Sep. 26, 2012 at 11:47 AM ET
Ironic, isn’t it, that a 10-pound bundle of joy requires about the same size bag as a 200-pound business traveler -- not to mention a stroller and a baby seat? Travel systems aim to consolidate some of that bulk by combining everything into a single buggy. This option also promises some savings over purchasing the components separately, a boon for parents when the government pegs the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 near $300,000 for a middle-income family. Safe, high-quality travel systems start at well under $300.
Below are Cheapism’s top picks for affordable travel systems.
Parents can continue to use these travel systems even after their children outgrow the included infant car seats. The strollers themselves carry toddlers up to 50 pounds. They feature seats that fully recline and conveniences such as cup holders for both parent and child.
All the travel systems on the list above include important car seat safety features, including a five-point harness that secures small passengers over the shoulders, around the hips, and between the legs. The seats are designed to lock into place in a car using the LATCH system, which is required in vehicles manufactured within the past decade. (The acronym stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.) The NHTSA warns that a car seat must be installed properly in order to protect a child effectively. All the car seats on these travel systems meet government safety standards and rate at least average when it comes to ease of use. Be sure to check the NHTSA website before you buy for complete ratings and up-to-date information about product recalls.
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