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Searching for the best stroller and infant car seat combo? We considered over 100 strollers and compatible car seats before purchasing 19 popular options for testing in combination with award-winning infant seat carriers to determine which combinations are the best. We understand how confusing trying to combine products from different brands or even the same brand can be. We've done the research, so you can get the details you need to find the best combo for your family. Whether you hope for a stroller for the long haul or worry about ease of car seat attachment, you'll find the information you need to create a great stroller and car seat combo.
The UPPAbaby Cruz v2 Combo is an excellent stroller to combine with an infant car seat. It includes a smaller and relatively lightweight frame and easy car seat attachment. Plus, it is compatible with many top car seat brands that click in to attach. The Cruz folds easily and is light enough for most parents to lift and carry. It also folds small enough to fit in most cars. It works well with the UPPAbaby Mesaand the Chicco Keyfit 30 (budget-friendly award winner), with simple adapters that help parents avoid mistakes. This stroller is an excellent 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 and works well as a travel system.
The list price may seem high compared to a traditional frame stroller or a pre-combined travel system. However, it is on par or average for a full-size stroller, and your ability to use it from birth through the toddler years makes it a great value that could be your one-and-done stroller if you don't plan to jog or head off-road with your baby. The Cruz is a stroller we would purchase and recommend to our friends for its car seat compatibility and high-quality features.
The UPPAbaby Minu is a stylish, lightweight stroller that folds small and weighs little when used with an infant car seat. The Minu works with car seats from UPPAbaby, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, and Cybex, allowing parents to choose from a wider variety of options than those strollers that only accept their car seat brand. This stroller has a quick adapter and seat attachment, and we had no trouble in our attachment tests. The canopy on the stroller works with the car seat and has an impressive storage basket weight allowance of 20 lbs.
The Minu is somewhat spendy for what it is. So parents on a tight budget may want to steer clear unless they need a travel or commuter special. Moving off flat and hard surfaces is also more challenging, making life potentially harder if you plan to or need to go off the beaten path. It is tough to beat the Minu and its quality features if you need a lightweight stroller for future travel or a good commuter you can use with an infant car seat.
The Evenflo Pivot Xpand Combo is a versatile multi-seater with a very friendly price for what it offers. This stroller works with two infant car seats, and if you choose Evenflo brand options, the adapters are built-in and easy to use. This design makes the Xpand one of the few to consider if you're expecting twins. Other adapters are available, and all click in place with no straps.
This stroller is on the heavier side and somewhat large when folded, so if space is limited, you may want to take some measurements before you take the plunge. Overall, this stroller is tough to beat for multiple children, with quick car seat attachment and great ease of use.
The Chicco Keyfit Caddy is a wallet-friendly frame stroller that works with Chicco Keyfit infant car seat carriers. This compact, easy-to-fold stow option is a straightforward alternative to carrying your car seat or being forced into choosing your primary stroller too soon. This product offers a quick and easy car seat connection and a parent console for those quick-grab items. The carriers snap in the frame and require no straps for secure attachment.
All frame strollers have a limited lifespan of roughly nine months or however long your little one fits in their infant car seat, which could make this a no-go for anyone looking for a one-and-done solution. If you aren't sure what kind of stroller you'll need or want for your strolling years, then the Caddy could be the ticket to a stress-free first nine months of getting around with your baby and car seat.
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 infant transportation solution for families who live in the big city or frequent public transportation and travel. We love that the Doona is a car seat and a stroller, so city parents can safely buckle their baby into a taxi, then hit the ground strolling when they reach their destination. There is no need to worry about two different products, where the stroller will go, who will hold it, or how it folds.
The Doona isn't suitable 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 want the convenience of taking their baby out on the town without the hassle of managing two items. Unfortunately, purchasing the Doona will require purchasing 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. However, for city dwellers, this may be the solution they are looking for, and worth the money to keep a baby safe in public transportation.
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. Alternatively, you might consider the Britax B-Lively for a smaller, easy-for-travel, full-size option.
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 suitable for rough terrain, moving at speed, and negotiating tight spaces. This stroller is compatible with various 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 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.
The Britax B-Lively Combo is an attractive budget-minded stroller with useful features and the ability to work with an infant car seat. This stroller has a comfortable sling-style seat, a large canopy, an easy-access storage bin, and rear canopy pockets for quick access items. The B-Lively folds quickly and compactly, making it suitable for travel and smaller spaces.
The B-Lively only works with Britax infant car seats, which is limiting and hurts its chances of winning an award. Traditionally, the Britax seats haven't fared that well in our infant car seat review, 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 the budget.
The combo testing took place at BabyGearLab and on outings with little ones in the real world. The review includes our in-depth product research and real-world experience gained from years of experience from testers who compare each combination to the competition, including capturing the differences from one car seat to another on the same stroller. Our daily use testing helps determine which competitors are the best combinations, easy to use, navigate, and bring quality materials to the table.
The strollers and the compatible car seats were tested and compared. Wherever possible, we test 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 that is also popular. We emphasize the metric scores for ease of car seat attachment and weight and folded size in the overall rating because we believe they are the most important for this kind of gear.
The BabyGearLab car seat and stroller combo testers are led by our founder, Dr. Spurrier. Juliet is a Board Certified Pediatrician, a mom of two, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dr. Spurrier's background as a pediatrician, education, and years of experience as a mom helps her create BabyGearLab's safety standards. She approves all product selections and has the final word on testing procedures. Our stroller and car seat combo team lead, Bob Wofford, is the Senior Research Analyst here at BabyGearLab. Bob is the dad to 7 children and has led our car seat and stroller testing almost since the beginning. The combo team also includes Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor, and mother of two. Wendy has researched and reviewed over 200 strollers and car seats plus their combinations since 2014. Rounding out our combo review team is Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford. Abriah joined BabyGearLab testers in 2015, and this is her fifth go participating in the combo review. This team has over 20 years of collective experience testing car seats and strollers of all kinds.
Analysis and Test Results
Using a stroller with your infant car seat can make getting around with your baby more comfortable. Seamlessly transferring your little one from the car to a stroller can make leaving the house more accessible and convenient. It also helps keep your baby peacefully asleep while you manage errands and outings with greater ease. We think most parents will appreciate the convenience of a great stroller and car seat combo.
Finding an exceptional value in this group can be challenging as you need to consider each component in the combination's price to get the final price. We love the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat if budget is a concern. Typically, it is less expensive than competing seats while maintaining a higher safety and performance level. Also, if your long-term budget is a concern, you may want to avoid purchasing a short-term use product like a frame stroller or the Doona, which will last only nine months, requiring the purchase of another stroller. The Keyfit 30 is also compatible with most of the top-ranked strollers. An option like the UPPAbaby Cruz v2 may be ideal as it works well with the Chicco car seat, and its lifespan lasts as long as your little one needs a stroller. This longer life makes it a good value as it can potentially act as your only stroller. If you plan to jog later and want to buy only one stroller, the Thule Urban Glide 2 is a suitable choice that won awards in several reviews and works as a clip-in with a Chicco adapter. If you require a stroller for travel or commuting, then the UPPAbaby Minu can be considered budget-friendly because it fills two needs in one purchase, a car seat frame stroller and a compact traveler. If your short-term budget is more of a concern, and you aren't sure about your later strolling needs, then the Chicco Keyfit Caddy can meet short-term goals. You can always skip combining products by wearing your baby and waiting to make your stroller purchase until your little one outgrows their infant car seat carrier.
Ease of Car Seat Attachment
The best car seat attachments almost feel like they install themselves with minimal effort required beyond shifting the carrier from the car to the stroller. We like the stroller and car seat pairings with a click-in-only attachment as opposed to those that require a second step of strap attachment. The strollers and adapters that create an easy drop-in/on connection that requires little pressure translate to fewer opportunities for mistakes. These combos score higher than those with obstructions, or that can be installed incorrectly. Any installation that includes restraint straps lost points, as the straps inherently have a higher margin for error (intentional or accidental). We worry parents will forget or intentionally skip using the straps as the carrier often feels secure without them (always follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid injury).
The Chicco Keyfit Caddy also impresses in this metric. This dedicated frame product is designed for Chicco brand infant seats. The carrier opening requires only a small amount of pressure to connect with an audible click, and there are no obstructions. The UPPAbaby strollers also performed well in our tests. However, two of the UPPAbaby options are full-size, which hurt their overall rank in a category where being lightweight is critical. The UPPAbaby Minu is light enough to compete with the frame strollers.
Alternatively, the universal frame stroller, Baby Trend Snap-N-Go Ex disappoints as it requires straps to attach the seat. The carrier sits in a strap net, and the rim of the car seat rests on the edge of the stroller, then more straps attach over the center of the carrier to secure it to the frame. Theoretically, the bottom straps only need adjustment once, but the top straps need adjustment with each use. We worry parents will nestle the carrier in the frame and skip the straps because it feels secure even though it isn't.
The BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 Combo also disappoints with a 2-step attachment process that includes clicking in place and straps that go over the carrier's bottom portion. This two-step attachment is particularly worrisome because some parents consider the click step as secure enough. After all, the car seat feels secure once attached. However, the manufacturer includes the straps for a reason, and we think it would be negligent but very tempting for parents to forgo them. This lack of detailed attention could have disastrous results. Depending on your car seat choice, the Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo has a similar click and strap design with some of its adapters; others are click-in only, and we recommend the one-step method over the combinations that require straps. The BOB Alterrain Pro has a 3-part adapter with no straps for a jogger with a click-in-only attachment for all car seats.
The Doona beats them all with a car seat permanently attached to the stroller as one product. This unique little product skips the attachment process as the stroller components are part of the car seat in a design like no other. We like that you can't make mistakes affixing your carrier to the stroller, and there are no adapters or additional components to lose with this all-in-one product. However, it has a shorter lifespan (6-9 months), so you'll need to purchase a second stroller when your baby outgrows the infant car seat.
Weight and Folded Size
There is nothing better than a frame stroller regarding 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 can lift, a frame stroller could be the only option they can manage, and the lower price tag makes it a good value.
However, many parents skip a frame stroller because it has a short life of only about nine months. Alternatively, some of the full-size strollers are lightweight and work about as well as a frame stroller, so many parents prefer to buy an option they can use for a more extended period.
If finding the lightest product is your primary goal, look no further than the Chicco Keyfit Caddy. This dedicated frame stroller has fewer features but weighs only 11 lbs. While weight is critical, we believe most parents would prefer less weight to carry instead of coping with a hard-to-use stroller. Not convinced a frame option is best for you? You're in luck. The UPPAbaby Minu is a lightweight option that is close to 12 lbs when prepped for a car seat and works through toddlerhood as a lightweight stroller, extending its useful years by more than three.
The Chicco Keyfit Caddy is about 7,628 inches when folded, making it relatively small. The UPPAbaby Minu Combo is smaller, with a size of 6,610 when folded. In comparison, the full-size Britax B-Free Combo is 6,674 cubic inches, weighing 22.6 lbs. 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 v2 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 the 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, 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 infant car seat carrying.
The most substantial product in the group is the BOB Alterrain Pro, weighing over 33 lbs with a size measuring over 17,357 cubic inches.
While maneuverability is vital in a stroller you plan to use for the long haul, it is less critical 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. However, using this metric to help you decide between similar options might be useful as it can impact your everyday experience. We tested maneuverability in typical 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 for you, 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. Also, it is less likely that you'll encounter rough surfaces on strolls with your baby because you should avoid 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, 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 top performers for maneuverability in this review aren't surprising. They include the Thule Urban Glide 2 Combo, BOB Alterrain Pro, Baby Jogger City Mini GT 2 Combo, and the BOB Revolution Flex Combo 3.0, all with rubber tires and a single front wheel. These options 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 3.0, BOB Alterrain Pro, 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 2 GT is smaller than the joggers, but it isn't the best overall performer and has only one use, strolling.
The Chicco Keyfit Caddy earned a 4 of 10 for maneuverability, which is better than the other frame strollers thanks to its single wheel per leg design. The UPPAbaby Minu also earned a 5. The *UPPAbaby Vista v2 Combo, UPPAbaby Cruz v2 Combo, and the Doona Combo provide frustration-free pushing with scores of 7 each.
Ease of Use
Features and overall functionality are the ease of use consideration. If it impacts your daily experience, this is where it is considered. We perform tests designed to determine how well the stroller and car seat combos work together.
We compare sunshades, storage bins, and other convenience items like cup holders, parent's consoles, and child trays. For the canopy, we consider the SPF, size, ventilation, adjustability, and peek-a-boo window. Though for some strollers, the canopy does not work with the car seat in place. We compare storage size, shape, accessibility, and maximum weight allowance.
Several strollers require sunshade removal, and other canopies catch on the car seat when you attach them. Even though it is useful to utilize the stroller canopy with the carrier sunshade, we think the extra weight and potential hindrance usually negate the benefit. We found that those without sunshades are typically easier to manage, especially when folding. The frame products lack sunshades, but the infant carriers usually have them, so we think parents won't miss them. The UPPAbaby Cruz v2, Vista v2, BOB Alterrain Pro, and the BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 are the largest. Neither of the full-size stroller UPPAbaby canopies remains on the stroller when used with an infant carrier, but the BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 and the BOB Alterrain do. The UPPAbaby Minu Combo canopy stays attached to the stroller and works well with the infant car seat to create cocoon-like protection when used with the carrier canopy.
The biggest storage bins in the review are the UPPAbaby Cruz v2 Combo and the UPPAbaby Vista Combo with a max of 30 lbs each. The UPPAbaby Minu is right behind with a 20 lbs allowance. No other products come close to these capacities. The Chicco Keyfit Caddy 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 work. If shopping and errands are in your plans, then the UPPAbaby strollers might be better choices.
The Chicco Keyfit Caddy and the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal score well for convenience, sporting parent consoles with cup holders. Both are nothing special with relatively shallow cup holders, but they do check the box. The UPPAbaby Cruz v2 Combo fails to impress with no other conveniences. Still, at least the 30 lbs over-sized bin on the Cruz v2 Combo helps make the lack of other convenience features easier to swallow. We understand most parents want a cup holder. However, in our experience, objects often fall from cup holders and can land on the baby. We think it is smarter to use an option without a holder or purchase a side cup holder that helps keeps the contents out of baby 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 and the smaller canopy hurt its ease of use results. So while it isn't challenging to use, it lacks what many consider necessities.
Quality encompasses the materials, design, and construction of each competitor. While some options use aluminum frames and rubber tires, others have plastic wheels and rough, unfinished-feeling components. Our tests only include the quality of the stroller component, not the combo's car seat portion.
Top-quality marks go to the Thule Urban Glide 2 and the BOB Alterrain Pro with a score of 9 of 10 each. The BOB Rambler, BOB Revolution Flex 3.0, and the UPPAbaby Vista v2 Combo are just behind with impressive 8s. These products have rubber tires, suspension, wrapped adjustable handlebars, and sturdy fabric that fits nicely with no loose threads or scrunchy material. The UPPAbaby Cruz v2and the Doona each earned 7s and are similar to the top scorers but have slight variations in materials and design that left them somewhat short in comparison. The UPPAbaby Vista v2 frame and handlebar are akin to the UPPAbaby Cruz v2 but a little more defined and sleeker. The Baby Jogger City Mini GT 2 Combo has better than average foam-filled rubber tires. Still, they are smaller than the pneumatic tires on the Thule and BOB, which are better quality overall.
On the lower side, you'll find the Baby Trend Snap 'n Go, which struggles for quality compared to the other options. It has a flexing frame, visible connection points, and no attention to detail. While it suffers compared to the more expensive options, it also doesn't need to last as long. The Graco SnugRider Elite earned the same low result with what appears to be unfinished plastic parts with rough edges and plastic shavings attached to the stroller.
Ease of Setup
The difficulty level of setting up your stroller might feel critical initially, but it is something you only do once in the lifetime of your stroller. In our opinion, this makes it noteworthy but not a major deciding factor in which product to choose compared to other metrics like ease of use or maneuverability. We think knowing the assembly details is helpful, so you know what you're in for, but frankly, most of the products were simple enough, and many don't even require tools.
The easiest to assemble is the UPPAbaby Cruz v2 Combo. This UPPAbaby includes a helpful quick-start guide that makes the intuitive setup straightforward and trouble-free. It took us around 5 minutes to put the Cruz v2 together, with much of that time spent unpacking. The UPPAbaby Vista v2, UPPAbaby Minu,Thule Urban Glide 2, Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal, and the BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 were also easy to assemble. The Donna is the real standout, with no assembly.
We believe there is a combination in this lineup for every family. No matter why you want to combine an infant car seat with a stroller or what your long-term strolling goals are, there is likely something for you in this review. Our detailed analysis of the products during hands-on testing will help you narrow your choices to the perfect options for your needs and budget. Whether you hope to wear your baby in the early days or plan to push your little one everywhere, we have the specifics you'll need to make a wise investment.
Wearing your baby is an excellent way to bond and travel...
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.