Picking a travel system for babies can be a little bewildering. After all, there are so many fantastic options on the market with their intricacies and advantages.
First, we’d like to be clear – the ideal travel system depends on the situation. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, and some options will appeal more to others depending on what it offers and what the family or individual is looking for in the first place.
With that said, here at For Your Little One, you’ll find a superb selection of top-rated travel systems, and we’ve got all the knowledge to help you find the perfect fit for your family!
What is a travel system?
Let’s start with the basics; whether it’s your firstborn or just you’re browsing, it’s always good to know! A travel system is a pushchair that features a detachable car seat and, in some cases, a carrycot.
The car seat effortlessly attaches to the pushchair's chassis. It is specifically designed to make detaching the seat and moving your baby from the pushchair to a car as simple and stress-free as possible without removing them from a seated position.
How much do travel systems cost?
A travel system will cost anywhere from £200 to £1,000. However, there’s an extensive choice to suit all budgets and many different bundle options depending on your needs.
More expensive options generally offer more products, customisable options or extras – but that’s not to say you need them. Instead, decide what your travel system needs and find the perfect bundle that fits your budget.
What does a travel system include?
Again, a travel system will differ from one to the next, but you’ll often find that a handful of the same products are featured throughout most travel system bundles.
Car seat - Most packages will come with a car seat; however, some people opt to buy one separately. If you decide on the latter, please ensure that the product is compatible with your pushchair, whether you need adaptors and if the seat meets UK safety standards.
Carrycot - Many travel systems will include a carrycot that attaches securely to the travel system. Carrycots are ideal for your little one to take naps or even longer sleeps, and they mean that you can move your baby around without disturbing their slumber.
- Seat unit - When the time comes that your baby can sit upright unsupported (and it soon will!), you can move them to the travel system’s standard seat unit. These seats securely yet comfortably strap the child in, most using five-point harnesses. Many designs will also recline, meaning that your young’un can nap the journey away without sliding out of their seat.
Which travel system features are worth it?
Travel systems have many features that make travelling as a parent much more manageable. While there will be some you don’t need, there are plenty worth considering:
- Adjustable handles - Just like babies, parents come in all different sizes too! If your partner is shorter or taller than you, adjustable handles will mean you can both push your child in comfort.
- Car seat adaptors - Some travel systems include car seats that fit directly onto the pushchair chassis; others will need adaptors to convert seats for automotive travel. If this is the case, it's worth checking whether the bundle includes adaptors in the price.
- Hoods - Protecting your little one from the elements is essential, so lookout for a travel system with a hood. Hoods and sunshades protect your child from bright sunlight, wind or light showers.
- Rain covers - For heavier rainfall, rain covers are a must. Check whether you’ll get a cover included in your bundle, and if you don’t, ensure that the cover is compatible with your travel system and that it’ll fit snuggly.
- Shopping basket - Not just for your retail therapy, shopping baskets are also ideal for storing nappy bags, clean clothing, creams, bottles and many more accessories you find yourself carting around.
- Reversible seats - Sometimes, your little one will like a front-facing view of where you’re heading, taking in all the sights and sounds. Other times, you may want them to face you so you can keep an eye on them. A reversible seat will allow you to switch things up in an instant.
How to choose a travel system
With an array of options available, even knowing where to start can be daunting concerning picking a travel system. However, some essential considerations you can run through will help eliminate some of the competition.
- Does the travel system fit your car? Boot space may be limited if you’ve got a smaller vehicle such as a hatchback. Measure up your boot or grab the dimensions from the manufacturer to ensure that the folded chassis of the travel system will fit.
- Can you fit the car seat easily? First, check whether the car seat installs via an Isofix base or seatbelts. Then, we recommend practising fixing and removing the car seat, so you’re comfortable.
- Is the car seat heavy? Checking the weight of a car seat can help eliminate some options; after all, you’ll be lifting and moving it most days for years to come! In addition, ensuring that the seat is a comfortable weight will prevent injuries.
- Which travel system is the easiest to fold? You’re going to be doing a lot of folding and extending, so it pays to check that you’re investing in an ergonomic travel system. The easier it is to pack away, the easier it will make your life!
- What is the weight limit of the seat? Checking the weight limit will determine how much use you’ll get out of the seat before having to change it. Doing so is particularly important if you have a larger child!
- How much does the bundle include vs your budget? This point may seem slightly more apparent, but weighing how much you’ll get for your money is a great way to whittle down your options.
- How easy is the travel system to manoeuvre? We often overlook the steering capabilities of the system, but it’s a point worth checking. You’ll be pushing it most days, so check the weight, stability and turning circle if possible before you buy.
- Can the travel system convert to a double? If you’re planning to extend your little family imminently, it’s worth checking whether you can convert the travel system to a double buggy. This factor will give you more flexibility and room to grow.
- Is the travel system easy to clean? Babies make messes; that’s just a fact! Some materials look pretty, but they’re often less practical to clean. So it’s worth reviewing the materials and ensuring you can remove the covers for washing.