Buying Guide to Travel Systems
Buying Guide to Travel Systems
What is a Travel System
A travel system is a type of smart pushchair that is compatible with an infant carrier car seat, seat unit and a lie-flat carry cot. It's super handy for transferring sleeping baby from the pushchair to the car without waking them up.
How do Travel Systems work?
Most travel systems have 2 main parts that can detach from each other to transform the product. There's the travel seat ⁄ cot part, where your baby sits (or more likely, naps) and the frame, which allows the entire travel system to be used as either a pushchair or a pram. There's also usually a variety of carrying handles that make moving your baby easier, and often a whole host of add-ons and accessories like hoods, covers and carrying compartments to make life easier.
What's so good about Travel Systems?
Well, for a start, you can save a lot of cash. Although they're a bit more expensive on first look, you're likely to save a lot of money by not having to buy both a pram and a child's travel seat. Some are also good to go from the trip home from hospital until they're 3-4 years old, so they'll last you a while too. You can even use the cot section on some travel systems as a Moses basket when they're very young, saving you even more cash.
Our favourite bonus however is the lack of waking needed to get baby from their pram or cot into the car. Travel systems simply click out of the wheeled frame and the carry handle can be detached, so kids can be moved stealthily into the car while remaining fast asleep - a huge win for the parents!
What's the difference between a pushchair and a travel system?
The biggest difference is that you don't have to transfer your baby from one product to another when it's time for a nap or a trip in the car. Rather than moving baby to their car seat or cat, just detach the travel seat section, attach it to the ISOFIX base and fold the frame away. Easy!
What makes travel systems better than child car seats?
Well for one, you can't attach most standard kids' car seats to a wheeled frame for easier transport. And you'll definitely make them grumpy by lifting them from a nice warm pram or cot in a cold car seat!
I've got twins! (or more...)
You'll be pleased to hear that there are travel systems designed for two or more babies.
What's the best travel system?
That one is down to preference and requirements. The following areas will cover all the different choices and combinations when it comes to choosing the right travel system, so read on and you'll soon be buying the best travel system and travel system accessories that are perfect for your little one.
Weight and size (travel system and child!)
The weight and size of your travel system plays a big part in its usability. Babies and kids are heavy enough, so if your travel system is also hefty, you might have trouble getting it up hills or steps. Check out the overall weight as well as the size of the frame when folded and the cot itself - much better than finding out your new travel system doesn't fit in your car after you've bought it!
There's also the weight of your little one to consider. All travel systems will have a maximum weight (measured in KG) so if you want your travel system to last a bit longer, go for one with a higher maximum weight.
Travel system car safety
Car seat rules and safety regulations are critically important when it comes to transporting babies and children by car. Airbags can cause severe injuries if cots lie against them when they shouldn't and seats in the back that aren't secured properly can be equally as dangerous. All of the travel system we sell at Halfords are safe to use in your car, so you don't need to worry about buying a travel system that isn't legal to use in the UK.
ISOFIX is the international standard for attaching children's car seats into passenger seats. An additional base is fastened to metal fasteners built into the seats of all modern cars, then the travel seat part of the travel system can be clicked onto it.
Which travel system is the best?
There is a huge range of manufacturers who create travel systems in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and with different functions.
Hauck travel systems are extremely lightweight and durable. Perfect for a trip to the shops or a day out on public transport, they are easy to carry and fold away. The Rapid 4Plus Shop N Drive travel system is packed with features, including a cup holder and very cute matching foot muff and changing bag!Shop Hauck »
Joie's Muze travel system offers some great features for a very reasonable price. Suitable for children up to 15kg or up to 15 months, this handy travel system is a great cost-saver that doesn't scrimp on quality or safety.Shop Joie »
Cybex is the choice for fashion-conscious parents! Their Balios S travel system looks very sleek and sporty, but still has all the practical features you'd expect from a travel system, including a high seat level, leg rest, sun canopy and rain cover.Shop Joie »
If you're looking for additional help in choosing a travel system, then don't forget you can always pop into your local Halfords store for further help and advice.Find your local Halfords »