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Best travel system for babies 2023: Car seat, carrycot and pushchair in one

Getting out and about with your little one needn’t be a faff, with our pick of the best travel systems that offer the perfect solution

Finding the best travel system for your baby can feel a little daunting. After all, there’s plenty to consider when making your choice – they need to be able to transport your little one safely; they need to be comfortable to manoeuvre, while remaining relatively portable; and they need to be compatible with carrycots, car seats, and toddler seats to accommodate your baby from birth well into their toddler years. With an array of models vying for your attention, there’s a lot to think about with, potentially, a significant cost.

As is the case when you buy almost anything, what you pick will often come down to your own circumstances and lifestyle. If you travel frequently and use public transport often, then a travel system that’s lightweight and folds down with minimal effort will likely be a priority. If you’re more of an off-road adventurer with a dog or two to walk, then sturdy suspension and durable wheels will top your list of requirements. If size or road conditions aren’t a concern, then you might be free to prioritise style over more practical elements.

Whatever your needs, we’ve put together a brief buying guide with some FAQs and rated some of the top travel systems on the market to help you make the best choice for you and your family.

Best travel system: At a glance

How to choose the best travel system for you

What is a travel system?

It’s a do-it-all pushchair with a modular design that allows you to slot in a carrycot, car seat or toddler seat as needed. The majority of models are presented in a variety of different packages, or bundles as they’re commonly known, ranging from the barebones with just the frame or stroller, right through to deluxe versions comprising everything from the carrycot, car seat, and accessories such as footmuffs, canopy, nappy bag, and even cup holder bundled as standard.

Do I need a travel system?

Not necessarily. You could instead choose to buy a separate pushchair with a carrycot, a stroller, a third-party car seat – or any combination of products that works for you. The appeal of a travel system is integration and the convenience that it brings.

Everything in a travel system is designed to work together, so it potentially means less overlap. For instance, you can just click the car seat onto the travel system chassis and push your baby around town, which saves you transferring your child from a car seat to a pushchair or cot.

What key features should I look for?

Size and weight are crucial, meaning it’s a good idea to go to a store or showroom to have a good play around with the models you’re considering. Will it fit in your boot and/or hallway? Can you carry it upstairs, if you live in a flat? Make sure you’re happy with the folding mechanism, too, since some are more tricky to operate than others.

Note that babies need to lie flat in a pram until they’re six months old, so you’ll need to ensure you’re happy with the size and comfort level of the carrycot. Don’t forget to check details such as whether it’s suitable for occasional overnight sleeping, too.

The size of the wheels is also important: big sturdy wheels are great if you walk a lot on rougher terrain, while slimmer wheels are better suited to city life. It’s worth noting the smaller details, too, such as built-in sunshades, buggy boards for older children, the size of the shopping basket and the stroller seat. Will the travel system accommodate your baby as they grow into a toddler, or will you need to spend more money further down the line? Can it accommodate two (or more) kids, if and when you have more?

How much should I spend?

It’s tempting to assume that the more expensive a travel system is, the better it will perform; but this isn’t necessarily the case. There are a variety of models on offer, at all kinds of price points (starting at around £300 and soaring to well over £1,000), so the best place to start will be to prioritise your main needs and work from there.

At the other end of the spectrum, while the high price of some of these travel systems may appear extortionate at first, factor in the cost of buying all the parts that feature in the bundle separately, and you may well find that an all-in-one travel system actually offers good value for money.

How we test travel systems

To test the best travel systems on the market, our reviewers spend several days putting each pram through its paces. As well as assessing how easy each travel system is to assemble, we also evaluate how it performs in everyday life, covering the school run, trips to the supermarket, as well as on public transport. We also consider extra details such as how easy it is to load and how well it fits into the boot of the car, and the amount of space it takes up in the hallway.

This real-life testing means we can highlight any areas that could prove problematic, or where a product truly shines. In addition, such testing allows us to more accurately categorise each travel system according to people’s different needs, such as storing in a small space, carrying up a flight of stairs, or navigating a muddy sports field. Finally, we include details such as the age range for which each travel system is suitable, the type of wheels it has, and its dimensions.

READ NEXT: The best car seats you can buy

The best travel systems you can buy in 2023

1. Bugaboo Fox 5: Best luxury travel system

Price: £1,115 | Check price at John Lewis Bugaboo’s latest travel system is the Bugaboo Fox 5. The brand says it’s their most comfortable and manoeuvrable all-terrain pushchair yet, so we were excited to test it out. The Fox 5 is one of the most premium travel systems on the market, gliding effortlessly over pavements, paths and grass (even when pushing with one hand), all while keeping your mini passenger secure in the easy-to-fasten, five-point harness. In addition, you get large puncture-proof wheels with advanced suspension, a one-hand fold, and a high ergonomic seat with an extendable footrest and sun canopy. If you’re using the pushchair from birth, note that it also comes with a carrycot that’s fitted with an aerated mattress.

For those who wish to personalise their pram, they can choose from 12 different colourways and add-on many of the luxury Bugaboo accessories, such as the baby bag and cup holder. We recently tested the Bugaboo Fox 3, which similarly feels weightless to push and manoeuvre; but the Fox 5 is even more comfortable to use.

This is a great travel system to use right from your front door, taking you from the school run to out and about on all terrains. It’s a little big for folding down frequently as a result of its large wheels, and you may find lugging it in and out of the car a little annoying. Likewise, if you need to pull it up stairs and fold it down in a hallway, there are more lightweight travel systems that may be better. But if comfort and style are your main needs, and you have the space for it in your car and your home, this is one of the best travel systems we’ve tested.

Key specsAge range: Suitable for 0 to 4 years or 22kg; Wheels: Lockable swivel; Unfolded Dimensions: 93 x 60 x 105cm; One-piece standing fold: 44 x 60 x 90cm; Weight: 10.4-12.2kg

Check price at John Lewis

2. Ocarro 9 Piece Complete Bundle: Best overall complete travel system

Price: £1,509 | Check price at Mamas & PapasIf you’re about to have a new baby, Mamas & Papas’ 9-piece complete Ocarro bundle has everything you need to begin life with a newborn. It’s designed to tackle any terrain with puncture-proof tyres and an ergonomically designed chassis that can mount curbs with ease. It also has a comfortable seat that can be used from birth and folded back to support natural sleep with padded chest pads and a comfortable head hugger. The finish of this pram is attractive, and while we tested out the Navy Classic model, you can choose from 11 different tonal colourways. The leather-covered handles and silver trims feel really good quality and the seat fabric is soft and cosy, but suitable for wiping down. Plus, the mesh pockets are ideal for stowing away your rain cover and car-seat adapters.

This bundle is also available with a carrycot and cushioned mattress that can be used from birth, a foot muff, changing bag, cup holder, baby blanket, Cybex Aton 5 Car Seat and the base fixing to fit it in the car. Overall, we found this pram super-easy to assemble and fold down, which will be music to the ears of any sleep-deprived new parent.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable for 0 to 4 years or 22kg; Wheels: Lockable swivel; Dimensions: 101 x 59 x 101cm; Weight: 13.7kg

Check price at Mamas & Papas

3. Cybex Priam Travel System: Best high-end travel system

Price: £1,280 | Check price at PramworldThe Cybex Priam has had a glow up and it’s as glam as ever. Incorporating a new and innovative harness technology that can precision-fit your child securely in their seat in seconds, this customisable part-pram, part-stroller combines chic design and high-class technology, with practical functionality to appeal to parents everywhere.

Suitable from birth, when it’s used with the carrycot included in this bundle, right up to when your child is four years old (or 22kg), this stroller can handle any on- and off-road terrain thanks to its rubber wheels and impressive all-wheel suspension that make for a super comfy, and quiet, ride.

Extra features include an SPF50+ canopy, a backrest pocket to store your smaller valuables, and a shopping basket that folds down when not needed. Almost everything you require comes in this bundle, except for the extension pack that replaces the front wheels with a pair of skis for when you head to Meribel.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable for 0 years to 22kg in weight; Wheels: All-terrain wheels; Folded dimensions: 83.5 x 51.5 x 31.5cm; Unfolded dimensions: 92-83 x 60 x 98.5-108cm; Weight: 12.6kg

Check price at Pramworld

4. Nuna Triv 4 Piece: Best travel system for city living

Price: £1,050 | Check price at Little Angels When most of your day consists of having a child under your arm, a travel system that delivers a pram with a single-handed folding mechanism, lightweight design and all-wheel suspension such as the Nuna Triv is ideal for busy city life or anyone who travels regularly.

The main pram in this travel system has an easy-to-fold design and a large storage basket underneath, while the spacious flip-fold seat features an adjustable leg rest that can easily accommodate a toddler up to the age of around three.

The additional carrycot can be attached for newborns and this bundle includes a Pipa Next i-Size car seat. The stroller also includes lots of thoughtful details such as a wallet slip at the back of the seat, attractive leather detailing and a peekaboo panel along the back of the canopy.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable from birth to 22kg max; Wheels: Front swivel wheels; Folded dimensions: 32 x 52 x 65cm (LWH); Unfolded dimensions: 77-87 x 106-110cm (LH); Weight: 8.8kg (without canopy, armbar and insert)

Check price at Little Angels

5. Ickle Bubba Eclipse All-In-One: Best affordable travel system bundle

Price: £699 | Check price at AmazonThe price of the Eclipse is extremely reasonable for what it has to offer: a newborn carrycot that is suitable for occasional overnight use, a car seat and a pushchair designed with an Ickle Bubba Board: a built-in standing board that allows pre-schoolers to hop on for a ride while their sibling is safely snuggled up in the carrycot, pushchair or car seat.

The car seat comes with the Isofix car seat fitting system base that makes carrying the baby in and out of the car a breeze: this eliminates the need to faff around with a seat belt as the baby is already securely strapped into its 5-point car seat harness. Just clip the car seat into the Isofix’s two metal clip fixing points to lock it into place, and unclip to release. Other perks include a full winter footmuff, a smart baby bag that fits neatly on the back handle, an extendable UPF 50+ hood, puncture-proof, high-grip tyres and a wallet slip across the back of the buggy seat.

While the pram is lightweight and incredibly easy to push or lift up onto high pavements, that’s not to say it’s by any means a small buggy. In fact, it’s rather on the larger side, partly due to its bigger wheels which make it great for active families who love the great outdoors. It also, unfortunately, doesn’t fold down completely flat, which may be slightly cumbersome if you have limited storage space.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable from birth to approximately 4 years old; Wheels: Lockable front 360-degree swivel wheels; Folded dimensions: 58 x 80 x 37cm (WLH); Unfolded dimensions: 58 x 116 x 106cm (WLH); Weight: 8.6kg (chassis with wheels)

6. Micralite GetGo: Best for affordable style and great design

Price: £1,170 | Check price at MicraliteThe Micralite GetGo is a classy travel system that’s suitable from birth through to toddlers weighing up to 22kg. You can buy it as a barebones pushchair (£395) or as this complete bundle which comes with a carrycot. The pram chassis stands up when folded and comes with a two-tone black and copper carry strap so you can transport it easily to and from the car.

If you enjoy long walks and trips into the countryside, the multi-terrain, puncture-proof tyres and dynamic four-wheel suspension will come in handy too. The carrycot is lined with a super soft antibacterial bamboo fabric and is fitted with an integrated pull-out sun visor. There’s also a built-in storage pocket for your purse and keys.

Once your baby has outgrown the carrycot, you can switch it out for the seat unit, which has adjustable calf support and a lie-flat design. We also love the extra details such as the extendable hood with UPF50 protection, zip-out airflow panel and pull-out sunshade.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable from birth to 22kg; Wheels: Four-wheel suspension; Folded dimensions: 76 x 59 x 38cm (LWH); Unfolded dimensions: 72 x 59 x 89-105cm (LWH); Weight: 10.8kg

Check price at Micralite

7. KinderKraft XMoov 3-in-1: Best affordable travel system

Price: £279 | Check price at Baby and Child Store No, your eyes are not deceiving you; that is the price for the full bundle 3-in-1 KinderKraft XMoov travel system, complete with pushchair, car seat and carrycot, plus plenty of handy extras. This remarkably reasonably-priced buggy offers a number of features, but its low price (less than half the price of many others on this list and on the travel systems market) is not at all indicative of its quality, a fact made evident by its sturdy frame, luxurious mink fabric and detailed stitching throughout.

A nappy bag with removable changing mat, a rain cover, cup holder, footmuff, extendable canopy and a height-adjustable handle are just some of the XMoov’s features, and the reclinable car seat has adjustable shoulder straps with protectors for the baby’s optimal safety and comfort.

For strolling, the all-terrain pumped wheels have a shock-absorbing mechanism allowing it to glide effortlessly on all kinds of roads, making it the perfect option whether you live in a busy city or in the country. The front wheels swivel and can be locked in position for solely going straight, while back wheel brakes have a simultaneous double clamp.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable for 0 years to 22kg in weight; Wheels: Pumped, all-terrain, locking, swivel, self-aligning; Folded dimensions: 92-116 x 110 x 60cm; Unfolded dimensions: 75 x 42 x 62cm ; Weight: 11.8-14kg

Check price at Baby and Child Store

8. iCandy Peach 7: The most comfortable travel system

Price: £1,199 | Check price at John Lewis Well-engineered in new premium fabrics, iCandy’s latest travel system, the Peach 7, is designed to be used from birth until your toddler is around 25kg. As such, it comes with a spacious carrycot and a larger, padded upright seat that can be used from around six months and faced forward or backwards. The travel system bundle is packed full of essentials for all-year round, including a Maxi Cosi Pebble 360 car seat, adaptors, rain cover, changing bag, footmuff and even a parasol.

While this pram is super-stylish, it’s also loaded with ultra-practical details such as the zipped pocket on the back of the seat, and the integrated stand-on board – which is invaluable if you have an older child. One of the other major pros about this pram is the comfort and security it offers your little one and the fact that it just makes a day-to-day routine feel much easier.

We really liked that the main bundle comes with everything you need to get started, including a carrycot, seat unit, chassis, removable ‘Pip-Zip’ bag, car seat adaptors and elevator adaptors. But you can also add on lots of personalised extras, such as the matching baby bag, footmuff and liner and cup holder, to really make it your own.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable from birth to 25kg; Wheels: Puncture-proof, ultra-smooth rolling PU tyres; Folded Dimensions: No wheels (cm) L70 x W54 x D28; Weight: 12.9kg

Check price at John Lewis

9. BabaBing Raffi: Best iCandy alternative

Price: £725 | Check price at John Lewis The Bababing Raffi 3-in-1 travel system has recently undergone a few improvements and we were more than a little pleasantly surprised at just how impressive it is. The original pram was already award-winning thanks to its easy, lightweight design, but this version takes things one step further with a slick one-handed fold, sturdy off-road wheels and 100% recycled fabrics. In fact, the fabrics (that come in three stylish colours) are one of the best features of the pram, giving it a premium feel that is similar to that of the iCandy Peach 7.

The travel bundle also comes with everything you need to navigate all four seasons, such as an adjustable forward- and rear-facing seat unit, a UPF50+ canopy, a spacious carry cot with a Kose Cool breathable lining, 2-in-1 rain cover and an Ubersnugg Footmuff. That’s a lot of kit for a very reasonable price.

This is a great travel system that’s super stylish, pleasurable to push and with plenty of storage space to boot. It’s definitely worthy of serious consideration and is a much more affordable option to some of the very expensive options in this list.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable from birth to 15kg; Wheels: Full suspension off-road tyres; Folded Dimensions: 70cm x 60cm x 29cm; Weight: 12.5kg

10. Thule Urban Glide 2 Complete Bundle: Best running buggy

Price: £1,145 | Check price at PramworldFor sportier parents who need a good running buggy for jogging, or even those who like to power-walk on the school run and while out on errands, the Thule Urban Glide 2 complete travel system will soon become your best friend. This high-quality stroller has a large front wheel that swivels on a dime and two 16-inch rear wheels with excellent suspension.

There’s a twist hand brake for quickly stopping safely and it offers superior control even on hilly terrain. You can fold this buggy with just one hand while holding the baby in the other, and it weighs a touch over 11kg, so you can easily lift it in and out of the car’s boot and even up stairs.

The sun canopy can be adjusted to multiple positions and offers side ventilation and a peekaboo window that closes with a magnet. The complete travel bundle comes with a bassinet that can make the stroller suitable from birth onwards, and you’ll also get the Cabriofix i-Size car seat along with the base and adaptors.

Key specs – Age range: Suitable for 0 to 4 years, or 22kg; Wheels: Swivel front wheel, 16-inch rear wheels; Folded Dimensions: 87 x 69 x 34cm; Weight: 11.4kg

Check price at Pramworld

12. iCandy Core: The best travel system for second babies

Price: £1,450 | Check price at John Lewis

This premium travel system from iCandy is a great option if you have other children and regularly interchange between urban and rural environments. It can be used from birth, starting with the fleece-lined carrycot that can be used for permanent overnight sleeping. When your baby grows into a toddler, simply switch over to the adjustable clamshell seat, which can also be used with the compatible car seat (if you purchase the full travel system bundle).

One of our favourite design features with this travel system is the built-in buggy board; it’s a lifesaver if you have older children. It will also save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to buy an additional buggy board or a double buggy, depending on the age of your other children.

Other details to note are the front-wheel swivel lock, bag hooks, an on/off brake indicator (which is flip-flop friendly), and ergonomic adjustable handlebar. Plus, the one-handed fold with the chassis still attached. The basket is also a good size at 48 litres, providing plenty of room for shopping and the baby bag. Finally, it comes with interchangeable wheels: the lighter wheels make it more of a compact city stroller, while the second set is more substantial and ideal for more rural areas. All in all, this is a smart and stylish travel system that will take you from birth to toddlerhood with ease and comfort.

Key specsAge range: Suitable from birth to 25kg; Wheels: Interchangeable and removable (1 x rural wheel set and 1 x urban wheel set); Folded dimensions: L69 x W61 x H24; Unfolded dimensions: L68 x W61 x H105; Weight: 12.6kg

Check price at John Lewis

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