When it comes to choosing car seats, one factor often overlooked is your lifestyle. If you are always on the go or like to travel, you want a car seat that gives you the adaptability that you need. Many active parents use a stroller and car seat combo, which is a type of travel system car seat. As its name suggests, it consists of two pieces: an infant car seat that clips onto its base in your vehicle and a stroller frame that the car seat snaps onto when taking your baby out of the vehicle at your destination. But, is this combo the right choice for you.
Here’s how to determine if a stroller and car seat combo is the best option for you and your baby and how to find the best strollers for traveling.
3 Conditions When a Stroller and Car Seat Combo Is Best
- You’re always on the go and are looking for a faster and easier alternative to taking your baby from car seat to backpack carrier, sling, etc.
- You want to keep active while your baby sleeps and be able to move the baby from the car seat to the stroller or vice versa without disturbing nap time.
- You want something your baby can safely and comfortably travel in that accommodates all modes of transportation.
Pros and Cons of a Baby Stroller and Car Seat Combo
When shopping for car seats, take some time to list the pros and cons of each type and how they match up to your lifestyle, the functionality you need and your budget. Here are some pros and cons to think about when considering a combination car seat and baby stroller.
- You don’t need a separate car seat and a separate stroller since the car seat forms the seat of the stroller. It’s less cumbersome and more compact.
- The stroller is lightweight.
- Car seat and stroller combos are often more economical. Some also come with an extra base to use in a second vehicle.
- They are ideal for city life, especially if you use taxi or ride sharing services.
- Many car seat/baby stroller systems come with convenient features, especially for traveling, like one-hand folding, storage space, built-in canopies and cupholders, to name a few.
- You have to take the entire car seat out, rather than just take your baby out of the car seat.
- Seat and stroller combos might not have all the bells and whistles of a traditional stroller.
- They vary in quality and design. If you’re considering budget travel systems, pay attention to how well they are built, the positioning and ease of adjustment of the harness, and the steering of the stroller.
- They are typically designed for newborns up to about 30 pounds or higher.
- Once your child outgrows the infant car seat, you have to buy a different car seat and stroller.
How to Choose the Best Stroller and Car Seat Combo
There are several different types of baby stroller and car seat combination systems, each designed for different lifestyles.
Three-wheel stroller and car seat combination – These are compact and ideal for navigating small or tight spaces, such as in big cities.
Four-wheel stroller and car seat combination – Sturdy and rugged for traveling on unsettled or diverse terrain.
Jogger car seat and stroller combination – Slim, lightweight and easy to maneuver for parents who want to take their child along while exercising.
Double stroller and car seat combination – Designed for two children of similar or different ages, the stroller has two independent sections to fit two car seats.
When shopping for the best infant stroller combo/travel system, some things to look for are:
- The weight and age range of both the car seat and stroller;
- Easy assembling and installation;
- Indicators that show the car seat is positioned properly;
- How easily the car seat transfers from base to stroller and vice versa;
- A stroller frame that is easy to fold and store;
- The range of features and accessories.
Car seat manufacturers take travel and busy lifestyles into consideration when designing car seats. The result is a lot of choices, such as car seat and stroller combos, that make it possible for parents to take their little ones along. The key is to find the best type of car seat system that meets your lifestyle. When you do, you’ll find how easy it is to blend your active lifestyle with being a parent.