9 Best Car Seat and Stroller Combos of 2023, Tested by Experts

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These travel systems make it a snap to transition your baby from the car to the stroller and back again. Reclining Umbrella Stroller

9 Best Car Seat and Stroller Combos of 2023, Tested by Experts

Transitioning your infant from a stroller to a car seat can be fraught: Will they fuss when you release one set of buckles just to strap them into another set? There's a product that solves this dilemma. It's called a travel system: a car seat and stroller combo that works together. Typically, a travel system is a two-piece set featuring an infant car seat that clips into a matching stroller so you don't have to waste time switching your baby between the two. However, there is also a great one-piece stroller-car seat combo and some three-piece sets that have an additional bassinet. Whatever the configuration, owning one of these means your infant can stay in the car seat buckled in and undisturbed.

The parenting experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Parenting Lab evaluated more than two dozen stroller and car seat combos based on ease of use, safety features, functionality and value.

• Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base • Evenflo Pivot Vizor Travel System with LiteMax Infant Car Seat • Chicco Corso Modular Travel System • UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller & Mesa Infant Car Seat

"You may initially be concerned regarding the safety of a car seat and stroller combination," says our Good Housekeeping Chief Technologist and mom of three, Rachel Rothman, a mechanical engineer who has been evaluating children's products for more than 15 years. "Rest assured, all car seats and strollers are required to meet federal standards. So if there is a system, it will have to adhere to the necessary protocols as a car seat and a stroller," she notes. But as with any juvenile safety product, it's extremely important to adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines for safe usage, ensuring you are using it properly and your child is within the appropriate weight and height limits. That said, a travel system should last years, from the newborn months (many regular strollers start at 6 months, but you can use the car seat on its matching stroller from birth) up through preschool.

At the end of this guide, you can find more information about travel systems, including what to look for when buying one. For more of our top-tested gear for kids and babies, check out our best double strollers and wagon strollers.

The Doona infant car seat and latch base is a fan favorite (with more than 12,000 five-star Amazon reviews) for many reasons. Unlike a traditional two-piece travel system, this is essentially a rear-facing car seat on wheels. The wheels fold up underneath for car-seat mode and drop down for stroller mode — the transition only takes a few seconds. Because this car seat and stroller combo is a single piece, you have less gear to contend with.

While this means that the car seat is a bit heavier at 16.5 pounds than other options, reviewers love the simplicity. Rothman says the device "is a game-changer, notably for city families and parents who travel frequently." It can work safely with its base or without (making use of a backseat's seat belts in a ride share, for instance), so it is especially prized for those parents who are moving between different vehicles often.

Tilt the handle toward the rear seatback and it forms an anti-rebound bar for added safety. The Doona is cleared for airplane travel but is a tight squeeze in some airplane seats. Families recommend wheeling it right up to the gate and gate-checking it for flights if you intend to hold your baby in your lap. "This is the easiest stroller to maneuver through airport security and in a terminal," said one mom with two young kids. "Then we just snap it right into a car without having to load a stroller into the trunk with our luggage."

If you don't travel much, you may not enjoy the full benefits of the Doona. Also, most babies outgrow the Doona by about their second birthday. At that point, most Doona-owning parents switch to a lightweight stroller.

Our testers absolutely love the flexibility and versatility of the Pivot Travel System. It can be a rolling bassinet in carriage mode, a car-seat carrier or a regular stroller, and in any mode, you can place your baby rear- or forward-facing. The LiteMax Infant Car Seat holds a baby up to 35 pounds and both the car seat and the stroller seat can have a privacy shade for those times when you don't want people leaning in close to your baby.

Carriage mode is an especially adorable, old-fashioned perk, even if new parents don't use it for very long. You recline the stroller seat flat, pull up the footrest, and turn the seat into a little bassinet on wheels. In that mode, you're not using the car seat at all, so you'd have to unbuckle your baby and transfer them when it's time for a drive. But it's perfect for a stroll around the block or through a park. "It's fun for pictures because it looks like one of the more expensive pram-type strollers," noted one new mom.

There's no parent organizer on the handle, but there is a clip-on cupholder. The relatively small, plastic wheels are fine for most strolling but do not do well on rough terrain. Online reviewers say that the stroller is easy to assemble out of the box. We had no trouble setting it up for testing and found it easy to convert it from one mode to another. Add the Evenflo Rider Board and your older kid can stand and ride behind your younger one.

This upgrade from the Chicco Bravo Trio is modular, which means you can completely remove the regular stroller seat and just push the Keyfit car seat around on the frame, saving weight and space. Face the car seat toward you or out toward the road ahead. Once you've stepped up to using the stroller seat then it, too, can sit facing rear or forward. The stroller folds quickly with one hand, with the toddler seat on it, and then can stand upright in its folded position for storage.

We're impressed that so many features focus on the baby's comfort. The Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip car seat included in this combo comes with a fabric boot that covers your baby's legs and keeps them warm — an extra we usually only see on pricier car seats. On the canopy, you can zip open a mesh panel for extra breathability when it's hot outside. The "zip" in the name pertains to the fact that the fabric is removable and machine-washable. The stroller seat reclines nearly flat for times when your baby needs a good sleep. "You squeeze a release handle on the back of the seat and it tilts back smoothly, which I prefer versus seats that jerk back when you release a cord," one tester told us. The canopy can be unzipped to form a little cave if you want to block out the sun for snoozing.

One thing missing is a parent tray or cup holder, so you may want to purchase a universal one to add on. The basket underneath does have small built-in pockets, best suited for your baby's bottle or sippy cup.

If you're willing to pay more, check out the Chicco Corso LE version, which features leatherette handles, rubber tires, and the Keyfit 35 car seat, our Good Housekeeping pick for best overall infant car seat, which can hold a baby up to 35 pounds.

The Graco brand has been around for generations. The company invented the baby swing in the 1950s and debuted the first travel system concept, a car seat that snapped into its matching stroller, in the late 1990s. In this century, Graco has often led the way in car-seat safety with its SnugRide infant car seat line. This set comes with the popular SnugRide 35 Lite Elite Infant Car Seat, and the stroller seat slides higher and lower on the frame as well as turns forward and backward and converts into a pram. Use the adjustable features to find the height and direction your baby loves, then change it as needed as your baby grows into a toddler.

We consider this the best car seat stroller combo for tall parents as they'll be able to set the stroller seat high, which means less bending over for them to tend to their infant. When you fully recline the stroller seat, you can unbuckle a belt under the footrest to form a bassinet for the infant months. (Graco calls it a "pramette.") To stroll around with the car seat — which is, after all, the appeal of a travel system — remove the stroller seat altogether and use the frame as an infant car seat carrier. The car seat can slide up and down to your preferred height and face forward or back. The SnugRide 35 Lite Elite is among the very lightest infant seats on the market and, at just over 7 pounds, it's a breeze to carry.

Some of the stroller details are fairly standard as opposed to luxe. The plastic wheels are strong but not built for rough terrain. There's no parent tray, just a clip-on cup holder. The canopy is a traditional size, not oversized. There is a nice child snack tray, and we like how the storage basket underneath expands in height so you can fit more without anything falling out.

Some parents know they are going to be carrying their baby around in the car seat more so than rolling them around in a stroller. This can be especially true if you're frequently driving to a grandparent's house or to daycare and you tend to take walks with your baby in a wearable baby carrier. The PIPA car seat weighs only 7.5 pounds, making it among the lightest car seats to tote around.

The TAVO itself is a luxury stroller with a fully reclining seat and an easy, magnetic buckle. The built-in, full-protection canopy is great for protecting a snoozing baby. There's thick padding on the stroller seat that's ideal in chilly weather, and you can take it off and use the mesh seat below when the weather is warm. For taller parents, the handlebar is easy to adjust to the perfect height. And the wheels are rubber on the outside instead of plastic. "Everything about it feels really well thought out," noted one of our parent testers.

When folded, the stroller tucks into itself to become a remarkably small rectangle, about 28" x 22" x 20". That makes it easy to fit in your car and store in your foyer. While our experts have yet to test it, if you'd like a travel system that's even more compact and easy for traveling, check out the new Nuna PIPA urbn + TRVL system which includes a baseless car seat (LATCH connectors are built right into the seat), plus a lightweight stroller under 14 pounds that folds to a slim 11" x 24" x 20.3".

While UPPAbaby's car seat and stroller combo is definitely a splurge, it's a great travel system from a sought-after brand, especially among parents who want the smooth-rolling Vista stroller. It features a springy all-wheel suspension to keep your baby steady as you go up and down curbs or along a dirt road. Investing in the complete travel system gets you a ton of extras including the Mesa car seat, a bassinet, a bug shield and a rain guard.

The Mesa car seat can be clipped into your vehicle in seconds with its Smart Secure system (UPPABaby's unique LATCH system that makes installation easier), and it snaps onto the stroller without any extra adaptor pieces needed. Rothman personally loves this system and has used it for all three of her kids.

On the Vista stroller, the handlebar easily and smoothly adjusts for adults of different heights. There's no included parent organizer, but the handle is a luxe-feeling leatherette that's nice to grip. The basket underneath is giant, so it should hold all your stuff plus whatever you pick up while running errands. The included bassinet is an adorable way to stroll around an infant, and it works as a nap space at home too. For an extra $160, you can buy the UPPAbaby bassinet stand if you want to use it regularly in your home for sleep.

A final, big selling point: If you need to carry two children, you can buy the UPPAbaby RumbleSeat V2 for $270 and turn this into a ride for two. Or you can purchase the UPPAbaby Piggyback for $135 so a child can stand and ride along behind. If you buy both, you could push three children along!

This winner of one of our most recent Parenting Awards includes some of our favorite features: an easy and intuitive buckle, a large under-seat basket and a handy toddler snack tray. In our tests, we found that the seat reclines smoothly and the footrest adjusts nicely for comfort. Though it's new and has not been tested over the course of years, the stroller shows promise for lasting from birth through preschool.

The Britax name is practically synonymous with great car seats. This infant seat uses the brand's ClickTight system that makes it easy to install the base correctly using your car's seat belt — for a long time, that feature was only available on Britax convertible car seats. For times when you aren't traveling with your car-seat base, there's a belt path that allows you to secure the seat with a seat belt instead.

The car-seat cover can be machine-washed. The stroller base and toddler seat together are large and heavy and the wheels don't turn on a dime like they do with smaller strollers, but first-time parents might be reassured by the substantial feel (online, one fan of this set wrote that it's built "like a tank"). Note that this doesn't fold with the toddler seat or the car seat on it. You must remove either seat in order to fold the base.

While many of the details of this travel system are similar to others — the stroller seat has a pram mode and the seat can face either direction — there are a few standout features. Our experts note that Maxi-Cosi specializes in vibrant colors and soft, premium fabrics. "It doesn't look like everybody else's stroller," one tester agreed. Most of the cushions can be machine-washed and -dried so you can keep it looking nice too. Also, the fabrics are made without added fire retardants.

The Mico car seat is relatively light to carry and the handle is ergonomically shaped to easily fit your hand. Just keep in mind that you'll need both hands in order to remove the car seat from the frame. On the stroller seat, the leatherette bar swings out of the way so that you can quickly load your baby in (and also makes it great for attaching toys). The wheels are on the smaller side but swivel smoothly so you can make tight turns. While there's no parent organizer, there is a cup holder, and the handle has four different settings so you can pull it out for a taller adult or push it in for a shorter caregiver.

If you're looking for the right car seat and stroller combo for your mini running buddy, the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger travel system is a great pick, and it's Amazon's Choice with nearly 11,000 five-star reviews. The three-wheel, bike-tire design means it can tackle rough terrains with ease. The front wheel can be locked straight to keep the stroller from veering as you jog or set to swivel when you're out shopping and need to make tight turns.

Once it's time to load your baby back into the car, the stroller collapses to fit into your trunk, and the car seat simply clicks into the LATCH base. "This travel system may cost you less than a year's gym membership," one mom pointed out. "And you might get a lot more exercise with it since you're able to bring your baby along." The low price reflects the fact that there's nothing splashy about the canopy, the fabric, the padding or the heavy alloy steel frame (about 27 pounds). The EZ-Flex Lock 30 infant car seat only holds your baby up to 30 pounds, while some others go up to 35.

We love the child tray — useful for when your baby turns into a toddler and demands a steady supply of snacks — and the parent tray that has a compartment that closes to keep your phone in place. There are two parent cupholders too.

Over the years, the Good Housekeeping Institute has tested all sorts of baby equipment from booster car seats to double strollers, always keeping safety a high priority. For this story, our experts at the Parenting Lab tested more than 24 stroller and car seat combos, considering ease of use, safety features, functionality and value. We also sent travel systems to consumer testers for their feedback.

When testing many of the strollers that we feature, the Institute has a brake test that uses a gauge to measure the force required to move a stroller when brakes are engaged. We also perform a stability/tip-over test in which we hang weights on stroller handlebars and measure the force required to tip strollers over. We weigh and measure strollers while folded to help determine how well they can be carried and stored.

Our testers also place infant car seats into a variety of vehicles, taking note of each product's ease of use when it comes to installation. We ensure that each car seat has passed Federal Safety Standards. Then we perform in-Lab and at-home tests to assess stability, ease of adjustments, ease of getting babies in and out of each car seat and ease of removal of the car seat from the base and installation into compatible strollers.

First, know that a few strollers call themselves a "travel system" and just mean that they come with an adaptor to hold your car seat. Be sure that when you're buying something called a travel system, you are genuinely getting both the car seat and the stroller if it's that matching combo that you want. Also consider:

✔️ Height and weight limits: These specifications will be different depending on each car seat and stroller combo. To make sure your baby is as safe as possible, ensure that they fit into the recommended height and weight.

✔️ Your lifestyle: Are you looking for a travel system that will grow with your family or something that will make your jogging trips to the park that much easier? Depending on how you plan on using your car seat and stroller combo, you'll want to seek out a model that fulfills your lifestyle needs.

If you frequently use ride-share vehicles, look for a travel system with an infant car seat that can be installed using just a backseat seat belt. These car seats come with a base as well, but let you have the option of installing them either way.

If your family owns several vehicles, consider investing in an extra car seat base and having one in each car. Every infant car-seat brand sells extra bases.

If you plan to expand your family, you might look for a travel system that allows you to add on a seat or add a ride board to the back for your older child.

✔️ Features: While a no-frills option can be great for your budget, some car seat and stroller combos offer extra features that make all the difference. Are you planning on taking a lot of sunlit walks? Opt for a unit with a large canopy. Do you want to carry a lot with you? Find something with an ample-sized storage basket. And, of course, trays and cupholders are good for storing baby's snacks and toys while out and about.

✔️ Car seat weight: You may think a 14-pound car seat will be easy to pick up, but don't forget to factor in your baby's weight into that arm workout. We love the new class of lightweight car seats that are under 10 pounds.

Transferring your baby from car to stroller can be a lot of hassle, so using a car seat that snaps into a stroller is fairly genius. That's where a car seat stroller combo will be your new best friend. Not only can a travel system safely protect your baby in the car or out on strolls, it means you only have to make one purchase for both items. Think of it as a two-for-one deal, where you get a stroller and a car seat both at a discount because you buy them together.

Car seat and stroller combos are particularly great for parents who want to move through the world as streamlined as possible. With a few clicks, you can pop the car seat out of the stroller and snap it into your car. There's no need to worry about whether or not your products are compatible since they come bundled together. In most cases, even after your baby outgrows the car seat, you will still be able use the stroller for years.

You will not want a travel system if your heart is set on one brand's infant car seat and another brand's stroller. In that case, you can check to see if the stroller can hold your chosen car seat with the help of an adaptor. Read all the product specs carefully to be sure you can use them together, buy an adaptor if possible, then purchase the stroller and car seat separately without the two-piece discount.

Keeping your little one secure is your (and our) number-one priority, so you may be asking yourself if car seat and stroller combos are safe enough for your baby. All of the car seats and strollers we recommend meet the federal ASTM standards, and many have the third-party JPMA seal as well, so your baby will be safe as long as everything is installed properly. Here are some tips to ensure your kid is protected at all times:

The Good Housekeeping Institute parenting pros regularly test and reviews hundreds of products for babies and young kids including convertible cribs and bouncer seats.

This article was overseen by Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director for more than 15 years. Rothman directs programs including the Good Housekeeping Parenting Awards, the Good Housekeeping Best Toy Awards and the Good Housekeeping Family Travel Awards. Rothman has three children ages 6 and younger and is currently using strollers and car seats at home.

Contributing writer Jessica Hartshorn updated this story in September 2023. Hartshorn has evaluated baby gear for more than 20 years, first at American Baby magazine and then at Parents magazine.

Jessica (she/her) is a freelance writer with several decades of experience writing lifestyle content and evaluating home and parenting products. A mom of two teens and two cats, her previous work can be seen in American Baby and Parents.

Rachel Rothman (she/her) is the chief technologist and executive technical director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she oversees testing methodology, implementation and reporting for all GH Labs. She also manages GH’s growing research division and the analysis of applicants for the GH Seal and all other testing emblems. During her 15 years at Good Housekeeping, Rachel has had the opportunity to evaluate thousands of products, including toys and cars for GH’s annual awards programs and countless innovative breakthroughs in consumer tech and home improvement. 

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9 Best Car Seat and Stroller Combos of 2023, Tested by Experts

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