A travel system combines a pram with a detachable car seat and is fantastic for parents of newborn babies as it makes transitioning them from the car to the pram super quick and easy. A travel system means you can simply take the car seat from the car and slot it into the pram. There is no need to remove baby from their car seat and then secure them in the pram.
IMHO, the Cosco Scenera NEXT is the best “extra car seat” for travel, Grandma’s car, or back up. With an entry price of around $50, a weight of only 7 lbs, an airplane-friendly seat width of 17.5″, and extra features like side-impact protection and a removable cup holder, it’s hard to go wrong traveling with a car seat like the Scenera. Not to mention, the five harness height slots and 3 buckle locations give a better fit for your growing child than most other convertible car seats that are rated up to 40 lbs, though your child may outgrow this seat faster than some larger and heavier travel car seats.
Disclaimer: Where’s Sharon is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and its partners. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Thank you for supporting my site and helping me make it the best family travel resource on the internet!
Slightly smaller than a standard Graco PNP, the 19 lb PNP Jetsetter fits in its included backpack (in a small enough package to carry on to most planes, in case you don’t want to risk checking it). It has some unique features, including a domed canopy to create shade when using it outside (or for keeping it dark in a room without proper shades (amiright??)), a vibrating bassinet for newborns, and a portable changing pad.
We recently started using the Bubblebum as backup for Jacob (almost 6yo) and it’s certainly convenient to have around! Update: We’ve now been using it for almost a year of full-time travel, and we love it! It’s an inflatable cushion that has a positioning clip on each side to keep the lap belt in place and an optional clip to position the shoulder belt at the right spot. It’s an awesome portable car seat for travel! It folds up into a small stuff sack, about the size of a very compact sleeping bag. Inflating is a breeze and Jacob is learning how to get himself in and out. Note: not for use on airplanes. Read our full review or check prices here.
Initially, my son appreciated the box more than the Mountain Buggy! But this image is included to give you an idea of the size of the pram in its carry bag. (I quite like the carry bag – and the fact it even has one – not all travel prams do.) It’s compact, which is important, because most parents buying the Mountain Buggy Nano – including me – are hoping to check this on as carry on luggage. Putting it together was easy, by the way – 10 minutes of sussing it out.
The Chicco GoFit it’s technically a travel booster seat, but it could be a great pick for many families! It’s reasonably priced, fairly light, comfortable for kids, narrow enough to fit in even the tiniest rental cars and… drum roll please… it has a built-in carrying handle! The belt fit is consistent, so you won’t have to worry about weird belt fits in different cars. The minimum height is just 38″, so if you have a tiny kid who’s mature enough to ride in a booster seat and stay in the correct position all the time, the Chicco GoFit is an awesome choice for travel. When we’re going on a long trip that doesn’t require multiple flights, we’ll go with the GoFit. Check the latest price and read more reviews.
If you have a bad case of wanderlust, it might be crazy hard to stay home after your baby is born. No problem. The UPPAbaby G-Luxe travel stroller seats babies as young as three months (most travel strollers have a minimum age of six months). And it keeps them comfy with a near-flat recline and an adjustable footrest. A deep, 50+ UV canopy provides loads of shade.
There’s also no way to ensure that the seat provided will be one that you think is appropriate for your child’s age and development. A car rental company may say that they have a seat for your 18mo baby, and that could be a forward-facing only combination seat. You’d potentially be left in a lurch if you realize that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear-facing until 2yo at a minimum, but ideally as old as 4yo. Even worse, some of the bargain-priced seats that rental car companies stock may be outgrown early and there may be no seat available that fits your child.
Hi Rebecca! Europe is always going to be tricky with stroller choice as ideally you want an all terrain stroller for the streets! However, that would be completely impractical for everywhere else as you really want the lightest stroller possible to get around – places like the subway in Paris are full of stairs and you will have to carry it a lot. The size aspect of city mini should be ok as in getting it onboard etc, but you do have to be happy to be lifting it a lot.
The Graco ComfortSport Convertible Car Seat has also made it into our reviews as one of the best travel car seats. For parents with younger children needing to use a rear facing car seat, take note of the Graco ComfortSport Convertible car seat. This car seat has been specifically designed to protect rear facing children to give you more peace of mind for their safety.
Hi Marisa! We had a cheap one we bought in Latvia and while I wouldn’t say it was ideal, it still did the job. The big question in Europe is really how much you want to prioritise something which will handle the streets well versus how much weight and bulk you want to carry while moving around and being constantly stuck carrying it up stairs. I personally would still go with a lightweight travel option but it is going to be rough on cobblestoned streets.
Mountain Buggy is not a brand I’d usually associate with light and compact – they’re better known for their all-terrain vehicles, however they’ve managed to work in some of their big pram features into this compact travel pram. It has a reasonable sized hood and an okay basket given the size of the pram. It only has a half recline so you will need the additional bassinet or car seat attachment to be suitable from birth, but it more than makes up for that with a 20kg weight capacity – so while not ideal for newborns it’s fantastic for toddlers and even preschoolers.
Our verdict – we love our Mountain Buggy Nano. It really is a dream to use and definitely the best travel pram we have come across in our search. It has given us easy travel across Europe, the Dominican Republic, and the USA, plus of course many local adventures around Australia. We don’t have to worry about overweight luggage or oversize. Nor do we have to stress about it getting lost as checked baggage since we can use it right up to the boarding gates, fold it down, put on the cover and carry it on board to the overhead locker!
The Mountain Buggy Nano stroller is the best of both worlds—a travel stroller that can also act as a travel system. Unlike most travel strollers, this one is compatible with an infant car seat, so you can use it from birth (it’s equipped with an adapter to accommodate most leading car seat brands). It’s also lightweight and compact enough to easily fit into many carry-on luggage units on planes and trains or in a trunk, and the travel bag has a handle and strap for portability. The narrow width and front-wheel swivel makes it good for using on city streets or other tight spaces.
Thanks to reader Kate who reminded me I hadn’t updated this post – didn’t mean to leave you all hanging! We’ve so far taken the Nano on two flights – and I”ve had mixed success getting it onboard as carry on. One one flight – they said yes, once I showed them it folded up etc. But the flight attendant WAS a bit narky about it, so I did have to insist for them to do it.
In many ways, installing your car seat on an airplane is much easier than in a car! Just thread the airplane seatbelt through the belt path of the car seat and tighten as much as possible. It may be a little easier to install with the armrest up and then put it back down (as is required for take-off and landing). However, there are a few potential pitfalls to be aware of: