The best travel systems for babies & toddlers in 2019
Proudly taking my two-day old baby out for a walk in her pram is one of my favourite memories. Most women, and men too, have practised for this lovely moment since they were toddlers playing with dolls and toy pushchairs.
On that momentous first outing, myself and my Mum took my daughter to the local fish and chip restaurant in a travel system that was as big and heavy as a tank. There was nowhere to park it without getting in the way. When I look at the glorious array of baby travel systems available to parents today, I’m very jealous!
So, what is a travel system?
It’s a 3-in-1 travel system, baby pram and pushchair with car seat combo! That’s a wordy description but as baby travel system reviews will reveal, it can be a complicated piece of kit.
There are three elements to consider:
- A newborn carrycot (included or bought separately) on wheels or a pushchair that is suitable from birth.
- A car seat option (included or bought separately)
- A pushchair or buggy element that is suitable for older babies and toddlers.
The best travel system for babies will very much depend on your lifestyle, car and home. Here’s a list of the features and benefits that I would be searching for if I were expecting.
Choices to make when shopping for travel systems
Car seat compatibility
A pram and car seat combo would be a fantastic choice if you regularly travel by car. Imagine the joy of easily placing a car seat with an undisturbed sleeping baby snuggled up inside onto a set of wheels and wandering happily into town for shopping or lunch.
Forward or parent facing?
The best pushchair travel systems come with a seat that can be converted into both forward facing and parent facing. Some only come with one option and the suitability of that depends on the individual parent and baby.
Carry cot or not
A newborn travel system usually comes with a carry cot available to purchase extra or as part of the package. The Kinderkraft Moov travel system is a which is available in the UK is a great example of a 3-in-1 that comes with all you would need.
Positives: the best travel system option for baby in the first weeks as it will be suitable from birth, some carry cots can be used as a day bed, cosy, great for winter, a traditional look.
Negatives: usually obsolete after four months, heavy, difficult to store in both house and car. A pushchair travel system with a seat that is suitable from birth is an alternative option.
In each of these scenarios, you will be eternally grateful for a lightweight travel system.
- Going up kerbs
- Carrying it up stairs
- Lifting it into the car
- Turning with one hand while holding toddler reins
- Struggling after a C-section.
If you live in a mansion and have a car with a massive boot then lucky you! Storage of your pram with car seat and carrycot won’t be an issue.
For the rest of us, a compact travel system or a small travel system might make life a lot easier. Travel system pushchairs will eventually become the only piece of the bundle you use. Having that fold-down small pram will be useful on trains, buses, planes and in a car full of holiday suitcases.
Baby travel systems reviews in the UK are full of parents who have been left frustrated and enraged by a pushchair that won’t fold up easily. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY and take your partner. When I worked in a well-known retailer what was an easy fold for one person was impossible for another, so don’t rely solely on the reviews of others. The best of what is the best travel system to fold is very subjective.
The best newborn travel system will allow your tiny bundle to lie flat and cosy. It should ideally eventually convert into a great all-in-one pushchair for a boisterous toddler who wants to see the world. When deciding which baby travel system to buy, think about all the stages it will be used at.
Comfort and compatibility with a base and/or your car are the main decisions to make. Ask an expert to check the car seat in your car, with and without a base and ask them for a comprehensive demonstration of how to fit the equipment yourself. In the UK John Lewis, Mothercare and Halfords all offer this service.
Car seat bases
Do you think you may want a car seat base? These are the types available;
Research this piece of equipment thoroughly and check your car’s suitability for each type.
Choose a travel system that works with Isofix base compatible car seats if that’s what you have decided on. Make sure your pram car seat combo and base work efficiently together.
Look for a sturdy, padded five-point harness on your all-in-one travel system’s pushchair and car seat. It should be easy to fasten without trapping your fingers or any part of your baby.
A good brake system
Make sure the brake is robust and easy to take off and on. Some travel systems come with a wrist strap on the handle too. If you have an unpredictable toddler (is there any other type?), a dog that pulls or if you live in a hilly location, the brake is an important feature.
The Best Travel Systems
After reading travel system reviews and testing them out these are our choices for best travel system strollers in the UK.
The lightest travel system
The best travel system for versatility
£979 on Amazon
Another versatile option for smaller budgets would be the iSafe Marvel travel system at £300.