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Recaro Easylife Review

Best Value Award
Price:   $200.00 List
Pros:  Budget friendly, easy to use, nice quality
Cons:  Harder to push and turn
Bottom line:  Nice looking, easy to use option with quality features and simple fold
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Recaro

The Skinny

The Recaro EasyLife earned a Best Value award thanks to a third place rank and a budget friendly price. This stroller earned top marks for ease of use and quality, impressing testers with features that function well, a super easy fold and unfold, and a nice looking design that feels sturdy with very little flex. While this stroller is neither the smallest nor the lightest, it folds in thirds making a fairly compact package that can fit in spaces the traditional umbrella fold cannot. Possibly the only downside is the Recaro's score for maneuverability, where it struggles somewhat moving off road. If an easy to use simple stroller is what you are looking for the EasyLife is a good choice at a great price. Alternatively, if you want something small and quick for travel, the Quinny Yezz is a great choice and won a Top Pick award for travel.

Update — May 2017
The Recaro Easylife stroller is no longer being produced. If you are looking for something that will fit into a tight budget, the Inglesina Net was the other Best Value award winner in our Umbrella Stroller review. It retails at $50 less than the Recaro as well, making it one of the least expensive strollers in our test, while still managing to score above average in most categories.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Umbrella Strollers of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Thursday
December 8, 2016

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The Recaro is a nice stroller with impressive easy to use features for a reasonable price.
The Recaro is a nice stroller with impressive easy to use features for a reasonable price.

In 1906, Wilhelm Reutter established the Stuttgart Body and Wheel Factory (Stuttgarter Carosserie- u. Radfabrik) for auto bodies and wheels. In 1909, Reutter patents the predecessor of today's convertible. They go on to build prototypes for the "Volkswagen" (beetle), and in 1950 build the first Porsche. In 1963, REutter CAROsserie becomes RECARO, the seating specialist, after Porsche purchases the body factory. Recaro goes on to create innovative seating for autos and aircraft, before growing further in 1998 with child safety products.



Performance Comparison


It is easy to see why the Recaro EasyLife (shown in blue) earned a Best Value award when you see how it stacked up against the competition. With a higher overall score and rank, the EasyLife proves it has what it takes to compete with more expensive strollers.


The sections below provide the all the details on how the Recaro performed during testing compared to the competition. Its performance in key metrics helped it earn above average scores.

The Recaro folds in thirds making a more compact package than the more traditional umbrella fold that creates a narrower but longer folded package.
The Recaro folds in thirds making a more compact package than the more traditional umbrella fold that creates a narrower but longer folded package.

Weight and Folded Size


The EasyLife earned a 6 of 10 for weight and folded size. This stroller weighs 13.9 lbs and measures 6,690 cubic inches when folded.


Eight options in the review weigh more, and while it is larger when folded than most, it folds in thirds instead of a long umbrella, which might save space depending on where you stash it.

With the easiest fold/unfold functionality  and a storage bin that offers unusually easy access from the back  the Recaro EasyLife lived up to its name and earned the highest score in our tests for ease of use.
With the easiest fold/unfold functionality, and a storage bin that offers unusually easy access from the back, the Recaro EasyLife lived up to its name and earned the highest score in our tests for ease of use.

Ease of Use


The EasyLife earned an 8 of 10 for ease of use, making it one of the easiest strollers to use.


The Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini also scored 8s, but both are even larger and heavier than the EasyLife.

The fold on the EasyLife is initiated with the slide of a button on the handlebar that unlocks the stroller and prepares it to fold.
The fold on the EasyLife is initiated with the slide of a button on the handlebar that unlocks the stroller and prepares it to fold.

Fold and Unfold


The EasyLife has the easiest one-handed fold and unfold that also auto-locks and self-stands. All you need to do is release the frame lock and lower the handle down; you don't need even need to bend over or pick it up. To unfold, you just lift up on the handle and it unfolds itself. This fold creates a compact dense square as opposed to the more common umbrella collapse that creates a longer package.

Brakes


The EasyLife has single action brakes that are easy to set and release. The pedals are located on either side near the back wheels with one for setting and one for release that is sandal foot friendly.

The EasyLife bin is easy to access even with the back reclined  and while we did fit our large diaper bag inside  it only holds up to 5 lbs of supplies.
The EasyLife bin is easy to access even with the back reclined, and while we did fit our large diaper bag inside, it only holds up to 5 lbs of supplies.

Storage


The storage bin on the EasyLife holds up to 5 lbs of supplies and fit our Large Diaper Bag. This bin is fairly impressive for a lightweight stroller and access is good even with the seat back reclined, something not shared by most of the competition. This stroller also features a water bottle sleeve with a small mesh pocket on the outside.

The canopy on the EasyLife is a nice looking option that has a pop out visor and mesh window.
The canopy on the EasyLife is a nice looking option that has a pop out visor and mesh window.

Sunshade


The canopy on the EasyLife medium sized and has SPF 50+. This canopy has 3 panels and a pop out visor for added protection from the sun. It doesn't cover quite to the knees, but it should be pretty good for younger babies. There is a mesh peek-a-boo window that is easy to see out of and has a cover with magnetic closure.

While the buckle on the EasyLife is stiff  adjusting the straps is easy.
While the buckle on the EasyLife is stiff, adjusting the straps is easy.

Harness


The 5-point harness on the EasyLife has an average buckle that feels a little stiff for weaker hands. However, adjusting the straps is easier with a button push adjustment on the side straps and smooth sliding on the shoulder straps. To change shoulder strap height the you move the end of the strap through the desired slot.

The recline adjustment on the Recaro is two straps in a push button toggle.
The recline adjustment on the Recaro is two straps in a push button toggle.

Seat


The EasyLife seat back reclines flat enough for napping, but it isn't as deep as some. The recline adjustment works with a straps and can be done with one hand, but is easier with two.

Car Seat Compatibility


The EasyLife is compatible with the Recaro Performance Coupe infant car seat. You do not need adapters to use the infant carrier with the stroller, so there is nothing else to buy except the car seat.

Ease of Setup





Setting up the EasyLife is simple, requiring no tools and taking us only 3:47 minutes to assemble.

Maneuvering the Recaro is more difficult than some  and it only gets harder if you move off-road  but the single wheels are better than many of the dual wheel options.
Maneuvering the Recaro is more difficult than some, and it only gets harder if you move off-road, but the single wheels are better than many of the dual wheel options.

Maneuverability


The EasyLife struggles somewhat with maneuverability earning a 5 of 10. Pushing and turning the Recaro isn't difficult on flat surfaces, and the single vs dual front wheel design is an asset.


Things take a turn on rougher surfaces however, where it became more difficult to turn even if it is manageable to push in a straight line. At least it isn't taken off course with small bumps in the road like dual wheel options.

The Easylife is difficult to manage on uneven terrain despite its single wheel design that we find usually translates to easier pushing.
The Easylife is difficult to manage on uneven terrain despite its single wheel design that we find usually translates to easier pushing.

This stroller has all-wheel suspension and foam filled plastic wheels. Overall passengers will probably be comfortable in this stroller, but a sling style seat or rubber wheels would have made it more enjoyable to bump along. The EasyLife has one handlebar as opposed to two handles making one handed pushing possible.

The EasyLife earned an impressive score for quality given the budget friendly price. The materials and their construction combined to create a stroller with few  if any  manufacturing defects.
The EasyLife earned an impressive score for quality given the budget friendly price. The materials and their construction combined to create a stroller with few, if any, manufacturing defects.

Quality


The EasyLife earned an 8 of 10 for quality, which is the top score in the group. The EasyLife has a little rougher fabric, but it is more durable and easy to clean than it is unfriendly. The seat has nice padding that feels more luxurious than the competition with a fit and finish that looks nice and comfortable. This stroller has a clean and sturdy black frame with almost no flex and the suspension feels great.

Other Versions


Recaro has a few other strollers, including:
The Recaro Performance Denali
  • Recaro Performance Denali — This standard stroller weighs about 22 lbs and has a large storage bin, large canopy, child's snack tray, all-terrain wheels and all wheel suspension. It offers a deep recline, easy to use brakes, and is compatible with Recaro Performance Coupe infant car seat. With a list price of around $200, the Denali is also budget friendly.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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