Best Travel Systems of 2017

Best Travel Systems of 2017

Last Updated: March 15, 2017
Looking for a car seat and stroller that clip together? Whether you're hunting for a jogging stroller or a luxury bassinet, these best six travel systems have got you covered.Best Travel Systems of 2017

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

Do you need a travel system?

Keep in mind that your baby won’t be ready for most strollers until he 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 allows infant car seats to be attached.

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

Many parents opt for 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 it will also be your infant car seat purchase, ideally, you’d get a travel system prior to your mini-me entering the scene so you can use it from day one. Around six to nine months, your baby will be sitting up all by herself 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 picks

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby 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.

Babylist Best Picks

Easy Install

Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System - $379.99
WHY WE LOVE IT

The Bravo 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. The system is a Babylist parent fave for being easy to assemble and install, and having bubble-levels on the car seat that show if it’s properly positioned.

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.

So Many Options

UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller & the UPPAbaby Mesa Car Seat  - $829.99+
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. Perfect for squeezing through narrow doorways and aisles, the Cruz can be steered with one hand, turns on a dime, and can even handle rougher surfaces like cracked sidewalks and gravel.

For your little one the seat is reversible - parent-facing or front-facing - and has multiple reclining positions including fully flat. There’s shade galore with an enormous UPF 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: 22 lbs.

Stroller age range: 3 months to 50 lbs.

Best in Class

Britax B-Agile 3/B-Safe 35 Travel System - $349.00
WHY WE LOVE IT

Britax is known for being a leader in car seat safety and its B-Safe car seat tops lists year after year. But what we’re really jazzed about is the B-Agile stroller in this system. It’s incredibly light and nimble for a full-size stroller. The three-wheel design makes it easy to turn and the all-wheel suspension creates a smooth ride.

The people at Britax definitely take parents into consideration. How do we know? A height-adjustable handlebar, a quick fold, and being able to recline your child’s seat with one hand are thoughtful touches.

KEEP IN MIND

Britax recalled the car seat adapter for this stroller. It has replaced the part going forward. If you already have this stroller, contact Britax about a replacement, and if you’re considering it, don’t worry, future ones do not have the defective part.

Amenities like a cup holder and a snack tray are add-ons that can be purchased separately.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“I loved the stroller and my son was perfectly fine after a car accident we were in after he had just turned one. Safety is extremely important!” - Raegan

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Car seat weight: 10 lbs.

Car seat age range: 4 to 35 lbs.

Stroller weight: 18 lbs.

Stroller age range: From birth to 55 lbs.

Fully Loaded Budget Buy

Graco Stylus Click Connect Travel System   - $299.99+
WHY WE LOVE IT

We find that Graco usually packs their affordably priced strollers with parent and child amenities that make eating and drinking (and sleeping) on the go easy. The Stylus stroller is no exception.

It has parent and child cup holders, a snack tray for your little one and a storage tray for you. The handlebar can be moved to different heights for different caregivers, and the adjustable leg rest means your child will always be comfy. There’s also a big bottom basket to stow your diaper bag, purse or purchases.

Another noteworthy feature? The car seat is lighter than most. You’ll feel the difference when you carry it by the handle with your baby nested inside.

KEEP IN MIND

All those extra goodies can make the Stylus cumbersome to fold and lift.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“It’s super lightweight, and so easy to open and close the stroller. The car seat transfers easily from stroller to base and back again! I love it!” - Amanda

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Car seat weight: 7.5 lbs.

Car seat age range: 4 to 35 lbs.

Stroller weight: 26 lbs.

Stroller age range: From sitting up unassisted to 50 lbs.

All Terrain Jogging Stroller

Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System   - $199.99+
WHY WE LOVE IT

It’s shocking that a travel system with a jogging stroller that handles like a dream as well as a car seat 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.

Stroller age range: Birth to 50 lbs.

Combined weight: 41 lbs.

Stylish Splurge

Nuna MIXX² Stroller - $499.95
WHY WE LOVE IT

The Mixx Stroller and the PIPA car seat go together, but can’t be purchased as a set. We love it anyways.

This souped-up travel system is bound to get some wolf whistles for its high-end finishes: faux leather handlebars, a quilted canopy and chrome wheels.

It’s super functional too with a reversible stroller seat that faces front or can be parent facing as well as fully reclined. If you position the adjustable leg rest just so and the seat is flat, you can make a bed-like space, which is great for naps and diaper changes. It’s all-terrain wheels can take a bit of off-roading and the oversized storage basket is just the cherry on top.

The car seat also has a dream canopy that can completely shade the baby and a magentic open peekaboo window.

KEEP IN MIND

It does take two hands to fold the Mixx stroller. But once collapsed, it locks in place and you can pull it behind you like a suitcase with wheels.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“This stroller is amazing. Installing the base is a breeze and moving the car seat from car to stroller was easy too. The stroller is super easy and fast to fold and unfold.” - Erica

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Car seat weight: 8 lbs.

Car seat age range: 4 to 32 lbs.

Stroller weight: 27 lbs.

Stroller age range: Birth to 50 lbs.


Choosing What’s Right for You

It’s important to take your time evaluating travel systems. You’ll be using the stroller for years, and while the car seat won’t be used for near as long it’s crucial protection for your wee one. You’ll want to be sure to get the combo that makes the most sense for your family, so nothing will stand between you and getting out and about with ease.