When you're expecting a new baby, your to-do list is a mile long. Before your little one arrives, you might plan to decorate the nursery, childproof your home, and do a deep clean of your house. While getting those things accomplished before your baby is born can make you feel more prepared, they aren't necessary right away. The most important thing to get before your baby arrives is a car seat. Without it, you won't be able to take them home from the hospital. That's why you need to have the best travel system in place before birth. But, how can you make sure your investment is a wise one? After all, they won't need that infant car seat forever. And what about a stroller? Luckily, a travel system stroller can solve all of your needs. Read on to learn how to find the best travel system for your baby.
What is a Travel System Stroller?
A travel system comes as a packaged set with a stroller and an infant car seat. It combines two baby essentials. You can carry the car seat, strap it into the car, or clip it onto the stroller frame. When your child gets older, you can convert the frame back into a regular stroller. This type of stroller system grows with your child from infancy into early childhood.
Full Stroller Travel System vs. Stroller and Car Seat
A travel system is a set that includes a car seat and stroller. The other option is the stroller and car seat combination, which you have to buy separately.
Travel System Stroller
Some travel systems come with more than two components, making the travel system a very versatile option.
- Pros - Since a travel system comes as a set, the parts are always compatible. When components are compatible, the installation is more secure and therefore safer. It's also much easier to get your baby in and out of the car. Most infant car seats included in a travel system come with a base which you install in your car. You don't have to install the car seat each time — simply clip the car seat into the base and you're all set. When your baby grows out of the infant car seat, you can still use the stand-alone stroller. All you need to upgrade is the car seat.
- Cons - Travel systems may seem more expensive than other options. But, since it's really a two-for-one deal, it can be more budget-friendly. These systems can be heavy, but that can also be a sign of durability.
Stroller Frame and Car Seat
This set-up allows you to mix and match a car seat and a stroller frame.
- Pros - The stroller frame is lighter, which can make it easier to transport. But, a lighter frame may also be less sturdy and more prone to breakage. Based on the sticker price, this is a more affordable option than a travel system. But, when you need to upgrade to a larger car seat or stroller, you'll need to buy both things new. That will increase the overall cost.
- Cons - Unlike a full stroller, a stroller frame has no seat. The only way to use the stroller is to clip the carseat into the stroller frame. While this is handy for the first year or so, it will become an issue later on. When your little one gets too big for the infant car seat, you won't be able to use the stroller frame anymore. You'll have to buy a new stroller.
Different Types of Travel System Strollers
Even though all travel systems include a stroller and a car seat, there are several other variations to choose from.
- 2-in-1 Travel System - This is the most common type as it includes an infant car seat and a stroller. Most of the time, these packages also include a car seat base that gets permanently installed in your car.
- 3-in-1 Travel System - These systems have everything a 2-in-1 has, with the addition of a bassinet. Since bassinets have a firm sleeping surface, they are safe for infant sleeping according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. A benefit of this system is that you can connect the bassinet to the stroller. If your baby is fussy and won't fall asleep, you can take them for a walk without taking them out of the bassinet.
Jogger Travel System
Travel system jogger strollers have two rear wheels and one in front. This travel system is designed for parents who like to run because these strollers can handle faster speeds. They're not as easy to turn as a normal 4-wheel stroller, so they're best for running on straight paths.
Best Travel Systems for Every Budget
Raising a baby is expensive, regardless of your financial standing. In fact, a household with an income of $40,000 could expect to spend as much as $21,248 on parenting costs. And that's only for the first year of baby's life.
That's why we've included dependable travel systems for every price range.
Under $300 Price Range
These options offer a budget-friendly way to keep baby safe.
Britax Pathway & B-Safe 35 Travel System Connect, $299.99
The Britax stroller in this system is known for being lightweight — it only weighs 20 pounds. It is also very easy to fold up, so it's a great option if you're on the go a lot. It's also very stylish and comes in a range of colors. It's also easy to turn corners with this stroller. The car seat protects baby during side-to-side movement, thanks to its unique design.
Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System, $279.99This system allows you to install the car seat in either a front-facing or rear-facing position. It also has large tires for a comfortable ride and plenty of storage space.
Over $300 Price Range
- Chicco travel systems come with the KeyFit 30 car seat, which is the top-rated car seat in the U.S. Both of these Chicco strollers can carry children up to 50 pounds. When these strollers are folded, they stand up which can be a big help when it comes to storage.
- Chicco Bravo Trio System Nottingham, $379.99 - The Nottingham stroller folds up easily with one button. It also has an adjustable height push bar and one-touch brakes. Bubble indicators on the car seat show you when the seat is level so you can install it properly.
- Chicco Bravo LE Trio Travel System, Silhouette, $429.99 - The Silhouette model offers even greater protection from the sun and the elements. The canopy has a zip-off mesh window and extra visor. It also comes with a thick zip-off boot to keep baby warm in cold weather.
Order the Best Travel System Today
Finding the best travel system for your needs can make your life more convenient and save you money. Instead of buying an infant car seat and a separate stroller, you can make one decision and be set. To see all of the travel systems we offer, check out our complete collection.