With so many travel systems in the market- Which one should you go with?
So you’re about to have a baby and you know you can’t go anywhere without the little munchkin. A travel system is the most logical purchase that you will make. After all, it really does help in transporting your little bundle of cuteness in the car, on the plane, on the walkway – everywhere. My vote for the near perfect travel system goes to Graco® FastAction Fold® Click Connect™ Travel System. It’s one of the smartest decisions I have ever made with regards to baby gear and in my opinion, a must-have for all new parents!
What in the world is a Travel System?
If you’re a new parent or a parent to be, you may have questions like what is a travel system and how important is it to get one. A travel system is actually a complete infant package that comes with an infant car seat, a car seat base (in some cases) and a stroller. Which makes total sense since you would be needing both in any case. As its name implies it makes ‘travelling” easier with an infant.
The next question that you may have is: should we invest in a travel system or just get an infant seat with a click connect frame? Or just a separate car seat and a separate stroller? In my opinion its easier and more convenient to get the travel system. More so since you know your car seat will definitely be compatible with the stroller and it will be used by your child for a long time.
Infant Car Seat
The car seat that normally comes with this travel system is the Snug Ride Click Connect™ 30 Infant seat with a stay-in-car base. It’s a rear-facing car seat with a 5-point harness. The car seat dimensions are: 30.7″ L x 18.7″ W x 15.6″ H, which means that it takes up the space of one person. Also, you can take it on the plane with you since it is FAA approved so win-win!
One of the coolest things about the Click Connect™ car seat is when you insert the car seat on the stay-in-the-car base, it clicks in place. That lets you know it’s securely latched. After you’ve placed it on the stroller, you should hear a similar click to confirm it’s been latched in place as well.
One thing I’ve noticed a few times is that you would have to adjust the canopy prior to the car seat latching on the stroller. Not a big deal but I would have preferred not to do it at all. Once in place on the stroller it’s better to pull down the car seat handle so you can extend the canopy easily and protect the baby from any sunlight.
FastAction Fold® Stroller
Once your child is older and able to sit up without any help, you can use just the FastAction stroller for outdoor walks. You would know right away if your baby is comfortable in the stroller versus with the car seat so please adjust to your baby back to car seat if needed. The infant car seat is generally recommended for a weight limit of 4-35lbs with a height up to 32”.
Once the baby is ready for the stroller, the seat reclines to allow for naps. However, it does not recline fully flat. The weight limit for the Graco® stroller is great, up to 50lbs. The stroller canopy also has a peek-a-boo mesh cover where you can look in to check at your child from time to time.
A travel system that really does help with traveling
The Graco travel system lives up to its name! I’ve had this travel system for a little over 2 years now and it has traveled (flown!) across 5 countries and over 20 cities and it’s still in great shape.
I’ve seen how lovingly airlines handle strollers but apart from a couple scratches, FastAction Click Connect has survived a lot. The car seat is in even better shape than the stroller. So if you’re a parent that plans on traveling a lot, this is definitely worth your dollars.
Since we travel a lot, we were constantly opening and folding the stroller. It’s at times like those (especially at the airport) where you need to be quick with your movement. The FastAction Fold® of the strollercame in to play beautifully. One quick motion and it’s folded, one quick pull and you have an open stroller. It’s light enough to be taken out of the trunk and opened with one hand.
Easy to install and even easier to set up
The instructions are pretty straightforward. It took my husband less than an hour to assemble it. Given we had our baby way before time, he kind of had to run home to quickly get it ready. He set it up with that kind of pressure so it’s safe to assume it wasn’t that tough (it wasn’t, otherwise I would have set it up ;))
Installing the car seat was super quick and easy too, the only issue that we ever faced was unlatching the car seat. This happened sometime after we had started using it. I remember giving it a shove sometimes so it gets unstuck. You will need both your hands to unlatch the car seat.
Although storage maybe standard for most car trunks, do check to see if it’s sufficient in yours. The dimensions of the folded stroller are:
Depth 28.5 in
Height 18.5 in
Width 22.5 in
That roughly comes up to be half of the trunk in a smaller car so be sure to either measure out your trunk. Even better request to test it out from any local store that carries it.
Safe and Secure
When my little one was born, keeping her safe and fed was pretty much my only priority. So I would go through all the insane amount of information on the internet prior to each purchase. When it came to her travel system I had to look up what all the laws meant too.FastAction Fold® car seat test passed the FMVSS 213 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 for child restraint systems on board a motor vehicle or aircraft). This standard assures us that the car seat has been tested against many requirements including the durability of the restraints. As per Graco®’s site, it exceeds the car safety test. Exceeding the safety tests is always a good thing in my book?
Quick and Easy to Clean
I can’t even count the amount of “accidents” my little munchkin has had in the car seat. There must be some sort of correlation with her wearing a fancy dress and testing my ability for cleaning baby gear. Luckily the car seat cushion seat is removable and can be machine washed in cold water.
I usually took the car seat out and hosed off everything before popping the cover in the machine on delicate cycle. You can spot clean the Click Connect car seat and stroller with a mild soap and warm water as well.
For my convenience, I would often spray it with chemical free baby gear cleaner too. Easy clean easy wash. For the frame, I would wipe off with wet wipes mostly. Do bear in mind that both the car seat and stroller are recommended to be air dried. To help speed up the process wipes off some of the moisture with a paper towel and then let air dry.
Although till date we have not faced any squeaky wheel issue, Graco®’s site does recommend oiling it lightly in case you hear or feel any friction there.
Fun for the little one as well
What I truly do love about the FastAction Fold® are the two trays that come with it. On as a belly tray with two cup holders and a snack tray. The other being part of the top of the stroller along the handle, usually where I usually kept my drinks. As a word of caution, I would not recommend keeping hot drinks on the cup holder just in case it spilled.
The best part about the snack tray in front of the stroller is that it can easily be detached! That was a fun little surprise for me that I found out not too long ago. After that, the snack tray gets so much more cleaning then it should have gotten from the start (I swear I’m not lazy, Baby wipes exist for a reason!)
The under-stroller basket is roomy enough to store a blanket, a jacket, diaper bag. Or as it happens most often, shopping bags. I was amazed at the number of bags I was able to fit in there. Let’s just say I’m a fan for life.
Watch: FastAction Fold
Includes the industry favorite Snug Ride Click Connect™ 30 infant car seat
Holds up to 50 lb
Great storage basket
Base is difficult to install
Unlatching the car seat from the base is a pain
Stroller seat belts not comfortable
Carseat canopy too close to the handle
4.5 Stars, 565 Reviews – Target.com
4.6 Stars, 248 Reviews – Walmart.com
4.4 Stars, 270 Reviews – Toysrus.com
4.6 Stars, 415 Reviews – Buybuybaby.com
The FastAction Fold® Travel System is one of my “worth every penny” baby purchase. It has survived so many airplane rides, car trips, even quick grocery trips, if not for anything I highly recommend this for your sanity.
The car seat itself is amazingly secure so I was definitely going to get the Snug ride even if I hadn’t purchased this travel system, so getting all this at the price I paid was chump change.
As of right now, we are nearing the 2.5 year mark and still using our stroller. I’m hoping to get a couple more years’ worth of strolls out of it. Even if you’re not on a budget, I highly recommend this system for every parent out there.