When your little one has outgrown the sling, it’s time to join the ranks of the stroller-pushing parent. We think travel system strollers are a modern marvel, and we’re not exaggerating when we say that whoever came up with the idea was a bonafide genius.
A baby travel system comes in 3 parts: stroller, car seat, and car seat base. The car seat fits on both the stroller (the regular stroller seat can be removed and stored away) and the car seat base, which you install in the backseat of the car. When it’s time to transport this package, you put the baby in the stroller and push it to the car. And then you remove the seat from the stroller and put it on the car seat base, and the stroller in the trunk. Reverse the process when you get to your destination.
The things to consider are how user-friendly and well-built is the travel system, how reliable are the connectors and parts, how safe and comfortable is the seat, and of course, the cost. Whether closer to $99 or price-no-object, we’ve got you covered in this article.
Chico is the largest baby product brand in Europe. It’s an Italian brand owned by The Artsana Group headquartered in Northern Italy.
The Chico Bravo is a deluxe travel system at a rather affordable price (affordable considering the priceless nature of the cargo). It’s not priced at the luxury level but it feels like one. The 4-wheel stroller is very sturdy and well-built. Unlike most 4-wheel strollers, the Bravo stroller is easy to hold with one hand, and it folds standing up with the folding handle also serving as a carry handle.
The car seat is the Chico KeyFit 30. The KeyFit 30 is the #1 rated infant car seat in America.This car seat’s standalone price of $199.99 (as of this writing) makes the whole Chico Bravo travel system sounds like a great deal. The connectors and 5-point harness system are beefy and reassuring. The seat is lined with EPS foam for impact protection.
The KeyFit 30 car seat attaches to the Bravo stroller with or without the stroller seat and canopy removed. The stroller comes with a child tray, parent tray with cup holders, and an oversized storage basket underneath.
There’s also an upgraded version of the Chico Bravo called the Bravo LE with thicker and more durable fabrics. The price difference is a reasonable $50 for the Chico Bravo LE.
Comfy Cruiser Click Connect
Graco is a baby product brand known throughout the world for its unmatched combination of quality and affordability. It’s an American company headquartered in Atlanta.
The Graco Comfy Cruiser travel system comes with the Comfy Cruiser stroller and the SnugRide 30 carseat, both are part of the Graco Quick Connect series. At this price level, the plastic frames are a bit flimsy but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the Quick Connect gear that this is a budget travel system. The connection clicks like a seriously built machinery.
We particularly love the lightweight of this travel system. The 4-wheel stroller comes with twin front wheels. This adds stability but also makes the stroller slightly harder to steer. It is, however, more than comfortable enough for the baby, which is what counts.
This travel system includes a body support for extra comfort. The downside is you’ll have to transfer the body support from the stroller to the car seat and vice versa, but there’s a silver lining. The body support comes in two reversible finishes. You can turn it either way to suit your mood or fashion sense. Your neighbor might even think that you own two travel systems!
Maxi-Cosi is a top name in baby strollers and car seats. The brand is owned by Dorel Industries, Inc., a publicly-owned Canadian company headquartered in Montreal.
The Maxi-Cosi Adorra travel system is luxury first-class travel for the little one. The first thing you’ll notice about the car seat and stroller is the perfect fit and finish of everything. The Adorra stroller has to be one of the most maneuverable 4-wheel strollers in existence. Even the material of the below deck basket is heavy-duty. The luxuriously padded stroller seat can be made forward or rear facing. The Cozi-Dozi infant support is included for smaller babies. The canopy is super-thick and oversized – wait till you see the peek-a-boo window in the canopy.
The accompanying Mico Max 30 car seat sells for $239.99 on its own (as of this writing). This car seat features excellent side impact protection and the base is equipped with rebound protection. An additional Cozi-Dozi infant support is included so you wouldn’t have to transfer it between the stroller and the car seat. The seat’s self-wicking fabric draws liquid away from the baby’s skin to keep the little one content.
The Mico Max 30 car seat clicks on and off the Adorra stroller with the reassurance of luxury car door sound. This is a travel system fit for the world’s most valuable cargo.
Our pick for the best travel system is the Maxi-CosiAdorra. It is a premium travel system with a premium price tag but is, in our opinion, worth every penny. The Maxi-CosiAdorra is as functional as it is stylish and comfortable.
If we have to nitpick, our very best travel system, the Maxi-CosiAdorra is slightly more suitable for normal-sized and oversized babies than for undersized babies. For smaller babies you might want to consider the Chico Bravo travel system instead. With the Chico Bravo, one could even pretend it’s Italian high fashion (the company is right outside of Milano).
As for those who demand the biggest bang for the bucks, look no further than the Graco Comfy Cruiser Click Connect travel system.