A good travel system can save new parents a lot of hassle and headaches. You get all the interchangeable seating options in one-well designed bundle, allowing parents to swap between toddler seat, carrycot or car seat.
Everything is perfectly compatible and easy to use, making new parenthood that little bit easier, giving users more flexibility and different options to make their children comfortable. A good travel system is versatile and should provide a functional mode for every stage of your child’s development – from lie-flat pram-mode to world-facing toddler mode.
We have analysed the travel systems market and rigorously tested a wide range of different bundles to help you decide which one is best for you. Each of our recommended travel systems has been used regularly by a journalist with a baby or toddler. We’ve also combined these results with feedback from mums to bring you the best selection.
If you’re looking to find a quality pram for less, we’ve rounded up some the best Black Friday pushchair deals available now.
Why should I consider buying a travel system?
It is not necessary to buy a full travel system from the outset, and they can seem like a more expensive outlay than a simple buggy. However, if you are planning on using the car to transport your baby, you will need an infant car seat, and as a newborn should lie flat it’s usually recommended to invest in a firm carrycot.
This is where a travel system comes into its own. It is designed for all these necessary elements to slot together nicely, to complement each other, and for users to be able to change between them smoothly and quickly.
How much does a travel system cost?
On first glance travel systems seem more expensive overall, but you can get some really good value options, such as the Red Kite Push Me Savanna (£199) on our list. With others costing more than £1000 there is a huge range of price points.
“Even though these may seem more expensive initially, travel systems can be a great investment,” explains Charlotte Gelstharp at Natural Baby Shower, a popular online retailer for pushchairs.
“You can create your own travel system using your own choice of car seats and pushchairs, however this can be confusing and complicated as you need to make sure everything is compatible with each element. Therefore, it can be easier and less confusing to opt for an already bundled together travel system.”
Some of the more expensive travel systems offer more items in the bundle or have better functionality or unique features, such as memory buttons that make changing between seat and carrycot easier or one-handed folds that can make a real difference to how you use the pushchair.
It might also be worth considering whether there are individual accessories that are important to you – some parents might desperately want a matching changing bag, without shelling out extra money, while others can’t do without a cup attachment. While these might not be deal-breakers, they might swing your decision.
Should I buy a travel system with a car seat included?
A really useful feature of a travel system is that it allows you to click an infant car seat onto the chassis. “Parents love the option to use their infant carrier car seat on their pushchair as it can make life a lot easier,” says Charlotte at Natural Baby Shower. “It means you can simply transfer your sleeping little one from the pushchair to the car and vice versa easily without disturbing them.”
Some travel systems come with a matching car seat included, while others are compatible with a great number of car seats from other brands that work smoothly with the system.
Sometimes, the own-brand car seat is the better options as it doesn’t require the use of extra adaptors. On the other hand, with car seats in particularly, it is worth considering safety credentials, so you might want to choose the infant car seat first, and then find a travel system that’s compatible.
When using a car seat with your travel system remember to keep in mind the ‘2 hour rule’. This is the established safety recommendation endorsed by safety experts and manufacturers, that suggests children shouldn’t sit in a car seat for more than 2 hours at a time. That’s not only when your baby’s in a car but also when their car seat is attached to the pushchair chassis.
Why do I need a carrycot as part of the bundle?
A travel system always includes a carrycot within the bundle, which is the best mode of transport for a newborn. An infant should lie flat, so a bucket-type toddler seat or even some of the ‘near-flat’ options out there are not recommended.
The best option for a newborn when out and about is therefore a carrycot. It allows you to use the pushchair extensively for your infant, and gives them the best option for sleep on the go. Some carrycots are also suitable for occasional overnight sleeping, which is a great feature as it saves you buying and taking along an extra travel cot when traveling.
With all baby gear decisions it is worth pinpointing what your priorities are. As with standalone pushchairs, travel systems come with pros and cons – big baskets and small baskets, one-handed folds and more complex folds, roomy or compact size. If you narrow down what tops your list of must-haves, you should be able to find the perfect solution.
Here’s our pick of the best travel systems for newborn babies…
1. Joie Versatrax with i-Snug car seat and Ramble XL carrycot, £490
Versatile and good value
Suitable from: birth (with carrycot) to 22kg | Car seat suitable from: birth to 75cm | Car seat i-Size: Yes | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: No | Pushchair weight: 11.7kg | Car Seat weight: 3.25kg | Unfolded dimensions: H92cm x W65.5cm x L112cm | Folded dimensions: H86cm x W65.5cm x L36cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 3.8 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Travel system under £700, Gold
The Joie Versatrax is a superb all-round travel system that consistently impresses users with its functionality, ease of use and versatility. It is fantastic value, especially considering the quality of car seat included with the system. The i-Snug is i-Size and lightweight, which makes it safe and easy to use.
Users love the Versatrax’s easy one-handed fold including MFM reviewer Laura who found it easier to do with the seat attached. It’s also recommended by 92% of customers at Argos.co.uk. “I absolutely love the folding feature,” writes one shopper. “It was so quick and easy, and the shopping basket is very handy too.”
These stand-out features helped the Versatrax win Gold in the ‘travel system under £700’ category at this year’s MFM Awards. MFM tester, Georgina, particularly liked the i-Snug car seat and Ramble carrycot commenting how “extremely lightweight” they were which is ideal if you have a heavy baby.
According to one judge, it is a bit tricky to lift – “I wish it had auto-clip system, as it is not the easiest to pick up” – and our MFM reviewer Laura wished it had a footmuff included in the package. But as one of the most affordable travel systems on our list, the Versatrax is definitely worth considering.
Pros: Easy one-hand fold, free-standing when folded, large basket
Cons: Footmuff not included, no auto-clip on fold
Read our full MadeForMums review of the Joie Versatrax
2. Cybex Priam with Cybex Cloud Z, £1,189 – £1,324
Luxury combined with superb safety
Suitable from: birth to 17kg | Car seat suitable from: birth to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: Yes | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: No | Pushchair weight: 12.6kg | Car seat weight: 4.8kg | Unfolded dimensions: H108.5-90cm x W57.5cm x L95-85cm | Folded dimensions: H42cm x W57.5cm x L95cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.1 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Travel system over £700 – Gold
Cybex is well known for its safety in car seats, so it’s great to have a travel system that combines the brand’s safety credentials with superior style, luxury and comfort. It took home the Gold in our MFM Awards, with home tester Friere Barnes highlighting its excellent design, “The high quality build is unparalleled. It is a genuine travel system, there is a solution for every need of your child’s early days, months and years.”
Those solutions include great functionality, such as memory buttons that make swapping between carrycot, car seat and seat much easier. With memory buttons, you don’t have to press both buttons at the same time to lift seats off the chassis – really useful, when trying to get things done one-handed.
The Cloud Z car seat is also impressive, as it offers the option of a near-flat position and can also be rotated in-car to make strapping your infant in much easier. User reviewers on MadeForMums.com unanimously loved the Priam, all giving it 5 stars – “worth every penny”, says one.
MFM reviewer Zoe Adams also rated the Cybex Priam highly, particularly when it came to how light it was to push especially considering its 12.6kg weight. She said, “My day consists of lots of walking on bumpy terrains with hills, strolling around the town and going in and out of shops and all of this was extremely easy with the Priam.”
And for adventurous parents, it even offers ski-attachments and a two-wheeled mode that makes tricky surfaces easier to navigate.
The only potential drawback is its size, especially with carrycot attached, says Zoe, but its ease of handling and overall versatility make up for that.
Pros: Luxurious, handles well, rotating lie-flat car seat
Cons: Expensive, large dimensions
Read our full MadeForMums review of the Cybex Priam
3. Bugaboo Fox2 + Turtle Air by Nuna, from £1,167.95
Best mix of all-terrain capabilities
Suitable from: birth to 22kg | Car seat suitable from: 40-83cm, up to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: Yes | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: No | Pushchair weight: 10.2kg | Car seat weight: 3kg | Unfolded dimensions: H104-88cm x W60cm x L108-105cm | Folded dimensions (one piece): H47cm x W60cm x L90cm| MFM Review Star Rating: 4.3 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Travel system over £700 – Joint Silver (original Fox)
Bugaboo is well known for its superior pushchair design – it has blazed a trail with a focus on user-friendly design, style and innovation. The Fox2 is the latest version of the brand’s all-terrain multi-tasker. It combines robustness and incredible handling, whatever the surface, with practicality and compactness that should appeal to many parents.
What we particularly love about the Bugaboo as a travel system is the Turtle Air car seat. Its predecessor, the Turtle, is a MadeForMums Triple Tested Best Buy, and this latest version is ultralightweight at 3kg. This makes it easy to lift it out the car and attach to the chassis on the Fox2.
It is very user-friendly, with features such as memory buttons which MFM reviewer Natalie said made “both the carrycot and seat incredibly easy to attach”. She adds, “There are two large, white buttons on either side of the frame that can be clicked independently of each other, with surprisingly little pressure.
The Fox2 has also been designed with comfort in mind, starting with a very roomy and comfy carrycot which Natalie describes as “one of the most-pillow-soft carrycots” she’s ever seen. Bugaboo has also made the seat higher on the Fox2 which she said worked well for her daughter, “We found it was high enough for my daughter to feel like she was seated at the cafe with us and to reach and take things from the table.”
Bugaboo has also designed the Fox2 with power steering for a smoother ride, which Natalie said felt “capable and responsive”. “It is a dream to steer one-handed, even up steep roads,” she said. “I could also turn tightly in thick grass, when you might expect it to be sluggish.”
Pros: Handles tricky terrain well, smooth to push, lightweight car seat
Cons: Two-handed fold
4. Silver Cross Pacific Autograph, with Dream, £895 (car seat additional £195)
Best for a roomy, comfortable carrycot
Suitable from: birth to 22kg | Car seat suitable from: birth to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: Yes | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: Yes | Pushchair weight: 10.4kg | Car Seat weight: 4.5kg | Unfolded dimensions: H107cm x W60cm x L90cm | Folded dimensions: H33 x W60 x L86.5 cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.6 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Travel system over £700 – Joint Silver
Silver Cross is a long-standing and hugely trusted brand – it was the top buggy brand according to respondents to our MFM Bump Project survey. It is always recognised for its luxury and style as well as its durability and functionality.
The Pacific Autograph travel system is no exception – it combines a retro look with superior steering and luxurious fabrics and comfort. But the element that really impressed our MFM reviewer and other testers is the carrycot. It is generous in size, with bamboo fabric lining and suitable for overnight sleeping, which can be a real plus for impromptu weekends away.
MFM reviewer Georgette, mum-of-1, couldn’t sing its praises more highly: “It’s so comfy that my little one prefers it to his cot and sleeps in it every night! With its super soft bamboo lining and quilted padding, he feels comfy and secure.”
The Pacific Autograph is a very effective travel system that works well both in the city and country parks. It is transportable and easy to use, and according to our testers it feels very durable – so it should easily last for child number 2 and more.
The Dream car seat is also a fantastic option to complete the travel system. It features the same natural, breathable bamboo fabric, meets i-Size regulations and can be used with the adult seatbelt, or installed with an Isofix base (bought separately).
Winning Silver this year at the MFM Awards, the Pacific Autograph impressed the judges with its luxurious feel and detailing. However, some were disappointed that the £895 price tag didn’t include the Dream car seat. MFM reviewer Georgette also noted that you can’t fold the Pacific Autograph with one hand, although the “excellent steerability” more than made up for it.
Pros: Durable, luxurious, easy to push, superior carrycot
Cons: Can’t fold with one hand, difficult to access basket with carrycot attached
Read our full MadeForMums review of the Silver Cross Pacific Autograph and Dream car seat
5. CBX Leotie Lux with Aton CBX, £489.95
Superb value, comfort and safety
Suitable from: birth to 15kg | Car seat suitable from: from birth to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: No | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: Yes | Pushchair weight: 16kg | Car Seat weight: 3.9kg | Unfolded dimensions:H114cm x W65cm x L101cm | Folded dimensions: H41cm x W65cm x L89cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.5 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Travel system under £700 – Silver
The Leotie Lux is from Cybex’s budget-friendly sister brand CBX and includes many of the same qualities and attention to safety and detail that the German company is known for. Cybex is particularly known for is superior car seats, so you know you’re covered on in-car safety with this travel system.
The Leotie Lux won Silver in the ‘travel system under £700’ category at the MFM Awards, and it’s easy to explain why. All judges were impressed with the value for money it offers. As MFM reviewer Elizabeth, mum-of-2, points out: “It’s great for those wanting a good-quality pram that is super easy to fold or unfold, but who prefer to steer clear of more expensive models on the market.”
The carrycot is also suitable for occasional overnight sleep, which saves you the initial expense of an infant travel cot.
Importantly, the Leotie Lux performs impressively in handling and usability. The fold is one-handed and easy, and according to home tester Karen, “The suspension on this pram is impressive and makes for a very smooth ride”.
The only downside noted was the size of carrycot and seat, with some of our testers worried it might not accommodate taller kids for that long – not ideal, if tall genes run in your family.
Pros: One-handed fold, strong suspension, stylish
Cons: Not that roomy, basket tricky to access
Read our full MadeForMums review of the CBX Leotie Lux
6. UPPAbaby Cruz V2 with Cybex Cloud Z, £939.98, plus £224.95 for car seat
A versatile buggy for the city and countryside
Suitable from: birth to 22kg | Car seat suitable from: birth up to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: Yes | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: Yes | Pushchair weight: 11.6kg | Car Seat weight: 4.8kg | Unfolded dimensions:H101.6cm x W57.8cm x L95.3cm | Folded dimensions: H83.8cm x W57.8cm x L41.9cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.7 stars
The UPPAbaby Cruz has always been a popular urban pushchair, with its generous basket, easy fold and relative compactness. The V2 is a new and improved version, offering even more longevity and functionality to the Cruz. For example the user weight limit is increased, the wheels are larger and can handle more terrain and the seat is more generous in size, so it should last better for fast growing kids.
According to MFM Reviews Editor, Christy, who reviewed the Cruz with her newborn, it is an ideal all-round hybrid pushchair that performs well in town but also in parks and on woodland walks. “It is a top-quality option for most,” she writes. “It’s so versatile, and such good quality that I can see it working for families in town or the countryside, as it’s so robust without being a huge size.”
The carrycot is also super easy to use, she adds, as you can remove it with one hand, pressing a button integrated in the hood. This makes such a difference to user-friendliness. “It is one of the brand’s real standout features,” says Christy. “My friend, using the Bugaboo Bee5 herself, and my husband, were both also very impressed!”
The Cruz V2 is also compatible with a great variety of branded car seats, including the Cybex Cloud Z, which slots onto the adaptors easily. It is a great option as it complies with i-Size regulation and can be adjusted to near-flat position outside of the car.
Pros: Handles multiple terrains, large upper weight limit, easy to remove carrycot
Cons: Pricey, not the lightest
Read our full MadeForMums review of the original UPPAbaby Cruz V2 and the Cybex Cloud Z
7. Ickle Bubba Aston Rose, includes Mercury i-Size car seat, £899
A stylish but functional travel system
Suitable from: birth to 15kg | Car seat suitable from: birth to 80cm | Car seat i-Size: Yes | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: Yes | Pushchair weight: 11kg (chassis with wheels) | Car seat weight: 4.9kg | Unfolded dimensions: H110.5cm x W62cm x L95cm | Folded dimensions: H36cm x W62cm x L94.5cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.8 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Travel system over £700 – Bronze
The Ickle Bubba Aston Rose travel system is one of the most practical bundles on our list. There are some that include more items, but the Aston Rose features an i-Size car seat as well as the Isofix base to go with it. This is a generous piece of kit to include, and will be a deal breaker for many parents. What’s more, the carrycot is suitable for overnight sleeping, with good ventilation and a firm base – fantastic option for weekend trips.
In addition to these practical plus point, the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose offers luxury quality and is really smooth to push. According to our MFM reviewer, Tara, “it handled really well and even performed on woodland walks”.
It delighted testers in the MFM Awards with its well thought out details and functionality. It’s very easy to switch from carrycot to seat, reported judges. Other design features such as the reversible handle (which allows parents to get their little one in and out of the seat easier) make it that little bit more user-friendly.
“This travel system really covers all the bases,” says MFM home tester Lois. “Each stage from newborn up to toddler has been thought about and executed in a stylish and practical way.”
Pros: Isofix base included, carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping, smooth to push
Cons: Quite bulky folded
Read our full MadeForMums review of the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose
8. Red Kite Push Me Savanna, £199
Best budget option
Suitable from: birth to 15kg | Car seat i-Size: No | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: No | Pushchair weight: 13.5kg | Unfolded dimensions: H109- 90cm x W64cm x L103cm | Folded dimensions: H30 x W66 x L93cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Travel system under £700 – Bronze
It is pretty impressive to offer a whole travel system for under £200, but to design one that impresses users and MFM Awards judges alike is even more so.
The Red Kite Push Me Savanna won Bronze in the award’s ‘travel system under £700’ category, with judges not only remarking what good value it offered, but also how easy it is to use. “It is incredible value and very simple to use,” explained one. “It’s easy to fold, and easy to interchange car seat and carrycot.”
Parents also love this combination of low price and user-friendliness – shoppers at Argos, for example, all give it a massive thumbs up. “Lovely pushchair”, says one. “Lovely to push, soft when going over bumps as well. Worth every penny.”
The travel system ticks all the basic boxes. The carrycot converts into the toddler seat, the seat can be both world- or parent-facing, the bundle includes a car seat and, it is very smooth to push, as home tester Michelle, mum-of-4, attests.
The Savanna has no pretensions of luxury, and the included car seat is very basic, but it is the perfect option for those tight on money. “It is a no-frills travel system and there’s no need to buy pricey add-ons as it’s all included,” says MFM reviewer Annabelle, mum-of-1. “It would be great as a second travel system for a grandparent’s house, say, and it is a fantastic option for those on a strict budget.”
Pros: Great value, easy to use, convertible carrycot-to-seat
Cons: Car seat not Isofix compatible
Read our full MadeForMums review of the Red Kite Push Me Savanna
9. iCandy Lime with Maxi-Cosi, £650 (not including car seat)
Best for a compact fold
Suitable from: birth to 25kg | Car seat i-Size: Yes, depending on model chosen | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: Yes | Pushchair weight: 10.2kg (chassis and seat) | Unfolded dimensions: H109cm x L77.5cm x W62cm | Folded dimensions: H74cm x L62cm x W30cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.7 stars | Awards: MadeForMums Award 2020, Compact-fold pushchair – Gold
The iCandy Lime has always impressed the MFM team and users alike. It is such a compact and versatile system that combines longevity and fantastic ease of use, while being compact and robust.
It won Gold at the MFM Awards this year, in the compact-fold pushchair category, but it also makes a fantastic travel system bundle. Users really appreciate the fact that the Lime offers such a comprehensive list of elements for its price like an easy fold, carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping and integrated ride-on board.
MFM reviewer Michelle noted: “The iCandy Lime is a very generous package. I absolutely love it – it’s a top-quality travel system that’s built to last, looks good and drives really well.”
Even though the bundle doesn’t include a car seat, the Lime system is compatible with a huge variety of brands, from the Maxi-Cosi Cabrio Fix, Pebble and Rock to the lay-flat Kiddy Evolution Pro 2. So parents can choose the perfect model for them.
Pros: Versatile, compact, easy fold
Cons: Car seat not included in price
Read our full MadeForMums review of the iCandy Lime
10. Cosatto Giggle 3 with Cosatto car seat, £499
Bright, sensory patterns with smooth handling
Suitable from: birth to 18kg | Car seat suitable from: birth to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: No | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: Yes | Pushchair weight: 15.6kg | Car seat weight: 4kg | Folded dimensions: H97 x L62 x W25cm | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.3 stars
The Cosatto Giggle 3 travel system is an affordable bundle that offers the brand’s inimitable style and reliable functionality.
MFM reviewer, Frederika, loves the beautifully designed, bright fabric patterns. She said, “Although the designs may not be to everyone’s taste my baby loved looking at up at the pattern”. Cosatto actually has a team of designers backed by scientists, who create bold and carefully place characters and patterns on the fabrics which aim to attract baby’s attention and develop their sensory skills.
It is a unique selling point of the brand, appreciated by parents, with many reporting on how the designs engage their little ones. One shopper on Argos.co.uk says “my baby absolutely loves looking at the patterns in the hood”.
The travel system includes the Cosatto Hold Mix car seat which is the brand’s basic infant carrier. It can be used with an Isofix base, but you need to buy it separately (£114.95).
The Giggle 3 handles very well and is smooth to push, although the fold requires a few separate steps and cannot be done one-handed. MFM reviewer Frederika also remarks that the basket is very small, and the seat might not accommodate larger children for that long. But as a nippy, bright starter travel system, the Cosatto Giggle 3 still impresses.
Pros: Smooth ride, stylish sensory fabrics
Cons: Small basket
Read our full MadeForMums review of the Cosatto Giggle 3
11. Venicci Tinum, £799
Traditional style in a generous bundle
Suitable from: birth to 22kg | Car seat suitable from: birth to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: No | Pushchair weight:11.6kg | Car seat weight: 3.9kg | Unfolded dimensions: H103cm x W57cm x L95/86cm | Folded dimensions:H27 x W57 x L62.5cm
Venicci is an Italian brand and its products have a distinctively continental style, which will appeal to parents that love a traditional aesthetic. The Tinum is the lightest pram in the Venicci range, and combines compactness with robust wheels that make easy work of most terrain.
The travel system is a fantastic bundle of 12 pieces that include changing bag, car seat and rain cover and mosquito nets for both seat and carrycot.
It features some great functional design details. For example, it can be folded one-handed, with seat attached in either direction. The carrycot is also roomy with great ventilation and you can raise the backrest slightly as your baby gets older and wants to be in a more upright position.
Pros: Traditional style, easy fold, roomy carrycot, lots of extras in bundle
Cons: Basket not the biggest
12. Jané Kendo & Matrix Light 2, £649
Great for urban life
Suitable from: birth to 22kg | Car seat suitable from: birth to 13kg | Car seat i-Size: No | Carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping: Yes | Pushchair weight: 10.6kg | Car seat weight: 5.25kg | Unfolded dimensions: 97-82cm x 59.5cm x 103-89cm | Folded dimensions: 69cm x 59.5cm x 36cm
Aimed at city families, the Kendo from Spanish brand Jané is compact and nippy. But what makes this travel system super attractive is the inclusion of the fantastic Matrix Light 2 car seat – “the world’s first carrycot with Isofix”, as the brand likes to put it.
The Matrix Light 2 boasts a 180-degree recline function. This means you can recline your sleeping baby once you’ve attached the car seat to the buggy chassis, transforming it into a carrycot that allows them to sleep much longer and more safely.
It also means you don’t need to have an extra piece of kit that ends up taking up storage space. The Matrix Light 2 can be fitted with the car’s seatbelt, but you also have the option of buying the Matrix Platform.
It can be used with a variety of different brand travel systems, but if you use a Jané pushchair such as the Kendo, the in-built Pro-Fix system makes attaching it that much easier – no need for extra adaptors.
This is a system with a difference, definitely worth considering.
Pros: Car seat converts to carrycot, compact
Cons: Isofix sold separately