Are you looking to buy a travel system? If you mainly use a car to get around getting one will make your daily routine easier as you can transfer your baby to and from a pushchair without removing your little one from the car seat. This is less disruptive for your child 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
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.
Read the full review here.
The Balios S 3-in-1 Travel System is suitable from birth with a full lie-flat positions. It can be used parent-facing or forward-facing and has a one-hand reclining mechanism. It features an extra large sun canopy, a spacious shopping basket and a leg rest. The big all-terrain wheels deliver smooth suspension and the front swivel wheels can be locked for stability on uneven surfaces. This product is a Mother & Baby Gold Award Winner 2019.
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 product is a Mother & Baby Silver Award Winner 2019.
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. This product is also a Mother & Baby Bronze Winner 2019.
This is a high-quality travel system that makes life easier when out and about with your baby. It’s easy to handle on multiple terrains and suitable for a number of different car seats. It can also be folded completely flat, making it a good option for smaller car boots. This product is a Mother and Baby Gold Winner 2018.
Not only does this double buggy look beautiful it has a huge shopping basket to make life on the go with two in tow easier. It comes with Maxi-Cosi car seat adaptors which is handy. That said, a few of our mum testers found it harder to steer in double mode.
Read the full review 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.
Read the full review here.