No matter who you are, no matter where you live, you have to have some essentials for a baby registry for travel… transporting baby from point A to point B.
A car seat & stroller in one is your most cost effective option!
But it can get confusing. And building a baby registry is hard enough, so I did the research for you. You’re welcome! 🙂
I’m going to go over the best:
- Infant car seats
- Luxury strollers
- Compact strollers
- Travel systems (car seat & stroller in one package)
- Jogging strollers (and car seat adapters)
- Convertible car seats
- Some of their accessories for them that you will find VERY useful.
So here’s the list, and a few recommendations from my experience and TONS of research… (BONUS, that is research that YOU don’t have to do!)
BEST INFANT CARRIER CAR SEATS
Before you ask me… “Wait! Why can’t I use a converitble car seat that will work from when they’re a newborn until they’re 25?”
(no, those don’t exist)…
But in all seriousness, you want an INFANT CARRIER because you can take baby in and out of the car, already in their seat, which is invaluable for the following reasons:
- Most importantly, infant carriers are safer, because they’re designed for SMALL BABIES, not toddlers. (Imagine someone who learned to be a family doctor, having to perform brain surgery… They might not be that good at it… you get the idea.)
- Infant carriers are WAY more convenient for small babies. When they’re not in their car seat, you have to hold them… and if you’re out somewhere, you’re not just going to put them on the floor. (I hope)
- Quick trips to the grocery store, you strap them in safely, they go into the car, into the grocery cart or stroller, back into the car, and back home safely, without having to disturb them or unstrap them sixteen times.
- If they’re sleeping – which the vast majority of babies will do once the car starts moving – you don’t have to wake them up to move them out of the car into the stroller.
- If you live in a colder climate, baby can stay nice and toasty and warm under their blanket or cover, while you grab them quickly to take them inside, without having to unstrap them.
- Many strollers are not safe for newborn infants, so they require an infant carrier to keep baby safe for the first few months.
- You can buy a separate car seat BASE for an additional vehicle (usually these are not very expensive), which the infant carrier snaps into quickly and easily, without needing a second carseat.
CAN you use a convertible car seat? Yes, as long as it’s rear facing, the weight requirements allow you to, and it is a good fit for your baby.
HOWEVER, in my momming experience, I would absolutely not skimp on this one when building my baby registry.
(In case you forgot, go set up your Amazon Baby Registry now if you haven’t yet.)
I know it can be a very stressful process building your registry, so getting your baby registry going now will be helpful. Then as you read this guide, you can freely add these products directly to your registry when you find one you like, or want to remember for later.
You can always delete things later once you’ve finished researching your options.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and then choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here. Thank you for your support and understanding!
Infant Car Seat Recommendations
All of these top 3 seats fit babies between 4 and 35 lbs height permitting, and have 4.8 star review ratings on Amazon.
They have an impressive list of safety features, and are compatible with various travel systems (I’ll list my favorite travel systems next).
This is new newer version of the seat I purchased when my son was born in 2016. I have been very happy with this seat, and I still use it today with my second son!
I have to say, the updated version looks even more comfy, and has a 4.8 star rating. Did they mention, it is SNUG? (sorry… bad joke.)
One of the updated features is TrueShield Side Impact Technology (more safety!). I can say from personal experience that this seat is extremely easy to install, and it is a breeze to detatch the seat from the carseat base once you’ve reached your destination.
I haven’t used this one personally, but my research shows it as a great option. If you like the Britax brand, check out the BOB jogging stroller travel system below!
Chicco is another popular brand, just to show you some options. It also gets great reviews, but it’s not one that I have personal experience with.
Before registering for any of these, keep reading to see the best Travel Systems! This will ensure compatibility so you won’t have to worry about returns.
First, consider some things:
- Will I need to travel with this often? (if so, you might want a separate one for that purpose)
- Do I live on or near dirt roads, or just crappy roads with lots of potholes?
- Am I likely to go jogging (even occasionally)?
- Do I want my infant carrier to attach to the stroller easily? (YES, YOU DO. TRUST ME.)
- How big is your (smallest) vehicle? Will the stroller fit in the trunk?
- If you ride public transit, can your stroller fold up small enough?
- NICE strollers can be heavier (not just jogging strollers), so getting it in and out of vehicles easily, vs. luxury options should be considered.
- If you are having twins, then the game changes on what your stroller options are. Here’s the double jogging stroller I use.
I do NOT recommend being a penny pincher on this item, especially if you like to jog once in a while (or a lot).
I list the big items first because they should be your first focus. Be more frugal on the frivolous stuff.
Infant Car Seat / Stroller Compatibility
Since there are MANY different types of stroller and car seat, the MOST convenient way to choose a stroller is to match the brand of infant seat.
There are various travel systems (keep reading), which allow you to buy the infant seat, base and stroller all together, usually saving quite a bit of money.
AND this way, you know for sure that they are compatible.
If you’re dead set on two separate brands, you’ll have to do some research on compatibility, or check out my recommendations.
Some (not all) stroller brands sell stroller adapters to allow you to safely attach a different type of carrier to the top, or add a snack tray for baby. If you end up choosing the BOB Pro Jogging Stroller, they have a TON of adapters available on Amazon.
Do you need a jogging stroller?
I LOVE my jogging strollers. Like LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Even when I’m not jogging.
I like to run, I like to take long walks, and my neighborhood has HORRIBLE roads. So the jogging stroller, with its tripod base and big wheels, is amazing whether I am running or walking.
So if you are a runner, YES YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD JOGGING STROLLER.
***NOTE: Most companies recommend NOT running with a baby under the age of 6 months, and NOT running with the infant carrier on top (probably because it is top heavy. Just wanted you to be aware of that.***
THAT BEING SAID, personally, I did jog with the infant carrier on top, starting when my son was between 2-3 months old. He wasn’t getting bounced around a lot, and I never felt like the stroller was in any danger whatsoever of tipping… That’s just me, for full disclosure. Do what you’re comfortable with.
JOGGING STROLLER PROS:
- SMOOOOTH ride for baby… Oh, so smooth.
- EASY to push for mama.
- Great for runnning (duh).
JOGGING STROLLER CONS:
- Because of their longer frame, a jogging stroller may not fit in a small vehicle (like my civic). So just make sure that you check the folded dimensions (and measure your trunk!) before making your choice.
- They have bike tires, which can require occasional pumping and maintenance.
NOTE: You must look for the single, BIG front wheel when looking for a jogging stroller. There are some nice strollers that have the tripod shape that are not meant for running, so just make sure you double check this.
BEST JOGGING STROLLER / BEST TRAVEL SYSTEM RECOMMENDATIONS
These strollers have their respective travel systems linked below each.
1. My Favorite – The BOB Revolution PRO Jogging Stroller Bundle
BOB is well known as the top brand for serious joggers, and now that I have 2 kids, I currently use the Bob Duallie Double Stroller (which is like this but for 2), and I LOVE it even more than my Graco, especially for running.
SO I put this one as my #1 choice, because I do think it’s better for runners and worth the price point. I think if I had my first child now, this is what I would purchase for myself.
IF YOU ARE EVEN A CASUAL A RUNNER, IT’S WORTH THE MONEY.
They even have a travel system now! (they didn’t have that when I had my babies).
- It is surprisingly maneuverable.
- It is very simple to fold
- Generous storage
- Fully adjustable recline for baby’s seat.
- SUPER smooth.
- BRAND NEW TRAVEL SYSTEM WITH ADAPTER INCLUDED!
- If you want a different brand of infant car seat, Amazon carries some of their MANY car seat adapters and snack trays, (and their website has more, if you can’t find the right one), so more than likely, you can pair this stroller with just about any infant car seat.
- The adapters and cup holders are sold separately. UNLESS you get the travel system which has the infant seat adapter included! Can you tell I’m geeking out? I wish they’d had it when I needed this!
2. The Runner-Up – The Thule Urban Glide 2 Jogging Stroller
I haven’t used this one personally, but it gets fantastic reviews (average of 4.6 stars as I’m writing this), I would recommend this one as well!
This stroller looks like a great option. There is no travel system available for the Thule, but they offer several infant car seat adapter options (one of them says “universal” which is super cool), as well as a nice stroller organizer that you can purchase.
It is pricey, but runners love it!
3. My Go-To – The Graco FastAction Fold Jogging Stroller
This is the stroller I’ve used for both of my kids, and I LOVE it. Graco is one of the only brands that features JOGGING stroller travel systems, other than the BOB/Britax system.
- By FAR the least pricey of the three.
- We’ve manhandled it a lot and it’s still going strong.
- It’s one of the most inexpensive options on the market.
- Travel systems including the infant seat are available (SCORE!).
- It has a nice console for your baby with cup holders and a tray
- And a nice one for mommy also (a lot of other strollers don’t have this!).
- It folds up like a breeze with only one hand.
- The bike tires have held up extremely well, and I’ve only had to pump up the tires a few times in the almost 4 years I’ve owned it.
- After a looong time (3 years or so), I started having to use more effort to adjust the seat incline on mine. But there are most likely improvements to the newer version.
- IF you are running on rougher terrain, the hard plastic cup holders can bounce your drink around a little which can be annoying. When this happened to me, I just sealed my drink and put it in the bottom basket. Definitely not a deal-breaker for this otherwise excellent stroller.
Here is the Graco Travel System, which comes with the infant car seat, 1 car seat base and the jogging stroller. This saves you around $100 to buy or register for them together.
Don’t forget to set up your Amazon Baby Registry now if you haven’t yet, so you can start adding things to your baby shower registry!
BEST LUXURY STROLLER RECOMMENDATIONS
Since I don’t actually have one of these (mine are jogging strollers), I’m not speaking from personal experience. BUT I’ve done my research in writing this post to hopefully make your life easier!
These all get great reviews, and come separately or in a travel system.
1. Most Versatile – Evenflo Pivot Xpand, Single-to-Double Convertible Baby Stroller with Compact Folding design
Ok so this one really impressed me. It has up to 22 (!!!) different configurations. It comes as a travel system, OR you can get the stroller alone here, but you won’t have as much versatility without the matching infant seat.
What’s REALLY nice about it, is that it will convert into a double stroller if you have a second child down the road!
You can click the photo to see their other photos and video of the different stroller configurations. Very cool.
If I wasn’t so attached to my jogging strollers, I would have to get this one.
2. Best Mid-Priced Travel System – Graco Modes Element LX Travel System
This stroller looks fantastic! It has a 4.8 star average review rating, and has some really great features! It has a reversible seat, so that even older children can face you, or face away from you while riding in the stroller.
Like other travel systems, it also comes with it’s compatible Graco Click Connect infant seat.
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT STROLLERS AND BUDGET STROLLERS
2. Best Stroller for Travel (6 months and up) – Pockit Lightweight Stroller
This one has amazing reviews and after watching the video of just how incredibly SMALL it folded up, and how fast it got there, I just couldn’t leave it off my list.
Seriously, watch the video on their Amazon listing… you’ll understand what I mean. It even broke the Guinness World Record for 2014, at only 9 lbs and under 14 inches in length!
This would be a great addition to your full sized travel system. Especially for traveling. Just be aware that it is only appropriate for 6 months plus, which might not be a big deal if you’re not going to do a lot of travel with baby in the first 6 months of life.
4. Best Low Budget Option – Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Easy Fold Compact Travel Stroller
This one rings in as my least expensive option at $69, while still getting an impressively high review score.
Just keep in mind that this one is only good for babies that are able to sit up, usually around 6 months.
I would recommend this option to complement one of the jogging strollers or travel systems above. That way you have a lighter weight, smaller option to take with you on short trips to the mall or wherever you might be going with baby.
5. Best Stroller for travel (newborn to 12 months) – Graco SnugRider Elite Car Seat Carrier
This is a car seat carrier, rather than a stroller, so if you’re going to be traveling a LOT with your baby, you’re basically just traveling with a lightweight frame that your baby carrier sits on top of.
You can use this until your baby no longer fits in their infant seat. It meant to be compatible with any Graco click connect seat, and it would be an excellent addition to the Graco Modes travel system OR Graco jogging stroller travel system above, if you do a lot of traveling with baby.
BEST CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
(FOR WHEN THEY OUTGROW THE INFANT SEAT)
You don’t HAVE to register for these right away, HOWEVER, most families will need more than one (if they drive separate vehicles), and you won’t have people buying you as much stuff later, so I say put it on there.
There’s no toddler shower, unfortunately… so if someone gets you one of these, that is excellent! And if not, no harm done. You can always use gift cards to pick these up after your shower or down the road.
Each seat is different, and always read the instruction manuals (yes, you too daddies, even though it’s against your man genes to do so…).
Most infant carriers have a weight limit and a height limit, usually when your baby’s head reaches 1 inch below the top of the carrier.
When this happens, you’ll want to have a convertible car seat for EACH vehicle waiting in the wings for when your baby gets too big. For some, this happens at 9 months or sooner (big babies)…
For some, like my little guys, they stayed in their infant carrier until age 2.
Whatever you choose, pay special attention to the weight and height limits on both the infant seat and the convertible seat so that there are no gaps in between.
And be sure to get ones that are good for rear facing AND forward facing. It is recommended for optimum safety to keep the seat rear facing as long as possible, up to age 3-4.
1. Best Compact Convertible Car Seat – Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Convertible Car Seat
This is number 1 because it’s the one I chose, for the simple fact that I have a stupid little car which I loved before having kids, and not so much now that I need to fit 2 car seats in the back seat.
It has great reviews and safety features, and it FITS IN MY LITTLE CAR.
Always take measurements into account before buying a car seat. Don’t assume that the one you like the best will fit.
I also really liked this one because it goes from 5-100 lbs! We really didn’t want to buy more car seats if it wasn’t necessary, and this seat has been WONDERFUL. I have no complaints.
2. Best Overall Convertible Car Seat – Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat
This convertible car seat is good for 10 years of use, and is rated for 5-120 lbs. It’s a little bit of a pricey option, but it has a 4.8 star average review rating, and looks very high quality.
3. Best Mid Price Convertible Car Seat – Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat
Like the Britax Convertible Car Seat above, this one gets 10 years of use, but this one is safe from 4-120 lbs.
That one pound could really be a deal-breaker IF you aren’t purchasing an infant carrier (not recommended)
It also has fantastic reviews, and a 4.8 star average rating.
ARE YOU BUILDING YOUR BABY REGISTRY?
If so, then you really need to read my full article on the rest of the IMPORTANT MUST HAVE BABY ESSENTIALS!
I spent a ton of time making sure that it is very thorough and I really hope it is helpful for you!
Thanks so much for reading. If it was helpful at all, please pin this article or share it on your social media.