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Car seat stroller combos are the ultimate time-saver for busy parents as they allow for effortless transition in moving your (hopefully) sleeping baby from their car seat to a stroller without fuss. Anyone who’s ever attempted such a move can attest that it’s pretty nice not having to transfer from one to the other every time you leave the car. Today's travel systems come in two main styles: modular and jogging systems. Each type is designed for a special purpose, such as all-in-one options, handling bumpy terrain, and allowing multiple riding configurations appropriate for your child’s age. After researching roughly 40 different travel systems, we've compiled this buying guide with our best recommendations.
Doona Car Seat Stroller Combo
All-around winner with a high-strength aluminum frame, anti-rebound bar, and three-layer side impact protection.
- Opens and closed in two seconds
- Breathable fabric
- Excellent 3-layer side-impact protection
- Easy, single action, color-coded brakes
- Not as nimble on gravel and grass
- No storage compartments (baskets and/or pockets)
- Small sunshade
Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System
Super lightweight car seat and overall slim design makes for easy maneuvering in tight spaces.
- Convenient one-handed folding (stroller)
- Excellent steering, even on rough terrain
- Assembles in less than five minutes
- Oversized storage basket underneath seat
- Mesh peekaboo window offers limited protection from rain
- Heavier than average (23 pounds)
- Does not include reversible seat
Evenflo Urbini Omni Plus Travel System
Allows for multiple riding configurations from the front or rear-facing full-recline bassinet to an upright stroller.
- Offers bassinet to upright stroller mode
- Large basket and parent cup holder
- Can be adjusted to forward or backward facing
- Five-point harness system for secure strapping to stroller seat
- Subpar fabric
- Wheels may lock from time to time
We can’t put our own hands on every item available. In these instances, we put our collective experience in journalism, research, and prior product testing to use to make our product picks. Items that are used by our own staff may get earnest endorsements as well, but we’ll never accept fees or bonuses to sell you stuff we’re not actually excited about. Affiliate revenue is always disclosed.
The Drive aggregates reviews and research from all over the internet to figure out which products are worth buying. We also put out shopping guides to help you understand how to assess the value of these things on your own. As our editorial cousins at Car Bibles say, “Knowledge is horsepower!”
Best Car Seat Stroller Combo Reviews & Recommendations
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Best Car Seat Stroller Combo for JoggingCheck Latest Price
Our Verdict on Car Seat Stroller Combos
Our pick for the best car seat stroller combo goes to the Doona Car Seat Stroller Combo. Its sturdy aluminum frame, two-second car seat to stroller conversion, and a strong focus on safety with its anti-rebound bar and three-layer side impact protection give it a nice combination of durability, safety, and cushioning. Plus, this stroller combo offers one of the lowest combined weights on the list at 16.8 pounds, making it a breeze to carry your baby around virtually anywhere.
What to Consider When Buying a Car Seat Stroller Combo
Types of Car Seat Stroller Combos
Modular Travel System
Also referred to as reversible strollers, modular travel systems are designed to accommodate children as they grow. Modular strollers carry removable seats that can be flipped to face forward or backward and mounted to a stroller, working carriage, toddler, or traditional stroller modes with an infant car seat.
There are some drawbacks to modular systems. For starters, modular systems are typically bulkier and heavier than fixed-seat strollers. They are also less suited for all-terrain with generally smaller tires than jogger travel system's large air-filled tires as much as 16 inches in diameter.
In short, look at a modular system if you plan on using the same stroller from infancy to toddlerhood or if you are planning on having another child within the next three years.
Jogger Travel System
Jogger travel systems combine jogger strollers with car seats. Jogging strollers are very agile and deal better with rough terrain using three-wheel configurations and oversized air-filled rubber wheels and stabilizers such as front-wheel locks. They may also offer adjustable, ergonomic handlebars, hand brakes for downhill control, and independent tire suspension for even better cushioning and agility.
Another important factor to consider with jogger travel systems is their compartments. Expect extra storage in the form of parent trays, child trays, and/or multiple cup holders, along with a storage basket to carry all of your valuables.
Look at a jogging travel system if you are an avid runner or frequently ride over rough surfaces.
Car Seat Stroller Combo Key Features
Ease of Use
One of the biggest factors in determining whether or not a travel system is easy to use is its folding ability. Your car seat stroller combo should allow for a one-handed operation for easier storage. Storing away your travel system should incorporate nothing more than a quick button push/activated release and pull tab to collapse and fold the stroller. Ideally, it offers at least two of three folding methods: a standing fold for a closet, a front swivel wheel fold for the trunk, and removable wheels to save even more space.
Wheels mean everything when it comes to how nimble car seat stroller combos can move. Generally, three-wheel designs offer more effortless turns than four-wheel versions. And they’re more stable than their four-wheeled counterparts when moving quickly. We also prefer foam-filled tires over plastic tires for greater bump absorption on rough terrain.
Lifting car seats several times a day to move your baby around can cause muscle fatigue in a hurry. Especially critical for jogger strollers, our preferred combined weight with a car seat and stroller combo is 20 pounds or lighter. The lighter the weight, the easier it is to continually remove car seats and mount them onto a stroller when making multiple stops.
You'll be surprised how many obvious features come missing with car seat stroller combos. One of them is spacious, underside storage baskets, good for carrying formula, nappies, diaper bags, and other baby essentials. Do not forget cup holders that can conveniently hold bottles while feeding or to have ready for your next feeding. Kudos if they are separated between parent and child trays.
Another useful feature is a peekaboo window or canopy offering UPF protection. When paired with a breathable material like mesh, it offers babies a nice balance between comfort and protection from the elements.
Brands to Know
Italian manufacturer Chicco manufactures children's travel systems, strollers, car seats, and countless other accessories across all children's categories. Its products are now sold in more than 100 countries.
Headquartered in Westchester, Ohio, Evenflo has a 100+ year history manufacturing and selling car seats, strollers, travel systems, and all kinds of children's accessories. It operates four house brands - Evenflo for cars seats/strollers/travel systems, Evenflo Gold as its luxury arm, ExerSaucer for activity centers, and Rollplay for ride-on toys.
In business for over 35 years and now a brand owned by parent company Dorel Industries (also the owners of Safety 1st), Netherlands-based Maxi-Cosi was one of the early pioneers of infant car seats in Europe. Now, they are proud to say they have "carried over 50 million babies home from the hospital." Bonus points for its lifetime warranty on all car seats and strollers, which eclipses many two- and three-year limited warranties offered by competitors.
British child safety technology brand Britax manufactures car seats and strollers. They hold more than 150 patents in the space, including work in developing early U.S. LATCH regulations. Compared to other manufacturers on our list, they are above average in price.
In business for more than 65 years, Graco is one of the most popular baby accessories brands in the world. It focuses on everything from convertible car seats to backless boosters all the way down to its imaginative Pack ’n Play that has been the backdrop for endless play dates the world over.
Started by an American husband and wife team, UPPAbaby is a popular manufacturer of strollers and car seats. They are known as a luxury brand with higher than average prices across the board. One of its biggest sources of pride is the UPPAbaby Gives Back program, which supports select family-based non-profit organizations with donations and more than $2 million to date worth of free car seats and strollers.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and car seat stroller combos. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- With jogging travel systems, do not forget to prioritize oversized storage baskets to keep all of your accessories safely stored.
- Go for foam-filled or rubber wheels over plastic. The latter is not suited for rough terrain.
- Three-wheeled strollers typically offer greater maneuverability. They are better in tighter spaces than four-wheel strollers.
- Strollers with multiple configuration options will allow your child to grow with the travel system through toddlerhood.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: Are jogger strollers good for everyday use?
A: We do recommend jogger strollers for everyday use. They are typically lighter weight than full-size or modular travel systems, are easier to maneuver with three-wheel configurations, and contain all of the same safety features.
Q: Is a travel system stroller right for my child?
A: There are many reasons why a travel system is a great choice. For starters, it allows for effortless switching from a car seat to a stroller, critical for parents with children in tow who make frequent stops throughout the day. Travel systems are also sold as a package that can cost the same or less than a car seat or stroller alone, great if you like to save money.
Q: Are travel systems safe for a child?
A: Yes, they are very safe, provided you are aware of their date of expiration. Its date of expiration is usually a set number of years after its manufacturer date. This information can be found on your car seat or stroller's label. Be sure not to remove the label, as your travel system may one day be the subject of a recall.
It also goes without saying: never purchase a used travel system. You never know if it has been through an accident before and its structural integrity could be compromised.
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