How to choose the right travel system for you and your baby

Ready to buy a travel system but not sure where to start? Identify your must-have features by asking yourself a few key questions

Silver Cross Wayfarer

A pushchair is a baby-buy essential but, if you’re planning on using a car to transport your baby, you’ll also need a car seat. Each item can be bought separately but a travel system takes the hassle away by combining these essential elements into one easy-to-use product.

Advertisement

A travel system is simply a pushchair frame that can have an infant car seat attached to it as an alternative to the seat unit – and the carrycot (if you buy a pushchair with a carrycot, too). It’s a great way of transferring your baby from car to buggy and vice versa without having to move your baby – which is handy when you don’t want to wake a napping newborn.

As with most baby purchases, there are multiple options to choose from – but the secret to a great buy is finding the travel system that best suits your needs and your lifestyle. And to find that out, here are the key questions you need to ask

Where are you going to use your travel system?

Different pushchairs and travel systems are built for different environments: city, town, village and really rural. The general rule is that the bigger the wheels, the better they are for dealing with rough and rugged terrain, while smaller wheels are best suited to whizzing along pavements and turning corners in the tighter spaces of cities and towns. And, of course, good suspension is always welcome (it makes for a comfy ride) but it’s particularly useful on bumpy ground, be it cobblestones or dirt tracks.

  • If you’re a city/town dweller…

City slickers need a travel system with a small ‘footprint’ that’s easy to push along narrow pavements and navigate through tight spaces. It also needs to be quick to fold and light enough to pick up and stow away. The stylish Silver Cross Wayfarer2020 (pictured below and at the top of this article) ticks all these boxes and is perfectly suited to the urban environment thanks to its light frame and compact design. Inline wheels mean the pushchair is the same width front and back, which makes manoeuvring over narrow pavements a breeze. The chassis of the Wayfarer 2020 weighs a carry-friendly 7kg (10kg with the seat attached) and can be folded with the seat unit on, then left freestanding, making it ideal to take on buses and trains or for storing neatly in a hallway or cupboard. The seat itself has 3 recline positions, can be attached both forward-facing and parent-facing and has a weight limit of 22kg, so it’ll be suitable for your child right through the preschool years and beyond. Under the seat, you’ll find a large shopping basket with room to store shop purchases as well as your baby changing bag essentials.

Wayfarer 2020 wheels
  • If you’re more rural…

If you go between pavement and country lanes, you’ll need something smart, versatile, and easy to push. Roll forward the  Silver Cross Pioneer 2020 (pictured below). With multi-terrain tyres and best-in-class suspension, the Pioneer is ideal for off-road travel (those never-wear tyres will tackle tough ground for years to come) but, thanks to its good-looking design – think polished chrome chassis and coordinating leatherette handles – and extra-large shopping basket, it’s equally at home in town. The Pioneer’s multi-recline, reversible seat unit, tough suspension and extendable handlebar ensure a comfortable ride for your baby and an easy push for you.

Pioneer 2020 wheels

For those hoping to expand their brood and potentially move further into the countryside, a travel system that can grow from a single to a double and can handle tough ground is a must. The Silver Cross Wave 2020 (pictured below, in the Do you want your pushchair to become a double? section) is a luxurious pushchair that offers 7 single-to-double configurations straight from the box. What’s more, this travel system fuses style and comfort: the wheels have high-shine detail, as well as multi-terrain performance, while the independent suspension guarantees a smooth ride. Up top, the Wave’s magnesium alloy chassis is designed for strength and durability, while the streamlined design offers great manoeuvrability on all manner of surfaces.

Save money – with a travel system bundle

Buying a travel system bundle – which includes a pushchair, compatible car seat and lots of accessories and extras – saves time and hassle, and is an opportunity to make big savings. It also means everything you buy matches and fits together seamlessly. Silver Cross have 3 great bundle offers, which can save you up to £560: scroll to the end of this article to see all the details!

Which kind of car seat do you need?

There are 3 different options when it comes to buying baby car seats (or infant car carriers):

  • a car seat that can be installed using just the vehicle’s seat belt
  • a car seat that requires a car seat base fitted to your car
  • a car seat that can be installed either way, for maximum versatility

The differences are important: infant carrier car seats that use the adult seat belt to hold it in place can be used in any car as they sit directly on the vehicle seat, whereas infant car seats that attach to a base fitted to the car need to have specific ISOFIX fittings. (ISOFIX is the international standard for the attachment points in cars and makes it more likely the car seat will be fitted correctly; cars manufactured from 2011 come with ISOFIX as standard.)

ISOFIX works alongside i-Size, the latest European regulations for car seats, which aim to make infant carriers safer by requiring children to sit rear-facing for longer (until at least 15 months old) and for car seats to offer greater head and neck support, improved side and frontal protection and a 5-point harness. All i-Size seats are classified by a child’s height rather than weight, making it easier to find the most suitable seat for your little one.

As you’d expect from a premium baby gear brand, Silver Cross infant carrier car seats offer maximum versatility and safety. Each of the 2 car seats models that are compatible with all 3 of the travel systems mentioned above can be used with or without their ISOFIX car seat bases (sold separately).

The Simplicity Plus (pictured below) is suitable from birth up to 13kg (around 15 months old) and features:

  • 1-hand adjustable head support
  • Cushioned newborn insert with detachable head hugger, to keep even the smallest baby snug and secure
  • Optimum side impact protection
  • Extendable sun canopy with UPF 50+ rating
  • On-seat fitting instructions, making it quick and easy to install
Simplicity Plus car seat

The Dream i-Size (pictured below) is also suitable for babies from birth until approximately 15 months old and has recently been awarded the highest ever safety rating by independent testing body ADAC. Used with its i-Size base, it installs with just 1 click, and 4 indicators show green when it’s correctly installed, guaranteeing a safe fit on every journey. It features:

  • 4-layer side impact protection
  • 5-position headrest
  • Newborn insert with removable sections – to adjust as your baby grows – made from breathable, anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic bamboo fabric
  • 5-point safety harness
  • Removable sun canopy with UPF 50+ rating
Dream-i-Size car seat

Do you need a separate carrycot?

Carrycots are the best way to transport a newborn in a pushchair as they provide a safe, comfortable and completely flat place for your baby to lie on. That’s important because, in order to breathe optimally, infants should lie flat until they can hold their head up and sit unaided, which usually happens at around 6 months. This doesn’t mean you can never put your baby in a car seat or even in a seat unit with a ‘near-flat’ recline options – new-parent life would be very tricky if so – but for long pushchair trips or for a place to sleep while you’re out, a flat carrycot is the best choice.

A carrycot can be used as a portable sleeping spot in your home, either placed on the floor or on a special stand to raise it up. Some carrycots are also suitable for overnight sleeping, which is brilliant as it saves having to buy and take along a special travel cot when you’re staying away from home.

Happily, the Silver Cross Wave, Pioneer and Wayfarer travel systems all include both a carrycot and pushchair seat in the price, so there’s no added cost. Better still, the carrycots (the Wave carrycot is pictured below) are suitable for overnight sleeping and are lined with a naturally anti-bacterial bamboo fabric that will help to regulate your baby’s temperature. You can even buy a Silver Cross carrycot stand for the Wave, which turns your carrycot into a Moses basket and folds flat, yet also has a generous basket that’s ideal for storing baby gear.

Wave 2020 carrycot

Do you want the pushchair to become a double?

If you’re expecting twins, you’ll obviously need a travel system that’s built to carry 2 car seats or 2 carrycots/seat units. But even if you’re expecting one, there could be a real benefit – if you’re hoping to have a 2nd child fairly soon after the 1st – in opting for a travel system that can be used as a double as well a single. Then, rather than having to buy a whole new double pushchair, you can simply reconfigure the one you’ve got to carry a newborn and a toddler.

The Silver Cross Wave 2020 (pictured below) offers incredible versatility on the reconfiguration front: it can be used – straight out of the box (no need to spend extra on adaptors) –  in 7 different combos as either a single or a baby-plus-toddler double, complete with a patented seat elevation device that brings your baby up closer to you.

And what’s more remarkable is that, by adding a tandem seat, car seat or ride-on board (all sold separately), you can access a further 23 different seating/riding arrangements – that’s a mind-boggling 30 different options for up to 3 children!

Wave 2020 double

How big is the basket?

When it comes to under-buggy baskets, size really does matter. You’ll need way more space than you might think for all the baby essentials you’ll be carting around, not to mention some shopping. Luckily, Silver Cross has got you and your gear covered with its roomy and easy-to-access baskets. The capacious storage space under the Wayfarer 2020 is plenty big enough to handle all manner of shopping and baby gear, while, thanks to the patented seat elevation, the generous basket on the Wave 2020 is accessible in any of its 30 configurations – remarkable for a double buggy. But the cavernous basket on the latest incarnation of the Pioneer is the scene-stealer here: the deep 34-litre basket is a whopping 53cm x 37cm x 26cm and means you can pack for every eventuality – and still have room for groceries.


Buy a Silver Cross travel system bundle – and save money!

Silver Cross have 3 great travel bundles to snap up – each an aptly named Silver Cross Bundle of Joy. Here’s your guide to what you’d get in each – and how much you’d save:

Bundle 1: Simplicity Plus & Accessories

Wave Indigo Simplicity Plus Bundle

What you save: Up to £460

What you get:

  • Simplicity Plus car seat
  • Your choice of pushchair (with carrycot) from Wave 2020, Pioneer 2020, Wayfarer 2020, Coast, Pacific Autograph
  • Car seat adaptors
  • Foot muff
  • Changing bag
  • Cup holder
  • Car seat rain cover

Bundle 2: Simplicity Plus, ISOFIX base & Accessories

Pioneer Pepper Simplicity Plus and Base Bundle

What you save: Up to £560

What you get:

  • Simplicity Plus car seat
  • ISOFIX base
  • Your choice of pushchair (with carrycot) from Wave 2020, Pioneer 2020, Wayfarer 2020, Coast, Pacific Autograph
  • Car seat adaptors
  • Foot muff
  • Changing bag
  • Cup holder
  • Car seat rain cover

Bundle 3: Dream i-Size, i-Size base & Accessories

Wayfarer Pepper Dream Bundle

What you save: £300

What you get:

Advertisement
  • Dream i-Size car seat
  • i-Size base
  • Your choice of pushchair (with carrycot) from Wave 2020, Pioneer 2020, Wayfarer 2020, Pacific Autograph
  • Car seat adaptors
  • Foot muff
  • Changing bag
  • Cup holder
  • Car seat rain cover