Spotlight Product Review: The First Years Wave Stroller

The Perfect Luxury Stroller for Those That Don’t Want the Luxury Price

The First Years Wave stroller is a perfect luxury stroller for parents who don’t want the luxury price.  The Wave is stocked with luxury features such as good looks, adjustable handle, reversible seat, super easy maneuverability and huge canopy. 

There are some stand-out unique features on the Wave that you will not see on other strollers!  The reversible seat feature and the bassinet to toddler seat are absolutely amazing! 

The first unique feature of the Wave is that the seat does double duty.  The seat can be set in bassinet mode to accommodate your newborn.  Yep, a full bassinet that turns the Wave into a pram to give you that luxury, celebrity feeling.  The bassinet has the 5 point harness to keep your little one in place.  As your little one grows, you can transform the seat into the toddler seat mode.  Attach a few buckles underneath the bassinet and it transforms into a toddler seat to accommodate your child up to 50 lbs.  We love that you don’t have to store a bassinet when not in use or need any additional attachments to go from bassinet to toddler seat.   This is an all-in-one feature!

The toddler seat is 12 ½” wide with an 18” seatback and a short measurement of 22” from seatback to canopy.  It accommodates up to 50 lbs but you will definitely have to remove the canopy with any child over 38” or so.  The footrest isn’t terribly long either so this isn’t a great stroller for super tall children.  Our testers fit comfortably until about 3-4 years old depending on their height, but our older kids under 50 lbs had their legs quite bent in the seat if they were tall.

The seat is canvas which is super easy to wipe down and has a full removable seat pad for an extra comfortable ride.  The seat sports a padded, 5 point harness.  The one-touch harness buckle is way too easy for our liking though.  Our naughty toddlers are masters of the “one-touch” button and escape the seat in seconds.  We would recommend a more difficult buckle to contain our toddlers a little longer.  The seat sports a baby bumper bar but doesn’t have any baby tray or cup holder.   Like other luxury strollers, the stroller is also missing a parent tray or cup holder. 

The toddler seat can recline in two ways.  First, you can recline the seatback with a two-handed strap recline.  Not the easiest strap recline to do and the seat only goes half way back with the strap.  Not to worry though because you can also recline the seat as a whole to four different positions with the one-handed lever on the back of the seat.  The lever will recline the seat while it keeps its wide “v” shape.  While the seat doesn’t sit completely upright at a 90 degree angle, it is barely reclined in the upright position and our testers did not complain. 

Now, the unique “twist and spin” reverse seat is our favorite feature on the stroller.  It is amazing!  It is so easy to do!  The reversible seat is like none we have ever seen and is one of the easiest reverse features we have encountered.  Plus, you can reverse the seat while your child is aboard.  You don’t have to lift the entire seat and reverse it like with other luxury strollers.  And with a reverse feature like this, the front swivel wheels always remain in front and the rear wheels always remain in back unlike those strollers with the “reversible handles”.  You can seriously reverse this seat with your kid in it and you are standing still. 

You must watch our video review on this feature because you may not appreciate its coolness until you see it in action!

The handlebar is great for all our taller mama (and dad!) friends because it telescopes out from 39-42” from ground to handlebar.  Our taller parent testers really liked the adjustable handlebar that gave them plenty of clearance for their long stride. 

The Wave sports a huge canopy and will sufficiently shade your child.  The canopy also sports a peek a boo window (with cover) on top to check in on your child.  The medium-size basket isn’t the biggest on the market but it is accessible from front or back.  The basket may be able to hold a large diaper bag but you might have trouble getting it in the basket opening though because of how the frame is designed.

Even though you have to remove the seat to fold the stroller, it is still really easy to do.  You can fold the frame easily with a quick, one-handed, 3 step process.  Twist a  handle, push a button and lift a handle.  That’s it!  We also love that the fold handle also doubles as a carry handle and the frame has a standing fold.  Since the frame and seat weighs in at only 24 lb and they are not folded together, we had absolutely no problem lifting the stroller pieces into our trunks.  And the folding frame is compact so we had no problem fitting it into small trunks. 

The Wave has 11” rubber wheels in the back and a set of 7” double wheels in the front.  The front swivel wheels also have the ability to lock for a bit bumper terrain.  There is also a one step (flip-flop friendly) rear brake.  It even has a color indicator to let you know if the brake is set. 

The Wave is incredibly easy to push.  We are talking one-handed-almost-fully-loaded-easy-to-push!  We put our 3 year old (36 lb) tester in the stroller and could zip the stroller around with one hand.  No kidding!!!  A heavier child will take a bit more wrist power or two hands though from their weight.  Plus, with the large rear tires and when we locked the front wheels, the stroller tackled grass and playground mulch like a champ.  

The stroller comes with a universal car seat adapter (with a carry/storage bag) to turn the frame into a travel system.  The First Years Via Infant Car Seat snaps right into the frame without any adapter needed. 

Our only complaints would be that there would be more canopy clearance for our taller children and that there were accessories such as foot muff, cup holder, parent tray available.  Other than that (and the other features more than make up for these complaints!), we absolutely adore the unique features such as the “twist and spin” seat and the bassinet to toddler seat feature!  And the other luxury features such as a adjustable handlebar, huge canopy, flat recline and car seat adapters are pretty fabulous as well!  So, with all these luxury features, you would expect a hefty price tag, right?  Not so with the Wave Stroller!!  It’s completely affordable and more than half the price of its luxury competitors.  If you are looking for a stroller that pulls no punches with luxury features but want a budget-friendly price, you have to check out the First Years Wave stroller!!

SHOP The First Years Wave Stroller

To watch our full video review (and see the reversible seat in action!) – click on the video below:


*Thanks to First Years for sending us the Wave to review!

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Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in North Carolina where she is having a blast designing and decorating her new home.

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10 Comments on "Spotlight Product Review: The First Years Wave Stroller"

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Hi Hollie,
Thanks for your truly helpful video review.

I am very interested in this stroller, but have one question – do you know if the tires are rubber or plastic?

I live in a snowy climate, and other moms here have told me that rubber is a must for snow & ice.

If you can let mee know about that, it would be most appreciated.

Thanks and great website!

kind regards,


Hi, I am really debating between this stroller and the more expensive baby jogger city select for my second child. I just canno’t decide, and there arn’t many review of the wave out there. I previously had a first wheels city elite, and found the frame very wobbly which made getting up onto curbs difficult…it seemed like the frame was straining and bending under the weight. This stroller seems like it may have the same problem. Have you tried getting it up onto a curb with a child in it? If so, how difficult was it? Thanx for the review



Hi there.
Thanks for the review.
Is this stroller available in-store? who carries it?



How wobbly is the frame/seat? Is it safe for the baby?


I appreciate the effort you put in these reviews, but I am disappointed that when comparing the features of this stroller, such as its ability to rotate the seat you don’t mention the product that pioneered the feature more than two years ago — Orbit Baby. Comparing products to their direct competitors as part of the reviews gives much more balanced and useful information to readers. As it is, I am concerned that while I read your other reviews, I miss out on important facts as you didn’t do your research. Thank you again for keeping the site up and… Read more »
Qui-Ahni Brown
I LOVE this stroller! I have been testing out strollers and this one has all the features I’d expect from a more expensive model. It turns out that this stroller CAN be closed with the seat attached (the seat must be facing you). The salespeople at the stores I visited were surprised when I told them and shocked when I showed them! I have an eye for a bargain and purchased this stroller 2 days ago for only $200 (tax included) and it works wonderfully for my 18 month old daughter. The accessories I had for her other strollers all… Read more »

I bought one of these sight-unseen right before Labor Day, and we’ve been completely happy with it. So glad to see you do a review of it! My complaints are the same as you noted. I will say that the basket is the biggest complaint I have. Not the size so much as the accessibility, because our Skip Hop Dash squeezes in pretty awkwardly and leaves my (mid-sized) purse very little room. But our two-month-old daughter loves it, and it provided plenty of shade for her even in a Texas afternoon at the county fair.

Vanessa P