Saturday, March 3, 2012

BAK Gear: Strollers: The First Years Ignite 50

Havana
I am a firm believer that the gear should fit the mission - that is to say, that the gear should be mission-specific, and you should not be fighting your gear. This is one prime example. There are plenty of strollers out there that try to be a jack-of-all-trades but ultimately, are the master of nothing. Then you have your mission-specific strollers: jogging strollers, umbrella strollers, ultra-lightweight strollers, city-chic strollers, multi-purpose strollers, and carriages, etc...

Image courtesy of Amazon.com
Strollers are one of those really hard use pieces of kit that should require due diligence and needs assessment prior to procurement. Good quality strollers are not cheap and if you chintz out on your due diligence and needs assessment, you end up with Non-Serviceable gear that you will be fighting against.

Disney Main Street
Our Bad Ass Family procured 3 different kinds of strollers, 2 of which we utilize on a regular basis: the BOB Revolution jogging stroller (which I will review at a later time), and The First Years Ignite 50 stroller. It is the latter, that I will be reviewing (the 3rd stroller is the Graco Quattro which sees a lot of use - in the closet).

Varadero
The First Years Ignite 50 Stroller for around $60 USD is marketed as a Euro-styled umbrella stroller. It also goes by the name Lamaz Ignite Stroller in Canada. I have no idea WTF "euro-styled" means, because of all the European cities I have been to (and I have been to countless cities), I do not ever recall seeing any stroller like this. I've seen really expensive Peg Peregos and Quinnys and some French ones - all in flaming colours, but nothing as Bad Ass as this one. I do believe it requires some assembly. But if you can't, you should be punched in the face...4 times.
Toon Town
This stroller's marketed features:
  • Durable frame rated for use to 50lbs
  • Taller handles and multi-position recline
  • 5 pt harness for a safer ride
  • Large parent console and lower storage basket
  • Easy one hand fold and weighs only 14 lbs.
  • Adjustable Canopy
Back of the LR3
We chose this stroller because it is lightweight, compact, and air-portable. This stroller is best suited stored in your vehicle's trunk easily accessible and ready for action. It can easily be lifted and deployed with one-hand. With a quick depression of the lock  located near the feet, the stroller is deployed and will not compress on itself. It also features adjustable 5-pt harness. It ain't a RECARO seat, but it will keep your kid from doing the face-plant when you hit a pothole. It seems like the places we travel are usually cobble-stoned or bricked, all eight wheels handle the terrain graciously; however, there is no replacement for the comfort of inner-tube tires. The front wheels are 360 degree swivel with a tight turning radius.

Toon Town
I like that the handles are taller, because my knees and feet are not kicking the stroller, and I don't have to bend over to push the thing. I should also mention that the wheelbase is slightly wider than most umbrella strollers, enabling it to be more stable, while providing ample width for the pusher's feet to travel. It also folds up compact and its form is anchored through the use of a retaining swivel hook.

Another great feature, unlike other umbrella strollers, is the reclining seat-back. It does not recline to a full horizontal position, but it does recline just enough so that the kid is comfortable when fallen asleep. The Seat-back, as well as the seat, are tension set, and are made of a durable cushioned material that is garden-hoseable (as long as you allow it to completely dry before storing).

Now every Bad Ass Dad knows that the stroller is as much for the kid as it is for the parents. Sure the kid gets to sit in it for excursions to Disneyland, Seattle, Havana, and yes, even Toronto - but, we know that the stroller is also a load bearing device capable of storage and transport of items that may pertain to the usefulness during the mission. This stroller has storage capabilities located beneath the seat, as well as some usable space between the upright seat-back and the x-frame bars.
Seattle

We procured this stroller 2 years ago, and have used it exclusively for travel as well as for longer shopping jaunts. At first we got a little antsy about how the kid would fit as she grew, but in our most recent trip to Seattle, our 3.5 year old (who is cresting size 5 clothes), didn't have any issues. Being the Bad Ass Kid that she is, she did like resting her boots on the wheels to hear the whirring sounds. I have nothing bad to say about this particular stroller. We utilize every feature there is on this stroller - to the max. I'm not gentle with it at all, and it seems to take it well.

Puerto Vallarta
When doing your research like most Bad Ass Dad's should, you will encounter several stroller products. I urge you to do a serious needs assessment. What are the features you require, what are the features you want, and what are the features that are extraneous to your mission. We wanted a travel stroller that could take the abuse of travelling (and all that is involved), as well as taking into account the relative comfort-needs of the kid. Take a look at this picture. The kid is slouched over, and probably won't have a good posture for sleeping, the wheelbase is also quite narrow, and the handles are short. My feet kept knocking it. Also, the material was not abrasion-resistant. It fell out of a golf kart that was taking us to our rental vehicle, and at such stupendously high speeds, the stroller broke.
Matanzas

So do the research, the due diligence, the needs assessment. Determine how much money you are willing to shell out, and then go from there. 60 bucks for a travel stroller that has taken at least 2 years of Bad Ass Dad's abuse is pretty good.

4 comments:

  1. By far the best review of this stroller I've found. I've been contemplating buying this one but with very vague reviews to go off of I was kinda iffy about it. Thank you for the very basic yet in depth review on this product. Definitely buying this now.

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Disclaimer

Full Disclosure: Unless noted, Bad Ass Dad has not been compensated in any means to review this gear. It is all his own, procured through pro-channels, retail, or issuance.