If you ask around for the top baby products companies on the market, Graco and Chicco definitely come out tops. Given a choice between Chicco vs Graco travel system, which brand are you picking? Both brands prioritize your baby safety. But based on design and affordability, Graco takes the lead. And a number of customers agree. Jump to the last section to learn about my specific top recommendation.
Raising a baby certainly isn’t child’s play. But you don’t have to go about it the hard way. Plenty of products are designed to make parenting easier—like travel systems. Moving your baby from one place to another (without waking them up) has never been easier. Keep reading to learn more.
Travel System Talk
How hard is it to pick the right travel system for your baby? Well, if you read through this guide, rest assured that your decision-making process will go much smoother and quicker. Think of it as your very own checklist. Let’s get started.
What is a Travel System?
So, what exactly is a travel system? This is basically a combo set which consists of a stroller and car seat. The idea is to easily—and swiftly—move your little one from the car to the stroller and vice versa. Is it really worth buying? Unless you want to risk waking up your little one once he or she is finally asleep, you might want to place this product high up on your priority list.
The Importance of Picking the Right Travel System
Careful consideration should be made to the travel system you pick because the right unit will:
- Provide extra comfort for your baby: The only way your baby will remain asleep is if they’re comfortable. Be sure to pick a set that comes with a reclining seat and is designed to cushion your baby’s head and neck.
- Allow for easy transfer: You should be able to transfer your baby with ease from the car to the stroller. A travel system with a simple design is your best bet. The fewer the clicks, the better.
- Be compatible with multiple vehicles: A travel system with a car seat that can be used in different vehicles is a convenient option.
- Grow with your baby: The right travel system will grow with your baby. Pick one that transforms from an infant car seat to a toddler seat. You want value for your money, right?
What to Look For in a Travel System
To buy the right travel system for your baby, there are a few aspects you need to keep in mind:
- Design: Certain travel systems might look chic and stylish, but never compromise on functionality. Bulky strollers are generally difficult to work with. Before you buy a travel system consider if it’s easy to load into the trunk of your car, fit through narrow passages, or use on public transport.
- Size and Weight: How much does the car seat and stroller weigh? Remember that the weight will increase when you place your little one inside. You want a set that’s easy to move around.
- Ease of Operation: Don’t get carried away by fancy designs. Make sure that the stroller and car seat are easy to use. Is the stroller simple to open and close? Does the car seat recline with ease? Does the stroller navigate swiftly on different terrains?
- Accessories: Sometimes spending a little extra on your travel system will afford you a bunch of thoughtful extras that you’ll find convenient. Adjustable handlebars, sun canopy and cup holders are a few examples.
- Brand: Buy your travel system from a reputable brand if you expect a quality travel system that’s designed to last. We’ll discuss a little more about Graco and Chicco in the next section.
A Bit About the Brands
Graco has been in business for over 60 years and is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading manufacturers of baby products. Aside from travel systems, the company offers a wide range of products including play-yards, soothers, highchairs, and swings. And you can certainly expect affordable, reliable and easy to use products if you opt for this brand. Graco prides itself on designing baby safe travel systems as evidenced by how their units undergo crash tests. Chicco is also no stranger to the baby market and has also been in business for more than half a century. The company offers a diverse portfolio of baby products including clothing, toys, and first baby foods. The brand is associated with safe and high-quality baby products designed for young ones especially. Above all, they’re known for manufacturing stylish travel systems that are also easy to operate.
Downsides to Travel Systems
Much like any product, travel systems are not without their own cons. I’ll highlight a couple of downsides to travel systems to help you make an informed decision. Firstly, they tend to be bulkier and heavier compared to conventional strollers. Pay special attention to the design, size, and weight of both the seat and stroller to ensure easy handling. Also, bear in mind that you can’t leave your baby sleeping in a car seat for long—even if he or she is sleeping peacefully. The most you can leave your little one lying in the seat is two hours. Why? Babies need to stretch and change sleeping positions for optimum bone development.
My Top Picks
This is a long list below, I know. But it’s complete so you can rest assured that we’ve done a thorough research. If you just want to get our topmost recommendation, jump to the end of this article.
- Chicco Bravo LE Trio Travel System
- Chicco Viaro Travel System
- Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System
- Chicco Mini Bravo Sport Travel System
- Graco Verb Travel System
- Graco FastAction Fold Sport Travel System
- Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System with OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat
- Graco Modes Travel System
- Graco Aire3 Travel System
This travel system combines style, ease of operation and safety and can be used by babies all the way to toddlerhood. The stroller comes complete with a multi-position reclining backrest, adjustable canopy, and tray for your baby’s convenience. Plus, the seat handle can be engaged using only one hand.
I must admit that I’m drawn to the lightweight but sturdy design of this model. The stroller also offers one-hand operation for your handling convenience. It also comes with a multi-positioning reclining seat and adjustable canopy designed with your baby’s comfort in mind. If a sleek, sturdy, and reliable travel system is what you’re after, this is for you.
The stunning polka dot design on this set will definitely have you strolling in style. But aesthetics aside, the product doesn’t disappoint where features and functionality are concerned starting with the removable seat that can be transformed into a carrier. The stroller allows for one hand-fold operation and features auto-positioning wheels for your baby’s safety. You’ll find the storage and cup holders convenient too.
For a reasonable price tag, you can get yourself this compact and lightweight set designed for your ultimate convenience. The stroller is easy to operate and allows for one-hand operation. Because the seat is designed to easily click into the stroller using an adapter, you’ll be on your way in no time. The reclining seat is easy to adjust for your baby’s comfort.
This affordable travel system has all the features to transport your baby safely and comfortably. The seat can accommodate babies that weigh up to 30lb. I like the Click Connect system that makes it super easy to attach the seat to the stroller. Your baby will experience a smooth and bump-free ride thanks to the suspension system. You can operate this stroller using one hand.
You’ll be using this travel system for a long time because it can accommodate your little one until they weigh 50lb. Operating the stroller is also quick and easy. Plus, your baby’s comfort is taken care of thanks to the multi-position reclining seat. The manufacturer included a large storage basket to keep your essential baby items close by which is a feature I find most thoughtful.
This all-in-one travel system allows you to transport your little one almost effortlessly. One of the product’s most invaluable features is the side impact protection functionality which serves to protect your baby from bumps during the ride. The unit comes complete with a sun canopy and storage basket. To add on to the list of impeccable features, the stroller is lightweight so moving your baby around will be a hassle-free experience.
You’ll be using this travel system from the time your baby is an infant up until he or she is a toddler. The system allows for 10 riding options depending on your baby’s age and transitioning from the seat to the stroller is quick and easy. You can position your baby to face forward or backward because of the reversible seat. And the product has undergone crash tests so your baby will be protected to some degree if unexpected collisions occur. Best of all I love how lightweight, portable, and flexible this unit is.
I’ll round off my list of recommendations with this Graco Aire3 Travel System that can accommodate kids till they weigh 35lb. Folding and opening the stroller is quick and easy. You can do so using one hand and the process will take you only a second. For your safety concerns, the stroller locks automatically. Plus, weighing less than 21lb, it’s certainly one of the lightest models on our list. The flat-reclining seat allows you to adjust the seat for your baby’s comfort. The unit has also undergone crash tests to protect your child.
Does the price affect the quality of the travel system?
It’s very possible to find a relatively cheap stroller that’s designed to last. It might however have minimal accessories. For an extra few dollars, you can have it all: a sturdy travel system laced with more features and accessories.
Do you recommend buying a second-hand travel system?
Your budget is likely to determine whether you opt for a brand new or second-hand travel system. My advice: try as much as possible to opt for a brand new travel system. Why? You really never know the history of the car seat and whether it’s been damaged before. This significantly compromises your baby’s safety in the event of an accident.
It’s now time to make a decision between Graco and Chicco travel systems. I personally would go with the Graco travel system—the Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System to be specific. For a reasonable price tag, you’ll get a travel system that offers convenience, reliability, and safety. All Graco products have gone through crash tests designed with your baby’s safety in mind. The Safety 1st model protects your baby from impact, is easy to operate, lightweight, and comes with a storage basket and canopy. What more could you want? If you want to read all the reviews from tons of customers you might want to read about them here.
Last update on 2020-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API