Graco has a travel system winner in the Modes Click Connect system. This full-size, full-featured stroller offers a reclining seat, huge basket, easy fold, reversible seat, and much more. Let's review the pros and cons!
- Fast one-hand fold
- Lockable front wheels
- Huge storage basket
- Stroller holds any Graco Click Connect infant car seat
- Travel system includes Snug Ride Click Connect 35 infant car seat
- Car seat has front-adjust harness
- Large sun shade
- Parent tray with cup holders and storage compartment
- Child tray with cup holder
- Maximum child weight - 50 pounds
- Stroller weight - 23 pounds
- Stroller dimensions (open) - 27.5" x 22" x 41"
- Stroller dimensions (folded) - 39" x 23.5" x 12"
What I Like About This Travel System
Graco says Modes has 10 seating configurations. There isn't much difference between some of their stated modes, but it still offers plenty of customization to meet your needs.
You can remove the stroller seat entirely and use Modes as a stroller frame. That's really convenient when your baby is a newborn. You can lighten up the stroller by taking the seat off, and just click the car seat onto the frame to go out and about. The car seat can be placed on the frame so that it faces you or out toward the rest of the world.
Once you add the stroller seat back, you can still click the car seat on like a regular travel system, but only in the parent-facing position.
You can fold up the footrest portion of the seat and recline the seat back to form a little bassinet-type seat, which can face you or face forward. Then you can use the stroller seat for toddlers, rear- or forward-facing, and with or without the front tray.
The stroller steers nicely on four sturdy wheels.
The front wheels are lockable in case you need to navigate a rougher path. Modes does OK on grass and dirt. It's pretty rough on gravel, but it isn't really meant to be an off-road stroller. On smooth surfaces, it's one of the better travel system strollers as far as maneuverability.
The huge basket is a Graco hallmark. It's easy to reach in, even when the seat is reclined. The parent tray is also nice, with a flip-top storage compartment in the center.
Folding is quite easy, it may be a little awkward at first. It has the one-hand squeeze/twist piece on the handle. Once you do the squeeze/twist, the handle lowers to the ground and the storage latch engages. To unfold, release the latch and pull the handle back up into place.
The Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 infant car seat is very easy to use. It has a front-adjust harness, wide belt paths, and a nice, high weight limit plus a tall shell to help your baby fit in the seat for well over a year.
What I Don't Like About This Travel System
At over 20 pounds, the Modes stroller is pretty heavy. Of course, travel system strollers tend to be on the heavier side, and it's nice that you have the option of lightening it up by removing the seat.
It's also large when folded. Prepare to sacrifice some trunk space to hold the stroller.
This is a higher priced travel system than most of Graco's other offerings, which tend to be squarely in the budget category. They stepped up the quality of the stroller in line with the price, which shows in the smoother steering and sturdy frame, but it would be nice to see other higher-end features, as well. An adjustable handle and one-touch brakes would be excellent additions.
The biggest missing piece is that the Snug Ride Click Connect 35 infant car seat doesn't have built-in lock-offs for the seat belt. The closest competitor in travel systems is the Chicco Bravo Trio travel system, which also has a removable stroller seat, and comes with the Chicco Key Fit 30 infant car seat, which has the built-in lock-offs and a quick center-pull LATCH strap.
The Chicco travel system is a little bit cheaper than the Graco Modes, too.
Overall, Graco brought their A-game with the Modes travel system. It's a very nice stroller with lots of options, thanks to the reversible and removable seat. The infant car seat is easy to use, even without the lock-offs. Families who want a full-sized travel system stroller will likely be very happy with the Graco Modes system.
The manufacturer provided product samples for this review.