Should You Buy a Travel System? Plus, 5 Top Car Seat & Stroller Combos

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Head to a baby gear shop and you’re guaranteed to find parents-to-be staring wide-eyed at all the stroller and car seat options. If you aren’t set on specific brands or models, here’s a pro tip: Opt for a travel system, meaning a set that contains a stroller, infant car seat and a car seat base, all from the same brand.

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Peg Perego

Buying a travel system has its benefits. It's usually more affordable than buying this gear separately. And since items from the same brand are designed to work together, you won't need adapters, which also saves you money, and you'll get gear that fits together securely.

The downside is that you have fewer choices (which may be a relief), and you may not get all the features you're looking for in the stroller or car seat. If you're leaning toward buying gear individually, read our articles on infant car seats and strollers to help you choose. And if your favorites come from different brands, make sure there are adapters to enable them to work together.

If you've decided on a travel system, that's awesome! Read on for top picks that rank highly with Consumer Reports. Because it's all about baby's safety and comfort, right?

Chicco

Chicco Bravo Trio (shown above)
Consumer Reports ranks both the Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat and Chicco Bravo stroller as excellent in their safety tests, making this a smart pick for parents looking for a high-quality car seat and traditional stroller. The stroller weighs 23 pounds, and the car seat can be used until your child hits 30 pounds or 30 inches tall.

Available at chiccousa.com, $400-$600. 

Chicco Activ3 Travel System
This stroller and car seat combo features the KeyFit 30 car seat with the Chicco Activ3 stroller, which combines the features of a jogging stroller with an everyday stroller. This is a good choice if you plan on taking strolls on rough roads, but check with your pediatrician about when it's safe to jog with your child in the stroller. 

Available at chiccousa.com, $530.

Chicco Mini Bravo Plus System
This Chicco option is more budget-friendly than the two above. It pairs the same KeyFit 30 car seat with the Chicco Mini Bravo Plus stroller, a small stroller weighing only 20 pounds. A lighter stroller is handy for quick excursions or if you're going to be putting the stroller in the car trunk or lugging it up and down stairs.

Available at chiccousa.com, $320-$350. 

UPPAbaby

UPPAbaby Vista Travel System
This combo, featuring the Vista V2 stroller and Mesa car seat, is pricier than the others on this list but does come with amazing extras like a bassinet, rain cover, bug net and more. The biggest bonus: The stroller can be adapted to carry three kids in different ages and stages. If you have another young child or are planning to expand your family soon, this is a smart investment.

Available at amazon.com, $1,400.

Peg Perego Booklet Travel System
The Booklet stroller is a parent favorite, thanks to its multi-position backrest, adjustable footrest, large basket and adjustable handlebars. It folds compactly and sits upright, for easy storage in small homes, closets and cars. In this travel system, it's paired with the Primo Viaggio 4-35 car seat. The car seat base includes a built-in anti-rebound bar to maintain stability in case of a collision.

Available at us.pegperego.com, $470. 

—Eva Ingvarson Cerise

featured image: Chicco

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