Carseat/Stroller Combos

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Do carseat strollers really work?

May 2004

I am traveling on 3 long trips this year with my 22 month old in tow. (once to Europe) I am considering buying a carseat stroller combination and wonder if anyone has had any experience with one and if they work. Pros and cons please. Kim R

We have the sit and stroll and absolutely love it! It has made traveling sooooo much easier. It is a little awkward getting it strapped into a taxi in a hurry, but otherwise I have no complaints. Our friends with little kids always borrow it when they go on vacation, too and rave about how convenient it is. Happy Traveler
Some people swear by them, but...I ordered a sit and stroll for a long trip to New York City for the obvious reason of 'one less thing to carry.' My husband is an airline pilot and I often tag along on his trips with our child, so I thought this would be a blessing. My impression of it when it arrived was a mediocre car seat and a bad stroller. It was impossible to close with my eight month old in it (a downside when you have a sleeping child), the wheels were small and it just seemed like a hassle to get in and out of cars quickly. Needless to say, I returned it. I would look for a lightweight stroller that you love for your trips and get a back-pack carrier for your car seat that you are used to (even if you plan to use it on the plane, it is easier to get through the airport with it on your back then lugging it some other way).

Another thought, www, sells the Tote 'n Go Portable Car Seat for kid 25 to 40 pounds. I don't know much about it, but plan to investigate once my child meets the weight mins. -travel mom

I'm not sure what you mean by carseat-stroller, but we had a Snap-N-Go by Baby Trends that we used for both of our kids. My daughter outgrew it about five months ago.

It is basically a stroller frame that you ''drop'' the carseat into. It snaps in, and has a bar to squeeze that helps pop the carseat up when you want to take it out. Our pediatrician first told us about it. And although we bought an expensive Peg Perego and used it when our first child outgrew the carseat, the Snap-N- Go was our primary stroller for both our babies' first months.

For us, it was wonderful. It's extremely lightweight and folds up to fit easily in small spaces. The best thing about it is that we didn't have to wake up the baby when we left the car. The downside is that it's not great over rough terrain, and it's definitely not a jogging stroller. I would recommend it to anyone, and I got a ton of parents asking me where I got it whenever I used it. Gwynne Young gwynneyoung [at]

Here are my thoughts on the Sit N Stroll stroller.

Pros: Works wonderful on airplane, in car, and as a booster seat. It is very convenient and easy to convert from seat to stroller.

Cons: It works ''okay'' as a stroller. The tires are not very big, so the ride for your child can be a little rough. It is also difficult to manuever/steer with one hand, and the stroller handlebars are low (we are tall) and not very sturdy. Also, the storage basket is not big enough for serious shopping.

My husband and I used it for a trip to Hawaii with our son. It was wonderful to get in between the car, airport, hotel, restaurants, poolside, and short shopping excursions. It wasn't so great for long walks, so I opted to use the hotel jogger strollers for our morning strolls.

If you intend to do a lot of walking on your trips, I would suggest that you use a traditional stroller. On the other hand, if you intend to purchase a separate plane ticket for your child, and do not plan to do a lot of trekking by foot, the carseat strollers take a lot of stress out of traveling. Teuila

We have the Sit N Stroll, and we love it. We borrowed one from a friend and liked it so much that we kept it for the ''second'' car. Pros: The carseat-stroller combo, especially for any kind of airline travel. The buckles are easy, and the seatbelt goes over it (rather than behind). In the stroller mode, it handles beautifully with one hand, it fits between the aisles of most airlines, it is a relatively smooth ride. As a carseat, it is FAA approved. Cons: I prefer to use it when I have someone else to help. Converting it from carseat to stroller or back again takes a little doing, and is especially difficult when the child is in the seat. That is really the only con. Mildly inconvenient is that if you have it on the plane, then you have to use it, because there is nowhere else to stow it. And for take off and landing some airhosts insist. I have begun to check it for the plane ride (at the gate) only so that my child has some room to move once we are in the air. I have successfully used it by myself to travel to the East Coast, carrying a rolly suitcase (smuggler) and a diaper bag and a purse. So it is manageable, just not ideal. love my sit 'n stroll

Sit N Stroll Car Seat Stroller

July 2001

We travel with our 2 year old at least once a month and we have since she was 6 weeks old. I recommend getting the Sit N Stroll Car Seat Stroller from either The Right Start or One Step Ahead for $189. It is a stroller car seat combo and it works GREAT. We have had used ours since she was about 20 pounds and it goes up to 40 pounds. It works as a seat on the plane or the car. The best part is you don't have to check any strollers. It also works great when you catch a cab because you pop up the wheels and jump in the car. The child is strapped in similar to a regular car seat. We have found it to be a fairly sturdy product and well worth the money if you travel! Jamie

We own a Sit N Stroll which is a convertible carseat that has wheels and a handle that pop out to become a stroller. It is easy to strap into cars and the airplane because the belt goes over the child not behind the seat. It is heavy though and not as easy to push around as most umbrella strollers, so you wouldn't want to rely on it as your sole stroller. It is pricey (close to $200 I think) but I bet you could resell it when you return for not much less than what you pay for it. I bought it online 2 yrs ago at I think rightstart or one step ahead also carry it. If you want to try it out, let me know. Jen

This message is for the mother I met at a Berkeley shoestore who liked our carseat/stroller. I promised I would post the information about the seat on the UC Parents list and here it is:

The seat really works best for older babies, 1-3 years, but for parents who travel alot and bring their babies with them, as my wife and I do, it is the perfect solution.a Its a light self-contained airline FAA-approved flight seat (frame and seat are one) that folds out into a stroller for running across O'Hare and then folds back into either a front or rear-facing car seat. a Hope this is helpful. Joseph

Several people asked about the Strolex Sit 'n' Stroll stroller/car seat. I have been using one for about a year now and it is terrific! We recently moved here from New York City, where we used it for cab rides (a lot of people don't use car seats in cabs, but we weren't comfortable with that, and it is impossible to carry a car seat with you on a shopping trip!). And we have used it for around ten airplane trips, too. Every time someone sees us with it in the airport, they stop us to ask where we got it. It is very simple to use -- you wheel the baby in the stroller up to the car, pick up the stroller (with the baby in it), squeeze a lever and pull up and the wheels retract. Then you place it in the car (front or rear facing) and put the car's seatbelt around it. When you arrive, you unstrap the belt, pick up the car seat and baby, hold it over the sidewalk and squeeze the lever and press down to lower the wheels.

It is neither the best car seat (only uses the lap belt portion of the seat belt, no way to level the seat, no tether) nor the best stroller (fine on flat ground, but harder to go over curbs and doesn't steer as well), but as a combination of the two it is amazing! (After I bought one, three other moms in my playgroup bought one too.) One additional word of caution -- if you plan to use it for airplane travel, it does not fit down most airplane aisles, so you have to carry it rather than roll it down (my daughter is still light -- 24 pounds at 18 months -- but this might be a problem for bigger babies, although if two adults are traveling, one can carry the baby and one can carry the seat). But it does fit in all airplane seats. And if you don't buy a seat for the baby on the airplane, you can also wheel it to the gate and gate check it (you still have the convenience of having a car seat at your destination that you don't have to carry separately). Stephanie

We have a strolex and have used it on many domestic and international trips. It is great and is much easier than lugging a car seat and a stroller. There are two limitations. The stroller does not recline so our son didn't tend to fall asleep in it. The second limitation is more significant. Although the strolex meets FAA requirements as a flight seat - it does not necessarily meet the requirements of foreign airlines. We were not allowed to use it during take off and landing on British Air as it does not meet British standards. If you fly strictly American airlines then this won't be an issue. Lora
We purchased the sit 'n' stroll and sent it right back.

It sounded good a stroller that converts into a car seat -- just what we wanted to help our 12 month old nap while her mom and older sister made the rounds.

But we thought it would be impossible to use in practice. Very unwieldy and hard to operate, because you have to do it all in mid-air hold seat and kid and operate the safety mechanism. It turned out to be hard enough just finding the mechanism while not upending your kid.

Jerry I'd like to put in a vote for the Sit N Stroll. We bought it for our trip to Paris and it was worth the money. It is a combination reversable car seat, FAA approved airplane seat, booster chair, stroller. The wheels fold up inside the seat, so it is a four-in-one deal. It also has a five point harness, which I liked a lot. It was invaluable on our trip. Especially when we could wheel Sara up the aisle of the airplane - it was new enough so that the airline kept trying to make us check it because they didn't know that it folded up into a car seat. It wasn't cheap ($250ish) and we don't use it at home, but we are about to travel again and it will be great! However, I know people that bought it for travel and now use it all the time. The one drawback is that I'm not crazy about it as a backwards facing car seat - it seems to fit in the seat more securely in the forward facing position. Another great benefit is that the handle collapses, so we could sit her in a little corner of a Paris cafe and not have the handle sticking out for someone to bump. I didn't buy it in California, but there is a website for it (Safeline makes it) with a dealer listing. Kris

Dec 1999

There is a carseat that converts to a stroller and is FAA approved to fit on airplane seats and go down the aisle on planes. I got mine from the right start catalogue. I also recently saw it for sale on the internet for about $175. I used it when I went to travelling solo with baby. The child can go from car to airport terminal to plane seat in one apparatus. I seem to remember the only restriction is that they won't fit in the first row of seats on the plane next to the bulkhead. We generally brought our regular stroller in addition since the FAA approved seat is a bit big for everyday strolling, expecially down the aisles of small European shops. We also found it handy to have a carseat for travelling rather than having to rent one. He is four now and we still use it as his regular carseat.