When it comes to finding the right travel system for you and your baby, it’s a minefield out there. With so many brands on the market like Peg-Perego, Noola, Chelino, Cybex, Joie, and so many more, the process of finding the right system can be extremely overwhelming. So, where do you even start? We’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 things to keep in mind and questions to ask when doing your research and choosing the perfect system for your family.
- Do you use the car a lot?
- You may want to consider a system that is quick and easy to use when getting in and out of the car.
- Do you have stairs in your home?
- Look for a system that is lightweight and convenient enough to easily carry your little one up and down stairs.
- How big is your car?
- Look at testing out pram systems in your own car and trying to fit them in for yourself.
- Do you travel a lot?
- Look at strollers that are compact, lightweight and can easily be used on planes and fit into small spaces.
- Planning on a large family with siblings close in age?
- Look for a stroller that can convert from a single to a double for when your next little bundle of joy joins the family.
- Are you an active family?
- Look for a stroller that can handle the outdoors with off-road wheels and suspension.
4.History of the Brand- Internationally and Locally
There are dozens of pram brands available in South Africa. Some have been around for decades and some have been around for only a couple of years. Look at the history of a brand to find out what experience they have in the baby product industry. The longer a brand has been developing and manufacturing baby products, the more expertise and research has gone into all their products.On a more local level, look at the history of the company that has been importing the brand to South Africa. Have they been importing these products for long and do they have an established relationship with the brand? Will they be around if you need a spare part in a couple of years' time?
As with everything in life - sometimes things go wrong. Prams can be forgotten behind SUV blind spots and run over (something to keep in mind for all you SUV moms and dads out there- this happens more often than you would think). Airlines are notorious for breaking strollers when transporting them and over the years harness paddings and cushions can go missing. Look for a brand that offers you a dedicated After Sales team that can help you out if you need anything in the long run. Are spare parts readily available if you need them? Are you able to have your pram repaired locally if something goes wrong?
In addition to spare parts and servicing, you want to find a brand that offers you a support system after your purchase. Can they help you with installing your car seat or Isofix base? Can you come to them for advice on next stage car seats when your little one outgrows their infant seat? If you forgot how to use the system between the time you bought it and the first time you used it, will they be around to talk you through it and show you how everything works again?
When choosing a travel system, most parents plan to make use of the system for 1, 2 or even 3 babies. Travel Systems can be a pricey investment and you want to ensure that the quality of the product will last for multiple babies. Look for a reliable brand that is known to last over years of use.
- Does the set include everything you need or are the pieces sold separately?
- What accessories might you need to add to your system?
- Does the car seat need adaptors to fit onto the frame?
- Does the Isofix base come with the set or is that an extra?
- Where are the products manufactured?
- What materials are used?
- How comfortable are the seats?
- If looking at a system with a bassinet- how soft and padded is the mattress? Is it cozy and comfortable enough for baby to sleep in?
Make sure to ask about the warranty policy for your system. How long is the warranty? Does the warranty start from the date of purchase? If so, will you be wasting your warranty period if you choose to purchase your system well in advance of baby’s arrival?
Also take note of return and cancellation policies for your travel system. As we move deeper into the digital sphere of doing our shopping online, many new parents may choose to order their system online without physically seeing or trying it out first. Make sure to read through all those small T&Cs before clicking ‘Add to Cart’ and finalizing your purchase.