8 Best Travel Systems of 2019

Best Travel Systems of 2019

May 28, 2019

Best Travel Systems of 2019

Best Travel Systems of 2019
Photo by @mrsjenfrick
Until your baby’s about six-months old, they won’t be ready to sit up in a stroller. A car seat-stroller combo (AKA travel system) lets you snap your car seat into the stroller and go. Genius!Best Travel Systems of 2019

When you’re ready to roll with your little one, a car seat and a stroller are key. Thanks to a 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.

They’re guaranteed to work great together, and you don’t have to wake up your kiddo (who’s finally drifted off) for the car seat-to-stroller transfer. Just unclip the car seat from its base in the backseat, snap it onto the stroller and go.

In this article:

Do You Need a Travel System?

Keep in mind that your baby won’t be ready for most strollers until they can sit up unassisted, which is usually around six-months old. Your options? Purchase a stroller with a bassinet or fully reclined seat that is safe for newborns or use a carrier instead. But for each of those options, you’ll need to move your child out of the car seat. Another alternative is to get a stroller that a stroller that allows infant car seats to be attached.

You certainly could purchase a car seat and a stroller separately rather than a prepackaged travel system―just make sure the stroller will work with the car seat you’ve selected. (Note: You’ll also need to buy an additional part, called an adapter, to connect the car seat to the stroller.)

Many parents opt to get a travel system to save themselves the hassle of researching which stroller fits with which car seat.

When Do You Need a Travel System?

Since you need an infant car seat to take your baby anywhere (including home from the hospital!), ideally you’d get a travel system prior to your mini-me being born. Around six to nine months, your baby will be sitting up and will likely want a better view of the world. Then you can use the full-size stroller on its own. Because you can use the stroller from infancy through toddlerhood, it’s the only stroller you’ll need to purchase.

How We Chose Our Best Travel System Picks

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the products they love the most. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best travel systems.

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

Best All-Around Travel System

Why We Love It

The Bravo travel system is a parent favorite 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. Plus, once folded—which is a breeze—it can stand on its own (great for storing in the corner of a closet or cafe).

Keep in Mind

Some find that the stroller can be hard to steer.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It was very easy to use. The base was easy to install and remove which is important when you’re using them in multiple cars. The infant carrier easily snapped into and released from the base and the stroller. We still use the stroller every day. My favorite things about the stroller are how easily it folds up and the storage compartment underneath.” —Lindsay R.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 10 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 30 lbs
Stroller Weight 23 lbs
Stroller Age Range 6 months to 50 lbs

Best Long-Term Travel System

Why We Love It

You’ll use this stroller forever. OK, not forever but it’ll feel like it because the tall, roomy seat on the B-Free stroller keeps kids up to 65 pounds comfy. That’s far beyond the 50-pound weight limit of most strollers, which means you can use this one for longer. 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.

Parents get some good stuff too: 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.

Being able 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.

Keep in Mind

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 A.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 10 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 - 32 lbs up to 32”
Stroller Weight 22 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 65 lbs

Best Performing Travel System

Why We Love It

When this stroller system hits the sidewalks, other strollers give it the jealous side-eye. That’s because it has an amazing amount of features packed into a slim and compact profile. The Cruz can be steered with one hand, turns on a dime and can even handle rougher surfaces like cracked sidewalks and gravel.

The Mesa seat is reversible―parent-facing or front-facing―and has multiple reclining positions including fully flat. There’s shade galore with an enormous SPF 50 canopy, and it even comes with a mesh bug net and a rain cover too.

But wait, there’s more! You get 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.

Keep in Mind

There’s a bit of learning curve to folding up the Cruz with five, albeit simple, steps.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Oh, Uppababy, how I love you. The stroller and car seat are so easy to use and weigh practically nothing compared to others. I couldn’t have done it without Uppababy!” -Lindsay G.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 10 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 to 35 lbs
Stroller Weight 21.5 lbs
Stroller Age Range 3 months to 50 lbs

Best All-Terrain Travel System

Why We Love It

It’s suprising 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.

No need to worry about traveling light either. This stroller has a jumbo storage basket. And when it’s time to head home, the fold is effortless. Just pull the triggers beside the handlebar and it collapses down.

Keep in Mind

You won’t be able to jog with this until your child is using the standard seat.

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 Age Range 5 to 30 lbs up to 30”
Combined Weight 46 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs or 42”

Best High-End Travel System

Why We Love It

This beautiful travel system isn’t just all chrome wheels and leather-like finishes—it’s also super functional. It has a true one-handed fold and unfold, and one of the best canopies on the market (it’s huge and has a magnetic closure so it’s extra quiet).

The big, foam-filled tires and all-wheel suspension make for one of the smoothest rides around and the generous storage basket is a convenient spot to stash items big and small. We especially like that this Nuna model fully reclines to lay flat and you can adjust the calf support to create a bassinet-like position for newborns.

Meanwhile, this travel system’s car seat is incredibly lightweight at only 5.3 lbs! It also has a canooy that almost completely covers the car seat (for longer nap times) and the seat is covered in a luxe merino wool blend.

Keep in Mind

The fabric on the car seat is hand wash only.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 5.3 lbs.
Car Seat Age Range 4 - 32 lbs up to 32”
Stroller Weight 26.3 lbs without canopy and bar
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs

Best Compact Travel System

Why We Love It

The City Mini stroller is another parent favorite, especially for folks that have to navigate crowded sidewalks and getting in and out of public transportation. With its slim profile and ability to quickly turn corners (thanks, three-wheel design!), it’s a dream walking around town with the City Mini.

With one hand you can quickly whip the stroller closed and carry it upstairs 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 car seat is great too. You can safely secure it in a vehicle with or without a base (perfect for taxis!) and it pops right into the stroller.

Keep in Mind

What’s not so hot about this travel system? The storage basket is smaller than most and hard to reach.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 15.82 lbs with base
Car Seat Age Range 4 - 35 lbs up to 32”
Stroller Weight 23 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 65 lbs

Best Two-Kid Travel System

Why We Love It

What can’t this multipurpose stroller do? Besides working with the accompanying Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 car seat, the stroller’s seat also turns into a bassinet—either way, your newborn is hooked up. It has an extendable storage basket for toting all the baby gear too.

Need space for two kids? No worries, you can add another seat (as a separate purchase) to transform the Uno2Duo to a double tandem stroller (one kid behind the other rather than side-by-side). Or, let you big kid hitch a ride on the built-in standing platform—something you usually have to purchase separately.

Keep in Mind

Designed to accommodate two kids, this stroller is bulkier than other single strollers. Also, it’s going to need garage space when it’s in double-stroller mode—it won’t fold up with two seats in it.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I can customize the seat configurations a bunch of ways, and it’s a narrow double stroller.” -Emmaline M.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 14.84 lbs
Car Seat Age Range 4 - 35 lbs and up to 32”
Stroller Weight 46.5 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs and up to 44”

Best Value Travel System

Why We Love It

Parents we surveyed raved about this travel system that offers so much for so little. This affordable pick comes with a compatible car seat and the option to turn the regular stroller seat into a newborn bassinet. The Pivot has other features we’ve come to expect from pricier strollers, like a large canopy, a seat that can face forward or toward you, and a removable child tray. But what really sets it apart is the above-and-beyond car seat.

The SafeMax Infant Car Seat exceeds industry safety standards. The base is made of impact-absorbing materials and has a roll bar to deflect the force of a crash. The SafeMax has been thoroughly tested for rollover and side-impact events, too, making this a travel system that gives a lot of bang for the buck.

Keep in Mind

Attaching the car seat to the stroller may take a bit of finesse. Some parents report struggling to get it to click together.

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 M.

Additional Specs
Car Seat Weight 20 lbs (combined seat and base)
Car Seat Age Range 4 - 35 lbs and up to 32”
Stroller Weight 20 lbs
Stroller Age Range Birth to 50 lbs and up to 38”

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Choosing What’s Right for You

Take your time evaluating travel systems. You’ll be using the stroller for years, and the infant car seat is important protection for your little one. You’ll want to be sure to get the combo that makes the most sense for your family, so you can get out and about with ease.

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