11 Best Travel Systems of 2023
Best Travel Systems of 2023
January 5, 2023

Best Travel Systems of 2023

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Best Travel Systems of 2023.
Best Travel Systems of 2023

When you’re ready to roll with your little one, a car seat and a stroller is key. Thanks to the smarty who designed the first travel system―a car seat that clips onto a matching stroller―you can make one purchase and get both essentials.

In this article:

What Is a Travel System?

A travel system is a car seat and a stroller that attach to each other. Just unclip the car seat from its base in the backseat, snap it into the stroller and you’re off.

A travel system, sometimes also referred to as a stroller travel system or baby travel system, can be purchased in two ways:

  • As a package deal from the same brand (the type of travel systems we’re reviewing here), or
  • As a “make your own” set that combines a stroller and a car seat from different brands using adapters.

Package deals tend to be more economical than the DIY version and are guaranteed to work together—no adapters required. If you’re eyeing up a stroller and a car seat from different brands, however, don’t stress. Just keep in mind that not all brands work together and you’ll often need to buy separate adapters. Check out Babylist’s Infant Car Seat and Stroller Compatibility guide to learn more.

Do You Need a Travel System?

Unless your stroller comes with a bassinet attachment or fully reclines and is approved for newborn use, it’s not suitable for your little one until they can sit up unassisted—which usually happens around six months of age. And even if that is the case, you’ll still need to move your infant every time you want to transfer them from the car seat to the stroller (and back again).

Here’s where a travel system comes in. A travel system solves for strolling with your newborn before they’re able to sit up independently. It also means you won’t have to disturb your little one every time you need to make the switch between your car seat and your stroller.

When Do You Need a Travel System?

You’ll need a travel system right at birth if you plan on using your car to transport your little one. Most parents choose to research travel systems prior to baby’s arrival and have one ready to go before birth so they’re prepared.

Around six to nine months, your baby will be sitting up and will likely want a better view of the world—and then you can use the full-size stroller on its own. And because you can use the stroller from infancy through toddlerhood, it’s the only stroller you’ll need to purchase.

Are Travel Systems Safe for Newborns?

Yes, travel systems are safe for newborns. There are a few guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind, though.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against the use of car seats for sleep outside of a car. If your infant falls asleep in their car seat, they should be removed and placed in a crib or bassinet (or other safe sleep space) as soon as possible.

But what if your baby falls asleep in their car seat while you’re driving and is still asleep when you arrive at your destination?

According to pediatrician Dr. Kelly Fradin, the best practice is to remove them and transfer them to a safe sleep environment.

“However, many parents, myself included, will want the child to finish their nap for a brief period. If you choose to do this to reduce risk be sure the baby is not overheating by removing hats, blankets and ventilating the car. Also, keep the straps snug and place the car seat on the floor under your direct supervision.”

“If babies are in an approved stroller with the car seat properly restrained, I think of it the same as being in a vehicle,” explains Dr. Fradin. “Keep them cool and supervised.”

How to Pick the Best Travel System

Since a travel system includes two products—a car seat and a stroller—you’ll want to think through how you’ll use each piece of gear, both together and separately.

You’ll be using your stroller longer than your infant car seat, so that’s a good place to start. Think about the travel system stroller’s:

  • Size and weight
  • What type of terrain it can handle
  • Ease of use (how it opens and closes, if it’s washable, etc.)
  • Features and accessories (adjustable handlebar, canopy, etc.)
  • Price

When selecting a car seat, it’s comforting to know that regardless of price, all car seats sold in the US must adhere to the same federal safety regulations. Other features to consider include:

  • Weight
  • The seat’s age, height and weight minimums and maximums
  • Price
  • Features like washability, harness adjustment, and side-impact protection
  • How the seat will fit in your car

Check out How to Choose a Travel System, How to Choose a Stroller and How to Choose a Car Seat for even more information.

What is the Best Travel System?

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most now that their little one has arrived, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight. Here are the travel systems we think are the best of the best.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

Best Baby Travel System

The Scoop
  • Higher-end features at affordable price
  • Six different stroller seating configurations
  • Car seat exceeds industry safety standards
What Our Experts Say

Parents rave about this travel system that offers so much for so little. The Pivot has features we’ve come to expect from much pricier strollers, like the option to turn the regular seat into a newborn bassinet, a large canopy, a seat that can face forward or toward you and a removable child tray. The Safemax infant car seat that’s included far exceeds industry standards. The base is made of impact-absorbing materials and has a roll bar to deflect the force of a crash, along with lots more impressive safety features.

What’s Worth Considering

Users note that attaching the car seat to the stroller may take a bit of finesse.

Looking for a similarly affordable travel system that also converts from a single to a double stroller? Check out the Evenflo Pivot Xpand Modular Travel System.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I like the flexibility—it can easily change from holding the car seat to a bassinet to a “big kid” seat.” -Marie

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 7.6 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 20 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Another Popular Travel System Pick

The Scoop
  • Great combo of features, price + performance
  • Stroller can be used as a frame carrier
  • Includes parent-favorite car seat
What Our Experts Say

The Bravo travel system is another Babylist parent favorite, and for good reason. The car seat is easy to install (bubble levels on the car seat show if it’s properly positioned) and the stroller has a removable seat so it can go from a lightweight, skeleton frame that carries an infant car seat to a full-featured stroller for bigger kids when you put the seat on. It also comes with parent cup holders and a tray to hold your phone and keys and it stands when folded.

What’s Worth Considering

The stroller isn’t super high-end, so you won’t get five-star maneuverability or great shock absorption from its plastic wheels. Parents also complain that the materials aren’t very durable.

If you have a bit more room in your budget, consider Chicco’s Corso Le Modular Travel System. It’s significantly more expensive than the Bravo Trio, but it’s also a lot more luxe. The modular stroller features large, foam-filled rubber tires and rear-wheel suspension for a really smooth ride, and the KeyFit 35 infant car seat is a popular, safe favorite.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s easy to use, somewhat lightweight and versatile because it goes from car to stroller super easy without having to wake up baby.” -Claudia

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 9.6 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 30 lbs
Stroller Weight 23 lbs
Stroller Age Range 6 months to 50 lbs

Best Car Seat Travel System

The Scoop
  • Includes ultra-light, ultra-safe parent favorite car seat
  • Luxury features
  • Stroller has great maneuverability and suspension
What Our Experts Say

This beautiful travel system isn’t just all chrome wheels and leather-like finishes—it’s also super functional. It combines the Tavo Next stroller—loved for its one-handed, compact fold, XL dream drape canopy, generous storage basket, magnetic seat buckle and all-wheel suspension—with the Pipa Rx Infant Car Seat, lightest, safest and most popular infant seats on the market. (It also includes the Relx Base, Nuna’s anti-rebound base that features a fold-down stability leg to absorb collision forces and four latch positions for a better fit against your vehicle’s seat.)

The stroller fully reclines and boasts excellent maneuverability and the car seat is a breeze to snap in and out at only a little over seven pounds. This travel system is pricey, but well worth it if you’re looking for a luxury car seat + stroller combo that combines safety, durability and performance features.

What’s Worth Considering

The Tavo Next + Pipa Rx combo is expensive. Although the car seat is super light, the Tavo stroller is on the heavier side. The car seat’s seat pad is machine washable but the rest is spot-clean only.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 7.6 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 32 lbs
Stroller Weight 23.2 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Most Versatile Travel System

The Scoop
  • Three different modes
  • One-hand, self-standing fold
  • Good value
What Our Experts Say

This travel system combines one of Graco’s most popular strollers, the Modes, with their popular SnugRide 35 Lite DLX infant car seat, and the result is one pretty awesome travel system. The Pramette stroller is three strollers in one. It works as an infant car seat carrier (you can click the car seat directly onto the stroller frame), a bassinet (pram) and a toddler stroller with the ability to flip the seat parent- or forward-facing. The car seat is easy to install and parents love the other features like the snack tray and parent cup holder, large canopy and removable newborn head and body support.

What’s Worth Considering

The stroller wheels are plastic, so it’s not ideal for rougher terrain or traversing over curbs.

Looking for a similar stroller but need it to work for a growing family? Check out the Graco Modes Nest2Grow Travel System. It expands to a double stroller and has over 15 configurations.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We love this travel system for our daughter! The car seat is light, which I definitely appreciated after my C-section as I was not supposed to carry a lot of weight. The stroller is also lightweight and has great features! We were drawn to this stroller for the bassinet feature. We put our daughter down for walks and she naps peacefully while getting some fresh air. The stroller is also easy to fold and unfold. I feel like I could do it with one hand if I tried, which is great for any mom who already has their hands full with their little one!” -JCains

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 10.5 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 20.8 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Best Travel System for a Growing Family

The Scoop
  • Grows with your family
  • Tons of configurations
  • Luxury features
What Our Experts Say

When this travel system hits the sidewalks, other strollers give it the jealous side-eye. The Vista grows right along with your family. It can accommodate two infant car seats, two bassinets and countless other combinations. It has an amazing amount of high-end features and is a true delight to push—it easily steers with one hand, turns on a dime and can effortlessly take on rougher surfaces like cracked sidewalks and gravel. The Mesa infant car seat is reversible (parent-facing or front-facing) as is the toddler seating and there’s shade galore with an enormous SPF 50 canopy, a huge storage basket, a telescoping handlebar and a red-to-green light indicator on the car seat base so you know when it’s been properly secured.

What’s Worth Considering

The Vista V2 travel system is expensive. It’s a large, bulky stroller and isn’t the easiest to break down. It can also be tough to push when it’s fully loaded with two kiddos.

What Babylist Parents Say

“The flexibility!!! It was wonderful with one child and a lifesaver now that we have two under two. It has incredible storage capacity, many configuration options and so easy to use!!!” -Nicole

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 9.9 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 26.6 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs per seat

Best Jogging Stroller Travel System

The Scoop
  • Super affordable jogging stroller
  • XL wheels for any terrain
  • Oversized storage basket
What Our Experts Say

It’s surprising that a travel system with a car seat and a jogging stroller that handles like a dream could cost so little. The Expedition boasts the ability to make quick, sharp turns and has bicycle wheels to coast over gravel, grass and uneven pavement. (The front wheel also locks for jogging.) It also features a jumbo storage basket and an effortless fold that engages by pulling the triggers beside the handlebar.

What’s Worth Considering

You can’t jog with the stroller until your little one can sit up and has strong head and neck control, usually around eight months old.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I am tall so this stroller was great for my height. The price was right and the car seat was very lightweight. It did not take up a lot of space in my small car and was easy to attach to the stroller. I love how smooth the jogging stroller was to push.” -Ashley

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 10 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 30 lbs
Stroller Weight 27 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Best Travel System Stroller for Long-Term Use

The Scoop
  • Highest weight limit of all travel system strollers on our list
  • Easy to push and turn
  • Extendable canopy
What Our Experts Say

You’ll use this stroller forever. (Okay maybe not quite forever, but it sure feels like it.) The tall, roomy seat on the B-Free stroller keeps kids up to 65 pounds comfy, far beyond the 50-pound weight limit of most strollers. It has a gigantic SPF 50 canopy that keeps your kiddo almost fully in the shade (and protected from wind and rain) when fully extended as well as a one-hand fold that locks the stroller into a self-stand position, a storage basket you can access from the back or the front and seven storage pockets to stash necessities like your keys and phone when you’re out walking. The ability to use this with the B-Safe car seat and the stroller’s higher weight limit means you’ll be loving this stroller set from day one and for years to come.

What’s Worth Considering

The seats—which you know will get dirty at some point—are hand wash only. And, although the handlebar has six different positions, it doesn’t telescope up.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Wheels work on all sorts of terrain, but aren’t cumbersome like a jogging stroller. Just enough storage without being over-engineered. Folds quickly and easily.” -Jessica

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 11.6 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 22 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 65 lbs

Ready to Add a Travel System to Your Registry?

With Babylist, you can add any item from any store onto ONE registry. Start your registry today and get a Hello Baby Box full of free (amazing!) goodies.

Easiest to Fold Travel System

The Scoop
  • Includes bestselling stroller
  • Quick and easy one-handed fold
  • Great for urban and suburban families
What Our Experts Say

The City Mini GT2 stroller is a parent favorite and a Babylist bestseller thanks to its agility and its unparalleled one-handed fold. Combine that with a versatile, ultrasafe car seat and you get a travel system that’s tough to top. The GT2’s slim profile and ability to quickly turn corners makes it perfect for crowded city streets as well as suburban sidewalks. With one hand you can quickly whip it closed and carry it up stairs or onto a commuter train no problem—it’s lighter than most full-size strollers. And because of its tight fold, it fits in smaller trunks.

The compatible City GO 2 car seat is just as great. You can safely secure it in a vehicle with or without a base (perfect for taxis or ride shares) and it pops right into the stroller.

What’s Worth Considering

The storage basket on the stroller is small and tough to reach.

What Babylist Parents Say

“My baby loves this stroller the most and we take it everywhere. Love the light weight, easy to fold feature and comfort.” -Lee

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 10.2 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 21.4 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 40 lbs

Best Affordable Travel System

The Scoop
  • Great value
  • Easy to fold
  • Good storage + accessories
What Our Experts Say

Over 8,000 positive reviews (and counting) on Amazon plus a very competitive price point means this travel system is definitely worth a look. The stroller is fairly basic but has everything you’ll need for an outing with your little one including a large storage basket, a child and parent tray and an easy lift-to-fold strap that collapses the stroller in seconds. (It’s also fairly lightweight.) The car seat exceeds federal safety standards and features side impact protection as well as LATCH compatibility.

What’s Worth Considering

As you’d expect at this price point, the wheels are plastic, so don’t count an extremely cushy ride.

What Babylist Parents Say

“What I love most about this stroller/travel system, is how simple it is to fold, unfold, navigate, and store away. It came equipped with up-to-date stroller, car seat, and car seat base that screams baby is safe and stylish.” -Lydia

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 14.9 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 24 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Best Value Travel System

The Scoop
  • Great value
  • Six different configurations
  • Lightweight car seat
What Our Experts Say

Most travel systems that feature a reversible seat that can both parent- and forward-face start around $300 and up. (Way, way up in some cases!) But the Walmart-exclusive brand Urbini is under $200 and boasts this feature—and lots more. With six different configurations, even including a built-in bassinet, this travel system is an incredible value. It also includes the Urbini Sonti, a lightweight infant car seat that clocks in at only about eight pounds

What’s Worth Considering

The Sonti is on the narrower side, so larger babies might outgrow it fairly quickly. It also doesn’t feature a European belt path so you can’t use it without the base.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s so easy and convenient to be able to just hook the car seat onto my stroller and also have the bassinet option if my baby is sleeping and we are out for a while.” -Kaylee

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 8.7 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 24 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Lightweight with a Fast Fold

The Scoop
  • One-second, one-hand fold
  • Modular seat
  • Includes lightweight car seat
What Our Experts Say

The second Graco travel system on our list, this one stands out for its one-handed, one-second fold. (The price isn’t bad either, coming in at under $250.) The FastAction system is a great choice if you’re looking for a safe, popular car seat and a stroller that’s easy to navigate. The stroller features a modular seat (so your baby can face you or the world), a large storage basket underneath and lots of extras like child and parent trays and cup holders. Another feature to love? The SnugRide 35 Lite infant car seat weighs less than eight pounds an is a parent favorite.

What’s Worth Considering

Let’s add even one more popular Graco travel system to the best-of list: the Graco Verb. It’s even more affordable and also includes a SnugRide infant car seat.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I love the ease of the click connect! So easy to snap car seat into stroller and also other products of graco such as car seat base!” -Krista

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 7.2 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs, up to 32”
Stroller Weight 22 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Expert sources in this article:

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