10 Best Stroller Travel Systems | February 2017
- locks into place when folded
- infinite recline positions
- dual cupholders in the handle
- peekaboo canopy window
- simple one-handed folding design
- under-stroller carryall
- completely removable canopy
- energy absorbing foam lining
- one-pull harness tightening
- adjustable-position seat recline
- self-standing when folded
- convertible 3-to-5-point harness
- impact stabilizing steel frame
- well-cushioned interior
- made and tested in the usa
- accommodates babies up to 30 pounds
- 5-point safety harness
- includes a flex-loc infant car seat
- height-adjustable handle
- included bassinet is lightweight
- reversible stroller seat
On The Go With Your Young Child
For most people, having a child is the greatest pleasure life has to offer. But it would be dissembling to pretend children didn't make accomplishing almost every task in life more difficult. From cross-country travel to a trip across town to the grocery store, when you have a child in tow, you are invariably going to be slowed down.
You can mitigate the loss of efficiency that comes with the addition of a child by equipping your family with the right on-the-go gear. This starts with the diaper bag (though in truth "diaper bag" is a slight misnomer, as the attentive parent travels well prepared for all sorts of child-related incidents well after the youngster is out of diapers). Having a well stocked, well organized diaper bag means you can always grab your kid and head out the door knowing you have all the toys, treats, eats, changes of clothes, bibs, and of course wipes and diapers that might be needed at any given moment. If you check your diaper bag at the end of each day and resupply it as needed, you'll never have to pause before you hit the road, and you'll never be left to wonder if you're ready for that next spill or bottle request.
A properly stocked diaper bag gives you the ability to get on the move fast. A great car seat and stroller combination allows you to make mobility as easy as possible once you're out of the home and on the go. A stroller travel system is the savvy parent's best way to save space by eliminating the need for multiple mismatched strollers and seats.
The Basics Of The Stroller Travel System
Most stroller travel system are rated to accommodate a child from birth up until they reach 50 pounds. It's quite unlikely you will ever use the same stroller in which you first pushed a newborn around the block as you will for a kid weighing fifty pounds, as by then the average child will be six or even seven years old and will have long since outgrown their stroller. You can essentially take it for granted that all decent stroller travel systems will be able to handle any infant or toddler, therefore.
A stroller travel system includes at least three basic components, these being the stroller itself, the car seat, and the base into which the car seat is secured. All modern car seat bases are designed to work with the LATCH system, which is an acronym for Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children. Using the LATCH attachments takes a bit of initial practice, but it's imperative that you master its proper use. If your car is older and/or of foreign make, consult your car seat's manufacturer for advice on proper base installation.
The car seat itself will lock into and pop up off of the base with ease when used properly. Car seats that can be easily removed from the car are a blessing when the seat is occupied by a sleeping child (or at least a calm youngster), and the ease with which the car seat transitions from the car to the stroller will be lauded by any parent who has had to unstrap and then re-buckle a child during the car-to-stroller transition.
Choosing The Right Stroller Travel System For Your Family
With the overall convenience of a stroller travel system come a few issues that aren't to be ignored. Many of the strollers associated with stroller travel systems have the same chassis as an umbrella stroller, and these tend to have smaller wheels not well suited to any terrain but pavement or other hard surfaces. Many of the included stroller seats, i.e. not the car seat but the seat that comes with the stroller itself, are of lower quality than those of single function strollers. This can be reflected in everything from an inferior canopy in some models to an actual lack of proper stability in others.
Consider each stroller travel system that interests you as a whole, of course, but also consider each separate element of the setup. If you aren't satisfied with any of the major components of a stroller system, then you should look elsewhere.
Make sure not to overlook the weight of the car seat, especially if you are a smaller person. Remember that you will be lifting this seat out of and lowering it into its base countless times over the first year or so of your child's life. A car seat that seems heavy to you even without a child in it is too heavy to consider at all; you will add seven to nine pounds of newborn to the seat from those earliest days, and your growing child will soon double in weight and will keep on growing.
On the other hand, heavier seats often feature more reinforcement and padding, so there is always a balance to be struck. Never choose a car seat that you don't feel is safe enough given your location, your vehicle, and your own comfort levels; safety is the overriding concern. But if you are stuck between a few different options, go for the lightest weight car seat with which you are comfortable, especially if you hope to use the seat well into the toddler years.