Evenflo Vive Travel System Review – Is it a good bargain?

by Sarah Loucks |

Many parents want a quality car seat and a quality stroller without breaking the bank. While some travel systems can be inexpensive, they can also be very flimsy and cheaply made. I prefer the Britax 2017 B Agile & B Safe 35 Travel System, however, it comes with a hefty price tag. There are many inexpensive travel systems out there but is the Evenflo Vive Travel System a good bargain?

Image of the Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace, Spearmint Spree

What is a Travel System?

A travel system is when a car seat connects to a stroller. Travel systems usually include a detachable bar that inserts into the stroller and then connects the car seat to the stroller. Most travel system strollers that are compatible with car seats are only compatible with the matching brand. The Evenflo Vive Travel System stroller is only compatible with Evenflo car seats.

So, why buy a travel system? Buying both the stroller and car seat together can save money. It also guarantees that they are compatible with each other. Parents buy travel system because it takes the guesswork out of stroller and car seat shopping. Instead of having to sift through car seat specs and search for a compatible stroller, a parent could purchase a travel system and be done with it.

Do I Need a Travel System?

A travel system is an optional purchase and a parent can easily have a baby without a travel system. However, like the Evenflo Vive Travel System, the car seat can connect to the stroller. If you purchase a car seat and stroller separately, chances are, they won’t be compatible. Also, it is convenient to make only one purchase as opposed to two separate purchases.

Key Features

Click, Connect!

Image of the Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace, Spearmint Spree

The greatest perk to a travel system is that they are compatible with each other. This means that when you have a sleeping newborn in the car, you can unhook the car seat from the base, and then connect it with the stroller. Then, you can go shopping or go for a walk without having to wake your sleeping baby.

The Evenflo Vive Travel System allows for the car seat to easily hook into the stroller. Owning this travel system means that you can push around your infant in the car seat or use the stroller individually.

Comfortable and Functional

Image of the Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace, Spearmint Spree

The car seat that comes with the Evenflo Vive Travel System features a five-point-harness which has multiple levels of adjustment to accommodate your growing baby. The car seat has foam padding throughout and it even has a small canopy to shield your baby from the sun. It also comes with a convenient carrying handle.

Safe and Sound

Most infant car seats have a weight limit of 22-25 pounds. The car seat that comes with the Evenflo Vive Travel System has a weight limit of 35 pounds. This means that your baby can remain rear-facing for longer, which is the safest position in a car. This also means that your baby can still use the car seat well past their first birthday. Other infant car seats are often outgrown by their first birthday or earlier.

Tested, Tried, and True

The car seat that comes with the Evenflo Vive Travel System is the award-winning Embrace car seat. This seat meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards as well as Evenflo’s side impact standards. The seat was designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately twice the federal crash standardsIn the event of an accident, you want your child to be as safe as possible and this seat is built to protect your baby.

Easy Installation

Image of the Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace, Spearmint Spree

The car seat comes with a base which makes installation easy. All you have to do is install the base once and leave it in the car. When you use the car seat, simply click the car seat into the base. Once you arrive at your destination, push the button to release the car seat from the base. This prevents you from having to install the car seat with each use or fumble with hooks and seat belts. There is also a level indicator located on the base that ensures that you have the seat installed at the correct angle. Easy installation means that there is less guesswork which often leads to seats not being installed properly. A simple installation will make sure the seat is correctly installed every time.

Compact Design

Image of the Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace, Spearmint Spree

The stroller folds in half to 16″ tall which allows it to fit in almost any truck or storage. This means that you can take the stroller grocery shopping without worrying about trunk space. The stroller also features the Gravity Fold which means it folds and unfolds with minimal effort. Once folded, the stroller stands on its own which means you won’t have to deal with a dirty stroller that fell on the ground. Having a compact stroller means that you can easily store it when not in use or take it along when you travel. One of the biggest complaints about strollers is the amount of trunk space they require but the Evenflo Vive stroller folds into a compact shape which takes up less space than other comparable strollers.

Sturdy Ride

The four 13″ thick wheels also include a front wheel shock absorbing system which gives your baby a smooth and comfortable ride. These thick wheels will be able to go through different terrain like gravel or grass. The shock absorbing system will give your child a bump-free ride and allow them to continue their nap undisturbed.

Convenient Features

Image of the Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace, Spearmint Spree

The stroller features a canopy, large storage basket, and cup holders. There is a storage pouch located behind the stroller seat which can be used to store your phone or other items. There is also a moveable child tray that has two cup holders and an area for snacks or toys. A five-point-harness is also included with the stroller which will keep your baby secure in the stroller. This stroller is equipped to hold your personal belongings while you shop or visit a tourist destination. The compartments and cup holders will hold everything you need leaving your hands free to steer the stroller.

Continued Use

Not only does the car seat have a high weight capacity but the stroller also has a high weight capacity. With a 50-pound weight limit, your child can continue to use the stroller even once they outgrow the car seat. Being able to use the stroller beyond the first year of your child’s life means that you can avoid purchasing another stroller once they are a toddler. The removable tray means that your child can easily climb in and out once they are older.

Watch: Product Overview

Concerns

Canopies Are Flimsy

Some claim that the canopy on the car seat and the canopy on the stroller are flimsy, difficult to unfold and thin. When the car seat is attached to the stroller and both canopies are extended, there is a gap between the two where rain could fall through. While walking in the park, you may want to shield your baby from the sun and these canopies seem to be inadequate and small. They offer little coverage and seem to be there for aesthetic reasons rather than functionality. Should you be caught in a rainstorm, your baby will likely get wet.

Difficult To Fold

While the manufacturer claims that the stroller is easy to fold, some find that it requires both hands and some effort. The manufacturer also claims that it can stand on its own when it is folded though many complain that it just falls over. Having a stroller that is difficult to fold means that you will have to fight with it in the parking lot. If it falls over when it is folded, it could land in mud or water. When you have a baby, your hands are full both metaphorically and literally, so having items that require only one hand for use are optimal. This stroller requires both hands which means you have to put your baby down in order to fold it.

Lacks Stability

Users found that the stroller lacks stability, especially when the car seat is attached. The wheels seem too flimsy to hold the weight and the stroller may zig when you zag. Some also complained that the stroller doesn’t wheel in a straight line which makes steering the stroller difficult. When using a stroller, you want to have stability and control but this stroller seems to sometimes have a mind of its own. The fact that the stability worsens when the car seat is attached makes the added feature of being able to attach the car seat pointless. When you put your baby in something, you will want it to be stable and secure.

Poor Connection

When connecting the car seat to the base or connecting the car seat to the stroller, some have found that it is difficult to get them to connect. It can also be tricky to unhook the car seat from the base or stroller. Some users never got the car seat to connect, so they returned the set to the store. A poor connection of the car seat could be fatal should there be a car accident and the poor connection to the stroller could result in the car seat falling out of the stroller which could cause injury.

Poor Quality

Overall, the material used is poor quality. Users claim that the stroller feels flimsy and the car seat is not as comfortable as other seats in the same class. The wheels on the stroller have also gotten poor reviews as they have been found to be unstable, especially on uneven terrain. It is often said that “you get what you paid for” and that phrase seems to ring true for this inexpensive travel system.

Different colors

Color options for the Evenflo Travel System

 Image of the Evenflo Vive Sport Travel System, Marianna

Customer Reviews

Although some users have found this travel system to be flimsy, it has gotten a high rating overall.

4 out of 5 stars, 33 Reviews – Walmart

3.5 out of 5 stars, 19 Reviews – JCPenny

4 out of 5 stars, 33 Reviews – Target

4 out of 5 stars, 33 Reviews – Kohl’s

Pros

  • The car seat and stroller connect.
  • The car seat has a high weight capacity.
  • The stroller has various pockets, trays and cup holders.
  • The car seat comes with a base which makes installation easy.
  • The stroller can be used with a toddler.

Cons

  • The stroller is flimsy and difficult to steer.
  • The car seat is difficult to connect to the base as well as the stroller.
  • The wheels make for a bumpy ride.
  • The canopies are almost pointless.
  • The car seat lacks a newborn insert.

My Recommendation

There are some items in life that can be purchased inexpensively as opposed to the better but pricier version. As much as you use a stroller with a baby, I think it’s important that it’s a quality stroller, not one that’s difficult to maneuver or fold. Likewise, the car seat included with the Evenflo Vive Travel System seems inadequate and it is very dangerous that it doesn’t always connect to the base as that could result in a fatality. I think you should spend the extra money and get a good quality travel system. The low price of this travel system is appealing but in this case, you do get what you pay for.


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Sarah Loucks
I am a veteran mom to three children and I am seasoned in raising children on a budget.

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