What is a travel system?
A travel system is a pushchair, carry cot and car seat combined. The components may vary, but they all include several ways of transporting your baby, including some form of pushchair and car seat. All pieces usually click into the pushchair easily, which is great for babies who sleep during car journeys, as you can lift the whole car seat out without waking them up. The only disadvantage for me is that the car seats aren’t convertible car seats (which evolve as your baby gets bigger) so you need to replace them when your baby grows, however the main advantage of a travel system is that the pushchair can be used for a very long time and grows with your child so that you only ever really need to buy one pushchair. Nowadays, a lot of brands make pushchairs which are car seat compatible, meaning you don’t need to buy the travel system all together, you can choose any car seat separately and buy a car seat adapter to attach it to your travel system.
What to look for when choosing a travel system?
The size of the travel system is very important if you will need to transport it in a car. Fitting large pushchairs into a small boot of a car is a nightmare, so make sure the pushchair you want folds small enough for the size of your car. If you are going to use the car regularly it’s also important to think abot how easy and quickly the travel systems folds; many brands have one-hand fold or special quick-fold systems which are great to save time and effort for tired new parents. It’s also worth thinking about the size of your house, any hallways or elevators that you use regularly, because a wide model wouldn’t be practical. It ll depends on your own, individual lifestyle.
The car seat
You might want a fancy pushchair to be fashionable, but if you’re getting a travel system with the car seat included, safety is the most important factor. Car seats are life savers, so if yo find one which seems more safe than the others, buy it! Car seats these days use different kinds of technology to provide the maximum amount of impact protection during car accidents, and although a high price tag doesn’t mean extra safety, it’s worth considering all options before buy the one which looks the most aesthetically pleasing. Like I mentioned above, you can buy separate pushchairs with universal car seat adapters which allows you to use most kinds of car seat with the pushchair chassis in order to “create your own” travel system.
Front or rear facing
If you have a newborn, you will want to see him or her as much as possible, to both stare besotted in wonder at their beauty, and also more often to keep an eye on them and make sure he/she is ok 24/7. This means that most newborns should be in rear facing, or parent-facing pushchairs. Most travel systems have a rear-facing car seat, so that’s ok, but you should then ask yourself, do we want to see our little on when they outgrow the car seat? There are advantages and disadvantages, it’s nice for baby to see mummy and daddy and vice versa, but it’s also nice for babies to have look around them, to take in the outside world and explore with their eyes. Great travel systems allow you to use them both rear and forward facing, so you can swap and change as you please, or simple turn baby to face forward when you feel they are big enough.
Value for money
Baby Trend are a brand with many reasonably priced pushchairs. The Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System is a jogging pushchair, great for running with your little one, and the accompanying Flex Lock infant car seat with adjustable height in-car base. This travel system can be used from birth up to 50lbs in the pushchair and up to 30lbs in the car seat. The front swivel wheel is lockable, ideal for running, and when unlocked improves maneuverability for non-joggers and city living. The all-terrain tires are great for countryside walks, and the pushchair folds easily for transportation, with quick-release wheels. This practical pushchair has a storage basket under the seat and a two-beverage parent tray as well as a child tray. The adjustable hood protects your little one from the sun. The pushchair seat reclines and has an adjustable 5-point harness and a tether strap, as well as a footrest. The footrest has reflectors for extra visibility and an added safety factor. The car seat also has a 5-point harness which is easily adjusted with one hand, as well as a push-button release. Baby is well protected with side impact head protection and energy-absorbing foam. Installation is easy and seat pads and inserts are washable. The car seat easily clicks into the travel system to form a pushchair for moving your baby without disturbing him/her. The jogging pushchair is great for bigger babies, but the travel system with the car seat attached is not for jogging as it is for young babies. This simple travel system and jogging pushchair is black and grey with a basic design, and parents love that it pops up and folds easily and can be pushed and steered one-handed. This travel system is considerably cheaper than its competitors and is amazing value for money. Baby trend also have a travel system called the EZ Ride 5 which has many similar qualities for an even lower price.
Quinny has always been a top player in the baby business, and this travel system pushchair proves why. Quinny and Maxi Cosi have teamed up with fashion designer Rachel Zoe to create a luxury collection that’s not only safe and practical, but also extremely sleek and stylish. The Moodd travel system includes the pushchair, car seat and diaper bag with accessories. The automatically unfolding pushchair has unparalleled practicality for busy mums and dads. The seat reclines quickly and simply using one hand, and has 3 positions forward facing as well as 3 rear-facing. The footrest is adjustable to maximise comfort for your little one. The car seat can be used rear facing up to 30lbs and is ultra lightweight. It has Air Protect side impact protection and a base which stays in the car, to make hopping in and out of the car with the baby the easiest it can be. The base also has rebound protection to further increase its safety. The diaper bag, which is so stylish you might want to use it as a handbag without the diapers, is not only fashionable but practical too. The outside canvas an the interior fabrics are easy to clean, there are two flexible interior pouches as well as exterior slip pockets on the front to put things in for easy access. There is an interior insulated zipper compartment for baby’s bottles, as well as a compartment with a magnetic closure to store the changing pad inside, which is also provided and coordinated with the travel system. There is a final zippered interior pouch for your valuables. This set also includes a waterproof pouch and an insulated food box which fit nicely inside the matching diaper bag. This travel system uses premium cognac leather, inspired by vintage leather luggage, which goes beautifully with the simple black and white pushchair and car seat. This is a high-fashion travel system which is practical, simple to use, lightweight and provides maximum safety for your tot.
6 modes of travel
This travel system from Evenflo includes a car seat with a stay-in-car base that can be used up to 35lbs, and a multi-function pushchair which can be used up to 50lbs. The Pivot Modular Travel System pushchair has 6 modes, entailing 3 different pushchair positions each one in forward facing or rear facing. The pram mode allows a newborn to lie flat in a spacious pram, the frame pushchair uses the simple frame structure with the car seat attached, which is great for getting in and out of the car and using on short trips, and finally the toddler pushchair so that when your baby gets bigger, they can use the same pushchair facing you or facing the world around them, and you get the most use out of your pushchair as possible. The SafeMax car seat is rear-facing and includes a stay-in-car base which absorbs shock with an anti-rebound bar. The SureSafe installation is quick and easy using latch guides. This travel system has an extendable hood in pram mode with 3 panels to fully protect your baby from the sun’s harsh rays. Other features include a large basket for storage under the seat and a removable tray with a cup holder for storing drinks and nibbles, which can be taken off to be washed. The sturdy tires of the pushchair are durable but also provide a soft and smooth ride for baby. The pushchair also folds easily for storage and transportation.
Another great baby pushchair and car seat combo suitable for all parents is the Bravo Trio travel system by Chicco. It’s a practical pushchair that folds easily with one hand, using a handle on the seat which can them be used to carry the compact, folded pushchair. When folded, it stands up alone for added practicality. This pushchair very quickly changes from a newborn pushchair to a baby or toddler pushchair, with a removable seat and detachable car seat adapter. The seat reclines and has a extended large hood to protect from the sun’s harsh rays. For added practicality, there is a large storage basket under the seat accessible from both the front and the back, and a tray for parents including two cup holders and a storage compartment. The comfortable padded push-handle is adjustable with 3 height positions, to adapt for mums and dads of varying heights. When your little one outgrows the car seat, he or she can use the pushchair up to 50lbs. All of the wheels have suspension for a smooth ride, and the rear wheels have linked brakes. The car seat clicks into the in-car base and into the pushchair frame in seconds, and includes an infant insert for extra support and safety for newborns. The fabrics are machine washable on a cold or delicate cycle, and this Chicco travel system is available in 3 stylish designs.
Another great Chicco travel system is the Viaro. This Chicco pushchair has a lightweight aluminium frame and convenient one-hand fold. This is a 3-wheel pushchair for easy maneuverability and the front wheel has suspension for a smoother ride. The storage basket is accessible from both the front and back and both parent and baby have have a tray with cup holders. There is a sun hood which is both adjustable and, if you wish, removable. For high security, there are brakes which lock easily with a tap of your toe. The car seat has several safety features which are significantly better than some of its rivals, for example, ReclineSure is a system which makes sure that the car seat base is at the correct angle for every individual vehicle seat. Furthermore, RideRight bubble level indicators on both sides of the base help you to determine whether or not it is properly fitted, as the most common cause of injury in accidents is a poorly fitted car seat as opposed to the crash itself. There is a SuperCinch LATCH tightener which uses force-multiplying technology to tighten and secure the position of the base in just one pull, as well as a simple seat belt route for vehicles without LATCH. The infant insert makes this seat safe for newborns and tiny babies can be removed later on. The 5-point harness for maximum security and can be also adjusted with a one-pull tightener. Chicco KeyFit is easily installed and makes a CLICK sound so that you know when it is securely fitted. It also is removed simply and easily with just one hand. the KeyFit car seat has improved impact protection thanks to the EPS energy absorbing foam lining. There is an infant insert in the car seat for smaller babies (4 to 11lbs).
The FastAction Travel System comes with the Graco ClickConnect car seat. It is not only a great travel system, but it can be used as a jogger as well, for active parents. Even if you don’t need a jogging pushchair, the all-terrain style is practical and easy to manœuvre for all parents. It is lightweight at just 30lbs without the car seat. The sturdy rubber tires are air-filled, and the front wheel is lockable for jogging but unlocks for simple guidance when walking normally. The seat has multi-position recline, and the sun shade will protect your baby form the sun’s harsh rays. The Click Connect car seat features an in-car base, so you simply remove the car seat and click it into both the pushchair and the base when needed, and it makes an audible “click” sound so that you an be assured that it is safely locked in position. This travel system folds with one hand for the utmost convenience, so that one arm is free to hold your little one. there is a storage basket underneath and both a parent and infant tray, the parents tray is great because it has a secure smartphone holder to clip your phone into and two cup holders. You can choose between a three-point harness and a five-point harness, although of course I recommend using a 5-point harness for as long as possible, until your toddler is big enough for a 3-point harness. The child’s tray pivots out of the way to put your child in and take him or her out, hassle-free. The car seat can be used up to 35lbs and the pushchair alone up to 50lbs. It is available in black but also in red , green and yellow.