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.
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
Weight and Folded Size
The EasyLife earned a 6 of 10 putting it slightly below average in terms of weight and folded size. This stroller weighed in at 13.9 lbs and when all folded up it measures 6,690 cubic inches.
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.
Ease of Use
The EasyLife earned an 8 of 10 for ease of use, making it one of the easiest strollers to use.
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.
The EasyLife has brakes that are easy to operate with a single action. 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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