Car seat and stroller combos have you stumped? You can purchase car seats with a stroller—often marketed as travel systems—but don’t be afraid to mix and match to pair the safest car seats with the smoothest stroller rides. Read on for our pics for travel systems, stroller frames and strollers that pair well with Consumer Reports‘ top-rated car seats, such as The Chicco KeyFit 30 (starting at $199) and the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ($119).
The Chicco Activ3 Air Jogging Stroller
The Activ3 is a natural fit for the Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat, which is manufactured by the same company. Chicco sells a few car seat stroller bundles (Bravo, Viaro and Cortina), but consider pairing the car seat with the Activ3 for its ease of handling and smoother ride. The FlexCore suspension system is similar to a bike’s gears and makes it effortless to transition from one terrain to the next. And the light aluminum frame makes opening and closing the stroller with one hand a breeze.
Available at chiccousa.com, $299.
Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller
The Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller paired with the Chicco KeyFit 30 is a winning combination tried and tested by Consumer Reports. The City Mini includes an adapter specifically for Chicco and Peg Perego car seats, ensuring a secure fit and a safer ride. The drawback to this combo is that the stroller canopy needs to be removed to attach a car seat, but the KeyFit is equipped with its own canopy, so your baby will still be shielded from the sun. This stroller can pivot on a dime, making it one of the easiest to steer over any terrain.
Available at babyjogger.com, $279.
Uppababy Cruz Stroller
The Cruz is a narrow stroller designed for urban living. While it sports a traditional 4-wheel design, this stroller is anything but conventional. The seat is reversible, meaning you can push your child facing out or facing you. This stroller is a stylish option that is lightweight, easy to set up, and adjusts to the user’s height. While you can’t take the Cruz off-road, it does offer a smooth, stable ride in city environments. This stroller works well with the KeyFit carseat with an adapter, sold separately ($44.99).
Available at uppababy.com, $549.
Travel systems (car seats and strollers sold in a bundled package) have one key selling point: They’re budget friendly! Packaged sets often cost less than buying a car seat and stroller separately. This is the case with the FastAction Travel System by Graco, which is a favorite pick of Consumer Reports. While many travel systems attract penny-wise consumers, they often do not provide bang-for-buck. Not true with the FastAction, which features an all-terrain stroller that can go from gravel to grass with ease.
Available at gracobaby.com, $299.
Graco SnugRider Elite
If you’ve found a car seat you love and a stroller you just can’t live without but they aren’t, well, compatible, consider buying a stroller frame to go with the car seat until your little one is old enough to ride in your stroller without a car seat. Just pop your preferred car seat into the frame, and you’re good to go. The Snugrider is top-rated by Consumer Reports. And while it may not grow with your child, it’s inexpensive and will fit your infant car seat perfectly. The best part: The handle adjusts to your height, and it handles well with just one hand!
Available at gracobaby.com, $99.
Joovy Twin Roo Infant Car Seat Frame
If you’re expecting twins, get this stroller frame! It’s the go-to for twin moms because it’s budget-friendly and the simplest way to keep those precious sleeping babies asleep. Simply unfold the stroller and set the car seats in the frame. This stroller also has ample storage space underneath, letting you ditch the shopping cart during a quick trip at the store. It’s compatible with car seats from 8 major manufacturers, including Chicco, Maxi Cosi, Graco, Britax and more.
Available at joovy.com, $139.99.
Bumbleride Indie All-Terrain Jogging Stroller
Consumer Reports suggests using this stroller with the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP, but it’s also compatible with the Chicco KeyFit 30 among others. There is a lot to love about the Indie: It’s lightweight, easy to fold and has plenty of storage space. It’s also one of the rare strollers on the market that works from birth without a car seat: The seat tilts nearly flat, creating a pseudo-pram for newborns. While it’s convenient to transfer a car seat into a stroller, especially with a baby who has fallen asleep in the car, this stroller can also be used without an attachment from day one.
Available at bumbleride.com, $549.
Maxi-Cosi Zelia Travel System
The Zelia recently became available as a travel system, which means Maxi-Cosi enthusiasts can now save a bundle by buying their Mico AP and the stroller as a bundle. Like the Indie, the Zelia can be reclined to a nearly flat position. The seat also swivels so you can face your precious cargo out or toward you. For days when you’re on the run, it conveniently can be used with your car seat. It’s a lightweight stroller (weighing just 21 pounds) that gets high marks for maneuverability and ease of use.
Available at buybuybuy.com, $399.