The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Travel System
Picking out a stroller and car seat can be a daunting task. There are so many options, everyone has their opinions, and how do you know which one is right for you? A friend of mine recently asked me to help her pick out a stroller and car seat for her baby registry. After giving her some tips, she suggested I write a post on the process of picking out a stroller, and I thought why not! I hope this might help some of you!
What is a travel system? A travel system typically comes with a stroller, infant car seat/ carrier and a car seat base! When you buy a travel system, you are purchasing items that are made to work with each other, which is really nice. You also tend to save some money buying all of these items together vs. separately.
Bring your partner with you. My husband couldn’t care less about most baby items, but he wanted to be involved with picking out the stroller and car seat and I AM SO GLAD he came with me. I tend to want to go with what looks really nice, or what is trending at the time, but my husband was all about the practicality. In the end, we were BOTH HAPPY! His input really helped guide some of my decisions, and I will be sharing some of those guiding points with you in this post.
Go to a store with lots of options. Many stores like Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us will let you test out all of the strollers and car seats (in the store). This is SUPER HELPFUL.
Convertible car seat or infant car seat/ carrier? I chose an infant car seat, as part of a travel system, because when you have a newborn they often fall asleep in the car and it is very easy to take the infant carrier with you into a restaurant or home without interrupting the babies sleep. My son stayed in his infant carrier until 17 months, so we got a lot of use out of it!
Test the weight of the car seat. My husband had me lift several different car seats to see which one was the lightest. This is important because you are going to add 6-30 pounds into that little seat over the next several months.
Test Drive the stroller. How does it handle? Is it easy to turn? Is it easy to put the brakes on? Have fun taking the stroller for a test drive around the store!
Look for Storage. Does the stroller you’re looking at have storage pockets or even better a bin? Can it fit a diaper bag? Or groceries? Or anything else you might want to stuff in there?
Practice putting the seat in and out of the car seat base. Is it easy to put in and out? This will make it easy to put it in and out of a car.
Practice putting the car seat in and out of the stroller.
Expand the Canopy. Is there adequate sun, wind, and rain protection?
Practice folding and lifting the stroller. How easy does the stroller fold up? Can you fold it using one hand? Can it stand on it’s own folded up, or does it have to lean on a wall? How much space does the stroller take up? Can you easily lift the stroller into a vehicle? How easy is it to unfold the stroller?
Would you like to know what stroller I picked?….drumroll please….
I ended up choosing the Chicco Bravo system. (This is not a sponsored post.) The Chicco Bravo system checked all my boxes when it came to the list above. It was lightweight, easy to use and they come in a variety of colors and designs to choose from. I have been using this system for a year and a half and can honestly say I would choose the same if I was buying a new one right now. The fabric is easy to clean and still looks new! I absolutely love the Keyfit 30 car seat, in fact, I just washed all of the fabric pieces and stored away the car seat to use for the next kiddo, whenever that is!
But enough about me, I really hope this list can help YOU choose the BEST stroller for YOU! This will be one of your most used items and you will be glad you thought about all of the things in this post!
Please let me know if this helps you and feel free to pin and share with expecting Mamas!