The 10 Best Stroller Travel Systems
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in March of 2015. The advice to never wake a sleeping baby is always easier said than done when you need to maneuver a napping infant out of a car seat. Luckily, these innovative travel systems can help you smoothly transfer your little one from your vehicle to your stroller and back again. Our selection features a variety of safe, sturdy models, so you’re sure to find one to suit your budget and style. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 26, 2020:
A travel system consists of three components: a stroller, a carrier, and a base that attaches to your vehicle’s seat. It’s a set of baby products many parents feel they can’t live without, since they make it much easier to transfer your child from the car to the stroller and back again. In today’s update we added in a few updated versions of some tried-and-true models. The Britax B-Lively features front wheels that swivel easily to handle tight turns, so it can navigate crowded sidewalks like a champ. Both the carrier and stroller are equipped with large sunshades for baby’s comfort.
The Evenflo Pivot Modular offers six modes: The stroller can be used along with the carrier or in the pram mode for infants facing either in or out, and upright without the carrier for older babies. Its large tires can handle gravel, grass, and more surfaces with ease, while the removable snack tray and canopy make it comfortable for little ones. It stands upright once folded, which comes in handy for busy parents helping one or more little ones get situated into the car after an outing.
The Graco Modes incorporates a three- or five-point harness that can grow with your baby, and the front-facing seat includes a multi-position leg rest. Like some others, it offers lockable front wheels which help ensure easy maneuverability. It can support up to 50 pounds and is backed by a one-year warranty.
You’ll tote your Little Mousekateer in style with the Disney Amble Quad, which incorporates a padded insert featuring cute mouse ears for use with the carrier, as well as a sunshade with a convenient peekaboo window that lets you check on baby easily. It’s got 2 parent cupholders and a material that’s machine washable.
For a travel system that includes a jogging stroller, look to the Baby Trend Expedition, which offers 16-inch rear tires and a single front one that can lock securely in a forward position when you’re running. It’s made with impact-resistant side foam and includes a comfortable, padded handle.
For safety’s sake, never leave children unattended in a stroller, and ensure they are buckled in at all times. Avoid hanging bags from the handles, which could cause the stroller to tip over. Rather, store items in the bottom basket. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and make sure your child falls within the appropriate weight and size range.
Why You Need A Stroller Travel System
They're often lightweight with smooth-turning wheels, and have ergonomic handles that are easy to grasp.
A recent study found that parents are spending more time with their children today than they did in the 1950s and 1960s. Even higher earners are opting to personally attend to their children, rather than hire help when they can afford it. If you fit into this group who keeps their children by their side most of the day, then you need a stroller system that will move you seamlessly through each part of the day. You may think your standard, walk-in-the-park stroller will suffice when you go on a trip or are out for the entire day, but the first time you try to use that model for that purpose, you'll realize you need an upgrade.
Travel stroller systems include both a high-quality stroller and a car seat. Often the car seat converts into a carrier or a bassinet that you can place on a chair next to you. This means your child will have a safe place to sit, whether you're running errands, in the car, or at your desk. If you'd like to take your child beyond your daily destinations, like on business trips or vacation (which research has found is great for their brain development), you'll be glad you have a stroller travel system. Many are specifically designed to fold down and fit into overhead compartments in airplanes. Their roomy storage compartments allow you to pack a day's worth of sunscreen, snacks, maps and other things you need for site seeing.
Finally, if you enjoy taking your baby out on a jog or power walk, these strollers are made with features that make it easier for you to break a sweat with a baby in tow. They're often lightweight with smooth-turning wheels, and have ergonomic handles that are easy to grasp. Busy parents know that sometimes the only way to squeeze in a workout is by bringing they baby along.
Important Stroller And Car Seat Safety Tips
If you're a responsible parent, then you put your child in a car seat. But these safety products are only effective if you use them correctly. Unfortunately, roughly 46 percent of car and booster seats aren't being properly set up, which can greatly increase the risk of injury or death in the case of an accident. First and foremost, whether your restraint is designed for forward-facing setup or rear-facing installation, respect those instructions. Children under 22 pounds or one year of age should always sit in rear-facing car seats. Children over that age or weight can ride in forward-facing restraints. One should never simply flip a rear-facing car seat to face forward as their child ages. A new model specifically designed for the new orientation is required.
If you're a responsible parent, then you put your child in a car seat.
Research on improving child safety in the event of a vehicle collision shows that the back seat is the safest place for children under the age of 12. While air bags can save the life of a full-grown adult during a crash, they can have devastating results for a small child. The pressure from the air bag can be too powerful for bodies smaller than the test dummies on which these safety devices are tested.
Make sure your child's harness fits securely. Ideally, you should only be able to slide one finger underneath the harness straps. It's also important to check that the safety belt is holding the car seat in place snuggly. Using safety belts that are too slack and incorrectly adjusting a child's harness are some of the top mistakes parents make when installing car seats.
Many parents are surprised to learn that car seats actually have expiration dates. The expiration date is usually stamped on the manufacturer's label. Some companies choose to stamp their car seats with a date of manufacture rather than an expiration date. In this case, a good rule of thumb is that it expires six years from that date. After that time, it may not be safe to continue using it. If you plan on using your current car seat with a second child, always check the expiration or manufacture date before doing so.
Other Helpful Features To Look For
Parents who are powered by caffeine need their lattes on-hand at all times. When both of your hands are busy pushing a stroller, that can get tricky. Many stroller travel systems have convenient cup-holders that can even hold thermoses, so you'll never be without your favorite hot or cold drink. If you don't want your curious little one accidentally dialing your colleagues when you aren't looking, find a model with a separate storage compartment for your cell phone.
When both of your hands are busy pushing a stroller, that can get tricky.
Research has found that ultraviolet ray exposure in childhood can have long-term effects on someone's skin health. If you live in a sunny climate or love taking your baby to the beach, it's important that you find a model with a large canopy, preferably one that is UV-resistant. Since little ones aren't really known for their cleanliness, consider a stroller with machine-washable seat covers so you can easily handle any messes.
Parents who are typically juggling several tasks at once will benefit from a model that can be folded down with one hand. Some collapse into a size small enough to put under a desk, or in the storage area of a metro or bus, making them great for commuting professionals. If you have a rapidly-growing toddler, there are models available that can safely accommodate children up to 40 pounds. Seats with multiple reclining positions will make it easy for your kid to comfortably eat, nap, or just cruise.