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Make room for Maclaren

No, it isn’t a newfangled shopping cart. This is Maclaren’s brand new entry into the thriving market for car seat-carrying stroller frames. These popular wheeled frames are designed to secure an infant car seat, so you can enjoy the benefits of a travel system without needing to suffer the often dire shortcomings of travel system strollers once your child has outgrown the car seat.

Until now, these frames were typically very inexpensive (under $60), and very functional. But they offered little consideration for handling and steering. For this reason, many high-end strollers have developed car seat clips, which are a best-of-both-worlds option. Sort of.

Problem is, most high-end strollers are too heavy to be a great travel system component. If this frame is designed for your car seat, it should be car-friendly – easy to fold, compact and lightweight. But until now, there wasn’t really a good lightweight option for parents who valued superb handling.

Maclaren has done a great job with the new Easy Traveler. It is very light (about 10 lbs), and it folds and (even better) pushes like a Maclaren. The basket is enormous, and reasonably accessible when the car seat is in place, unlike any other Maclaren I’ve met. The attachment system is well thought out, although making the initial adjustments for your car seat brand can be a bit of a project. The handlebars are comfortably high and ergonomically positioned.

For compactness and portability, the Combi Flash is still your best bet, thanks to a miraculously small fold and a very convenient carry strap. But if you want to enjoy smooth steering and effortless handling, go with the Maclaren. If you want cupholders, check out Kolcraft or the new Graco Snugrider (only works with Graco seats).

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