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Getting your child from point A to point B might not be as easy as it sounds, especially if you are a first-time parent. A good car seat stroller combo can be a saving grace. But, with so many other stroller models, choosing one can be quite overwhelming.
Finding a perfect car seat and stroller combo requires some investment. Aside from money, you need to invest your time and a bit of patience. Learning about the features and properties of the travel system you are considering buying will lead to your child being maximally safe and comfy on your family road trips to grandma’s house.
TOP RATED STROLLER/CAR SEAT COMBO
Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System Stroller – Editor’s Choice
This travel system features the LATCH system, which allows you to install the infant car seat without much effort. It is really easy to use because the system does most of the work instead of you, adjusting everything with most cars. It alerts you with a pleasing “click” sound, telling you that everything is all set.
The folding mechanism is automatic and, once the buggy is folded, it stands on its own. To work it, you need to maneuver the little handle that is located under the seating pad. The same handle can be used to safely carry the whole thing without straining any other part of the stroller.
If your kids are fond of making a mess, you can remove the seat and the padding. That way, the stroller will be neat, and all set for your next adventure. It also makes the stroller even lighter.
The frame of the buggy is light, but also very sturdy and durable. Its design and easy fold make it very convenient to store. Once you load it into your trunk, you’ll have plenty of space for other items.
Parents who are fond of long walks can get a lot out of this model. It takes one hand to maneuver it, and it fits through narrow spaces without any difficulty. Even with all of its padding and safety features, it is still probably the slimmest convertible stroller on the market..
Cause of the brilliant technology implemented, the model is remarkably stable despite having a narrow base. The handlebar is easy to adjust, allowing parents to conveniently take turns during their family stroll. The wheels are plastic, which many people dislike, but they handle cobblestone streets very well.
Another significant advantage of this model is its large under-seat basket. There is also a parents organizer. The canopy offers full protection from the sun, although the mesh is missing a flap.
- Very easy to assemble, takes only five minutes
- Quick and easy fold
- Excellent maneuverability, even on tougher terrain
- Sizeable under-seat basket
- Ergonomic design
- Adjustable Handlebar
- Canopy could be better
- Mesh doesn’t have a flap
- No snack tray
Chicco Viaro Stroller – The Safest Car Seat/Stroller Combo
It’s a high-end car seat and stroller combo that is famed for its exceptional safety features and pocket-friendly price. The Chico Viaro is light, portable and comes with one of the best baby car seats on the market. The KeyFit 30 is beloved and praised by thousands of parents.
The seat perfectly clicks into its base and provides the child with a comfy and safe place to rest. Even without the car seat, the stroller can accommodate a child that can sit unassisted. It is not only easy to place in a vehicle, but can easily be carried thanks to its 2-position handle.
It has level indicators that guide you when you are trying to set the base at a proper angle. The seat is equipped with EPS energy-absorbing foam that protects your child in case of a collision. There are also the removable pillow and five-point harness.
For parents who want to have only one stroller, but still be able to use it during the first couple of months, the Chicco Viaro is just the thing for them. It can serve as the family’s primary or only stroller. The stroller is great to use around town, at the mall, and other flat terrains.
The seat of the stroller is just as comfortable as the travel seat. It features an infinite recline with the near-flat position. You can use it with a six-month-old baby and is guaranteed to be comfortable for children up to 3 years old.
The fold takes only one hand and makes the stroller easy to transport. However, the buggy is a bit bulky so it might take up a lot of space in your car trunk. The buggy is still very light; you won’t have a hard time carrying it up the stairs if needed. You won’t have to worry about storage either. The large under-seat basket can hold a big diaper bag and can be accessed easily. To make it even better, this model is equipped with a parent, tray, child tray, and two cup holders.
- Car seat easy to move from car to stroller
- Sizeable storage basket, excellent for shopping,
- Light, easy to lift
- Pocket-friendly price
- Pleasing design
- Great maneuverability
- Comes with parent and child trays, including cup holders
- No suspension
- No peekaboo window
- No fold-lock
Baby Trend Ez Ride 5 Travel System – Great for Parents
One of the least expensive car seat and stroller combos out there. Despite its price, The Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 still has plenty to offer. You won’t have to worry about your baby’s safety with this buggy.
Like with many new infant car seats, this model comes with the Flex-Loc technology that is very similar to Graco’s Click Connect. The infant car seat has a base, and you can install it using the LATCH system. It also allows you to keep the base in your car, so you won’t have to install the infant car seat each time you want to take your child for a ride.
When the car seat is attached to the buggy, the seat is front facing, which allows you to keep an eye on your child. The regular seat is rear facing, but the canopy comes with a nice peekaboo window. The child seat is designed for small children, so once your child grows a bit, they will be more comfortable sitting in the stroller seat.
The buggy seat is adjustable and has multiple reclining positions. It is great for a nap but also for sitting upright. Each seat has a five-point safety harness that is very easy to adjust.
Even though the stroller is not as light as some similar models, the one-hand folding mechanism makes it very easy to transport and store. The fold comes with a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take much time and effort.
This buggy is pretty basic, as can be expected with its price, so it is nice to see it has some features one wouldn’t expect on such an economic model. It comes with two cup holders and a child snack tray. The handlebar is adjustable, which is very convenient for parents of different heights.
The storage space is big enough, but it shrinks as you recline the seat. The Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 is a car seat stroller combo designed for parents who appreciate simplicity. Considering its incredibly low price, you do get more than you pay for.
- Pocket-friendly price
- Easy-to-install car seat
- Simple, one-hand fold
- 5-point harness
- Less storage space when the seat is reclined
- Not as durable as more expensive models
Graco Aire3 Travel System – Ideal for Long Rides
The Aire3 has comfort and convenience written all over all over it. It is also great for parents who are on a budget. Unlike most strollers in the infant car seat and stroller category, it has a 3-wheel design.
Such a system makes the stroller easy to maneuver and allows you to push it for a long time without getting tired. The switch from four to three wheels takes some time getting used to, but it is worth it. You get more maneuverability, and the stroller feels like its half the weight.
It is also great for parents who often have to run around town, from one place to another. It takes a few seconds to fold it and load it into the car. To fold it, simply press the button, and the stroller folds itself. When folded, the auto-lock is activated, and the buggy stands on its own. Its one of the lighter travel systems and is very compact once folded. Loading it into an average-sized trunk won’t be a problem.
Once you take it out of the box, assembling the stroller takes only five minutes. The manual is plain, and the pictures included are very helpful. In that regard, it could be the best car seat stroller combo.
Graco’s renowned Click connect System enables parents to connect the infant car seat to the stroller without much effort. The SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat is one of the safest infant car seats money can buy. The baby car seat is rear facing.
The spacious under-seat storage basket can easily fit a medium diaper bag, and maybe even a large one. It has a weight limit of 10 pounds, which is considerably more compared to other strollers in this category, but it is a bit harder to access due to the bar in the middle. The stroller also comes with a parent organizer and two cup holders.
The regular seat has an adjustable one-hand recline. There is also the leg rest which can also be adjusted. The canopy is sizeable, has excellent ventilation and is equipped with a mesh peek-a-boo window.
- Easy assembly
- Easy, one hand fold
- Auto-lock, self-stand
- Limited storage access
- Takes some time to get used to the 3-wheel design
Chicco Cortina Cx Travel System Stroller – Best for Rough Terrain
As you have probably concluded by now, Chicco dominates the car seat/stroller combo category. Their excellent and safe infant cars seats set them at a huge advantage. The Cortina CX lives up to the Chicco name. It might not be the most compact and light model, but it is sturdy, durable, and of excellent quality. Assembling it is easy and won’t take much of your time. The instructions are clear and concise.
It is a perfect buggy for parents that are looking for a smooth ride even on rougher terrain. The front wheels swivel and are equipped with a suspension system. The tires are made of rubber and the stroller has a simple, yet excellent toe-tapping double-action brakes.
The KeyFit30 Infant car seat the model comes with has an adjustable 5-point harness. Its fabric is of excellent quality and very easy to clean. The base of the seat stays in the car and is very easy to install, but you can easily remove it by using the latch system if you want to.
Moving the seat from car to stroller requires minimal effort, and the click system ensures the seat is securely locked into place. The seat faces backward, allowing you to keep an eye on your little passenger. There is a five-point harness in the regular seat as well.
The stroller seat features the full-recline position, which is really hard to find on such a model. It is perfect for napping. The seat recline is adjustable and has the innovative Memory Recline function that enables the backrest to remain in the same position while you are folding and unfolding the buggy.
Even though the stroller is bulky, the folding mechanism is as simple as they get. It requires only one hand, and the buggy stands on its own when folded. The handlebar can be adjusted to three different positions and has a brilliant ergonomic design. On top of all that, this model comes with a big storage basket, accompanied by a parent tray, and a sizeable canopy that is equipped with a peek-a-boo window.
- Easy assembly
- Excellent maneuverability
- Front wheel suspension
- Memory Recline Function
- One-hand Fold
- Stands on its own when folded
- Bulky when folded
- The car seat is a bit heavy
CHOOSING THE BEST – STROLLE/CAR SEAT COMBO – BUYING GUIDE
For on-the-go guardians, a car seat stroller combo is a great approach to getting around with your child. It is a match that is guaranteed to work together, and you do not even have to wake up your child for the switch. But not every travel system works for everyone. Assessing your needs before making the purchase would be wise.
Things To Consider When Buying the Best Stroller/Car Seat Combo
Before purchasing a travel system stroller, you must consider its weight. Most travel systems are not heavy duty strollers and should not weight as much. The best travel system stroller should be convenient for traveling and city use, so it should not be over 25 pounds.
Make sure to check how easy/difficult it is to install the travel seat. Sweating over the travel seat is something a lot of parents are familiar with. Car seats can be installed in a number of different ways.
Most high-end models have simple mechanisms and innovative technologies that don’t require much effort. A proper travel seat should have additional features that help you in the process or even take care of most of the work. Having a base for the backseat can save you a lot of time overall.
Checking if the stroller has height adjustments is a good idea. If you are particularly short or tall, an adjustable handlebar will be of great use to you. Pushing a buggy around for a longer time can be more exhausting when you don’t have a comfortable grip on the handlebar.
An adjustable handlebar isn’t a must in case you are of average height or you if you check how the handlebar suits you beforehand. Most high-end models have an adjustable handlebar. The ergonomic design of it also plays a significant role.
Of course, your car isn’t the only place where you’ll be storing your child’s ride. If storing your buggy unfolded in your house isn’t going to work, folded dimensions mather as well. The ease of folding is paramount as well, especially if you are often planning to transport it in public transit.
Set a budget. No one is happy to buy one of the most expensive travel systems on the market, and you might not have to, but in most cases, you get what you pay for. While the stroller itself doesn’t have to be made of top-notch materials and be equipped with all the impressive features, the seat should be safe and reliable.
If you are considering getting a second-hand travel system, please do not. Most manufacturers don’t offer guarantees to anyone except the first owner and for a good reason too. With used travel systems, it is very difficult to check the crash history of the travel seat, or if the seat is older than six years (such seats are considered unsafe).
Used travel seats require thorough research. You would need to make sure the seat and the stroller have all of their original parts, and you also need to check if they have a recall history. It requires more time and involves some risk. The child’s safety and comfort are paramount. Look for a five-point harness on both the travel seat and the regular seat. It is a good way of quickly narrowing down your choices.
Test Drive Baby Stroller While Pregnant
It might sound a bit unorthodox, but as you would test drive a car, it is smart to test drive your baby’s ride too in a similar manner. Knowing what to pay attention to will ensure you won’t have any regrets after the purchase. You will also impress the other parents in the store.
If you can, take a stroller out for a spin. Turn it around, move it over some curbs and hit the brakes. It is a good way of getting the feel of the stroller’s maneuverability.
When you test it, keep in mind that you will soon have a little passenger in the seat, and that passenger will grow. Throw in your purse and a couple of other items to test how easy it is to push the buggy with some cargo. Most travel systems can hold up to fifty pounds.
The same goes for the infant car seat – take it in your hands and see how heavy it is. Try taking it out to the car and see how it fits in your backseat. You don’t have to install it, just make sure there is enough room for it.
Instead of measuring your car trunk at home and comparing it to the folded dimension of your potential buggy, you can take it out of the store and load it into your car. Presumably, most store clerks will be happy to help. Try lifting it on your own when loading it. You and your spouse can take turns. There won’t always be someone around to help, and it is better when one person can do the job.
See how it folds too. Most travel systems have a one-hand folding mechanism, but a two-hand fold isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You be the judge.
Bear in mind that you won’t be folding and unfolding the buggy only when transporting it in your vehicle. The folding mechanism is especially important if you use public transportation or don’t have much storage space at home. Sometimes, it is difficult to catch the gist of it at first, and there might be a learning curve, so ask the salesperson to fold it as well and see how they fare, cause they ought to have done it before.
It really cannot be stressed enough – make sure the handlebar suits you. If you plan on using the stroller with your partner, make sure it suits them as well. Having a handlebar that is not most suitable and most comfortable might not be a dealbreaker, but it does come into play when you are on an all-day adventure with your stroller.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT STROLLER/CAR SEAT COMBOS?
Q: Is a car seat stroller combo safe to use?
A: Yes, such a model is absolutely safe. In fact, they are the safest kind of strollers. The design of the infant car seat is what makes them so safe. Such seats are always held up to the highest standards. If you use them exactly as described in the owner’s manual, your child will be as safe as possible. Beside from meeting the required safety standards, they often come with extra safety features.
Q: How easy it is to install the seat?
A: Most high-end car seats are very easy to install. The best manufacturers design their strollers with simple, yet innovative, and, more importantly, extra-safe, installation mechanism. Some even come with a base that you need to install only once, and inwards you just attach the seat to it each time you take your child out for a ride.
Q: Can I use the stroller without the baby car seat?
A: The vast majority of travel systems can be used without the travel seat, as they have a regular seat. But, the questions should be if you can use the buggy’s regular seat with a newborn. All infant car seats are suitable for newborns, but for a regular seat to be suitable as well, it needs to have the full-recline feature.
If it doesn’t feature a full-recline, you shouldn’t use it until your child gains head and neck control. That usually happens around the sixth month.
Q: Does a travel system take up a lot of space?
A: It depends on the characteristics of the specific model you are planning to store in your home or car trunk. Every stroller can be folded, but they are not all compact when folded. To make sure it will fit in your car or house, search the internet for the folded dimensions of the stroller you are considering purchasing.
Q: Can my child still use the stroller after they have outgrown the infant car seat?
A: As the vast majority of travel systems also have a regular seat, yes they can. However, it is important to be mindful of the maximum weight recommendation of your stroller. The average weight limit of a travel system is 50 pounds.
Q: How do I know if my child still needs to use the car seat?
A: It would be best to use a rear-facing car seat until your child reaches two years of age. For specific details, it is best to check the owner’s manual, but also consult your pediatrician. However, the best source would be a car seat-technician (yes, they exist!).
Q: Where can I have my baby car seat checked?
A: The best place would be your local fire department or police station. Not all of them offer such a service, so it is best to call ahead and check if they have a car seat technician. Another option is referring to some online sources.
You might even be able to find a certified car seat technician working in your area, if there is no such expert employed at your local emergency services. It is absolutely paramount that the person is well versed in the nuances of the vital safety features.
Seeing your child sleeping soundly is truly mesmerizing. And for some parents, it is a much-needed break, because everyone knows how cranky babies can get. Being able to move your child from their stroller to your house or car is really a blessing.
By finding the best travel system stroller, you will kill two birds with one stone. Child safety experts have put their minds together to blend the best of the two worlds. By doing so, they have taken care of the parents’ convenience and the children’s safety at the same time.
The pursuit of a stroller/car seat combo that suits your family best can be arduous. But, in the end, when you are well assured that your baby is always safe and sound, you will be happy with the time you invested in the purchase.