An infant travel system is one of those essential items to have when a baby is about to come. Because a stroller is an indispensable element to use every time you commute with the baby. And a baby car seat is equally important.
Choosing from the wide range of models available on the market is not easy. Often, there is a huge difference between seemingly similar articles. That’s why we’ve put up this guide for new parents. If you don’t feel like reading, check out the best models clicking on the links in the table below.
An infant travel system is basically a combo between a stroller and an infant car seat. This modular system is composed of a stroller with a sturdy frame on which is placed an infant carrier. The carrier comes with a car seat base to seamlessly transform into a 0+ category infant car seat (up to 28lbs).
The advantage of this system is the convenience of buying all the articles necessary for traveling and commuting in a single solution. However, once the infant arrives at 7-8 months old, you will not be able to use the carrier/car seat unit anymore so make sure you’ll evaluate well the stroller unit regarding comfort and practicality.
Let’s see what features to look for before making the purchase and find out which is the best infant travel system available on the market.
Features Of A Good Infant Travel System
The choice of what is commonly called an infant travel system is one of the toughest for prospective parents. This happens because there is a broad range of travel systems available and the costs can sometimes be quite challenging.
What most parents have to think of when choosing a travel system is that the cost would probably be much higher if the items included in a combo would be bought individually.
Once determined the budget, it is time to decide which model to choose. Some models are particularly elegant and beautiful, other are more practical, but there are some characteristics every good travel system should have. Before deciding which model to choose, take a look at the following features of the product.
Even if the size or supplied accessories might seem exaggerated for a newborn, consider that the fundamental structure, namely the stroller frame, will need to support the child from birth to when he is about three years old. Total security and durability will be guaranteed only by a solid product.
Solid does not necessarily mean heavy. Nowadays the technology offers strong, durable materials that are lightweight at the same time. Solid means well built, with high-quality wheels and with resistant fabrics that are waterproof and washable.
Before purchasing make an assessment of your daily life environment to ensure the travel system will fit well into your life. Measure the width of the doors of your house or the dimensions of the elevator present in your building.
Evaluate the storage space necessary for the stroller and all its accessories and determine if you have enough room to store the travel system when not in use. 3-wheels travel systems take up less space, but the best thing is to check well the dimensions of the product before making the purchase.
Car Seat Requirements
Keeping in mind all these important features, let’s see which are the best five infant travel systems available on the market.
Check what type of car seat is involved in the combo and see if it fits the hooks of your car. All modern cars are equipped with ISOFIX anchors which are connected directly to the frame of the car seat, being much safer for your child.
However, if you are using an older car make sure you can correctly hook the car seat.
Another important thing to evaluate before purchasing is the practicality of the travel system. You should check if the docking and undocking of the child seat are simple. Folding the stroller should also be a simple operation, and it would be preferable to be easy to perform this operation with one hand.
Consider also the weight of the travel system and the handling ease. The strollers with unique handle are probably the best regarding practicality as they allow you to maneuver them easily with one hand.
Another important thing to check is the storage compartment placed under the stroller’s seat at the bottom of the frame. This compartment will be very useful for groceries or to store coats and other bulky items during walks.
Infant travel systems are primarily used when going for walks with the baby. In the travel system, the infant will sleep, eat and play so it’s easy to understand it will easily get dirty. For this reason, check if the fabric is completely removable and easy to wash.
The operations to remove the fabric should be simple and above all you should not need to disassemble the whole stroller or carrier to take it off.
A quality travel system will allow you to add more accessories to improve the performance or the comfort of the units. Among the most useful accessories are a mosquito net, a rain cover and leg protection for cold temperatures.
A toy carousel to attach to the handle is also a desirable accessory as it will distract and entertain the baby. Last but not least, a large bag to deposit various objects, like a diaper change, baby food or toys.
Given the amount of time the child will spend into the stroller and the car seat, consider the quality of the fabric, the fillings and also any present ventilation system. Don’t forget to check the option to recline the backrest of the stroller and the overall feeling of comfort.
Top 5 Infant Travel System Combos
1. Britax 2017 B Agile & B Safe 35 Elite Travel System
This infant travel system from Britax pairs the outstanding maneuverability with the excellent protection, making it a top choice for your child.
The B-Agile stroller unit is lightweight, highly maneuverable and easy to fold. The 3-wheel configuration makes the stroller ideal to pass through any tight spot.Check Price on Amazon
The B-Safe 35 car seat is specially designed to offer maximum protection to the infant, boasting the exclusive Safe Cell Impact Protection system of Britax. The features of this unmatched protection system include a seat base that compresses during a collision, absorbing the impact energy and a strong steel frame.
The car seat can be easily attached to the stroller and the transitions between the stroller, and the car is fast and comfortable. These features make from the Britax 2017 B-Agile/B-Safe 35 a great travel system.
Things We Liked
- Click and go system: this connection system of the stroller allows a quick connection to all Britax infant car seats, ensuring quick transitions between car and stroller.
- Impact-absorbing car seat base: the car seat base offers maximum protection for infants through its compression function which reduces the rough force of collisions.
- Deep shell: the car seat boasts a deep shell which is not only space-efficient, but it also reduces side-to-side movement increasing the protection of the infant.
- Easy folding: the design of the Britax 2017 B-Agile/B-Safe 35 Travel System allows an easy folding of the stroller with just one hand.
Things We Didn’t Like
- Despite the safety provided for infants, the stroller is not a great choice for toddlers as it lacks a footrest and might result uncomfortable for older babies.
2. Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System
A great option for the budget-conscious parents is the Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System. The stroller is compact and lightweight, being easy to store or take along during trips. It is also easy to fold and unfold.
The infant car seat easily attaches to the stroller and can be easily installed in the provided car base. It also has the feature of being one of the lightweight car seats available on the market, making it easy to move from the car to the stroller.Check Price on Amazon
Other important features of the system are the large storage basket and the parent and baby trays. The stroller is designed for your baby’s ultimate comfort and has a multi-position seat that reclines flat to create an infant carriage.
Designed to make your life as a parent easier, the stroller features an easy one-hand, one-second fold, a carrying strap and locks itself automatically when folded.
Things We Liked
- Easy folding: the stroller features a one-hand folding system, it stands alone when folded and it even comes with a carrying strap.
- Stroller up to 50lbs: the stroller of the Graco Aire3 Click Connect can hold children up to 50lbs, and it can be used for a long period of time.
- Compact dimensions: the stroller is lightweight and compact when folded, a great feature if you have a small storage space.
- Strolling security: this infant stroller provides security and peace of mind as the child grows with the convertible three-point or five-point harness.
Things We Didn’t Like
- It is difficult to detach the car seat from the stroller and equally difficult to snap it back in place.
3. Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System
The Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System from Graco is probably the best option for active parents. The car seat unit is provided with a detachable base that can be left in the car when using it with the stroller.
The infant car seat is suitable for babies up to 35lbs and up to 32 inches tall. It is easy to connect to the car base or to the stroller, letting parents know when it’s in place through a “click”.Check Price on Amazon
The stroller boasts a sturdy frame which offers an excellent handling for parents and ensures smooth rides for the baby.
The stroller seat, featuring Graco’s multi-position recline, is ideal for both infants and toddlers as the position can be easily adjusted. As on overall, the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System is a safe, affordable infant car seat and stroller combo.
Things We Liked
- Maneuverability: featuring a front swivel wheel with suspension, the stroller is highly maneuverable and guarantees smooth rides for the baby.
- Lightweight: weighing only 30lbs the stroller of this travel system is perfect for on-the-go parents since it is portable, yet sturdy.
- Removable child tray: a great feature for easily getting your child in and out of the stroller. The tray is also perfect for storing small games.
- Extra-large storage basket: the stroller also boasts an extra-large storage basket, perfect to hold a large bag and other essentials.
Things We Didn’t Like
- Although advertised as easy to fold, the stroller cannot be folded/unfolded using only one hand. The operation is not difficult, but it requires a little bit of force.
4. Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System
Bravo Trio Travel System from Chicco is another great option for an infant car seat and stroller combo. The KeyFit 30 infant car seat ensures the safety of your baby due to the energy absorbing foam.
The infant insert in the shell gives extra support to a smaller child, while the smooth underside of the car seat’s base protects the fabric of the vehicle against damage. Furthermore, the KeyFit 30 car seat is compatible with other Chicco strollers as well.Check Price on Amazon
The Bravo stroller, on the other hand, features an adjustable extra-large canopy, a multi-position reclining seat and a height-adjustable push handle.
The stroller also includes a convenient parent tray with cup holders and storage, and it features a one-hand fold with auto-positioning wheels and a self-standing compact folded position. The stroller seat is removable allowing an easy transformation into a stylish frame carrier for the KeyFit.
Things We Liked
- Multi-position: the stroller’s seat remembers the last recline position before folding so you will not have to adjust it each time.
- One-hand fold: the stroller of the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System can conveniently be folded using only one hand.
- EPS energy-absorbing foam: for your baby’s safety the KeyFit car seat is provided with energy-absorbing foam, making it safer in the case of a side collision.
- Easy installation of the car seat: provided with a one-pull LATCH and integral auto belt lock-off the KeyFit 30 is easy to install.
Things We Didn’t Like
- The sun cover on the KeyFit is not one of the best.
5. Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System
Perfect for active moms and dads, the stroller of this Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System features a lockable front swivel wheel. This feature allows the great 3-wheel stroller to be used when jogging, while the wheel ensures easy maneuverability when is not locked. Parents will also love the large storage basket and the parent tray with two cup slots.
The car seat can accommodate babies up to 30lbs and features easy harness adjustment with one hand, a height adjustable base and energy-absorbing foam for superior protection in case of side impact.Check Price on Amazon
The stroller is suitable for babies up to 50lbs with a height limit of 42 inches. It has a multi-position reclining seat that is padded and equipped with a 5-point safety harness.
These features, together with its compact dimension, make this infant travel system an excellent choice.
Things We Liked
- Convertible car seat: the Flex Lock infant car seat can accommodate babies up to 30lbs and up to 30 inches tall.
- Easily removable car seat: the car seat can be easily removed from the car base allowing a quick attachment to the stroller.
- Adjustable canopy: the stroller’s canopy is adjustable and provided with covered sunroof ratchets that will block the sun and wind.
- Multi-position reclining seat: the padded multi-position reclining seat of the stroller will provide the maximum comfort to the child.
Things We Didn’t Like
- The jogging lock of the front wheel can only be activated when the stroller is used as a seat only.
Conclusion And Final Pick
In our opinion, the best infant travel system is Bravo Trio Travel System from Chicco. This travel system is designed to offer safety and comfort to the infants and easy maneuverability to parents.
The KeyFit 30 car seat can be used even for bigger babies, while the Cortina stroller is a great option until the child reaches 50lbs. The multi-recline position and the adjustable footrest and canopy will increase the comfort of your child.
One thing Chicco could improve is the accessibility to the under-seat storage basket, but this is a minor issue compared with the great features of this combo. Even if the infant travel system is more expensive compared to similar products, keep in mind that the comfort and safety of your baby come first.