When looking for a travel system for your little one, you can save yourself the hassle of buying two items separately by purchasing a stroller and car seat combination. A car seat is certainly a must-have item when it comes to parenthood, but you will also need a stroller to bring your child along for your travels.
You may be thinking: With so many options available, how do I pick the best travel system for my child? We understand that this is a purchase that you want to be sure about as these items will be a part of your family for years. To make the buying process easier, we’ve compiled the best stroller car seat combos along with helpful tips for deciding on the perfect combination.
What is Travel Systems 101?
Using a Stroller Car Seat Combo
Travel systems with a stroller and car seat are a common purchase for parents who want a coordinated stroller and infant seat. The infant seat will be used from when your baby is a newborn weighing only a few pounds up until they outgrow the weight limit.
When you purchase the two items as a combination, the infant seat is guaranteed to fit in the stroller. When you are ready to transfer the car seat to the stroller, simply unfasten it and secure it into the stroller frame. Even when your child outgrows the infant seat, they will still be able to fit in the stroller for outdoor travels.
What Should You Look for in a Travel System?
When purchasing a stroller and car seat combination, there are many different features that you can look for depending on your preferences and intended use.
First, you should make sure the car seat will fit your child’s current size and weight. Also, consider the seat back height of the stroller as you will want it to be tall enough to fit your child as they grow.
Ideally the car seat should be able to recline fully for maximum comfort but at least make sure it can recline to 45 degrees if you have a newborn. Some car seat and stroller combinations come with newborn inserts or extra padding to make it even more cushioned for your little one. If you plan on cruising around outside frequently, a shock absorbing suspension in the stroller can contribute to a smoother ride.
If you would like a quick transition from car to stroller, you may want to look for a travel system with Click Connect or similar one-click functionality. Also, look at the weight and size of both the car seat and stroller in order to gauge how compact it is. If you travel frequently, you will value lightweight models because they are much easier to tote around.
Another thing to look for is the amount of storage available in the stroller. Some models have an under-seat storage basket along with built-in pockets while others only have cup holders. Think about where you will be taking the stroller when it comes to determining how much storage space you need for your travels.
Advantages of a Stroller Car Seat Combo
Why worry about searching for a car seat and stroller independently when you can prevent yourself from buying parts that aren’t compatible by purchasing a stroller and car seat combination?
You often save on both confusion and pricing when you purchase the two essentials together.
Another major advantage of buying the combo is that the stroller and car seat will be fully compatible. You won’t need to worry about extra fastening or unfastening of the car seat as it will be able to click right into the stroller.
This makes travel much more convenient especially in very hot (or cold) weather where you value a quick transfer from stroller to car.
With every popular product type comes some level of controversy, which is why it is important to find a travel system that fits your individual needs.
Some strollers with more storage space can be a bit bulky which makes them difficult to load into smaller vehicles.
Many travel systems are not designed to be for running or off-road surfaces but they work well for smooth surfaces. Another common complaint is that cheap models do not last as long, so be sure to look for a stroller that is built to last for years.
TOP 5 Best Stroller Car Seat Combos Reviews
1. Child Craft Sport Child Stroller, Trio 3 Review
The Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System is a lightweight stroller and car seat combination that weighs only 22 pounds. The stroller itself holds up to 50 pounds and the car seat is designed for rear facing infants weighing from 4 to 35 pounds. The Click Connect technology allows for a quick connection by simply snapping into the car seat base or stroller with a firm click. With a three-wheel design with suspension system, the stroller is great for maneuvering around in crowded areas.
If you value your child’s comfort, the infant seat has multiple positions that can recline completely flat to form an infant carriage. Whether you are taking a walk or running errands, your child can nap under the shade of the extra-large canopy with zippered extension. It is easy to fold up the stroller and store it in your trunk or backseat as it measures 37 x 24 x 40 inches. With an extremely smooth ride and easy portability, this stroller and car seat combo will be a dream for your family’s travel needs.
- Easy to steer
- Extreme comfort for children and parents
- Snap-in technology
- Plastic wheels
- No headrest on the carseat
2. Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System Review
The EZ Ride 5 Travels System features a fixed back car seat and three-wheel stroller with EPS energy absorbing foam for maximum comfort. The soft head support provides excellent support for infants while secured in the rear facing car seat. The base of the infant seat is simple to install in your vehicle with either the anchor clips or by using the seat belt. The seat snaps in and out of the base quickly for portability. This car seat and stroller combo can be used from when your child is a newborn until they are 50 pounds.
The 5-point safety harness in the car seat and stroller gives parents added piece of mind knowing that their child is safely strapped in. Even after your little one outgrows the infant seat at 30 pounds or over 30 inches, they will still be able to fit in the stroller. Whether you are taking your little one to a crowded event or going grocery shopping, the large basket underneath the stroller has plenty of room for storage. New parents appreciate the peak-a-boo window on the canopy of the stroller so they can see their baby while they are in motion. The swing-away child tray and height adjustable handle are additional features that make this stroller a dream for parents.
- Added support for infants
- Lots of storage
- Adjustable handle
- Car seat is slightly bulky
- Doesn’t steer easily on rough surfaces
3. Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace Review
Bringing your baby on a family vacation or stroll around the neighborhood will be a safe experience with the Evenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace stroller and car seat combo. This rear facing car seat is perfect for both premature and normal birthweight infants as it holds from 4 to 35 pounds. The stroller will stay in your family until your child reaches 50 pounds which will likely last for years of adventure. It weighs 29.6 pounds and the 35.8 x 20.9 x 41.7 inch stroller folds up quickly to fit in your trunk.
You can customize your child’s level of comfort with the multi-position reclining seat which is helpful for nap-time. The large canopy and full sun visor will shield the sun while you are outdoors on sunny days. Not only will your little one be protected from the bright sun rays, but the 5-point harness system will keep them secure while in motion. The 13 inch thick wheels of the stroller help to absorb shocks as you are cruising over bumpy surfaces so your child can relax without any extra jolts.
- Good for premature infants
- Seat reclines to multiple positions
- Enhanced stability
- Doesn’t lock shut when folded
- Canopy is not removable for cleaning
4. Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System with OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat Review
The Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System comes with everything you need to enjoy your travels with your baby in tow. This stroller and car seat combination is designed for easy handling with agile wheels that are great for maneuvering around in crowded areas. The onBoard 35 infant seat provides superior cushioning and protection for babies weighing 4 to 35 pounds. For newborns, there are added head and body insert pillows which provide even more support while your newborn is riding in the car. With quick click functionality, simple click the car seat in or out of the base for a secure attachment.
The stroller includes a 5-point harness system that is adjustable to different heights for growing children. It weighs 32 pounds and measures at 33.5 x 21 x 18.5 inches. If you like wearing flip-flops, the brakes are friendly for all shoe types and put the stroller into park with a simple tap. Both the parent and the child passenger will have a storage tray for beverages, snacks and other small items. Larger items will fit seamlessly in the storage basket underneath. This stroller provides greater airflow for children with a huge peak-a-boo window on the full coverage canopy.
- Comfortable fabrics and newborn inserts
- Flip-flop friendly stroller brake
- Super-sized canopy with flip out window
- Heavier than comparable strollers
- Basic color scheme
5. Disney Amble Quad Travel System Review
If you are searching for an adorable themed car seat and stroller combo for your baby girl, the Disney Amble Quad Travel System is a great choice. This Minnie themed set features a QuickClick infant seat that clicks into the stroller in a one-step motion. The base of the car seat is adjustable to multiple reclining positions and will hold infants between 4 and 22 pounds. With a pink Disney newborn insert and floral design, little girls love this travel system.
Parents like the added convenience of the storage tray attached to the handlebar as it holds two beverages and other small items you want to keep close-by. The system in total weighs 34.6 pounds and stroller measures at 34 x 20 x 18.5 inches. When you are ready to pack up the car, the stroller folds up with a quick lifting motion by pulling on the folding strap. The car seat is lightweight for easy portability to carry your infant without waking them from a slumber. This cute travel system will add some Disney magic to your travels.
- Cute design
- Quick folding
- Reclining seat
- Lower weight limit for infant seat
- Newborn insert not included
Out of these five choices, the Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System with OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat is the clear winner. This stroller and car seat combination is designed for your child’s comfort with added cushioning for newborns and a soft fabric stroller seat. There is also plenty of storage space to fit baby gear and other essentials. Parents have the added piece of mind that their child is both safe and comfortable.