In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

The Best Stroller and Car Seat Combos

The Doona is a quality product and while not as nice as some of the competition it is definitely above average and will last for baby's first nine months.
Tuesday April 23, 2019
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Do you need a great stroller to combine with an infant car seat for your baby's early strolling time? We considered over 50 contenders and compatible car seats before purchasing and testing more than 25 top choices in combination with infant seat carriers from our Best Infant Car Seat Review to determine which combos are the best to use as a team. We understand how confusing it can be attempting to combine products from different brands or even the same brand. Considering this, we've conducted all the research, so you only need to kick back and read on! We have all the test results and information you need to find the best product combinations to meet your needs and meet your budget. Whether you want a stroller to use for the long haul or you have concerns about car seat attachment, you'll find what you need to create a great stroller and car seat combo for your family.

Our Picks



Best Overall Combo


UPPAbaby Cruz Combo


The Cruz works with the UPPAbaby Mesa without adapters. The install is easy and requires little pressure to complete.
Editors' Choice Award
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$549.99
at Amazon
See It

72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat 8
  • Weight/Folded Size 7
  • Maneuverability 5
  • Safety 6
  • Ease Of Use 6
  • Quality 7
  • Ease Of Set Up 10
Weight: 15.3 lbs | Folded Size: 7,860 cubic inches
Lighter weight
Quick car seat attachment
Compatible with award-winning seats
Smaller wheels make it a bit harder to push
Two hand fold

The UPPAbaby Cruz Combo is an excellent stroller and car seat combination that includes a smaller and lighter frame and easy car seat attachment using several popular car seat brands that click in with no straps. The Cruz folds easily and is light enough to lift and carry, folding small enough to fit in most cars. The Cruz works well with the award-winning UPPAbaby Mesa and the Chicco Keyfit 30 (so it can work with most budgets), with simple adapters that make it harder to make mistakes. This stroller is a great choice for parents who want to buy a single full-size stroller for the long haul and value a high-quality product that is easy to use that works well as a travel system.

The list price may seem high for this option compared to a traditional frame stroller or a pre-combined travel system, in truth, it is relatively average for a full-size stroller and the ability to use it from birth thru the toddler years makes it a great overall value that could mean you never have to buy another stroller. The Cruz is the stroller we would purchase and the one we recommend to our friends. This stroller won an Editors' Choice award as a combo and in our Full-size Stroller Review, proving it has what it takes where it counts.

Read review: UPPAbaby Cruz Combo

Great Lightweight Combo


UPPAbaby Minu Combo


Top Pick Award
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$399.99
at Amazon
See It

71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat 8
  • Weight/Folded Size 9
  • Maneuverability 5
  • Safety 1
  • Ease Of Use 5
  • Quality 6
  • Ease Of Set Up 9
Weight: 12.6 lbs | Folded Size: 6,610 cubic inches
Lightweight & compact
Quick car seat attachment
Compatible with multiple car seat brands
Plastic wheels make it harder to push
More expensive

The UPPAbaby Minu is a cool lightweight stroller that folds small and weighs little when used in conjunction with an infant car seat. The Minu is compatible with car seats from UPPAbaby, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, and Cybex giving parents the ability to choose from a variety of seats. The stroller has a quick adapter and seat attachment, and we had no difficulties in our tests when making the attachment. The stroller canopy works in conjunction with the car seat, and it has one of the highest storage weight allowance in the group with a limit of 20 lbs.

The Minu is priced relatively high, so it isn't budget-friendly unless you plan to use it as a travel stroller or useful commuter when baby gets older. It is also harder to push off flat and hard surfaces making it a poor choice if you plan to or need to take your stroller off-road. However, if you need a lightweight stroller going forward and need a good commuter you can use with an infant car seat, it is tough to beat the Minu and its useful features.

Read review: UPPAbaby Minu Combo

Taxi Game Changer


Doona Combo


Top Pick Award
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$500.00
List Price
See It

86
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat 10
  • Weight/Folded Size 9
  • Maneuverability 7
  • Safety 8
  • Ease Of Use 1
  • Quality 7
  • Ease Of Set Up 10
Weight: 16.8 lbs | Folded Size: 8,150 cubic inches
Stroller and car seat in one
Easy to install
Easy to push
Heavy to carry
Short lifespan

The Doona Combo is an innovative product where the stroller and car seat are the same product. This unique, niche-filling piece of gear is a one and done solution for families who live in the big city or who frequent public transportation and travel. We love that the Doona is both a car seat and a stroller so big city parents can safely buckle their baby into an Uber then hit the ground strolling when they reach their destination without worrying about two different products or where the stroller will go, who will hold it, or how it folds.

The Doona isn't right for all families thanks to its limited lifespan of 6-9 months and a higher price tag. However, we think it fills a niche for urban parents who may not otherwise use a car seat in a taxi or who want the convenience of taking their baby out on the town without the hassle of managing two items. Unfortunately, purchasing the Doona will require the future purchase of another stroller once your baby has outgrown the infant car seat. Parents will want to keep this in mind if their budget or long-term costs are a concern.

Read review: Doona Combo

Top Pick for Frame Stroller


Chicco Shuttle


Top Pick Award
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$119.99
at Amazon
See It

80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat 9
  • Weight/Folded Size 9
  • Maneuverability 5
  • Safety 6
  • Ease Of Use 6
  • Quality 7
  • Ease Of Set Up 7
Weight: 15 lbs | Folded Size: 6,360 cubic inches
Simple and compact
Compatible with an award-winning seat
Inexpensive
Limited lifespan
Limited to Chicco car seats
Hard to push and turn

The Chicco Shuttle is a simple frame stroller that works well with the award-winning Chicco Keyfit 30 and Chicco Fit2. This no-frills frame stroller provides a lightweight, compact folded stroller that is designed specifically for carrying an infant car seat. This design makes it uniquely qualified to fill this need without the need for adapters or concessions. This stroller is cost-effective, bare bones and straightforward filling a niche for parents who haven't decided on their long-term strolling needs, or those who want a simple answer for the first few months of baby's life. We like this new design with nicer wheels, adequate storage, and a parent tray and we think parents will like that it gets the job done without adding extra weight or taking up space.

This stroller may not be the best choice for families who want to buy their lifetime stroller or those who plan to jog in the future, but if you want an economical solution that will work for now, it is hard to beat the Shuttle, and it's straightforward easy to use design.

Read review: Chicco Shuttle

Top Pick for Urban Use


Bugaboo Bee3 Combo


The Bugaboo Bee 3 is the easiest stroller to attach a car seat to. We used the Chicco Keyfit 30 seat and adapter in our tests.
Top Pick Award
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$719.00
at Amazon
See It

73
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat 9
  • Weight/Folded Size 7
  • Maneuverability 7
  • Safety 7
  • Ease Of Use 4
  • Quality 7
  • Ease Of Set Up 2
Weight: 15.3 lbs | Folded Size: 10,886 cubic inches
Easiest car seat attachment
Lighter weight
Easy to maneuver
Higher price
Hard to use

The Bugaboo Bee3 won a Top Pick for Urban Use because it is the easiest to use with an infant car seat. It has an installation process that almost installs itself with an easy to use adapter loop. The Chicco Keyfit 30 car adapter we tested is easy to attach, and the carrier fits snugly inside while gravity almost makes the connection for you. This stroller is a hip looking, stylish head-turner that strolls through tight turns and crowded streets with relative ease.

The Bee isn't an excellent choice for parents hoping to run errands and make purchases as the storage bin is one of the smallest with a weight limit of only 8.8 lbs. You'll need to pare down your supplies or carry your diaper bag on your shoulder because they won't fit in this stroller. However, the Bee will get you where you need to go in high-end city style with above average scores for maneuverability.

Read review: Bugaboo Bee 3 Combo

Notable Option


Not all strollers excel at working with car seats; however, if you want to purchase only one stroller for your strolling years and you hope to use it occasionally with your infant car seat, you may consider options you don't see in the award-winning group. If your main goal is jogging, running, or off-road trailblazing, one such notable stroller is the Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo as it functions in several capacities that could result in the potential for a one and done purchase.

Best for Future Jogging


Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo


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$450.00
See It

67
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat 8
  • Weight/Folded Size 4
  • Maneuverability 9
  • Safety 6
  • Ease Of Use 6
  • Quality 9
  • Ease Of Set Up 9
Weight: 26.3 lbs | Folded Size: 15,388 cubic inches
Great jogger
Smooth car seat attachment
Easy to push and turn
More substantial
Two hand fold

The Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo is a cool jogging stroller versatile enough to be used as your everyday option. We like this high-quality stroller with sleek styling and impressive features like covered storage, passenger pockets, handbrake, and adjustable tracking. The locking swivel front wheel is good for rough terrain, moving at speed, and negotiating tight spaces. This stroller is compatible with a variety of popular infant car seats including several award winners.

Unfortunately, the Urban Glide 2 is heavy and takes up more space than your usual car seat stroller and you CAN'T jog with babies under 9-12 months old. These factors make it a stroller you may not consider as the right choice for younger passengers. However, if you want to limit your gear purchases and you plan to go off-road or run with your baby when they are old enough, then the Urban Glide 2 can get the job done from day one to the end of your strolling years with ease.

Do Not Jog with Infants
Despite the ability to use this stroller in conjunction with an infant car seat, you should never, ever jog or run with babies under 9-12 months of age. Discuss any jogging or trail plans with your pediatrician to determine the best age for your little one to move to more advanced strolling.

Read review: Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo

Budget-friendly but Limited


Britax B-Lively Combo


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$183.99
(20% off)
at Amazon
See It

68
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat 8
  • Weight/Folded Size 7
  • Maneuverability 6
  • Safety 3
  • Ease Of Use 6
  • Quality 6
  • Ease Of Set Up 8
Weight: 19.6 lbs | Folded Size: 6,612 cubic inches
Inexpensive
Easy to use
Straightforward attachment
Only works with Britax/BOB
Heavier

The Britax B-Lively is an interesting budget-minded stroller with useful features and the ability to work with an infant car seat. This stroller has a comfortable sling style seat, large canopy, easy to access storage bin, and rear canopy pockets for easy access items. The B-Lively folds quickly and compactly.

The B-Lively only works with Britax infant car seats, which is limiting and hurt its chances to win an award. Traditionally, the Britax seats haven't fared that well in our infant car seat review, with the Britax B-Safe 35 earning the lowest overall score, so it is difficult for us to say we'd necessarily recommend this combination to a friend. However, the B-Lively is a good stroller and the Britax seats meet the safety requirements of an infant car seat. If you already have a compatible Britax seat or plan to purchase one, then the B-Lively is certainly a stroller to consider, especially if you have an eye on budget.

Read review: Britax B-Lively Combo

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Bottom LineBest for city dwellers looking for a safe, quick transition from taxi to on-the-go adventuresEasy to use dedicated to car seat attachment onlyBest frame stroller with easy car seat attachment and parent consoleStylish stroller with easy car seat attachmentCompact Britax that works well with car seats and is easy to push and turnThe Vista is a good choice for multiples but not the best for single car seat attachmentQuality full-size option with easy car seat attachment and storage good for errandsHigh quality, compact option that is lightweight with easy car seat attachmentBudget-friendly and straightforward but only works with Britax brandHigh price for a heavy, harder to push stroller but the Chicco Keyfit 30 is easy to attachGreat option if you plan to jog when your baby is older and weight isn't a factorQuality option that is easy to push but the tipping problem is a concernPoor mover with difficult car seat attachmentNot the best for car seat attachment thanks to two steps and strapsEasy to push and turn stylish choice but attaching car seats is not idealHard to push choice that only works with Graco car seatsImpressive car seat attachment for twins but struggles with weight and size issuesThe heavier weight makes it a poor choice for an umbrella or car seat strollerSort of universal, but its hard to push and turn, and the strap attachment is one we don't likeDifficult to push and turn heavy option with only average ease of car seat attachmentWorks well with Chicco car seat, but struggles in all other metricsLimited car seat compatibility and a larger size make the Nuna feel less thanDisappointing that it is difficult to attach the same brand car seatWhile it works with lots of car seat brands, the strap in connection is bummer for usInfant car seat attachment is not one of the Flex's many strengthsStrap car seat attachment make this great jogger a poor combo choice
Rating CategoriesDoona ComboChicco ShuttleKeyFit CaddyBugaboo Bee3 ComboB-Free ComboVista ComboCruz ComboMinu ComboB-Lively ComboCameleon3 ComboUrban Glide 2 ComboCity Mini GT ComboSnugRider EliteCity Mini ComboSwift ComboJetsetter ComboThule Sleek ComboLiteway Plus ComboSnap-N-Go EX...Bravo LE ComboActiv3 Air ComboNuna MIXX2 ComboBooklet ComboSpeed ComboRevolution Flex...BOB Rambler Combo
Ease Of Attaching Car Seat (35%)
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1
Weight Folded Size (30%)
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5
Maneuverability (10%)
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9
Safety (10%)
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Ease Of Use (5%)
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Quality (5%)
10
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7
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3
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Ease Of Set Up (5%)
10
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9

Analysis and Test Results


The strollers and the compatible car seats in this review were tested and compared to one another. Wherever possible, we tested the strollers with their native brand car seat and at least one other product, usually the Chicco Keyfit 30 because it is an award-winner with a reasonable price, and popularity. We did not test each stroller with every compatible car seat. The metrics scores for ease of car seat attachment and weight and folded size are emphasized in the overall score because we believe they are the most important for this type of gear.

These are some of the strollers we tested in combination with infant car seats in our car seat stroller combo review.
These are some of the strollers we tested in combination with infant car seats in our car seat stroller combo review.

Using a stroller with your infant car seat can make getting around with your new baby more comfortable. Seamlessly transferring your little one from the car to a stroller can make leaving the house more accessible, faster, and more convenient. It also keeps your baby peacefully asleep while you manage errands and outings with ease. We think most parents will appreciate the convenience of a great stroller and car seat combo can provide.

Value


Finding a good value in this group can be harder to determine since you need to consider the price of each product in the combination to get the complete cost picture. If budget is a concern, you are best choosing the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat whenever possible. As a general rule, it is less expensive than the majority of infant car seats that work with these strollers. Additionally, if your long-term budget is a concern, then you may want to avoid purchasing a short-term use stroller like a frame stroller or the Doona which will retire at about nine months necessitating the purchase of a second stroller. An option like the UPPAbaby Cruz may be ideal as it works well with the Chicco car seat and you can use it until your little one no longer requires a stroller. This longer life makes it a good value as this stroller can be your only stroller purchase. If you plan to jog later and hope to buy a single stroller, the Thule Urban Glide 2 is a good choice that won awards in several gear reviews and works as a clip in with the Chicco adapter. If you require a stroller for travel or commuting, then the UPPAbaby Minu could be budget friendly as it fills two needs in one purchase, a car seat frame stroller, and a lightweight, compact traveler. If your short-term budget is more of a concern, and you can't even think about your later strolling years, the Chicco Shuttle can meet your short-term goals for around a hundred dollars.

This is an example of a click in adapter where the seat drops into a metal frame. This one belongs to the Bugaboo Bee3 for use with the Chicco Keyfit 30. You can see that gently dropping a carrier into this frame would be far easier than finding side connection points or having to mess with straps of any kind.
This is an example of a click in adapter where the seat drops into a metal frame. This one belongs to the Bugaboo Bee3 for use with the Chicco Keyfit 30. You can see that gently dropping a carrier into this frame would be far easier than finding side connection points or having to mess with straps of any kind.

Ease of Car Seat Attachment


The most straightforward car seat attachments seem to install themselves with little effort on the parent's part past moving the carrier from the car to the stroller. We prefer the car seats with a click-in only attachment process over those with a second strap attachment. The strollers and adapters with an easy drop-in/on attachment with little to no pressure needed, or chance for mistakes, score higher than products with obstructions or those that seemed connected when they weren't. Babyhood is hard enough without struggling to attach your car seat correctly. Any options with restraint straps in the installation process lost points as the straps increase complexity and inherently have a potentially higher margin for error (intentional or accidental).

The Bugaboo Bee 3 is the easiest stroller to attach a car seat to. We used the Chicco Keyfit 30 seat and adapter in our tests.
The Bugaboo Bee 3 is the easiest stroller to attach a car seat to. We used the Chicco Keyfit 30 seat and adapter in our tests.

Both Bugaboo strollers, including the Top Pick for Urban Use Bugaboo Bee 3 Combo and the Bugaboo Cameleon Combo, offer a loop style adapter where the car seat carrier lowers into the frame and clicks into place with the help of gravity with little pressure required.


The Top Pick for Frame Stroller, the Chicco Shuttle, also impresses in this metric. This dedicated frame option is specifically designed to work with Chicco brand infant seats. The opening of the stroller works well and requires only a small amount of pressure to connect with an audible click sound. The UPPAbaby strollers also performed well with results just below the Chicco Shuttle. However, two UPPAbaby options are more substantial which hurt their overall scores in this review and only the UPPAbaby Minu is light enough to compete with the frame strollers for car seat attachment on an easy to carry stroller.

No matter what car seat adapter you use with the BOB Revolution Flex  you'll need to use the restraint straps for secure attachment. This two step process increases the chances of improper installation and we worry parents will forget  or choose not to use the required strap step.
No matter what car seat adapter you use with the BOB Revolution Flex, you'll need to use the restraint straps for secure attachment. This two step process increases the chances of improper installation and we worry parents will forget, or choose not to use the required strap step.

Alternatively, the universal frame stroller, Baby Trend Snap-N-Go Ex, disappoints as it requires the use of straps to attach the seat. The carrier sits in a net made of belts, so the rim of the car seat sits on the edge of the stroller, and the straps attach over the middle of the seat to secure the carrier to the frame. Theoretically, the bottom straps will only need adjusting once, but the top straps need adjustment with every installation. We worry some parents will nestle the carrier in the frame and skip the straps because it feels secure "enough" even though it isn't.

The BOB Revolution Flex Combo also disappoints with a 2-step attachment process that includes clicking in and straps. This type of attachment is particularly worrisome because we think some parents will consider the click secure enough as the car seat feels immobile once attached. However, the manufacturers included the straps for a reason, and we think it would be negligent, but very tempting, for parents to skip the straps. Depending on your choice of car seat, the Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo has a similar click and strap features for some of its adapters; others are click in only, and we would recommend those over the options that utilize straps.

The Doona has them all beat with a car seat that is permanently attached to the stroller counterpart as a single product. This neat little ride lets you skip the attachment process altogether as the stroller components are forever part of the car seat in a design like no other we've seen. We like that there is no opportunity for incorrect attachment and you don't need to worry about adapters or missing components with this all-in-one option. However, it has a limited lifespan (6-9 months) which means the purchase of a second stroller when your baby outgrows the infant car seat.

Weight and Folded Size


There is nothing better than a frame stroller when it comes to weight and folded size. Frame strollers are lightweight, easy to lift, and compact. Given that some new moms often have a weight restriction on how much they are allowed to lift, a frame stroller may be the only option they can manage.


However, not all parents want a frame stroller because they only work for about nine months. Because some of the full-size strollers are lightweight and work nearly as well as a frame stroller with a car seat, some parents will prefer to buy an option that can be used well past baby's second year.

If finding the lightest product is your primary goal because you've had a C-section or worry about carrying something bulky or heavy, then look no further than the Chicco Shuttle. This dedicated frame stroller has limited features, but this keeps the weight near 15 lbs. The Baby Trend Universal Snap-N-Go is about 4 lbs lighter, but the Chicco Shuttle scored higher than the Baby Trend. While weight is a concern, we think most parents would prefer to carry the extra 4 lbs, than have a hard to use stroller. Not sold on a frame option? You're in luck. The UPPAbaby Minu is a lightweight stroller that is close to 12 lbs when prepped for a car seat and works through toddlerhood as a lightweight stroller extending its useful years to 3+.

The B-Free fold is only bested by that of the Britax B-Agile with a difference of less than 20 cubic inches. This makes it the second smallest option in the group.
The B-Free fold is only bested by that of the Britax B-Agile with a difference of less than 20 cubic inches. This makes it the second smallest option in the group.

The Chicco Shuttle is about 6,360 cubic inches when folded, making it one of the smallest options in the review. The UPPAbaby Minu Combo is hot on its heels with a size of 6,610 when folded. In comparison, the full-size Britax B-Free is 6,674 cubic inches with a weight of 22.6 lbs; this is about 7 lbs heavier than the Chicco Shuttle. A good option that is not too heavy and not too big (much like the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears) is the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo, with the lowest full-size stroller weight of 15.25 lbs and a folded size of about 7,860 cubic inches. This product will also last for baby's entire strolling years, so theoretically, you may not need to buy another stroller (unless you plan to jog).


The Doona Combo is about 16.5 lbs all together, which sounds heavy but the weight includes the car seat and the stroller portion for an overall lighter total package. The folded size is slightly larger than an infant car seat, and because you will be using it as your car seat, you don't need to think about where the stroller can fit or stow. So while the Doona is going to be heftier to put into and take out of the car, it has the lightest combined weight for a car seat and stroller and prevents the need for prolonged carrying of an infant car seat carrier.

The Minu folds in thirds so it is compact and squat  but thick compared to a traditional umbrella fold.
The Minu folds in thirds so it is compact and squat, but thick compared to a traditional umbrella fold.

The most substantial product in the group is the BOB Revolution Flex Combo weighing in over 28 lbs, while the largest folded stroller is the Thule Sleek with a size measuring over 16,493 cubic inches.

The Editors' Choice winner  the UPPAbaby Cruz  which excelled in other metrics  only finished middle of the pack in maneuverability due to smaller wheels than many competing products. While it works great on smooth surfaces  it is somewhat challenged by uneven terrain.
The Editors' Choice winner, the UPPAbaby Cruz, which excelled in other metrics, only finished middle of the pack in maneuverability due to smaller wheels than many competing products. While it works great on smooth surfaces, it is somewhat challenged by uneven terrain.

Maneuverability


While maneuverability is important in a stroller you plan to use for the long-haul, it is less important for the first nine months when you'll be using a stroller and car seat combo. Because your baby doesn't weigh that much, and you should stick to hard flat surfaces where maneuverability is less of an issue, you can manage with a less agile stroller without feeling the frustration of using a poorly designed option.


If your primary goal is to find a great stroller and car seat combination, then choosing a stroller based solely on this metric might not be wise, but using this metric to help you decide between otherwise similar options might be useful as it does impact your everyday experience. We tested maneuverability in everyday scenarios and through obstacle courses that simulate tight situations (like supermarket aisles) to see which products allow for one-handed pushing, tight turns, quick responsiveness, and curb hopping.

If you think a frame stroller is the best way for you to go, be aware that none of them performed that well in this metric. They all have smaller plastic wheels and other limited features for pushing on flat or paved surfaces only. However, the relatively light weight of a newborn makes pushing any stroller relatively easy, and it is less likely that you'll encounter rough surfaces in strolls with your baby because you should be avoiding them until little ones have more muscle control over their necks and core. When your little one outgrows their infant seat, you can replace the frame stroller with a full-size or jogging stroller that offers more features and functionality overall including better maneuverability. The Doona is similar in functionality to a frame stroller, and its small plastic wheels managed a relatively high score for maneuverability with a 7 of 10. This ease of pushing score makes it one of the better choices for lightweight strollers.

The BOB Revolution Flex is a jogging stroller that offers adapters for several car seats  shown with the Chicco Keyfit 30. The BOB adapters click in when you place the seat in  but still require the additional step of attaching the restraining strap to properly secure it.
The BOB Revolution Flex is a jogging stroller that offers adapters for several car seats, shown with the Chicco Keyfit 30. The BOB adapters click in when you place the seat in, but still require the additional step of attaching the restraining strap to properly secure it.

The top performers for maneuverability in this review aren't surprising and include the Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo, Baby Jogger City Mini GT Combo the BOB Revolution Flex Combo all with rubber tires and a single front wheel. Both are easy to push (even one-handed) and have the versatility of a swivel front wheel for stores and errands. While the BOB Revolution Flex and the Thule Urban Glide 2 are easy to push, they are also hefty and cumbersome when folded making them an imperfect match for an infant car seat. The metrics for weight and folded size and ease of car seat attachment influenced the final score more than maneuverability, so the top ranking strollers didn't perform that well in this metric. The Baby Jogger City Mini GT is smaller than the joggers, but it has a tipping safety concern that hurt its overall score.

The Chicco Shuttle earned a 5 of 10 for maneuverability, which is better than the other frame strollers thanks to its single wheel per leg design. The UPPAbaby Minu and UPPAbaby Cruz Combo also earned 5s. The Bugaboo Bee3 Combo is better than average with a 7, tying with the UPPAbaby Vista Combo and the Doona Combo all providing frustration free pushing.

The storage bin on the Bugaboo Bee looks large  but it has some cross bars to contend with and the lowest maximum allowable weight limit in the group at around 8 lbs.
The storage bin on the Bugaboo Bee looks large, but it has some cross bars to contend with and the lowest maximum allowable weight limit in the group at around 8 lbs.

Ease of Use


Ease of use includes features and functionality that impact your daily experience. We performed tests designed to provide information on how well the features from the stroller and car seat combos work in real-world scenarios, and we included input from testers during everyday use.


We compared sunshades, storage bins, and other convenience items like cup holders, parent's consoles, and child trays. For the canopy, we considered the SPF, size, ventilation, adjustability and peek-a-boo window. Though keep in mind that for some of the stroller the canopy does not work in conjunction with the car seat. For the bin, we looked at size, shape, accessibility, and maximum allowable weight. The usability and performance of convenience features also influenced the ease of use score.

We had significant trouble aligning the Chicco seat to the adapter frame on the Swift and the canopy needs to be removed along with the stroller seat.
We had significant trouble aligning the Chicco seat to the adapter frame on the Swift and the canopy needs to be removed along with the stroller seat.

Not all of the stroller canopies work with every car seat. Several require removal of the sunshade altogether, and others can get hung up on the shade as the car seat attaches. Even though it is nice to use the stroller canopy in conjunction with the carrier canopy, we think the extra weight and potential hindrance usually aren't worth it, and those without a canopy are easier to manage. None of the frame products have sunshades for this reason, and we think parents aren't likely to miss it anyway. The Mountain Buggy Swift canopy is the smallest in the group, while the UPPAbaby strollers and BOB Revolution Flex have the largest sunshades. Neither of the full-size stroller UPPAbaby canopies or the Mountain Buggy Swift canopy remains on the stroller when using the car seat, but the BOB Revolution does. The UPPAbaby Minu remains on the stroller and works well with the infant car seat to offer more protection.

The UPPAbaby Cruz storage bin (left) is considerably larger than the Bugaboo Bee3 (right) and holds 25 lbs compared to the Bee's 8.8 lb limit.
The UPPAbaby Cruz storage bin (left) is considerably larger than the Bugaboo Bee3 (right) and holds 25 lbs compared to the Bee's 8.8 lb limit.

The biggest storage bins in the group are the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo with a max allowable weight of 25 lbs, the UPPAbaby Vista Combo with a max of 30 and the UPPAbaby Minu with an allowance of 20 lbs. No other products come close. The Chicco Shuttle holds up to 10 lbs which is the average for the group. If you plan to carry your diaper bag and not much else, then 10-11 lbs will likely work. If shopping and errands are possible goals, then the UPPAbaby strollers are better choices. If you go with the Bugaboo Bee3 or the Bugaboo Cameleon Combo you might be carrying the diaper bag on your shoulder as it could easily be too much for the 8.8 lb allowable weight limit.

The Mountain Buggy Swift's bottle sleeve is unique in the group and worked well in our tests. Unlike traditional cup holder  which often fail to keep cups or bottles contained  the sleeve worked well with traditional bottles and nothing fell out.
The Mountain Buggy Swift's bottle sleeve is unique in the group and worked well in our tests. Unlike traditional cup holder, which often fail to keep cups or bottles contained, the sleeve worked well with traditional bottles and nothing fell out.

Both the Chicco Shuttle and the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal scored well for conveniences, sporting parent consoles with cup holders. Both are nothing special with relatively shallow cup holders, but they do check the box for the feature. The Bugaboos and the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo both fail to impress with no other conveniences, but at least the 25 lbs over-sized bin on the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo somewhat makes up for the lack of other features. We understand most parent would like a cup holder, but given that objects can fall from cup holders and land on your baby while strolling, we think it is better to buy a product without one and purchase an additional side cup holder, so the contents are out of falling range. The Doona Combo earned the lowest score for ease of use with a 1 of 10. This specialty product's lack of storage and convenience features, in addition to the small canopy, hurt its score in this metric. So while not hard to use, it does lack what many parents would consider necessities for everyday use.

The UPPAbaby Vista earned the highest score for quality in the group tying with the BOB Revolution Flex Combo.
The UPPAbaby Vista earned the highest score for quality in the group tying with the BOB Revolution Flex Combo.

Quality


The quality metric considers the materials, design, and construction of each stroller. While some of the products use aluminum frames and rubber tires, others have plastic wheels and components with rough, unfinished edges. This metric only relates to the stroller portion of the stroller and car seat combo.


The Thule Urban Glide 2 has the highest score for quality with a 9 of 10. The BOB Rambler, BOB Revolution Flex, Thule Sleek, and the UPPAbaby Vista earned the next marks for quality with 8s. Each has rubber tires, suspension, covered adjustable handlebars, and sturdy fabric that fits the frame nicely with no loose threads or bunched material. The UPPAbaby Cruz, Bugaboo Bee3, Doona, and Bugaboo Cameleon are right behind with 7s. These products are similar to the top scorers but have small variations in materials and design that left them slightly lacking. The UPPAbaby Vista frame and handlebar are akin to the UPPAbaby Cruz, but a little more defined and sleeker in design. The Bugaboo strollers and the Baby Jogger City Mini GT have better than average foam-filled rubber tires, but the larger pneumatic tires on the Thule and BOB are higher quality.

The Graco SnugRider Elite  shown here with the Graco Snugride Classic Connect 30 attached  did not perform well in our tests for quality.
The Graco SnugRider Elite, shown here with the Graco Snugride Classic Connect 30 attached, did not perform well in our tests for quality.

On the lower side, you'll find the Baby Trend Snap 'n Go; it struggled in comparison to the other strollers for quality with a flexing frame, obvious connection points and little attention to detail. There is no doubt it suffers in comparison to the higher end products, but it won't need to last as long as the higher quality options. The Graco SnugRider Elite earned the same score with what looks like unfinished plastic pieces that have rough edges and visible plastic shavings attached to the stroller.

Ease of Setup


Ease of setup is important, but only so much that you should be aware of what assembly is required and how difficult it might be for novice builders. The upside is that no matter how difficult it is to put together, or how long it takes, you only need to do it once. So while a frustrating setup might dissuade the assembly challenged, all are doable, even if you have to start portions of the build over, as we did on the Bugaboo Bee3.


The easiest to piece together is the UPPAbaby Cruz. It comes with an excellent quick setup guide, but the assembly is so intuitive you might not even need it. It took us under 5 minutes to put the Cruz together from unpacking to ready to roll. The UPPAbaby Vista, UPPAbaby Minu,Thule Urban Glide 2, Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal and the BOB Revolution Flex were all quick on its heels and relatively easy to assemble as well. Unfortunately, the Bugaboo Bee3 is very difficult to put together, takes over 20 minutes, and we initially did some portions incorrectly. The Donna requires no assembly and is ready to use when you pull it out of the box.

There are many varieties of combinations when it comes to strollers and their car seat counterparts  and many strollers will work with a variety of seat options with the purchase of the appropriate adapters.
There are many varieties of combinations when it comes to strollers and their car seat counterparts, and many strollers will work with a variety of seat options with the purchase of the appropriate adapters.

Conclusion


In previous years, we limited our review of stroller and car seat combinations to frame strollers only. We expanded the products to include full-size, lightweight, and jogging strollers for two reasons: there are fewer frame strollers on the market today, and many parents would prefer to buy one stroller that works well with their infant seat and still works for the long-haul. No matter what your goal, or why you want to attach your car seat to a stroller, there is something for everyone in this group of products and award winners. If you still aren't sure what you are looking for, consider reading our compatible buying advice which can help you narrow down this wide and varied field.


Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz