One of the moms from my son’s preschool class had an expensive modular travel system. I would watch her with envy every day as she easily pushed her baby around the school and got in and out of the car. I always wished to find a cheaper option, and finally, I have!
The Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System has everything you could want from the time baby comes home from the hospital until the time you’re pushing your preschooler around the zoo. You get a high-quality product that’s extremely versatile and comes at a good price.
In my humble opinion, this Pivot Travel System is hard to beat.
The Car Seat: Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat
The Evenflo Safemax car seat has actually been modeled after some of the technology from very expensive car seats. Let’s go over the details really fast:
- For babies 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches
- Seat weights 8.9 pounds
- Safe Zone base with anti-rebound bar
- User-friendly latch system
- Vehicle belt lock offs
- Reclining base with adjustment knob and built-in levels
- Easy click and release with base and stroller
- Rated at 2x the federal safety requirement
- Extra rollover and side impact protection
- Infant pillow insert
- Breathable and cute fabrics
- 5 point safety harness with padded straps and easy front adjust
- Padded carrying handle
- Great canopy
Did I forget anything? Don’t think so!
The Stroller: Evenflo Pivot
Now for the concise and straightforward Cliff-notes version of the stroller features:
- Fits kids up to 50 pounds
- Weighs 15 pounds
- 3-in-1 Baby stroller: baby carriage, frame stroller (aka travel system), and toddler stroller
- 6 different ways to ride-
- Baby carriage facing parent (this way has big baby benefits!)
- Baby carriage facing out
- Frame stroller/travel system facing parent
- Frame stroller/travel system facing out
- Toddler stroller facing parent
- Toddler stroller facing out
- Baby bassinet is actually a fully reclined toddler seat (only 1 piece of gear!)
- Toddler seat has padded 5 point safety harness and reclining seat
- Massive 3 panel peek-a-boo canopy
- Child snack tray
- Folds in half (with or without toddler seat)
- Front swivel wheels
- 2-step rear braking system
- Bottom storage basket that can be accessed from both the front and the back
- Detachable parent cup holder
Why I LOVE This System
I just hit you with a bunch of facts. So let me dive deeper into the details and really hash out what makes this system so fantastic. I’ll also mention a few things that are somewhat less than perfect.
The Good (nay, the great!)
The stroller itself is very lightweight, which makes it so easy to maneuver. Those front wheels really are easy to turn. The size of the wheels is good and means that they’ll hold up over time. I do wish the frame and wheels were a bit more narrow, because while it moves easy, it takes up a lot of space and can’t turn on a dime due to the sheer size.
The storage basket on the Pivot is wonderful. It is large enough to actually fit a diaper bag or other large bag. And the fact that you can get to it from the front is amazing! No need to circle around to grab a snack when you are up front talking to your kiddo.
I know you are thinking that besides the big canopy and the storage basket, this system has no bells and whistles. And you know what? I love that about it. It’s simple and sleek. You don’t have a ton of storage, but there is space for everything you need. It has a good frame that’s light and easy to fold, a multi-tasking baby and toddler seat, and good wheels for a very reasonable price. Plus it’s comfortable for your kiddo. What else could you need?
No travel system is perfect. There are a few small hiccups to be aware of.
The first thing is that when you have the stroller and seat completely assembled, it is a bit bulkier than some people expect. This is still true when it’s folded. It’ll be a flat fold, but it will need a lot of square footage in your trunk.
The other thing that could use improvement are the wheels. Like all 4 wheeled strollers, the front wheels like to get stuck or move independently, making maneuvering a challenge at times. It’s a struggle for most strollers out there, and this one is no exception.
My final complaint: you can’t do anything one handed. Folding, unfolding, buckling, unbuckling- it all requires two hands. And for this busy parent, that can be tough. It would be nice if I could at least unfold it with one hand, or unbuckle it with one hand.
Evenflo Pivot vs Chicco Bravo Trio Compared
We’ve gone over the specs for the Pivot. But now let’s put it to the test. How does it compare to the similar and best-selling Chicco Bravo Trio?
Safety and Ease-of-Use
Chicco makes some top quality car seats. Their safety, style, and ease of use is wonderful. But when it comes to this travel system, which I’ve had the pleasure of actually using for my nephew, I just don’t like it as much as the Evenflo Pivot. The Chicco travel system is high quality and really is a very close runner-up, mostly because of the safety and quality aspect.
The Chicco Bravo Trio travel system is really similar to the Evenflo Pivot travel system. Chicco is a higher-end brand than Evenflo, and some may say that they make a higher quality product. However, there were just a couple of deal-breakers with the Chicco system that I felt made it slightly less convenient than the Evenflo travel system.
The first thing about this system that is a no-go for me is the price. It’s quite a bit more than the Evenflo Pivot system, and it doesn’t do anything more special than the Pivot. I also feel like it’s not that much of a higher-quality over Evenflo to justify an extra hundred dollars.
The next thing I don’t like about this system is that you can’t face the seat of the stroller towards you. Now, when the Chicco is an infant carrier you can face it towards you, but you can’t face it away. When using it as a travel system, you can face it towards you, but not away from you. And as for the stroller, it faces toward the world only. So you definitely get a few less ways to travel versus the Evenflo.
Another thing that was frustrating to me was that you need the car seat adapter to be able to use it as a travel system. Now, you could argue that the only difference between this adapter and the Evenflo adapter is that the Evenflo adapter is actually a padded bar with removeable snack tray. And you’re exactly right. That’s why I like it better. The adapter on the Evenflo does double duty as a snack tray. This Chicco Bravo stroller doesn’t have a snack tray at all. It has a small adapter that I feel like I would constantly be losing in the recesses of my trunk.
Quality and Design
I do feel like the Chicco Bravo Trio travel system is maybe a bit sturdier than the Evenflo. It seems like it’s built with heavier and perhaps higher-quality materials. It also has more storage, since it has the parent snack tray. It also has an adjustable handle, which is nice.
I do prefer the braking system for the Chicco over the single brakes on the Evenflo. I know this is a small thing, but linked brakes are just so much nicer and make stopping and starting a smoother process.
The colors make both of these gender neutral travel systems.
So Who Wins?
Now, if they were the same price, I think maybe the Chicco would win, mostly because it has that fantastic one handed fold and a little more storage for the parents. But because of the price difference and fewer ways to ride, the Evenflo Pivot is my pick for best regular/traditional travel system.
There are a lot of parents out there who think that a fancy name and a big price tag makes for a great travel system. And although Evenflo has been around for a long time and some people don’t consider it fancy enough, they make some great travel systems.
The Pivot travel system is absolutely incredible. I just can’t say it enough! It’s amazingly easy to put together. You can switch from one mode to the other very easily and you don’t have to use any special adapters or tools to do so. And with all those ways to ride, there is no situation that you can’t tackle with this travel system by your side.
In fact, it tops our list of the best baby travel systems. I think that should speak for itself! Go forth and buy this sweet system!