Travel Systems

MyBump2Baby Expert Podcast


Travel Systems
  • Travel Systems

Today host Carla Lett speaking with Vanessa Thorley from James Andrew Pram and nurseries in Blackpool on everything about Travel Systems.

Vanessa answers commonly asked questions such as; What is a travel system? Do travel systems all have to match? What’s the most popular pram at the moment? What should I think about when purchasing a pram? What pram is good for walking? I need a pram to fit in my car. Is it important to try out a pram before you buy it? Isofix bases and how they work.

You can visit James Andrew Prams and Nurseries here:


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[00:01:05] Hello, and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK. To answer your questions on everything pregnancy to preschool.

[00:01:23] Today, we are talking all about travel systems, because they are an absolute minefield when you don’t know what you’re looking for. So today my special guest is a lovely Vanessa from the fantastic store James Andrew prams in Blackpool. I hope you enjoy this episode. 

[00:01:46] Hello everybody. And welcome to My Bump 2 Baby’s expert podcast. Today, I am joined by the manager of James Andrew pram and nurseries limited in Blackpool. And her name is Vanessa Thorley, and she’s going to be telling us all about travel systems, because I know as a mum, when I was expecting George travel systems was something, I had no idea what it meant, what it was. So, hi, Vanessa, how are you? 

[00:02:17] Vanessa: Im good thank you. How are you? 

[00:02:19] Carla: I’m very good. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on and talking to us about this today. 

[00:02:23] Vanessa: No problem.

[00:02:25] Carla: Brilliant. So Vanessa, can we get started with the question? What is a travel system? 

[00:02:31] Vanessa: Yeah, no problem at all. So the travel system, a lot of people think a travel system is only set makes. So when you can, there is certain models of prams that you can get that come with a matching car seat. So people say, Oh, we’re looking for a travel system. And I think they come in to our store, thinking that there is only them particular brands that have the matching car seat that you can get as a travel system, or this is where it’s not really right.

[00:02:59] So what can happen is there’ll be certain models such as iCandy. iCandy is a big one. Well, known one, they don’t do a matching car seat. So people don’t think that can be a travel system. Well, a travel system means any pram that can take a car seat on the frame. So your iCandy, can take numerous different car seats on the frame. So basically nine times out of 10, any pram can be a travel system. It just means a three in one where a car seat can go onto it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the matching car seat. 

[00:03:35] Carla: That’s brilliant. So, because there’s a lot of popular prams out there and I think sometimes it can get a little pricey when you kind of like, right, I need that to match, that to match, that to match. So you can kind of mix and match a lot of them?

[00:03:49] Vanessa: Yes. Yeah, exactly. I mean, like I said, even some of the models, there’s one particular model Bebecar. You have to get the car seat and that’s fine because at least they make one. Now like Venicci’s another popular one. They come as a three and one, which includes your car seat as well, where you can actually have a Venicci without the car seat and choose a different car seat if you want to. So a lot of the time is, it’s about you and what you want. And we can always recommend things that, you know, people don’t realize that you can mix and match, and that’s what we’re here for to help people.

[00:04:26] Carla: Yeah, I think thats it, I think a lot of it is well is having that kind of local, you know, you can pop into the shop and be able to ask the question and actually you can save quite a lot of money. I imagine doing it that way as well, um, than just assuming that they all have to match. So that’s really, really handy. So Vanessa, at the moment, what is the most popular pram? 

[00:04:50] Vanessa: There is a few I’ve got to admit, there is a few, I mean they all vary in price as well. So the Egg is a very popular one. So is the iCandy and they tend to be on par with each other in price and how it works, et cetera. Um, Venicci’s another one we can sell Venicci’s after Venicci’s basically at the minute. And again I think that’s because they do the whole matching and they, you know, there’s certain people that like it all to match and that’s perfect. Um, other than that, there is Joie as a brand. Now they are extremely popular, especially for your buggies and your car seats. Um, they, they are a big, big name and at the minute Cybex has been quite popular as well.

[00:05:36] Carla: Wow. Yeah. I’ve heard all of those. So, yeah. There’s um, there’s quite a lot. I mean, it’s so hard, isn’t it? Because it’s like, you know, you obviously want it to look nice, but then you also want it to have a smooth, kind of journey as well, if you’re doing the walk. So is there anything that you would say that parents need to think about or should think about when they are purchasing a pram, what are the types of things that, uh, parents encounter? 

[00:06:03] Vanessa: So we always ask them, the first thing we ask them is what lifestyle do you have? Okay. So, and what I mean by that is if you are a person like me, I’ll hold my hands up I’m the I’m terrible when it comes to walking anywhere, I will even jump in the car to go to the chippy at the bottom of the road. If it’s cold, 

[00:06:22] Carla: I’m the same. I’m the same. I wish I wasn’t, but I am. 

[00:06:25] Vanessa: When I had, when I was having my little boy, I mean, it was helpful cause I was working here, so it was perfect, but I had a small car, so it was like, right. I need a pram that will fit in that car. So that was, for me, that was the main thing for me. So if, if you were to come into our store and say, right, okay. Um, I have a small car but I tend to walk nine times out of 10. Then I’d be saying, right. Okay. Well, don’t worry about the size of it, lets look into to, um, you know, the wheels. I mean, most of them now do the hard, like the EVAtires. You don’t really get many air filled tires.

[00:07:04] Carla: Is there a problem with air filled ones? Um, Vanessa, from your experience? 

[00:07:09] Vanessa: Not particularly, no, I think it does, its like a bike at the end of the day, if you don’t maintain it and you know, your inner tubes are going to go and that can happen, we did have like one particular model that had a lot of trouble with the tires and we kept getting them back but they’ve changed them now. But, if I’m honest, air tires are actually better. If you are walking a lot. 

[00:07:33] Carla: Oh, really? Do they, do they give you that kind of, um, does it make it a little easier? 

[00:07:38] Vanessa: Yeah. So if you were to be the kind of person that goes off roading a lot, we would sell to you a mountain buggy, for example, and they come with air filled tires cause mountain buggy, um, they were made in New Zealand, they are made in New Zealand and they were built around the terrain that you get over in New Zealand. So like there’s like lots of mountains, et cetera. So. That’s why they have air filled tires, but the Eva tires are good too. So we don’t get many people that come in and say, we’re going off roading. It’s just, the people are like the running  prams. So again, that’s out and about mountain buggy. They are the type of ones you’d get for that.

[00:08:18] Carla: Wow. Yeah, because I was just thinking then, do you know what in my natural mind is, if I was, off-roading not that I ever am, even though I wish I wish I had the energy. But if I, if I was, I would think the air tires, weren’t the ones to get, because I think, Oh God, they’d probably pop or, you know, if you were kind of on rough roads and stuff. So that’s really interesting. 

[00:08:41] Vanessa: Yeah, like I said, they will. I mean, if you’re going off road, they are gonna pop, if you’ve got your air tires. However,  they are the tires that we are told from the companies that you know, are better for your off roading, because that’s the kind you’re out and about. We used to do, uh, well, they still do it running pram and it’s called one fixed tire at the front. So it doesn’t even swivel because again, that’s another thing we tell people when they come collect the prams. If you going somewhere down like a cobbly road. It’s probably better to lock your front wheels because of the suspension. So yeah, if you’re doing stuff like that, you will find that your front wheel as well will lock. For you’re off roading. 

[00:09:20] Carla: Right. Brilliant. Oh, do you know what this is really interesting for me. Um, so what pram would you say? So a lot of our mums will say, right, well, as soon as baby’s born, if it’s nice weather, I’m going to get out in the pram and walk miles every day with the headphones in, I know that’s quite popular. What pram is the most popular for walking or which pram is the best one for walking in your opinion?

[00:09:45] Vanessa: Its, that’s a hard one, because to be perfectly honest, as long as they’ve got a decent larger set of wheels on them. Then they’ll be fine. I mean, a lot of people who do walk, I mean, we have sold the old traditional style ones. They are obviously beautiful and we do sell them, but they’re so big that, unless you’ve got a massive car and you ever need to go anywhere, it won’t go in.

[00:10:09] So there is not as many people that buy but if you know, they’ve come in and said, I don’t drive. I walked down the prom every day and I’ll go, well, that’s perfect for you then. We just wouldn’t, we wouldn’t sell you a what I class as a buggy. So like a holiday buggy, that’s that’s not going to be suitable for everyday, all day walking. Cause the tire, the wheels are so small and cause obviously are made to be compact for a holiday. So other than that, you know, we’d, we’d sell anything, really anything with a decent tire on it. 

[00:10:44] Carla: Brilliant. Brilliant. And with the, um, just to add a question here around the car seats. I know a lot of newborns, um, go in the car seat onto the pram. How long does, how long should they go on there for? 

[00:10:57] Vanessa: They, they will fit, them particular car seats, we like to say 12 months roughly. Um, it all depends on it’s another good question. It all depends on your baby, if you’re gonna have a whopper at nine pounds something, then it’s probably not going to last a full 12 months in that car seat plus, you’ll probably find that it’s too heavy with baby in it to be lifting, onto the frame from your car once they get about nine months old. Now my little boy was five 11, he was tiny he stayed in his car seats till 15 months. His first car seat but even at a year I couldn’t physically lift him with the car seat onto the pram anymore. So we stopped doing it. So yeah, you know, you definitely get a good six to nine months being able to put him on or put her on the pram itself. But we say about 12 months. 

[00:11:51] Carla: That’s brilliant. So, um, would you say that it’s important in your opinion, Vanessa, to try out a pram before you buy it? It seems silly question, but I know a lot of people do their online shopping and they just liked the look of the pram. Um,  in your opinion, is, is that something that parents should do? 

[00:12:09] Vanessa: I think so. Yeah. And I’m not just saying that because obviously we run a shop. It is very important. I mean, when I had, when I found out  I was pregnant, obviously, I knew what pram I wanted because I sold  them and I found my pram, and I was like right. I liked two. And I thought I’ll let my husband choose out the two which one he prefers. And even my husband would come  like after work every couple of weeks to keep checking he was happy with the pram we’d chosen. So you can’t do that if your buying it online, you want to make sure you’re definitely a hundred percent ready. I mean, you’ve got us to come and talk to because. Again, we ask the questions, whats your budget, what, what do you do on a day to day? You know, what kind of car do you drive? We’ve had one, we’ve had one couple bless them in the past come with the tiniest car I’ve ever seen and told me they were having twins. So it was like, right. And we managed to find a pram to get in their car. And we spent three, three hours possibly, but they wouldn’t have been able to do that online because they wouldn’t have been able to try it and make sure they were happy with it. 

[00:13:17] Carla: That’s so right as well. And I think it’s a lot of the time you can kind of be struck by looks and think, Oh, that’s amazing. And do you know what? I did that. Um, I actually bought a pram because I liked how it looked and it wouldn’t fit in my, the back of my car. I had a Fiat 500 at the time, right? Oh, every time I had to take the wheels off every single time. And you know, when you’ve been out with your friends in woods  and stuff like that, there were filthy muddy had to take the wheel off every single time. It was a nightmare. Yeah. So that is from a parent’s perspective. That is something that I personally would, I would recommend that you double-check, um, as well. Yeah. 

[00:13:57]Vanessa:  Yeah, we always try it in the car for people we don’t ever just say yeah, that will fit. No problem. We will try it in. 

[00:14:05] Carla: That’s brilliant. And also Vanessa, just a little off topic here, a subject that is always kind of made my head baffle. Is the Isofix basis with the car seats. Now, do they have to kind of be in the same brand or can you mix and match those as well?  

[00:14:22] Vanessa: So your IsoFix base has to match the car seat. Though say, if you, again, we’ll go onto iCandy because they don’t do their own car seat. So if you buy an iCandy pram and then you go for a Maxi Cosi car seat, you’d have to buy the Maxi Cosi base that fits that car seat. Cause they are made to fit specific car seats. 

[00:14:46] Carla: And can you tell us the benefits of the Isofix bases? Um, is it, is it, are they all called Isofix? 

[00:14:52] Vanessa: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, if you’ve got, obviously Isofix points. So even when you bases tend to be for the first, the infant carrier, the, you know, the first car seat you buy. Some bases, will take the next stage, which will go up to about four. And then after that, they actually have the Isofix points in the car seat themselves because they’re all forward facing then. So it’s just easier. So basically, an Isofix base, a lot of people say that they are safer, not necessarily I’d say, um, seatbelts in the car seat is just as safe as using an Isofix base, however.

[00:15:33] The thing with the Isofix base is there’s two, two little clips that clip into your car and to put your car seat on, you literally put it on. You don’t have to strap it into the base. You don’t have to make sure that, um, you know, all the seat belts on it, you just pop it on. And if it clicks and goes green, it’s on. To take it out theres a button. You press the button, take the car seat out. And it’s as simple as that, it takes away human error. When we show people how to seatbelt the car seat, they don’t realize how much has to go behind it. You’ve got to make sure that it’s all in the right little places. You’ve got to make sure it’s all tight. There’s no twist in the seatbelt. You’ve got to make sure that if you put it on the seat, once you’ve done it and there’s no movement. And I think that’s why they’re getting  more and more popular, because again, more and more mums are, working mums and they don’t, you know, you, you know yourself, you’re trying to get little ones to Nursery. You’ve got about seven things in your arms. You’ve then got, so you’ve got two and you’ve got another that you’ve got a baby in the car seat. You’ve you’ve not really got time to make sure you’ve put the baby right in the car seat and done all the car seat fitting. Then get your toddler in the car seat to go to nursery and be on time.

[00:16:47] So what happens is I’m not saying that, you know, you’re not being careful, you probably think, right? Yeah, I’ve done all that fine. And there’s probably a little twist there or the might even be even you’ve not tightened it close enough and God forbid anything was to happen. You know, it, it, you know, you’d feel terrible. So we try and say, you know, if you are going to drive a lot, especially if you driving distance, get yourself an Isofix base, that hundred pound or what, you know, a hundred, 130 pounds is going to be the safest thing to do.

[00:17:19] Carla: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense, because I’ve seen a lot of things around seatbelts and actually, um, you know, there was a, there was a statistic now I don’t want to say it cause I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it was quite shocking. The amount of parents that have been putting them in wrong. Um, and, uh, gosh. Yeah. And as you’re rushing in the morning or wherever you need to get somewhere. Yeah. Or you might get a parking ticket. I mean, these are things that happen. Um, yeah, it’s very important. So yeah, we we’ve always had an Isofix base and it’s just that peace of mind, especially on the motorway and stuff like that.

[00:17:52] So, no, that’s amazing, Vanessa, thank you so much. And is there, is there anything that you think, um, you would like to add about travel systems or anything that I’ve not covered? 

[00:18:02] Vanessa: No, I think you’ve, you’ve done pretty well there, I mean, yeah, again, What we’d like to say to people is don’t think that, um, You know, theres a large, a lot of people worry, the Isofix fixes, for example, go to that, to that for a second is quite expensive. They’re not. They is quite a large range of what you can get and it’s a safety aspect, and that’s what we like to talk people through. Some are cheaper than others. And you might find that the cheaper ones are just as good as the more expensive ones. So we just, um, it was just really that you don’t have to necessarily go for the most expensive thing to know that youre getting a travel system. They can start from anywhere from 450 pounds. 

[00:18:42] Carla: Yeah. Brilliant. Brilliant. And thank you so much for all that. And you’re based in, you’re based in Blackpool. Um, and you can, um, if anyone wants to get in touch with Vanessa, um, directly, you can, um, find James Andrew prams and nurseries, and you can email them directly.

[00:18:59] What’s your email, Vanessa ?

[00:19:00] Vanessa: [email protected]. 

[00:19:05] Carla: Brilliant. And as you can see, she’s very helpful here. Sorry. She’s very helpful. So, and they can get the items delivered out to you as well. So if you want to peck her head and just find out a bit more about what you want, um, and get that extra service then please, please contact, uh, Vanessa.

[00:19:23] So thanks very much, Vanessa. 

[00:19:25] Vanessa: Thank you very much. 

[00:19:26] Carla: Take care. 

[00:19:27] Vanessa: You too.Bye.

[00:19:32] Carla: Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.

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