Age: 3 months – 4 years
Manufacturer Description: Great news! With the Travelmate Deluxe, you can leave the big, heavy and expensive stroller at home! The Travelmate Deluxe is the perfect compact stroller solution for vacations, airport travel, public transportation, and quick errands. Thanks to its efficient design, smooth razor wheels, one handed push system and universal car seat compatibility, the Travelmate Deluxe reduces the need for a stroller on short or long-distance voyages. Traveling through the airport with your bulky car seat will be a breeze – thanks to the light weight frame and smaller razor wheels. Additionally, the Travelmate Deluxe is a snap to store in an overhead compartment or neatly under your seat on the plane. In fact, the Travelmate Deluxe is so compact and maneuverable you can pull it out from the back seat of your car and take it anywhere – restaurants, coffee shops, drug stores, doctor’s office visits, taxis, trains and more. The Travelmate Deluxe is the perfect solution for parents on the go. Includes the following: Smooth 6″ rear polyurethane razor wheels, swivel wheels in the front, universal infant/toddler seat adaptor with strap for infant seats, hands free foot brake feature.
Why This Sh!t Worked For Us (For Awhile):
Once the BABYZEN YOYO+ entered our parenting radar, the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Deluxe took a back seat (or no seat at all, really) on our Travel Packing List. However, that does not mean it didn’t meet and fulfill a travel challenge that we faced when we initially became parents: How do we transport all of our baby gear from New York City to X-Y-Z?
Before the YOYO+ entered our lives, we carted a Bugaboo Cameleon3 (one of the more compact designs in the large stroller market) packed inside of a Bugaboo Comfort Transport Bag — plus a Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Deluxe and a J.L. Childress Ultimate Padded Car Seat Backpack — back and forth from New York City to Los Angeles and up and down the east coast. While both of the travel bags can be condensed and rolled into small duffles, we also had a diaper bag and our own luggage in tow. A lot of baby gear.
There is no one right way to navigate an airport with baby stuff. Some parents attach their car seat to their large stroller and roll both through the security check point to their departure gate agent, but we wanted more compact gear for the x-ray machine, and we didn’t want to fumble with both the stroller transport bag and the car seat bag just before boarding our flight.
For us, we initially preferred to check our large stroller at the airline counter (secured within a padded transport bag) and to check our car seat at the gate (to minimize the risk of baggage mishandling). That left us with several options for our remaining gear: (1) hand-carry the car seat (with infant strapped in) from curbside to the departure gate and from the arrival gate to baggage claim; (2) zip the car seat into a travel backpack or roller bag and wear infant in a baby carrier; (3) attach the car seat (with option to include infant) to a car seat travel cart and then zip the cart (sans baby) into a travel bag just before checking it at the gate; or (4) any of the above, plus purchase an additional seat on the plane and strap (an FAA-approved) car seat into it.
We preferred to fly with a lap infant (at our own risk) and take advantage of the cost savings through the age of 2, so we chose option #3: a car seat travel cart. We’ll back with a review of how our convertible car seat fared in-flight once we begin purchasing a separate airline seat for Sydney.
For those who prefer to check their infant car seat at the departure gate or to allow their infant to continue sleeping in the car seat throughout the airport, the Travelmate Deluxe is an economical alternative to the YOYO+ when it comes to dragging a car seat+sleeping infant combo from curbside to gate or vice versa. Ours, for example, was sleeping in two out of the three photos above.
The 6″ polyurethane razor wheels in the rear and the swivel wheels in the front really did foster a smooth ride and easy navigation in congested airports. With the handle collapsed and folded, it fit into the overhead bin on every flight we took; however, with some slight manipulation, we often zipped it — along with the infant car seat — right into a J.L. Childress Ultimate Padded Car Seat Backpack (we have since switched to the more durable Cover Guard Car Seat Travel Tote by Munchkin/Brica). The handle itself did not always collapse and latch shut smoothly, but the more we used it, the more we figured out the quirks.
The extra few minutes necessary to attach and detach the infant car seat to this little trolley using the “Universal Infant/Toddler Seat Adaptor with strap” could be cumbersome for us, but it was worth not having to strain our arms and backs while lugging our own car seat+sleeping infant combo across long terminals. And after several flights, I actually became relatively good at it. Apparently, it’s easier to attach and detach a convertible car seat to this contraption (than an infant car seat), but we never made it to that stage because [enter: #BABYZENYOYO].
While an infant car seat-compatible lightweight stroller (like the YOYO+) is our recommendation for maximum ease and comfort while navigating an airport with a baby, the Travelmate Deluxe was a solid option at a much lower price point for those who prefer to travel without their stroller or who check it at the counter.
Reviews on Other Products Mentioned in this Post
Bugaboo Cameleon3 (COMING SOON)
Bugaboo Comfort Transport Bag (COMING SOON)
Cover Guard Car Seat Travel Tote by Munchkin/Brica
J.L. Childress Ultimate Padded Car Seat Backpack (COMING SOON)