A travel system is a pushchair frame that you can easily fit other parts to. This normally consists of a seat unit (toddler seat), Carrycot and car seat. This has great advantages over a normal stroller as you can leave baby to sleep in the car seat or carrycot while on the go without disturbing them. The seat unit is normally forward and rearward facing which allows you to have baby face you and also turn it to forward facing when its time to explore.
Why are they expensive and are they worth the investment?
The reason a TS is more expensive than a pushchair is that you get a lot more with it.
- The frame is normally designed to a higher quality than a pushchair
- It normally includes a carry cot which in some cases is suitable for overnight sleeping which eliminates the need to buy a mosses basket and brilliant for on the go with baby to enable them to lie perfectly flat.
- A travel system will normally come with an infant carrier car seat which is suitable from 0 – 13kg
- It will also come with a seat unit which tends to be suitable from 6 months up to 15kg
If it is your first baby and you need a car seat and a pushchair then a travel systems offers great value on buying them separate and it normally makes life very easy when it comes to use.
What sort of things should a parent-to-be consider when choosing a travel system?
There are a few key features to look out for when choosing a TS:
- Comfort and safety is always most important so always look for a travel system that has a carry cot or a seat unit that can go fully flat. Either of these will do however a carry cot adds more comfort. It is really important for baby to be flat during the early stages so this is key.
- The car seat is an important one. If you want isofix then make sure the system you choose is compatible or has a base available. Your best way to check is to drive to your local store and they normally have someone qualified to check your car for the different options.
- The frame should fold small enough for storage or to fit in the boot of the car and leave room for other things. It should also be light enough for you to carry when not in use.
- Ease of use is vital. You don’t want to be stuck in a car park messing around with adaptors and removing wheels. A system that the parts easily clip onto is vital.
- After sales service – Your buggy will go through a lot of use and you need to know that the back up is there from your retailer / manufacturer if and when its needed.
Does expensive = better quality?
Certainly not! Nearly all of the systems available in Ireland these days meet the EN1888 safety standards. These standards really put the buggies through their paces and ensure the systems are built to a high standard. There are loads of different options out there to meet any budget so be sure to shop around for one that meets your needs and budget.
Is there any benefit in buying second hand?
Although buying second hand lmight save you money in the short term, you may find it more expensive in the long run.
Firstly I would never recommend buying a car seat second hand as you compromise on your babies safety as you don’t know if the seat has been involved in an accident or not. You might then find that the car seat is more expensive when bought separate.
You also don’t know how the system was used previously and was it looked after. When buying a second hand car you have a mechanic look over it, with a pushchair that’s not going to happen. Buggies that are not looked after can in time have issues with the wheel bearings and adaptors etc. Most brands come with a manufactures warranty however this is normally used up by the time the second user has bought it and having these parts changed can be expensive.
I would leave the second hand items to the non-essentials like bouncers and high chairs.