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Best travel systems for newborns: tried and tested by parents

In an effort to help new parents, we've researched and tested the top travel systems on the market. From designer brands like Bugaboo to budget prams and compact folds, here are the best travel systems to buy right now.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Aug 30, 2023


Buying a pushchair for your newborn can feel a little daunting. With so many choices available and lots to consider when it comes to transporting your baby safely from A to B, it can be hard to narrow down your options. 

For new parents, a travel system can make a convenient and practical choice, allowing for seamless transfers from car to pram, as well as relaxed and comfortable strolls with your newborn.

If you've already decided that a travel system is for you, excellent! We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching the products loved by real parents (that includes both Mumsnet users and consumers), tested dozens of prams with our team of parent testers and consulted trusted pushchair experts for the latest up-to-date guidance to bring you a round-up of the very best travel systems to buy right now.

Be sure to check out our FAQs further down this page for tips and tricks on what to consider before buying a travel system too.

Best travel systems at a glance

  • Best overall travel system: Nuna Mixx Next | From £660

  • Best budget travel system: Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2 | From £250

  • Best travel system for a newborn and toddler: BabyStyle Oyster 3 | From £559

  • Best versatile travel system: Venicci Tinum 2.0 | From £690

  • Best all-terrain travel system: Mamas & Papas Ocarro | From £899

  • Best travel system for rough terrain: Bugaboo Fox 5 | From £1,115

  • Best travel system for a growing family: UPPAbaby Vista V2 | From £879

  • Best travel system for easy fold: Joie Versatrax | From £289

  • Best travel system for design: BabyStyle Egg2 | From £879

  • Best travel system for country living: Cybex Priam | From £1,000

  • Best lightweight travel system: Nuna Triv Next | From £600

  • Best travel system for city living and travel: Bugaboo Dragonfly | From £695

1. Best overall travel system: Nuna Mixx Next

Pushchair price: £660 | Latest deals from John Lewis

Bundle price: From £1,000 | Latest deals from John Lewis 

Tested by parents: Read our full Nuna Mixx review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent-facing and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: H42 x W60 x D76cm | Weight: 13.1kg | Basket capacity: 4.5kg | Extras included: Rain cover, footmuff and car seat adaptors 

What we like

  • Offers good longevity

  • Accessible storage basket

  • Comfortable and well-padded seat

  • Easy to steer 

  • Machine-washable covers

  • Easy to switch between parent- and world-facing modes

  • One-handed five-position recline

  • Height-adjustable handlebar

What we don't like

  • Two hands needed to fold

  • Sun hood is a little noisy to extend

  • Heavy

What Mumsnet users say

"I love it. Especially the huge basket which has been used for fairly large shops and the occasional stroppy toddler" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Dyra

Also a Nuna Mixx fan here! I live in the countryside so find the larger wheels helpful but if you are based in a city, you may not need such a big pram. I used the car seat adapters a lot in the first few months to nip in and out of places” - rated by Mumsnet user Rose2108 

Our verdict

An upgrade to the incredibly popular Nuna Mixx, the Nuna Mixx Next exudes comfort and style at every turn, with some significant improvements that have proven to be a huge hit with Mumsnet users and consumers alike. It can be used with a Nuna carrycot (without needing adapters) or with compatible car seats from Nuna, Maxi Cosi or Cybex using the car seat adapters included in the box.

Thanks to the comfortable seat, easy manoeuvrability, excellent storage and large all-terrain wheels, it easily takes our top spot as the best travel system you can buy today. It’s also worth mentioning that the Nuna Mixx Next is a Which? Best Buy and one of the top-scoring pushchairs in their lab tests.

While slightly heavier than the original model, improvements to the folding mechanism mean the Nuna Mixx Next now folds in upon itself, resulting in a more compact fold that’s around 16cm shorter than its predecessor. It conveniently self-stands, so you don’t need to worry about it getting the chassis dirty as you move it in and out of your car, although it's not a particularly portable travel system for public transport. The Nuna Mixx Next also has more durable rubber wheels than the original Mixx, with improved wheel suspension that can even tackle tricky terrain such as gravel or snow.  

It’s easy to steer (even one-handed), manoeuvres well around tight corners and obstacles, and tackles kerbs with ease. The leatherette handlebar also offers a choice of heights between 106cm and 115cm, making it easy to achieve a comfortable and natural hold for both petite and tall parents. We love the green and red indicators on the brake pedal that provide quick visual reassurance that the brake is engaged - ideal when you’re travelling around a busy urban environment.

Suitable from birth using the lie-flat recline, the Nuna Mixx Next has a comfortable all-season and machine-washable seat with a removable cosy padded liner and a mesh back for breathability during the warmer summer months. The included rain cover offers good protection from the elements on wet days and, although it's a little noisy to extend, the UPF 50+ hood with a viewing window provides good coverage from the sun. It’s even water-repellent, so if an unexpected downpour comes your way, your baby will still stay warm and dry. 

We love how the five-point harness can keep your baby safe and secure but converts to a more convenient three-point harness as your baby grows. If your child tends to nod off on their travels, you’ll also appreciate the one-handed, five-position recline, allowing you to switch from upright to lie flat quickly and easily. The two-handed fold on the Nuna Mixx Next does require some force, but once folded, the pushchair sits relatively compact - although if using it with the carrycot you’d need to remove this first. 

When it comes to storage, the Nuna Mixx Next has an underseat basket with a 4.5kg capacity, which isn’t as generous as the likes of the UPPAbaby Vista V2 (see below), but is easy to access from all directions and provides plenty of space for your newborn essentials. It can even be split into two distinct compartments using the interior wall if required. 

Read next: The best baby carriers, wraps and slings

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2. Best lightweight travel system: Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2

Pushchair price: £250 | Latest deals from Kiddies Kingdom

Bundle price from £349 | Latest deals from Kiddies Kingdom

Tested by parents: Read our full Maxi-Cosi Zelia review (previous model)

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg (please note that the listing on Kiddies Kingdom site is incorrect) | Orientation: Parent- and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: H46 x W62 x D84cm | Weight: 10.4kg | Basket capacity: 5kg | Extras included: Rain cover and boot cover/apron

What we like

  • Standout value – the best travel system on the market for under £400

  • Lightweight

  • The seat converts to a lie-flat bassinet

  • Easy one-handed fold

  • Compact when folded

  • Height-adjustable handlebar 

  • Rear-wheel suspension

What we don't like

  • Tricky to change seat position with a heavier child

  • Wide frame – hard to fit through narrow doorways

  • Straps can be fiddly and tricky to adjust 

  • Quite heavy 

  • Struggles a little on rough surfaces like gravel and sand

  • Two-handed fold

What Mumsnet users say

"The seat has very high sides even when not in carrycot mode so is snuggly and lovely for my daughter" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Njh1986

Our verdict

The Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2 pushchair may have one of the lowest price tags of all the travel systems on our list, but it's still up there in terms of both design and quality. 

While the original Maxi-Cosi Zelia (now discontinued) was only suitable for babies up to 15kg, the Zelia 2 offers greater longevity, lasting until your baby weighs 22kg, which is approximately four years old. While slightly heavier than the original model, the shopping basket capacity has also increased from 2kg to 5kg, providing valuable additional storage space for your changing bag or other essentials during a day out with your baby.

One of the major selling points of the Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2 is the 2-in-1 seat that quickly converts into a newborn bassinet without the need to purchase a separate carrycot - ideal for those who are limited in storage space at home. Our parent tester loved this feature stating, “It saves space in the house and it means the carrycot doesn't become obsolete once your baby is sitting.” Weighing 10.4kg, it’s also a more lightweight option than some of the multi-terrain models such as the Mamas and Papas Ocarro (see below). 

The lie-flat bassinet is suitable from birth and can easily be transformed into a pushchair seat when your baby reaches six months. With a comfortable padded inlay, it offers plenty of space and support for your child as they grow. Alternatively, the Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2 can be used with a compatible Maxi-Cosi car seat, such as the Mumsnet-recommended Maxi-Cosi Rock (using adapters) for a convenient transition between your car and the street.

Described as a compact, urban stroller, the Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2 is easy to steer and copes well with pavements and kerbs, however it may struggle off-road, such as on gravel, mud or sand. It’s also worth noting that while the handlebar height is adjustable, this is only by a small margin, so if you’re particularly tall you may find this pram less comfortable to push. 

We like the significant coverage provided by the sun hood and, thanks to the viewing window, you can discreetly check on your baby without waking them if they nod off during your journey. 

The fold requires two hands, but this is relatively straightforward to do. The pushchair clips together for compact storage and can self-stand. There’s also an in-built carry handle which can help distribute the weight should you need to carry it up and down the stairs. 

We love the improvements to the basket when compared to the original Maxi-Cosi Zelia, which although a little trickier to access when being used in bassinet mode, offers plenty of storage space, with a discreet pocket inside to stash valuable items such as your keys and phone. 

Read next: The best 360 spin car seats

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3. Best travel system for a newborn and toddler: BabyStyle Oyster 3

Price: RRP £559 | Latest deals from John Lewis

Bundle price from £979 | Latest deals from John Lewis 

Tested by parents: Read our full BabyStyle Oyster 3 review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent- and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: H57.5 x W37.5 x L72 cm | Weight: 11.7kg | Basket capacity: 3kg | Extras included: None

What we like

  • One-handed recline (this can be done in parent- or world-facing mode)

  • Lie-flat seat for smaller babies

  • Puncture-free tyres

  • Compact fold

  • Adjustable handlebar

  • Can be used with a buggy board

What we don't like

  • Two hands needed to fold

  • Carrycot is tricky to remove

  • Covers are not machine-washable

  • Storage basket could be bigger 

  • No extras included

What Mumsnet users say

"The Oyster was probably one of the most compact travel systems we found" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Anaesthetist83

I have the Oyster 3 and love it. It’s lightweight but sturdy and so easy to fold, my son always looks really comfortable. We didn’t use the carrycot part, the pram lies completely flat from birth so I didn’t feel we needed it” - rated by Mumsnet user Thetangleteaser

We have the full Oyster 3 bundle and it's great :) went for the Caviar/mirror colour and think it's very stylish” - rated by Mumsnet user Skywalkersweetie

Our verdict

If you're looking for a travel system to suit your growing family, then the Which? Best Buy BabyStyle Oyster 3 should be top of your list. This large, well-built pram is designed to last well into toddlerhood. With a choice of seven different colourways, it looks beautiful too.

With a maximum child weight of 22kg, which is around age four, this pushchair is suitable from birth, with a lie-flat seat, supportive head hugger and one-handed three-position recline. To use as a travel system, you can attach the Oyster 3 carrycot (sold separately) which offers a more spacious and comfortable lying position over longer durations with your newborn. For an easy transition straight from the car, car seats such as the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus can also be clipped onto the main chassis using the Oyster 3 car seat adapters (sold separately). 

Compared to the original Oyster and Oyster 2 pushchairs, the Oyster 3 has had a major overhaul. Not only is it lighter with bigger wheels for improved handling, but it also boasts a more spacious seat, including a pop-out footrest and an adjustable harness that can better accommodate your child as they grow. 

It’s worth noting that, as a result of the seat changes, it’s a little bigger than the previous model, but for convenience it now has a more compact fold, which can be triggered with the seat attached in both parent- and world-facing modes. You do need to use both hands to operate this, however the fold is smooth and simple, with a handy clip that prevents the chassis from springing open. While we wouldn’t recommend carrying the Oyster 3 regularly, there’s even an integrated carry strap for convenience should you need to. 

The Oyster 3 has a soft padded handlebar that’s adjustable between 101cm and 111.5cm, making it easy to adapt to parents of varying heights. Thanks to the all-round suspension, the four puncture-free tyres also offer a really smooth ride for your baby. 

Our parent tester rated the tight turning circle and a slim base, which made the Oyster 3 convenient for use on public transport and she found it performed well on urban terrains such as pavements and kerbs. Like many travel systems, it struggles more on bumpier or uneven ground, but there is the option to lock the front wheels - helpful when navigating across sand or mud.

Whatever the weather, the Oyster 3 can protect your baby from the elements. We rate the large UPF50+ sun hood with an extendable section to provide additional coverage when the seat is fully reclined. It also has a ventilation window which can keep your baby cool on warmer days. Unlike many pushchairs, the elasticated rain cover for the Oyster 3 (included with the travel system) is straightforward to fit should the weather take a sudden turn for the worse.

The storage basket is easy to access from all directions, and although more than adequate for most newborn essentials, the 3kg maximum capacity is relatively small when compared to the UPPAbaby Vista V2 or Nuna Mixx Next. That said, we love the inclusion of a discreet zipped storage pocket situated beneath the footrest - ideal for safely housing your keys and phone.

Read next: The best double buggies, as tested by parents

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4. Best versatile travel system: Venicci Tinum 2.0

Pushchair price: £690 | Latest deals from Kiddies Kingdom 

Bundle price from £770 | Latest deals from Kiddles Kingdom

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg (approx 4 years) | Orientation: Parent and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes - car seat included  Folded dimensions: H40 x W58 x D63cm  | Weight: 12.2kg | Basket capacity: Not specified | Extras included: Carrycot, car seat, footmuff, changing bag, changing mat, rain cover and adapters

What we like

  • Stylish design

  • Easy to fold/unfold 

  • Comes with lots of accessories

  • Comfortable height-adjustable handlebar 

  • Spacious shopping basket

  • Large sun hood

  • Easy to switch between parent and world facing  

What we don't like

  • Harness and straps tricky to adjust 

  • Bulky and heavy

  • Brakes require some force

  • The seat is not particularly padded

What Mumsnet users say

I have the Venicci Tinum and love it. It is great to push on all terrain and managed much better than my friend’s Silver Cross when we went on a woodland walk - the bumping of her pram meant we had to turn back! I’m still using it with my 16-month-old forward-facing and I’m pregnant again and intend on keeping it to use as our single pram when my new baby is born” - recommended by Mumsnet user BabyBabyBaby123 

“I have a Venicci Tinum 2.0. Really like it and find it's good on different surfaces, including woodland. The downside is that the basket underneath is not as big as some other makes/models. However, it's generally big enough for our needs” - rated by Mumsnet user ThePaperTrail

Our verdict

While you may be less familiar with the name, Italian brand Venicci is actually one of the leading suppliers of quality pushchairs, officially launching in the UK back in 2011. If you’re looking for a versatile option, the Venicci Tinum travel system makes an excellent choice, with a stylish and practical design combined with lots of additional accessories that make travelling with your baby a breeze.

With a reversible lie-flat seat, the Venicci Tinum 2.0 is suitable from birth to 22kg. The bundle includes the Tinum 2.0 carrycot and car seat, as well as a footmuff, rain cover, mosquito net, coordinating changing bag, changing mat and car seat adapters, meaning you’ve got pretty much everything you need to head out on travels with your baby in tow - whatever the weather may bring.

With some enhancements to the original Tinum, the Tinum 2.0 features a panoramic ventilation system to help keep your baby cool on sunnier days. It’s now easier to steer, even one-handed, tackling varied terrain well and navigating up and down kerbs without the need to exert too much effort despite its relatively heavy frame. 

While the sideless seat isn’t as padded or cushioned as the Nuna Mixx or BabyStyle Oyster 3, it has three different recline positions and can be used both world- and parent-facing depending on your preferences, or easily swapping between the two. It’s worth noting that although the straps are adjustable as your child grows, this is a manual process and can fiddly. That said, the integrated hood is quiet to operate and provides good sun coverage, with a handy viewing window that helps you keep a reassuring eye on your toddler when world-facing. 

If you’re a taller or petite parent or sharing the travel system with your partner of a different height, you’ll love the adjustable handlebar height on the Venicci Tinum, which can be adjusted with one hand between 91 and 105cm - a far greater range than other travel systems such as the Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2. 

The basket is a generous size and includes a zippable compartment for your valuables. While it’s stiff to operate, the centrally located brake is large and easily accessible - reassuring when travelling in busier surroundings.

Read next: The best pram toys for newborns

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5. Best all-terrain travel system: Mamas & Papas Ocarro

Pushchair price: £899 | Latest deals from Mamas & Papas

Bundle price from £949 | Latest deals from Mamas & Papas

Tested by parents: Read our full Mamas & Papas Ocarro review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent- and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: H33.5  x W59 x D77.5 cm | Weight: 13.6kg | Basket size: 3kg | Extras included: Rain cover and bumper bar

What we like

  • Dual suspension

  • One-handed fold 

  • Tackles off-road terrain well 

  • Chunky, puncture-resistant tyres

  • Padded seat with pillow and chest pads

  • Reflective trim on wheels

  • A reassuring wrist strap on the handlebars 

  • Large hood with ventilation 

What we don't like

  • The basket can only be loaded from the back 

  • Heavy to carry

  • Stiff five-point harness

What Mumsnet users say

"Absolutely love my Ocarro! It’s sturdy but easy to manoeuvre, well padded for a comfy baby, massive basket and can be folded one-handed (even with my baby in a sling!). Versatile as it’s slim enough for buses or shops aisles but with all-terrain wheels it can go anywhere” - recommended by Mumsnet user Blueroses99

“Love our Ocarro! It is pretty heavy to lift when you have got it all folded up but I got used to lifting it in and out of the boot pretty quickly. I’ve used it on some pretty bumpy terrain and my baby has seemed comfy enough. 11 months in and I still love it and it looks like new still, so yes would recommend it!” - tried and tested by Mumsnet user DreamingofThailand

Our verdict

If you’re living in a more rural setting or enjoy heading on outdoor adventures with your baby in tow, you’ll need an all-terrain travel system that can navigate across a variety of surfaces with ease. 

The Mamas & Papas Ocarro is a luxury, all-terrain pushchair designed for both comfort and stability. A Which? Best Buy, the Ocarro achieved an impressive score in lab testing and it’s also compatible with several Which? Best Buy car seats too, including the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Pro and Cybex Aton 5.

Available alone or in bundles of varying sizes depending on your needs, the eight-piece combination pack offers excellent value for money, including the pushchair, adapters, carrycot, cupholder, footmuff, changing bag, Cybex car seat and even an ISOFIX base. 

While it weighs over three kilograms heavier than some of the travel systems we tested (such as the Maxi-Cosi Zelia), its robust frame, dual suspension and large all-terrain wheels ensure it can handle almost every terrain completely fuss-free,  from pavements and kerbs to woodland, sand and grass. While it’s narrow enough to fit through most doorways and manoeuvres well, it’s fairly heavy and bulky, so less suited to travel or for those looking for a lightweight stroller for public transport. 

Thanks to the padded lie-flat seat with a supportive head hugger (or the Ocarro carrycot if you prefer), the Ocarro is suitable from birth and can see your child through to approximately four years old. The seat is also fully reversible, so you can easily switch between reassuring eye contact for your baby in parent-facing mode to the world-facing mode for your curious toddler who wants to take in their surroundings.

The soft and comfortable leatherette handlebar is a stylish addition, however it’s worth noting that, unlike the height flexibility on the Venicci Tinum and BabyStyle Oyster 3, it can only be raised by a small margin - between 100.5 to 105cm. The brake also requires a fair bit of force and isn't particularly easy to operate wearing sandals or flip-flops. 

We love the one-handed fold - something rarely seen in a multi-terrain pushchair. It can be folded with the seat attached in either direction and self-stands for convenience when folded, but it does take up a lot of space in your car. If you have a particularly small boot, you may find it easier to remove the seat first and store it as two separate pieces.   

The sturdy and robust canopy hood with stylish metallic trim is definitely worth a mention. It offers excellent coverage for sunny days but can also be pushed back entirely to improve visibility.

While still large enough to house a changing bag, the 3kg basket on the Ocarro is actually on the small side compared to our other best travel system recommendations such as the Bugaboo Fox 5 and Nuna Mixx Next. It needs to be loaded from the back and is less accessible when using the carrycot as this sits at a relatively low height. That said, thanks to the clever catches on the Ocarro chassis, you can also conveniently stash your changing bag over the handlebar without it slipping down.

Read next: The best baby carrier backpacks to buy

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6. Best travel system for rough terrain: Bugaboo Fox 5

Pushchair price: £1,115 | Latest deals from John Lewis

Bundle price from £1,395 | Latest deals from John Lewis

Tested by parents: Read our full Bugaboo Fox 5 review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg (around four years) | Orientation: Parent-facing and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: Two-piece compact fold 89 x 53 x 34cm; one-piece self-standing fold 44 x 60 x 90cm | Weight: 10.4 to 12.2kg | Basket capacity: 9kg | Extras included: None (but bundles are available)

What we like

  • Sliding five-point harness

  • Advanced suspension for tackling bumpy terrain

  • 9kg under-seat basket with hidden pockets and extendable flaps

  • One-handed fold

  • 12 fabric colours to choose from

  • Large puncture-proof wheels

  • Height adjustable handlebar 

What we don’t like

  • Costly 

  • The same frame is used for the carrycot and seat

  • Footmuff not included

  • Stiff when first assembled

  • Assembly takes some time 

What Mumsnet users say

“A true workhorse, the Bugaboo Fox 5 tackles any terrain you throw at it, from muddy paths to gravel roads and even woodland trails. We tested them all. And as a parent who loves outdoor adventures, this is a game-changer” - MNHQ parent tester, Beccy

Bugaboo Fox! LOVEEEEEE ours - looking at buggies now for boot space at 15 months and none of them are as nice to push or use 😂” - rated by Mumsnet user FTM2022SS 

Our verdict

Released in March 2023, the Bugaboo Fox 5 is the much-awaited and updated version of the Fox 3, which has a great reputation for tackling varied terrain.

The Bugaboo Fox 5 offers some big improvements to Fox’s much-loved design. It manoeuvres better than its predecessor, offers more storage capacity and has a higher seat and bassinet. It also has an easier-to-operate and more compact one-handed fold, with an extendable footrest and canopy to help adapt to your child’s needs as they grow.

We like the large puncture-proof wheels and bouncy suspension, which provide a comfortable ride for both newborns and toddlers. The pushchair performed exceptionally well on different terrain, including muddy paths, gravel roads and woodland trails, when our parent tester, Beccy, put it through its paces.

Although the fold took time for her to master, Beccy found the one-handed fold and unfold invaluable when out and about with her two children. The handlebar can be adjusted between 92 and 108cm so it’s easy to find the most comfortable setting for your height. 

The generous 9kg storage basket with extendable flaps also adds to the appeal, with plenty of space to house a changing bag or your baby’s essentials. It is quite bulky when folded though, which means it might not be ideal if you have a small car boot.

The seat is easy to recline (almost a bit too easy, so approach with caution) and thanks to the large sun canopy, your baby will be safely shielded from the sun’s glare on bright sunny days. 

While this buggy offers comfort in spades for newborns, the Fox 5 is unique in that the seat and carrycot come as one unit, which some parents may find impractical. Switching from the carrycot to the seat is quite fiddly (requiring the removal of the hood and swapping out the base), however you may only need to do this once and not until your baby reaches six months.

Read next: The best running buggies

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7. Best travel system for storage: UPPAbaby Vista V2

Bundle price from: £879 | Latest deals from John Lewis

Key specs 

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent and world facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: H48 x W66 x D84cm | Weight: 13kg | Basket capacity: 13.6kg | Extras included: Rain cover, carrycot, mosquito cover

What we like

  • Excellent storage with a huge basket

  • Easy to steer and manoeuvre 

  • Tackles rough terrain well

  • Includes carrycot for newborns 

  • Simple one-handed recline

  • Hood provides excellent coverage

What we don’t like  

  • Heavy and bulky when folded

  • Seat quite thin with minimal padding

What Mumsnet users say 

“I loooooooooooooooved my Vista. Was brilliant in every way” rated by Mumsnet user MartinMartinMarti

“I have the Vista and totally love it. Really sturdy and fab on all terrains, we have used it everywhere & never had any bother. My son is almost three and I'm about to have our second and can't wait to get even more use out of it. I'm tall & liked the height of the Vista. Yes, it is expensive but if you divide it up by cost per use it's good value!” - recommended by Mumsnet user Jem1979

“I adore my Vista. Yes, it’s a bit of a beast but it was so useful when we lived in a city and I didn’t drive. The undercarriage had plenty of room for the weekly shop plus all the day-to-day kid kit, and when we travelled by train to visit relatives we shoved all the luggage under there. Would defo recommend it” - tried and tested by Mumsnet user RoseAndGeranium

Our verdict 

Suitable from birth when used with the included carrycot, or from six months as a standalone pushchair, the UPPAbaby Vista V2 can see you through until your child reaches 22 kg (around four years). The spacious seat offers plenty of room for your growing child and can be placed in both directions - opting for parent-facing when your baby is younger before switching to world-facing when they want to explore their surroundings. 

An upgrade from the original UPPAbaby Vista, Vista 2 has seen some big improvements to the pushchair seat. While Which? lab testing felt that the padding was on the thin side, UPPAbaby has extended the height of the backrest and provided a longer footrest to better accommodate your child as they grow. The sun hood now has a ventilated extension panel for enhanced sun coverage and the five-point safety harness is now fully adjustable without needing to be rethread, although this does create some hanging excess.

Whilst the pushchair is only suitable from the age of six months, the UPPAbaby Vista V2 comes with a newborn carrycot included in the cost. It’s also compatible with the UPPAbaby Mesa i-Size Infant Car Seat or with brands such as Maxi-Cosi and Cybex if you purchase separate car seat adapters.

For parents, the handlebar offers some height adjustment (between 101 and 108cm), allowing you to tailor the experience to each parent. The one-handed recline is easy to operate, with a choice of six different positions and a fully adjustable leg rest that can support your child as they grow. That said, the seat fabric is much less padded than travel systems such as the Nuna Mixx Next and BabyStyle Oyster 3, so it’s better suited to short journeys than full days exploring with your baby.

The flip-flop-friendly brake has colour indicators for peace of mind, offering quick visual reassurance that the brake has been properly engaged. When you’ve reached your destination, folding the Vista 2 away requires two hands due to its weight, however it clips together once folded for secure and compact storage.

We love the enhancements to the sun hood, with a large UPF50+ canopy that provides extensive shade coverage. It has an expandable section that can keep your baby protected from the sun’s rays even when fully reclined. The mesh viewing window is also a great feature, allowing you to check on your baby while they nap without the risk of disturbing them.

By far the most impressive feature on the Vista 2, however, is the shopping basket - the biggest shopping basket we’ve seen. The UPPAbaby Vista V2 basket can hold a significant 13.6kg, which is a big plus point when you’re stocking up on the best nappies at the supermarket. The basket is four times greater than that of the Oyster 3, although the chassis does run through the middle, so it requires a bit of spacial awareness when storing larger items. We love that it’s accessible from all directions as well as the smaller pockets for stashing your valuables.

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8. Best travel system for easy fold: Joie Versatrax

Pushchair price: £289 | Latest deals from Boots

Bundle price from £665 | Latest deals from John Lewis 

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent and world facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: H81.5 x W64.5 x D36.5cm | Weight: 11.8kg | Basket capacity: 4.5kg | Extras included: Cup holder

What we like

  • One-handed recline 

  • Easy to fold

  • Reversible seat

  • Tackles a variety of terrain

  • Comes with a cup holder and carry strap

  • Large shopping basket 

What we don’t like

  • Heavy

  • No locking catch 

  • Removing the car seat can be a little tricky

What Mumsnet users say

We have it and I love it! It’s really easy to put up/fold down, baby seems to be comfy and it's really smooth to push” - recommended by Mumsnet user Amipreg1 

I have had the Versatrax from newborn and love it. It folds really easily and fits in the boot of my Mini. I haven’t noticed a bumpy ride, either when using the carrycot or the actual pram. I found it easy to put the carrycot on and off when he was tiny and I clipped the car seat onto the frame which was harder to get on and off. Now that I use the actual seat it looks lovely and I love that you can have it facing both ways” - tried and tested by Mumsnet user Tealandteal

I have the Versatrax and really like it. Giant basket, folds easily forward- and rear-facing, easy to manoeuvre on most terrain. I think it is really good value for money” - rated by Mumsnet user Clicheinaqashqai 

Our verdict

If a quick and easy fold is high on your travel system wish list, then the Joie Versatrax is certainly worth a look. Suitable from birth to four years old and sold as part of a travel system bundle for under £700, it offers excellent value for money. As a Which? Best Buy, the Versatrax also scored highly in their lab tests, with a quick and easy fold that can be triggered with the seat attached in either direction. 

Mumsnet users praise this travel system for its effortless fold. This can even be done one-handed - ideal if you’re out and about with your baby and toddler in tow. Once folded, the Verstrax sits relatively compact and can self-stand. 

The pushchair is heavy though, and while we wouldn’t recommend carrying it far, the integrated carry strap can spread the load for simple transportation to and from your car. If we’re being really critical, we would have loved a locking catch to hold the chassis securely in place when folded. 

The Joie Versatrax is suitable from birth thanks to its lie-flat seat, but you can also buy the Joie Ramble XL carrycot for extra-comfy strolls with your newborn. The Versatrax is also compatible with a variety of Joie infant car seats, including the i-Gemm and i-Snug, both of which clip to an ISOFIX base in your car (sold separately) to meet the enhanced i-Size car seat safety regulations

Unclipping the carrycot is quick and simple to do, however some reviewers have found the car seat trickier to detach due to the simultaneous lift and press of a release button. The pushchair seat is comfortable and roomy for your baby and, although a little fiddly, the strap length can be adjusted child to your child as they get taller. The seat itself is a little thin, but it has good padding across the back and harness, with a removable bumper bar for your baby to grab on to as they get bigger. 

Thanks to the all-wheel suspension, the Versatrax is easy to steer across most surfaces, with a relatively small turning circle and the ability to be pushed one-handed. The heavy design makes kerbs a bit more of an effort and, while not an all-terrain pushchair, the lockable front wheels are a big help when tackling rough terrains such as gravel and mud. The handlebar can also be adjusted to a comfortable height for each user and sandal wearers can rejoice as the brake is even flip-flop-friendly. 

We love the shopping basket on the Versatrax (which at 4.5kg is about average for a travel system of this size). It’s easy to access from all directions even when the pushchair seat is fully reclined, and has an internal pocket to keep smaller items close to hand. 

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9. Best travel system for design: Babystyle Egg2

Pushchair price: £879 | Latest deals from John Lewis

Bundle price from £1499 | Latest deals from John Lewis

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 25kg | Orientation: Parent- and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: H67.5 x D64 x W45cm | Weight: 15.3kg | Basket capacity: 3kg | Extras included: Rain cover

What we like

  • Good longevity with a high maximum weight of 25kg

  • Can be converted to a double for twins

  • Highly manoeuvrable and easy to steer

  • Three-position recline

  • Easy to adjust the harness 

  • One-handed fold

  • Tackles varied terrain 

What we don’t like

  • The car seat requires some strength to remove 

  • Basket is shallow

  • Heavy 

  • Need to remove the seat before folding 

  • Car seat adapters not included 

What Mumsnet users say

I love my Egg2. The suspension is great for all types of terrain: woods, pavement, bumpy roads, etc. My baby is happy in it since she was a newborn. Although it’s heavy, the size is not too big for getting onto the bus or train. My car is a small KIA RIO, and it fits alright. With its adjustable height, it suits both petite (me) and tall (husband) really well” - recommended by Mumsnet user Indoinuk

We absolutely love it. It is a very sturdy pushchair but very compact for walking around shops and using on public transport. We mainly use ours for walking along pavements although it has worked absolutely fine for use on country roads and even off-road in the local woodland. It is an expensive travel system, however that is really shown in the quality of it. My [child] is almost four years old and has been used extensively in that time but it still looks and feels brand new.“ - rated by Mumsnet user stormelf 

Our verdict

If you want a travel system that really stands out from the crowd, you’ll love the unique and stylish design of the Egg2. 

An upgrade from the original Egg stroller, the new Egg2 travel system features some exciting improvements. The new design has a larger-sized seat which not only sits slightly higher on the chassis but also has a taller back and an easy-adjust harness to support your child as they grow. 

Built with practicality in mind, the Egg2 also has an increased basket size and the ability to self-stand when folded - preventing any unwanted damage to the handlebar or chassis when you’re packing it away. And if that's not enough, the wheels on the Egg2 are also slightly larger, helping it perform better across more challenging terrain compared to its predecessor. 

With a distinctive design, this stylish pushchair is suitable for babies from six months through to an impressive 25kg, which could be up to five years of age - the highest capacity travel system we’ve featured. For younger babies, however, you’ll need to attach the Egg2 carrycot, with a soft cushioned mattress suitable for up to nine months, or clip on the aptly named Egg Shell car seat. It’s worth noting though that car seat adapters aren’t included, so you’ll need to factor this in as an extra when considering the overall purchase price. 

With a robust and sturdy design, the Egg2 weighs in at a substantial 15.5kg - over 5kg heavier than the heaviest travel system on our list - which may be off-putting to some. Despite its weight, it’s surprisingly easy to steer, with a small turning circle and the ability to be steered one-handed, even across grass, gravel and mud. The four-wheel suspension tackles kerbs with ease, without jolting or waking your baby. 

Folding does take some practice due to the multiple steps involved. Unlike the BabyStyle Oyster 3 and Nuna Mixx Next which can fold with the seat attached in either direction, the Egg2 carrycot or pushchair seat need to be fully removed from the frame before you can fold it away. Once folded, the Egg2 frame sits relatively compact and self stands without taking up too much space in your car. 

While it's on the higher end of the price scale for a travel system, this is certainly noticeable in its modern and stylish design, with great attention to detail including a height adjustable leatherette handlebar and matt chassis. 

Unlike some travel systems which have wheels that can look plasticity, the tri-spoke design on the Egg2’s puncture-free tyres is quite the opposite. They even leave a unique egg-shaped tread - a novel but lovely touch. There’s even an easily accessible flip-flop-friendly brake which uses only the base of your foot, so no squishing your toes in the process.

The basket capacity could be bigger considering the pushchair’s size, with a 3kg capacity which can fill quickly due to its shallow design. We like the sun hood, however, which not only offers excellent coverage but uses magnets for the viewing window - so no loud crunch of rip tape that risks waking your baby when you take a peak.

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10. Best travel system for country living: Cybex Priam 

Pushchair price: Chassis £819.95 and seat pack £179.95  | Latest deals at John Lewis

Bundle price from £1,667.85 | Latest deals at Mamas & Papas

Key specs 

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent facing or world facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: 43 x 60 x 95cm | Weight: 13.6kg | Basket capacity: 5kg | Extras included: Rain cover and car seat adaptors

What we like

  • Suitable for varied terrain

  • One-handed fold

  • Reversible seat

  • Adjustable handlebar height 

  • A removable bumper bar for easy placement 

What we don’t like

  • Heavy and bulky

  • Significant initial assembly

  • The slim narrow seat could be outgrown quite quickly 

  • Doesn’t lock once folded

  • Less suitable for public transport  

What Mumsnet users say

Priam. Such a great pram, we love it. Well made and sturdy, good for country walks.” recommended by Mumsnet user Anewhoo

I have it and really love it so far. The carrycot is really spacious and has zips to provide mesh ventilation on the sides. You can also clip the car seat in (we have Cloud Z). The manoeuvrability is absolutely brilliant - you can turn it in really tight spaces. When folded it’s pretty compact. We do have to pop a wheel off when putting it into the boot (we have Seat Ibiza) which isn’t really an issue as they just click in/out. Honestly, I’ve not got any cons so far apart from it being expensive but you get what you pay for and I’m very happy with it” - rated by Mumsnet user Nat4392

Our verdict

The robust Cybex Priam comes well regarded amongst Mumsnet users and online reviewers. Thanks to its sturdiness, it’s a popular choice for parents living in a more rural or countryside setting. An updated version of the original Priam from 2019, the 2022 edition offers several big improvements including a one-handed adjustable harness, revised seat design and a carrycot that sits higher up on the chassis.  

Due to the lie-flat recline, the Priam 2022 is suitable from birth through to 22kg, but the seat is narrow so you may find your child outgrows it sooner than age four. The seat can be used parent- or world-facing and, to ensure a comfortable ride for your baby, you can switch between four different recline positions and three leg rest positions.

As a travel system, the Priam 2022 can be combined with the spacious Cybex Priam Lux carrycot (suitable until around nine months of age) or the Cybex Cloud T i-Size baby car seat using the included adapters - ideal when moving your newborn to and from the car. 

While it's not an all-terrain pushchair, the Cybex Priam 2022 handles the majority of surfaces well with the exception of sand. Its weighty design is less suited to public transport but can navigate well around pavements and kerbs, as well as tackle trickier terrain such as gravel and grass with relative ease. The handlebar height can be set between 99 and 109cm and is easy to adjust when switching between parents or caregivers.

The fold has several steps, but is relatively straightforward, folding to a compact size that won’t exhaust all the space in your boot. At 13.6kg, however, it’s quite bulky to lift and one of the heavier travel systems on our list. 

We love the large central brake pedal which is quick and easy to operate. The included rain cover is simple to install and the generously sized sun hood offers more than adequate sun protection, although you may find the sideless design of the seat can let through some glare. Thanks to the magnetic viewing window, you can keep a close eye on your baby even when the seat is world-facing. 

We’re less keen on the storage basket’s slanted design, which feels restrictive in terms of space, despite its 5kg capacity. That said, you will find some additional small pockets of storage on the back of the seat - a great way to keep your phone close to hand.

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11. Best lightweight travel system: Nuna Triv Next 

Pushchair price: from £600 | Latest deals from Boots

Bundle price from £950 | Latest deals from Boots

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent facing or world facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: 36 x 59 x 66cm | Weight: 9.2kg | Basket capacity: 4.5kg | Extras included: Rain cover 

What we like

  • Lightweight

  • Large basket 

  • Adjustable handlebar height

  • Smooth on varied terrain 

  • Large sun hood 

What we don’t like

  • Heavy 

  • Can’t be folded one-handed

  • The hood can be noisy when pulled out

What Mumsnet users say

“I absolutely love it! It's been perfect for us. The fold is so quick and easy, and my little girl is always really comfortable in it, very decent-sized shopping basket underneath reclines flat for naps, it also handles some rough terrain (bumpy grass, rougher pebbly floors etc) but does not huge ditches or anything.” - tried and tested by Mumsnet user MamaMiaOhDear

Our verdict 

The second Nuna pram featured in our round-up of the best travel systems is the Nuna Triv Next - another Which? Best Buy that achieved the highest lab score of all the products on this list. An upgrade from the original Nuna Triv, the latest edition comes with an even lighter frame and updated wheels for improved handling across varied terrain. 

Suitable from birth to 22kg, the pushchair can be used parent-facing or world-facing, and reclines to one of four different positions, including a lie-flat option for newborns. Alternatively, you can combine the chassis with the comfortable padded Nuna Triv Series carrycot or the Nuna Triv car seat when travelling with a younger baby.

Despite weighing just 9.2kg, the Nuna Triv Next performs surprisingly well over rough terrain thanks to the robust rear wheel suspension, with the ability to navigate across gravel and woodland areas without any significant bumping. We love the five different height options on the leatherette handlebar, allowing for a safe and comfortable hold for parents of different heights. 

Whilst the relatively simple fold does require two hands, the result is a compact and lightweight pushchair that’s easy to carry thanks to the locking clasp and integrated carry handle. As a result, Triv Next is a practical choice for those travelling regularly on public transport. 

The generously sized sun hood can be a little noisy to extend, but is also water-repellent (ideal for those scattered showers) and provides good shade coverage, with a viewing window for discrete checks on your baby while they nap. We love the spacious 4.5kg storage basket which has elasticated sides and can be accessed from all directions, along with the extra zipped storage pocket to the rear of the seat. 

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12. Best travel system for city living: Bugaboo Dragonfly 

Pushchair price: £695 | Buy now from Kiddies Kingdom

Bundle price from £945 | Buy now from Bugaboo

Tested by parents: Read our full Bugaboo Dragonfly review

Key specs 

Suitable from: Birth to 22kg | Orientation: Parent- and world-facing | Car seat compatible: Yes | Folded dimensions: One-piece self-standing fold with seat 36 x 52 x 90cm; one-piece self-standing fold with carrycot 32 x 52 x 90cm | Weight: 7.9-10.4kg | Basket capacity: 10kg plus extra 2.5kg when rear pocket is placed on handlebar | Extras included: Integrated carry strap; Parasol+ attachment clip

What we like

  • Carrycot can be collapsed with the buggy

  • Excellent storage

  • Rear storage pocket can be detached and hung on the handlebar

  • Freestanding when folded

  • Huge sun canopy with extra extension for sunny days

  • Sliding, easy-to-adjust five-point harness

What we don’t like

  • Stiff and clunky recline

  • Takes time to master the fold

  • No rain cover included

What Mumsnet users say

"My daughter enjoys a ride in the Bugaboo Dragonfly and has fallen asleep in the toddler seat multiple times. She likes gripping onto the bumper bar when on the move, and the number of recline angles on the seat means she always sits or lays comfortably" - parent tester, Laura

Our verdict

A great option for those travelling around an urban environment on foot, the Bugaboo Dragonfly is designed specifically for city life. With a relatively lightweight frame, this buggy is much lighter than many other travel systems (with the exception of the Nuna Triv Next and Maxi-Cosi Zelia 2). 

Released in June 2023, the Bugaboo Dragonfly features a sliding harness, large extendable sun canopy, leather grip height-adjustable handlebar and huge storage basket with a rear storage pocket that detaches from the basket to be hung on the handlebars like a changing bag.

While the claim of a one-handed fold is debatable, the pushchair can self-stand once folded, making it easier to carry and store at home or on public transport. It also folds down with the carrycot attached - the first of its kind and a game-changer in the newborn days.

Thanks to its light frame, the Bugaboo Dragonfly is agile and easy to manoeuvre, with a small turning circle that makes it ideal for navigating through crowded city streets or narrow shop aisles.

Its large brake pedal is easy to engage. Parent tester, Laura, says, "The brake is one of the easiest I've used and holds effectively. You simply press the brake down with your foot to engage and disengage it, and this can even be done barefoot or with flip-flops."

As you may expect, however, the Bugaboo Dragonfly doesn’t fair quite so well as other travel systems on uneven ground and struggles in particular when it comes to bumping up kerbs.

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What is a travel system?

A travel system is a pushchair that allows you to remove the seat or carrycot and replace it with a baby car seat.

Tailored specifically to newborn babies, a travel system can be bought as a standalone pushchair or as part of a bundle, either a 2-in-1 travel system, featuring a pushchair and carrycot, or a 3-in-1 travel system which also has a baby (Group 0+) car seat.

With the ability to attach a Group 0+ car seat (suitable from birth to 12 months), a travel system allows you to move your baby seamlessly from car to pram without disturbing them. The carrycot accessory is a convenient lie-flat option for your newborn that allows your baby to sleep while on the go, ensuring clear airways and healthy hip and spine alignment at all times. 

The size and weight of traditional travel systems (and in many cases the hefty price tag) means they're not for everyone, so it’s important to consider your lifestyle and habits when making your choice.

How we chose and tested the best travel systems

  • Over 100 hours of research and testing

  • Tested with real parents

  • Consumer-recommended

To ensure we're only recommending the very best travel systems, we first looked to the Mumsnet forums, home to 10 million users a month, to get the lowdown on the travel systems real parents rate and would recommend to others.

We then branched out to the wider web, collated reliable and honest consumer feedback from retail sites and bestseller lists. We also spoke to pushchair and baby travel experts from trusted organisations such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) as well as local NCT groups. 

To round out our research, we consulted the views of consumer champion Which? to discover how each travel system performed in their impartial lab testing environment.

Finally, wherever possible, we tested the travel systems ourselves, using a comprehensive testing and scoring system to highlight the best-performing products across the board. Specifically, we tested for safety and stability, assembly, ease of use, comfort, cleaning, materials and value for money. 

What is the difference between a pram, a pushchair, a buggy and a travel system? 

The terms are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences between a pram, pushchair, buggy and travel system.

  • Pram: A pram is a lie-flat travel solution, with a bassinet-style carry cot that allows your baby to lie in a more natural sleeping position. Prams are generally tailored towards newborns and young babies, suitable up to the age of around six months. 

  • Pushchair: Pushchairs offer additional flexibility as your child grows. Once they can sit up unaided (from around six months), your baby may transition from a pram to a pushchair, with the ability to sit more upright and visually explore their surroundings. With modern designs, many pushchairs now offer a lie-flat option that also makes them suitable from birth.

  • Buggy: The phrase buggy is often used as a catch-all phrase to describe a variety of products, but most commonly refers to a lightweight stroller that offers practical short-term travel solutions. A buggy tends to be less feature-rich and less able to tackle varied terrain, but is often cheaper and easier to store, with an umbrella fold or compact designs that can be stashed out of sight when not in use. 

  • Travel system: A travel system is a versatile choice and a practical option for parents who will be regularly switching between their car and travelling on foot. Parents can choose between a 3-in-1 travel system or a 2-in-1 travel system depending on their preference. In addition to a pushchair, a 2-in-1 travel system bundle includes a carrycot, which can be clipped onto the chassis as a lie-flat solution for newborns till around six months of age. 3-in-1 travel systems also include a car seat and will often require adapters to link to the main frame of the pushchair. 

Do I need a travel system?

Because travel systems can be bulky and expensive, it’s worth checking whether or not you actually need one.

If you often travel by car, a travel system will save you time and energy when out and about with your baby as you'll be able to easily remove and attach a car seat.

With a parent-facing carrycot attachment, and sometimes even the main seat unit itself, you'll also be able to lie your child completely flat, which will ensure that they are safe and secure at all times.

If you rarely use a car, or if you know you’ll be on and off public transport daily, then a lightweight buggy may be a more suitable option.

Some lightweight pushchairs, such as the Bugaboo Dragonfly can, however, be used as a travel system, which may just give you the best of both worlds.

Read next: The best car sun shades for babies

Should babies lie flat in a pram?

To be suitable from birth, your pram or pushchair seat needs to recline into a ‘lie flat’ position - as close to 180 degrees as possible. This is because an upright seat can actually restrict your baby’s airways and reduce the amount of oxygen in their bloodstream due to the position of their head and neck. 

Some pushchairs are only suitable for use from six months and, as such, require the addition of a carrycot or car seat to be suitable from birth. It’s worth remembering that your baby should not be kept in a car seat for longer than two hours at a time, and should be removed at the earliest opportunity once you’ve reached your destination. 

Video: how to choose the best travel system

How much do travel systems cost?

Prices range from £250 to over £1,000 and most come as part of a bundle, which could save you money in the long run.

More expensive models may come with a multitude of added extras – think footmuffs, buggy boards and general customisable features – but this will, of course, increase the cost.

Read next: How to clean a pram

What should I look for when buying a travel system? 

Here are some important questions to ask yourself when considering which travel system is right for you: 

  • What does the price include and what is my budget? First up, how much are you willing to spend on your travel system? Consider what elements you will benefit from the most before deciding between a 2-in-1 bundle with a carrycot, or a 3-in-1 bundle with a carrycot and car seat. Some travel systems can be purchased for under £400, but for more luxury designs or bundles with more accessories, you can easily spend £1,000 or more. 

  • What is the weight limit? What is the maximum weight capacity for the pushchair? The vast majority of travel systems can accommodate children up to 22kg (approximately four years) however some stop at 15kg, so it’s worth checking the specifications with care. 

  • How easy is it to attach a carrycot or car seat? Does this require adapters and if so, are they included? Can this be done one-handed? If you’re going to be out and about on your own with your baby, it’s important you can attach and remove the car seat and carrycot without assistance. 

  • What are the seat recline options? How many recline settings does the pushchair element of the travel system offer, and is there a lie-flat option suitable for use with your newborn? Can the recline be triggered one-handed and with your baby already in the seat? Some travel systems have back recline options only, whereas others can adjust the angle of the footrest too - a helpful feature when travelling with older babies and toddlers. 

  • Can the seat be switched between parent- and world-facing? Most parents prefer to use their pushchair in parent-facing mode initially, enabling good eye contact and helping you keep a close eye on your baby whilst travelling. As your baby gets older, however, they may become curious about exploring their surroundings, so switching to world-facing can provide them with a better view. If your travel system pushchair has a viewing window in the hood, this can be helpful to allow regular checks that your baby is calm and content. 

  • Is it roomy enough? As well as the weight limits, it's important to consider the style, size and shape of the seat. Some travel systems such as the Cybex Priam are quite narrow and may be outgrown sooner than their specification suggests.

  • Does it have a five-point harness? How secure is the harness and is it padded for a comfortable fit? It’s also worth considering how easy it is to adjust the harness height as your baby grows. On some travel systems, this will be a simple, one-handed adjustment, while others will require some rethreading. 

  • How easy is it to fold? Can the fold be achieved one-handed and if not, how many steps are involved? Does the seat need to be removed beforehand? Is the process fairly intuitive or is it a case of practice makes perfect? It’s also worth considering whether the fold requires physical strength - something which will be even more important if you’re recovering from a c-section.

  • How compact is the fold? What are the dimensions of the pushchair once folded? Will it fit into the boot of my car or on public transport and does it have a safety clasp to hold it securely in place once folded?

  • How easy is it to push and steer? How easy is the pushchair to steer and can it cope with varied terrain? It’s worth considering the type of surfaces you will be travelling on most regularly. For city dwellers, most travel systems can navigate across pavements and down kerbs with ease, whereas you may need an all-terrain pushchair if you’re planning on taking your travel system to the beach or local woods. 

  • How heavy is it to carry? How much does the travel system weigh and are you able to lift this yourself, whether that’s to and from the car or onto public transport? Some travel systems include an integrated carry handle and while it's not something you’ll want to use regularly, this can help distribute the weight when carrying up and down the stairs at home. 

  • Is the handle height adjustable? Is the handlebar height fixed, or can this be adjusted to suit the parent? Most travel systems offer some handlebar adjustment, but to what margin will depend upon the brand. If you are particularly petite or tall, it's worth checking the lowest and highest height settings to ensure it’s comfortable to push. 

  • What's the brake like? How easy is the brake to trigger and is it flip-flop friendly? Some central brakes can disrupt your strides when walking quickly but are easier to access if you need to stop in an emergency. If you regularly wear sandals and flip-flops, you’re best to look for brakes that don’t require lifting up with the top of your foot to release. 

  • How big is the storage basket? One of the biggest variations between travel systems is the size of the storage basket, with our choices ranging from a 3kg capacity to over 13kg. As well as the capacity, you should look at the size and shape of the basket, whether it can be accessed from multiple angles, and whether it is still accessible when used with the carrycot. Some travel systems also offer additional storage such as pockets on the back or footrest. 

  • Does it come with a rain cover? We can always rely on the British weather to treat us to an unexpected downpour so an included rain cover is a handy accessory to protect your baby from the elements. If it’s not included, how much do they cost to buy as an optional extra? How easy is the rain cover to attach and can this be done quickly when the heavens open? 

  • Will the sun hood provide enough protection? Is it extendable? On warmer days, it’s important to keep the sun out of your baby’s face where possible. A good travel system will have a large sun hood or canopy, ideally with UPF50+ protection and an extendable section that provides coverage even when the seat is fully reclined. 

  • How easy is the travel system to clean? What fabric is the seat of your travel system made from? Can the covers be removed for easy cleaning, or is it spot clean only? 

  • What does it look like? Does it come in colours I like? While it's not the most important factor, the overall look and feel of your travel system is still something to consider, as you’ll want to feel confident when out and about with your baby. What colour choices are available? Is it a modern or traditional design? Do the fabrics and chassis look high quality and luxurious? 

  • Can I convert it to a double buggy or fit a buggy board? If you’re planning on growing your family, it’s worth considering whether the travel system could be easily converted to a double buggy, or whether a buggy board can be attached to the back. The latter is a great option for toddlers who may tire easily when walking on foot, whilst still encouraging some independence. 

  • What are the wheels like? What are the wheels made from and are they puncture-free? 

  • Can it handle off-roading? Does the travel system pushchair have any built-in suspension to tackle more off-road terrains? For more lightweight travel systems that don’t claim to be all-terrain, it’s worth looking for a lockable front wheel, as this can provide greater resistance against gravel and mud. 

  • How easy is it to assemble and take apart? Finally, for the flatpackphobes amongst us, how easy is it to get started with your travel system? Does it require any significant assembly before use and if so, how intuitive is it and are the steps easy to follow? Some travel systems also feature convertible carrycots, so if you are repelled by the prospect of following an instruction manual, you may want to opt for a design with a separate stand-alone carrycot

baby in buggy

Travel system safety advice from RoSPA

We spoke to Nick Lloyd, Acting Head of Road Safety at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), for some safety advice when buying a travel system:

  • Always buy from a reputable shop or website. Don’t try to get a cheap deal as you don’t know if you’ll be buying the real branded item or a copy

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to fit and use the travel system

  • Don’t leave your baby in the car seat for more than two hours (30 minutes if your child is a low birth weight or has medical problems). This can cause fatalities

Read next: Can you take a pram on a plane? Everything you need to know about travelling with a pushchair

About the author

Lucy Cotterill is a mum of two and Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in baby/child product reviews and round-ups. Having written product reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy loves to research and explore the pros and cons of baby products, scrutinising reviews and consumer feedback to help parents make confident purchases that benefit their families.  

Lucy has personal experience of researching, buying and using travel systems with her own children, as well as completing several tried and tested pushchair reviews over the years.

Originally from a HR background with a degree in Business Studies, Lucy developed a real passion for blogging and writing when her children were young, going on to write for several online publications including US parenting site Pregistry and the Evening Standard. 

When she’s not manically tapping the keys of her laptop, Lucy loves nothing more than to cosy up with her Kindle and enjoy the latest thriller, or compete in Nintendo Switch rallies with her daughters aged six and 10.