Updated: May 9, 2015
Car Seat Stroller Reviews:The first type of stroller you will be buying is a car seat stroller, often referred to as a travel system, or seat carrier frame. These baby strollers are designed so that you can easily transport an infant from their car seat into the stroller with minimal disturbance. The car seat actually locks onto the stroller frame and off you go without having to take the baby out of the car seat and place them into the stroller. It's eliminates a lot of hassle, especially when the baby is cozy and already sleeping. The full on travel systems are big and bulky so maneuverability can be a challenge and pushing it around all day could be tiring for some. Make sure if you go with the stroller frame variety that your infant car seat is compatible (will attach) with the stroller. Some seat carrier frames are specific to a particular brand while others hold seats from multiple manufacturers. The top rated Baby Trend Single Snap N' Go Stroller is only $60 and is an ideal stroller frame if you already have a baby car seat. A full on stroller travel system like the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe for $225 is a very popular model worth considering.
When looking for a car seat stroller avoid used models - although tempting to buy since they are probably cheap, there can be hidden dangers associated with an older car seat. Experts warn that car seats do have an expiration date making them a potential hazard if kept around too long. Find a new model with a five point harness (shoulders, legs, and waist) keeping safety the #1 feature to look for. Wheels on the car seat carriers or travel systems are very important so they work with you and not against you. Swivel wheels are the best, but not necessarily needed. Also, make sure the braking system is sufficient and having both rear wheels lock is ideal. The one thing I found really important with our stroller was stability on hills or uneven surfaces. When you add a car seat to the top it can create balance issues, so be sure to test that out. Overall strollers that let you put infant car seats on top are invaluable, especially during the first year or so of your babies life. A few brands offer adjustable handlebars so tall and short parents can feel comfortable while pushing the stroller. I always found our travel stroller system to be really handy when we would go through airports. We would take the entire travel system up to the gate and then just carry our infant car seat onboard and leave the seat carrier frame to be checked. The top brands are Graco, Baby Trend, Safety 1st, Chicco, Evenflo, Kolkraft, Peg Perego, and Orbit. We found some excellent reviews online at About.com in their baby products section and the owner reviews on Amazon.com are definitely worth a look to see which models hold up to the hype. Consumer Reports is perhaps the best independent and unbiased source out there with yearly testings on the latest car seat strollers. They test for ease of use, maneuverability, and much more. You can browse the most popular car seats strollers online here.
Best Car Seat Stroller - Travel System:Some parents like to coordinate their baby gear and having a travel system stroller will surely do that. You get a car seat for your infant and a stroller that accommodates the car seat in matching colors and fabrics. Graco car seat strollers are the top selling on almost every website we visited and the local salesperson at Babies R Us agreed with that as well. Baby Trend, Chicco, and Evenflo are brands worth considering in this category and the Safety 1st Acella Sport Travel System stroller car seat combo is a big seller too. RECOMMENDED - The popular Graco Passage Travel System includes the Graco SnugRide infant car seat and features childs tray with cup holder and it's easy to close with one hand. Owners like the convertible 3 and 5-point harness system so the seat adjusts as your child grows. The seat is padded and all travel is secure in this stroller/car seat. Graco is a top rated brand on Consumer Reports tests and we think they've proven over the years that their infant and child products are durable and reliable as well as being safe. You can browse the top rated travel systems here.
Stroller Frame:Not everyone needs a full fledged travel stroller system and that is why the car seat carriers or stroller frames are such big sellers. The only question is will the stroller frame fit your infant car seat. RECOMMENDED - The Baby Trend Single Snap N' Go Stroller is a top rated model that carries most major brands of infant car seats including Baby Trends. There is a large storage basket below the frame and the rear wheels have brakes. The stroller folds compactly down so you can take it in the trunk of your sedan or back of the minivan no problem. Other popular models include the Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame which is popular because the handles are height adjustable. The one drawback is that it's designed for the Graco SnugRide car seat which may not be the product you own. Another top selling stroller frame is the new Kolcraft Universal 2 Infant Car Seat Carrier which handles most manufacturers on the market for infant car seats. They are all priced between $50 and $65 so you need to get on Amazon and read some reviews before making your final decision. Owner comments and feedback really help add up the pros and cons to each model.
See our buying guides for all stroller types below: