Long gone are the days of the separate car seat and infant stroller. Children today have fully integrated travel systems, capable of adapting from birth to age 4 or beyond. Baby travel systems are convenient, stylish, and durable – but what are the most essential characteristics to evaluate when buying an infant travel system stroller?
Cost of Baby Travel Systems
As with most baby gear, parents can find a travel system for babies within a wide price range. According to a search performed on Shopzilla, parents today can spend anywhere from $119 to almost $1,000 on a travel system for their baby:
- Basic models by Graco and Evenflo: $150 to $200
- Mid-range systems by Chicco and Eddie Bauer: $200 to $400
- High-end models by Peg Perego, Maclaren, and Orbit: $400 to $900
Though it’s tempting to make a decision based on price alone, parents must remember that cheap baby travel systems don’t necessarily represent the best value. Parents need to evaluate them based on the characteristics below, or risk ending up stuck with a travel system they can’t stand.
Durability of Three-in-One Travel Systems
Few other baby products will get as many years of use and abuse as an infant travel system. The child carrier will be in and out of the car and stroller for the first 6+ months of life, and most strollers can be used until the child weighs 40lbs.
It’s important to find a stroller that will stand up to heavy use. Study the wheels for traction and size (bigger is better) and test the washability of the fabric. Check all movable parts for sturdiness of construction, opting for metal rather than flimsy plastic.
Colors and Styles of Infant Travel Systems
If parents plan on having the travel system for a long time or using it for multiple children, then a classic, gender-neutral style is the best idea.
Parents who buy pink baby travel systems for their girls are forced to buy a second system for a younger brother years down the road, and less commonly, may receive an unwelcome shock if the ultrasound was incorrect!
Portability of Travel System Baby Strollers
Most parents are taking their strollers wherever they go, meaning that a portable travel system is a must. Check the size and bulkiness of various travel system strollers when folded down, and know that a one-hand folding mechanism is nearly a necessity for busy moms who usually have only one free hand.
Evaluate the weight and ease of carrying the folded stroller, as well as any catches when folding or unfolding the stroller. If you have twin then you need to buy double jogging stroller.
Maneuverability of Stroller Travel Systems
When a parent is pushing the stroller, does it steer, reverse, and turn corners easily? Carefully look at the system’s weight and steering capabilities. If possible, take the stroller for a test drive through some doorways or down some aisles for a true test of its maneuverability.
Just like the stroller portion of the three-in-one travel system, the car seat has to be comfortable to use as well. The infant carrier should be easy to remove from the car seat base and latch it in; it should also feature a comfortable handle for carrying baby.
Extra Features of Baby Travel Systems
There seems to be no limit to the creativity of the baby product manufacturers, as evidenced by the comforts and extra features that are always appearing on new travel systems. Check standard options like cup holders and wheel locks, as well as how the stroller canopy folds and how the seat reclines. Detachable toy bars and one-hand seat belt adjustment comes standard on many baby travel systems.
If parents are interested in the possibility of a jogging stroller travel system or a double travel system, they can also evaluate appropriate models based on their needs.
Finding the best baby travel systems is no easy task for parents, but it pays to shop around and take the time to evaluate a travel system baby stroller on its durability, price, style, portability, maneuverability, and extra features.