Ask the Moms: Stroller & Car Seat Recommendations

This question comes from reader Candice. Here’s her letter.

Hi Mama Notes readers!! I’m so excited to get your advice on this because I have NO idea what to do. I keep going back and forth. We are expecting our first baby (it’s a girl!!!) in July. I have been researching up the wazoo trying to decide what’s the best stroller/car seat to get. I have looked at getting the travel system with the infant seat, or a nicer stroller with a convertible seat. I will probably get a sling so I’m not sure if we will leave the baby in the infant seat much while she is sleeping. But then again I would like the option. I also walk a lot, so is a travel system stroller good for long walks? I can’t decide! Do you have any recommendations or things I should look for? Thank you SO much!

We used a Key Fit infant car seat with the Chicco travel system. Then we switched the the Britax Marathon car seat and I also have a BOB stroller. I don’t want to repeat myself- I wrote about both of the strollers and what I love and don’t love about each. I agree though, that it is a hard decision. There are lots of options and things to consider!

I’ll open the floor! What stroller and car seat do you have? Thoughts on it? Recommendations?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

20 thoughts on “Ask the Moms: Stroller & Car Seat Recommendations

  1. We have a SafeSeat which I LOVE. I still end up sticking him in the sling when he's awake, but when he's asleep and I can run into the store, stick the seat in the cart, do my thing and he snoozes through the whole ordeal it's great.

    We have an Evenflo something-or-other stroller..it's a single and I'm trying to find a good double. The wheels are SO important..we go to festivals and to the park and those types of things and if your stroller has cheapo wheels (I hate travel system stroller wheels, small, thin, blech!) you may have a difficult time trekking through. The one we got had the best wheels I could find for the budget we had and we've been really happy with it!

    One other consideration..I have a small car and we have to take the wheels off of the stroller just to get it to fit in the trunk. You may want to check the size BEFORE you get it home, haha.

    ~*~Sarah~*~
    http://carstrucksandteethingrings.blogspot.com

  2. It really is safest to start out with an infant seat. Even with convertible seat young infants are not properly positioned much of the time. The evenflo infant seats are difficult to adjust (or they used to, I think BRU had a newer model last time I was there). The graco seats are great. A travel system is up to you but most graco infant seats are compatible with a number of their larger strollers. Since you're due in July you would probably get a lot of use of the travel system. They tend to have quite a bit of basket space too. For convertible seats, I'm a fan of the graco myride or any of the britax seats. You will likely want to next spring have some kind of umbrella stroller that is lighter weight – there are a ton of choices of those but my faves have been the combi and jeep ones. Go to BRU and test drive them!
    Good luck!

  3. We had an Evenflo travel system, and liked the infant seat for the car, but ended up wearing our daughter everywhere else.

    I can count on one hand the number of times we took her in somewhere in the “bucket” (altho, she was born in late October, and for winter, it was nice to buckle and bundle her inside then carry her out to the car) and we used the stroller literally three times – all for travelling, and only to carry our bags, while we carried or wore the baby!

    If you have a sling or other carrier (you might want to consider other styles that distribute weight better than an over-one-shoulder sling) that you love you'll probably prefer that for walks, the grocery store, etc.

  4. Just wanted to second the recommendation for the Graco MyRide. That's what we got when our daughter (now 16 months) “graduated” from her infant seat, because she can stay rear-facing in it to 40 lbs, and front-facing to something like 65 or so.

  5. We got a rockstar stroller, its similar to the bugaboo, Maxi cosi, bumbleride, and another brand that starts with a V but i can't remember the name of right now. anyway its basically a frame which a graco infant seat can snap onto (similar to the snap and go) and it came with a basinet and a toddler seat (which is just a regular seat). We love it infact we love it so much we got a bumbleride double becuase it had similar features. It gave us the versatility which we liked. when our son was a newborn it was great because we were able to snap on his car seat without all the bulk of a typical system (which usually have you snap the infant seat into the regular seat) we typically wore him when he was awake but we didn't want to disturb him if he was asleep a lot of the times so it was nice to just snap the infant seat onto a frame. the other thing we liked which sounds like would make it a big difference to you if you do walking is that the stroller has real tires and not wheels. so you can actually pump them up and they do better on different kinds of terrain. ours was a little pricier the maxi cosi is the least expensive of these type of systems but i do see rockstars, bumblerides, and bugaboos on craigs list a lot. that's how we got ours.

  6. We got a rockstar stroller, its similar to the bugaboo, Maxi cosi, bumbleride, and another brand that starts with a V but i can't remember the name of right now. anyway its basically a frame which a graco infant seat can snap onto (similar to the snap and go) and it came with a basinet and a toddler seat (which is just a regular seat). We love it infact we love it so much we got a bumbleride double becuase it had similar features. It gave us the versatility which we liked. when our son was a newborn it was great because we were able to snap on his car seat without all the bulk of a typical system (which usually have you snap the infant seat into the regular seat) we typically wore him when he was awake but we didn't want to disturb him if he was asleep a lot of the times so it was nice to just snap the infant seat onto a frame. the other thing we liked which sounds like would make it a big difference to you if you do walking is that the stroller has real tires and not wheels. so you can actually pump them up and they do better on different kinds of terrain. ours was a little pricier the maxi cosi is the least expensive of these type of systems but i do see rockstars, bumblerides, and bugaboos on craigs list a lot. that's how we got ours.

  7. We have a Chicco Keyfit travel system (Romantic color…good for boys/girls and will last for next baby πŸ™‚ )

    I have loved the travel system, it's very easy to use and rates high on the safety ratings. However, the carseat is very heavy (probably part of what makes it safe) But overall, very high quality and has done well for us in the almost 8 months we've been using it! The stroller rocks too!

    I have loved having the carseat with a base, I can transport Caleb while he is sleeping out of the car, into the stroller, house, shopping cart, whatever πŸ™‚ Trust me, you are going to want this when your baby is fast asleep and you need to get a few things done! πŸ™‚

    Samantha…do you like the Britax carseat? I am going to be looking for a new carseat very soon b/c Caleb is growing like a weed! πŸ™‚

    Also, what is a BOB stroller? Do you have a jogging stroller? I'd love one of those! πŸ™‚

  8. We were loaned a Graco Travel System by a friend and while it's done it's job, I wish I would have held out for the Combi Travel System I originally wanted. It was a lot smaller and lighter which I now know is very important to me!

    When they're little having the infant seat is convenient and if you're going to use a stroller I think a necessity. I've tried putting him in 2 different strollers with an infant seat and both times he had very little support, even with the head rests that come with them. He always lumped to the side.

    The infant seat gets old FAST though, IMO. We also have a Graco Convertible seat and have an appointment to get it installed in a couple weeks. Tommy will be almost 7 months. He's been sitting up pretty well and can sit in the stroller by himself just fine now. Once they're sitting I want out of the infant seat.

  9. We have a Graco Snugride and travel system. Until she outgrew the seat, the seat worked beautifully for walking, just snap and go! She is MUCH bigger now, and she fits in the regular stroller with plenty of room to go. She LOVES going on walks! The Graco has a 360 degree protection shield when baby is still in the carseat and stroller combo as well, in case it is rainy or chilly in your area.

    We only left baby in carseat on a 'normal' day if we had just gotten back from somewhere and she was snoozing. We had a bouncer and swing, or the floor, as 'put me down' spots otherwise. Do wish I had had a sling myself at times.

  10. I have an Evenflo Aura travel system. The infant seat was great for taking my son into the stores while he was sleeping, and especially during these past couple months with all the cold and snow we got here in MD. I didn't want to take him out of a nice warm car seat just to take the time to put him in a sling. He would have frozen! I did have problems with getting the seat properly locked into the base sometimes. I always pulled and pushed to make sure it was locked, but a couple times I heard the seat click and lock while we were MOVING! Very scary!! The base would need constant seat belt tightening too, or it would bounce around. (But that could be my seat belts.)

    We haven't used the stroller much at all, but I do have one major problem: the one wheel sticks when it turns a certain way. That is a pain in the butt.

    Now that my son is 6 months old and has outgrown his infant carrier, we have a Britax Boulevard. I got this seat because it is one of the highest rated seats, and cars scare me when I have my son. (The Britax brand also fits in just about EVERY car.) He has been in this seat, literally, for 3 days today, so I can't really give an honest opinion on it yet, but so far so good. It's getting inspected in a couple weeks.

    You can check out http://www.carseatdata.org/ This website gives rating and reviews on the FIT of specific car seat in YOUR car. It was a big help for me.

  11. We had an Evenflo car seat for our first child and didn't like it very much. The carseat stroller combo was ok- I liked the big basket and all the pockets but it was very big and bulky.

    We ended up selling them when our son was 6 months and bought a convertible Safety 1st car seat and a MacLaren Triumph stroller. The stroller is super light but offers a canopy, reclining seat and a basket. We've had it for 2 years now and still love it.

    We bought a graco carseat for our second son and have really liked it. We will be using it for our third child coming this fall. We plan to get our second child a safety first convertible seat when he is 1.

    We bought a Kidz Kargo Discovera double jogging stroller. We decided on this one because we live in northern canada and it offered lots of weather protection, big wheels and it came with a rain cover, foot muff and air pump for a great price.

    It was great for a while nut our oldest son is getting too big to put in the back seat now so we're looking at getting a different stroller. I really like Phil and Teds but I don't feel there is enough weather protection and I'm not sure about bending over at 9 months pregnant to get our second son in the double seat. I think we're going to go with the Bob daullie- if I can get over the price!

  12. We have had so many different things as the kids have gone through different stages:

    … Peg Perego stroller/car seat travel system – light weight and easy to steer. Bottom basket not the best.
    … BOB Revoultion duallie w/infant car seat attachment (LOVE IT!) – so easy to maneuver. Wished I would have had the single BOB.
    … a BabyTrends Sit-n-Stand stroller – great for when one is walking and one is not so mobile. Lovely for a trip to the mall πŸ™‚
    … a basic umbrella stroller – great for a quick trip somewhere
    … Britax Marathon car seats once they outgrew the infant seats

    My sister has the Chicco travel system and loves it.

    There are so many options out there… been a couple years since I had a baby, so I know there are tons of new models out now!

  13. We have had so many different things as the kids have gone through different stages:

    … Peg Perego stroller/car seat travel system – light weight and easy to steer. Bottom basket not the best.
    … BOB Revoultion duallie w/infant car seat attachment (LOVE IT!) – so easy to maneuver. Wished I would have had the single BOB.
    … a BabyTrends Sit-n-Stand stroller – great for when one is walking and one is not so mobile. Lovely for a trip to the mall πŸ™‚
    … a basic umbrella stroller – great for a quick trip somewhere
    … Britax Marathon car seats once they outgrew the infant seats

    My sister has the Chicco travel system and loves it.

    There are so many options out there… been a couple years since I had a baby, so I know there are tons of new models out now!

  14. I have used a graco infant seat for all four of my children and have just had simple strollers. I am not a huge stroller user in the begining because ever since I found the Moby Wrap (the best invention EVER) I wear my babies ALL the time. By the time I am ready to need a stroller a simple umbrella stroller (Jeeps have been the best for us, we now have their double) is fine for us. Congrats on the new baby and I hope you are getting some help.

  15. Here's my confession: Strollers stress me out like nothing else. I don't know what it is, but the stroller seems to be the baby accessory that is the most vital to me being a successful mom. Planning my wedding, it was the invitations that I got all worked up about. Turns out I was convinced if those weren't right, nothing would be. And now, in the next stage, it's the stroller.

    My husband and I had ONE fight during my pregnancy about baby stuff. Over registering for a stroller. It's, straight up, ridonculous. Sorry. Confessional over.

    We have 2 'strollers' right now. The Baby Trend Snap'n'Go which matches our Baby Trend Flex Loc car seat is the first. Frankly, this is the ONLY thing you need for at least the first 3 months. For real. It's genius.

    We also have a Bumbleride Flyer, which I love. It's awesome. Baby can lie down, baby can sit up. Baby can face me or face the world. It's great. Steers like a dream. Love it.

    However….I'm in the market for a new one :). I'm a SAHM now and totally convinced I'm going to be using a/the/one stroller WAY more than ever before. So clearly that means a new accessory. I've been shopping for 3 weeks. And for all my effort? Nothing.

    I have it narrowed down to the Baby Jogger City Mini, Quinny Zapp, Inglesina Swift, Maclaren (the one just up from the Volo), Joovy Kooper, and like 6 others. I'm a mess.

    With all my baggage the best I can do is tell your reader with the question that the car seat carrier and stroller frame (Graco, Baby Trend, whatever) is a MUST MUST MUST have. After that, heck, I don't know. Maybe I can find a support group for moms who have stroller syndromes and after that I can help.

    Also, FWIW, we ended up paying only $45 out of pocket for the $99 Baby Trend Flex Loc :). It's as highly rated as the Graco Snug Ride and less expensive. I used a BRU coupon and a BRU gift card I got in an online trade. No need to pay retail for baby!

  16. We didn't have an infant carseat…. just convertible (she was born in May so it was warm, if it was during a colder month I would probably have gotten the infant carseat). We got the Graco MyRide since she can rear-face to 40 pounds and forward to 65, and it fit in our compact cars. We don't even use a stroller so I'm no help there.

  17. Infant seats are the safest option for infants no matter what the weather is. Chicco has the highest rated infant seat, then the Britax Companion, then Graco's Snugride 32. The snap n go is great for an infant seat if you want to avoid the ginormous debacle of a travel system. If you or your husband walk or run for exercise you have to get a BOB jogging stroller. I have the BOB Revolution a/w and LOVE IT! Wish I had gotten it first as it is the only stroller we use now. Had I known this I would have avoided the travel system and gotten the BOB with the additional car seat adapter and just used the BOB forever. Once you go BOB, you never go back. It even folds down more compact than my Chicco Cortina stroller from my travel system. A lightweight stroller is awesome if you don't run or walk for exercise. I have the MacLaren Trimuph that I use for traveling and it is fabulous… goes up to 45 pounds.

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s