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Travel systems... Any recomendations?(41 Posts)
Me and DH are expecting DD #1 in September and we're a bit clueless (and not on an enormous budget). A lot of stuff we are planning on getting second hand to save money (cot etc), however our very nice parents are giving us some money to put towards something for baby (about £3-400 between both sets of parents). After quite a lot of thought we felt probably the most sensible thing to invest the money in was a new travel system (one of those pram, buggy, car seat combos that all connect together), as firstly I'm a bit wary of buying a car seat etc second hand as will never really know it's history, and secondly I'm hoping if we buy well then hopefully the travel system will last this baby to toddlerhood, and possibly any other children that we may choose to have. I also like the idea of having a car seat that connects to pram base so we don't have to wake baby up when getting her out of the car if she's asleep. The question is which one? I've spent ages looking on websites and on review pages and I'm still clueless, and so was wondering if anyone had any recommendations?
Our criteria are:
1) Cost wise no more than £3-400. Would love to be able to spend more but just can't afford it at the mo.
2) My fiesta is a 55 plate and therefore too old to have any isofix points, so car seat will need to be able to attach via seat belt without being too faffy, (although DH's car does have isofix points, so ideally a car seat that could be fitted both ways).
3) The pram / buggy will need to have adjustable height handles as I'm 5'5 and DH is nearly a foot taller than me (!), so it needs to be adjustable so we can both use it comfortably.
4) Will need to be useable from birth until DD is a toddler so that we can get a decent amount of use from it.
5) Not be too fiddly to use.
We're not too bothered about designer names or anything, as long as it'll be comfortable for DD and have a decent safety rating.
We bought the Uppababy Vista. It is a little over your budget but came highly recommended by my Brother and SIL.
To go on that we have the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix car seat. We have the isofix base as both our cars have isofix. However, my brother's car doesn't have that and there is a base that fixes in with seatbelt. Its similar idea to an isofix base - just pop car seat on and off. The cabriofix can also be fitted on its own with a seatbelt.
Can you get to a kiddicare? They have LOADS of different buggies. We went before speaking to my brother and had no idea where to start. We spoke to someone there who narrowed the choice down based on car seat requirements and travel system preferences. So from hundreds of travel systems we only actually looked at 6. The range there covers all budgets and the staff were so helpful. They have buggy test tracks too!
Try the products > pushchairs bit of Talk. From my research I've found that you don't necessarily need a "travel system" as most pushchairs have adapters to click on car seats from the most common manufacturers; particularly maxi cosi. Apart from that I am still clueless, there's so much choice!!
expedior all the way.. mothercare own brand. best value one iv seen under 300 pounds. it works really well for us. its the only one under 500 pounds that iv seen that has the clip on car seat without having to have the pram underneath, which adds to the bulk...
its got adjustable handles and drives really well. i know its only been a few days for me using it but i can tell its goig to work well for us
Thanks, I'll have a look to see if there's a Kiddicare locally. I like the idea of trying a few buggys before buying. I'm in East Sussex though and there's a surprising lack of large baby shops around here though, but I'll go on the Kiddicare website and have a look and see if there's one nearby.
Didn't realise that most pushchairs have adapters for car seats (I did warn you we were a bit clueless)! That's good though as it widens our options a bit.
Will definitely look at the expedior as well, thanks. xxx
Hmm, the nearest kiddicare is an hour and a halfs drive away. Will see if I can persuade DH to do a day trip at some point! x
Thanks Peeapod I was looking at that one and saw some good reviews.
Tried to tempt DH with a Bugaboo he said drily "at that price... where is the caviar tray? And should one's butler help push or ride on a back plate??"
Second hand Stokke Xplory with a new Maxi Cosi car seat.
We've just got the joie chrome from mothercare an ticks all your boxes I think. ...can even get a non isofux base for it. It was £230 on offer including buggy car seat and carry cit. I have had a play at home with it and love it so far(baby not due till August). Not many reviews about but those I can find are really good. Also in Sussex and couldn't find a local branch that had it on display but their refund policy is good so bought on line knowing I could return it if not keen (unused if course).
I am not a pram expert at all....
But on the car seat, a cabriofix from maxicosi is good. The only thing is that, with the base, it will use about £200 of your budget. However, it is good because you can leave the base in your partner's car with the isofix points and it just clips into place. Or in other cars you can secure it with the seatbelt. Or you can just buy the seat and use the seatbelt in both cars.
In terms of pram/buggy, think about:
- babies shouldn't really spend long periods in their car seat, so I wouldn't get too focused on that aspect. It can be handy, but if you bear in mind the car seat guidelines you might use it less than you think. More useful for second/third children I think, when maybe you are dashing from the car for school run, etc.
- If you have another, will you want the ability to be a double, or are you happy to just use a buggy board. I know a lot of people who spent quite a lot on a first buggy and then wanted a double for the second. FWIW we have a bugaboo bee which is now on DC3 and always found buggy boards fine. Ours is 5 years old now and prices have gone up massively on them, plus there are more options so I'll leave that bit to other people!
I can't decide whether to get something second hand or new. Can't believe the prices of some of the pushchairs. We live somewhere pretty upper middle class / well off and eBay is FULL of local listings for barely used bugaboos, icandys etc at half the new price.
If I get a new one I am liking the look of the oyster 2 at the moment.
I'm worried because I just have no idea how I will be once the baby is here, whether I'll be driving everywhere or walking or using the train; I am concerned we'll get something that turns out not to suit us in the end.
The pushchair you choose not suiting you is the biggest issue imo, it is hard to know what you will be doing, where, how etc. plus whether your baby loves lying flat in a carrycot or hates it and can't wait to get out, whether they have to face you at all times or couldn't care less.
The joie chrome was mentioned up thread somewhere, imo it's a great pushchair and suitable to more of a range of circumstances than some other things. It's not too big, lies flat but has carrycot option if wanted, takes joie car seats or a maxi cosi using the joie adapters, fold with the seat on either way, great basket, will take a buggyboard. I hear great things about the oyster 2 also. The graco evo is very good for the price. I've heard some good stuff about the concord wanderer lately and the baby jogger versa is very hard to beat. If you think you need light and small then currently there's the bugaboo bee, soon there will be the I candy raspberry and the easywalker mosey.
I don't drive very much anymore, with dc1 I drove everywhere and something I wish I had got was a stage 0+/1 car seat instead of an infant carrier then having to buy another toddler seat. If I was starting again I would definitely buy a newborn suitable seat that stays in the car and also works for a toddler rear facing. I used the seat on the pushchair chassis three times in 4 years/3dcs. That sort of use varies a lot though, it's something you might want to do a lot more than I did :-)
We've just got the mamas and papas sola package from one of their outlets and then we've bought a second hand carry cot and isofox base. It's a fab pram and we are so chuffed with it.
You can get two types of car seat bases. The mamas and papas comes as either isofix and seatbelt option or just seat belted option. So would fit it both your cars when needed.
Our package all thing ether has cost £350. That's pram, rain cover, car seat, an second hand carrycot and isofix base.
Hey, we're in the same boat as you, and in the end after loads of me pushing around shops we went for the iCandy Peach as it ticked off the same boxes for me however we really loved the mothercare expeidior as a cheaper option, i just wanted a lighter car seat as i found the mothercare one quite heavy!
Also, if you're anywhere near Uckfield, theres an amazing shop called Frills all Round or something similar, and thats where I tested lots of buggies and the assistants were so helpful and pulled apart hundreds of prams for me
I've read that you can retrofit isofix to most cars if that makes a difference, I think it was mentioned for a Fiesta on another thread at a cost of about £50 - prob not worth doing just for the infant seat but would give you a wider range of options for future stages.
We have bought the Baby Jogger City Versa (got a steal of a deal at £250 including footmuff and carrycot) but haven't tried it on an actual baby yet (due in ten weeks!)
I had a bugaboo for dc2 and used it for dc3 it's still going strong and I'm pregnant with dc4 and would have used it again but need a double as 3 and 4 will be close together.
They get a lot of flack, yes the are very expensive but a very good pushchair and as someone said there are loads on eBay. I was so impressed with mine I'm planning on getting the donkey (double bugaboo) for dc4 ( and 3).
City jogger mini, with maxi cosi car seat on top for first few months. Not as pretty as a bugaboo but really easy to fold with one hand, perfectly pushable with one hand, and usable from birth til end of pushchair days.
I've got the same as solasum, and it's marvellous. You can get a pram carry cot for it for the first few months too (second hand, these cost next to nothing and are barely used).
My recommendation would be the Uppababy Vista but it is out of the range you've said you would like to spend. With the car seat, I would definitely echo other posters and say the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix is a great seat, and we had the easyfix base for it (about £70 from amazon) as my car is seatbelt only but my DH's has isofix. I found having a base made life so much easier and was worth the additional cost, such as if it was raining or getting the seat in and out of my three door car without the faff of routing the belt.
AFAIR the guidelines say that babies shouldn't be in car seats for any longer than 90 minutes at a time as it's a cot death risk and damaging for their spines and hips.
It was for this reason that I didn't get a travel system for my kids so that I couldn't be tempted to leave them in the car seat for long periods of time - it soon adds up when you're driving 20 minutes to the shop, then an hour in the shopping centre and another 20 minutes home and all of a sudden, they've been in there for too long. I bought a car seat and a lie flat pram. They soon got used to being moved and the motion of the car/pram would soon soothe them back off again if they did wake.
I like M&P - the pushchairs have nice big spaces underneath to put stuff into (change bag, shopping, coat, blanket, sunshade etc.) I used M&P in the UK 6 years ago for DS1; brought the baby seat but not the pushchair over to Australia and then
illegally used the baby seat here when DS2 was born. A friend lent me a Peg Perego (M&P trade name in Australia) pushchair to go with it and the best thing was that the car seat still fit in it . The handles are height adjustable to some extent, the pushchair is still in use now DS2 is 19mo and will be for some time yet (see the bit about the shopping underneath) - the one I have is reversible, so I can face DS2 away from me or facing me, although having him facing me means the brakes are the wrong side.
The only thing it doesn't have, which newer models might have, is a handbrake on the handlebars. It's very hilly where I live and that would be a useful thing to have.
I don't know whether or not that's helped at all - I just like M&P, it's been very good for me!
I am in love with the Chicco Urban stroller. It is currently £350 in babies r us and come with a car seat and colour pack (to customise it - I love the emerald colour). It's such a good deal at the moment there as it's advertised for over £500 on the internet.
Only piece of advice I have is make sure that it fits in your car boot! My friend had to rake off the wheels of gets every time as she didn't try it out first. Luckily, we gave aN old Land Rover so everything fits!
We've got the uppababy Cruz (the little brother to the vista) and are very happy with it. Works with the maxicosi car seat with adaptors. We didn't buy the carrycot - we instead bought a smartmuff that converted it flat, which was cheaper. But I think the best advice is as given above which is to go somewhere and try a few out because that's the only way you'll know that something is comfortable for you both to push. I knew nothing about pushchairs before I had my son - I don't know that I'd ever, ever pushed one! - and was temporarily lent a secondhand Quinny and thought it was ok, but when we went shopping properly I realised just how much better some other things were.
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