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Travel system on a budget

(13 Posts)
babayagga Mon 09-Oct-17 16:49:14

Hello all,

I have started looking around for a pushchair for our first baby. We couldn't afford to buy new, so are hoping to get a whole travel system, including car seat, for around £200-250.

Which brands and models would you recommend? We are not into joggers or crazy-colourful designs, otherwise open-minded.

cakesandphotos Mon 09-Oct-17 16:50:11

We got a brand new mothercare pram in the sale for £250. The carry cot bit converts into a buggy seat and it came with a car seat attachment

cakesandphotos Mon 09-Oct-17 16:53:17

A bit like this one but ours was £250

InDubiousBattle Mon 09-Oct-17 16:54:09

Car seat has to be brand new but I would recommend e bay for a high quality but second hand buggy rather that a cheap but new one. What are your needs? Public transport or car? Long walks on uneven ground or in town strolls? Where will it be kept in your house? Are you planning on another dc soon ish?

We had a second hand Quinny and it was great. We don't drive and do lots of walking. We then got a second hand Phil and Teds when dd came along, again a fantastic buggy.

boredofmyoldname Mon 09-Oct-17 19:05:02

Tbh it depends on what you'll be doing with the pushchair.

If you're walking a lot you'll need something with decent wheels and suspension.

If you'll just be throwing it in and out of the car to walk in shopping centres or smooth town paths you'll need something a bit smaller.

Do you have much storage/boot space?

Will you need to go l fold it all the time for public transport or getting it in and out the boot/house?

If you're on a tight budget it might be worth looking at car seats which stay in the car and can be used from birth to 4 years as it can be cheaper in the long run. The little seats are handy but tbh I barely used mine out of the car anyway.

NeverForgotten Mon 09-Oct-17 19:23:51

We got a babylo max buggy. We got the rain cover and opted for pumped wheels because we walk a lot and they have better suspension and easier to push on uneven terrain. It came with a fleece lined foot muff. We got the attachment for maxi cosy cabriofix car seat & easy fix Base (for car). The pushchair can be placed both forward and parent facing. I didn't get a buggy board for dc2 because she could stand on the bottom bar at the back. It was the cheapest option in our nursery shop and easy to fold up/down. It isn't very heavy and fits easily in the car booth. Have a look in your local charity shops and on the second hand sites/fb selling pages and you might get a bargain.

babayagga Tue 10-Oct-17 00:44:03

Thank you all for your suggestions - you've raised considerations I hadn't even thought of.

Why does car seat have to be brand new?

We have a small car with very little boot space, and are definitely planning to walk a fair amount.

Which models have good wheels for walking on gravel paths, etc.?

confused123456 Tue 10-Oct-17 01:10:40

Hi, I believe the car seat being brand new is to do with accidents (how would you know 100% it hasn't been in one if you don't know where it's coming from?)
We don't drive at all. I knew I wanted a silver cross pram. We got the pioneer because we liked it best out of all the models. It's good and strong, and done a good few miles (our lo is 2). We also got the simplicity car seat because it seemed the best option.
Because we don't drive, the car seat was used a handful of times from when our son was born until he went in his next stage one at just over a year. We know it was never in any accident, and therefore it will be fine to use again. Likewise we will keep the pram as it is still in good condition.
But would you chance it if you wasn't sure?

numbmum83 Tue 10-Oct-17 01:16:50

Silver cross 3d is usually about £250 -£300 brand new but you can probably pick one up for about £100 second hand . It's quite a good and popular travel system with the newborn insert rather than a carrycot .

boredofmyoldname Tue 10-Oct-17 08:38:08

Can seats need to be new or from a trusted source (friends or family) so you can be sure they haven't been dropped or in an accident. Whilst they may not look damaged on the outside the inner shell could be and you wouldn't know about a weakness until it was too late to do anything about it. Skimp on a pushchair but never a car seat!

For gravel paths I personally think you need large fixed wheels, we've had 12 pushchairs over the years and only 3 managed to get over our rough paths without getting stuck on bumps and dips.

The best ones we've had were Emmaljunga Xerox, Emmaljunga City Cross and M&P 03 sport but none of them would've fitted in a small boot.

Would it be worth looking into a carrier instead of budget and space is a big issue?

InDubiousBattle Tue 10-Oct-17 13:18:48

As pp say car seats need to be new (or from a very reliable source)because they can be compromised by being in even a small prang and second hand you could never be sure they haven't. There a few types of new born ones you can get and they vary I price a lot. You can get one to 'live' in your car, or one that you can take out and clip onto your buggy. A basic one that doesn't go on your buggy is cheaper at around £40-50.

Do you think you could manage with a 'main' buggy, which stays at home and you use for long walks (replaceable wheels and good suspension)plus a basic car seat and a sling for when you go out with the car?

Dollyollie Tue 10-Oct-17 16:50:35

Hey I’m currently looking for similar there are companies out there that do travel systems (including car seats) around your price range have a look at;
Little devils
They don’t usually have stockist and are online companies, which is why they are so cheap, but all 3 have really good customer reviews x

BertieBotts Tue 10-Oct-17 17:41:59

You should get the car seat new because some people don't realise that you can't sell them on after an accident, or they might know but not be honest about it sad Sometimes people also sell on really old car seats which don't meet current regulations or have been stored badly. It's okay to get one from a friend or family member that you trust and can verify the history. Once a car seat has been in a crash, or dropped, it's unsafe as they are only designed to withstand one big impact, after that if they were damaged again they could collapse completely or fail to protect the baby.

Also, you need to be careful of very cheap new car seats, because some of the brands produce them to the very minimum safety requirements. In particular there are some budget brands which are all made by the same factory in France (Nania, BabyStart, Beone, I don't know what other brands, because they change all the time) - so it's worth being suspicious and checking out safety ratings. Your local library should have a subscription to Which? which is a useful comparison tool or you can look at the German ADAC tests online - you'll need a browser which translates, unless you're happy to just look at the overall score. IMO, this is less of a worry with an infant seat as they tend to be hard to get wrong, but cheaper ones might be small, meaning you can't use it for as long (which is important because rear facing is safest even for older babies) or the side impact protection may be low.

I can see a couple of options for you:

Suggestion 1: New car seat, second hand compatible buggy forming travel system
The Maxi Cosi Cabriofix is currently on offer in Mothercare for £99. They price match their website in store. This is a highly compatible car seat with loads of different pushchair brands, meaning that you could easily find a second hand buggy for £100-150 which would work with it if you keep an eye on local facebook selling sites, NCT sales, local second hand shops, and ebay collection for cash only. Just ask the seller if it works with a maxi cosi seat. Sometimes you need to buy adaptors which are about £20. This fits in the car with a seatbelt. The bases for the car are about £100 extra, IMO, it's not worth it. But you might be able to get a base second hand if you really want one.

Suggestion 2: New complete travel system
There are plenty of complete travel systems for sale new for under £250. Look at the My Child Floe, this seems surprisingly good for the price, though small wheels are not very good for going off road. Actually, if you really were set on a pushchair set with a car seat base included and could stretch budget a bit, the Nuna TAVO is on offer in Mothercare at the moment for £300 with car seat base included, which is very cheap. Do keep an eye on offers - Amazon Black Friday is coming up shortly.

Suggestion 3: New separate car seat, new or second hand buggy. But not travel system.
Buy a car seat independent of the pushchair which you'll intend to keep in the car or only use for car-to-house scenarios. (This is what I did with DS as I could not drive myself, and didn't want to use the car seat on the pushchair.) You could still get a baby carrier one if you want - the Joie Juva is only £40 but is a good buy (Joie is a decent budget brand). Or as other posters have suggested, look into getting a car seat which will last longer and stays in the car permanently. Do bear in mind that if you plan to have another child in the next 4 years, you don't actually save any money as you'll end up needing to buy a second seat for the second baby! If you have a separate baby and then toddler seat, you can re-use them. But if you only plan to have one child, the combo seat can be a good buy.

Unfortunately the combo seats are where the cheap crap seats come out in force. Be suspicious of anything with overly shiny fabric, very shallow "wings", or straps which tighten individually, like a rucksack, rather than from a single pull mechanism out the bottom of the seat. Also, if you get a rear-and-forward facing seat, make sure that it rear faces until at least 13kg. Rear facing to 18kg is even better as it gives you the choice. Some cheap ones only rear face to 9kg or 10kg which means you have to turn them forward facing much too early.

In this category I'd recommend: Joie Tilt, Joie Steadi, Britax First Class. These all last until about 3.5 years. Joie Stages, if you can stretch to it, will last you until about 7 years old.

I also recommend researching different kinds of slings. If you walk a lot this will be much more use to you than a fancy travel system.

Good luck, happy shopping!

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