What is a travel system?
8 things you need to know before you make THE big purchase
This 3-minute read from ‘Johnston Prams’ explains all...
What is a travel system for babies?
A Travel System is essentially a pushchair that can be used with a baby car seat. Some travel systems can take a carrycot as well, ideal for newborn sleep.
They make it easier to transport sleeping babies without disturbing them too much. Allowing you to move your baby from car to pushchair and back again without them having to be moved or disturb from sleep and allows you to continue your journey by foot effortlessly.
But remember to bear in mind that you shouldn't leave a very young baby in a car seat for too long at one sitting, unless you choose a lie-flat baby car seat or car carrycot which have no time limits.
Baby travel systems are perfect for drivers, as they already include a compatible baby car seat / infant carrier with the pushchair or pram and make the best choice if you spend a lot of time travelling by car and usually include everything you’ll need.
The baby car seat and carrycot both click on and off the chassis (frame) of the pram. The baby car seat usually lasts from birth to 15 months approx.
Travel systems where you buy the car seat separately
Some pushchairs don’t come with a baby car seat but will say which car seats they are compatible with, so you can buy it separately. These usually require Car Seat Adaptors to allow the baby car seat to attach to the pushchair or chassis.
Buying your travel system with the car seat separately, rather than as a package, often works out more expensive, but it does mean you get more flexibility to choose a car seat, maybe to use with a car seat you already have or even a different branded car seat.
Car seat adaptors
Some car seats slot onto the pushchair chassis, others need adaptors to make the car seat fit. These adaptors aren't always included in the price, so double check before you buy. Car seat adaptors can cost as much as £35/€45, sometimes even more.
Is a travel system worth it?
The short answer: yes.
If you have your own car and intend to transport your baby in it, it’s worth the investment. Not only is it the law for children to be safely restrained in a car but it also makes sense, as most baby travel systems work out much cheaper than purchasing a pushchair, adaptors and a baby car seat separately. They also make it much easier to transport sleeping babies without disturbing them too much, as the baby car seat can be removed from the car to the pram with the carry handle rather than removing and unsettling baby.
Are carrycots worth it?
The short answer: yes.
Unless you have a pushchair with a seat unit that lies completely flat, then a carrycot is the safest way to transport your baby in those first 3-4 months. Of course, the benefits don't just extend to your baby, some carrycots are even suitable for overnight sleeping, doubling as baby's first bed!
What does a travel system include?
A travel system includes:
- A Chassis (the frame).
- Pushchair seat unit (usually suitable from birth to 3 years).
- A Baby Car Seat (also known as an Infant carrier or car seat thats usually suitable from birth to 15 months).
- Some may also include a carrycot or a seat unit that converts into a carrycot.
It’s worth noting that some brands include the coordinating accessories in their travel system packages, making them even better value. - e.g. the Noordi brand. These include:
- Cup holder
- Backpack/pram bag
- Rain cover
- Multi Car Seat Adaptors
- Integrated mosquito net for carrycot.
How long does a travel system last for?
You will use your travel system up until your child is around the age of three. In terms of how long a travel system will last depends on the brand, quality and how it is looked after. Robust brands such as JANE are often still being pushed out on the streets after a decade of use.
Do you really need a travel system?
If you own a car, or intend to use a car, a travel system is the best option and makes more sense from an economical point of view. But if you already happen to have a baby car seat (infant carrier) which will be compatible with your pram, (you may need adaptors), you would not need to buy a travel system.
What is the best travel system for a baby?
Depends on your lifestyle and your home. If you are tight for space, you will need a compact one.
Do you live in the city and use public transport? If so, you will need a light, compact pushchair.
And remember to consider the size of your boot. Does your pram fit in the boot when it is folded?
If you like all terrain walks, opt for the award-winning (yet reasonably priced Noordi Fjordi) the sustainable Scandi brand. If you travel on long journeys you may want to consider a Jané travel system which you can team up with a baby car seat / carrycot called the Jané Matrix Light 2, the world’s only totally lie-flat car seat/carrycot that helps keep a baby’s airways open when he or she is sleeping in it in the lie flat position. This means you are not limited to the half hour travel rule for newborns.
Some travel systems come with an ISOFIX baby car seat, click HERE to find out what ISOFIX means? Some examples of ISOFIX baby car seats can be seen HERE. If the car is non ISOFIX the car seat is fitted with the vehicle seat belts, and if it is ISOFIX it is clicked into the car’s own anchorage points using its own and usually optional ISOFIX Base.
How much is a travel system?
Some travel systems start at around the £205/€300 mark rising to £1500/€1800 or beyond. It is probably better to aim for a reasonable middle of the road brand to ensure reasonable quality etc. Or, you could look for a bundle deal, that is a travel system that comes with other baby essentials such as cots or highchairs.
We are able to offer some great deals as we buy in bulk and pass on the savings to you.
Cheap travel systems?
If you intend to opt for a cheap travel system make sure that it complies with British Standard 7409:1996 or BS EN 1888:2003. These standards lay out the requirement for all vehicles that are used to carry babies or children. If you intend to buy second hand you need to be very careful, especially with the functionality and safety of the car seat. If you are not sure of its history (has it been involved in a crash?) then it is not safe to use.
This advice is a guide only. Please also refer to manufactures guidelines.