I think, as a parent, when you are expecting a baby, naturally one of the first things you think about is which pram, or travel system, you will choose. And my goodness – the options out there these days are overwhelming. And, admittedly, very expensive.
A few weeks ago, we were sent a few new Graco products to try, including the Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System. We have actually tried the Graco Metro Stroller before, which we loved, so I was quite curious to see what the Modes 3 Lite would be like.
Now, having had two children, I know what matters to me the most when it comes to choosing a travel system, and I like to focus on the following:
- Comfort for baby.
- Easy to steer.
- Not too bulky or heavy.
- A good-sized basket.
So how did the Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System live up to my expectations?
Well, let’s start at the basics.
What is it?
The Graco Modes 3 Lite is a travel system that comes all together – no separate car seat, or adaptors, you buy it and you get it all. It includes a carry cot, a stroller seat, a car seat, and a foot muff, rain cover and cup holder too (I always like things like this).
The Modes 3 Lite has seven different options when it comes to how your child can ride. The car seat, carry cot, and stroller seat can all ride both front and parent facing, depending on your personal preference too, which makes it incredibly versatile, which I love.
The box, considering what was in there, was surprisingly compact, so if you were buying this to store until baby was born, you could quite easily do so without taking up too much space.
Assembly was relatively simple to do, aside the rear wheels and the carrycot.
There were some rather bizarre looking pins to add in, to secure the wheels to the bar, and it was quite fiddly for me, on my own. Plus – I am used to just slotting wheels in the place. But, in all fairness, once assembled, there has been no issues whatsoever.
The carrycot was quite hard to push into position – there are two metal bars that need sliding into position to keep the carrycot sturdy, which I found really hard to do! But I was building this on my own, with a baby at my feet, so it probably wasn’t quite as productive as I’d of hoped!
We have the grey colour way, which was perfect for us as it’s gender neutral and it just so happens to be one of my favourite colours. I believe there is also a black and cream colour way as well, but I’m not sure if there are any more vibrant or gender-specific shades.
In terms of ‘looks’, it’s not the most beautiful travel system in the world, which is a fair comment to make, I think – but it is extremely practical and the material seems to be wipe-clean and will withstand many an adventure.
Now, Daisy is coming up to eight months old, so we had no use for the carrycot – I think she would have been a rather unhappy little thing had she of been put in there, so we mainly focused our review on using the Modes 3 Lite as a stroller, along with the car seat.
That said, first impressions were good. The carrycot, once assembled, looked great, and was spacious enough for a baby up until six months. I would say it was more narrow than some I have used, but this would make it good for getting out and about and navigating tight spaces.
As I mentioned before, as a stroller you can choose between forward or parent facing and there’s a five-point harness to make sure your child is safe and nice and snug in there. As Daisy has only ever faced me up until this point, we decided to give her a go in the forward-facing position and my goodness did she love it. I found it quite hard because I am so used to seeing her little face smiling up at me, but that’s the beauty of something like this, as you can switch it back again if you get too emotional like this mama did!
The recommended weight of the Modes 3 Lite is 15kg, which is roughly around three years of age. As Daisy is so little, she has a lot of growing to do before she is too big, and I love how it suits her perfectly, but other reviews I’ve seen, like Alex’s
review, show their children to be just a comfortable, which pleased me.
The stroller seat also comes with a foot muff, which was one thing that disappointed me a bit. Daisy is only tiny but she had no problems kicking it off, and it wasn’t very snug and is quite thin, but, as an extra, I wouldn’t complain. It would be nice to see it with some sort of attachment to keep it in place a bit better, because I didn’t feel like it was going to keep her warm and dry unless I really tucked it in.
One brilliant perk though, is the basket. You can fit plenty in there, along with the rain cover, just in case, and a big basket makes me happy! I can fit plenty of bits in from a supermarket trip, along with book bags, changing bags and toys too.
Car Seat Mode
The Modes 3 Lite includes the SnugRide car seat, which is such a brilliant addition considering that items like this are usually a bolt-on with additional adaptors, which aren’t very useful if they go missing or you forget to bring them with you when out and about. The SnugRide utilises Graco’s Click Connect™ technology, which means you can just click it into the chassis and off you go.
I tend to walk most places, so I don’t always need a chassis in the boot for trips out and about, but the option to have this, especially when Daisy has fallen asleep, is brilliant. And I think, for a new parent, this is a God-send, as you make one purchase and you’re all prepared.
It also features an ergonomic carry handle, lightweight shell design, side impact protection and five-point harness offering a lightweight, yet sturdy infant car seat to protect your baby. It’s suitable for up to 13kg, so Daisy could probably use this until she is about one I’d expect. Then we will move on to the Milestone Car Seat – review coming soon!
The Modes 3 Lite has a three-wheel design and it is incredibly easy to steer. And this is one of my essentials when it comes to travel systems – I really struggle with ones that are tough to manoeuvre, especially on school runs where I need a free hand for my little boy, Bill, when crossing the road. And I really don’t enjoy using prams or strollers that don’t handle terrain well, given we live in a countryside village that can go from pavement, to field, to cobbles, to hills, very easily!
Collapsing and Unfolding
This is one area that the Modes 3 Lite comes into its own, with the Graco FastAction Fold technology. If you’re stuck in the rain, with an unhappy baby on your hip and you need to get baby and the stroller into the car as quick as possible, then all you do is pull the clearly marked strap and you have easily collapsed your stroller, one handed. It’s absolutely brilliant and I wish all strollers and prams featured technology like this. Some feel like you need a degree just to get them set up!
Another important point to note is that it fits into our car boot absolutely fine – we have a Ford Focus if that helps, and there’s still a bit of room for changing bags and shopping, more so if you rely on the SnugRide car seat when out, instead of the stroller seat, but it’s worth noting that car seats shouldn’t be used for too long a period of time for baby’s posture and comfort.
Cost and Value
The Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System is very new to the market – I think Daisy and I were one of the first to get our hands on it to try, which was quite exciting. So far, the only place I can find it is on Babies ‘R’ Us, where the stroller and car seat retails at £389.99
and the carrycot is an additional £119.99
, which is a total of £509.98. I’d say that this is a brilliant deal for something that is so functional and versatile, without compromising.
Daisy certainly liked it anyway!
*We were provided with the Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System for the purpose of this review. I hope it helped. All opinions are my own.