Owning a stroller means you want an easier transport for your baby, may it be to the grocery or just a stroll in the park. What if you want more than just a stroller that can be moved around by wheels? With a car seat, not only you equip your baby the means to be safely carried on inside your vehicle, but you also want your baby to take on the first step in strolling, which is using the car seat. A majority of parents begin with an infant car seat for quick portability. For instance, when the baby is already taking a nap on the car seat and you want to move your baby on the stroller, you may liberally do so without waking your baby up. Just simply get the car seat and fasten it tightly and safely onto the stroller. This is absolutely convenient when traveling — a car seat for your baby, a stroller to put on, and zero worries for you, as parents, about having your baby getting cranky with the ride, as long as the car seat is constricted and compact with the vehicle’s seat belt.
A stroller can be wholly convenient and less stressful if it has the compatibility to accommodate various car seats using its built-in car seat adapter. If the included car seat has been destroyed, for an instance, dropping it causing the frame of the car seat to dislocate, then you can buy another car seat with different manufacturer. Some car seat strollers can accommodate bassinets but a bassinet is not fashioned to replace a car seat, as it is only a carriage that most parents use for portability. A bassinet cannot be fastened in the vehicle as what a car seat is supposed to do. In order for you to decide which car seat frame stroller to purchase on the market, we are going to provide you with information about the best car seat strollers through the following reviews. Being informed about the products you wish to know in detail is very essential for your future stroller investment.
1. Joovy Roo
Joovy Roo stroller has a complex look and design that makes strolling cool and comfortable. It is engineered to accommodate popular car seat brands such as Graco, Chicco and Peg Perego, because of its built-in click-in connection.
Ease of use
The folding and unfolding mechanisms are relatively difficult because of the frame’s tightness to fold. The parent must be strong enough to activate its folding process. Its fold-lock is manual; therefore, you need to use both hands to securely hold the stroller together. Furthermore, Roo does not self-stand, which makes it not portable to carry elsewhere.
One of Roo’s brand signatures is having the cup holders located below the infant’s car seat, which lessen the chance of spilling when the ride is bumpy. Most strollers in the market have their cup holders beside the baby or near the handlebar, and there is always a chance of a spill unless their cup holders are deep enough. Not only does Roo’s cup holders are below the car seat, but it is also deep around 3.5 inches. This feature is really satisfactory for parents who want their beverage within reach and their baby safe and sound.
Its storage capacity is not quite spacious at five pounds that only diaper bag and some bottles can accommodate. When the car seat is attached on the frame, the accessibility of the storage basket is low, and the only way to retrieve the things is from the gap in front of the stroller. It also does not a zippered compartment for small things such as mobile, cards and keys.
Ease of attaching car seat
Joovy Roo comes in with adapters for each compatible car seat as mentioned earlier. This is convenient for parents who have other car seats aside from the Joovy Roo’s car seat. There should be an audible click when engaging the car seat onto the stroller.
Roo stroller is geared with a click-in system that works with the top three brands. The clicking sound is an indicator that the car seat is tightly gripped on the stroller’s frame. Its brakes are very firm to push, but the stroller remains immobile once brakes are in place.
This stroller is wobbly to navigate when you are using one hand only. Both hands are required to have a fixed and straight stroll. Its wheels have built-in suspension to impart smoother ride for the baby. Since the front wheels can swivel in 360 degrees, there are locks that can be used to lock the front wheels for a straighter pace. Turning in steep turns leads to a minimal effort and does not have a tip-over feeling.
Weight and folded size
Roo is heavy around 16 pounds, a bit heavy for a car seat stroller, which may not be convenient to carry in public transportation, or in loading and loading from the car trunk.
In this car seat stroller review, if you prefer a car seat frame stroller that can accommodate other car seats especially with the three top brands, Graco, Chicco and Peg Perego, go with the Joovy Roo stroller. Its functionalities are superb, noticing its signature among others.
2. Safety 1st Clic It
The Safety 1st Clic It is sold at the most reasonable price of $60 in the market, compared to other car seat strollers. Not only it is inexpensive, but also it is valued for its wide range of functionalities and versatility — a very affordable stroller without ruining your budget.
Ease of use
The folding part is done with one-hand, and is very easy and quick with a fold-lock that automatically engages upon folding. However, the unfolding mechanism requires both hands as the fold-lock does not automatically disengage.
Clic It stroller has a 10-pound storage capacity, expansive enough to contain enough grocery bags, bottles and diaper bags. When the car seat is attached, the storage basket becomes inaccessible because the car seat covers the whole basket. This stroller comes with two deep cup holders that do not spill on bumpy rides, and with parent compartment for mobiles phone and car keys.
Ease of attaching car seat
Clic it is engineered with a simple and secure click-in system that is well-suited to any car seats regardless of the brand, however, when the car seat is attached on the frame, there is a wobbling feeling present when pushing the stroller.
The click-in compatibility is firm and solid upon car seat attachment, but a wobbly feeling is present that makes the parents worry whether the car seat may fall off anytime. The foot brakes are sandal-friendly, quick and responsive enough during sudden halts. Its cup holders are 2.8 inches deep, good enough to avoid spills for the tallest coffee drink ordered.
This stroller cannot offer smooth ride on rough pavements or on sidewalks with gravel and sand because it has the tendency to get stuck. It can be pushed on smooth terrains and hard, flat surfaces. It may have the tendency of a tip-over especially when it is stuck on the rocky ground. The harder you push the more force it receives to tip-over on the side.
The frame is made of sturdy aluminum and compact enough to be navigated one-handedly. Its front wheels have suspension, and can swivel on 360 degrees, and furthermore, its rear wheels are large enough to prevent tip-overs in steep turns.
Weight and folded size
This stroller is relatively light at 12 pounds, very appropriate to hand-carry elsewhere. It is compact and not bulky when folded, flexible enough to load and unload in car trunks.
In this car seat stroller review, if you prefer to be really economical, yet looking for strollers with satisfactory functionalities and safety measures, the Safety 1st Clic It stroller is the recommendation for you.
3. Graco SnugRider Elite
The Graco SnugRider Elite is an exceptional choice for new parents who are in need with a lightweight stroller with reliable functionalities and a stable car seat for their newborn infants up to one year of age.
Ease of use
The folding mechanism includes four steps and unfolding for five steps using one hand only, and it has an automatic lock upon folding so that it may not get messy when carrying. Although, disengaging the auto-lock feature is a bit difficult because it is attached very tightly. A little shake on the SnugRider can assemble the stroller in seconds. It can also do self-stand, which is very convenient to store vertically.
This Elite stroller has ample, 10-pound storage capacity because of its large bin underneath the seat, and the latter is accessible from the front or from the back. This stroller has a shallow cup holder that has the tendency to spill if the ride is bumpy or turning sideways. It may not have small pockets at the side, but it does have a zippered pound inside the basket, and a bowed bar serving as the folding point.
Ease-of-Attaching Car Seat
The Graco SnugRide stroller is only well matched with Graco car seats, and cannot accommodate other car seats. Its attachment method is fast and easy with its Click Connect feature. It attaches the car seat onto the stroller frame, orienting its position on the frame, and a loud “Click” sound can be heard, indicating that the seat is secured firmly on the frame.
The brakes that are tailored in the SnugRider are flexible to operate with a push on each brake, making it very much sandal-friendly. Remember that its cup holder is shallow enough to spill on the baby’s head. It is better to prevent from putting hot liquids in the cup holder.
Its rear and front wheels are the largest at 6.5 inches, leading to effortless maneuvering on multiple terrains, especially on bumpy and rocky roads. The front wheels can swivel up to 360 degrees — an appreciated feature for ease of rotating, and these can be locked by pushing the lock feature for a straight ride.
In this car seat stroller review, we recommend Graco SnugRider Elite stroller as your choice for a maximum, secured car seat attachment on the stroller with its Click Connect capability.
4. Baby Trend Snap-N-Go Ex
The Snap-N-Go stroller is geared to support almost any car seats in the market, despite the brand, as long as its strap is fully compact in the stroller.
Ease of attaching car seat
The EX stroller has a difficult way of attaching the car seat because it is only built with a strap-in connection. There is no clicking sound that can alert the parent about its status in the position. The strap-in system of Ex requires both hands to squeeze the strap through the seat belt, and to buckle the seat to secure the seat. It is rather cumbersome to use compared with other car seat strollers with a click-in connection.
Ease of use
Its folding and unfolding processes require both hands to do, most especially when the fold-lock is manual. An extra effort is necessary to keep the stroller compact upon folding. On the plus side, it has the ability to self-stand, which makes storing at a minimum.
This stroller has a small-scale storage basket, having the weight capacity of five pounds — spacious enough for diapers and bottles. Its accessibility is also low compared to other car seat frame strollers, as the car seats are mostly covering the entire basket. The stroller has a parent compartment that can fit in mobiles, keys and other small items. The EX has two shallow cup holders at the side of the handlebar. Like most strollers with shallow cup holders, there is a tendency for the beverage to spill over to your baby during bumpy or steep rides.
The concern for the EX stroller is the usability of the strap when attaching the car seat on the frame. Straps are important to keep the car seat from falling off the stroller, but a click-in connection offers easy, yet secure grip of the car seat without the fuzz in strap engagement. Straps have the tendency to coil unwantedly, which is rather risky for the baby in the long run. As mentioned earlier, the cup holders are shallow enough to tip over, spilling onto your baby’s head. Be careful when putting in hot liquids, or do not put hot liquids at all.
Despite having stiff brakes, the stroller is immobile when the brakes are operated, which promotes stability and firmness. Its wheels are not tailored with suspension that gives a bumpy ride for the baby.
This stroller is quite complex to steer on multiple terrains, so both hands are necessary to control the stroller. However, the Snap-N-Go does not curb on steep turns and there is no tip-over feeling, which means the stroller is well-balanced.
Weight and folded size
Its weight is around 11 pounds which is really light for a car seat frame stroller, and its folded size is bulky because its handlebar is not adjustable.
In this car seat stroller review, it is recommended to have this Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX if you want your other car seats be accommodated in a frame stroller. It is also affordable and inexpensive next to Safety 1st Clic It.
5. Chicco KeyFit Caddy
The manufacturing company, Chicco, is prominent and widespread among various baby products, and it has ventured out in producing strollers to compete with known brands in the market.
Ease of use
The folding and unfolding processes are done with one hand and with an automatic fold-lock that can stand straight up vertically. Because it is very lightweight at six ounces, loading in and loading out of the car trunk is effortless.
The handlebar is made adjustable to fit the various heights of the parents, may it be taller or shorter, and to allow for a more packed fold. The storage basket is designed with a zippable lock at the front side and a foldable lip on the rear side for easier access when the car seat is attached. However, the cup holders are shallow leading to a possible spill on the baby when the ride is bumpy.
Ease of attaching car seat
The frame of the KeyFit Caddy is specially geared to fit the KeyFit car seat brand that leads to a secure and firm fit. The car seat produces a double snap once attached onto the frame, which indicates the safety lock and secure grip.
The Caddy stroller has double 6.5 inches durable front wheels that swivel in 360 degrees, and curbing is easy in steep turns. It has an all-terrain capacity that is convenient to go anywhere, although do not force to push Chicco in rough terrains more often as it is not a jogger stroller that is engineered to withstand countless times of rough pushing.
Caddy’s brakes are not wholly reliable when being operated to stop the stroller because it has a misleading audible click that does not indicate the full engagement of the brake mechanism. You may assume that when you hear the clicking sound, the brakes are in position, but actually they are not. You need to put an extra effort to test the stroller if it still moves after pulling the brakes. You have to be certain that the stroller is immobile; otherwise, your baby may meet in a possible accident.
Since the cup holders are only 1.5 inches deep, do not put hot beverages on the holders as there is a possibility of a spill when the ride is bumpy. The baby is clueless about the stroller, so an extra caution is necessary.
Weight and folded size
The Chicco stroller weighs around 11 pounds, perfectly light to carry anywhere as it is made portable. The folded size is compact and can fit in an average car trunk. Its adjustable handlebar is useful to keep the frame more tightly compact
Since Chicco is trusted worldwide with its baby products, you can go for its line of stroller, Chicco KeyFit Caddy as it has convenient functionalities that you may appreciate.
Types of Car Seat Strollers
Most strollers that have matching infant car seat compatibility are called car seat strollers. There are types of car seat strollers that cater to specific needs of parents.
Car Seat Frame Stroller
These are the minimalist strollers that utilize a car seat to hold the baby. It does not have a back seat compared to other strollers. It only has a car seat that is detachable from the frame stroller. As for the frame stroller, it only supplies a frame or the structure where you can place the car seat, and some reliable wheels that make the stroller move. This type of car seat stroller is lightweight and compact.
A travel system is a set that comprises of a standard stroller and a car seat that gives the parents a fully loaded stroller experience. Not only a car seat is intended for travel portability, but it also has a stroller that you can place your baby. If the baby has outgrown the car seat, you can still avail the stroller for strolling purpose. This is well fitted for parents who want more than just a car seat.
Stroller with Car Seat Adapter
A stroller with a car seat adapter has the ability to accommodate car seats other than the manufacturer’s car seat. Some adapters are gear with a click-in system or a strap system, and most parents prefer the click-in system that enables an audible click to let them know that the car seat is already attached securely on the stroller.
No matter the type of car seat stroller that you choose, remember to always review the stroller in terms of the baby’s well-being. There have been reported accidents that the infant car seat has fallen off the stroller because of poor strapping and fastening methods.
Car Seat Connection Methods
There are two types of connection methods for the car seat and the stroller. Distinguishing each method helps you decide what method is suitable for your convenience and for your baby’s welfare.
A stroller with a click-in system works by automatically latching the frame and car seat together when the seat is positioned onto the stroller. This method can be done using one hand only, and a clicking sound can be heard when the car seat is already in its proper and secure attachment. This method is fast, quick and reliable.
A stroller that is designed with a strap-in system utilizes belts and straps to keep the car seat attached onto the stroller. This method is compatible for all car seats regardless of the brand, which seems to be a general tradeoff to suit any seats. Sometimes, strapping can be tedious and cumbersome when the straps are not properly fastened.
In this car seat stroller review, we greatly recommended buying a stroller with a click-in attachment system to provide a ready, trustworthy, simple yet fast connection. You may be able to appreciate the experience of loading and unloading the car seat on the stroller if you buy a strap-in designed stroller because of its difficulty to tightly fastening the seat on the stroller.
Use of a Car Seat Stroller
A car seat stroller offers more than just portability during traveling. When traveling, the baby has the tendency to fall asleep inside the car. And when your baby is asleep on the car seat, you can simply get the whole car seat and attach it onto the stroller, without waking the baby. The transition from car to the stroller avoids unfastening the baby from the harness. Most car seat strollers are compact and easy to use, especially the frame stroller.
Some strollers have adapters that allow other branded car seats to attach onto the stroller, as long as the attachment method is secure and tight.
Most car seat strollers do not offer smooth rides on multiple terrains, especially the frame strollers because of their precise frame structure to suit only on smooth sailing grounds. Furthermore, the most manifested drawback in having a car seat stroller is having the baby outgrowing the car seat in at least 12 months. As mentioned earlier, the car seat is specifically designed for newborns and infants up to 12 months.
Now that you are already informed with some of the best car seat strollers offered in the market, types of car seat strollers, and their applications, you can proceed confidently with browsing strollers in shops. Testing and querying about the stroller is the important thing to do when shopping. Be sure that the manufacturer’s instruction manual is present in the package, and take time to read to further know the limitations and additional features of the stroller.
Just an additional piece of advice, when fastening the car seat inside the vehicle, make sure that it is fastened close-fitting in the buckling system of the vehicle, as you do not prefer to have the seat move forward during a sudden impact while driving. Owning a car seat means being aware of the extra responsibilities you need to take care of.