How To Choose The Right Travel System [Buyers Guide]
From prams to pushchairs and carrycots to car seats, with so many different brands and features, finding a travel system best suited to your needs can be a difficult process.
We've made that process easier for you by providing a summary of the things you need to know to choose the right travel system:
- What is a travel system?
- To Isofix or not to Isofix?
- Purchasing a travel system
- How much you can expect to pay
- Travel system features to look out for
- Bambini & Bo's top 3 picks
- Offers, discount codes and more!
What is a travel system?
A travel system is essentially a pushchair that can be used with a rear-facing car seat, some travel systems can also be used with a carrycot.
The pushchair variations are interchangeable and can click in and out of the pushchair frame, this is typically done using the car seat adaptors but some can click straight into the pushchair chassis, depending on the travel system.
The benefit of the parts being interchangeable is that you can leave the baby to sleep in the car seat or carrycot and transfer them into the pushchair without disturbing their sleep.
To Isofix or not to Isofix?
An Isofix base is an attachment system for a child's car seat, designed to make the car seat installation easier.
Nearly all Isofix car seats have green and red indicators to confirm when the car seat is fixed in and attached correctly to the Isofix base, this feature reduces the chances of a mistake being made when fitting.
As a result of the car seat being fixed directly into the Isofix base there would be a reduction of movement, this means the child is extremely safe in the unfortunate event of a car crash.
Isofix mounts have been a standard on all new cars since the mid-2000s, although It is not a legal requirement to have an Isofix base.
Having an older car (pre mid-2000s) may mean there are no Isofix mounts, if so then it will not be possible to mount the Isofix base.
In this instance a seat belt fitted car seat may be the only option, which when installed correctly are perfectly safe, protecting your child in the same way that they do adults.
To Isofix or not to Isofix? Ultimately the choice depends on which option works best for you and more importantly, which option you have the most confidence in.
In either case, it is absolutely essential that the car seats are installed as per the manufacturers instructions to ensure safety.
Purchasing a travel system
When purchasing a travel system there a two different options:
1. Purchasing the travel system as a complete bundle. The contents will vary depending on the brand but typically this will include a pushchair, carrycot and a car seat, it is also possible that car seat adaptors may be included (if required) but this is not always the case, sometimes they are an optional extra.
2. You can purchase the parts individually as required (pushchair, carrycot and car seat) and create your own travel system bundle. If you are going to purchase the parts individually and wish to use them as a travel system, make sure they are all compatible with one another - this is where the car seat adaptors come into use.
You may find the latter to be the more expensive option of the two, but it gives you the choice to mix and match should you wish to do so.
How much can you expect to pay?
Like with most things, the cost of the travel system will depend entirely on the brand, and a contributing cost factor to consider is whether or not you require an Isofix base - these alone tend to average at around £100.
At the budget end, there are a number of travel systems available for under £300 from brands such as Hauck.
Travel system features to look out for:
- Lightweight frame with one hand fold - this is an incredibly useful feature, a lightweight frame will make the travel system easy to manoeuvre and carry where required. Lightweight and equipped with a one hand fold will ensure the folding process is seamless.
- Car seat adaptors - some car seats slot straight into the pushchair chassis, however some require the use of car seat adaptors which are not always included. Check whether or not the chassis needs car seat adaptors and whether or not they are included or are to be purchased as an optional extra.
- Rain cover - something that is often overlooked but is an essential accessory, especially for those rainy days. Travel systems often come with one included, but it's worth checking, just to be sure.
- Isofix car seat - an Isofix is an attachment system for child's car seat, designed to make installing a car seat much easier. Rather than rely on the seat belt alone, Isofix mounted seats are extremely safe as their fixed directly to the child seat base, reducing movement in the event of a car accident.
- Space for a travel bag - is there a dedicated space for a travel/changing bag? Another thing to look out for, last thing you want to be doing is pushing the pram and having to carry a changing bag, it can get tiring quickly!
Bambini & Bo's top 3 picks
Price low to high:
Offers and discount codes
To summarise, a travel system is essentially a pushchair that can be used with a rear-facing car seat, some travel systems can also be used with a carrycot.
The benefit is that you can leave the baby to sleep in the car seat or carrycot and transfer them into the pushchair without disturbing their sleep.
An Isofix base is an attachment system for child car seat, designed to make installing a car seat much easier, it is extremely safe and secure.
Some cars (pre mid-2000s) may have no Isofix mounts, in this instance it will not be possible to mount the Isofix base.
Therefore, a seat belt fitted car seat is recommended, which, when installed correctly is perfectly safe, protecting your child in the same way that they do adults.
Travel systems can be purchased as a complete bundle or the parts may be purchased individually.
Purchasing individually allows for customisation as the parts can be mixed and matched.
Buying the travel system as a bundle offers peace of mind that the parts should be compatible with one another, if buying the parts separately, be sure to check for compatibility.
If you need help putting a travel system bundle together, contact our team of baby furniture and transport experts for friendly, helpful advice.
Like with most things, the cost of the travel system will depend entirely on the brand.
Bear in mind that just because something is more expensive it does not necessarily mean it is better quality, always check customer reviews.
There are plenty of amazing brands out there so pick a budget and brand that is affordable for you.
The aim of this blog post was to help you choose the right travel system. Did we do that?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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