ride. The tires of the stroller are 16-inch tires in the back and a 12-inch tire in the front. The bicycle-type tires provide great suspension and a smooth ride.

Image of the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System, Gotham

The front wheel is lockable so that you can have swivel for maneuverability, or a locked wheel for stability. It also has two-step brakes. This means that you have to break each side individually.

Image of the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System, Gotham

The fast action jogger has fast-action fold. It’s supposed to take one second and be done with one hand. This is entirely true. This means that you simply pull handle in the seat of the stroller and pop! The stroller folds in half instantly. It also locks while folded and is self-standing.

For your baby’s comfort, there’s a convertible 5 point safety harness to 3 point safety harness. This is nice, since baby can stay in the stroller until they reach 50 pounds. There’s also a multi-position reclining seat that can recline to be almost all the way flat. It’s got a large canopy that’s extendable and has a peek-a-boo window. It also has reflectors on the rear tires for added visibility while running in the dark.

Image of the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System, GothamImage of the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System, Gotham

All the extras: This stroller has more than sufficient storage. It’s got a child snack tray, that features a little snack compartment and 2 drink holders. The snack tray easily swivels out of the way so that you can get your child in and out fast, and also acts as the adapter for clicking the car seat in and out. It has a parent storage tray with 2 cup holders and a covered storage compartment. On top of the storage compartment is a smartphone holder. Depending on what phone you have you may or may not be able to get your phone to fit in this holder. Finally, there’s a storage basket underneath that’s a decent size. You can certainly fit a diaper bag and maybe a couple of other essentials in it.

 

Best Features

  • Click connect technology for ease of use
  • Comfortable and safe car seat
  • Air-filled tires
  • Lockable front wheel
  • Fast action fold
  • Snack and drink areas for parents and kids
  • Lots of storage

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 32 inches

Car seat weight: 7.5 pounds

Stroller weight: 30 pounds

Stroller weight limit: 50 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • No safety tether
  • Bigger price tag
  • Tall handle might frustrate shorter pushers
  • Bigger and bulkier than other systems

Check out this system in our Best Jogging Stroller Travel System article.

Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System

 

Image of the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System, Papyrus

The Car Seat

The seat included with this travel system is the Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat. This best infant car seat is one of the safest on the market. It meets or exceeds all safety standards and also has EPS foam and a contoured shell for outstanding protection in an accident.

Image of the Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat and Base with Car Seat, Papyrus

The included base has latch connectors and an easy tightening system to make sure that it’s installed properly. It does have clear belt routing and integrated lock-offs to install it easily without the base in place.

Image of the Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat and Base with Car Seat, Papyrus

This car seat can hold an infant from 4 to 30 pounds and up to 30 inches in height. It has a newborn head and body support. It also has a nice, large canopy, and it’s easy to tighten and adjust five point safety harness. It’s also easy to clean.

This seat is also relatively narrow. If you have multiple kids and need a narrow seat, there are quite a few good options.

See the different Keyfit versions in our complete Chicco car seat analysis.

The Stroller

They call this the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System because it has a trio of modes for use. The first mode is a car seat carrier. You can completely remove the seat, footrest, and canopy of the stroller to have just a frame to attach the car seat carrier. You do have to have the adapter, which is included when you purchase the travel system, in place to be able to click the KeyFit 30 car seat into place.

Image of the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System, Papyrus

The next mode is a travel system mode, where you can have the Bravo stroller with the adapter for the car seat. This allows the baby to either sit in the car seat or sit in the stroller, as long as you remember to bring the adapter with you.

The final mode is the toddler stroller, or just the regular Bravo stroller. In this mode, the stroller can hold a child up to 50 pounds.

Besides these modes, it has a multi-position recliner for the back of the seat. It has an extra large canopy with a peek-a-boo window. There’s a fantastic folding system that can be done one-handed. You just grab the handle under the seat and pull it up, then the auto-swivel wheels rotate inward automatically, and the stroller folds to a small and compact standing form. It’s basically foolproof.

Image of the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System, Papyrus

The brakes of the all wheel suspension stroller are linked, which means that braking one wheel in the back will also brake the other wheel. This stroller has two front wheels that can be swiveled or locked into place as you need.

The Bravo Trio stroller does weigh about 23 pounds. To finish out, the stroller also features a very large storage basket that’s easy to access in any mode, a small parent tray with two cup holders, and a 3-position adjustable push handle.

Want to see this 4 wheeled stroller go head-to-head with the 3 wheeled Britax B-Agile? We’ve got a Chicco Bravo Trio vs. Britax B Agile & B Safe 35 comparison just for you!

Best Features

  • One of the best car seats ever
  • Narrow car seat
  • Lots of storage
  • Adjustable handlebar
  • One handed fold
  • Linked braking system

Image of the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System, Papyrus

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 30 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 30 inches

Car seat weight: 9.6 pounds

Stroller weight limit: 5o pounds

Stroller weight: 23 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Bigger price tag
  • Stroller seat only faces out (can’t switch)
  • Uses adapters for travel system (included)

Baby Trend Expedition LX Travel System

Image of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System, Phantom

The Car Seat

The best car seat included with this travel system is the Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc infant car seat. This is a top rated infant car seat that’s designed to hold a baby between 5 and 30 pounds. It will accommodate your child until they reach 30 inches. It comes with a small and soft head support for those little tiny babies.

Image of the Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc Infant Car Seat, Celery

Made with EPS foam, it provides superior protection in a car accident. It even has extra padding that helps with side impact protection. It meets or exceeds all safety standards in the US.

It’s called EZ Flex Loc because of the latch system that it uses. The base has flexible latch hooks as opposed to rigid, one-piece latch hooks. If you look at the latch connectors, you can see that they’re hinged. This means that once they’re hooked in, you can adjust the seat to get a secure fit without having to re-attach the anchors.

Besides having the Flex Loc, the base also has a push button that allows you to adjust the height to 4 different positions for correct installation. It even has a level indicator that let you know when you have it at the proper level for installation.

This car seat has a small and lightweight design. It weighs just over 7 1/2 pounds, and the car seat is about 16 1/2 inches at its widest spot. This means that it takes up less room in your car and makes it really easy to put more than one car seat in the back of your car. This is definitely a good choice for parents that have to do two or more car seats in the back.

Image of the Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc Infant Car Seat, Celery

The way that you release this car seat from the base and stroller is unique. Usually, there’s a lever at the front of the car seat, behind where the baby’s head is, that you will pull to get the car seat to pop out. With this one, it’s down by baby’s feet. This is both good and bad. It works really well in smaller cars where you don’t have a lot of headspace for the car seat, but it does make it tricky because you have to put your hand down between the car seat and the backseat of your vehicle to get the car seat free.

The harness system of this car seat is good, but it can be frustrating. It’s a 5 point safety harness with some good qualities. You can adjust the car seats harness straps by simply turning a knob on the back of the car seat. This makes it nice because you won’t have to rethread harness straps every time your baby grows. It also has a one-handed release mechanism in the front. The biggest pain about this harness system is that you have to stack the buckles in order to buckle them in.

Finally, the best car seat has the delta multi-grip carrying handle. This is a smooth carrying handle with a triangle shape. It’s designed to not irritate your arm and make it much easier on your back and arms. I personally love this type of car seat handle, because it makes holding the car seat in both your hands and on your arms a lot easier in nearly any position.

The Stroller

The Expedition Jogging Stroller is included with this travel system. This stroller is specially designed for running or jogging on nearly any surface. It has 16 inch rear tires that are air-filled bicycle tires. It’s got a 12-inch front tire with swivel or locking capabilities. Having it locked is great for going for a run, while being able to swivel will make this stroller be able to go from the trail to the mall in a snap. And having such large, air-filled tires means that you get a smoother ride on any surface. This translates to the stroller gliding more easily during a run so that you don’t encounter as much resistance.

Image of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller, Phantom, 50 Pounds

This stroller features 3 separate brakes. One brake is on the front wheel that allows it to lock in a straight and non-swiveling position. Both of the back wheels have their own brakes. This is somewhat inconvenient, but it is nice if you’re just going to make a quick stop, as you can just apply one of the brakes.

Image of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller, Phantom, 50 Pounds

The stroller’s made with a lightweight steel frame. The overall weight of the stroller is about 26 pounds. Now, this is much more than a regular stroller, but you have to remember that you have much bigger tires and you need a bigger frame to support that. Still, at 26 pounds, this is one of the lighter ones on the market.

Image of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller, Phantom, 50 Pounds

The Baby Trend Expedition LX Travel System is so easy to use.

Folding this lightweight stroller is a breeze, as it features a trigger fold that easily folds the stroller in half in a compact unit. You just pull the two triggers on each side of the handle and the stroller will fold in half, and then it can be locked into place. It does stand on its own as long as all three wheels are touching the ground.

The stroller features a lot of great safety features. For starters, it’s got a fully adjustable 5 point safety harness for the kid. This 5 point safety harness is a bit complicated to buckle, but it’s very secure. The stroller also features a tether strap for the parent to hold onto while running. This means that you won’t have a runaway stroller going downhill. Another safety feature is the footrest reflectors. This means that if you’re going for an early-morning or late-night jog, everyone will be able to see you and your stroller.

Some comfort features included are a seat that can recline to many different positions, including flat, and an adjustable canopy with a peek-a-boo window. The handle is extra wide and ergonomically shaped. It’s covered in a soft rubbery material that provides good grip during a run while also providing comfort. These features will come in handy across the life of the stroller, which will last you until your kiddo reaches 50 pounds.

Image of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller, Phantom, 50 Pounds

The Expedition Jogger Stroller has no shortage of storage. For starters, it has a parent tray that has two cup holders and a covered compartment. There’s also a child tray that has two cup holders. This tray also doubles as the adapter that allows the car seat to click in. There’s an extra-large storage basket underneath that fits a lot of items, including a larger diaper bag. It’s also easy to access.

Read up on this system in our Expedition Jogger review.

Best Features

  • Flex Loc easy installation
  • Takes up less room in car
  • Smooth ride
  • Amazing air-filled tires
  • Lightweight and easy to push
  • Canopy completely covers baby
  • Delta carrying handle
  • Good value

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 5 to 30 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 30 inches

Car seat weight: 7.5 pounds

Stroller weight: 26 pounds

Stroller weight limit: 50 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Newborn insert puts small babies at a weird angle
  • Base is tough to get tight
  • Have to align harness buckles to click them in
  • Carrying handle is hard to push back
  • Swivel wheel sometimes shakes when running

See our article comparing all the leading jogging travel systems. And here is the standalone review of the Baby Trend Expedition Travel System.

Britax B Lively & B Safe 35 Travel System

The Car Seat

The seat included with this travel system is the Britax B Safe 35 Infant Car Seat. This seat will hold an infant from 4 to 45 pounds and 32 inches tall or shorter. For the smaller babes, it has a lovely head and body cushion that’s removable as baby grows.

Image of the Britax 2017 B Agile & B Safe 35 Travel System, Black

The B Safe 35 meets or exceeds all US safety standards. This best infant car seat features Britax’s SafeCell impact protection. This little network of plastic honeycombs inside the base and the car seat itself does wonders for absorbing energy in a crash. The car seat was also designed with a steel frame to help stabilize the car seat at the connection point to the vehicle, which is where the most durability is needed. The car seat has a wonderful contoured shell design. Not only does this make it smaller in your vehicle, but it also helps the car seat to move around less and also offers deep side impact protection.

Image of the Britax 2017 B Agile & B Safe 35 Travel System, Black

The base has SafeCell impact protection, and it also has the SafeCenter latch feature. This is a set of center pull straps that make tightening the base in the car a cinch. The latch connectors are created with an on/off button that allows you to make placing and releasing the anchors very easy as well. It also features built-in lock offs for when you want to use your car seat belt to install it.

Image of the Britax 2017 B Agile & B Safe 35 Travel System, Black

The B Safe 35 also features a quick-adjust harness. This allows you to move the safety harness and the headrest up as your child grows. You simply remove a lever and the entire headrest and shoulder strap system moves upward. There’s no need to rethread straps every time you need to make an adjustment.

Extras: In addition to the wonderful safety features, this car seat has perks like an extra large canopy, spring-assisted recline, and ergonomic handle for comfortable caring, and a extra-padded 5 point safety harness. And as an added bonus, you can use this car seat with any Britax stroller, just in case you buy an additional one or buy a different one later.

The Stroller

The B Lively is a high-quality and lightweight stroller. It’s got a lighter frame, weighing in at only 20 pounds. That makes the stroller both easy to carry and easy to push. All-wheel suspension and a swivel front wheel give you additional ease of movement and a really tight turning radius. You can easily hit the brakes by using the linked parking brake. That will stop both rear wheels with just one push of the toe.

The stroller is both fast and easy to fold. You can do it with one hand, and it folds to be very compact. It has a frame lock that’ll keep the stroller together while traveling or while in storage.

I haven’t had the pleasure of using this exact system myself, but I can tell you that thousands of parents swear by this system and this company alone. And with a 1 year warranty on the car seat and a 2 year warranty on the stroller, you can see why.

Additional features include an extra large canopy with the ventilation window/peek-a-boo window and UV 50+ sun protection, a huge under seat storage compartment that can be accessed from the front, an additional zippered pocket for storing parent items, a reclinable seat that can even adjust to be all the way flat for an infant, and a very padded and comfortable 5-point harness.

The click and go capabilities of the stroller mean that you can attach any other Britax car seat, as long as you have the adapters. It does require 2 tower adapters, which are 2 small plastic pieces, to get the car seat to click in. This personally isn’t my favorite way to click a car seat into a stroller, but it does work. Just come up with a smart system of keeping the adapters with the stroller so you don’t lose them.

If you want to find out more, read our Britax B-Lively review.

Or, if you prefer a 4 wheeled stroller, but love the Britax brand, check out the Britax Pathway stroller review from Experienced Mommy.

Best Features

  • Safe car seat
  • Narrow and compact car seat
  • Stroller maneuvers well
  • Push and fold/unfold with one hand
  • Amazing suspension and wheels
  • Higher weight limits

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat weight: 10 pounds

Stroller weight: 23 pounds

Stroller weight limit: Up to 55 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Car seat is heavy
  • No storage for parents
  • Bigger price tag
  • Known to have recalls on parts

Graco Fast Action Fold Click Connect Travel System

Image of the Graco FastAction Travel System Stroller, Bennett

The Car Seat

This travel system comes with the Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 30 infant car seat. This rear-facing car seat has a stay-in-car base and the Graco Click Connect technology. This gives you a loud “click!” when the car seat is safely attached to the stroller or car seat base. This secure tech does mean that you need 2 hands to click the car seat in and out of the stroller and base.

This Safe Seat Engineered car seat meets or exceeds all safety standards. It can withstand extreme temps and it has the super-safe latch feature. It’s even FAA approved for use while flying. It’ll fit a baby from 4 to 30 pounds and up to 32 inches.

This best car seat only weighs 7 pounds on it’s own, and 11 pounds with the base attached. That number speaks for itself!

The 5 point safety harness is comfortable and easy to adjust. It has a machine washable pad, a large carrying handle, a removable infant support pillow, and a good sized canopy as well. This car seat might not have a ton in the way of features, but it’s basic, simple, and safe. That’s all you really need!

The Stroller

This stroller will hold a child up to 50 pounds. This is nice, since you’ll get many year of use out of it.

You kiddo can relax in the reclining and padded seat. They’ll be protected by the large canopy with a mesh peek-a-boo window. They also get a detachable snack tray with 2 cup holders. Parents get a big,covered snack tray with drink holders as well. The large basket at the bottom has plenty of storage for bags, toys, snacks, and anything else you need.

The braking system is foot operated and works really well. The front swivel wheels provide easy maneuvering for the sturdy frame. You can lock the wheels if you prefer.

The Fast Action Fold is incredible. It only takes one hand and one second to pull the strap to fold it. It’s just as easy to unfold. The fact that it folds up so small and is light (only 22 pounds) means that you can carry it around with just one hand, too.

Best Features

  • Safe and reliable car seat
  • Click Connect works with any other Click Connect product
  • Amazing Fast Action Fold
  • Ample parent storage
  • Child snack tray
  • Super light car seat

Exact Specifications

  • Car seat dimensions: 30.7″ L x 18.7″ W x 15.6″ H
  • Car seat weight: 4 to 30 pounds
  • Car seat height: Up to 32 inches
  • Stroller weight: 22 pounds
  • Folded stroller dimensions: 28.5 in L x 18.5 in H x 22.5 in W

Areas for Improvement

  • Adjusting car seat canopy when attached to base is difficult
  • Car seat gets stuck in base and car seat
  • Stroller wheels squeak after some time
  • Stroller seat belt isn’t comfortable
  • Hard to get car seat out of base/stroller

Chicco Viaro Travel System

Image of the Chicco Viaro Stroller Travel System, Teak

The Car Seat

This Chicco travel system comes with the KeyFit 30 infant car seat. Let’s get some quick stats on this best car seat:

  • For babies 4 to 30 pounds and up to 30 inches
  • Meets or exceeds all safety standards
  • Deep, contoured shell design

Image of the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion

  • EPS foam lining
  • Base has button release latch connectors and SuperCinch easy belt tightening
  • Integrated lockoffs and clear belt routing for use with vehicle belt
  • Newborn support pillow
  • Large canopy
  • 5 point safety harness with padding and easy tightening

The Stroller

The Chicco Viaro stroller is a lightweight and sleek stroller. It weighs only 18 pounds. The 3-wheel design makes it easily maneuverable and easily pushable. The nice suspension gives a smooth ride for baby.

Image of the Chicco Viaro Stroller, Graphite

The front wheel swivels to allow for better movement and a tight turning radius. However, the plastic wheels don’t seem as durable. The wheels are thin and soft and get peppered by rocks or gravel. At 7 inches for the front wheel and 8.75 inches for the back wheels, they’re big enough to tackle a lot of terrain.

It has a two-step braking system. This means that you have individual toe top brakes to lock the back wheels individually. This makes quick stops easy, but it requires more effort and isn’t foot friendly.

Image of the Chicco Viaro Stroller, Graphite

The fold on the stroller is fantastic. It’s my favorite feature. It’s a truly one handed fold. All you do is push a release button under the seat of the stroller, pull up on the strap, and you have a compact and self-standing folded stroller. It doesn’t lock once folded, so you have to be careful when getting it in and out of the trunk. The perk of it not locking is that you can reopen the stroller quickly and easily with just one hand as well. Just pull up on the handle and click it open.

Chicco claims that this is their most lightweight stroller. And even though it’s light, it can still hold a child up to 50 pounds. The multi-position backrest (which unfortunately can’t lie flat) and the adjustable 5 point safety harness easily grow with your child for many years of use.

Image of the Chicco Viaro Stroller Travel System, Teak

The stroller features an extra large canopy. It’s made from a thick and sturdy material that shades the baby well. And the best part is that it can completely shade the baby when used with the KeyFit Car Seat. This protects baby from nosy people and hot sun alike! I do wish that the canopy had a spy window, since it’s so big and blocks the parent’s view of baby.

Image of the Chicco Viaro Stroller, Graphite

Child Tray

This stroller features great storage for being so sleek. There’s a parent storage area on the push handle with two cup holders and a middle tray. There’s a child snack tray with two cup holders and a place for food. The bottom storage basket is wonderful. It’s deep and big. It can also be accessed from the rear, like a normal stroller, or it can be accessed from the front by lifting up the seat’s footrest. I like this added convenience.

The Chicco Viaro travel system has a lot of fantastic features. See our full review of the Chicco Viaro Travel System.

We’ve talked about both the Chicco Bravo and Chicco Viaro strollers as part of travel systems. Want to know which is best? Read our Chicco Viaro Stroller vs Chicco Bravo Stroller article.

Best Features

  • Safe car seat
  • Belt lock offs for use without base
  • Easy folding mechanism
  • Lots of storage
  • Can access storage basket from front
  • Lightweight
  • Maneuvers really well

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 30 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 30 pounds

Stroller weight: 18 pounds

Stroller weight limit: Up to 50 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Stroller doesn’t lock when folded
  • Takes up lots of space when folded
  • Cheap wheels and fabrics
  • No peek-a-boo window on huge canopy

You can check out how the B-Agile stacks up against the Chicco Bravo in our Chicco Bravo vs Britax B-Agile article. There’s also a head-to head battle of the lightweight B-Agile and City Mini in our Britax B-Agile vs Baby Jogger City Mini review.

Baby Trend Easy Ride 5 Travel System

Image of the Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth

The Car Seat

The Baby Trend Flex Loc infant car seat is safe and stylish. It’s meant for babies from 5 to 30 pounds and up to 30 inches.

It’s called the Flex Loc because the latch straps have this cool flexible hinge for perfect car installation of the base. The 5 point safety harness has no-rethread straps so that it remains safe as baby grows. Add in the fact that this car seat has superior safety ratings, and you get one of the safest seats on the market.

Image of the Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth

One of the best things about this best car seat is that it’s super narrow. Even with the 4 position reclining base, it’s small. At only 16.5 inches, it won’t hog the whole back seat. This does mean that it is smaller in general, though, so big babies beware.

To release the stylish seat from the base, you grab a handle at the foot of the seat, which is difficult at times. You carry the seat with the oh-so-amazing delta handle that’s padded and non-irritating to your arms and joints.

This seat is padded and comfortable, especially around the head, but there is no infant insert included. That and the annoying buckle are the only downsides to this car seat.

The Stroller

Image of the Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth

This stroller works as a true travel system base: the car seat just attaches at the snack tray to get pushed around. The stroller’s peek-a-boo canopy means that you can cover baby and still keep an eye on them. It’s got a 3 wheeled design with durable plastic wheels and front wheel suspension.

The height adjustable handle and parent snack tray/drink holders are great to have. The bottom basket is large, but hard to get to if the stroller seat is reclined.

Image of the Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth

The child seat reclines to several different positions. There’s a 5 point child safety harness, too. All this is topped off by an awesome 2 drink-holding snack tray that can be clicked off.

You can fold the stroller relatively easily with just one hand. The folding mechanism takes some practice and some muscle, since the stroller still weighs 33 pounds. Once folded, it’s nice and compact.

Best Features

  • Lower price point
  • Easy Flex Loc installation
  • No rethread straps
  • Delta carrying handle
  • 3 wheel design
  • Lots of storage and space in stroller
  • Quick and compact fold

Image of the Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System, Hounds Tooth

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 5 to 30 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 30 inches

Car seat weight: 9.45 pounds

Stroller weight: 33 pounds

Stroller weight limit: 50 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Less-than-perfect quality
  • Front wheel is hard to maneuver
  • Car seat buckle is annoying
  • No infant insert for car seat
  • Smaller height and weight limits on both seat and stroller

Evenflo Pivot Travel System

Best Travel System

The Car Seat

This travel system features a fantastic car seat: the Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat. This best infant car seat works for babies that are 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall.

Image of the Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat, Noelle

The SafeZone base and has an anti-rebound bar (similar to some Britax models). It reduces the amount of movement that can happen after impact.

You can install the base with Evenflo’s very user-friendly latch system. Simply hook on the two lower anchor hooks (with button release!), tighten, and use the integrated belt lock off system to lock the base tightly into place. If you are using the vehicle belt, you’ll get just as secure of an installation because of this lock off system.

 

The base also has recline to get it at the right angle. You can use the built-in knob to adjust the seat until the built-in indicator level is in the right spot. With all these base safety and convenience features, it’s almost impossible to install it wrong.

Image of the Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat, Noelle

The seat clicks easily into the base and the stroller and has an easy to access release latch on the back of the car seat. It might take you a couple tries to line it up, but once you do, it clicks into the base or stroller tightly.

Safety is most important. Like all Evenflo car seats, this seat has been designed and tested to meet or exceed all US safety standards two times over. It’s also got extra rollover and side impact protection to keep baby safe in any scary scenario.

Image of the Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat, Noelle

The SafeMax has lots of padding, including an infant pillow insert, and uses breathable fabrics, so baby stays comfortable. There’s a 5 point safety harness that has an easy front adjust and padding, a big 3-panel canopy, and a padded handle for better carrying.

The Stroller

The stroller is the main attraction when it comes to this modular travel system. This one stroller actually functions as three different strollers: a baby carriage, an infant stroller, and a toddler stroller.

The Pivot stroller features 6 different ways to ride. How does it do this? Well, within the three different modes that I just mentioned, you can have the baby facing you or facing the world.

Image of the Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System

That means that as a baby carriage, which is probably the first mode you’ll use, you can have the baby bassinet facing toward you or toward the world.

This is not a totally unique feature but there aren’t that many bassinet stroller travel systems.

Then when you have a toddler on your hands, You can put them in the toddler seat, complete with padded harness, reclinable seat, and huge, 3 panel canopy with peek-a-boo window. You’ll have a convenient snack holder for baby too.

(I love seats that can face both ways! Check out my Urbini Reversi review for another great travel system that has a flippable seat.)

But do you want to hear the best part of the Evenflo Pivot? The toddler seat and the baby carriage are the same piece of gear. You can convert it from one into the other with just a buckle and a strap. It works as a seat until baby reaches 50 pounds.

Image of the Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System

Finally, there is frame stroller or infant stroller mode. This is when you detach all seats from the stroller frame and use the frame itself to carry the SafeMax car seat. You can attach the car seat so that it faces you or so that it faces away from you. No adapters needed– it simply attaches to the frame itself on the sides.

The Pivot stroller is foldable. All you do is click the button on the sides of the frame, and the frame folds in half on itself. It can be folded with the toddler seat on, or when its just the frame alone. It is then pretty flat and easy to load into a trunk. It weighs in at about 15 pounds, so it’s not terribly heavy to fold and move. Maneuverability is nice, with front swivel wheels that are nice and thick. The back wheels feature a two-step (aka not linked) braking system.

Besides the amazing versatility and easy use of the stroller, you’re going to get a stroller that has very stylish design. Anyone looking at this stroller would have no idea that it’s an Evenflo. It honestly looks like an expensive boutique purchase.

The storage basket at the bottom has ample room and can be accessed from both the front and the back. There is a simple parent cup holder that can be placed anywhere on the handle.

Bonus: The Evenflo Pivot Xpand

I want to mention another version of this stroller really quickly. The Evenflo Pivot Xpand Travel System has all the same features and user-friendliness of the single version, but with a bonus seat.

There are just as many ways to ride with the double version. There are up to 22 configurations with the second seat option. You can turn the seats in several different ways and you can adjust it with the amazing slide-and-lock feature that attaches the seat to the frame.

You still get a big storage basket, a peek-a-boo canopy, large tires, standing fold, adjustable handles, and other great extras. If you might expand your family some day, and love the idea of the Pivot, then the Pivot Xpand is definitely for you.

Best Features

  • 6 different stroller modes
  • Easy to switch and no adapters needed
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Great manueverability
  • Good price point
  • Access storage basket from the front

Image of the Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat height limit: 17 to 32 inches

Car seat weight: 8.9 pounds

Stroller weight: 15 pounds

Stroller weight limit: Up to 50 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Frame is a bit large, even when folded
  • Front wheels get stuck
  • Requires 2 hands to fold/unfold

BOB Rambler Travel System

Image of the BOB Rambler Travel System, Black

The Car Seat

The setup is pretty simple. There’s a car seat, an adapter, and the stroller. The car seat is actually a Britax B-Safe 35 infant car seat. Since we’ve already gone over it, here’s a quick recap:

  • Safe Cell impact protection on the base
  • Steel frame
  • Safe Center latch installation
  • FAA approved
  • Huge canopy
  • Clicks easily into stroller and base
  • Spot clean only
  • Base recline
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Padded 5 point safety harness

The Stroller

The BOB Rambler Travel System is for serious runners only! I’m talking training for a marathon, 7 miles a day type running.

View Full Size

That’s because it utilizes one of the best jogging/running strollers ever. Here’s the outstanding features:

  • 75 lb weight capacity
  • Mountain bike style suspension
  • Locking front swivel wheel
  • 12 inch air filled tires
  • 25 lb aluminum frame
  • Easy fold (can even remove wheels to make smaller!)
  • Linked rear parking brake
  • Hand strap for safety
  • Padded seat with 5 point safety harness and recline
  • HUGE UPF 50+ canopy with peek-a-boo window
  • Under child storage basket

This stroller is wonderful. As a runner/hiker/walker/generally super active person, I can’t sing its praises enough.

Check it out on our Best Lightweight Jogging Stroller list.

 

If you have the money and are serious about running, please DO NOT hesitate to get this system, because you’ll get a very safe car seat and base, together with a top-of-the-line jogging stroller.

Image of the BOB Rambler Travel System, Black

Best Features

  • Big weight limit
  • Safe and user-friendly car seat
  • Narrow car seat- takes up less space in car
  • Mountain bike suspension
  • Easy fold
  • Safety features
  • Storage basket

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 32 inches

Car seat weight: 10 pounds

Stroller weight: 25 pounds

Stroller weight limit: 75 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Insanely expensive!
  • Heavy car seat
  • Can’t wash car seat cover

Evenflo Sibby Travel System

The Car Seat

This travel system comes with the Evenflo LiteMax Car Seat. This is an award-winning car seat that meets or exceeds all federal safety standards. It exceeds the federal crash standards by 2x. But unlike a lot of other car seats, this one has been tested for rollover safety.

This car seat works really well for all babies up to 35 pounds. This big upper limit means that your baby can stay rear facing longer -well after their 1st birthday- since that’s the safest position for babies to travel in. But since the weight limit is so low, it is nationally recognized as a good car seat for low birth-weight babies, too.

This best car seat is made from heavy duty and durable plastic, making it 25% lighter than other car seats in the same category. It weighs in at just over 8 pounds! That includes the large, ergonomic carrying handle, with multiple positions for carrying and convenience.

The car seat comes with a stay-in-car base, complete with a reclining base level indicator and 4 position recline features. This detached base makes carrying the car from the house to the car so easy. Extra bases also mean that you can click into other cars if needed.

The base also has a belt-lock off feature, which gets the base installed in 2 easy steps. This makes it easy to get your base in safely and correctly every time you install it, even if you don’t use the available LATCH feature.

The polyester pad for the car seat is totally machine washable. It comes with a removable infant head pillow too. Also on the pad are 2 awesome little buckle pockets on either side. These keep the buckles out of your way while you wrangle your child in and out of the seat.

The 5 point safety harness has 4 different shoulder positions for baby’s comfort. The easy adjust harness controls are front and center by baby’s feet. All of this is shielded by the canopy.

The Stroller

The Evenflo Sibby stroller has 4 wheels, like a traditional stroller. The rear wheels are larger, which helps with steering and durability. This smooth riding stroller will fit a child up to 50 pounds for use well into the preschool years.

You can fold the Sibby in half with the lift-to-fold system. The folding system is located in the seat, so it’s easy to do with just one hand. Once folded, it is small enough to fit into most trunks. It’s self-standing, too.

One of the coolest features with the Sibby system is the extra glider board. It too can fit a child up to 50 pounds, which gives you a way to pull an extra kiddo around with you once they get tired of walking. This glider board can be pulled up and out of the way when you aren’t using it. And best of all, the stroller can still be folded nice and flat with the stroller board attached.

Parent features include a large underseat storage basket with front and back access, a small mesh pouch behind the seat, sport grip handles (which give that riding child more headspace) and a flexible cup holder on the handle. Kiddo features include a 3 to 5 point safety harness with padded straps and buckle, reclining seat,  3 position foot rest, a moveable bumper bar for safety, and a large, full-coverage canopy with peek-a-boo window.

Best Features

  • Lightweight and safe car seat
  • Compact and standing fold
  • Ride-Along Board for second child
  • Huge storage basket
  • Easy to install
  • Cleans very nicely
  • Affordable

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat height: 17 to 32 inches

Stroller weight: 0 to 50 pounds

Stroller age: 0 to 5 years

Areas for Improvement

  • Wheels aren’t the best
  • It’s hard to maneuver with the stroller board attached (due to the extra weight)
  • Hard to stand on stroller board with seat fully reclined/car seat attached
  • Stroller and car seat are on the smaller side

Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System

The Car Seat

The Smooth Ride Travel System comes with the Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat. This is a comfortable and safe car seat for babies up to 35 pounds.

For starters, it has exceptional safety with side impact protection and a deep shell design. It meets and exceeds all Federal safety standards in the US.  

It’s a good choice for small babies, since it has soft and thick newborn padding. The head and body inserts are removable as baby grows. You can also adjust the harness to one of 4 different heights as baby grows. And to tighten the harness? Just use the easy adjustment strap in the front.

The base is fully adjustable thanks to the recline foot, This helps make sure that you get a safe and secure fit in your vehicle. It has easy-to-use latch straps of the normal kind (just plain hooks).

The best infant car seat attaches to both the stroller and the base with Safety 1st’s QuickClick technology. It stays in the stroller very securely, and the loud noise helps you know when it’s in place so that you don’t have to wonder if it will fall out of place.

Finally, the soft seat pad on this lightweight, 7.6 pound car seat is removable and machine washable. There is a canopy to keep everything shaded as well.  

The Stroller

Let’s start at the bottom of the Smooth Ride stroller. It has decent wheels that, while small, actually do a pretty good job at maneuvering. The best part of the wheel system is that the separate back brakes are flip-flop friendly. The brake lever looks like a teeter-totter, so you don’t have to crack a toenail to release the brakes.

Then there’s the fold. It’s really easy- just pull the strap in the center of the seat and it folds and stands on its own. Once folded, you will need both hands to undo the lock and open it back up. But the fold is pretty flat and would work well for most trunks.

This stroller doesn’t lack in storage. It has a huge mesh storage basket at the bottom. There’s also a child tray with drink holder, and a parent tray with 2 drink holders and an open compartment. You can fit pretty much everything you need in here.

The canopy is thin, but it’s large. Your sitting child has a lot of headspace even with the canopy open. You can also completely cover the car seat’s opening when used as a travel system. The canopy has a mesh window for spying and for airflow on a hot day.

Your child will be comfy in the padded 5 point safety harness and the soft fabrics.

Overall, while a very cheap option, it works well for most parents that don’t want anything too fussy.

Best Features

  • Extremely affordable
  • Easy to fold
  • Clicks in and out easily
  • Brakes are awesome!
  • Safe car seat
  • Lovely color choices

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 32 inches

Stroller weight limit: Up to 50 pounds

Stroller weight: 18.2 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Car seat latch straps are tiny and so hard to get undone once clicked in
  • Shell design means car seat is on the narrow side (kind of like Chicco)
  • Not the highest quality materials overall
  • Stroller doesn’t like to stay open

UPPAbaby Vista + Mesa Travel System

Image of the 2018 UPPABaby VISTA Stroller - Henry (Blue Marl/Silver/Saddle Leather) + MESA- Henry (Blue Marl) merino wool version

The Car Seat

Let’s start with the big thing: safety. The UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat has a big head pillow that provides both comfort and an additional level of side impact protection for your growing child. The EPP foam helps absorb the energy of the impact away from your child and also helps them stay comfy.

This best car seat was awarded the NHTSA 5-Star rating for ease of use. That means that this seat makes it simple for parents to get a safe and secure fit every time. The Smart Secure system helps you to get the car seat in and ready in just a few seconds. It has an adjustable base, self-retracting latch connectors, and a tightness indicator. It even has levels on each side and a smooth, finished base for no vehicle seat indents.

Oh, and to get it out of the base? The release button is on top of the carrying handle. Genius!

Babies of all sizes will fit in this seat thanks to the 5 position adjustable and no-rethread harness. It’s even padded! You can move the bottom buckle to one of 2 positions to get the perfect fit.

The merino wool fabric of the UPPAbaby Mesa is stylish, naturally fire resistant, and even moisture wicking. The canopy is huge. You can wash both the seat cover and the canopy. One note: despite the cool fabric, babies tend to get hot in this seat.

At just 17 inches wide, the UPPAbaby Mesa Infant car seat fits well in smaller vehicles. The size of the UPPAbaby MESA car seat, together with the adjustable straps and plush infant insert, makes it perfect for preemies as small as 4 pounds.

The Stroller

Like the Mesa car seat, the UPPAbaby Vista Stroller has a ton of features.

The big draw of this stroller is that you can fit up to 3 kids in it. There are 2 seat options and a stroller board option. Both seats can face either forward or backward and can be reclined. The only downside is that you have to have the second seat and the stroller board removed in order to fold and store the stroller.

Speaking of folding, it’s really easy to do. And once you get it folded, the stroller will lock and stand on it’s own.

For when there’s just one baby, you can attach the cozy bassinet. It has a lot of padding, and a complete coverage sun shade. The bassinet can be detached and used as a carrier to keep baby sleeping. (Note: we said carrier, NOT car seat)

The toddler seat has inifinite recline, a massive sun canopy, and removable/washable fabrics.

As for working as a travel system, it’s the stroller base that accommodates the Mesa Infant Car Seat. Just click in the adapters and click the car seat down in. You can even haul around 2 bassinets or 2 car seats if you have 2 little ones! Many parents have complained that it can become crowded with the second seat, though.

 

For this price, you get more than just plastic wheels on a frame. Both the front wheels and the rear wheels have suspension and no-puncture tire design. The result is the baby stroller Cadillac equivalent. Like riding on air.

The storage for this stroller is so-so. The under seat basket is big and easy to get to. But that’s all there is. No drink holders or snack trays here. At least the telescoping handle bar and child arm bar are swaddled in real leather!

See how the Vista stroller compares to the Cruz stroller in our Uppababy comparison.

Best Features

  • Crazy number of features
  • Super high quality design
  • Expensive and tasteful finishes
  • NHTSA 5 star rating
  • Works well for preemies
  • Stroller fits up to 3 kids
  • Any combination of car seat/bassinet/toddler seat

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 32 inches

Car seat weight: 10 pounds

Stroller weight limit: Up to 50 pounds

Stroller frame weight: 19.3 pounds (26.6 pounds with toddler seat attached)

Areas for Improvement

  • Luxury features mean very high prices
  • Car seat gets pretty hot (not breathable)
  • Second seat must be removed in order to fold and store stroller
  • No snack or drink trays on stroller
  • Crowded with second seat attached

Graco Modes Travel System

The Car Seat

The seat included with this combo is the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat. It’s really similar to the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 car seat that’s included with most Graco travel systems.

The big difference is that is uses the SnugLock installation instead of Click Connect. But the good news is that the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 is compatible with Click Connect strollers, just in case you ever change strollers or have a separate jogging stroller or something.

The SnugLock tech still gives that comforting and very audible “click!” when the car seat is attached to the base or stroller. You can install the car seat using the latch system or the seat belt. Either way, it takes 3 steps and it’s in nice and tight because of the unique locking arm that keeps the base in place.

The install is made even easier by the 4 position recline base and the bubble indicator that’s simple to read and use.

You’ll know it’s safe because it meets or exceeds all Federal safety standards. It also has EPS foam to keep baby comfortable and safe in any situation. This foam also keeps this best car seat lightweight, with it weighing just 7.5 pounds.

It’s got ample newborn head and body padding and an easily adjustable safety harness. There’s also a large rotating canopy. It’s meant for babies from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches.

Oh, and one last cool thing! It has a storage compartment to keep the product manual and latch straps in place for when you need them. I love little extras like this!

The Stroller

This stroller can function as 3 different types of stroller: an infant car seat carrier, an infant stroller, and a toddler stroller. Between those 3 functions, there are a grand total of 10 different ways to ride in the Graco Modes stroller.

Here’s a breakdown of the 10 modes:

  1. Infant car seat carrier with car seat facing parent
  2. Infant car seat carrier with car seat facing outward
  3. Travel system with both stroller seat and car seat attached, facing parent
  4. Infant stroller with seat facing parent
  5. Infant stroller with seat facing outward
  6. Little toddler stroller (footrest all the way up) with seat facing parent
  7. Little toddler stroller with seat facing outward
  8. Older toddler stroller (footrest all the way down) with seat facing parent
  9. Older toddler stroller with seat facing outward
  10. Big kid stroller, with no snack tray and footrest extended

There are a ton of cool features on this versatile stroller. The 3 position leg rest is what really helps give this the many modes, because it can be folded all the way up to enclose an infant, or folded down flush with the seat for a big kid.

The reclining seat helps, too. It can be folded up straight, or it can be laid down flat to make the bassinet-like infant enclosure.

The wheels have suspension and do a pretty good job at turning. The front wheels have locks to make keeping on the straight and narrow (sidewalk) easy.

The standing, one-hand fold is really nice. Just click down the button on the handle and fold down. There’s a kickstand that keeps it up and there’s a lock that keeps it shut. Just undo the lock and pop it back open when you need it again.

You’ll also find a 3- or 5-point safety harness with removable pads. There’s a parent tray with drink holders and a covered compartment. There’s a similar snack tray for the kiddos. This snack tray and the supporting arm rests can both be removed when your baby gets big.

Finally, there’s a big canopy with a peek-a-boo window and a large under-seat storage compartment with both front and rear access.

If you have 2 kiddos (or might some day), check out the version that can hold two seats: the Graco Modes2Grow. There’s also a straight-up double version called the Graco Modes Duo.

Best Features

  • Safe and reliable car seat
  • Good name brand
  • 10 ways to ride
  • Huge storage basket
  • Parent and child snack trays
  • Clicks in and out easily

Exact Specifications

Car seat weight limit: 4 to 35 pounds

Car seat height limit: Up to 32 inches

Stroller weight limit: 50 pounds

Stroller weight: 21 pounds

Areas for Improvement

  • Harness is hard to buckle and unbuckle sometimes
  • Can’t fold the stroller when in infant mode
  • Handlebar can’t be adjusted
  • Plastic wheels aren’t ideal, but still handle well

 

How the Best Travel Systems Were Picked

How would you pick a travel system? If you’re anything like me, then you’d probably spend hours and hours online pouring over reviews from a bunch of different sites to try and weed out which travel systems are the best. You probably go to your local Target or Toys R Us and test out a few travel systems in person. You’d probably ask around and talk to all of your mom friends to see what they use and what they like and don’t like about it.

Well, that’s exactly what I’ve done here. I have looked at all of the big websites, from Amazon to Target to Toys R Us and beyond. I have spent hours reading through each and every customer review to see what people have to say about these travel systems. I’ve even looked at the strollers and the car seats separately and looked at their reviews to see what people say about them on their own.

I have so been that lady in the middle of Target playing with a stroller. I have let my son push them around and even set my baby in a car seat or two. This is all done in the name of research. Because, if at all possible, the best thing to do is actually get your hands on a travel system. Looking at pictures and videos is one thing, but actually using and manhandling the stroller and car seat is another thing altogether.

I’ve talked to all my mommy friends to see what they like and don’t like about their current travel systems. The mommy friends that I’m close enough to would let me try out certain features, like folding the stroller or clicking the car seat in and out, or buckling their baby in and out. I’d ask them what they would change about the stroller and car seat, and what they love. I’d ask them if they had to do over, would they buy that system again?

Basically, as part of my review process, I’ve done everything that you would do. I’ve done all the footwork for you, so that all you have to do is sit back, read my reviews, and decide for yourself if you like these top travel systems just as much as I do.

 

Travel System Features That Were Reviewed

It’s not easy to choose a travel system. Although it seems like such a straightforward purchase, it’s actually not. There’s many parts and pieces to consider and you also have to consider how they all work together. So, here’s just a summary of what I look for when choosing the best baby travel system.

The Car Seat

I think the car seat is arguably the most important part of the travel system. It’s what you need to keep your baby safe whether or not you’ll use the stroller.

So when I look for a good travel system, I look for a reliable and well-tested car seat. It has to meet or exceed all standards, and be completely safe for my child. I look for a best infant car seat that can be installed with the base and a latch system, or without a base using the car seat belt for when I’m traveling. I also look for a car seat that has high weight and height limits, as it means my child can stay in it and stay rear-facing for longer.

Be sure to read our Best Infant Car Seat breakdown to see all the top options.

The Stroller

The stroller, while probably not quite as important as the car seat, still is extremely important.

Mobility: You want a stroller that can go where you want to go. Now, this depends on what you do a lot. If you are active and you like to exercise a lot, whether that be going for walks, going for runs, or even taking your stroller on a trail, you definitely need a jogging stroller. A traditional stroller just won’t cut it for you.

However, if you don’t plan to exercise while pushing your baby, you don’t need to get a bulky jogging stroller. You could stick with the traditional stroller and be just fine.

Stroller category: And when it comes to regular strollers that aren’t created for exercise, you have a couple of options. You can go with the traditional, 4-wheeled stroller, or, you can go with the newer model 3-wheeled strollers. The biggest difference in these is going to be stability and maneuverability, as well as weight and size. Also, it usually comes down to personal preference.

Range of features: Once you get past the different types of strollers, I look for other features in my strollers as well. I look for tires that have good traction, good maneuverability, and a nice long life. Even if the tires are air-filled, I want them to be stable and not have to fix them constantly. And if they’re made from plastic, I want them to be a thick and sturdy plastic that’s not going to get tore up quickly.

Storage: I also look for a stroller that has good storage underneath the seat. Since you’re always hauling around gear with you and your kids, this is a must-have!

I look for strollers that have snack trays for both mom and child. Making sure that my kiddo can have a snack and drink when they need it and that I have a place to put my drink and keys and phone and snacks is very important to me. I love Britax strollers, but they always let me down in the storage category because of the lack of a child or parent tray. Like the Britax B-Free stroller– amazing underseat storage, but nothing else!

The canopy: Another thing I look for in a good stroller is a really good canopy. I prefer a canopy with a peek-a-boo window, as I like to be able to keep a sneaky eye on my child. I also like a canopy that extends far out so that it shades them from rain or sun. This feature is really important when you have a newborn, and it still is important when your child gets older, because they get vocal about things like sun and rain in their face. one of my all-time favorite canopies is on an incredible stroller called the Joovy Ballon. You have to see it- it’s huge!

Braking system: The final thing that I like to consider when looking at a stroller is the braking system. Some strollers have single braking systems, while some of them have a bar braking system, while still more have a hand brake system. Again, this is probably personal preference. I personally prefer either a handbrake or a dual braking system with a bar. Single brakes are fine, and they serve their purpose, but I just feel like they’re a hassle. I personally want a braking system that’s really easy for me to use and does it require me to crack a toenail every time I want to park my stroller.

Using Them Together

Best car seat? Check. Best stroller? Check. But what about them together? Sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in looking at the parts of a travel system, and not thinking about how well they work together.

For example, there are a lot of car seats and strollers that you can make into a travel system on the market, but they aren’t designed that way. You have to use adapters or other special tools to make it work as a travel system. When it comes down to it, this kind of car seat stroller combo makes it harder on a day-to-day basis because you have extra parts to keep track of. It also makes it harder on your wallet. I will go for this method if the car seat stroller combo is so great, that the extra parts are justified.

I look for a travel system where the car seat easily clicks in and out of the stroller. I don’t want it to be a 10-step process. I would prefer 1 or 2 steps that can easily be done. There’s even some unique baby gear where the car seat turns into the stroller! It’s amazing!

You might want a car seat and stroller set up that is compatible with more than one brand of car seat. For example, I love this Inglesina USA Triolgy lightweight stroller, but it’s only compatible with a couple of expensive and hard-to-find car seats from one brand. I prefer the Uppababy or Britax approach, where you can mix and match from a few different car seats.

And speaking of more than one car seat, check out tandem travel systems. If you have more than one child, these strollers are amazing! Most of them work as a travel system for your baby, while your bigger kid gets a seat somewhere else on the frame. I personally think that these strollers are smart for parents who might someday extend their family, or for those who already have a couple of kids to tow around. Check out our Britax B-Ready vs UPPAbaby Vista article to see 2 of my favorite tandem travel systems. Or, if you like more high-end items, be sure to check out the Baby Jogger City Select stroller in our Britax B-Ready vs City Select stroller review.

A Good Value

The last thing I look at when choosing the perfect travel system is a good value. Notice that I said a good value, not a good deal. There might be travel systems on the market that are really cheap, but you’re probably going to get what you pay for. You’ll probably get a system that’s not going to hold up and won’t have as many features as you want or need.

And while I don’t believe in just purchasing a cheap travel system, I also certainly don’t believe in spending oodles and oodles of money on a car seat and stroller. Especially because your baby is probably going to outgrow that car seat right around the one-year mark. You’re going to use the stroller a lot longer than one year, since most strollers will accommodate children clear up until they’re into preschool, so that can justify a larger price tag.

I will say this- price is relative to the buyer. So, to me and my family, who are on a tight budget, we just can’t justify spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a best car seat and stroller combo. But there are families out there who don’t mind spending several hundred dollars or even more to get a top-of-the line, best ever, luxury car seat and stroller.

So like I said, that’s where you find the balance of getting a good stroller and car seat for your money and your budget. You want a car seat that is safe and effective, but not overly expensive. You want a stroller that has all the bells and whistles you desire, without costing as much as your car payment.

Price is certainly a factor that I’m going to look at across all of the things I review. And if an expensive item is worth its weight in gold (literally), then I’ll let you know. And if the cheap item is cheap for a reason, I’ll let you know. Otherwise, I’m going to try and find you great products with great value.

Michelle Hand, Editor
Michelle Hand is the mom of a busy toddler, a super-fun kindergartener, and a baby on the way. She is a writer, editor, researcher, and Christian. She loves helping fellow moms find the best products for their families. When she has some free time, she likes hiking, singing and playing the piano, reading, and taking her dog for walks.

Leave a Comment