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Every parent knows that moving a sleepy baby from the car seat to the stroller is like defusing a bomb; one wrong move and you will end up with an explosion of tears. Keeping the baby in the car seat carrier is one solution, but we all know those are too bulky and heavy to carry for longer than 10 minutes at a time.
The best solution to both of these problems is to find a good travel system, one that comes with the car seat and a compatible stroller.
[table id=4Travelsys /]
1. Maxi-Cosi 5-in-1 Modular Travel System
Maxi-Cosi has been a well-known name in the car seat industry since it was first introduced in Europe in 1984. Not only are they the most popular car seat brand in Europe but they have also made an impact globally.
This travel system, which includes the 5-in-1 modular stroller, is packed with features to make your baby’s ride comfortable, safe, and easy.
There are 5 different carry modes: forward and reverse carriage for infants, forward and reverse stroller with no necessary modifications or attachments, and of course car seat carrier.
With parent and child trays – both with cup holders – and a large undercarriage basket, there is plenty of storage to take what you need without having to carry anything extra.
The one-click latch system for installation is convenient when you are on the go and riding in a vehicle that is not your own. It allows the car seat to be installed easily and securely without the base so there is no need to carry it with you or transfer it from your primary vehicle.
- Multiple stroller modes
- Safe and comfortable
- The car seat is easy to install
- Ample storage with a basket and parent/child trays
- Adjustable handle height
- The stroller isn’t sturdy enough for a toddler
- Wheels don’t absorb bumps
- The loose canopy on the car seat
2. Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Travel System
If off-roading or jogging are hobbies of yours, you will want to check out the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger travel system.
When they say FastAction, they aren’t kidding. This stroller folds so quickly and easily with just one hand so you spend less time fussing with the stroller and more time with your baby.
The air-filled rubber tires are not only great for traction when hiking or jogging, but they also absorb bumps and shocks over uneven terrain so your little one isn’t jostled about. The front wheel also locks to allow better and safer handling when jogging.
Storage is not an issue with this stroller either thanks to parent and child trays as well as a large undercarriage basket.
- Excellent maneuverability and wheel suspension
- Convertible 3- and 5-point harness
- Air-filled rubber tires for all terrain types
- Front wheel locks for better handling while jogging
- One-hand fold
- Tires can go flat
- Very heavy and bulky stroller
- A small canopy on the stroller
3. Chicco Viaro Travel System
If you like the 3-wheel stroller design but you don’t need something quite as rugged as a jogging stroller, the Chicco Viaro travel system may be the right choice for you.
The Viaro stroller, unlike most jogging strollers, is extremely lightweight thanks to its aluminum frame. In fact, this stroller only weighs a whopping 18 pounds (compared to most jogging strollers coming in at around 30 pounds).
It folds easily with one hand and stands on its own when folded, making it both easy and convenient for anyone to use.
This travel system set not only comes with a great stroller but it also includes the #1 rated car seat: the Chicco KeyFit. It is in the top of its class for both safety and comfort, so you can be sure your baby has a good ride in both the car and the stroller.
- Includes #1 rated car seat: Chicco KeyFit
- Lightweight aluminum frame stroller
- 3-wheel design for maneuverability
- Free-standing, one-hand fold
- Plenty of storage
- Very bulky when folded
- The car seat doesn’t attach to the stroller without the tray
- The seat doesn’t fully recline
- No viewing window
4. Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System
The Evenflo Pivot modular travel system is similar to the Maxi-Cosi on our list but with a smaller price point.
You get 6 stroller modes – forward and reverse carriage, forward and reverse car seat carrier, frame stroller, and toddler carriage – for versatility no matter your little one’s age.
One of the best features on this stroller is the canopy. It is equipped with 3 panels for maximum coverage (full coverage when you use the canopy on the car seat as well) and even has a viewing window to keep an eye on your little one.
Similar to some of the other strollers listed, the Evenflo Pivot also has an oversized storage basket – with both front and rear access – and a one-hand free-standing fold.
- Large 3-panel canopy
- Equipped for 6 possible seating modes
- Viewing window on the canopy
- Folds with one hand
- Oversized storage basket
- The stroller is very big and bulky
- Has maneuverability problems
- Car seat often gets stuck in the base
5. Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System
As you have probably noticed, most travel systems can be a bit on the pricey side. Thankfully, there is Safety 1st, who is well-known for their affordable baby products, with the Smooth Ride travel system.
There aren’t many “special” features worth noting with this stroller and car seat combo, but you do get all of the necessary functions and features you’ve seen in most travel systems at just a fraction of the price.
You get the convenience of changing the seat to a bassinet, a canopy with flip out visor and viewing window, parent and child trays with cup holders, and a storage basket for diaper bags.
Keep in mind that this is a lower priced travel system, so some quality and features may not be exactly what you’ll find on one of the higher end models. However, it is still a convenient and safe travel system to use with your baby.
- Easy to maneuver
- Plenty of storage
- Viewing window on the canopy
- Self-standing when folded
- Convert from a seat to a bassinet
- Not as high quality as other travel system models
- No wheel suspension
Overall, I would recommend the Chicco Viaro travel system. It falls at right about the middle of the price range for travel systems making it affordable for most families. You get the maneuverability of a 3-wheel stroller design as well as one of the top-rated car seats on the market. There really isn’t much to complain about with this package.
Is there a travel system you recommend that’s not on the list? Let us know!