First Years Ignite Stroller Review: For Parents On The Go

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Umbrella strollers are incredibly practical, especially if you’re a busy parent who runs from place to place all day long. You need a stroller that fits that fast-paced lifestyle while being safe and comfortable for your baby.

The upside of umbrella strollers is that they can be carried around with no hassle at all, and that’s a big part of what made the First Years Ignite umbrella stroller catch our eye. Its compact frame, total portability, and the budget-friendly price tag could make it a solid choice for the mom or dad on the go.

But is that all this stroller has to offer? Read on to find out!

Before you dive into our comprehensive review, however, it’s important to note that this particular stroller has been discontinued by the manufacturer. This detail may not matter much if you’ve managed to find one of these bad boys from a secondhand seller, but bad news if you want to purchase something brand new.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Umbrella Stroller

The best umbrella stroller is often the one that balances lightweight with frame strength. Additionally, it should fulfill a few more requirements. And to help you in selecting a good stroller, here’s a summary of the essentials:  

Age Appropriateness

Umbrella strollers fall into two basic categories: 30-lb. and 50-lb. models. Some are rather tiny, while others provide ample space. It’s best to choose one that suits both your baby’s current and future needs.  

These portable strollers rarely recline fully, and that’s why they’re mostly used for toddlers. So if your baby is younger than 6 months, a travel stroller system would be a better choice, as the full recline, extra padding, and bassinet configuration would be more suitable for an infant.    

Frame Strength  

Umbrella strollers are abundant everywhere, and many models sell for less than $50. They’re just as easy to buy as diapers, but be careful of ending up with a too wobbly or flimsy stroller.

It’s worth noting that the sturdy frames you see in brand-name strollers are often made from heavy metals. There is a trade-off you often have to make between having a resilient frame for the stroller or a lightweight one. There’s a sweet spot, however, and a few good strollers manage to be sufficiently solid yet easy to carry.  

The Canopy and Stroller Fabric  

Umbrella strollers usually pair well with an outdoorsy lifestyle. So, the canopy should provide proper protection from the sun, wind, and rain. 

The material of the stroller should also be soft on the baby’s skin. If it’s also waterproof and easy to clean, that’s definitely a big plus. 

We have to stay reasonable though. A compact stroller can’t go overboard with too many options, or it’ll end up the same size and weight as a regular lightweight stroller. Furthermore, it’ll sell at the same price point, too!

Comfort and Safety

There are so many places you’ll take your baby to, and you need to be sure that he or she stays happy in the stroller. Make sure the size and weight of the stroller match your baby well. A high backrest is often necessary, as well as generous padding and a footrest. 

Safety is of paramount importance. That’s why it’s essential to inspect the harness, the brakes, and the overall frame of the stroller. 

Folding Size and Portability  

The main attraction of an umbrella stroller is that it folds neatly into an umbrella form you can carry easily. 

Make sure that folding and unfolding are easy, as you’ll most likely have your baby in your other hand as you take down the stroller. Also, be wary of whether or not the stroller folds into a bulky shape, as you don’t want it to become too massive to store or transport.

First Years Ignite Stroller Overview

Though rather dated, The First Years Ignite stroller continues to attract the attention of many parents. That’s because of its balanced assortment of features. While it’s not exceptional in any particular aspect, its overall performance easily matches its peers — even the more expensive ones. 

Things We Like

  • Visually pleasing design 
  • High weight capacity of 50 lbs.
  • Front and rear brakes
  • 5-point safety harness
  • Suitable for tall parents
  • Folds neatly into a lean structure
  • Extra storage pouch for the parent’s items 

Room For Improvement

  • Hard to access storage basket with limited space
  • Canopy only suitable for mellow weather only; an extension is needed for sunny and rainy weather

Features and Benefits

If you’re thinking about buying an umbrella stroller, you might want to see if the Ignite’s features suit your requirements. This stroller is quite popular with many parents, so there’s a good chance you’ll like it too.  

The Overall Design 

The Ignite doesn’t go to extremes to catch attention, yet manages to look good. The lines are rather straightforward and here to do the job. 

It’s made for older babies and toddlers who would enjoy watching the street on a bright day and rolling around with their moms in long peaceful walks. This is not a luxury, all-terrain, or jogging stroller by any means, but it’ll serve you well as you move around town.

The Seat  

Stroller seats don’t need to be extra spacious, but they shouldn’t be too tight either. The width of this seat is quite suitable for children up to 50 lbs., or until they’re around age three.

The most impressive feature here is the height of the backrest. It’s designed to accommodate tall kids, which is something we don’t see too often in strollers.

Like most other umbrella strollers, the Ignite doesn’t lean back fully. It does provide a 120 degrees recline though, which would invite a brief nap should your little tyke get tired while you’re out.

The footrest is also a nice addition that adds to the comfort of the ride. It might be a bit different from the wide solid steps you’d find in more elaborate strollers, but it does the job well for a portable stroller.   

The Canopy  

On a nice spring day, this canopy is more than enough. It would supply enough shade above your child’s head and let all the fresh air in. 

Once the seasons change though, this canopy would barely provide any weather protection, and it doesn’t really stand a chance against the midsummer heat or chilly winter days. In those cases, you’d need to buy an extension canopy before enjoying time in the great outdoors.

The Wheels

The Ignite comes with a set of eight large wheels, with a couple of wheels in each end. This increases the stability of the stroller significantly, despite its lighter weight. 

The 6-inch diameter of each wheel optimizes the shock absorption and maneuverability of the stroller, and each set has its own brakes so that you have better control over the stroller movement.  

The Folding Mechanism 

This is among the main attractions of the ignite. It folds easily by moving a hook, and then it just pulls itself into a thin umbrella-like shape. To keep the folded stroller from expanding, it’s restrained by a hook. 

The handles also resemble the curved handles of umbrellas, which makes carrying this stroller a breeze. 

To reopen the stroller, you just unhook it, move a lever, and pull it up. The frame spreads, and it expands into its full-frame in seconds. For safety, it must be secured in that position.   

Storage and Other Accessories 

The Ignite is a bit short on storage space, but that’s typical in most umbrella strollers. It does have a nice storage pouch for the parents though. And for added convenience, it’s placed right on the handlebars.  

You can put your drink in this little bag, as there’s a bottle holder in it. And if you have a cell phone, wallet, and keys with you, there’s a zippered pocket to pop them into.

Alternatives

As we mentioned before, the First Years Ignite stroller has been discontinued, but luckily, we’ve found a few suitable alternatives that may suit your umbrella stroller needs just as well.

If your budget allows it, you might want to consider a more expensive umbrella stroller. The UPPAbaby strollers, for example, are always ready with their innovative and luxurious models. UPPAbaby’s G-Luxe, for example, has much to offer.

Weighing in at just 11 pounds, this product boasts a lightweight aluminum frame with a carrying strap, a 4-wheel suspension system, locking front swivel wheels, and so much more. Has the G-Luxe piqued your interest? Read our full review of it here!

2018 UPPAbaby G-Luxe Stroller - Jordan (Charcoal/Silver)
  • NEW! 2018 model G-LUXE Stroller
  • One-handed actuated recline and adjustable footrest
  • Large stretch knit canopy with extendable UPF 50+ sunshade for great sun and wind protection

On the other hand, if the lightness and portability of the Ignite have appealed to your active side, then a jogging stroller could also be a nice option. In that case, give the BOB Ironman a chance.

This stroller’s fixed front wheel provides total stability, whether you’re out for a long jog or a quick sprint, and the quick two-step folding design helps you store this stroller quickly and easily when it’s not in use. Unsure if BOB’s Ironman is a good fit for you? Read more about it here before you buy!

BOB Sport Utility Jogging Stroller, Meadow
  • Fixed front wheel provides increased stability for hiking and jogging or when the trail gets rough
  • 16 inch knobby, air filled tires on high impact polymer wheels mean that this stroller is built to handle all your trail adventures
  • Hand activated front caliper brake for added control when jogging downhill

Conclusion

The First Years Ignite stroller is a high performer that doesn’t break the bank. It’s sturdy, functional, comfortable, and fully portable. Folding and unfolding this umbrella stroller is so simple, that you can do it with one hand. 

As for driving it around, the combination of its lightweight, balanced frame, and wheel system, makes for a smooth and easy drive all over town. When you’re done, fold it up and carry it in public transport, or store it in the trunk of your car, and get on with the rest of your errands.  

A budget-friendly stroller like the Ignite isn’t expected to have fancy coverings or rich padding, but it does have some decent fabrics, and it’s certainly better than many other models in this price range. 

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