A 'travel system' is essentially a pushchair that can be used with a baby car seat. Some travel systems can take a carrycot as well.
They make it easier to transport sleeping babies without disturbing them too much. But bear in mind you shouldn't leave a very young baby in a car seat for too long at one sitting.
Read on to find out what features to look for with your travel system and how much you should pay.
We'd always advise that you choose a car seat you're happy with before choosing your travel system, as a car seat is an essential piece of baby safety kit.
Some travel systems come with a car seat included as part of a package.
Apart from the car seat, your travel system will also come with some sort of seat unit to transport your baby when you don’t want to use the car seat on the chassis.
Some systems won’t come with a car seat but will say which car seats they are compatible with, so you can go and buy one.
Buying your travel system with the car seat separately, rather than as a package, often works out more expensive, but it does mean you get time to choose a car seat you’re confident can transport your baby safely, which is key.
We would recommend always choosing your car seat first before you buy your travel system.
This is a pushchair where you can attach one baby car seat and one ordinary pushchair seat.
Travel-system compatible pushchairs can be costly, but you will be pleased to know there's plenty of choice for almost every budget – from around £100 up to £1,000 for a top-of-the-range, premium travel system.
Remember a higher price doesn't always mean quality – we've found Best Buys under £200 and Don't Buys for more than £800.
Travel systems can come equipped with quite a wide range of accessories. Here's a few that you'll really need:
If you have a smaller car, such as a Ford Ka or Mini, you need to make sure the chassis is going to fit into the boot once your little one and the car seat are safely in the car.
Measure the size of your boot carefully and check against the folded size of the travel system in the 'Tech Specs' of our reviews to make sure it’s going to fit.
Baby car seats range in weight from just a few kilograms up, so make sure you’re able to move it without it feeling too heavy or cumbersome.
Car seats attach into a car either by using the car’s seatbelt or using an isofix base.
Isofix, which typically costs more, fixes the seat in the car without using the belts. We always recommend you get your car seat professionally fitted and then practise over and over to make sure you can do it yourself.
When we review a pushchair, one of the things we check is how easy it is to fold. You don’t want to be struggling to collapse the chair every time you get it out of the boot or take it on public transport.
You will want to buy a Group 0 or 0+ car seat, which will take your baby from birth up to 10kg or 13kg, depending on which type you choose. You could also go for one of the new regulation which usually last until your child is around 75-85cm tall (around 12-15 months).
It’s also vital to remember that a child car seat should only be used to transport your child, it’s not a place for them to sleep in for a long time. Experts currently advise no longer than 30 minutes in an infant carrier for newborns, but this time can increase slightly as they get older.
We would always advise you try out a travel system before you buy so you know it's right for you. Get it fitted by a retailer to make sure it fits your car.