Wouldn’t it be convenient if you can get a car seat and a stroller in a single purchase? Thankfully, a lot of brands have realized that as well, hence, the birth (no pun intended) of travel systems. Car seats and strollers are essential for everyday outdoor activities. That is why nothing speaks practicality louder than the travel system which combines the two.
If you think about it, these two are codependent with each other. After you secure your child at the car seat throughout the ride, you then have to transfer your child to a stroller after the travel. Here is where it gets quite complicated; not every seat can fit every stroller, and not every stroller is suitable for every seat.
You can’t just blindly shop for a stroller (or a car seat) that you like in the hopes that it will be compatible with the unit you already have. You might be okay with transferring your child from the car seat to a stroller, but if you have those two already guaranteed to work together, wouldn’t it save both you and your child the effort and time? Car seat stroller combos lessen the steps necessary, and instead, you just have to attach the seat to the stroller.
And since you’re here, it means that you have already decided to purchase a travel system. You might be thinking, “Yeah yeah just take me to the reviews already!” But the thing is, you can jump ahead to our buyer’s guide to know more information about travel systems and how to choose the right one. This way, you will have a basis on what to look for in the review.
Best Car Seat Stroller Combo Comparison Table
|UPPAbaby 2015 Vista||4-Wheel / Double Stroller||VISTA stroller with toddler seat, rain shield, bug shield and bumper bar; MESA infant car seat; bassinet, bassinet bug shield, and bassinet storage bag||27.5 pounds|
|Britax 2017 B-Agile & B-Safe 35||3-Wheel||B-Agile stroller, car seat adapters, and B-Safe 35 infant car seat with base; Click & Go Receivers||18 pounds|
|Britax B-Lively & B-Safe 35||3-Wheel||B-Lively stroller, car seat adapters, and B-Safe 35 infant car seat with base||20 pounds|
|Chicco Bravo||4-Wheel||Chicco Bravo Trio Quick-Fold stroller and Chicco KeyFit infant car seat||23 pounds|
|Chicco Viaro||3-Wheel||Chicco Viaro Quick-Fold stroller and Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat||18 pounds|
|Evenflo Pivot||4-Wheel||Evenflo Pivot stroller and SafeMax infant car seat||20 pounds|
|Graco Trax||Jogger||Graco Trax stroller and Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 30 infant car seat||N/A|
|Evenflo Vive||4-Wheel||Evenflo Vive stroller and Evenflo Embrace infant car seat||N/A|
|Graco FastAction||4-Wheel||Graco Fasfaction stroller and Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 30 infant car seat||22 pounds|
|Safety 1st||4-Wheel||Safety 1st Smooth Ride stroller and onBoard 35 LT infant car seat||18.2 pounds|
Best Car Seat Stroller Combo Reviews
UPPAbaby 2015 Vista – Luxurious That Delivers
Our first travel system might deter you with the price. However, there are a lot of features in this luxurious car seat stroller combo. The main components of the UPPAbaby 2015 Vista Travel System is composed of the VISTA stroller and its toddler seat, the MESA infant car seat, and a bassinet. Let us take a look at them one by one.
Right off the bat, you can tell from the frame to the wheels of the VISTA stroller that it is high-quality. The frame is made of aluminum and magnesium, and its rubber wheels are filled with foam. VISTA calls these patent-pending wheels AirGo, and because they are foam-filled wheels instead of the traditional air-filled rubber wheels, you don’t risk getting flat even in an urban environment.
Guaranteed Smooth Ride
Speaking of urban environment, even if you’re strolling in terrains with uneven pavement, your child will still get a smooth ride because of the all-wheel suspension. The rear wheel suspension and the shock-absorbing front wheel housings reduce the impact traveling to the seat. To explain it further, the wheels will not move excessively because of the shocks located at the arms that hold the rear wheels. The front wheels, on the other hand, absorbs shock and provides front suspension due to their housings. You can also lock the front wheels for easier maneuverability by pushing the gray button located in the wheel axis.
Flip-Flop Friendly Break with Status Indicator
What about the brake? The break action itself feels light, and there’s no resistance. UPPAbaby designed their brake to be flip-flop friendly, and you can activate/deactivate it on the right-hand side. Some other particular points that we love about the brake is that it makes a click sound when you switch it on or off. There is also a status indicator on the brake pedal.
But your child is not the only one getting comfortable. Did we mention that the handlebar has a rubber covering for added durability and comfort? The VISTA stroller has 3 height positions for its handle. You can adjust it from 39.5 inches to 42.5 inches at a squeeze of a button located at the middle of the handlebar itself and pull upward or downward to your desired height. The height positions are good, but we think shorter parents will appreciate it if it can get lower than 39.5 inches.
30-Pound Basket Capacity
For storage, the stroller has a large basket that you can access even when you have reclined the seat of the stroller fully. It measures at 70 x 42 x 25 centimeters and has 30-pound capacity. This capacity guarantees that you can fit even your groceries and other baby must-haves like a diaper bag in here.
Another impressive thing about the VISTA stroller is you can fold it even when the toddler seat is still attached as long as it is in forward-facing. However, even if the handlebar has a rubber covering since it’ll always touch the ground in “standing fold” mode, it can still be prone to scratches.
Speaking of the standing fold, this stroller folds easily and will automatically stand after you have folded it. The wheels will also automatically lock so you don’t have to worry about the stroller rolling off. But as we have mentioned earlier, the handles are going to touch the ground every time that it is folded and will get scratches inevitably.
The seat has 6 predetermined reclining positions. It is easy to adjust the seat because you can do it just by squeezing the button at the top of the seat. However, when your child is front-facing since you’re reclining the seat from behind, the handle can get in your way. You also need to follow the rear face of the seat to recline it if the seat configuration has your child is facing you.
As we have discussed, there are different configurations that you can do with the seat. Your child can either be facing you, or he/she can enjoy the view as you stroll. The parent-facing configuration is useful when your child is napping so that you can immediately check on him/her as you travel.
The toddler seat has a hood that you can slide up or down the frame depending on your child’s height. The adjustable hood is useful because it can reach up to 90 degrees to provide good coverage on your child. There is even a secondary hood inside this main hood to extend the shade for your child further.
The hood has a viewing flap on the top that you can hold back via the magnets instead of velcro. This way, you can check on your child without noise and interruption if he/she is asleep. This viewing flap has a vented panel that is useful for summer days to keep your child comfortable. But it will also be nice if there is an option to get some type of seal dedicated for the winter season.
For safety, the toddler seat uses a 5-point harness that releases at the center. A 5-point harness is always excellent for a toddler seat because it offers protection on 5 points (both shoulders, hips, and crotch) just like in a car seat. However, do take note that this harness needs rethreading during adjustment.
Travel System Comes with a Bumper Bar, Bug Shield, and Rain Shield
Are there other inclusions? The toddler seat comes with a bumper bar that feels smooth and at the same time, wipes clean. You will also get a bug shield and a rain shield. The rain shield has a mesh panel for checking on your child, although you have to remove it entirely if you have to reach inside.
The seat also has a footrest that is 10 inches long. You can adjust it into 3 positions so your child can get a more comfortable ride regardless of the seat’s configuration and his/her height. For cleaning, the seat has a wipeable fabric that you can hand-wash. The fabric itself feels smooth but durable.
To use the stroller with the car seat only, you can lift the toddler seat easily by pushing down on the silver buttons while simultaneously holding the bumper bar on both sides.
MESA Infant Car Seat
Included in this travel system is the MESA infant car seat. It has a seat base that has an indicator if you have installed it in the stroller correctly. Safety wise, the MESA has side-impact protection foam, and it has also exceeded the federal crash testing guidelines.
Of course, a car seat’s safety is also dependent on how well its harness can fit a child. The MESA infant car seat uses a no-rethread harness and adjustable headrest. The seat also has a machine washable fabric that is moisture-wicking. Because of this fabric type, your child will not feel icky even during sweltering weather.
Upon purchasing the VISTA travel system, you will also get a bassinet with a bug shield and storage bag. It measures at 72 x 34 x 16 centimeters and can hold a baby from birth to 20 pounds. The bassinet has a visor to give your baby a shade, and it also has SPF 50+ for UV protection!
Some other features that we like with the bassinet are both of its cover and liner are machine friendly. The inner liner is also water repellent, so your child will not feel irritated if he/she sweats. And for added breathability, the bassinet has a vented base. However, the bassinet has no rain shield, only bug shield.
You also have the choice to detach the bassinet, so your baby does not get interrupted in his/her sleep. You can easily do this even with one hand by pressing and sliding across the gray button at the top of the handle.
Use it for 3 Kids!
These are the main components of the VISTA travel system. But now that you know their features, we should also discuss that you can use the system with multiple seat combinations.
By adding upper and lower adapters, you can add a Rumble seat and a PiggyBack Ride-Along (separate purchases.) The PiggyBack Ride-Along is a wood board that you can use if you have a third child that might be tired from walking. This way, you can carry at least three children in one stroll.
If you have two children or twins, you can add the Rumble seat to have two seats. Or you can attach two infant car seats. You can also combine the Rumble seat and the infant seat, the toddler seat and the bassinet, or two bassinets. Do take note that the toddler seat always has to be in the upper level of the stroller.
Britax 2017 B-Agile & B-Safe 35 – Travel System that You’ll Love Traveling With
If you’re a frequent review reader when you see the brand Britax, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Even with our car seat reviews, the unit that we found best when it comes to installment is always a Britax. That is why when the brand came up with a travel system; we are expecting it to maintain its streak.
B-Agile 2017 Stroller
Portability at its Finest
Let us start first with the B-Agile 2017 stroller. It is made of aluminum and only weighs 18 pounds. We have to commend this weight since we all know how hard it is to carry a heavy seat in and out of the car. The great thing about this lightweight seat is that it can also carry a child maximum of 55 pounds. But of course, for a seat to be easily portable, it has to fold easy too. And the great thing about the B-Agile is you can fold it with just one hand!
You can fold the stroller easily, or to put it in the right words, let the stroller fold itself, by pressing the side button and pulling the strap. However, one unique thing about the Britax’ one-hand fold feature is that the stroller has a safety release button. What this button does is act as an extra counteractive measure to prevent accidental folding of the stroller. Because of this, you are required to press this button first to “confirm” that you want B-Agile to fold. We should also mention that the wheels will automatically lock similar to the VISTA Travel System once you fold the stroller.
The B-Agile also folds compactly at only 29 x 23 x 11 inches from 38.5 x 23 x 40 inches (as unfolded) in dimension.
Lightweight, easy to fold, and compact, so far the B-Agile is on a roll. But literally, how does it roll?
The stroller has rotating front wheels, and when pushing, since it’s only a 3-wheel unit, you can maneuver it easily and steer into positions that you want it to go. The wheels themselves are made of plastic but is filled with foam rather than air. And even though they are made of plastic, the wheels are going to handle uneven terrain without the risk of punctures. We also like the spacing underneath the seat with the wheels because this allows you to take a full step forward as you walk.
Single-Action and Linked Parking Brakes
Safety wise, the stroller uses single-action brakes that you can activate by pressing on the foot pedal. The pedal itself is a good size for activation or releasing even if you’re wearing heels or flip-flops. The stroller also has a linked parking brake, so-called because its main usage is for parking the B-Agile and for attaching the car seat.
The stroller also uses an adjustable 5-point harness with the shoulder straps being padded for additional comfort. However, adjusting this harness is not as smooth compared to other models. But nonetheless, this harness in the B-Agile is especially useful for children who have proper head and neck control. It can also fit your child as he/she grows because of the leg room. But if your child is too young, you can also use the stroller for newborns weighing 4 to 35 pounds by attaching the B-Safe 35. We will discuss this in more detail later.
Similar to the previous travel system that we’ve discussed, you can do a seat configuration and combination with the B-Agile stroller. You can add the car seat with the stroller’s toddler seat in the rear-facing position.
Multi-Position Reclining Toddler Seat
We should also note that this toddler seat is capable of multi-position recline. What does this mean? You can recline it forward or backward, and it to give you an idea, it’s maximum angle is at 63 degrees. You can also take advantage of the 24-degree recline to give your child a comfortable horizontal position for napping or sleeping as you stroll. A drawback we have for this, on the other hand, is it doesn’t allow your child to sit up straight.
To maximize his/her comfort and safety, the B-Agile also has a canopy/ sun shade for your child. It is large and can give your child a full shade. There is a flap for the mesh window that is commonly called peek-a-boo. You can open this using the hook and loop and then lock it using velcro.
Now, what about the handle? The B-Agile only has one handle, which for us is better since this means you can push this with one hand instead of using both with 2-handle strollers. This way, you can bring your child around while multi-tasking such as shopping for groceries or even holding an umbrella at the park. Do take note that you can’t adjust the handle height and because of this, taller parents may feel awkward since the handle is only 40.5 inches above the ground. However, it is covered with foam for added comfort and durability.
The car seat that comes with the B-Agile is the B-Safe 35. This seat uses Britax’ SafeCell Impact Protection System. What is included in this system, and how does it protect from impact? The system consists of a steel frame for durability and a base with honeycomb-like structures to absorb energy.
The shell of the seat is contoured, so it gives the child a better, more snug fit to lessen side-to-side movements while also minimizing space usage in the car. It is also lined with foam for added impact protection and comfort. We should also mention that you can use the B-Safe 35 SafeCenter Latch for easier car installation and tightening by pulling the center straps.
Click and Go Attachment
It attaches to the stroller using Britax’ Click and Go System. Both you and your child will appreciate this way of attachment because, during transfer, you don’t need to bother him/her if he/she is sleeping.
So far, what you know about this travel system is that you can fold and push the stroller around even with just one hand, but did you know that removing the B-Safe 35 from the base does not also need both hands? Yes! Even the car seat removal from the car only takes one hand! After removing the seat, you can then “click” it into place in the B-Agile.
Britax B-Lively & B-Safe 35 – Editor’s Choice
Another travel system from Britax also includes the B-Safe 35 car seat. However, this car seat stroller combo uses Britax’ B-Lively as its stroller. How does it compare to the previous review?
Advanced Version of B-Agile
The B-Lively (20 pounds) is 2 pounds heavier than the previous B-Agile (18 pounds.) However, it has similar qualities with the B-Agile. These include the capacity to fold quickly, even with one hand. To fold, just pull the handle on the seat, and you’re good to go.
When folded, the stroller has a size of 29 x 23 x 12 inches from 33 x 23 x 40 inches (unfolded.) For us, these are still good numbers for fitting into a small trunk and carrying it in or out.
Another similarity it has with the previous Britax unit is that it uses the Click and Go System for a Britax car seat attachment. As you have seen from the B-Agile, this allows you to remove the car seat off the base and leave the base in the car. After this, you just “click” it onto the B-Lively using the Click and Go connectors on the Britax seat to the Click and Go receivers on the B-Lively.
Infinite Recline Adjustment
For restraint, the B-Lively uses a 5-point harness to keep your child from dangerously moving around or off the stroller. This way, he/she can sleep soundly without you having to worry. The toddler seat itself has a maximum weight limit of 55 pounds similar to the B-Agile. However, when it comes to reclining, you can adjust the B-Lively in what they call infinite recline. Thus, you can recline the seat horizontally to make it comfortable for your sleeping child, or more vertically to give him a better ”view” of the place.
Locking Front Wheels but Brake Needs a Bigger Size
The stroller also has rotating and locking front wheels so you can move it to your desired direction easier. To stop, you can use the B-Lively’s one-touch brake, but it might feel uncomfortable if you’re wearing opened-toe shoes since after pressing it down, you have to lift it back up with your feet to release the brake.
For storage, sadly, like the previous stroller from Britax, the B-Lively has no snack tray and cup holder. However, a step-up it has from the B-Agile is you can access its storage basket at the front, and you’re going to get a total of 3 pockets (1 zippered located at the back of the canopy for cellphone, keys, etc., and two open) compared to just one like the B-Agile.
It also has a larger UV 50+ canopy to keep your child safe from UV rays when you’re strolling at the park. This canopy has a ventilation window, which we introduced as peek-a-boo window earlier on and instead of closing it using velcro, the B-Lively’s peek-a-boo window uses magnets. Lastly, you can also notice that the B-Lively has a footwell for the child.
Now, for the B-Safe 35, as we have mentioned earlier, it boasts a steel frame wand impact-absorbing base collectively called as Britax’ SafeCell Side Impact Protection. We should also mention that this seat has lock-off devices so you can securely attach it onto your car. Of course, the B-Safe 35 uses the SafeCenter LATCH system.
This system involves push-on latch connectors which are time-efficient to use and will give you less prone to error. You can also opt to use the B-Safe 35 Elite if you prefer a seat that utilizes a harness that you can adjust without rethreading. However, if we can change a thing with the B-Safe 35, it would be a different type of fabric, to keep the child comfortable during hot summer days.
Chicco Bravo Trio & Chicco KeyFit – One-Hand Everything
So far, a common trend that we see in travel systems is that they offer a free-standing folded position that you can do quickly, with some not even requiring two hands. Our next car seat stroller combo is no different.
Free-Standing One-Hand Quick-Fold
The Chicco Bravo Trio is a stroller that you can fold simply by pulling a handle under the stroller seat pad. After it folds, it’ll automatically stand too. Because it’s free-standing, you can store it neatly, and you don’t have to worry about its stability while folded because the wheels will lock when you fold it.
Speaking of wheels, they are made of plastic and filled with foam; another common trend in the travel systems we reviewed so far. However, due to the size, we doubt it’s good to use the Bravo Trio in rough terrain every day.
What about its toddler seat? The Bravo Trio has a maximum child weight limit of 50 pounds, 5 pounds less than our earlier models. It offers 3 reclining angles, but we don’t think this seat is suitable for a newborn because it lacks head and neck support with its 5-point harness. But don’t worry, this stroller fits well with infant seats as we will mention later on.
We should mention that the toddler seat and the leg rest of the Bravo Trio are both padded to make your child more comfortable. However, it would’ve been better if the leg rest of the stroller is adjustable. On a brighter note, the shoulder height of the harness is adjustable, so it can accommodate your child’s height, but will it last him/her long until she grows? We think that because the crotch buckle is not adjustable, the overall fit can be questionable.
For the ride or and maneuver experience, the Bravo Trio uses an all-wheel suspension. If you have remembered earlier with our review for Britax B-Lively, what an all-wheel suspension does is it lessens the multi-directional movement of the wheels, so your child will feel a smoother ride as it absorbs shock.
When turning the seat, although it works well in narrow spaces, we think that it’s easier to use both hands as you maneuver it instead of one. Also, for the parents, you can take turns in pushing the stroller and still have a personalized handlebar height.
The handle offers 3 positions, better than nothing if you ask us, but taller people might still need a higher option. The bar is also covered with foam, which should help for comfort and durability, but it might be prone to tear and wearing as the time goes by.
Linked Rear Brakes
For the brakes, they are easy to activate and deactivate even if you’re wearing something open-toed like sandals. Bravo Trio uses single-action/linked rear brakes, but if we could add a feature that we want, it would be an indicator to let you know that you have engaged the brake like the UPPABaby model. Otherwise, you have to try and move the stroller first to see if it’s engaged.
Some other travel system must-haves includes with the Bravo Trio is the spacious basket with a weight limit of 10 pounds. We appreciate that you can access this basket anywhere whether you’re at the front or the back. You will also get a dedicated parent tray near the handlebar with storage, including cup holders.
For the canopy, what’s unique with the Bravo Trio is that it is adjustable and removable. However, unlike the previous model, it has no UV protection. But it does have a mesh window for air flow and very useful for you to check on your child as you stroll since the seat doesn’t offer other configurations, i.e., no parent-facing. Do note that the canopy of this model is smaller compared to other strollers.
Earlier, we have given you an idea about the baby car seats that you can use with the Bravo Trio. And when it comes to attaching the KeyFit infant car seat, it is also very straightforward. You’ll just connect an adapter into the stroller and click the KeyFit infant seat onto it.
Chicco KeyFit 30
The KeyFit 30 is a 5-point harness seat that has a 4 to 11-pound limit, but it can be higher at 11 to 20 pounds without the included newborn insert. Its shell is lined with energy-absorbing EPS foam, and the seat itself has an ergonomically designed handle so you can bring it quickly from car to car or car to stroller.
For added safety measures, the infant seat uses a RideRight bubble level indicator. This way, when you install it to your car, you know that you have reclined it correctly. This bubble indicator also works alongside the ReclineSure level indicator at its base to give you maximum confidence that you’ve attached the seat to your car correctly.
Easy Removal From Base
Speaking of confidence, when you use the seat’s LATCH system, you will hear an audible click as a signal that you’ve attached it to your car correctly. You will also hear a click sound when you attach it to the base. How about removing it from the base? Well, it was also straightforward. You just pull the handle behind the seat, and you can take it out of the car to the stroller without waking up your baby.
Chicco Viaro Travel System – Lightweight and Folds Easy
Similar to the units we reviewed from Britax, both the Chicco travel systems we have reviewed uses the same infant car seat; the KeyFit 30. Our second Chicco travel system uses the Viaro stroller. It is another lightweight unit and has the same weight as the B-Agile earlier (18-pound.)
This stroller has a 30 to 50-pound weight limit, and as for its size, it becomes 13.5 x 25.5 x 33.25 inches from 38 x 35.5 x 41.25 inches when you fold it. If you compare these dimensions with the B-Agile from Britax, you will notice they are quite similar. But the previous Britax travel systems prove that they are easy to fold, can the Viaro go head-to-head?
One-Hand Free-Standing Folding
The Viaro also boasts that it stands folded without the need of using both of your hands as well. But compared to the B-Agile, you don’t need to go to different locations (side and middle) in the seat to fold it. All you have to do is go underneath the seat padding, push the button and pull the handle all in one place.
Similar to the Bravo Trio, the Viaro is compatible with KeyFit and Fit2 car seats from Chicco. All of them uses Click-In attachments for a guaranteed fit. You can also purchase separate adapters if you have specific baby car seats from UPPAbaby and Baby Jogger.
Dedicated Rear Wheel Brakes
For maneuvering, the stroller has a front wheel that swivels. However, we found the wheels to be small, and there is no suspension. We also think that since they are made from EVA foam, rough surfaces can damage them in no time. The distance between the rear wheels can also make it difficult to push the Viaro in narrow spaces. On the bright side, there are brakes at each rear wheel, and they are comfortable and practical to use.
What about its toddler seat? Impressively, the seat backrest is capable of infinite recline. Infinite recline, as we have mentioned earlier in B-Agile, basically means that you can recline it in any position. The infinite recline of the Viaro is excellent to use when you lie the child horizontally for naps, or you can sit him/her up while eating or looking around.
Some other features worth noting in this stroller is that it has two trays, one for the parent, and one for the child. Each tray has 2 cup holders to keep everything safely neat. You will also get a large basket for other things such as diapers or extra clothes. But you can only access this basket from the rear.
Now, if we can improve the Viaro, we would say add a peek-a-boo mesh window in its canopy. Mesh window is excellent for ventilation and let’s be honest; it’s for surveillance. The canopy of the Viaro will also overlap with the canopy of the KeyFit once it is installed, which we think is excellent since KeyFit 30’s canopy cannot fully cover the child.
There are also some features of the Bravo Trio that the Viaro isn’t capable of. First is that you can’t adjust its handlebar. Viaro’s handlebar is permanently raised at 40 inches, and the capacity to lower or raise it would’ve made a difference in the strolling experience. Lastly, the Viaro’s seat unit is not removable.
Other Interesting Features of the KeyFit 30
Earlier, we forgot to mention something more specific with the ergonomic handle of this infant seat. You can actually position it (2 choices) depending on how you want to carry it.
You can also use the SuperCinch Latch Tightener that tightens the fit of the latch with just a pull without having you exert too much effort.
Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System – 6-in-1 Travel System
The next unit we have is the Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System. This system is composed of the SafeMax car seat and its SafeZone base and the Pivot stroller. Let us start first with the stroller that has a weight capacity from birth up to 50 pounds.
6 Modes in 1 Stroller
What’s unique with this stroller from Evenflo is that it is a 3-piece unit and you can access 6 different modes using its frame. What are these modes? You’ll get 3 seating options, and you can configure all of them to either be rear/parent-facing or forward/outside-facing, making it 6 seating modes. These seating options include using the toddler seat, the infant car seat, and you can convert the toddler seat into a bassinet.
Free-Reclining Toddler Seat
The toddler seat of the Pivot is amazing besides the fact that it can turn into a bassinet. You can recline it fully backward to accommodate naps or lift it forward so that your child is in the best position for changing his/her diaper.
Another thing we like about the toddler seat is that it already comes with a removable child tray, so you don’t need to purchase it separately. Speaking of “free,” don’t feel left out because Evenflo also includes a cup holder for the parent.
How Do I Turn the Toddler Seat into a Bassinet?
You can turn the toddler seat into a bassinet even if it’s still attached to the stroller. You can check the manual for more specific directions, but to give you an idea, you will just pull a strap at the back of the seat so that the seat reclines fully like a bassinet.
The Pivot’s canopy can cover the child in the bassinet mode. It’s also useful in providing full coverage in the toddler seat. It has a mesh peek-a-boo window which is always a feature every parent appreciates in a canopy. The unique thing though is that it doesn’t have velcro or magnets. Evenflo just designed the fabric to fall over the mesh window.
Will I Get Tired from the Tires?
To be blunt, this travel system isn’t built for rough terrain. However, it’s excellent for city use thanks to its front wheels that swivel. It also uses brakes for each rear wheel that are a good size to press down or lift.
However, the stroller’s handlebar is non-adjustable and is fixed at 40 inches above the ground. But don’t worry, because another stroller feature, the basket, is not problematic because you can access it from anywhere.
Lastly, we’re glad that the stroller folds easily by just pulling the levers.
SafeMax Infant Car Seat
Included in this travel system is the SafeMax Infant Car Seat. It has a capacity of 4 to 35 pounds, and upon purchasing, you will also get the SafeZone base for a quick car to stroller transfer.
The car seat itself has passed safety standards and is also rollover tested. To add in the overall safety, it also utilizes a removable anti-rebound bar that restricts your child’s body to move forward during a crash. This bar also works with the base to absorb and distribute the energy during an impact. For primary body restriction, the seat has an adjustable harness that you have to rethread.
Adapter-Free Stroller Installment
Unlike other seats like the Bravo Trio that uses an adapter for its Click-in attachment to the stroller, you can directly snap the SafeMax into the Pivot stroller instantly. This adapter-free installment combined with the SafeZone base means you don’t need to wake up your child after the car ride when you’re strapping him/her into the stroller.
Graco Trax Jogger Travel System – For Sporty Strolling
Did you know that there are different types of travel systems? We will explain them in better detail in our buyer’s guide, but right now, we will give you a briefing about our next car seat stroller combo from Graco that is a particular type of travel system.
Lightweight for Jogging and Strolling
The Graco Trax is a jogger travel system. As the name implies, it is meant for sporty parents who frequently strolls and even jog with their child. Because of this purpose, jogger travel systems are more compact and lighter than 4-wheel jogger systems.
This travel system is composed of the Graco Trax stroller, and the Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 30 infant car seat. Let us review the 50-pound weight limit stroller first.
The Graco Trax stroller uses sizeable air-filled rubber tires. Although foam-filled tires are more durable, it is more ideal for jogger strollers to have pneumatic tires since these types are more lightweight.
Easy Maneuver for Straight Paths
Adjustable Handlebar Designed for One-Hand Steering
We like that the handlebar of this stroller is adjustable so you can get a more personalized experience with it. And because it is designed for jogging, you can steer it with one hand. For extra protection, Graco Trax has a safety tether that you can put on your wrist. This way, you don’t have to worry about accidentally withholding the stroller.
One-Hand Standing Fold That Locks
The steering is not the only thing that you can operate with one hand. Similar to our previous travel systems, the Graco Trax boasts a one-hand standing fold. This feature works hand-in-hand with other storage-related ones like the quick-release wheels, and the stroller itself will automatically lock so it stands and doesn’t flop around during storage or carriage.
For the canopy, Trax has an expandable one with UV50 protection. It has a visor for added shade and a peek-a-boo mesh flap for added ventilation and of course, surveillance. Although a drawback we have is that it isn’t as large compared to other stroller canopies.
Swiveling Child Tray
Now for the storage, the travel system includes a child tray and a parent tray. The child tray has a cup holder, and the tray itself swivels for easier access in the seat. For the parent tray, it has 2 cup holders. Although we were to improve them, they will be deeper.
Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat – Narrow and Lightweight
Right off the bat, we have to commend how lightweight this seat is. It only weighs 7 pounds, perfect for jogging! But even if it weighs less, it can hold a child weighing 4 to 30 pounds with its 5-point harness.
It has a narrow profile and is built with EPS impact-foam. Similar to other infant car seats in this review, the SnugRide has exceeded safety standards. For attachment in the Graco Trax, it uses the Click and Go technology.
Evenflo Vive – Small Car-Friendly Travel System
Compact Stroller and Car Seat
The next car seat stroller combo we have is the Evenflo Vive stroller and Embrace infant car seat. Now, let us get straightforward, we call this travel system small car-friendly because when folded, you can shorten the Vive stroller to 16 inches.
The included Evenflo Embrace car seat, on the other hand, is also small car-friendly since it measures at 18 inches in width. Evenflo calls their folding feature the Gravity Fold, meaning you can do it with minimal effort thanks to gravity. Do take note that we have issues with its stability and does not really “stand” when folded.
The Vive has an adjustable (3 shoulder heights) rethread 5-point harness, and the reclinable toddler seat itself is padded for comfort.
What about its canopy? The canopy is quite hard to unfold, and for us, it should be longer to give a better shade for the child. But since you can attach the Embrace infant seat with the toddler seat intact, you will get better coverage.
For movement, the stroller uses four 13-inch EVA wheels with a front wheel shock absorbing system. This wheel system can give your child a stable ride with fewer bumps felt even on rough terrain. However, the wheels aren’t as stable, and it can get challenging to steer the stroller.
You can take advantage of the different compartments such as the storage basket and extra pocket at its back. We are impressed that the rear-access storage basket can manage to hold a 17-inch diaper bag. Other additional storage places are the parent console close to the handlebar and the child tray that pivots at 2 ways that also has 2 cup holders.
Embrace Infant Car Seat
Embrace can accommodate infants weighing at least 4 to 35 pounds. It utilizes an adjustable 5-point harness (3 positions) that you can adjust at its center.
The car seat has a base that you can use to minimize the hassle of complicated installments into the car with connectors. With a push of a button, you can connect or disconnect the Embrace from its base and transfer it to the stroller. You can also install it without the base if you opt to travel with it.
Graco FastAction – Fold on the Go
The second to the last travel system in our review is the FastAction by Graco. Similar to the Trax Jogger earlier, it tandems with the SnugRide Click Connect 30 infant car seat.
Fast Action Fold
As the name implies, “fast action,” this stroller folds quickly. You only need to pull the strap (you can use this later for carrying the folded stroller) without even needing to use both hands. After it folds itself, you also don’t need to worry about its stability when you store it because it can stand on its own. When you unfold it, though, you have to use both hands.
The reclinable toddler seat has a 50-pound weight capacity, although do note that it doesn’t recline fully like the previous Bravo Trio. For context, you could recline it to a maximum of 150 degrees.
Convertible 3-Point to 5-Point Harness Seat
The toddler seat of the FastAction is a convertible 3-point to 5-point harness seat with rethread harness that offers 3 shoulder height positions. A drawback we have is that it can take some effort to tighten it and the shoulder pads that can aid in comfort aren’t included. There is also no footrest in this toddler seat.
How does it stroll? FastAction uses a front swivel locking wheels with the brakes near the rear wheels. Although it has suspension, it does not deliver a perfectly smooth glide.
The handle is also non-adjustable so people that might be too tall or too short can hit the rear wheels as they move. However, Graco has a jogger version of the FastAction that you might prefer more if you’re looking to use it more comfortably.
The compartments in this stroller involve the medium-sized basket, a parent tray near the handle, and a child tray. These trays have 2 cups each which are useful not just for drinks but for also keeping things organized. Like the previous Evenflo Vive, the child tray also pivots out of the way to lessen the difficulty of going in and out of the stroller.
Lastly, the SnugRide similarly connects to this stroller with the Trax Jogger. We should also mention that the seat makes a click sound once you have installed it either in the base or in the stroller to signal that you’ve done it correctly.
Safety 1st Smooth Ride – Best Budget-Friendly Option
Our last car seat stroller combo is composed of the Safety 1st Smooth Ride stroller and the onBoard 35 LT infant car seat. We think that this travel system is the best affordable combo so far because it has similar features with pricier models. These features include their flip-flop friendly parking brakes at the rear and stand-alone quick folding.
Easy Recline and Adjustable Shoulder Harness Height
For reclining the stroller, you can pull the strap at the back of the seat. And similar to the onBoard 35, it utilizes a 5-point harness with height-adjustable padded shoulder straps (4 positions.) to accommodate your child as he/she grows. However, the crotch buckle is not adjustable.
Canopy with Visor
The Smooth Ride stroller has a canopy with visor and mesh panel. It is relatively large and can provide a decent amount of protection to your child. Now, for the storage, you can reach the basket from behind or use the parent and child tray each with their own cup holders,
Similar to the Click and Go system of Britax, the onboard 35 attaches quickly and securely with just a click. Safety 1st calls this QuickClick. QuickClick is also the mechanism used by the infant seat to install or uninstall from its base.
How does the stroller folds? As we have mentioned earlier, this travel system has similar functions with pricier units. The Smooth Ride is a great affordable seat that will not stress you out with storage or portability. You can fold the stroller with one hand, and it will fold and stand on its own.
For the weight requirements, the stroller can hold a maximum of 50 pounds, while the car seat can accommodate a child weighing 4 to 35 pounds.
Types of Car Seat Stroller Combo
As you have seen in our reviews, there are different types of travel systems. These car seat-stroller combos can differ in the number of their wheels, navigation use, and even the number of children that you will transport. Let us discuss them one by one.
Jogger Car Seat Stroller Combos
Jogger car seat stroller combos are so-called because you can bring them as you jog. The reason why would that be possible is because travel systems only have two wheels, and they are sleeker compared to the subsequent units. They are the lightest and most compact out of all the car seat stroller combos, and because of these qualities, they’re the easiest to maneuver.
3-Wheel Car Seat Stroller Combos
This type of travel system is also easy to navigate due to having fewer storage compartments. This car seat stroller combo is ideal for people who have to cross in tight or crowded spaces like the subways or busy crossings.
4-Wheel Car Seat Stroller Combos
As you can expect from a unit with two wheels on each side, this 4-wheel car seat stroller combo is the most durable out of all four types. It also has the best stability and offers more storage compartments. Because of their overall built, 4-wheel travel systems are your best choice if you plan on taking your child with you on long walks or in rocky terrains. However, expect that this type is the is going to be heavier and bulkier than a 3-wheel car seat stroller combo.
Double Stroller Car Seat Combo
Double stroller car seat combos are fantastic for parents with twins (or triplets), or even those who travel with more than one child. This travel system is more convenient and safer since you have control over both children in one stroller. Of course, since you’re transporting two children, the seat will be heavier to navigate.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Seat Stroller Combo
Before purchasing a car seat stroller combo, you have to ask yourself certain questions that can pinpoint what qualities do you need in a travel system.
What is the Size and Weight of the Travel System
Travel systems technically have the name travel in them. This means that portability is a significant consideration. But portability is a vast subject.
First, the size of the seat itself. It would be ideal for you to get a car seat stroller combo that isn’t bulky if you’re going to use it frequently. What places do you go to usually? Is it heavily crowded? Maybe you could opt to a 3-wheel car seat stroller combo instead of a 4-wheel.
Weight is also essential to take notice. Keep in mind that you’ll not be only pushing the seat, but you’ll also be navigating your child (or children for double) as well. That’s the weight of your child/children plus the stroller, plus the car seat, and maybe some baby essentials too!
The size of your car also influences your decision, just like when choosing a car seat. How compact does it get when folded, maybe even ask yourself, how easy is it to fold? A great example is the Britax B-Lively; just pull a handle, and it’ll fold on its own. Travel systems are supposed to make your life easier, not harder, so choose wisely.
Can I Adjust the Car Seat?
Besides the stroller, both you and your child will benefit in an adjustable car seat. Why? First, is because the effectiveness of a car seat is dependent on its proper fitting to the child. And second, comfort.
Just like as you would choose a car seat on its own, it is more useful for you and your child if you can get a unit that has a high weight and height limits, including a harness that can easily be adjusted.
Can I Adjust the Handlebars of the Stroller?
Many travel systems are including features such as adjustable handlebars in their strollers. This feature is especially useful to get a more comfortable grip on the stroller without putting stress on your back or neck.
Adjustable handlebars also make it easier if there are going to be different people that’ll take turn in pushing the stroller.
Is it Durable?
Durability is important, just like with each baby must-have that you purchase. You’ll get the most out of your travel system if it will last you long.
Some examples that you can keep your eye on:
- Stroller frame
- Stroller wheels
- Stroller handle/handle
- Harness straps and buckles
- Seat fabric
- Car seat fabric
- Car seat harness straps and buckles
- Car seat shell
Is the Car Seat and Stroller Easy to Attach to Each Other?
We know that you know this already, but we have to say it anyway. Imagine having a long day or perhaps a hot, humid afternoon, and you’re struggling to attach the car seat to the stroller? Stressful to just think about it, isn’t it?
Anyway, some great examples of what we’re talking about are the seats we reviewed from Britax that uses Click and Go and from Chicco that uses Click-in attachments. We also think that car seats with removable bases are excellent so that you just uninstall the seat from the car and put it into the stroller without transferring your baby and waking him/her.
Are There Other Accessories Included?
From bassinets, adjusters, to even usual ones like baskets, trays, cup holders, and canopies, all of these “accessories” are excellent additions to a travel system. They add comfort, practicality, and even safety.
Does the Car Seat Pass the Safety Tests?
Like with every review we have for car seats, we always like to check if the unit has passed several safety tests for crash impact, side impact, and if it has exceeded the federal safety requirements. This way, you’ll be more at ease knowing that your child is in safe hands or seat for that matter.
Where Do I Usually Take the Travel System
Just like what we have discussed earlier on in the size and weight, you have to consider what places do you go frequent too, especially the terrain. Will it be gravel? Rocky? Cement? We think that foam-filled wheels are more durable compared to the air-filled variety since it reduces the chance of getting punctured.
When you have a young child with you as you travel, it is a must to have all the essentials ready. Be it extra clothing, diapers, medicines, foods, and even travel gears such as car seats.
Travel systems or car seat stroller combos are excellent additions to your travel gears simply because you’re going to get two types of equipment that are guaranteed to fit well together.
Our favorite was the Britax B-Lively and B-Safe 35 Travel System. They are easy to install with each other, the reclining isn’t limited, the stroller has an all-wheel suspension, and the travel system provides extra storage and UV protection.
All in all, we hope that we have helped you decide, or even create a list of your own top 3 choices of travel system. Be sure to use our buyer’s guide and weigh out each pros and cons in the reviews to know which quality you can compromise.
Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below!