It was the morning before our flight to The Canaries. I sat amidst enormous piles of our belongings, having just unpacked our voluminous suitcase with a view to repacking it in a slightly better way (read: with a view to being able to close the zip). The husband was busy calling the airline to book an extra hold bag when there was a knock at the door.
“Who’s that?” asked the Tall Dark and Handsome spouse.
“It’s a new stroller to review.” I replied.
I took in the RECARO delivery and carried on clearing up the exploded bag to make some room to unpack this latest (and far more diverting) arrival.
“Quick question…”, directed at me from the doorway, “why do we need another stroller?”
“Well, it’s one that folds up small and is great for travel.”
“Okaaay…”, came the slightly less-than-convinced reply.
At least Luther was prepared to take an interest as I started to open the boxes. Out of the first box slid the entire stroller, fully assembled less the two front wheels and folded like a contortionist into a seemingly impossibly compact form.
“Could you pop this up for me please?” I requested.
TDH grunted dismissively before casting a cynical eye in the direction of this latest acquisition.
“Oh! it’s a Recaro! They make racing car seats!”
And like that [*waves wand*], TDH was on side. He snatched up the stroller, remarking straight away on its lightness, and in no time had identified and manipulated the simple slide-and-twist button that released the seat from its contortions. In one swift motion the stroller popped up, leaving TDH visibly impressed.
“Wow that’s slick!” he exclaimed.
I attached the two front wheels in a matter of seconds and we stood back and admired it, as Luther lunged at it in excitement.
“That’s amazing! I’m completely sold on it.” TDH was converted in one swift pop-up moment.
We didn’t even touch the instruction manual, which, as anyone knows, is the real way to live life. The RECARO Easylife was thus welcomed into our family.
So, first things first: the colour. We chose Sunshine yellow for all the sun-baked holidays we hope to take Mr Easylife on. The chassis is matte black, the extra attachments are black and the colour is vibrant. The other colour options are: Pink, Lime, Saphir, Graphite, Black and Ruby.
The RECARO Easylife really looks the part, and the seat even has apparent nods to the brand’s sports car heritage, with two go faster stripes on the footrest. It’s got the speedy vibe and the weight advantage and you know you’re going to win any buggy race you may be challenged to.
It is extremely light, weighing a mere 5.7kg, and if that sounds a lot then believe me it’s a mere bagatelle. But it is sturdy, with a robust framework that isn’t going to buckle or get squashed. Folded up it is small (H59 x W48 x D26 cm) and has the ability to free stand, so you can pop it on the floor and it stays put, without the need to find something to lean it against; which is of particular useful on public transport. It will also fit in the footwell of a car, for those with smaller boot space – or a boot already full of stuff! When folded up the main foam handle acts as the carry handle, which is easy to hold and the whole package feels balanced.
The brakes are brilliant. There is a push-push mechanism. The left-hand is brake coloured green for GO GO GO! The right hand pedal being (unsurprisingly) red for Whoa, there! Totally flip-flop and open-toe shoe friendly. No fiddly mechanisms to struggle with whilst wearing chunky boots and nothing to catch a naked toe on. I didn’t even know this existed in the stroller world, and am surprised by the practical difference it makes.
The RECARO Easylife has a one-hand folding and unfolding mechanism that takes a little bit of practise to perfect (unless you are my husband of course, who mastered it instantly) but is very clever. There are eight wheels for a smoother ride and it has all round suspension. The front swivel wheels can be locked for easy manoeuvring one handed or over bumpy terrain. It’s touches like this and the brakes that really that set this unit apart from its rivals.
The seat reclines to wherever you choose to fix it. It’s not a fully flat lie down but goes back far enough for a good nap position. It’s suitable for babies from 6 months old and has a five-point harness for safety. The underseat basket is easy enough to get at and is generous for a stroller. The basket can hold 5kg and measures 30cm x 33cm x 10cm.
The seat has mesh panels at the side for air circulation so great for a hot holiday or even Brighton in the sunshine.
There are various accessories that can be purchased and in the second box that was delivered was the carry bag, which enables you to stow it safely away, whether in an aircraft hold or for storage in your front cupboard.
It’s a neat, light and stylish package and it’s not surprising that the Easylife stroller has been awarded GOLD in the 2017 Made For Mums awards, in the ‘Most Compact Fold’ category.
The RECARO Easylife is avalaible online.