Are you looking to buy the best baby travel system? If you mainly use a car to get around getting one will make your daily routine easier as you can transfer your child to and from a pushchair without removing your little one from the car seat. This is less disruptive for your little one and saves time and stress.
In this article:
What is a travel system?
In general, a travel system consists of a pushchair that is compatible with a Group 0+ car seat which is suitable from birth to the age of 12 months. The car seat is easily attached and detached from the frame and will either clip on top of the pushchair seat component or attach directly to the chassis with the seat component removed.
It's important to keep in mind that different travel systems are compatible with different car seats, although there is some crossover. The most important thing about buying a travel system is to to make sure it will fit in your car.
Should I buy a baby travel system?
Convenience is the main benefit, as you can transfer your baby to and from a pushchair without removing her from her car seat. This is less disruptive for your child and saves time and stress. Infants often fall asleep in a car and a travel system means they don’t have to be disturbed, which is of huge value!
A travel system is often more expensive and sometimes bulkier than a standard pushchair, so is only worthwhile if a car is your main form of transport.
Different travel systems are compatible with different car seats, although there is some crossover. So if you’ve set your heart on a particular pushchair frame, you’ll be tied to whichever car seats it’s compatible with. Equally, if you have already bought a car seat, your choice of frames it may be compatible with will be limited. It is also essential to check that the car seat concerned can be fitted safely in your vehicle – ask the retailer or check the manufacturer’s website for a ‘fit finder’ list.
How does the car seat attach?
The car seat will either clip on top of the pushchair’s seat component or attach directly to the chassis with the seat component removed. Adapters are sometimes required to fix the car seat onto the pushchair or chassis. Check if these are included. If they aren’t, find out what the additional cost will be.
What about the pushchair?
A travel system typically has a seat component which enables it to be used as a ‘normal’ pushchair. Many mums use the car seat clipped into the frame when their baby is very young, using the larger seat component as their little one grows. If you intend to keep your newborn in the pushchair for long periods, you will need a travel system with a fully reclining seat component. Newborns should only remain in car seats for a few hours at a time, as lying horizontally is better for their breathing and healthy spine development. Some travel systems also offer the option of a pram-style carrycot. While this adds expense, the carrycot can double as a Moses basket and portable travel cot.
Can you use a travel system for toddlers?
Only a Group 0+ car seat will fit on the travel system, which will be outgrown at around 12-15 months. But most mums continue to use the travel system with the seat component fitted after that. For toddlers, a seat that reclines for naps is useful, but it doesn’t have to be fully horizontal. Some pushchair seats are reversible, so your baby can face you to begin with, but face outwards to get a better view of the world as she gets older.
How easy is it fold?
All travel systems fold up so they can be stowed in a car boot. Try out the folding mechanism in the shop – your ‘tricky’ might be another person’s ‘easy’. Consider that you may sometimes need to hold your baby while you fold and unfold the chassis. You’ll also have to lift the folded pushchair chassis in and out of the car boot, so consider its weight – anything over 10kg could be a struggle.
The best baby travel systems:
Did you know that our annual Travel System Awards help us bring you the best advice about current products on the market? Thanks to the Mother&Baby awards, you can purchase our award-winning baby travel systems. Discover who the Mother&Baby Award Winners 2021 are here.
Now it's time to shop from the best baby travel systems, that have been recommended by parents and Mother&Baby shopping experts.
Taking the Silver award in the Mother&Baby 2021 Silver Travel System Awards, the Cosatto Giggle 3 Travel System & Accessories Bundle is an absolute dream for your family. With enhanced performance, the Giggle Quad has convex profile tyres and all-round premium suspension for an ultra-smooth glide, offering longevity. As well as boasting other incredible features like premium detailing - from deluxe amped up wheels, to stitched leatherette height-adjustable handle.
Use from: Suitable from birth to 13kg/29lbs
Weight: 15.6 Kg
Harness type: N/A
Material: Aluminum chassis
Features: Removable bumper bar/carrycot handle with fabric cover, rain cover, sun visor and toy loops on hood
Contents includes: Cosatto Giggle 3 Chassis, Cosatto Giggle 3 Carrycot, Cosatto Giggle 3 Seat Unit, Cosatto Hold Mix Group 0+ Car Seat, Cosatto Car Seat Adapters, Cosatto Changing Bag and Cosatto Footmuff
Read our full review of the Cosatto Giggle Quad 3-in-1 Pram and Pushchair Travel System here.
Winner of the Gold Award in the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Travel System category is this system from Joie. It's stylish and easy to use, folding simply with just one hand
- Rearward and forward facing seat
- Compatible with Joie Gemm, i-Gemm, i-Level, i-Snug car seats and ramble XL carrycot (all sold separately|) with included all-in-one adapters
- Mechanical 3 position recline seat unit with a lie flat mode.
- One-hand, instant flash fold and set up mechanism
- Extendable UPF50+ and water repellent canopy
- Adjustable calf support and handle and removable armbar
- Height adjustable push bar
- Large storage basket
- Soft touch harness is soft on baby’s skin whilst keeping them safe and secure.
- Stands when folded with compact trolley mode
Read our full review of the Joie Versatrax travel system here.
Another travel system that featured in our Mother&Baby 2021 Travel System Awards was this fabulous number. It's no surprise it took home the Bronze award, when it offers a large shopping basket, easy release front swivel-lock wheels, compact fold and so much more.
Use from: Birth to approx. three years
Weight: 6.5kg (stroller)
Harness type: N/A
Features: Removable bumper bar, large basket and multi-position recline
Contents includes: Travel System package with SnugEssentials™ i-Size infant car seat and raincover
Read our full review of the Graco Breaze Lite Travel System here.
The award-winning Ultimo travel system is undoubtedly the ultimate travel system with no restrictions on where you're going. The system includes a luxury carrycot, seat unit, car seat, seat unit foot apron, a padded seat liner, and a rain cover. Go from parent facing to forward-facing with efficiency, security, and style.
The Infababy Ultimo 3 in 1 Travel System won Gold in the 2020 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Travel System category.
Use from: Suitable up to approx. four years or 22kgs
Harness type: Five point
Material: Infatex™ breathable fabrics for maximum comfort
Features: Quick fold system, eco-Leather handles and bumper bars, fully removable and washable covers and so much more
Contents includes: Stroller, carrycot, car seat including adapters, cosy seat liner and rain cover
Read our full review of the Infababy Ultimo 3 in 1 Travel System here.
The Leotie Lux is a modern stroller and carrycot loaded with all the features you will ever need on your days out. Highlights include the reversible luxury seat unit with its own matching carrycot unit and superior suspension on its wheels. It won Bronze in the Mother&Baby Awards 2020 in the Best Travel System category.
Use from: Six months to 17kg
Harness type: Five point
Material: Polyester and aluminium
Features: Easy fold (41 x 65 x 106cm), swivelling and lockable front wheel and all-wheel suspension.
Contents includes: A Leotie Lux pushchair, separate carrycot, adapter for infant car seat and rain cover
Read our full review of the Cbx Leotie Lux here.
This nippy pushchair is designed for daily adventures, weekend road trips, and even far-away flights. It features five riding modes, forward and rear-facing options, one-handed folding, an auto lock, and integrated carry strap for easy transport. This travel system won Silver in the Mother&Baby Awards 2019 in the Best Travel System category. The single is currently unavilable, but the double travel pushchair is a great buy for anyone who has a small and growing family.
Use from: Birth to 15kg per seat
Harness type: Five point
Features: Canopies with a view, easy-to-adjust support and glider board
Contents includes: Double stroller, two hoods, basket and carry bag
Read our full review of the Baby Jogger City Tour LUX here.
This travel system features both a Maxi-Cosi Zelia stroller and a Cabriofix 0+ car seat. The Maxi-Cosi Zelia pushchair will give you and your baby the confidence to enjoy everything urban life has to offer. Zelia’s seat transforms into a bassinet, so it is the perfect 2-in-1 pushchair for cool, relaxed city living. This travel system can fit into a small flat without compromising on your baby’s comfort.
The Maxi-Cosi Zelia won Bronze in the 2019 Mother&Baby Awards for Best Travel System
Use from: Birth to 3.5 years
Harness type: Five point
Material: Plastic and polyester
Features: Seat transforms into a pram bassinet, spacious shopping basket and is very lightweight
Contents includes: A Zelia frame, Zelia seat unit/bassinet, shopping basket, sun canopy, rain cover, bumper bar, parasol clip, car seat adapter set, boot cover/apron, seat inlay, pillow and a manual.