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24 Sep 2021

Stroller vs travel system: which pushchair should you pick for autumn 2021?

We've tested models from Joie, Maxi Cosi, Stokke and John Lewis
A woman pushing a pushchair along a path

The leaves may be changing colour and the temperature dropping, but it's still a great time to get out and about with your baby or toddler.

If you need a new pushchair this autumn, we can help you choose between a stroller or travel system with reviews for recently tested models from Joie, Maxi Cosi, John Lewis and others.

Our rigorous tests and feedback from both experts and parents means we can help you find out how each model has its own advantages or disadvantages and weigh up which pushchair - be it stroller or travel system - is best for you.

Head over to our pushchair reviews to find out the full results.

Stroller pushchairs

The definition for a stroller is pretty broad, and varies between manufacturers. Generally, it means they're lightweight and suited to urban parents who regularly use public transport. You may also hear them being called buggies.

They don't usually take a car seat or carrycot, but tend to be quite light and compact, so useful if you're heading off on holiday.

Silver Cross Pop, £70

Image of the Silver Cross Pop pushchair

The Silver Cross Pop has been around for a while (we tested it in 2018), but was updated earlier this year with a new bumper bar, deeper foam cushion on the handles, a new honeycomb quilt design on the seat and different colour options.

The manufacturers claim that the Pop is light and easy to push, but will the non-adjustable handles become uncomfortable after a while?

Read our full review of the Silver Cross Pop to find out what our panel of parents and experts thought of this stroller.

John Lewis compact stroller, £120

Image of the John Lewis compact stroller

This forward-facing lightweight stroller is designed to be used from birth until your child weighs 22kg, which is around four or five years old.

Weighing in at 5.7kg, it's a super lightweight stroller, that the manufacturer claims is great for storing in tight spaces such as car boots or taking on public transport.

Will the from-birth seat and multiple recline positions on this compact stroller make for a comfortable ride for your baby, and does the equally compact basket can actually stash all your parenting necessities?

Read our review of the John Lewis compact stroller to find out the full results of our testing.

Cosatto Woosh double, £299.95

Image of the Cosatto Whoosh Double

This side-by-side double stroller certainly appears more compact than many other double models on the market, particularly those that are tandem (one seat in front of the other) or convertible single-to-double pushchairs.

Thanks to a nearly-flat seat recline, the Woosh Double is suitable from birth, and it's suitable for use until your children weigh 15kg, which is about three years old.

The Woosh claims to have a one-hand fold (our lab checks if this is definitely the case), rotating bumper bars, lockable swivel wheels and a bell (so you can let people know you're approaching we presume..!)

Read our full review of the Cosatto Woosh double to find out if it's a comfortable ride for your kids.

Read our guide on how to choose the best stroller or buggy.

Travel system pushchairs

Travel systems are pushchairs which can be used with a baby car seat, and sometimes a carrycot, too.

They make it easier to transport sleeping babies without disturbing them too much, and if they take a carrycot, can be good options for using with newborns and small babies.

Stokke XPlory X, £899

Image of the Stokke Xplory X

The Stokke Xplory X is a stylish, luxury model that can be used from six months until your baby is 22kg, or around four to five years old. It takes the Stokke iZi Go car seat, or car seats from BeSafe, Cybex and Maxi-Cosi when used with adaptors (sold separately).

The seat height is adjustable so you can bring your baby closer to you, and the seat is reversible so you can have some face-to-face time as well have them world-facing.

All-in-all, the Stokke Xplory X looks good on paper, but our parent testers and lab experts delve deeper to investigate whether it's easy to fold, transport and push both on and off-road.

Read our full review of the Stokke XPlory to find out how it scores.

Joie Finiti, £400

Image of the Joie Finiti

Billed by Joie as the ultimate multi-tasker, the Finiti is a feature-rich travel system pushchair designed to take your child from birth to when they're four or five years old (22kg).

Features include a magnetic buckle to aid strapping in, two-position leg rest, nearly flat seat recline, cup holder and carry bag.

You can add the Joie Ramble carrycot to turn it into a pram, or add the Joie i-Level infant carrier to turn it into a travel system. It also takes other branded car seats such as Maxi Cosi by attaching car seat adaptors.

Read our full review of the Joie Finiti to find out if it's smooth to push, easy to fold, and straightforward to strap your little one into the pushchair seat.

Maxi Cosi Lara2, £189

Image of the Maxi Cosi Lara2

The Maxi Cosi Lara2 is an interesting pushchair as it's effectively a combination of both stroller and a travel system.

You'll spot from the image above that the pushchair is compact with small double wheels and a narrow chassis frame - classic stroller features.

The original Maxi Cosi Lara couldn't take a car seat, but the Lara2 was updated last year.Now, you can also recline the seat back, click on the included adaptors and attach a compatible car seat from Maxi Cosi to turn it into a travel system.

The Lara2 can't take a carrycot, but the seat can be used for newborns when reclined fully.

Find out if this lightweight travel system provides a comfortable ride for your baby or toddler by reading our full review of the Maxi Cosi Lara2.

For more tips on choosing a travel system, read our guide on how to choose the best travel system.

Other recently tested pushchair reviews

Baby Jogger Summit X3, £485
Cosatto Wow 2 pram, £650
Cosatto Supa 3, £182
Cosatto Uwu Mix, £110
Ergobaby Metro+ Compact City Stroller pram, £300
Ickle Bubba Eclipse pram, £599
John Lewis 2-in-1 Pushchair & Carrycot, £400
Mamas & Papas Airo, £445
Micralite GetGo, £495
Silver Cross Clic, £225

Read our guide to find out more about how we test pushchairs.