Best Umbrella Stroller I Could Find, a Great Sale Price, & Fast Shipping
June 10, 2013
I paid a lot of money for my first system (Britax B-Ready Stroller, Britax Chaperone Car Seat, Britax Convertible Car Seat). I love that system, but the stroller is too heavy for me to lug in and out of the car everyday, and it won't fit into small offices and stores. So, when my daughter turned 6 months old, I thought I would get a small umbrella stroller for everyday tasks. I wanted something simple, black in color, and not too expensive. I read all of the positive reviews for the First Years Ignite stroller ($59.99 from Amazon) and thought I would try it. I was disappointed and returned it. It is a step up from a $10 umbrella stroller, but it is not good enough quality for everyday use. My daughter is large, off the charts for height and weight, and at 6 months, she may be able to use the First Years Ignite for another couple of months before she outgrows it.
First Years Ignite:
The seat doesn't recline very much at all. And, it is hard - no padding. The hood is skimpy. The foot rest is NOT adjustable and there are two uncomfortable metal bars on both sides. The tires are cheap crap. And, don't get me started on the brakes. The front brakes are little flimsy plastic tabs that bend when you use them. They are sure to break off soon. You cannot access the basket underneath because bars are in the way. The First Years Ignite stroller is low quality and lots of plastic, but it is still heavy compared to higher-end umbrella strollers. I wouldn't use it, even if it was free.
I returned the First Years Ignite and bought a Joovy Groove. I had high hopes for the Joovy Groove, but I was disappointed in it too. It is a decent umbrella stroller compared to the First Years Ignite. But, it is too pricey for what you get. The Joovy Groove was on sale on Amazon for $169.99 (normally $200). While it was better than the First Years Ignite, I was not happy about spending that much money on an umbrella stroller that I had issues with. I might have kept it if it was in the $50 to $100 price range.
The canopy is great, it was my favorite thing about it. And, it is my favorite canopy out of all of the strollers. But, during Day 1 of use, the seat was still too hard and too small for my large baby, and didn't recline far enough. I didn't like the strap recline. The aluminum frame water spotted and the hinges were not covered. The foam tires chipped on a normal concrete sidewalk. Chipping of tires after Day 1 is NOT acceptable. There is no way the tires will last long. If these tires were foam filled rubber, they would be awesome. The Joovy Groove steered okay, but the ride was still too bumpy for me.
I returned the Joovy Groove and found the Maclaren Techno XLR on sale on Albee Baby's website for $279.99 (usually $400 on Amazon), and thought I might as well try it. I am soooooooo glad I did. I normally use Amazon for the Prime overnight shipping, but Albee Baby's sale price was so great, I couldn't pass up the offer. So, I called to see if they could express ship the stroller. The nice representative said I could pay $15 to have it shipped out the same day. And, she said that I was closest enough to the warehouse that it would arrive in 2 days via UPS Ground, so there was no reason to pay a lot of money for express shipping. The stroller was ordered on a Wednesday morning on the phone and arrived Friday afternoon via UPS. I was very happy with Albee Baby's rush to get it shipped out.
Maclaren Techno XLR:
It is one of the largest umbrella strollers (holds up to 65 lbs., extra wide seat, but it still light enough for everyday use). It came with so many options (extra padded liner, head hugger, boot, raincover, huge canopy, adjustable footrest, flat recline with handle, lifetime warranty). Not to mention, it steers like butter and the tires are holding up well (no chips). My little one will be able to fit in it for years to come. The only issue I have with it is the crotch strap is going to be too short soon. But, my monster baby has this problem with all car seats and strollers (including her Britax). She is 6 months old in 24 month pants. LOL. But, I called Maclaren and they are making a longer crotch strap for her...I think that is so awesome.
If you want a quality stroller that will be comfortable for your baby and last years to come, I suggest the Maclaren Techno XLR. The First Years Ignite is an Absolute NO, and the Joovy Groove is an Uhhh...Maybe depending on your expected use and desired cost.
Pros:extra wide seat
extra padded liner
flat recline with handle
steers like butter
tires are holding up well (no chips)
Cons:short crotch strap for my monster baby - but Maclaren is making a longer on for me :)
Best Uses:everyday umbrella stroller